1. Better citizens play better football.

Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson showed us what to expect in a football season after accusations of violence toward women and children.

There is no football season for them and others walking in the same shoes.

Do players need to be perfect? Do you? Just try and be a better person.

Fan families don't have a commissioner to decide the shades of right and wrong. Make the right call yourself.


2. Gather all available information. Apply it to the problem.

In the NFL the biggest problem is winning games. Parity in the league creates an 'Any Given Sunday' feel.

You’ve got to smart to figure it out.

Bill 'The Genius' Walsh mastered that universe.

Was he genius? Not a genius?

Either way he was smart enough to win four Super Bowls with a third round throw away draft pick named Joe Montana.

The true genius of Bill Walsh is counting all the Super Bowl winning coaches on his coaching tree.



3. Trusting your gut.

Coaches coach others to go beyond expectations. Sometimes it works out.

You coach yourself to define expectations then list reasons why you'll never exceed them.

That's not what NFL guys do. They’re focused.

Can they make the throw? Catch the pass? Can they make the block, the cut, the score? And do it again? And again? And again?

NFL guys put their pants on one leg at a time? Just like you?  After that most similarities fade away but at least you won't leave the house in your undies.


4. If You Look Hard Enough You’ll Find Something.

The NFL says, “If you think you can do something, or think you can't, you're right.”

Why not engage in the positive?

Compromise without feeling stabbed in the back. Join the party even if you're not the center of attention.

Win the small things often enough. Get out of your own way and be ready for bigger things.


5. Recognize THE MOMENT.

Green Bay and Seattle were locked into an overtime game to decide the NFC champion.

Green Bay had a hobbled soon-to-be-named MVP in Aaron Rodgers facing corner back Richard Washington's gimpy elbow (that needs Tommy John surgery) and safety Earl Thomas who left the field and returned after his shoulder popped out.

Then popped back in.

On a field full of wounded kindling, the mighty Packers forgot to douse that campfire.

Instead of a trip to the Super Bowl the Packers watched destiny unfold for a Seahawk team struggling more than their namesake in a fish net.

The game went to overtime on a freakish Hail Mary, then ended on a storybook catch of the ages.

Seattle knew it wasn't time to give up. Green Bay didn't know how to win. Not that time.


6. Recognize THE MOMENT, pt 2.

It’s the biggest game of the year they're coming back. The Football Gods smile on Seattle.

Back to back Super Bowls. A young team full of guys ready to run the table the rest of the decade?


The Legion Of Boom wants their own legacy.

Better than the '85 Bears? Please, we're busy writing our own history.

Better than the Steel Curtain? Talk to us after our fifth Lombardi.

Except the Legion was on the sidelines at the end of Super Bowl 49. Watching.


7. Outside experts can help.

Remember moments when you felt alone in your struggle. Ready to walk away? To quit?

It's a marriage, a job, a house, or a city. You're fed up.

That's when you're most susceptible to change. Susceptible.

Then you find the right counselor. You show your boss a new idea. You keep your city and stay in your house.

You find a way.

Eventually the NFL will find a way to reach beyond their usual pool of coaching talent.

Coaching is slow to change. Sooo slow. New blood’s hard to find and harder to trust when you do. Besides, where do you look?

Looking beyond sports is the right choice. Since the game is one of inches played in a determined time frame, the NFL will need an expert in time and space.

Who better than Coach Stephen Hawking?

Yes, that Stephen Hawking.

From brainyquote.com: "My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically."


8. Breaking down the end of Super Bowl XLIX's last twenty seconds with Coach Hawking.

"Three plays from the half yard line. And a time out? By my calculations you can't lose. Not with Marshawn Lynch ready to launch like a Walter Payton missile.

"You've heard me say, "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge?"

"Well hear me now, the greatest enemy to losing football games isn't play execution, it's probability. We get paid to make the call, the right call, when everything around us says the other call.

"Gravity, time, and distance equals Marshawn, not a gun shot look-in from the right side.

“Dare to challenge current thought. You can't say you're moving ahead if you're following the wrong pack. You could be moving backward.

"If the situation were reversed what would Tom Brady do? He's the master of the sneak for good reason."

David Gillaspie is an active researcher, skills he honed during twenty years with the Oregon Historical Society. His education wavered between English major/Fiction writer at the University of Oregon where he met Ken Kesey, to a BS in History from Portland State with news writing. Married, with two millennial sons, he connects sports and fitness to the realities of baby boomer life, with no mention ever of skydiving or base-jumping. David covers a wide variety of fascinating topics on his boomer-centric blog, Boomer PDX. Check it out -- you'll be glad you did.