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Scoot: Do Sports Teams Reflect the Cities they Represent?

The Boston Red Sox won the World Series, and there is a shared feeling that the Red Sox were destined to win because the city of Boston rallied around the team after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Do sports teams absorb the attitudes of the cities they represent? Before the Red Sox played their first home game at Fenway Park just days after the Boston Marathon bombings, Red Sox star David Ortiz told the crowd to “Stay strong!” The public address announcer said to the crowd, “We are one. We are Boston Strong!” and a new spirit was born in Boston.

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, did the strength and resilience of the city of New Orleans contribute to the Saints becoming an elite NFL team? Drew Brees and Sean Payton joined the Saints in 2006 and that began to spark a new attitude with the Saints and their fans, but talent alone was not always enough to alter the culture of a winning attitude.  Throughout sports, there are endless examples of how the passion and inspiration of less talented teams and athletes led to victory over greater talent.

The major challenges that cities and communities face and overcome often seem to inspire teams to new levels of greatness. Not to take anything away from the impact of Brees and Payton have had on the Saints, but their talent was also provided a unique stage in a city that displayed remarkable courage and resilience.  The Saints fed off the city and the city fed off the Saints!

In September of 2006 when the Superdome reopened 13 months after it was a microcosm for the magnitude of the disaster caused by Katrina, the Saints faced the Atlanta Falcons in a nationally televised game.  U2 and Green Day touched not only the Saints and their fans, but also a nation when they sang, “The Saints Are Coming!” On that night and on that stage – the talent of the Saints players met the passion of a city and a nation and no challenger could have beaten the Saints in that moment in time.

As the city of New Orleans continued to rebuild its structures, as well as its soul, a nation watched and there was new respect and appreciation for New Orleans. The Saints became a symbol of the city overcoming astronomical odds and went on to win the Super Bowl in 2010!

Every year since Katrina and the Brees/Payton presence has not led to a stellar year for the Saints, but one thing is obvious – the Saints have become a better team as New Orleans has become a better city and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.  The Saints and the city of New Orleans have become respected winners.

The Boston Red Sox are another example of a team that fed off the challenges and resiliency of a city in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Tragedies and disasters provide humans an opportunity to prove their strength and courage. When tested – we rise to the occasion. Individuals, teams, cities and nations demonstrate the depth of their character and will when faced with a challenge.

In 1977, Queen Elizabeth was celebrating her Silver Jubilee and there were celebrations throughout Great Brittan.  That summer at Wimbledon, Virginia Wade, the British player, seemed destined to feed off of the pride of the United Kingdom by winning Wimbledon – and she did!

In 1980, the young U.S. Olympic hockey team shocked the world by beating the Soviet Union, a team that had dominated Olympic hockey since 1954. Sports Illustrated titled the US victory – “Miracle on Ice!” The US hockey team was comprised of amateur and collegiate players and the Soviet Union team was essentially a pro team equal to an NHL team.

The Cold War with the Soviet Union had reached one of many peaks in 1980 and tensions between the U.S. and Russia were a serious threat to world peace. The 1980 Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, New York – on American soil. Just a month before the start of the Olympics, President Jimmy Carter had issued an ultimatum to the Soviet Union – withdraw troops from Afghanistan or the U.S. will boycott the Summer Olympics in Moscow. Russia did not withdraw troops within the timetable given by the U.S., and America, along with some other nations, did boycott the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

With the odds against them, the young U.S. Olympic team seemed to personify the strong sense of American pride and they beat the Russians, which inspired exuberance throughout America!

Passion and motivation may be even more important than talent and we see examples of that throughout our lives.  Most of us can think of the times when we felt that it was our passion and motivation over our talent that led to winning a game, landing a big client or even attracting a companion. I have always considered the human element of emotion to be an integral factor in determining which team might win a particular game. Emotion is a greater force than statistics and physical talent.

If sports are a metaphor for life, then we learn how important it is for us to find the passion and motivation it takes to lead us to our peak performances.  Passion and motivation are the intangible elements that produce peak performers in life.

And if a city or a nation can inspire a team to reach a higher level of performance – then we all have the ability to inspire ourselves to reach higher levels of performance – more through passion and motivation than talent.

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : BostonMoscowNew OrleansNew York
People : David OrtizDrew BreesElizabethJimmy CarterSean PaytonVirginia Wade

11/06/2013 9:35AM
Scoot: Do Sports Teams Reflect the Cities they Represent?
Please enter your comments below.
11/06/2013 10:15AM
Achievement? Really. Yea, it would be nice if Obama did not view Americans
as mere chattel and not capable of supporting themselves without 24/7 government oversight. Obama punishes via taxes and IRS abuses and trashes achievers daily and Scooter Boy worships Obama. The only passion Scooter has is for bigger and bigger government. The notion of championing the individual is offensive to Scooter, Obama, and Democrats. Sorry Scooter, according to your hero Obama you are a mere useful tool and have no value. You will die a fool following clowns like Obama.
11/06/2013 10:31AM
Yea, Scooter hates the Tea Party.
Most of the members of this group are small business people fed up with the abuse and waste of our tax money. Scooter does not support entrepreneurship and the individual being the best they can be. He is a leftist that believes politicians should pick winners and losers.
11/06/2013 10:51AM
Yes, Obama has created one of the most divisive political climates in recent
history. Obama does not try to win on issues because most reject his views. Issue polls show that time and time again. He wins by trying to destroy his opponents personally. He won his first election by exposing his opponent’s divorce records. Obama isruthless hiding behind the facade of being a soft-spoken academic. Obama has divided the nation as never before and that is not in dispute.
11/06/2013 1:44PM
REPORT: 49.7 Million Americans Living in Poverty... congrats to Obama, Scoot,
and the DemoRATS ... keep up the good work.
11/06/2013 7:01PM
Thank you, "Pilot of the Airwaves", you sound like a friend to me. Jaen
11/06/2013 8:10PM
The ásshole Obama continues to LIE about healthcare .... Kathleen Sebelius
is a B!TCH that need to be FIRED!
11/06/2013 8:14PM
Obama is a THUG and should be impeached.
One can hope the B!TCH gets cancer from smoking ... he HATES half the country so no big deal that we HATE his sorry áss.
11/06/2013 8:17PM
Obama called Mitt Romney a murderer and tax cheat among other things ... and
folks expect Obama to be respected. Obama DESERVES ALL THE HATE that comes his way.
11/06/2013 8:58PM
11/06/2013 9:54PM
By definition when the government controls your access to healthcare that is
a function of communism. The politically correct crowd hates truth, but their fraud does not change reality.
11/06/2013 10:21PM
Scooter is worred about his Lord and Savior Obama ...
the nation’s strongest spokesman for þutt sex is in trouble. lol
11/06/2013 10:50PM
Mary Landrieu has been on her knees in front of Obama this week ...
but then she has been servicing her master for a long time.
11/07/2013 7:54AM
Well, it is true that Mary Landrieu is a common WH0RE ..
she spread her legs for Harry Reid and accepted a bribe to vote for ObamaCare.
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