Think Football – 4th Quarter



A quickie this morning.


This is the first week of the fourth quarter.  Think: Football 4th quarter.  We’re behind.  It’s been a lousy first three quarters for businesses, non-profits, and governments.  The crowds are fidgeting, angry, some are filing out of the stadium.  So . . .


Think: Football 4th quarter:  This is an opportunity for intense focus.  A chance for some new momentum.  A chance to put aside internal rivalries and fight the real opponent.  And a chance to take some chances.


I say: We can do this.  Pick some clear targets and take some decisive moves forward.  Bury some hatchets and encourage your teammates.  Go into the 2-minute offense – a few less huddles and more focus on execution and pace.


Ready?   Break!


Lead with your best self!

  • I like your positivity, but that is very difficult to do when you are homeless, sick, hungry and have no where else to go.

    “It is very easy to be a patriot on a full stomach.”

    I am not certain who said that, but it is the truth.

  • And, if you are the governor who is in her last term, you are like a coach who has announced his/her retirement at the end of the season. You’re not getting fired, so you want to do what is best for your team so the next coach will have a good chance for good seasons.

    Of course, this applies to the lame duck legislators too.

  • Dan,

    An apt anology, this one. Is there any way we could arrange for a couple of time-outs to reassess as we move down field? It might behoove us to consider kicking a field goal or two — generate some excitement. It might be 3 points instead of 6, but hey — it’s moving in the right direction.

    I think perhaps one of our problems, though, is that Americans always want the “long bomb,” the Hail Mary play, the big score. Perhaps the time is for the controlled and sustained drive to get within field goal distance and get the game moving forward. Lord knows, we’ve been playing a defensive game long enough. And look at what we’ve been defending: manufacturing ideas that are 20th Century instead of 21st Century, big-ticket goods in a tight economy, and fossil-fuel based products. I say give the ball to our quarterback (Gov. Granholm) and let her either hand off or pass to several of the younger and quicker ball carriers (alternative energy, fuel-efficient vehicles, electric vehicles, renewable resources, and green businesses).

    Our state reps and senators would make a great front line, if they could stop arguing long enough to dig in and hold — even push forward a bit — and we could get close enough to score. Problem is, they all want to be the quarterback. The time to argue points is when they are in the huddle, not on the line in the middle of a play, during game when we’re behind.

    Of course, if we don’t educate and train our up-coming players (kids and young adults who actually want to learn) and help rehabilitate our veteran players (old souls like me who are out of work), our front line will not hold long enough for our quarterback to organize and execute.

    Right now, I feel as though I’ve been assigned to the cheerleading squad.

    What happens to the congressional front line when the cheerleaders take the field and refuse to yield? It could happen…


  • John,

    Therese Marie Boldt’s “power of positive thinking” and positive action approach reminded me of the words of a great man which reach across time to us.

    There is a myth that Sir Winston Churchill made a very short speech to the Harrow School on October 29, 1941 in which he said merely: “Never, never, never, never…give in.” Sir Winston Churchill never made a short speech in his life, I believe, but there is some truth in the myth.

    During the speech, he said, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

    However, he closed his speech with words that echo across nearly 60 years to speak to us, as we face this economic crisis.

    He said, in closing: “Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days–the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.”


  • Why does it feel like we have been in the 4th quarter for the last 8 years…

    It is unfortunate that we (Michigan) were unable to attract any of the 20 plants that the “foreign” automakers opened up in the SE USA. That being said, I hope we can learn a lesson and make it attractive for manufacturing to come back to this state like we did for Hollywood. The movies are great but if Lansing was serios about preserving the middle class they would sever thier ties with the UAW and allow MI to become a “Right to Work” state. The workers at Honda, Toyota, Nissan etc pay thier workers well and give great benefits however the UAW’s death grip on the MI Democratic party has built a wall around this state. Until we sever this unhealthy relationship; all talk of real recovery will be whistling past the graveyard.

  • The MSU/UM game is a perfect example. Sometimes you have to be prepared to go into overtime to win. Sometimes business as usual (winning in 60 minutes) just isn’t enough to close the deal. You also have to take a “refuse to lose” attitude into that overtime.

  • It is rare that the Free Press and News editorial pages are in unison. But they both agree that the current team we have in Lansing are playing a worse game than any we witnessed by the 2008 Lions. Poor leadership and strategy, poor playmaking and lousy execution has left Michigan falling in the state rankings. We were once a top-10 team. Now, we’re quickly falling to the bottom 10. And we can talk all we want about all the taxes we should add to solve our problems… more on smokes, bottled water taxes and such. Until we have a Governor who is willing to do something in the best interest of the state instead of the MEA and other unions, we will continue the patchwork gameplan instead of pulling together a comprehensive gameplan resulting in real long-term change. A true touchdown. (Disagree with any of this?… pull out the Opinion Section of Sunday’s paper. The Freep and the News basically say the same thing).

  • How the game is played matters, no matter which quarter a person or team is in. I do not think of quarters, or innings, but what the next step is and what is the goal.

    I get in more trouble reminding people to play the game fair and straight, than almost anything else I do.

    Can we bundle things together and keep trying. I hope so. For the people who are analogyzing the football strategy above to state of Michigan government and Jennifer Granholm. Well, the lady offered to do the job when many decided to stand back in a tough time. And others decided to offer more of what got us where we are. I appreciate the efforts of the people in government who try to make things better without blind allegance to ideology – Republicans and Democrats. It is a wonder that we still have people who will offer themselves for public service.

    A corollary to the footbal startegy above would be Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If.” That poem begins, “If you can keep your head, while all those about you, are losing theirs and blaming you . . . “

  • I wish to contribute to this sports analogy. However, I’ll stick to a sport I know best; basketball. It does not differ from the football realm in that both games involve four quarters.
    Back when I was playing with guys in the highest level of basketball, one thing that I’ll always remember is Michael Jordan stating, and I paraphrase….I prefer to come out in the first quarter, at the tip-off, with a mindset of to win the game is NOW, not later on, say, in the second half, or fourth quarter. I want the outcome to start being decided with our first possession or defensive stance. As the leader, role model for teammates, responsibility to the managment/team owner(s), I owe them, and myself, that amount of exactness, grit, determination. My goal is that by the time the fourth quarter commences, I, along with my teammates such as Scotty, can be sitting on the bench, resting, watching the replacement players carry on to the finish with the outcome ALREADY DETERMINED.

  • >