The New Orleans Saints defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the opening game of the NFL season last night by a score of 14-9. That’s hardly news to most of you reading this blog. What you may not have thought about is why the Vikings lost. I’m not a Vikings nor a Saints fan. So, you won’t hear me bellyaching about officiating or making excuses for poor play. However, the Vikings loss can be attributed to the behavior of its quarterback – Brett Favre.
Favre threw an interception when his receiver was double-covered. He also threw several passes that skipped off the turf, went over receivers’ heads, and others to no one in particular. NBC analyst Chris Collinsworth said it best. “These guys just haven’t worked together. It’s as simple as that.” We all know the story. Favre took the entire off-season to make a decision on retirement. Two weeks into training camp and still no decision, three of his teammates flew down to his home to convince him to come back.
Last night’s performance showed more than a lack of preparation on the part of Favre. His performance showed a lack of respect for his teammates. In the booklet A Standard Higher Than Victory, Bruce Brown describes respect as being a key component of a successful team. “An athlete demonstrates respect by developing consistent work habits. Work builds the reputation for responsibility and accountability and is sincerely appreciated by teammates. Like other character traits, it becomes who you are (a good and dependable worker), and proudly spreads to the entire team.”
Brown goes on to convey the five points necessary to foster respect on a sports team. Ironic, isn’t it? Five points will build respect on a team and the Vikings lost by five points. A Standard Higher Than Victory covers several other character topics as well and is available in the Cardinals Care Package. Click here to get your Cardinals Care Package free of charge from the St. Louis Sports Foundation. Respect does not guarantee victory, but a lack of respect guarantees defeat. Until next time…
Be a Good Sport!