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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. “

 

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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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Hail to the Redskins

washington-redskinsPolitical correctness (PC) is destroying our country.  Inch by inch it slithers its way into every area of our lives.  Now, it has its eye on American sports and particularly Washington D.C.  In a town where cut-throats and back stabbers are common, the politically correct, and their made up controversy, are trying to scalp the nickname from Washington’s NFL team.

The few lone voices crying in this wilderness are being bolstered and broadcasted from a mainstream media that is an accomplice in the nannyization of America.  Senator Harry Reid said months ago he would not attend a Washington game until the team name was changed.  What can we find that will keep him completely and totally out of Washington for good?  (Note to Washington owner Dan Snyder:  I’ve never been to a Washington game, and I’ll take that seat!)

In July, Hillary “What does it even matter” Clinton declared the name “offensive”.  I guess Washington’s team name matters more and is more offensive than the death of four Americans in Benghazi, but I digress.

Super Bowl MVP Phil Simms and former Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy have announced they would not refer to Washington’s team name during their broadcasts of NFL games on CBS and NBC, respectively.  I love Dungy, his beliefs and have his books but cannot be on this team with him.  Here are some other controversial names they might want to consider deleting from their on-air vocabulary this season.

Aren’t the Giants offensive to the big and tall of the world?  They can’t hide behind anything.  What about the “terrorist” names like Raiders, Buccaneers and Vikings?  Those pillagers have surely turned the hearts and sensitivities of many a child over the last five decades.

I would guess the Saints are offensive to all the sinners out there.  The Browns are the only team named for a color.  How does that make the other crayons in the Crayola box feel?  Eagles, Falcons, Seahawks, and Cardinals create the NFL’s flock while the poor Turkey is presented as a meal on the Thanksgiving Day telecast.  Talk about insensitive!

NFL Hall of Famer Mike Ditka (who smokes a cigar like Rush Limbaugh – egregious! Carbon footprints, second-hand smoke, climate change, run for the hills!) said it best:

“What’s all the stink over the Redskin name? It’s so much [expletive] it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian…It’s all the political correct idiots in America, that’s all it is. It’s got nothing to do with anything else. We’re going to change something because we can. Hey listen, I went through it in the ’60s, too. I mean, come on. Everybody lined up, did this. It’s fine to protest. That’s your right, if you don’t like it, protest. You have a right to do that, but to change the name, that’s ridiculous. Change the Constitution –€” we’ve got people trying to do that, too, and they’re doing a pretty good job.”

In conclusion, if the team name is going to be changed, how about the lyrics to Washington’s fight song as well.  “Hail to the Redskins!  Hail victory!  Dan Snyder stay on the warpath, continue to fight against PC!”

 

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