Any parent who has true concern for his child encourages fair play and being nice to other children at a very early age. Likewise, in professional sports it would be wonderful if showing respect and courtesy to the other guy were a universal standard of conduct. Everyone would prefer it if their favorite team consisted of only upstanding and highly principled players.
The real world, of course, is simply not that way; at least not between the white lines. To be successful you must forget about being nice and do what it takes to obliterate the other guy. The best and most successful coaches realize this sad fact. Perform or the gone. It is very simple.
At a star crossed Texan’s game recently, I watched a deep return man fumble a kickoff on the ten yard line, which was immediately converted into six by the kicking team. Do you think Bill Belichick would have had the same guy out there seconds later to return the subsequent kick? Never. Gary Kubiak did.
Texans, rookie kicker, Randy Bullock, leads the league in misses. A made field goal here or there and the team would still be in the playoff race. What do the Texans do? Why bring in three kickers. two of whom had terrific seasons kicking for the team just a year or two ago. In fact, one of them holds the team’s all time single season points scored record. What do the Texans do? Keep cute little Randy, of course, whose miss in the next game might have lead to a win.
It is nice to say that when a player goes down to an injury that he has not lost his starting job when he is ready to play again. That may be true on the Houston team but not on the really successful ones where the best player plays regardless.
Patience is commendable, but unfortunately being nice just doesn’t always go along with being a winner.