Sunday, December 28, 2014

Action Man

The final Sunday of 2014 has arrived.  To blatantly rip off the Grateful Dead, "What a long, strange trip it's been."  Indeed.  

And as is the case with any trip, the journey through 2014 has had its ups and downs.  On the day after Christmas, I spent a little bit of time watching Bill's Alma mater, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, annihilate the North Carolina Tar Heels in their bowl game.  Rutgers completed their first football season as a member of fourteen-team Big Ten Conference with eight victories in thirteen games.  In winning the first-ever Quick Lanes Bowl early Friday evening, Rutgers won its first bowl game in three tries under the leadership of Coach Kyle Flood.  

Kyle Flood is a good football coach.  Three seasons into his tenure as the Head Coach at Rutgers, his teams have produced a total of twenty-three wins.  On the off chance that you are not immersed in the history of Rutgers University Football, Coach Flood's win total in his first three seasons as the Head Coach is the highest total of any coach in the school's history.  

What makes Kyle Flood a man for whom I find it impossibly easy to root has less to do with his qualities as a football coach and quite a bit more to do with his quality as a human being.  Much has been said and written in this part of these United States these past several weeks about the relationship of the NYPD and the city its officers serve and protect.  It is a conversation the tenor of which has shifted - if not forever then at the very least for the foreseeable future - as a result of the execution-style murders of Police Officer Rafael Ramos and Police Officer Wenjian Liu on the Saturday afternoon before Christmas.    

In the days leading up to his team's final game of the season, Coach Flood spoke often - and with pride - about his family, which has a long history of serving the public in law enforcement.  His brother Jerry is a member of the NYPD's Emergency Services Unit and has been a member of the NYPD for twenty-three years.  As is his nature, Coach Flood was not shy about his support of his family.

Leadership is not about talking about how to lead.  It is about setting an example that others can follow.    


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