03 Feb Orange Crush
Once upon a time I only cheered for two football teams, the Colts and whoever was versing (as my son used to say) the Patriots. But, when Peyton Manning went to the Broncos in 2012, part of our Hoosier hearts went to Denver. A new era dawned where it was officially acceptable to begin supporting a new team. We had an Orange Crush on the Denver Broncos.
It was 1998 when both my family and Manning moved to Indiana—coincidence? Peyton had signed a ginormous rookie contract with the Colts franchise; we were simply coming back home. My guess is that Manning had no idea at that time that he would think of Indiana as home one day, too.
As any Hoosier knows, Manning wasn’t just another quarterback. He was different. Special. Reporters and fans alike began to see signs of just how special early on when he was asked what he was going to do with a record-breaking, rookie-making $48M salary. The 22 year-old Manning replied, “Earn it”.
And that he did. He would live, eat, and breathe football. That’s what makes him a football genius. Yet some accounts depict him as completely inept as basic tasks like hooking up a DVR or opening a can of soup. It reminds me of Einstein’s quote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. The question I have for you at this point of our journey together is, ‘What is your genius?” Aren’t we thankful Manning found his genius and that he had the worth ethic to keep ‘earning it’ all these years.
Indiana is better because Peyton Manning was in it…he’s part of our story. And, I think Manning would agree that he’s better because he was in Indiana. Tim Sanders, author of Love is the Killer App would define this as value-added: “The value with you inside a situation is greater than the value without you.” That’s probably why there is talk of Manning retiring from the NFL as an Indianapolis Colt. Literally, there have been discussions about Peyton signing a one-day contract with the Colts franchise just so he can retire at home.
We may never reach rock star status like that of #18, but wherever we are we can still embrace the ideals of ‘earning it’ and adding value. Sanders calls this being a Lovecat and that’s not just a Valentine’s Day thing. Lovecats share their knowledge, their network, and their compassion with others because they know that sharing these actually does more than add value…it multiplies value—that’s synergy.
Imagine if Grant County and our leaders followed suit. What if we realized that the greatest leaders in history were servant leaders? What if we realized the synergistic power that we would have if we deliberately empowered others? What if our greatness was defined by bringing out the greatness in others?
Our strength as a community lies in our diverse talents. If we can intentionally leverage our varied assets toward a collective impact for the greater good instead the building of our own personal silos we could, as Robert Fulghum says, “…build a school, a nation, or a whole world”—or win a Super Bowl…or heck, why not two, they’re small!?
I’m picturing a sea of orange across Indiana on Super Bowl Sunday. I even bought a special t-shirt just for the occasion—because Indiana has a huge Orange Crush on Manning. Why wouldn’t we? He’s a lovecat.