I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. For one week, let’s take a break from President Barack Obama and politics. This week is all about the most popular and celebrated event in the world: the Super Bowl. And there is a very special lesson in this year’s game for all of us to study, learn and implement in our lives.
John and Jim Harbaugh are American idols. They just became the biggest story, on the biggest stage, in sports history: two brothers who rose quickly to the top of their demanding high-profile profession, two brothers who now face off in the biggest event in the world – literally. More than 1 billion people across the globe will be watching as these two brothers, who grew up sharing the same bedroom, fight for victory in the Super Bowl. And because of the made-for-television drama of two brothers fighting for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, this will undoubtedly become the most-watched program in the history of America. There is a gigantic lesson to be learned.
The lesson is the importance of enthusiasm.
It could not come at a better time for Americans experiencing this horrible Obama economy. The reports on debt, taxes, unemployment and foreclosures are dismal. That’s the bad news.
But there’s good news, too. What’s happening around you doesn’t matter. In the Great Depression, amid all the pain and wreckage, there were success stories. It was the greatest wealth transfer in world history. A select few made a fortune. What was the secret? It’s an attitude that enables anyone to beat the odds, to overcome any challenge, to make the impossible possible. Few people have it. Many on the left disparage it. It’s called enthusiasm.
Exhibit A: the Harbaugh brothers, John and Jim. They are just a year apart, and they spent their entire childhood sleeping inches apart in the same bedroom. Today they are National Football League head coaches of the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. What are the odds? One in a million? One in a billion? Well the odds before now were zero. Because in the 93-year history of the NFL, it never happened before. At least not before PHE, the pre-Harbaugh era.
But enthusiasm sells. The Harbaugh brothers grew up with one saying on their minds 24/7: “Attack this day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”
That saying was drummed into their heads daily by their football coach dad, Jack Harbaugh. Years later, in 2011, they found each other coaching two of the best teams in the NFL and, remarkably, facing each other on national TV on Thanksgiving night. That competition excited America so much, that game became the most watched cable TV show in the history of Thanksgiving.
But that was just a warm-up for Super Bowl Sunday. Jim and John Harbaugh will be leading their teams onto the field that day. They are the two coaches left standing out of 32 NFL teams. They will be playing each other for the greatest prize in all of sports. And the foundation of all of that success — hard work and enthusiasm — was drummed into their heads by their father/coach Jack Harbaugh.
The first Coach Harbaugh understood that enthusiasm is contagious. Now it has led to his two sons’ beating out every other coach in football to reach the Super Bowl. Most coaches, no matter how good, will never make a Super Bowl in their entire career. These two brothers both made it in the same year.
Enthusiasm works in any field.
Barry Goldwater is the father of conservatism in America. Yet he lost the 1964 Presidential election by a landslide. Ronald Reagan took Goldwater’s exact philosophy, but spread it with tremendous enthusiasm. With the exact same political philosophy and agenda, Reagan won the Presidency in two landslides. Enthusiasm was the big difference.
There were many great generals in World War II, but only one instantly comes to mind today: Gen. George S. Patton. He exuded confidence and enthusiasm. He inspired his men to do remarkable things. They’ve since made Broadway plays, books and movies about the legend of Gen. George S. Patton.
Can enthusiasm promote religion? Ask Billy Graham. The most enthusiastic preacher ever, he traveled the United States with his evangelical Billy Graham Crusades in the 1950s. Millions of people came out to see this passionate, enthusiastic communicator. But those were all “country people.” When Graham announced he was going to preach evangelical Christianity in the middle of New York City, the critics laughed. They predicted his show would close in a day, like a failed Broadway play.
Graham was undeterred. He went ahead with his plans with unmatched enthusiasm. Well more than 2 million New Yorkers came out to see Graham preach at Madison Square Garden — an all-time record. Graham’s revival in New York City was extended. Enthusiasm had sold even evangelical Christianity in the middle of cynical New York City.
Soon thereafter, NBC offered Graham $5 million (in 1957) to host a television variety show. Even Hollywood was sold by his enthusiasm. His lifetime audience is now stands at 2.2 billion people. More than 15 million of them came to the front of the stage and took Jesus as their savior. No preacher in history has reached more people.
There have been many fitness gurus over the years, but only one “godfather of fitness.” Jack LaLanne’s fitness television show ran from 1951 to 1985. He opened the nation’s first chain of gyms. He sold millions of juicers on TV infomercials. At the age of 54, he beat a 21-year old Arnold Schwarzenegger in a bodybuilding competition. LaLanne celebrated his 70th birthday by pulling 70 people in 70 rowboats through San Francisco harbor — with his teeth. He wrote his last book at age 95. His enthusiasm for life made him one of America’s biggest stars for seven decades.
What makes all these legends successful? What makes them leaders? The answer is enthusiasm. Enthusiasm makes people want to follow you anywhere — even through hell (ask Patton or Robert E. Lee or Winston Churchill).
On Sunday, sit back and watch John and Jim Harbaugh work their magic. They are the greatest family coaching duo in the history of sports. And while you’re watching, just think of the brilliant words that made it all happen: “Attack this day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”