Oiler Tradition

findlayI’m not sure if anyone in their right mind would choose Findlay, Ohio as a vacation destination this time of year; or any time of year for that matter. But here I am. Day two of six in Findlay enjoying my time on my Alma Matter campus speaking to college students, coaches, staff and administrators about their futures, career paths, the future of the University’s sports programs, the benefit of internships, sports marketing and management, offensive and defensive line play, digital marketing and communications, NFL scouts, new buildings and sports facilities, campus writing publications and of course, the weather.

 It’s been almost twelve years since I graduated from the University of Findlay and I’m still proud of the fact that I graduated from here. When I was an eighteen year old kid I didn’t know what I didn’t know; and at 34, I still don’t. But I do know there are certain events in one’s life that whether one realizes it or not at the time, happen for a reason. I think coming to the University of Findlay after high school while at the time, I wasn’t sure was right for me, turned out to be a great decision. I’m still great friends with my teammates from the days of the collegiate gridiron. It was here and with them that I learned to be perseverant and to work my ass off for the greater good. That greater good was Findlay Football and a better opportunity and life than otherwise would have been possible for a kid from Glandorf, Ohio.  While it all started as a kid in back yard football games and with my coaches from the Ottawa-Glandorf communities, Findlay was the next step.

It was here that I met and quickly loved a football coach that knew how to motivate and inspire in a way that words cannot give justice. Coach Dick Strahm is one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met and possibly to ever walk the Earth. If you haven’t had the chance to play for Coach or know his story, it may be hard to believe that the greatest of the great resides in Findlay, Ohio, but that is the case. He leads by example and has taught so many of us over the years how to do the same. The tradition he began and instilled in me, is much in part why I am on campus this week sharing what I am able to share. Whether it be my time, my experiences or my humble expertise in areas of my profession, I am here to continue an Oiler tradition that many before me have been passionate about and contributed to.

Super Moments


It was January 1988 the first time the game made me emotional… It was 17 days into the new year, I was 10 years old and my fandom for the Cleveland Browns culminated at the moment Earnest Byner (# 44) took a handoff from Bernie Kosar. I was with uber sureness the Browns were going to score the game-tying touchdown in the AFC Championship Game, but to my dismay, followed by a 10 year old tear falling at disbelief; The Fumble.

Football has made me emotional numerous times for many different and unrelated reasons but most recently in Dallas at Super Bowl XLV. The National Anthem to be exact. I heard Christina messed up the lyrics but I was in my own world reminising the first time I heard the rendition wearing a New York Football Giants uniform and didn’t even notice she messed it up.

My most gratifying memory of playing football came the first time I suited up in an NFL uniform. The game was televised on ESPN and as the National Anthem played, I realized I made a life-long dream come true. It was a personal and special accomplishment, and to this day, when I hear the National Anthem I go back to that moment in New England and get goosebumps… No matter if it’s at a high school basketball game or the Super Bowl, it’s that particular sound of the game that takes me back.

This past Sunday I had the priviledge of attending SB XLV with a profound and distinguished group of people who crossed a variety of walks of life, but came together as football fans. I truly enjoyed every conversation I was a part of leading up to the game, and I had the opportunity to make new friends with some very cool people; but when the National Anthem played and the jets flew over the stadium; It was time for reading linebackers, picking up blitzes, and recognizing cover 2 defenses. After years of football film watching, it’s just how I watch a game. Everyone around me was excited, cheering, and anticipating the kickoff of Super Bowl XLV while I was imagining running down the field on the kickoff team, cognizant of staying in the correct pursuit lane, and wrecklessly looking to make the first tackle of Super Bowl XLV.

There are often indescribable experiences and personal moments that make a game memorable, a career definable, and a moment… a moment. These sports moments are experienced uniquely by an individual and often times, never spoke of; rather kept in a memory bank and recalled when a new experience triggers the sounds, sights and smells of a particular moment. The game is a ame of inches they say, but to me it’s a game of moments. A few special moments that made a career meaningful, and memorable.

Time-Trusted Friends

Gearing up for a night out with the boys to celebrate our short friend Ty’s last few weeks as a single man. He’s getting married in a few weeks and asked me to be one of his groomsmen. Of course I said yes and remember the Put-in-Bay toast that immediately commenced… Cherry Bomb.

Thirty-five of Ty’s friends rsvp’d that they would be at the Winking Lizard tonight at 8:00 p.m. to begin the night’s events. Ty is a great friend. He was my college roommate for three years and now he lives a few doors down the street with his fiance Cassie. I’ve known the couple for 10 years and consider them “time-trusted friends.” Coach Simrell, one of the three head coaches we had at Findlay during my career there, introduced that phrase to us. I remember joking about it at the time because we joked about everything in the locker room, but I think I know what Sim meant by time-trusted friends. I certainly have time-trusted friends in my life and I’m thinking about all of Ty’s friend’s who are celebrating with him tonight. Many of them are time-trusted friends.


The ah-hah moment for this blog came when I decided to use Invizzable-Ink as a tool to define business principles and key methods for success. As a result, I know that I would be remissed if I did not include healthy relationships as a key core value. Your business is only as strong as its people engaged in relationships working together to accomplish tasks. The depth of which an organization can accomplish tasks depends on its people and the relationships they manage. If they are surface relationships, you can expect about the same result from the body of work. When people are engaged in a trusting and freedom-given relationship, the abilities of both parties is maximized and the full potential of the relationship is reached.