Yes you can. You can win with class. I purposely named this article without the word “football” because both Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith gave coaches, teachers, instructors, baby-sitters, mentors, and countless others a good lesson in not only football, but in life. You can win the respect and attention of others by simply being “classy”. Webster.com states classy is “having or showing class” or “admirably skillful and graceful”. Perhaps you were not following the Bears or the Colts this season, but the days before the biggest stage in sports, the Superbowl, these two men exemplified class and hopefully made an impact on this country with the message “Class can win others”. Perhaps you are a father that yells or raises your voice to your kids. Maybe you are a coach in any sport and you constantly holler to your athletes to perform better. Or, you could be a 9th grade Social Studies teacher and you yell at your students to quiet down. I do not know what you do for a living or what you do in your spare time. But if we have learned anything from this year’s Superbowl, it certainly could be, in a nutshell, “hey, you can win the respect of others without profanity or yelling? That’s pretty cool”.
What the Colts have achieved this year, believe it or not, can be achieved by every day people. The Colts have overcome doubts, faced adversity, and believed in themselves. “The Colts are too soft”, “They can’t play physical”, “They are a dome team and can’t play in the weather elements”, and “They can’t win the big one”. These doubts were virtually erased from every player on that team, when they did play physical, when they won in the rain, and when they showed how “soft” they were when they stopped the likes of Larry Johnson and Jamal Lewis. By the way, the Colts also won an AFC championship after being down 21 – 3. What is it that you want to achieve? A degree? A promotion? A stronger relationship? Eliminate the doubts. Go. Do. Achieve. And by the way, you don’t have to yell or cuss about it either. The Colts have achieved greatness in every way possible. Through coming from behind, stopping the run, having to score over 30 points, field goals, turnovers, you name it. Just keep your “class” and you can achieve anything.
Mr. Dungy and Mr. Smith? Thank you for painting such a simple picture for us to look at. Most of the media are looking at the fact that you are the first African-American coaches to coach in the Superbowl. That is a historical and monumental achievement, and I congratulate you. However, it is the bigger picture that you have shown to us that everyone will benefit from. You men have sent the message. Now it’s time for us to apply what we have learned.
Mike Whitfield Acworth, GA firstname.lastname@example.org