Leadership in Sports

Interesting article in the Washington Post about leadership in sports. It uses Tebow as an example - who I don't really want to discuss as an individual, but moreso as an example of what I think the whole QB debate in Austin has been about since Colt graduated. (WaPo link let me get through first page but prompts me to register for remainder of article, found this link that continues story but not sure is entire thing since I don't register at many sites just to read content for one time).

The point of the article is that real leadership is different than formalized authority. The whole Gilbert/Ash/McCoy debate that's engulfed the fans of the program as it's struggled these past few seasons is what it could relate to. But it could also have applied to the Applewhite/Simms debate of a decade ago. I've called it "intangibles" here on a few occasions, but this article gives a more thoughtful presentation of the concept I've intended to convey.

"Leadership only works when other people find you credible and grant you their cooperation."

More after the jump.

Here's some quotes from players on the team who play defense for the Broncos:

Cornerback Champ Bailey:

"Tebow is a special player. I have never seen a player quite like him in my whole career! I’m gonna play all out for the guy! I know he will be out there giving 110% every play every week, so I’m gonna give 120%!"

Linebacker Von Miller (yeah, I know it's hard to excuse his Aggieness, but just for this brief moment) from the WaPo article:

“I’ve never seen a human who can will himself to win like that. He gave us a great speech. We came out fired up. And that was a wrap."

If college players spoke with the press as freely as they do in the pro's I'd be really curious to see what the Longhorn kids say about whoever is starting!

Quarterbacks don't get graded or have any statistics for what the defensive side of the ball does. But given those quotes can you argue that who's pulling the trigger on offense doesn't have an impact on what happens when he's not on the field? My belief has long been that I'd trade an all-world arm and better natural athlete playing at the same level of competition for even the most average arm on a merely adequate athlete who's a natural leader.

Again, I'm not trying to make this a Tebow love/hatefest, but in light of all of the comments on Case McCoy and his fitness for being the Longhorns starting QB the similarities in criticism of Tebow in the NFL is too much to not apply the discussion to where Texas is at at the QB position. I'd like to generate conversation here NOT about Tebow, per se, but about leadership instead, and how much having a good leader at QB in the sense of a leader that the WaPo writer is trying to convey means to the ultimate success of a TEAM. Even if the leader isn't the best pure athlete in the position on the team.

The external links I've found to WaPo story so far seem to close in the middle of a thought, so if you find a link that shows additional content that doesn't require registration please link it below, I'd love to find a conclusion that sounds like a conclusion because I believe there's a lot to this that we all, as fans, could begin to appreciate about what it takes to be successful at QB for Texas, in the NFL, and in any leadership role in life.

I hope this can be a good discussion here about that, not Tebow himself or the controversy he generates for non-football related comments, even though he'd tell you the one begets the other for him. PLEASE stay out of that here, though! Leadership, followers and team accomplishment is all I'm interested in kicking around.

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