Editor’s Note: Broncos Ring of Famer Karl Mecklenburg will occasionally write a guest blog for DenverBroncos.com. In his first entry, he discusses the idea of change, both with the Broncos and the country as a whole.
Once a year when he felt our team had reached a plateau, right before he sent us off to run wind sprints Dan Reeves would drawl, “Men, ya eitha gittin betta or ya gitten worse, ya cain’t stay the same.”
Dan said a lot of things, some of which I’m still trying to figure out, but he was right about this. Change is inevitable, and through planning and effort change can be positive. The young cry out for change, impatient in their zeal to hurry the inevitable. The old fear change, forgetting the opportunity that they found in their early years hidden in the challenges of change.
We’re in the middle of it now, with high unemployment, bank failures and bailout plans, with a new coach, quarterback and system for the Broncos. In the recent election, both presidential candidates insisted that they were the candidate of change. They actually agreed on something and neither one was lying. The United States and the Broncos will look very different in four years.
Will we adapt and change in the next four years as a football team and as a country? Remember, “ya eitha gittin betta or ya gitten worse, ya cain’t stay the same.” Change scares us even though we know there’s opportunity in it. We think of past mistakes, knowing that every time we make a new decision a mistake is possible. We must also remember past successes as new blood and a refocused energy is applied to the age old problems of teamwork, blocking and tackling on the field, and the much more challenging problems the federal government faces.
I say give the new leaders a chance to lead. Both Josh McDaniels and President Obama have daunting tasks ahead of them. Both are young in age and young in experience, but both seem to understand the true value and power of teamwork. If they can consistently and clearly lead their teams by putting team success above any personal concerns, individual team members will buy into the team vision and anything is possible. Both men have made some early decisions which rankled the established and made some supporters question them, but that is the price of change.
When Dan Reeves coached us to three AFC championships in four years he didn’t have the best system, and we weren’t the most talented. We were the best team. We believed in each other and put the team’s passion to win first. It could happen again.
Karl’s new book, Heart of a Student Athlete, All Pro Advice for Competitors and Their Families, will be available in September in bookstores nationwide and on the Internet. For more information, click here.