By Ken Reed
The Nick Foles story — castoff QB becomes Super Bowl MVP — is a good one based solely on what he accomplished on the field.
But it’s the perspective he brought to the big game that really sets him apart and makes him an outstanding role model for athletes — young and old alike.
Here’s Foles talking about how he approached the biggest game of his life:
“Going into this game I sort of went back to when I played basketball. I didn’t really worry about the score, I didn’t worry about the clock, I just played. I just played and I wasn’t gonna worry about it.”
Foles also talked about the importance of teamwork and how trusting his teammates and coaches helped him remain calm:
“The big thing that helped me was knowing that I didn’t have to go out and be Superman … I felt calm. We have such a great group of guys. Such a great coaching staff. We felt confident coming in and we just went out there and played football.”
But Foles was at his best when he talked about how he overcame failure earlier in his career to reach the ultimate in football: quarterback of the Super Bowl champions and Super Bowl MVP:
“I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail. I think in our society today — Instagram and Twitter — it’s a highlight reel. It’s all the good things, and then when you look at it, you think like, ‘Wow.’ When you have a rough day or your life’s not as good as that, you’re failing. Failure’s a part of life. That’s a part of building character and growing. Like without failure, who would you be?
“I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times, made mistakes. We all are human. We all have weaknesses. And I think throughout this, just being able to share that and be transparent, I know when I listen to people speak and they share their weaknesses, I’m listening, because I can resonate. So I’m not perfect. I’m not Superman. I might be in the NFL, and we might’ve just won the Super Bowl, but hey, we still have daily struggles. I still have daily struggles. But that’s where my faith comes in; that’s where my family comes in. And I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that that’s just an opportunity for your character to grow.”
Now that’s a championship perspective.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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Ken Reed’s Author Page on Amazon