Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith Have a Lot in Common

Posted: Feb 04, 2007 5:38 PM

The big game is almost here. But I've got to be honest; I am always ambivalent about this day. (I'm not saying that because most Super Bowl's aren't as "good" as playoff games). I'm saying it because once today is over, football season is over.

But this year, there is one thing that I am very excited about. And that's the fact that we've got two men of character who have made it to the apex of sports. Of course, I'm talking about coaches Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith.

I think this site will give you some insight into the character of the two men about to face off. Simply put, both of these men are already winners:

Each has coached his team to the verge of a world championship, something no African-American has ever done in professional football. They are old friends.

They coached together at Tampa Bay. But they also are bound together by something deeper and more profound than a love of football. Each of them, in his own way, is driven by a love of Jesus Christ

Of course, this sort of brings together the entire reason I like sports. To me, it's a microcosm of life. The things that make you successful in business or politics can also translate to sports (and vice versa). In fact, it's no wonder that politicians sometimes overuse football metaphors.

I've always believed that you can learn something from a great person -- regardless of their field. A world famous concert pianist can tell you as much about being a leader and a winner as a renowned physicist. So I've tried my best to study leaders in different fields. It takes discipline and smarts to be a winner in any field, including sports. And if you're a political junkie, you probably enjoy the strategy of football.

So what's the secret of Tony Dungy's success? How does he stay calm when things are falling apart?

“When people ask me, ‘How do you stay so calm on the sideline?’ I have to tell them it is Christian maturity and Christ working in me. It’s not natural. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a process. I know how powerful God’s spirit is. I know He can change people. And I know that He will do that if we allow Him to.”

Amen. Now let's enjoy some football.