Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This (Non) Sporting Life: Panthers and Eagles

Hi there and welcome to another edition of This (Non) Sporting Life, the blog post about sports by a guy who does not know a lot about sports.


This past Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles came to Charlotte NC to pay a visit to the Carolina Panthers. In years past, it may have been a foregone conclusion that the powerhouse Eagles would likely defeat the woebegone Panthers. The Panthers have not had the best history, riddled with missed opportunities , losing streaks and an assortment of head coaches. But over the last couple of years, the Panthers have been getting a little bit better. Their quarterback, Cam Newton, getting a little bit better. And this year, heading into this past Sunday’s game, the Carolina Panthers were 5 – 0. Unbeaten. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles, a few years past being considered a powerhouse were sidling into town with a 3 – 3 record.


So last week, I decided to take a chance.


I was heading up a meeting with people in our North Carolina office and our counterparts in the northeast US. I work for a rather large company spread out over several locations so achieving company unity can be a bit of struggle but is always our goal. Our customers don’t care which part of our company they’re communicating with, as long as they’re communicating with the company. So we need to act with one voice for all our clients, regardless of which area of the country we’re in.


So I took a moment to speak towards that unity. And then destroy it.


“Meetings like this are important to bolstering a spirit that we are one company with one mission, to serve our clients in a manner that is consistent in both the accuracy of our work and the quality of the customer service we offer. We may be geographically apart but we are, ultimately, one company.


“However, there are challenges to that unity. For example, I understand that the Philadelphia Eagles are coming to play the Carolina Panthers this Sunday. I know our teammates in the north are mostly fans of the Eagles while we tend to pull for the Panthers here in the south. I think it’s going to be a great game and I hope everyone has fun watching it. But remember, we are still one team, one company, united in one purpose, no matter what happens. Whether the Panthers beat the Eagles….or the Panthers beat the Eagles by a lot.”


The reaction of our brethren in the north told me it was on!


To be fair, I did not blunder into this bravado based on a 6 – 0 record vs. a 3 – 3 record. I may not know a lot about sports but I know enough that one team’s winning records might be the result of easy games and a team with a less than good standing may be up against some real  challenges and are getting better as a result. So I did a little research. And what I gathered was there was a chance the Eagles could turn it around in North Carolina but not a real big one. Those smarter than me about football were giving the odds to the Panthers. 

That being said, I don’t really have the best record for trash talk. I tend to, uh, jinx things by being too supportive of a sports team. No matter how good my favorite team in college basketball is (and that would be, of course, the Duke Blue Devils! DUKE, BABY!), I tend to hold myself in check. If you challenge me with, “My team is going to kick Duke’s ass!”, my retort to that would likely be, “Oh, yeah? Well, listen to me, I think that Duke has a fairly reasonable chance of most likely winning based on an accounting of statistically possible outcomes. So take that, punk!”


OK, let’s cut to the chase: the Carolina Panthers beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 27 to 16.


Monday morning, my boss pops by for a quick visit. He thought the meeting last week went well and appreciated the element of levity I had introduced into the meeting regarding the football game.


“But,” he added, “it’s a good thing the Panthers won, huh?”


Yes, I suppose so. But sometimes, you just have to take a chance.


Thanks for popping by the blog today. I’ll be back with another post tomorrow. Until then, remember to be good to one another.





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