Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Tale of Two Quarterbacks

Greetings Happy People,

If there are any San Diego fans out there, please forgive me for the example I am about to use.

It was the 1998 NFL Draft. At that time, everybody knew the first two picks in that draft were going to be quarterbacks. The question was which quarterback would be selected first? Would it be the quarterback from the smoky mountains of Tennessee? Or would it be the quarterback from the Evergreen State. Both had led their college teams to great success. While one quarterback played in the Rose Bowl, the other one played in the Orange Bowl. They both did not win the Heisman Trophy, but they were two of the top three candidates in the running. All the accolades, the collegiate success, and the expectation came down to who will be the first pick in that NFL Draft.

Then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue walked up to the stage and made the following announcement,

“With the first pick in the NFL Draft, Indianapolis selects….Peyton Manning!!”

Fans cheered this decision as Peyton walked up to the stage to accept his new blue & white jersey with a matching baseball cap.

Minutes later, Commissioner Tagliabue made the following announcement,

“With the second pick in the NFL Draft, San Diego selects……Ryan Leaf!!”

Fans also cheered this decision as Ryan walked up to the stage to accept his jersey and baseball cap.

It seemed that these two quarterbacks were going to be major stars in the NFL for years to come. Unfortunately, it would happen for one of them.

As the season began, both quarterbacks had rough starts. While Peyton developed his skills as a proficient quarterback, Ryan developed headaches for San Diego fans. When Peyton gave professional interviews, Ryan shouted at the media. By season’s end, you know who was bound to have a successful career in the NFL.

Now, let’s fast forward to today. How did these two former college quarterbacks do for themselves? Peyton Manning is currently playing for Indianapolis. He became a three-time NFL MVP. His team won an NFL Championship and he became the MVP of that game. He also was selected to the Pro Bowl 9 times, becoming a Pro Bowl MVP once. He is bound for the NFL Hall of Fame.

As for Ryan Leaf, he unsuccessfully played for teams in San Diego, Dallas, and Tampa Bay. He was going to play for the Seattle, but quit the NFL before his 4th season. He became a quarterbacks coach for a small college in Amarillo, Texas, but had to quit due to a drug scandal. He now faces burglary and drug charges. He is bound for the NFL Hall of Shame.

What was the major difference in these two football players? The answer is in their attitudes. After they got drafted, reporters asked Peyton and Ryan what they are going to do now that they are in the NFL. Peyton responded by saying that he was going to learn the plays and be the best quarterback he can be. Ryan said that he was going to party in Vegas. While Peyton was gaining respect from his teammates, Ryan gained the complete opposite wherever he played. As Peyton received commercial deals, Ryan received “Where are they now” stories. The comparisons between these two are a different as day and night.

You do not have to be an NFL player to experience this positive-negative attitude experience. Just look around you!! It is everywhere!! When I see a negative person, I see someone that is high stressed, rapidly aging, uptight, angry, poor shape, and in a state of paranoia. When I see someone positive, IT’S THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE!!

Whether it is at work or some other facet in my life, I notice that leaders with positive attitudes are easier to work with. Why? Because they bring that same contagious spirit to everyone!! This allows people to work more productive and less people wanting to quit. On the opposite end, you see leaders with negative attitudes bring strife, pain, and hopelessness to everyone.

It is always good to have a positive attitude. It will relieve tension and allow you to do better at whatever you do. Just think it and it will be there. Who knows, you might be an MVP in what YOU do!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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