Posts Tagged ‘team’

Over on Pats Pulpit (a New England Patriots blog I read most days), they also have links for other news that may interest Patriots fans.  One today has to do with the reality that winning makes working out contracts far more difficult.  Everyone wants their piece of the pie.

I saw this after the Red Sox won in 2004.  It is not particular to Boston, but is a problem for most organizations after a successful run.  The article notes how this problem is already in play down in NY.  That the Patriots (and, gulp, Colts and , double gulp, Yankees) have remained successful for extended periods of time in this climate is amazing.

Pats Pulpit defines it: the disease of me = the defeat of us.

The player (though this can take place in ANY kind of organization, including churches) puts self above team.  Here are some symptoms:


1. Chronic feelings of under appreciation – Focus on oneself.

2. Paranoia over being cheated out of one’s rightful share.

3. Leadership vacuum resulting from formation of cliques and rivalries.

4. Feelings of frustration even when the team performs successfully.

5. Personal effort mustered solely to outshine one’s teammate.

6. Resentment of the competence of another – Refuse to admit his contribution.

Photo by John Wilcox, Boston Herald file photo

The Patriots actually suffered from a minor case of the disease last season, if you read between the lines in recent interviews.  The Celtics suffered a bout around mid-season.  It becomes far clearer in contract negotiations.  I wonder if this is the problem with the Logan Mankins negotiations.  The team and player are very far apart.  Is it that Logan has forgotten it is a team sport?  I don’t know him, nor am I privy to the negotiations.  But offensive linemen usually don’t make a boatload of dough compared to QBs, RBs & wide receivers.  Fair?  Maybe not, but that is the reality.  It really isn’t fair that pro football players make far more than really important members of society like policemen, firemen etc.

The disease of me is the sometimes silent killer of successful organizations.  Sometimes it is not so quiet.

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Football is a game for men- tough men.  Unlike many American males, I don’t lie to myself and others.  I could not play that game professionally.  It requires a physical toughness that I lack.  It also requires an emotional toughness that I am familiar with as a pastor.  In football, you have to deal with the emotional aspects of the game- remaining consistent when there are great hills and valleys.  Remaining stable in the face of constant obstacles.

Enter Jay Culter, the pouting All-Pro.  Jay can’t seem to understand that Pro Football is a business.  The goal is two-fold: compete to win the SuperBowl consistently, and make lots of money in the process.  The closer you are to the first, the easier it is for a team to accomplish the second.  As a result, the business-side, just like the game-side, is not easy on a person’s ego.  During the game, fans might boo you.  And during the off-season you might be linked with trade rumors.

Jay can’t imagine that the Broncos might entertain offers for a QB that 1. his new coach knows, and 2. had a better QB rating than he did.  Yes, Cutler had a record setting season.  But his team folded in the crunch (Cassel’s team when on a strong run that would have earned them a playoff spot in most divisions).  As QB, some of that falls on his shoulders.

But Cutler is pouting and demanding a trade- feeling so unwanted.  He’s is proving that they should have traded him.  First, he lacks the mental/emotional toughness required to flourish in professional football.  Trade possibilities have sent him into an epic, public freefall.  He just gave fans on other cities ammo with which to bait him and boo him.  Second, he is more concerned with himself than team.  This doesn’t sit well with any associated with the Patriots and their success over the course of this decade.  Individuals play, but only teams can win.  Teams are made of people who believe “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one” to quote the fictitious Spock from The Wrath of Kahn.  Cutler is focused on himself.  Not a good sign.  He demands his ego get stroked instead of submitting his ego to the needs of his team.  He also refuses to see that a few teams WERE really interested in him (I’m not sure why at this point).

Jay needs to take his meltdown where it belongs- behind closed doors- or no team will want him, including the one he’s on.  And while he’s there he may want to invest in some Daniel Goleman books on emotional intelligence.

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