Football vs. Mom (And My Top 10 Favorite "Rules" of the Game)

I love football season.

No. I rephrase.

Almighty God in the Most Divine of All Kingdoms, forgive me for I love more than my mother this holy football season!

My family knows and respects my one simple request this time of year. It's fine to shout with me at the TV screen. But, do not talk to me during the game. Ever. Unless, of course, it's half-time and you're going to tell me how much the opposing team stinks like three tons of buzzard puke.

Spike Dykes of Texas Tech said something like that. Which is the other reason I love football season. It's pure call-it-like-you-see-it grit.

No. I'm not male. And, no. I'm not a biscuit away from three bills. (I wish you thought of those things in the other order, though.) Let's just say I've got the gusto to slalom on the open ocean. (And if you keep reading you'll find out where I get that from.)

Now back to the business of football. If you don't understand the down system, stop reading. Try Sudoku. If you didn't see Joe Theismann's compound fracture and drop your pretzel, you have no heart. Go watch the namby-pamby theatrics of the WWF. (Extra points if you saw it live.)

Here are 10 of my favorite 'rules' of football applied to the bidness of the business we're in...

#1. Legendary Bear Bryant (Alabama) said: 'I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.' Hear that all leaders. Hire slowly and fire fast. Wooing is for wusses and wasters. Give your people the tools to succeed and the latitude to prove themselves. If you don't like what you see, move on.

#2. 'The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.' (Lou Holtz/Arkansas.) If your players complain about the bouncing ball refer to Rule #1. If you do, refer to Rule #1. The best (and probably most difficult) thing you can do for yourself is to have enough reflection to see if you belong where you're at. Don't poison your team with complaints. Don't punish your spirit with regrets. Segue...

#3. 'After you retire, there's only one big event left... And I ain't ready for that.' (Bobby Bowden/Florida State.) Strip out all the time-outs, commercials, replays, and set up stuff, and a pro game has about 15 minutes of actionable live-ball play. Same goes for life. Squeeze the stuffin' out of it. Guilt? OK, but no regrets.

#4. 'There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.' (Woody Hayes/Ohio State.) I want to arrive into the center of that doughnut (that's my religious symbolism for heaven) with blood and puke on my shirt. (OK, chocolate too. But you get it.) Try being angry about something when you're completing mile 25 of your Marathon run. Or when you're heli-skiing Mach 2 down wild terrain. Or when you're balancing 50 feet in the air on a wire. Or when you're steering a 7 inch wide plank through 5 foot swells. Find something you enjoy that beats the snot out of you and see how much stronger and clearer you come out on the other side.

#5. 'You can learn more character on the two-yard line than anywhere else in life.' (Paul Dietzel/LSU.) If you need me to explain this one, go dig a hole and then fill it back in.

#6. 'Always remember... Goliath was a 40-point favorite over David.' (Shug Jordan/Auburn.) I like the little guys. They're scrappers. They're leaner, meaner, hungrier and grungier. They bleed what they do. And that stuff is born not made.

#7. 'We live one day at a time and scratch where it itches.' (Darrell Royal/Texas.) You can't win the Super Bowl until you've won the conference. And you can't win the conference until you've won your divisional playoff. And you can't win the division until you've won enough games. (And the Pat's found out last year, that that's not even enough). And you can't win enough games until you've won one game. And you can't win one game until you've out-played the other team. And that's one play at a time. And my money is on the player who's taken care of the jock itch. So focus on executing the play at hand, and take care of the house.

#8. 'I've found that prayers work best when you have big players.' (Knute Rockne/ Notre Dame.) Never underestimate the power of impressions. And never, ever be afraid to call a bluff. God doesn't suit up for the other team, or for yours. That's our folly. Remember Rule #6.

#9. 'Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble this football.' (John Heisman.) You can be stupid with your buddies but not with your brothers.

#10. 'When you win, nothing hurts.' (Joe Namath.) ‘Nuf said.

And Mom, I was kidding. I love you as much as football. ;-)

About the author:

Amy Renz is the President and COO of, LLC, a privately held recruiting services and software company based in Londonderry, NH. HireAbility's latest venture is a white-label add-on for MS Outlook that turns resumes from email attachments and desktop file folders into searchable, 'syncable' Outlook contacts (vCards) ( The Company processes several million resumes monthly in over 14 languages from 35 countries and counts among its clients the #1 job board, #1 vendor management system and #1 applicant tracking system for healthcare. Amy has over 15 years of recruitment industry experience including sales and management of multi-million dollar accounts and leadership of high-performance teams. Amy has run three Marathons, enjoys yoga, slalom skiing, and her puppies, (and in case you were wondering, her Mom and the New England Patriots - in that order).

Views: 247

Comment by Ryan Leary on September 30, 2009 at 11:13pm
I never you you were such a football freak....I would have never guessed. Hey what is that balancing act you promised?
Comment by Amy Renz on October 1, 2009 at 8:29am
Hi Ryan,

I guess I'm a woman of many freakish things. ;-) Among them that balancing act. Guess the puddin'-proof will have to wait for RecruitFest 2010 though... and those over-under bets for charity. :-)

Saw your post on Vick and the Eagles. I hear your frustration. Just can't bring myself to cheer Philly on now. Condolences to his teammates. And, a huge sigh of disappointment for the team ownership & management - it's a demonstration of a complete absence of character and conscience on their part. I don't care how good Vick is, there are better players and better choices.

But here's to a great football season! May the best team win. And may that be New England. ;-)

And hey, do the freakish things mean I'm "Mysterious"???? I can only hope. ;-) lol
Comment by Amy Renz on October 1, 2009 at 8:34am
Hi Oscar,

Thank you for your kind words. My philosophies, however, come from the Greats. If only I could be as poetic.

I believe we're catching up this week... I'm looking forward to it.

Comment by Amy Renz on October 1, 2009 at 8:50am
I should have included this link in my communication with Ryan (@RyanLeary). It's the link to this post on re: Vick and the Eagles.

Good subject. With real implications for any organization. The question it begs for me: is the a price that you can put on the soul of your organization? Is the lure of winning more important than the health of the team... hmmmm that may be the subject for another post... hmmmmm....
Comment by Alex Putman on October 13, 2009 at 1:58pm
AWESOME! Anybody that references Bear Bryant is a winner in my book! All great points and well said! Thanks for this excellent depiction!


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