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Sunday, November 4, 2012

BRILLIANCE IS IN THE TEAM, NOT THE INDIVIDUAL


It's been a week since the San Francisco Giants won the World Series. I've been reflecting on the importance of collaboration as a cause for celebration.  I get sort of emotional when I think of teams working hard, leaders of these teams so connected to their players, so entrenched in putting the best teams on the field that they leave personalities and big egos backstage.

We witnessed San Francisco claim its second World Series win in three years after a drought since their move to the West in the late 1950s.  This team, while special in form, is not really special in function.  There are no standouts, frankly.  What you saw was the team battling together, lead by Bruce Bochy, who is “perhaps the most underrated manager in the game, (who) cemented his case for the Hall of Fame with the victory,” according to the Los Angeles Times article published just after the win, HERE.  I didn’t even include him in the leadership piece posted earlier on BYB, read KEEP CALM & MANAGE ON. When a team gels, pulling with it all of the strengths of each player, they are brilliant and there is no stopping them.
Many sports media compare the New York Yankees to the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  The same passion and tradition exist in both organizations.  This year, the Irish are 9-0, ranked 4th by the national polls, and they are in line to land a BCS bowl, the first time in years. 
 (In Photo: Everett Golson)
“Notre Dame, like the New York Yankees, evokes strong emotions. Unlike the Yankees, however, the Irish are now in a beauty pageant. (And, unlike the Yankees, the Irish can hit. But that's another story),” according to ESPN’s article Notre Dame Has Returned in Style.  In fact, their standout linebacker Manti Te’o, who can not only hit but catch, is being touted as the next Heisman Trophy winner.  The Yankees could certainly use a little of that action!

My point here is that you take a group of guys in San Francisco and South Bend, who separately are just a athletes who work hard and have tremendous heart, you put them together on a team with good leaders in Bruce Bochy and Brian Kelly, you organize their strengths, put them in a position to do what they do best, and you win.  No nonsense, zero tolerance for complaints- you go out there and just win, despite the polls, despite whether or not the fans believe in them or not- you do your job and you as a team, are brilliant. 
The Irish don’t have the best quarterback, the Giants don’t have the best pitcher, they have the best teams.  They have a collection of guys who do what they are asked to do and when one trips, another picks of the slack.  We sort of lost sight of this in New York and Boston, for that matter- these are the teams that are supposed to win and lately, they just don’t.  There is just too much individualism and not enough collaboration.  And that hurts you, it tinkers with your heart and it tinkers with your mindset.  You are no longer in a growth mindset but rather stalled in complacent mindset- and perhaps you think you will just snap out of it.

If you asked me, I would clean house in the Bronx- invest in the players that are out there to play as a team and move away from those that just don’t get it.  Winning teams have the right make up of talent and teamwork- we are missing the latter, which keeps us from being brilliant since 2009. That's my take...what do you think?



--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Opinion Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof




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