Every once in a while we are fortunate to meet someone that we have admired and respected for most of our life. Well, that happened to me this past week when I met the legendary football coach John Madden. Many of you may know him as the coach that won Super Bowl XI in 1977. Others know Coach Madden as the voice of the NFL, he was probably the most popular commentator/analyst of all time working for all four major television networks. Coach Madden also popularized the annual Thanksgiving Day football tradition. He would award the winning team a turkey with all the fixings called a turducken. Many of the younger generations know Coach Madden as the face behind the most successful video game in history named Madden NFL. If you ever get the chance to meet someone that has achieved all of these accomplishments you must take it.
This past week, I was traveling throughout the Monterey area of California. My family and I stopped into a nice little cafe for breakfast. As usual, my six year old son tells me that he needed to use the restroom as soon as our food arrived. So off I go with my six year old son to the restroom. As we walk toward the back of the restaurant were the restrooms were located I see Coach Madden having coffee with a friend. I felt like a little child that was about to meet a super hero. In my eyes Coach Madden is a larger than life figure. I grew up a huge sports fan, and Coach John Madden is usually the first person you think of when you mention football. I said, "are you John Madden?" He answers, "yes I 'am". I was in awe. I called over my eight year old son who was eating breakfast and told him that this was coach John Madden. He was in awe as well, especially since Madden NFL is his favorite video game. The first thing that my son tells John Madden was how he lost the AFC divisional playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1972. That particular football game is noted for having one of the most famous and controversial plays in American Football history called the Immaculate Reception. That play caused the Oakland Raiders to lose the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Madden laughed and couldn't believe that an eight year old kid knew about that play. A few minutes later Coach Madden asked me if my son had the new Madden NFL 25 video game, I said no he doesn't have it yet, it is on his Christmas list. John Madden handed me his car keys, showed me where his car was parked and told me to grab a new video game out of the back seat. Wow! John Madden was not only a gentleman, but he lived up to everything I thought about him and more. Coach Madden signed the video game for my son and my son's eyes lit up like he just saw the real Santa Claus. John Madden is a class act.
Later, I asked coach Madden about being successful. I told him that I saw a documentary on the great Vince Lombardi that coach John Madden appeared in. In the documentary, John Madden talks about when he was a college football coach and attended a seminar that Vince Lombardi was hosting. In the documentary, John Madden humbly admits that he meets one of the greatest coaches of all time and sits in back of the room during the first half of the seminar. He then listens to Vince Lombardi talk about one play for eight hours. Coach Madden said it was an eye opener for him that Vince Lombardi can talk about one play for eight hours, he is into mastering the game of football. John Madden said that he moved up to the front row of the room after the seminar break and listened to Vince Lombardi's every word. Coach Madden said that he thought he knew a lot about football until the day he met Vince Lombardi. That was the day he realized that there was a lot that had to be learned in the game of football. As you all know, John Madden coached the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl victory in 1977.
I told Coach Madden that I was a stock trader and I often teach others how to trade. Many of you that have ever taken a seminar with me have probably heard me talk about John Madden's comments regarding Vince Lombardi teaching him about one play for eight hours. In trading as in life, we are always learning and growing. It takes hard work, persistence, and patience to succeed in trading, coaching, or anything in life worth doing. It is also important to learn and model those that have successfully paved the way before us. We should all take a page from the John Madden's playbook and handle ourselves with respect, and class. The world would be a much better place if we did.