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Tuesday, February 15, 2011
A letter to Mike Tomlin
Dear Coach Tomlin,
Up yours. Let me explain. I say this not as a Ravens fan (though I do bleed purple), but as a 38 year old. The same age as you.
At 38 most of us are still paying our dues. Maybe we are on the path to our dream job, maybe not yet, but career nirvana is supposed to be attained at 50, or late 40s at best. We're still under the thumb in our 30s.
Perhaps you didn't get this memo? At 38 you've become a dominant, iconic head coach of one of America's most storied and celebrated football teams. You've won a Superbowl and come a last-minute touchdown from a second.
And your success has come from your mind, determination, leadership. It's easy for us (me) to dismiss the athletic success of younger men or women as unattainable. At 5'10" 175ish pounds, I'm not playing linebacker in the NFL or power forward in the NBA. I'm okay with that.
But you've risen to the top of an older man's profession. We're supposed to be looking for incremental progress. Setting our sights on the mountaintop and then settling into the long marathon pace it takes to get there. You've Michael Johnson'ed the career track in 200 meters. You've fu%^ed all this up.
Now I can't say, well I'm 38, I'm about where I'm supposed to be. Now I've gotta think, yeah, but what about Mike Tomlin??
You've set the bar so high that we all may just wind up at the bar.
So way to go, Coach Tomlin. Congratulations on your success. Now I've gotta get the drawing board back out and try to game plan for reaching my dreams... a lot faster.
Thanks, Coach Tomlin. Thanks a lot.