What It Takes to Be #1

 

Vince Lombardi turns 100 today.

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.

Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with ever fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization – an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win – to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.

It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there – to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.

And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

I don’t say these things because I believe in the ‘brute’ nature of men or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

- Coach Vincent T. Lombardi

Best sports quote of 2013

From the Associated Press

It was a product of dramatic, side-by-side racing with the new Gen-6 car that Bowyer credits with creating “more of what we love about NASCAR.”

And if tempers flare sometimes, so be it. Bowyer doesn’t think it’s gotten to the point where change is needed.

“We haven’t reached that,” he said during a trip promoting next month’s Talladega race weekend. “Obviously Denny got hurt, but that wasn’t an intentional crash. We’ve all seen intentional crashes. Jeff Gordon was an intentional crash. Now, if I would have crawled out of that thing or got helicoptered out of that situation, it would have been a game-changer, because that was an intentional crash and if it would have hurt me the repercussions would have been bad.

“What I saw was good racing in California, and that’s healthy. It’s side-by-side racing and oh by the way they were going for the win. You can’t ask for a better situation on a two-mile race track than to be coming off of four with three cars going for the win. And if they can have that on a two-mile race track, what’s Martinsville going to be like this weekend? Look out.”

Bowyer jokes about last year’s incident, which he calls “just one of those deals.”

“We’re not the smartest people in the world,” he said. “We go down the straightaway and turn left. That’s literally what we do.”

Happy 4th of July

My feeling about the United States is this. To live alongside this great country is like living with your wife. At times it is difficult to live with her. At all times it is impossible to live without her. -Lester Pearson, Prime Minister, describing Canada-U.S. relations to French statesman Charles de Gaulle.

The Americans are our best friends, whether we like it or not. -Robert Thompson, Canadian statesman, former Social Credit leader.

We worry when you look hard at us, but we are also touchy about being overlooked. -Lester Pearson, Prime Minister, commencement address at Indiana’s Notre Dame University (1963).

It might be said we all live in one big house. Welcome to the attic. -Gordon Pinsent, Canadian actor, addressing U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan at an Ottawa gala (1981).

For some reason a glaze passes over people’s faces when you say Canada. Maybe we should invade South Dakota or something. -Sondra Gotlieb, columnist and wife of Allan Gotlieb, Canadian ambassador in Washington (1982).

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. — Mark Twain