The Wisdom of the Big Tuna

A fascinating article on Bill Parcells. I particularly noted this bit:

In this laboratory he has identified a phenomenon he calls the game quitter. Game quitters, he says, seem “as if they are trying to win, but really they’ve given up. They’ve just chosen a way out that’s not apparent to the naked eye. They are more concerned with public opinion than the end result.”

I think Parcells’ loathing for this phenomenon is an integral part of his success as a football coach. The game quitter is a problem in every organization, an obstacle to every endeavor, and the deceptive nature of the phenomenon makes it hard to identify without looking specifically for it.

I know I have some tendencies that way, although I think I’ve successfully surmounted them for the most part. I certainly have the scar on my knee to prove it. Still, I can remember one game this fall when I was practically praying for the final whistle and barely going through the motions; I was so exhausted that I felt nothing but gratitude towards the midfielder who hit me from behind and allowed me to go down and let the ball go out of bounds while we kept possession.

I wish I knew how to solve the problem of the game quitter, as I see it in a few of the players on the kids’ team, but the only real solution seems to be a private, internal one. If Parcells can’t figure it out, I rather doubt anyone can.