This past week I have been an observer of one man dream’s coming to fruition, and one team heading in the direction of their dreams. Who would have thought that a man which almost quit poker could become the World Series of Poker Main Event Champ? Who would have thought that one of the worst football franchises could be having a dream season with a backup quarterback and individuals severely injured or out at their positions.
I am talking about Martin Jacobson and I am also talking about the Arizona Cardinals. Martin Jacobson was the next man up for the Poker Championship and the Cardinals are relying on the Next Man Up philosophy to pave the way to be the first team ever to play in a Super Bowl in their own city.
I can’t help but get energized by these two stories. Thanks to my wife, who is an angel, I was lucky enough to be able to attend and watch the World Series of Poker Main Event final table in person. To see one man win $10 Million playing a game of cards is indescribable. Some would say its just dumb luck, but others who know better (I include myself in this category), realize that there is a reason some folks can make millions of dollars consistently beating the game while others can’t find a way to win under almost any circumstances.
As for the Arizona Cardinals, there is not that much talent difference between the worst team and the best team in the NFL. Don’t believe me?? How can a team that has been so bad for so long bring in a coach and 2 years later be the best team in the league. It’s all about attitude and desire. The attitude to believe it can be done under any conditions and the desire to do it on a team level even with some bench players. It’s the next man up to play that has to deliver the effort of the starter so they can participate in a team effort to continue the win streak. It’s not about one individuals efforts, its about team wins under adverse conditions. This is the attitude that Bruce Arians has brought to the Valley of the Sun. If you ever wonder how coaches can be fired when they don’t play the game, the Cardinals are showing you why. A good coach creates a great team. Just ask Phil Jackson who teaches his team meditation and visualization. There is a reason he is thought of as one of the best coaches ever in the NBA.
So as I see it, it’s my turn. It’s my dream that is due to be fulfilled with enough effort, attitude, and determination. I AM the Next Man Up. Smiling Big and Dreaming Bigger all the way to the Main Event Final Table. Look for me soon on an ESPN poker broadcast near you.