Monday, February 2, 2009

"Super" Man of Steel

He was hired at the age of 34.

Only the third head coach to be hired by the organization since 1969.

He was asked to live up to legends.

Last night, he helped create one of his own.

Today, Mike Tomlin and Steeler Nation is celebrating their showstopping victory at Super Bowl 43 after Pittsburgh rallied to beat Arizona Cardinals 27-23 last night in Tampa, Florida. In doing so, the 36-year old Tomlin becomes the youngest coach ever to guide his team to a Super Bowl victory. This video foreshadows the coach ready to ascend to the top of the NFL mountain.

There has never been a Super Bowl team that blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead before coming back to win.

But Tomlin's Steelers did it.

There has never been a U.S. President publicly predicting a Pittsburgh Super Bowl victory.

But Tomlin's Steelers proved Obama right.

There has never been an NFL team with six Lombardi trophies in the team trophy case.

Until Tomlin's Steelers rallied and found a way to win with 35 seconds to go.

Mike Tomlin's Steelers have taken on the personality of the city it so proudly represents.

Very blue-collar.

Very hard working.

Very nasty.

Very classy.

Very Super.

"We have a team that doesn't blink in the face of adversity. It's never going to be pretty or perfect" MIKE TOMLIN


Rick Nicholson said...

When I read your first blog about the Steelers, I had to ask the question, "How do you find and keep a good coach?" With the exception of Steel country, it doesn't seem to happen in professional sports. Usually the team gets disgusted with poor performance and chops off the head of the coach. Is it possible that the Rooneys are just patient. They land their leader and stick by him. Cowher did not always have a great record, but they didn't fire him. I assume Mr. Rooney liked his style, passion and football sense and stubbornness.

Did you hear how Tomlin impressed Mr. Rooney during his job interview? A virtual nobody, competing against Russ Grimm, one of the current coaches on staff, Tomlin showed up to the interview complete with binders. He had been planning his ascension through the coaching ranks for years. Although he only spent one year as a defensive coordinator in Minnesota, and a few more as Defensive Back's coach in Tampa, the man steps up and takes maybe the best coaching job in all of football. He reads voraciously and uses quotes from all areas of literature to motivate his players.

One of his binders was the Superbowl plan. What to do, how to prepare and how to motivate players for the Championship game. The man, with no experience as a Head Coach in the NFL, beat out one of Pittsburgh's own men. He had to have impressed Mr. Rooney.

How did Pittsburgh win? Simple - Mike Tomlin was ready. He was preparing for years.

With Tomlin's example, it begs the question, how ready am I?

Gair Maxwell said...

This is one of the most compelling comments I have ever seen on this blog and it does beg further questions ... the story you describe is a perfect example of just how little "talent" fits into any success equation ... "talent" might account for only 10%, paling in comparison to the qualities of courage, committment and being able to continually learn.

Great example right here as you so eloquently described!

Leads me to wonder, are there other Mike Tomlin's out there in other fields we haven't noticed yet?

I know Jim Gilbert up in Fredericton is one such example ...