I know, I know. It’s Super Bowl weekend! Here in New Jersey, the fever is running high. While I’m not a huge football fan, I have to admit that I do enjoy watching THE BIG GAME: the plays are so amazing! My beloved sister Judy was a huge Broncos Booster.
In all the coverage spilling onto the pages and airways, sometimes a story catches my attention that speaks to peak performance in a way that spills beyond the football field onto the page. Here’s one that can inspire us all: It’s about a call that Joe Harrington, the sports technology coordinator (how’s that for a job title!) at the University of Tennessee, got one day from Peyton Manning. It was Peyton’s first year with the Broncos and he asked Joe to find him a tape of a decades old, 1996 game with a play called “flip right duo X motion fake roll 98 block pass special” — wow, how do these guys remember this stuff?
Joe found the play on film and sent a digital version to Peyton and the Broncos put the play into play in their game plan. This is typical of Peyton I learned — his film study is “the stuff of legend” according to the article I read. Peyton pores over footage of old games, often dipping way back into the past to locate plays he saw early in his career so he can practice and use them.
Now that’s dedication to craft. That’s discipline. That’s commitment. That’s a drive for mastery. Whether you’re catching a football or crafting a novel, that’s the kind of intensity and immersion that leads to improvement. That’s the kind of attitude and effort that makes a champion.
So, whatever happens on Sunday, Peyton Manning is a winner in my book. There, I did it! I wanted to figure out how to link the Super Bowl with sitting down and working on a novel or a play or a short story. Think this fills the bill! So grab some chips and write on!