Super Bowl I

Today, people all over the world will participate in the time honored traditions surrounding the Super Bowl… watch the game (and commercials) with family and friends, and eat…. my tradition since Super Bowl I.

super bowl 1

Super Bowl I is indelibly imprinted in my brain, even though I was only 9 years old at the time.  It pitted my team, the Kansas City Chiefs, against the reigning World Champions… the big dogs… the Green Bay Packers.

Our whole family (a rather large family with 6 kids) gathered around the old black and white TV, ate s’mores (a “new” taste treat in 1967) and watched the Packers defeat the Chiefs.

That is what I remember…. family, eating, TV… and then the utter disappointment because my team lost.

It is easy, with 20/20 hindsight vision, to see with clarity how amazing this game was, and these two teams were.

There were no less than 17 future NFL Hall of Fame members on the field for that first Super Bowl!  Here is a list of players (and links to their HOF page) from each of these teams that are now enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame:

Kansas City Chiefs:

Green Bay Packers

Now for some editorial comment…

There are two glaring exceptions to this list – #64 Jerry Kramer from the Packers, and #89 Otis Taylor from the Chiefs.

Jerry Kramer was a six-time All-Pro (five first-team honors) at right guard and also went to three Pro Bowls and was on the NFL All-Decade team for the 1960s.

In addition to all that, Kramer was named as a member of the NFL’s 50th anniversary team in 1969. Kramer is the only member of that team not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Jerry Kramer was a member of 5 NFL championship teams and 2 Super Bowl championship squads.

Otis Taylor, Wide Receiver for the Chiefs from 1965-1975, was one of the best and most exciting wide receivers of his era. Taylor was part of two championship teams, numerous playoff teams, and selected to the Pro Bowl 3 times.  His TD catch in Super Bowl IV sealed the Lombardi Trophy for the Chiefs in 1970. Taylor led the AFL in receiving touchdowns in 1967, and led the NFL in receiving yards in 1971.

Great players… great coaches…. great memories…

Enjoy the game – be safe.

Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd –

The Lombardi Effect

Yesterday was Vince Lombardis birthday.  He would have been 100 years old.

Vince_LombardiFor people of my generation, especially young boys who aspired to coach, he was an iconic figure. I wanted to be a coach so I could diagram plays like Lombardi, sure; but I really wanted to be a coach because I wanted to inspire like Lombardi.

Being a Kansas City Chiefs fan, the first Super Bowl will be forever burned in my psyche.  If anyone was to beat my team, the Chiefs, let it be the legendary Green Bay Packers, led by my idol, Vince Lombardi.

I remember watching the Ice Bowl in 1967, and then the Packers defeating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. Lombardi retired from coaching following that season.  I did not understand.

A year later he left the Packers organization to try his hand at rebuilding the Redskin franchise.  I did not understand.

A year later Lombardi died.  That was 1970… I was 13… at that age I understood what I wanted to do with my life… Coach and Teach

lombardi on football2When I graduated from high school, one of my most treasured gifts was a two volume, green leather bound set of “Vince Lombardi on Football”, that my sister gave me.  I still have it today.


The first speech in my college public speaking class my freshman year (one of the first times that I stood up in front of a group of students and spoke) was based on Lombardi’s classic speech, “What it takes to be #1

I just realized today that a line in that speech “you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time” was (unconsciously) surely the basis of the Mantra we started using in our program, and that I wrote about in my post, Do Things Right.

I am not trying to compare myself to Lombardi, but just reflecting on how much this man affected me, and I am sure many others from our generation.

Some excellent links to Lombardi info:

  • Rare Lombardi photosabout 30 pictures with narratives.
  • Complete text of his speech, What it Takes to be Number One
  • A REALLY great film of Lombardi called Second Effort”.  This is a sales training film.  It is about an hour long, and has Lombardi relating football to sales … and life.  It is a little hokey because it was staged and scripted, but it is still moving to hear Lombardi talk about football, life, and success.

Two of my favorite Lombardi books:

Jeff Floyd –

Good Enough?

He is good enough to get us beat.”

One of my good friends and colleagues, Greg Sewell, shared that phrase with me over 20 years ago while evaluating one our high school football players.  Ours was a very good team, and he was a good player.  I did not understand what Coach Sewell meant at the time – they were contradictory phrases – “good enough”  – “get you beat

What Coach Sewell was saying was that the player was pretty good, and would probably play well most of the time, most of the season.  But, he (the player) had not worked to the point where, when it came to crunch time, “nut cutting” time as my friend Greg would say, he could stand up under the fire and succeed, and help the team succeed.  Coach Sewell was saying that he would be a pretty good player as long as things were going well, that things weren’t tough.  The player was satisfied with just being “good”, and was not willing to do the things necessary to become “great”.

Coach Sewell was prophetic.

smith kapToday is the Super BowlThe Harbaugh Brothers Bowl.  The 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh made a decision November 18 about a player that he felt was “good enough to get us beat”.   After a concussion sidelined Alex Smith during a November 11 game, Coach Harbaugh made the decision to go with, and then stay with Colin Kaepernick as the starting quarterback, even after Alex Smith was cleared to play. At the time of his injury, Smith was having his best year — 13 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 104.1 passer rating. San Francisco was 6-2-1 in his starts.  He took the 49ers to the NFC championship game last year, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.  Harbaugh made the decision because he felt that Kaepernick gave them the best chance of not only being a good team (getting to the divisional playoffs) but also being a GREAT team – winning the Super Bowl.  Kaepernick has proven Harbaughs trust is well placed.

In his best selling business book, “Good to Great“, author Jim Collins says,

Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

How do you go beyond being “good enough to get us beat”; beyond being just a good player?

You have to work.  You cannot be satisfied or complacent.  If you settle on just being the best at your school, at your position, you do not have the bar set very high.  Good is the enemy of Great.  You should strive to be the best – the absolute best that you can become.  Strive to be greatJim Collins also says,

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

You have the choice.  You can choose to be good; “good enough to get us beat”, or you can choose greatness.  Greatness does not come easy, and has all those pesky things like, commitment, dedication, discipline, sacrifice, and effort, attached to it.  But you can do it.  You can do more!

Enjoy the Super Bowl – who will you be rooting for?

Jeff Floyd –