As I walked back to my apartment after Super Bowl XLIX, I tried to reflect and see what takeaways I had from the evening. Yes the game was unbelievable, yes many of the commercials were way too sad/serious for my liking, and yes Katie Perry put on one heck of a performance but what else? What really stood out to me was all of the “No name” athletes that made huge plays on the biggest stage of their career. There is something to be said for making the most of your opportunity and the following three athletes whether they were on the winning or losing end sure did that.
1) Do me a favor and raise your hand if you actually knew who Chris Matthews prior to the Seahawks vs. Packers game? I can honestly say I had no idea who this man was and probably for good reason. Matthews was an undrafted free agent in 2011 who bounced in-between the NFL and CFL for a few years prior to ending up with the Seahawks. He literally played 26 offensive snaps this season prior to Super Bowl (Less than 2 per game). 2 weeks ago Matthews recovered an onside kick versus the Green Bay Packers, which gave Seattle an opportunity to win the game. In the Super Bowl he had 4 receptions for 109 yards and 1 touchdown. Have a day young man!
2) Julian Edelman of the Patriots is the next player I want to focus on. Many thought he should have been the MVP, with 9 catches for 109 yards and 1 touchdown, but let’s take a step back. Edelman was a 4’10” Quarterback when he began high school. From there he played quarterback at a junior college and then then transferred to Kent State. For those who don’t know, Kent State is a relative unknown in the college football world. Once drafted by the Patriots, all he has done is change positions to wide receiver, break the Patriots return record, and oh yeah help to win a Super Bowl. Not to say he is not talented, let’s be honest he’s in the NFL, but talk about making the most of your opportunity.
3) Who else found themselves saying, “Malcolm Butler who?” and then immediately Googling his name? In case you don’t know his background, Butler is was undrafted rookie free-agent out of Division 2 Western Alabama by way of Community College and a one time employee of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. He played 0 snaps in the Patriots vs. Ravens Playoff game, but managed to make the game saving interception in the Super Bowl. What I find more impressive is that he admits he made a mistake on the exact same play in practice on Thursday of this week. Less than 96 hours later, Butler corrected his mistake and clinched the biggest game of his career. Talk about making the most of your opportunity, I’m not sure anyone could optimize this statement anymore.
Now to bring this full circle, think about how you can apply this to your everyday life and career. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” and don’t make the same mistake twice. These are actions that the players above clearly put into action and you can see the results, imagine what it could do for you…
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, any feedback is welcome and much appreciated!