QUOTE/STORY OF THE WEEK…
“It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It’s my partner.” — Jonas Salk
Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the March of Dimes, which was founded in 1938 to find a cure for polio. Then-President Franklin Roosevelt founded the organization as the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Roosevelt himself was paralyzed with what at the time was believed to be polio, though it now seems this diagnosis might have been mistaken. The original purpose of the foundation was to raise money for polio research and to care for those suffering from the disease. The name emphasized the national, nonpartisan and public nature of the new organization, as opposed to private foundations established by wealthy families. The effort began with a radio appeal, asking everyone in the nation to contribute a dime to fight polio.
Since the vaccine to prevent polio was founded by Dr. Jonas Salk, the March of Dimes has a renewed purpose. Here is its mission statement from the Web site:
“Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. We carry out this mission through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies’ lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects, low birth weight.”
Comedian Eddie Cantor holds a very special place in the history of the March of Dimes, for it was he who coined the phrase “March of Dimes” used to identify the foundation today.
“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” — Eddie Cantor
AROUND THE NFL…
“My wife said to me once, ‘Explain to me why you continue to do this. The times that you enjoy it are so much fewer than the rest of the other stuff. What kind of ego do you have that you have to keep proving things to yourself? Why do you do it? You’re not happy, so why do you keep doing it?’ I told her she didn’t understand. I told her it’s just about competition because my whole life, since I was seven years old, you went to the gym or you went to the playground. It was always, ‘Who are we playing and where?’ I’m still doing it. Nothing has changed. It’s still, ‘Who are we playing today?’” — Bill Parcells
1. Black Monday is tomorrow in the NFL, which means many head coaches and assistant coaches will be headed for the unemployment line. One situation that deserves watching will be the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jack Del Rio has a huge sum of money coming to him for the remainder of his deal, but he’s not a loved man within the organization — especially at the top. From my sources close to owner Wayne Weaver, the man who extended Del Rio’s contract, Weaver is not happy with how his coach treats people, his work ethic, his involvement in the community and the direction of the franchise. It’s been said the Jags don’t have the money to fire Del Rio, but if Weaver does have an interest in selling the team, hiring a big-name coach is the best way to add value to the franchise. There may be an initial cost, but bringing in the right coach will increase the overall value of the team. Stay tuned here. This situation bears watching and is not repairable.
2. Interesting to see Raiders coach Tom Cable throw JaMarcus Russell under the bus this week, which means he’s resigned to not coming back — or at least, if he comes back, he doesn’t want to coach Russell. I don’t see the Raiders giving up on Russell, so I don’t think Cable will be back. Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is the name I keep hearing in Oakland.
3. Bob LaMonte, our Man of the Year and the agent for many NFL head coaches, will be busy this week trying to reach an agreement on an extension for Panthers head coach John Fox — or trying to free him from his one remaining year in Carolina. If Fox becomes available, he would surely be a candidate in Cleveland once Mike Holmgren decides to fire current coach Eric Mangini. Speaking of LaMonte, word around the league is that when he was doing Holmgren’s deal in Cleveland, the only thing he didn’t get from owner Randy Lerner was a percent of interest in his English soccer team.
4. Former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis, another hot coach in the LaMonte stable, could also be involved in Cleveland as offensive coordinator. Weis is telling his friends in the league to trade for Browns quarterback Brady Quinn because he’s still convinced Quinn can be a legitimate starter. Weis is also on the short list in Kansas City, where there are expected to be wholesale changes to the coaching staff.
5. More LaMonte: He’s working hard to get one of his clients the Seattle GM job as a way to protect another client, head coach Jim Mora. If a LaMonte client wins the job, or if current assistant GM Ruston Webster wins, Mora is safe. If neither occurs, Mora’s employment status might be in jeopardy.
6. Buffalo’s appointment of Buddy Nix as GM was not an unusual move considering that owner Ralph Wilson doesn’t want to bring in any new faces to the organization. Past experiences prevent Wilson from opening the job to someone he doesn’t have a prior relationship with. Nix is very close friends with Marty Schottenheimer, the former Chargers coach, and I expect Brian Schottenheimer to get serious consideration in Buffalo once the season ends. The Bills want someone with an offensive mind to be their next coach.
7. Mike Shanahan will formally be named head coach of the Washington Redskins this week, but he’ll have to wait two weeks before his son Kyle is able to join him as offensive coordinator. Kyle’s contract expires two weeks after the conclusion of the Houston Texans’ season, so unless the Texans grant his release, he’ll have to wait to join his father.
8. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford has narrowed his choice of agents to two — Bus Cook and Tom Condon of SFX.
ARTICLES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED THAT AREN’T WORTH MISSING…
“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” — Mark Twain, letter to Mrs. Foote, Dec. 2, 1887
Gino’s, the fast food of choice when I was growing up in Jersey, is making a comeback. The Gang That Can’t Kick Straight, by Judy Battista of the New York Times
LEADERSHIP IMPROVEMENT IDEA…
“My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that ‘achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that’s nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.’” — Helen Hayes
Are you into New Year’s resolutions? I try to make one every year, but I often fail to keep them past January. Here are 10 tips for keeping your resolutions, from Amber J. Tresca, of About.com Guide. I’m determined this year, and with the help of Amber, I’m going to make it past January.
1. Be realistic
The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to never eat your favorite food again because it bothers your IBD could be a bad choice. Strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.
2. Plan ahead
Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before Dec. 31 arrives.
3. Outline your plan
Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have one more cigarette. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your bad habit affects your IBD.
4. Make a “pro” and “con” list
It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
5. Talk about it
Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best case scenario is to find yourself a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.
6. Reward yourself
This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something that you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution. If you’ve been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, perhaps your reward could be going to a movie with a friend.
7. Track your progress
Keep track of each small success you make toward reaching your larger goal. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and small accomplishments will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, say, focus on losing that first five. Keeping a food diary or a symptom journal may help you stay on track.
8. Don’t beat yourself up
Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take each day one at a time.
9. Stick to it
Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity, such as exercising, to become a habit, and six months for it to become part of your personality. Your new healthful habits will become second nature in no time.
10. Keep trying
If your resolution has totally run out of steam by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! There’s no reason you can’t make a “New Year’s resolution” any time of year.
Fast Facts About New Year’s Resolutions
•63% of people say they are keeping their resolutions after two months
•67% of people make three or more resolutions
•Top four resolutions:
1. Increase exercise
2. Be more conscientious about work or school
3. Develop better eating habits
4. Stop smoking, drinking or using drugs (including caffeine)
•People make more resolutions to start a new habit than to break an old one.
STORIES TO SHARE…
“Of course, there is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.” — Arthur Rubinstein
Richness, Success and Love
A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said, “I don’t think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat.”
“Is the man of the house home?” they asked. “No,” she said. “He’s out.”
“Then we cannot come in,” they replied.
In the evening, when her husband came home, she told him what had happened. “Go tell them I am home and invite them in!” The woman went out and invited the men in.
“We do not go into a house together,” they replied.
“Why is that?” she wanted to know. One of the old men explained: “His name is Wealth,” he said pointing to one of his friends, and then pointed to another one. “He is Success, and I am Love.” Then he added, “Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home.”
The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed. “How nice!” he said. “Since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come and fill our home with wealth!”
His wife disagreed. “My dear, why don’t we invite Success?” Their daughter-in-law was listening from the other corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion: “Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!”
“Let us heed our daughter-in-law’s advice,” said the husband to his wife. “Go out and invite Love to be our guest.”
The woman went out and asked the three old men, “Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest.” Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other two also got up and followed him. Surprised, the lady asked Wealth and Success: “I only invited Love, Why are you coming in?”
The old men replied together: “If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would’ve stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever he goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is also Wealth and Success!”
Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi