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High Five with 2-Time Super Bowl Champion Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan coached the Denver Broncos to wins in Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII. Only four coaches (Bill Belechick, Chuck Noll, Joe Gibbs, and Bill Walsh) in NFL history have won more Super Bowls than Shanahan.  Entering Super Bowl 50, he is one of only 13 coaches to have won the Lomabardi Trophy multiple times.

Shanahan’s name is included with Lombardi, Noll, Walsh, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, George Seifert, and Tom Coughlin to have never lost a Super Bowl as a head coach.

It’s an honor to have my friend, and legendary head coach Mike Shanahan, for the first installment of High Five.mikeshanahansuperbowltrophy

1) How many Super Bowls have you been involved with as a head coach and in other capacities?

“As an assistant coach, I was with Denver for three Super Bowls and we were 0-3. Back in 1995, I was offensive coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers when we won that Super Bowl.  We won two as a head coach with the Broncos.”

2) What is your motto on attending Super Bowls?

“I have been to one Super Bowl that I wasn’t coaching in and it was truly hard because you’re doing a lot of interviews and talk shows but you’re not part of the process. You know all the hype and the work that goes into the Super Bowl. The one time I was there when I wasn’t a participant, I said I’m going to make sure if I go back to the Super Bowl, it’s going to be as a coach.  When you go to the Super Bowl, you want to be playing in it.”

3) If Joe fan could look through your eyes, what are three things they should look for this Sunday they normally wouldn’t notice?

“First, you’re dealing with two excellent ball teams, and I think both will try to establish the run. If you can run the ball, you will then have some good opportunities for play-action calls.

“Second, at least from my perspective, turnovers will go far in dictating the outcome of this game. You have to really stress ball security in the running and passing game.

“Third, looking at the two teams, I really believe in this game it will be the one that is more successful on third down.  You want to have manageable situations on third down. If you are getting positive yardage on first and second down, you probably won’t be more than third and five. That puts you in the 50 percentile chance of converting. That’s when you take a good look at the rushing yardage. The team that does this will control the momentum of the game.

“Those are three things I would be emphasizing.”

4) Other than winning your two championships with the Broncos, what is most significant memory of the Super Bowl?

“For me, besides winning the two at Denver, is winning the first one with San Francisco when we beat San Diego 49-26 and Steve Young passed for six touchdowns.  Steve finally got the monkey taken off his back for winning a Super Bowl as the starting quarterback. It was a great experience for me to be with the San Francisco 49er organization and see how they did things. That gave me the ability to win two Super Bowls in Denver.”

5)  You’ve been part of several championship teams, is there any difference in each or do they hold their own special meaning?

“When I was coaching in college I was lucky enough to be on national championship teams at Oklahoma in 1975 and Easter Illinois in 1977. Anytime you go into the season, you are looking to be the best at what you do in that year. 

“My main thing is what you’ve done, not what you should have done. Anytime you lose a Super Bowl, you always go back and say could we have done anything different? That’s living in the past. You either get it done or you don’t. 

“Whatever area you are in, be it high school, any division in college, you are competing to win it. The ultimate is when you are able to do that. The mindset is to win it, to go get it done. If you are able to do that as a team, you feel like you’ve really accomplished something. When you do it once as a team, you want to go back and try to accomplish the same thing. That’s one of the reasons I still enjoy coaching. “

 

Does God care who wins or loses?

Last week, my daughter’s 6-7th grade basketball team from Tattnall Square Academy won its local C-team basketball championship in exciting fashion against long-time rival, Stratford Academy.

The atmosphere was electric! Cheering from both stands gave it the sound and feel of a Friday night varsity game. If you had walked in off the street, you wouldn’t have known the difference.

Both teams represented their schools to the highest standard and each player left their sweat, effort and hearts on the court…as it should be.

When the final horn sounded, Tattnall’s student-body, middle and high schoolers alike, stormed the court surrounding our girls. The celebration continued into the locker room and beyond; a memory always to be treasured.

Afterward, a thought I’ve had many times before returned:  Does God really give a hoot who wins these games?

I know I do.

Every time my daughter and her teammates play, I’m pulling for them just as hard as the parents from the opposing side are pulling for their kids.  If the goal isn’t to win, then why practice?  Why put in all the hard work and long hours?

Philippians 4:13, the famous verse that is directly linked to athletics and has been written on eye-black, shoes, and taped up wrists for decades, states:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

This Sunday, Super Bowl 50 will pit the Denver Broncos against the Carolina Panthers. Each team’s sole objective is to win.  But, one team is going to lose.

So, is Philippians 4:13 just meant for the winning team?  Because, I promise you, someone from the winning team will thank God for the victory. There’s nothing wrong with that but what’s the Christian on the losing team saying? “God, you let us down?” “Why did you favor the them and not us?”

The Apostle Paul writes in I Corinthians 9:24: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

Paul is doubling-down. Not only can you “do all things through Christ” but one of those goals should be “to get the prize.”  It is clearly encouraged.

Still, that begs my question, which cheering section will the Lord be in on Super Sunday (or any game that is played)?

Neither.

Just as He wasn’t rooting for Tattnall over Stratford, He won’t be dabbing for Cam Newton or yelling “Omaha” in unison with Peyton Manning.

The Lord desires something more important than top billing on the scoreboard or a trophy that will ultimately gather dust.

 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men..” Colossians 3:23

First, God wants our hearts! Then He wants us to use the talents He blessed us with to the utmost. He wants us to be grateful of those gifts, giving Him thanks and glorifying His name through our effort.

In the end, God has only one team that He roots for and encourages everyday. Those are His kids, the ones that have chosen His Son, Jesus Christ, as their personal Lord and Savior.

Maybe one of our seventh-graders said it best when she ended her prayer each time by saying – “whether we win or lose, may we do it all for the glory of You.”

Super Bowl Bites: Packers Not Only Winners in Super Bowl I

In less than two weeks, CBS will proudly telecast the 50th Super Bowl. Recently, their commercials have included original footage from their broadcast of Super Bowl I.

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But, CBS was not the only major network that showed it. NBC also aired the “First AFL-NFL World Championship Game.”

As Ray Scott, Jack Whitaker, Frank Gifford and Pat Summerall were on the call for CBS, NBC countered with Curt Gowdy, Paul Christman, Charlie Jones, OJ Simpson and George Ratterman.

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LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 15, 1967: (L to R) Televison commentors Paul Christman of NBC and Frank Gifford of CBS talk prior to Super Bowl I on January 15, 1967 between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. The Packers beat the Chiefs, 35-10 to win the professional football World Championship. 19670115-FR-022 1967 Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images *** Local Caption *** Paul Christman;Frank Gifford

A total of 51.8 million people watched the Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10 on January 15, 1967 in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Green Bay won on the field, but NBC ruled the airwaves. The “Peacock Network” captured the Nielsen Ratings with 26.75 million viewers to CBS’ 24.43 million. They also beat CBS by a field goal in the Market Share with a 49-46 advantage.

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Role Players: Jeremiah Castille and “The Fumble”

In 1986, the Denver Broncos crushed the Super Bowl dreams of the Cleveland Browns with “The Drive.”

The “Mistake by the Lake”, and its “Dawg Pound” fans, were silenced as Denver quarterback John Elway orchestrated a legendary 15 play, 98 yard drive in the game’s final five minutes. His touchdown pass to Mark Jackson

Denver Broncos Mark Jackson, 1987 AFC Championship

UNITED STATES – JANUARY 11: Football: AFC playoffs, Denver Broncos Mark Jackson (80) victorious after scoring game tying touchdown during game vs Cleveland Browns, Cleveland, OH 1/11/1987 (Photo by Tony Tomsic/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (SetNumber: X34239 TK2 R15 F15)

sent the game into overtime where the Broncos won on a Rich Karlis field goal.

One year later, the Browns attempted to produce their own “drive”. Trailing 38-31,with just over a minute left in regulation, Cleveland reached the Denver eight yard-line looking to tie the game.

Enter Jeremiah Castille.

In his fifth NFL season, the former Alabama Crimson Tide All-American, was in his first year with the Broncos. With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Castille started 45 of his first 60 NFL games from 1983-1986.

Though playing in 11 games during 1987, Castille did not start and was used as a backup cornerback, many times in special situations. Such was the case in the AFC title game.

On first and goal from Denver’s 8-yard line, Castille came into the game as the Bronco’s expected Cleveland to throw. Showing a three-wide formation, and Denver with an extra DB, Brown’s quarterback Bernie Kosar changed from a passing to a running play.

Castille took advantage of his opportunity.

Kosar handed-off to 215-pound Earnest Byner and the Columbus, Georgia native was barreling toward the end zone for an apparent score. Outweighed by 40 pounds, Castille came off his coverage duties and met Byner in the hole, stripping the ball loose and recovering “The Fumble” at the two-yard line.

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Watch the play and listen to the call from NBC’s Dick Enberg here.

Because he kept his focus and played his role, Castille helped Denver to a second consecutive Super Bowl and the little-known cornerback is now forever-known in Bronco history.

Nearly 30 years later, Castille’s current roles include teaching, coaching and leading his Christian-based Jeremiah Castille Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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