This Sunday, the Denver Broncos face off with the Carolina Panthers for Super Bowl 50. We’re gearing up by looking back at five essential Chicago Ideas sports Talks that at look the game and the culture of football from a variety of angles. In these five Talks, coaches, athletes, the media and even the legendary “Rudy” give insight into the issues surrounding the sport, its coverage, the evolution of the game and its extensive role in America as well as what makes an athlete or coach great. Ultimately, these talks celebrate the joy of the game and its power to inspire and we couldn’t think of a better way to kickoff this Super Bowl weekend.
1. The Characteristics of Champions: Bob Bowman
“A lot of becoming a champion is about failure. Because what we get to see on TV is the end product of a very long process of ups and downs, and sometimes, we get to see the downs on TV. But usually, if the process is sound, you get to see the end result of success. But that process is a very long and difficult one, for anyone.”
2. Heart of the Game: Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger
“Believe in everything you do, everything. And you know, something great might happen if you stick around the right people and you inspire. Inspiration is the key to everything we do.”
3. Getting Back to the Game: Ronnie Lott & Peter King
“Does America, right now, want to read about football? Does America, right now, want to get to the bottom of the domestic violence issue? What does America really want to read? I have come to the conclusion, after talking to as many people who I trust, in and out of this business–I’m convinced that you have to strike a balance and you have to be conscientious and you have to have a conscious about what you’re doing.”
4. Lessons from My Father: Jarrett Payton
“It showed me the kind of person my father was that when he found out he was sick and he was not able to get a transplant, this man went to go do a PSA to tell people to become organ donors. Knowing that you’re going to lose your life, you’re not eligible to get a transplant, but you’re still telling people out there that you should go do this.”
5. Redefining Success as a Coach: Jeffrey Marx
“Ultimately, what I learned from Joe Ehrmann is that we never ever stop learning, even as adults. Because we never run out of opportunities to enhance the relationships that mean the most to us, we never run out of chances to impact the lives of others and we never ever run out of opportunities to love and to be loved. Successful coaching–that’s what I call successful coaching…We expect greatness out of you and the way we define greatness is the way you impact other people’s lives. That’s the only way.”
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