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Brady goes down!

Approximately eighty percent of people believe that they are of above average intelligence. For those of you who consider yourself as such, you will quickly note that eighty percent of people are not in fact of above average intelligence. So, thirty percent of people over-estimate their intelligence. This is the reason why the average Buffalo Wild Wings drunk thinks he (come on, it’s always a ‘he’) can make better coaching decisions than Jason Garrett.

Here are their respective resumes:

BWW drunk: high school diploma, TWIC card, self-described ability to “tell it like it is,” indigestion, blood-alcohol content of over .2%.

Jason Garrett: degree from Pinceton University, NFL quarterbacking experience (over ten years), NFL coaching experience (over ten years), flaming red hair.

Conclusion: Jason Garrett is a better football coach than a Buffalo Wild Wings drunk.

The problem with our inebriated, chicken-eating friend is with his self-assessment. He believes – even if connected to a polygraph machine; even if shot up with sodium pentothal; even if swearing on the Bible, U.S. Constitution, and a Donald Trump biography all at the same time; and with his whole cholesterol-laden heart – that he would make a better football coach than Jason Garrett.

And this is what makes Tom Brady so great – he’s not a Buffalo Wild Wings drunk.

We all believe we know ourselves, but Tom Brady really knows Tom Brady. He seems to be aware of his good qualities – which obviously yields self-confidence. But even more importantly, Tom Brady is aware of his shortcomings. For a moment, imagine a Tom Brady sack. It reminds me of a hospice patient being gently sat down upon a wheelchair. It is almost as if Brady wants to go down…but carefully. Now picture a Tony Romo sack. That reminds me of a large man violently throwing a much smaller man to the ground and breaking his collar bone. Romo never looked like he wanted to go down. That is a significant reason why Tom Brady is still playing football, and Tony Romo is not. This idea can go even deeper with those two guys. It is well-known that Romo is a well-rounded athlete. He plays high-level golf, competitive basketball, and I hear he’s not bad at cornhole. Romo reminds me of one of those people who just seems to be sort-of good at everything. Brady on the other hand is good at playing football…and being really really good-looking. That’s it. The man’s life (as far as I know) is football and facial symmetry (although, sources close to Brady say that he “can’t turn left”). Romo’s ability to pick up a golf club, baseball bat, or curling broom – and make magic happen – leads him to believe he can do almost anything (including escape from Von Miller). Brady’s ability to remember that he runs a ‘forty’ in a holiday weekend makes him aware that a sack is sometimes inevitable. Therefore, Brady actively practices being sacked – going down correctly and protecting himself from injury. He practices that…a lot.

It does not end there. It would be easy and maybe superficially logical to think that accurate self-assessment means knowing that you are ugly or slow. That is not quite accurate. Brady does it right – or rather correctly: He does not say, “I am slow.” Moreover, Brady says, “I run a 5.6 ‘forty’.” Do not tell yourself that you are ugly…tell yourself that you do not possess complete facial symmetry. You are not fat, you just have the BMI of a manatee (okay, maybe you’re a little fat, but it’s okay). Brady’s completely accurate self-assessment does not lead to insecurity, it leads to tenacity. Brady knows when he cannot win a battle, therefore, he retreats to win the war. A knowledge that you will win the war makes you extremely secure – and confident.

During the Revolutionary War, George Washington lost more battles than he won. He lost very few troops during these battles, however. The catch? Washington knew that his army could never take on the British in a traditional war, therefore, he called for organized retreats at just the right moment. This forced the Redcoats to chase the Rebels, exhausting the former’s supply lines and sapping their morale. Washington accurately assessed his army: we are small and under-equipped. What can we do best? Run! The British could take as much land and abandoned barracks as they wanted, but the Americans stayed intact. The used their knowledge of the terrain and guerrilla tactics to nag the British to death.

This is not only for the superbly intelligent. On the other end of the spectrum, Forrest Gump did pretty well for a half-wit bastard with a heart of gold. Forrest’s secret? He understood that he was a half-wit bastard with a heart of gold. Forrest never considered himself a smart man. He knew how to run fast, catch shrimp, and generally follow instructions. More importantly, he knew that he did not know how to do much else. The results: a millionaire with the IQ of a house cat, Jenny finally settled her crazy ass down, and every patch of grass in Greenbow, Alabama is professionally mowed.

There are any number of other factors leading to success or contributing to failure. Accurate self-assessment, however, should not be taken lightly. Self-confidence gets a lot of play, and being happy with yourself is a good thing. Rampant self-confidence (narcissism and arrogance) ultimately drags people down, though. If you never make an effort to see your blemishes and work to improve them (or at least accept them), they will eventually end up being boat anchors. If you know about the boat anchor, you can pull it up, or even settle down and catch fish right there. If you ignore the boat anchor, maritime disaster will likely follow. (Your engine will catch on fire or your boat will sink. I’m not sure…I’m not really a boat person. But, you get the idea.)

This can all be simply summed up in one sentence: Do not overestimate yourself; do not underestimate yourself; just know yourself.

You may have asked yourself the question, “If all of that could have been summed up so simply, then why did it take so much text to get to?” Obviously, I overestimated my ability to write a blog. But, at least I still have my facial symmetry.

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