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Building Community: Superbowl Style…

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“The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.” William James

Building Community: Superbowl Style... via Wikipedia

Football is a favorite American past-time and a rallying cry for fans and observers to gather and celebrate the best teams in football sports as they battle each other for a championship ring. Tomorrow, February 6, 2011, will mark the 45th National Football League’s (NFL) championship game aka  Superbowl XLV; pitting AFC champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, against the NFC champions, the Green Bay Packers, for NFL champion of the 2010 season. The winner takes home the Vince Lombardi Trophy and each player gets a championship ring. One thing that stands out when we consider the event is that it represents the power of community. The powerful support a community provides its members, serves as the foundation for all to succeed and accomplish their dreams. CONGRATULATIONS GREEN BAY PACKERS: 31-25 = AARON RODGERS MVP! NEXT YEAR STEELERS.

As per Packers’ head coach, Mike McCarthy‘s Dope Sheet, between them, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers have won 18 world championships; Green Bay’s 12 titles tops any other team in NFL history. Pittsburgh’s six world championships tops any team in the AFC. Additionally, the Pittsburgh Steelers have won six Super Bowl titles and the Green Bay Packers’ clinched three Super Bowl championships which makes both teams rank – #1 and #4 in the league.

One can look to sports teams in general as microcosms of the larger community and note that the actions and effort of each individual, coupled by the support and contributions of the community, assures the success of the whole. Every successful community needs the consent and committed support of its members to grow and thrive. Tomorrow, we will see this premise in action as five critical facets of community building; community, common aspirations, the team/leaders, the fans and the team record come together to strengthen the efforts of the players.

For effective Community Building, we need:
The Community: This can be interpreted as both the smaller community of family and the larger one of locale. Without the support of the community in a give and take fashion, groups and individuals have great difficulty accomplishing their goals. Both teams, the Packers in Green Bay, Wisconsin and the Steelers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, like others in the sport, are heavily invested in the communities where they are located.  The support and energy that comes from that goodwill helps them flourish during the season, when things go wrong, and  continues off season. Both teams give generously to their community both in donations, foundationscommunity activities and investments. The Packers community effort can be gleaned here and the Steelers here

The Common Aspirations: A group cannot survive without common goals or aspirations. The teams, be it the Steelers, the Packers or any other effective and dedicated team for that matter, rally around the fundamental goal of improving their games each season, ensuring the whole team is ready and able to honor the commitment, and winning the ultimate price as – Superbowl champions. When there are mixed messages in the common goals of a group, be it a business entity, a sports team or even a writing group, the group cannot be fully effective or rise to its strongest place of excellence. The aspirations must be a united one. Below are Stats** of both teams. They are reviewed constantly, by the teams, their managers and owners to find ways to improve.

The Team/Leaders: The team plays a critical role in that each member has a responsibility to contribute to the larger group. Each person plays a key role that impacts the endgame; winning or losing. In the team, there are leaders who rise above the rest and their role is to ensure that every man on the team looks his best. For the Steelers, 2010 Leaders are: Passing-Ben Roethlisberger & Charlie Batch, Rushing-Rashard Mendenhall & Isaac Redman, Receiving-Mike Wallace & Hines Ward. For the Packers, 2010 Leaders are: Passing-Aaron Rodgers & Matt Flynn, Rushing-Brandon Jackson & Aaron, Receiving-Greg Jennings & James Jones. Leadership also comes from the coaches and managers, as well as the owners.  The rest of the team provide the buffer and strength that will bring the championship ring home. In addition, the team members  show their loyalty and leadership by creating foundations and businesses to give back to the larger community; specifically to those who have supported and helped them. They set an example by showing their communities that they are appreciative of the support. They also set an example for rookies and new members who join the team.

The Fans: The fans are the fuel that keeps the teams energized and eager to go out again and again to prove, one more time, that they appreciate the love and support of the fans, and that the belief in their ability is not mistaken. Sports fans are some of the most dedicated supporters we know. They turn out for their teams every season; win or lose. They buy the merchandise that goes with their team, they defend their team in wins and losses, and they show up at the beginning of a new season ready to go through the process again. The fans demand answers when team members misbehave in public life and expect the best behavior from them. The fan base is necessary to the teams survival; they serve as a lifeline and keep the stadiums full and the energy levels high. Both teams have their fan houses that share vital information to keep all in the loop. The Packers Fans, known for their famous cheese-heads, have come to their team’s financial rescue on several occasions and are financially invested in this publicly traded team. For more on the fan-base for the teams, look at Packers here and Steelers here

The Record: When all is said and done, the record is what holds all the teams accountable for their effort and eminence. It reminds them of where they need to improve and why it all matters in the first place. The goals and aspirations of each team member is reflected in their game history and record. The goals and aspirations of the owners, the coaches, the fans, the community are reflected in the pride they show in their teams record. For those with a less than stellar record, it is the raison d’être to keep going back to the game every season to prove that, once again, they are up to the task. And that makes all the difference.   In a Steelers fan poll: What is the key to beating the Packers? Fan Poll – 59% says Pressure Aaron Rodgers. May the best team win tomorrow! What are your thoughts? See Stats Below**

The Stats

Green Bay Packers FACTS
Owner: Green Bay Packers, Inc.
Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
Established: 1919
Stadium: Lambeau Field
Division Champions: 1936, 1938, 1939, 1944, 1967, 1972, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007
Conference Champions: 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1996, 1997
Super Bowl Champions: 1966, 1967, 1996, 2010

Pittsburgh Steelers FACTS
Owner: The Rooney Family
Head Coach: Mike Tomlin
Established: 1933
Stadium: Heinz Field
Division Champions: AFC Central: 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001 AFC North: 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008
Conference Champions: AFC: 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1995, 2005, 2008
Super Bowl Champions: 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008
9th Grade Nation

Who/What are you rooting for? What other elements are important for a community to thrive and succeed? Do you belong to a successful community?
Positive Motivation Tip: Connect with a community that supports and empowers you; wake up & seek your die-hard fans – they are as close as your breath.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Pittsburgh against Steelers in a 2010 game by tomcoolinmiami via Flickr & Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

21 Comments leave one →
  1. 06/02/2011 3:32 am

    great quotation, great photo, congrats!

    • 06/02/2011 4:14 am

      Thank you Frizztext!
      I really admire sportsmanship and the way teams are run. It is going to be an exhilarating day for all the fans on Sunday! 🙂
      Again, I got into it and doubled my word count! Ahhh… I wish for the days of brevity again. 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. 06/02/2011 9:00 am

    I think the only thing missing is “the leaders”. And I don’t mean management or ownership, I mean the leaders on each team, the guys who have the talent that makes them the “go-to” person, the guys who know when to say whatever it takes to motivate the others when they’re not sure what to do or have lost some of their edge. If there are no leaders on a team, then there’s no one besides the coach to get that extra bit from, or no one to rely on to help take charge and urge everyone else on towards that ultimate goal.

    I’m picking Pittsburgh; just way too many intangibles leaning their way. Enjoy the game, and the commercials.

    • 06/02/2011 4:26 pm

      Hi Mitch,
      What a lovely Sunday surprise! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Actually, I did include the team leaders in my section on Teams above and highlighted the key players for today’s game. However, since you brought this up, I had amended that category from being named just The Team to The Team/Leaders for emphasis. Great point! Yes, the key players/leaders help set the tone of the game and are instrumental to making those vital passes stick. Enjoy the game too and I’ll be watching! 🙂

  3. 06/02/2011 9:01 am

    Your posts always raise so many brilliant and interesting questions, I never know which one to address!

    Even though I enjoy my periods of solitude, I love being part of a community. The connection with other like minded people feeds my soul as we share ourselves with each other. Our group of Blogging Buddies is a great example of this. We give and receive feedback and encouragment as we each walk our own paths.

    I believe the success of this is based upon mutual respect and belief in the other…even through our ‘off’ days…and we all have them. Acceptance also plays a large part in creating the right space for others to feel secure enough to be themselves and to let their light shine through.

    Thanks Eliz – and I know what you mean about getting carried away with the word count – sometimes it just has to be done! 🙂

    • 06/02/2011 4:33 pm

      I agree. Respect, Belief, Acceptance are definitely valuable qualities that enrich a team and keep the members connected. When there is a lack of respect, it creates discontent and eventually disinterest. Giving and receiving feedback is critical to the the survival of any group. That is why I love the WordPress approach. They have always sought the input and insights of the team/the community/us. Transparency is another factor I didn’t include but it should be a given in any community/team that expects its members to perform.
      Thnak you Julie, love your brilliant insights too! 🙂

  4. 06/02/2011 9:18 am

    I love that you focus on the qualities and importance of community! So many parallels… thank you!

    • 06/02/2011 4:41 pm

      Thnak you Leslee, I was thinking abut this yesterday and discussed it with my family. One of the reasons sports teams give off such energy is that the message is clear and everyone is in agreement; let’s go out there and kick some butt tukas. Let’s win the game and bring the trophy home… No hidden agenda, no manipulation, no lame games, no pun intended. Lol! 🙂
      I agree that there are parallels to group/community dynamics in general. 🙂

  5. 06/02/2011 9:54 am

    Excellent post!!! The power of community is exactly it. Have a great Super Bowl Sunday 🙂

    • 06/02/2011 4:43 pm

      Thank you Dori and glad to see you here again. I loved your take on the Superbowl too and commented on it on your blog. You are right that the overriding factor is the sense of community; even for non Superbowl fans. 🙂

  6. 06/02/2011 12:00 pm

    My husband and I have been Steeler fans for 40 years, since Terry Bradshaw days. I believe they have been at the top as many times as they have because of the Rooney family. We’ve lived in many vibrant sports cities including Boston, New York and now Philly, but none as avid as Pittsburgh.
    With so many bad role models in professional sports today, including Ben Roethlisberger, it seems to come down to the core leadership and in Pgh. that’s the Rooney family. They did the right thing with Ben. They are a solid well respected family and that’s what they expect from their team. Other’s could learn a lot from them.
    Go Steeler’s!

    • 06/02/2011 4:53 pm

      Well Lady B, I am so happy for you that your team gets to play another Superbowl game tonight! You have a point there and when I mentioned that teams are a microcosm of the larger community, that included all the good and bad that comes with it. Yes, team players do act badly, like other badly behaving folks in the community, and are accountable for their behavior. The Rooney family and leadership took a chance on keeping Ben after the incident last summer and he has rallied.
      The Green Bay Packers are a solid group too and do a ton in their community. Their one distinction from other sports teams is that their fans are real life financial shareholders in the team. They are invested on all levels. Go teams go! 😉 🙂

  7. 06/02/2011 2:01 pm

    Yes, the Superbowl does bring about community in such a unique and powerful way, doesn’t it? For all those who are in community-mode today, enjoy! I grew up in Pittsburgh, though a New Yorker now for so many years. Go Steelers!

    • 06/02/2011 4:59 pm

      Welcome Alcantara A and congrats again on your Freshly Pressed recognition. I bet you dont miss those cold spells in Pittsburgh, right? Actually, this NY winter now matches that… lol! 🙂
      Yes, Superbowl is a great community event in the USA. I never cease to marvel at the way people get together to watch, eat, and rally for the teams. It is a time of great excitement; especially at this time of the year. 🙂
      Thanks again for stopping by!

  8. Bree permalink
    06/02/2011 2:35 pm

    For someone who grew up playing sports and loving it, I loved this piece.
    You have to admit you do too. You played sports too.
    I agree that they reflect that sprit of camaraderie and we can learn from it.
    Of course, they get into trouble like the rest of us too.
    May the best team win!

    • 06/02/2011 5:06 pm

      I love sports and played my share of it but by the time college and grad school showed up, I participated but not in a competitive way. Sports are truly a way to build camaraderie while getting in shape… 😉
      Yes, team members are human and have their share, albeit in public, of problems. My microcosm comment includes that factor and we know of cases that occur every year. However, the spirit of community, the commitment and connecetdness can’t be beat!
      Thanks for being on my team B! 🙂

  9. 06/02/2011 6:14 pm

    It’s funny (and great) how big sports events like this bring together a sense of community. If not the Super Bowl, then the Stanley Cup, or World Series.. somehow, sports seems to do that en masse.
    Personally, I don’t understand football so I won’t be partaking in the viewing.. 🙂

    • 07/02/2011 2:04 am

      Yes, it is a wonderful way we are pulled together too. Superbowl night will come again! 🙂

  10. 06/02/2011 10:38 pm

    The power of community cannot be overstated. I enjoyed your post. I hope that you had a great Super Bowl Sunday.

    • 07/02/2011 2:05 am

      Hi Wyletter,
      Hope you did too. Yes, it was a high point and then it was over… AHHHH until next year! 🙂

  11. 07/02/2011 6:43 am

    it has been a great game, we saw that on German Television too, ARD channel. I loved the way Cristina Aguilera sang 🙂

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