The title of this post? My late father used to tell me that as a way to live life, and that adage applies to what I’m about to write in regards to two successful pro sports franchises.
Look at the New England Patriots and the San Antonio Spurs.
What do these two sports franchises have in common?
Absolute success and they don’t get their collective panties in a wad over each win or loss, no matter how significant or insignificant.
Sure, the Patsies haven’t won a Super Bowl since February 2005 and the Spurs haven’t won an NBA title since June 2007, but that’s disregardable. Each year, the two teams in their respective sport consistently contend for championships. Out of every pro sport in the world, if you look, the San Antonio Spurs have the highest winning percentage of any pro team since 1998. I don’t know the exact number, but you can help yourself to a Googling.
Outside of Tom Brady, Danny Amendola, Stevan Ridley and Kenbrell Thompkins, I don’t know a single goddamn active player on the New England Patriots’ offense at the moment, and yet despite the magnitude of injuries that team has suffered whether on offense (uh, eh, uh, Aaron Hernandez permanently ‘injuring’ his life by allegedly killing a man, Rob Gronkowski’s constant injury-riddled self and, of course, Dr. Hurt-Guy AKA Danny Amendola) or defense (Vince Wilfork), they will be in the playoffs and I’m pretty sure they still have an opportunity for a first round bye, but I could be wrong (so correct me, if so).
Despite these teams’ success, you don’t see either one of them in cahoots with celebrating.
I remember when the Spurs swept LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in June 2007 for their fourth title in eight years, and people on the internet complained about how they didn’t ‘celebrate enough’. Well, people, winning and winning titles became second nature to that team, so they naturally acted as if they’d been there before — because they had.
I still don’t understand the disdain for Tommy Three Rings AKA Tom Brady. He’s the All-American American (that’s not redundancy) of the NFL. He’s not a smug jackass. Just the everyday dude. He’s classy and, on the field, he’s a goddamn competitor. If I were the GM of a football team and had to take one quarterback of any in NFL history in their prime, I’d take Brady, no questions asked.
The Patriots have a track record of letting guys from their team leave over the years instead of paying them big money — Ty Law, Adam Vinatieri, Willie McGinest, Richard Seymour, Deion Branch (shortly after he won Super Bowl MVP in 2005) and, most recently, Wes Welker.
Yet they’ve still appeared in two Super Bowls in the last six years (close losses vs. the Giants in 2008 and the Giants again in 2012).
The Spurs have been to the last two Western Conference Finals and went to the NBA Finals back in June. They were leading the series 3-2 when the Miami Heat won an overtime thriller against them in game six. In that game six, the Spurs were five seconds away from a fifth title until Ray Allen hit a 3 from the corner to force overtime after a couple of Spurs missed free throws to fail to seal the deal. In game 7, the Heat won the series and LeBron James exacted his revenge from 2007 on the Spurs in yet another hellaciously close game.
I don’t know how the Spurs even went to the Finals back in June given their roster, with Tony Parker being 31, Manu Ginobili being 36 and Tim Duncan being 37! Maybe it’s from the rise of Kawhi Leonard and the efficient shooting from the perimeter by Danny Green. Regardless, their run of success will come to an end one day. Success is fleeting, so celebrate rarely and grind daily.
Just like the Patriots. Who knows what will happen when Brady retires and Bill Belichick follows suit.
Over the years, plenty of people have used the words ‘hate’ to describe their temperament of the Patriots and Spurs, yet people continue to watch, because success is ubiquitously alluring to everybody in the world.
People say they hate LeBron James, yet the Miami Heat are the most watched team in the NBA. What a phony, misused word.
Never allow the highs to be too high or the lows to be too low. Celebrate rarely and grind daily. Do something well, and then do it better.