Saturday, October 22, 2011
It's Tebow Time !!
If you are not a football fan read no further. You just won’t get the connection. If you fail to follow my admonition and read the following article, BEWARE, you just might get it anyway.
This Sunday is the debut for Tim Tebow as the official starting quarterback for the rest of the Denver Broncos 2011 season. Tebow, as a rookie backup QB, did start for Denver in a few games at the end of last years dismal (aka worst in history) season. Many outstanding college quarterbacks have entered the NFL with lots of hype and promise. Their performance in pro ball runs the gambit from Ryan Leaf to John Elway. Here’s what the Denver Post had to say about Tebow’s performance after the Broncos Raiders contest last December, “ The NFL has been around for 90 years, and until Tebow came along, only two quarterbacks – similarly styled Michael Vick (2002) and Kordell Stewart (2000) – had rushed for a 40-yard touchdown and thrown for a 30-yard score in the same game. Tebow pulled off the accomplishment in the first quarter of his first start.” What is the difference with Tim Tebow? Tim’s teammate Jabar Gafney put it best when he said, "That's what he does, creates energy for the whole team."
Tim Tebow understands football the way few other contemporary offensive players do. He sees the game very simply, gain yardage, score touchdowns. The process does not overshadow the content. It is not about the sophisticated game plan. It is not about statistics and quarterback rating. It is not about third down percentages. These are only tools and indicators. Gain yardage, score touchdowns!!! We have all heard the pundits, “His release is too slow, his instincts are unconventional, he needs to get more comfortable in the pocket, he relies too much on his mobility.”
If Tim Tebow were an airline pilot he would see that aviation is as simple as football. The objective of aviation is equally straight forward, be safe, fly the airplane. It is not about the thousands and thousands of pages of manuals and regulations any more than a football games are all about the playbook. Yes, the playbook is important. The playbook describes who does what. It’s the same in aviation. SOP describes who does what and how, but its compliance is not the goal. The goal is to BE SAFE, FLY THE AIRPLANE!
Today, the airline companies around the world have focused on the wrong goal. There are untold resources being dedicated to the writing of policy and procedure and much less devoted to the training of piloting skills. Just as in football where the effectiveness of the playbook is judged only by how it is reflected on the scoreboard, the effectiveness of an airlines policy and procedure is reflected only in its safe operation. Each safe arrival is a touchdown just as we gain yardage by flying the airplane.
Currently there is a lot of discussion about the flying skills of today’s airline pilots. In the current highly automated environment, flying the airplane includes controlling it BOTH manually and through the flight computers. Flying the airplane is not sitting back and being engaged in some other activity while the airplane is flying itself. Football and aviation are very similar in that they rely on the players to adapt a preconceived strategy to a highly dynamic environment. It is the ability to adapt that sets Tebow apart. Captain Sullenberger has that same ability.
Another attribute that Tim Tebow the airline pilot would exhibit is leadership. Not the ideological perspective seen in management pilots and union representatives, but real leadership that mentors other pilots by helping them understand aviation. He would teach them how stay safe and fly the airplane.
Who knows what Tim Tebow’s legacy will be? My guess is that he would like it to be that he was a team player. From his position on the depth chart his attitude so far this season has been indicative of just that. He was quoted repeatedly “I just want to help the team in any way I can.” I, for one, find it refreshing that someone would actually put the team before self. In an era of personal achievement and self-service, Tebow is unique among players with his talent.
One thing is for sure, regardless of the score, at the end of the game Tim will have put his heart and soul into the game. That’s just who he is.