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The "Quiet Strength" of Tony Dungy

DungyI was very fortunate to be invited to a luncheon yesterday where Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy spoke. I found it interesting that so much of his talk focused not on the Colts but rather on his early days with my (former) hometown Pittsburgh Steelers.

One of the many tidbits I really enjoyed hearing had to do with when he first arrived in Steelers camp.  He said he looked around and saw all those future hall of famers including Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene and Franco Harris.  His first thought was something like, "yeah, that's why these guys are so's a bunch of extraordinary players that all happen to be on the same team."  Dungy went on to say that Steelers coach Chuck Noll gathered all the rookies together and told them, "fellas, this is the most important thing you need to know about the NFL: It's not about superstar players making incredible plays; it's really about ordinary guys doing their job extraordinarily well."  He said he took that to heart and used it as his philosophy as a player and then eventually as a head coach with Tampa and now Indianapolis.

What an inspirational speaker.  Stop and think about how cut-throat the world of professional sports is.  Coaches are fired left and right every year.  You have raging egomaniacs like Jon Gruden, for example, who owes Tony Dungy the Super Bowl ring he won in his first year at Tampa.  Then you have soft-spoken, deeply spiritual leaders like Tony Dungy.  They don't make 'em like that anymore.

I can't wait for his book, Quiet Strength, to come out next month.  I'm very much looking forward to reading more about the man and his journey; he's truly one of the few sports figures any parent would be proud to have their child emulate.


Michael Covington

Thanks for the tip Joe, I will want to pick this one up as well.

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