Pulling One’s Foot From One’s Mouth
When I was in high school and playing varsity football, my coach, Dennis Klein, taught me a lesson I thought of again tonight. Fast forward, but it was 95 years ago today that the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, killing over 1500 passengers. The nickname of the Titanic? “Unsinkable.”
So, back to Montgomery County football. Coach Klein never, EVER said, “You guys are going to go out and kick the other team’s butt! They’re awful, you guys are going to win!” Instead, it was usually like this, ” Gentlemen, this team may not be real strong in their record, but trust me, if you go out there arrogant and cocky thinking you’ve got a win in the bag, they’ll sense that and fight harder. If they go up one touchdown on you, you’ll be frustrated. When you get frustrated, they’ll go up another on you. Next thing you know, you’re down by 25 points and left scratching your head!”
Now, nevermind the fact that the team in question had been beat by 45 points the previous week..and beat by a team who WE had spanked by four touchdowns! Yet, we sat there reverantly, mainly because to a high school football player, the head coach is close to divinity. And what happened? Well, we won. And won big. But, one thing that did NOT happen is having to eat words. Coach didn’t shoot off his mouth which certainly would have had us trash talking, too. And what if we’d lost? We’d have looked like fools! Fools with really, really big mouths!
Whether it’s a football game in mid-Missouri, or one of the most famous disasters in history, making big claims without being able to back those claims up is a very, very bad idea.