“Monday Morning Quarterback”

Posted by jlubans on September 21, 2021

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Caption: Gabe Brkic, University of Oklahoma football team kicker, with his power-inducing mustache.*

Back in February of this year, I wrote about the inestimable American footballer, Tom Brady in “Letting Go to Win”.
So, once again please bear with me, while I talk about another quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, from the Green Bay Packers.
Like Tom Brady, Mr. Rogders wants to be more involved in team decisions, especially when it comes to selecting players to retire and players to acquire. His bosses at GB, don’t appear to see it that way.
Today’s title is a descriptive phrase used for those fans who, at game’s end, would have done a better job than the coach or the players.
So, let me be a bit of a MMQ, a second-guesser.
But first, let me explain for non-sports readers that American football’s quarterback is the signal caller and lines up behind the center to receive the ball at the start of each play. His job is to get the ball to the end zone and score.
Even if not elected captain, once on the playing field, he is the team leader.
The quarterback gets the ball and either hands if off to a running back (full back, half back), or keeps it and runs, or passes it to a player down the field. Sometimes, in a play called the triple option, he does all three.
All the while the defenders on the other side of the ball seek to crush him under a combined weight of a ton (907 kilos) or two!
Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are among the very best at eluding onrushing linesmen, gaining yardage and winning.
Contrast this quote from Tampa Bay coach, Bruce Arians, about Brady’s leadership with the following quote from Brian Gutekunst, the general manager of the GB Packers:
“(Brady) has been (the leader) all year. (He’s) got the air of confidence that permeates through our team every day. I allow him to be himself. Like, (the former team) didn’t allow him to coach. I allow him to coach. I just sit back sometimes and watch.”
Here’s what Gutekunst has to say about sharing his decision making power:
“So what’s your definition of input? Are you listened to? If you’re listened to, and a different decision is made, do you still feel listened to?
Or is it just doing what you want? I think there’s a difference there. But I do think those guys that have put so much into an organization, played at a high level, I think it’s important that they have a little bit of a voice.” Emphasis added.
What does Rodgers want? A lot more than “a little bit of a voice”.
Rodgers suggest a role:
"I can be used as a pseudo-consultant because I know this place," he said. "When you're a quarterback, you hear a lot of [stuff].... It's the people that get it done, and I just want to be a part of people decisions."
Moreover, in an unusually candid press conference -in which he came across as a thoughtful communicator with good ideas and a reasonable manner – he explained:
“People come here to play with me, to play with our team and knowing that they can win a championship here. And the fact I haven’t been used in those discussions was one I wanted to change moving forward.”
Let’s leave the stadium and ask the eternal work place question? What do people want from work?” There’s an easy answer:
mutual support and respect, and meaningfulness in what they do.
They don’t want to be ignored when they have good ideas to offer.
Being ignored and dis-respected are obvious signals from the organization or your boss for you to move on.
Rodgers is not going to go silently into retirement. He is articulating probably what many players (and workers) believe and would likely offer to a team.
So what effect is the GB power struggle having on the new season?
Latest score: Green Bay 35, Detroit Lions 17. The game was preceded by much Chicken Little, “Sky is falling”- behavior among the media after Green Bay lost the first official game the week before, 3-38. A shellacking for sure, but Rodgers re-assured everyone, it’s one game, we move on to the next game.
He is right. I hope GB and Mr. Rodgers can come to an understanding which welcomes him into the team's key decisions.
Look what "letting go" led to at Tampa: Victory in the Super Bowl.

*More Football and Parallel Parking:
University of Oklahoma Kicker Gabe Brkic (depicted) tied an American record with three 50-yard (46 meters) field goals Sept 4, 2021. Each field goal is worth 3 points. (By the way his name is pronounced Brr-kich).
Kickers are, we are told, a breed apart, (loners, superstitious, idiosyncratic and a bit zany) so his insights are well worth having.
He explained how he focuses on making kicks from mid-field:
“My dad’s best friend, when we were younger, he told me kicking a football is like parallel parking. Every kick, you just parallel park the football through the goalposts.” Goalposts are 18.5 feet wide (5.64 meters).
Easy!
What about the Guy Fawkes mustache? “That’s where my power comes from, the 'stache,” Brkic explained. "I’m going to let that thing grow out.”
On September 25 against the University of West Virginia playing in Norman, Oklahoma, Mr. Brkic kicked the winning field goal with ZERO time remaining on the play clock. Just like parallel parking! Final score: 16-13.
Coincidentally, with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, Green Bay beat the San Francisco 49rs 30-28 on September 26 with a last second 51-yard field goal!
Today, October 14, Green Bay is 4 wins, 1 loss, and going strong.

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© Copyright all text by John Lubans 2021

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