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“When Pride Still Mattered” Quotes

I recently read “When Pride Still Mattered: A life of Vince Lombardi” by David Maraniss. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you enjoy them, consider buying the book.

“In 1935, Robert Maynard Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, said “if we look at the modern American university we have some difficulty seeing that it is uniformly either one. It sometimes seems to approximate kindergarten at one end and a clutter of specialists at the other.”” (43)

“The fall from grace of American universities, declared ralph C. Hutchinson, president of Washington and Jefferson College, was “evidenced by the shocking number of graduates who have been discovered in… corrupt professional practices, in the concealment of corporation assets or liabilities, in the watering of stock, the peddling of questionable securities, the evasion of income and other taxes, the distribution and acceptance of bribes, and the predatory exploitation of public resources.” (43)

“As an ace public relations man, Cohane understood that his mission was to make people remember his team and its players, and that the most effective way to accomplish this was through the imagery of metaphor and nickname, the semiotics of myth.” (58)

“There was no master plan, just a call from Handy Andy, the Luteran quarterback, looking for someone ot help him out at a little Catholic school in New Jersey – that is how Vince Lombardi became a football coach.” (69)

Ignatius Loyola said, “there is the perception of ‘an intolerable disparity between the hugeness of their desire and the smallness of reality.’” (69)

“Lombardi said, “there were limitations to the game due to mentality and physical ability and that the amount that can be consumed and executed is controlled by the weakest man on your team.” (79)

“Blaik made a distinction between losing and sportsmanship. “There never was a champion, who, to himself, was a good loser.” In Blaik’s opinion the “purpose of the game is to win. To dilute the will to win is to destroy the purpose of the game.”” (102)

“History has a way of mocking attempts to render it retroactively pure.” (120)

“Unfortunately, too much experience in losing [gracefully] often lowers the resistance to defeat.” Blaik wrote.” (144)

“Vincent (son of Vince) had conflicting feelings baout his father’s long work hours. His friends were envious of him for having a dad who worked for the Giants. Vincent would rather have had a father who was around every day.” (178)

“The Packers compiled the worst record in team history, 1-10-1, a mark that New York sportswriter Red Smith later immortalized with the phrase: “The Packers underwhelmed ten opponents, overwhelmed one, and whelmed one.” (191)

“Yes, he had freedom, but that meant freedom to fail.” (212)

“Controlled violence is what Lombardi called football, and he did not consider the phrase an oxymoron. The violence was as importnat to him as the control. He distinguished controlled violence from brutality, which is said “ultimately defeats itself,” but he did not try to minimize the role of violence. To approach football any other way, he said, “would be idotic.”” (219)

“It was a variation of the Jesuit concept of freedom within discipline.” (224)

“Lombardi waited until the precise moment when it would mean the most, when Wood was doubting himself, and then assured him that what had happened to him was no big deal, that there would be hundreds of other days of redemption, and that the coach believed in him.” (248)

“Style rather than substance, Blaik said, allowed coaches of inferior character and talent to rise more quickly than Lombardi.” (261)

“Character is the will in action, his Fordham tutors used to say, and here it is, embodied, magnetism of the will, asserting that life is not merely fleeting luck or chance, that discipline and persistence can prevail, even if it takes twenty years, and as he presses forward the crowd seems certain that he knows the way, the right way, that even if he has not won everything, he will.” (271)

“Myth becomes myth not in the living but in the retelling.” (295)

“The thing that hit me with Lombardi and that we agreed on right away is that if you are gifted you hav ea moral responsibility to fulfill that gift as best you can,” Heinz reflected later.” (318)

“Dick Schaap had once written of him: “Jimmy Taylor, the great fullback of the Green Bay Packers, spent four years in college and emerged unscarred by education.”” (331)

“Lombardi said, “Success is like a habit-forming drug that in victory saps your elation and in defeat deepens your despair. Once you have sampled it, you are hooked.” When you are successful, he thought, everyone else is jealous and every game becomes a grudge match.” (348)

“What’s charisma?” Lombardi once asked W.C. Heinz.
“What?”
“You’re the writer. I keep reading that I have charisma. What the hell is that?”
“Relax,” Heinz said. “It’s not a disease.” (373)

“Lombardi once began a speech to us by asking ‘What is the meaning of love?’ recalled Bob Skoronski. “And this is what he said. He said, ‘Anybody can love something that is beautiful or smart or agile. You will never know love until you can love something that isn’t beautiful, isn’t bright, isn’t glamorous. It takes a special person to love something unattractive, someone unknown. That is the test of love. Everybody can love someone’s strengths and somebody’s good looks. But can you accept someone for his inabilities?”” (374)

“His concern was that the nature of his job had changed. Once, it was hard for him to distinguish between work and play; thye fit together like the tattoos etched into his father’s knuckles. Now it was WORK on one hand and more WORK on the other.” (390)

“Lombardi characterized it as “a violent game and to play it any other way but violently would be imbecilic.” (401)

“Lombardi’s son, Vincent said, “Anybody who motivates and gets people going sooner or later runs out of things to say. You’ve got to take your act to a new venue.” (435)

“Profit Wise” Quotes

I recently read “Profit Wise: How To Make More Money In Business By Doing The Right Thing” by Jeff Morrill. Below are the quotes I found most interesting.

“The cost to acquire a new customer is much larger than the cost of satisfying a repeat customer. We organize our processes and pricing around creating customers for life.” (7)

“If you can’t gather enough people with the inclination and ability to do what you ask them to do, then you run a daycare facility instead of a business.” (17)

“You can teach people to drive but you can’t teach them to have drive. You can coach skills but not character.” (21)

“Conduct three interviews before hiring candidates. Multiple interviews provide more opportunities for unprofessional people to reveal their bad habits.” (24)

“Ask candidates to follow up with you. Throughout the process, ask them to call you to set up the next step rather than volunteering to call them. We end each interview with the same request: “After you’ve had an opportunity overnight to consider what we’ve discussed today, please call tomorrow to set up the next interview.” This creates additional opportunities to observe how well they follow instructions, and you’ll save time by not pursuing candidates who have lost interest.” (25)

“You can coach your team, but let them solve problems on their own. If you still have to make all the decisions, you’re holding them and your company back.” (45)

“The more authority given to a position, the more harm outside hires can do to your culture because they have more power to screw things up. We believe in growing and promoting our own team members so we know exactly what kind of people are making the important decisions for the company.” (48)

“Don Beyer, Jr., told me that a key to growing older is not learning how to do more with less, but rather less with less. In other words, choose fewer ambitions, more carefully.” (100)

“William James counseled, “The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.” (104)

“Don’t postpone joy or suffer too much in the vain hope that someday you can rest on your achievements, a situation Warren Buffett compared to “saving up sex for old age.” (104)

Like the quotes? Buy the book here.

“The Night Of The Gun” Quotes

I recently read The Night of the Gun by David Carr. Below are the quotes I found interesting. If you like the quotes, buy the book.

The historical self is created to keep dissonance at bay and render the subject palatable in the present. (8)

Tucked in safe suburban redoubts, kids who had it soft like me manufactured peril. When there is no edge, we make our own. (18)

The pub theory of life, that we are all of a common fabric once we have a pint in our hands. (55)

When I got in jams, got divorced, got fired, slipped after treatment, my mother said the same thing: “You are mine. We choose you no matter what.” (75)

By my reckoning, you are issued about a dozen friends in life, and if one of mine happens to be in a prison jumpsuit, well, better him than me, but that doesn’t erase the bond. (87)

As Daniel L. Schacter wrote in The Seven Sins of Memory, “We often edit or entirely rewrite our previous experiences—unknowingly or unconsciously—in light of what we now know or believe.” (115)

The chronicity of addiction is really a kind of fatalism writ large. 

Call on God, but row away from the rocks. —HUNTER S. THOMPSON (171)

Fate and circumstance, along with a willingness to punch in, is often all that separates the lucky from the luckless. (176)

I had no idea what I was doing, but children teach you how to parent them. (184)

Like most single parents, I was constantly impaled on a fence between making money to meet my kids’ physical needs and being present to meet their emotional ones. (200)

All the theological debate seemed at one remove, and a higher power was in our midst simply because we needed one to be there. (200)

Having been in rooms with people I owed money to—people who had guns and unknown intent—working in an office where people gossiped about what an idiot I was did not make a strong impression. (258)

Memories may be based on what happened to begin with, but they are reconstituted each time they are recalled—with the most-remembered events frequently the least accurate. What one is remembering is the memory, not the event. (266)

Remembering is an act of assertion as much as recollection. (266)

Los Angeles, where people rise and fall based on some secret chart, New York is a place where the wiring diagram is very visible and fundamentally, oddly, just. If you are good at what you do, work hard, and don’t back down, you can make a place to stand on the island. (269)

We all walk this earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn’t end any time soon. When I started trying to remember who I was, I bought an external hard drive, a piece of technology that is designed to preserve the past. (309)

Liked the quotes? Buy the book.

Cory Doctorow Quotes

I recently read a bunch of Cory Doctorow books. While I enjoyed all of them, no book had enough quotes to create a separate post for each, but I still found them interesting and wanted to share them, so here are combined quotes for “With A Little Help”, “For The Win”, “Pirate Cinema” and “Little Brother.” If you like the quotes, please buy the books.

With a Little Help 

“He’d been a bright 14 year old, a genius at 16, a rising star at 18, and a failure by 21.” Location 327-328

For the Win

The fat and comfortable world he’d grown up in was not permanent; scratched in the sand, not carved in stone. Location 1308-1309 

Here’s the dirty secret about gold: there is more gold available through certificates of deposit than has ever been dug out of the ground.” Location 2518-2519 

The important thing about a game isn’t how fun it is, it’s how easy it is to start playing and how hard it is to stop.” Location 2549-2549 

“It’s because if a man is successful at doing one thing, he’s apt to assume that he’ll be successful at anything. He believes he’s a Brahmin, divinely gifted with the wisdom and strength of character to succeed. He can’t bear the thought that he just got lucky.” Location 3464-3466 

“Ghandi admitted to beating his wife. He was a great man, but not a saint.” Location 4677-4677 

Dollars are measures of value, not value itself. If you double the amount of currency in circulation, you double the price of everything on Earth. The amount of stuff is fixed, the amount of currency isn’t. Location 4907-4908 

Pirate Cinema

If you want to double your success rate, triple your failure rate.Location 700-700

if we’re being honest, it’s easy to define creativity: it’s doing something that isn’t obvious.” Location 4320-4320 

In my mind, Bradford had been a remote village with the cosmopolitan sophistication of a pig-sty. Location 4707-4708 

Some people are great artists — I think all my mates were, of one kind or another — but it takes a special kind of person to be a great audience. Location 7230-7231 

Little Brother

One in a million people has Super-AIDS. If you test a million random people, you’ll probably only find one case of real Super-AIDS. But your test won’t identify one person as having Super-AIDS. It will identify 10,000 people as having it. Your 99 percent accurate test will perform with 99.99 percent inaccuracy. Location 1780-1783 

The police and the demonstrators fought in the streets — they’d done that many times before, but the Chicago cops didn’t have the smarts to leave the reporters alone. They beat up the reporters, and the reporters retaliated by finally showing what really went on at these demonstrations, so the whole country watched their kids being really savagely beaten down by the Chicago police. They called it a ‘police riot.’ Location 2437-2440 

Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.'” Location 2471-2474 

“Because it seems to me that the founders of this country said that governments should only last for so long as we believe that they’re working for us, and if we stop believing in them, we should overthrow them. That’s what it says, right?” Location 2482-2483 

There is a term for this dysfunction — it is called an autoimmune disease, where an organism’s defense system goes into overdrive so much that it fails to recognize itself and attacks its own cells. Ultimately, the organism self-destructs. Location 4944-4945 

If you liked the quotes, please buy the books.

“Indistractable” Quotes

I recently read “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life” by Nir Eyal. Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book.

Samuel Johnson said, “My life is one long escape from myself.” (27)

“we must disavow the misguided idea that if we’re not happy, we’re not normal—exactly the opposite is true.” (31)

“Dweck concluded that signs of ego depletion were observed only in those test subjects who believed willpower was a limited resource.” (43)

“Labeling yourself as having poor self-control actually leads to less self-control.” (45)

“people who have “a positive and caring attitude . . . toward her- or himself in the face of failures and individual shortcomings” tend to be happier.” (45)

Another study found that people’s tendency to self-blame, along with how much they ruminated on a problem, could almost completely mediate the most common factors associated with depression and anxiety. (45)

An individual’s level of self-compassion had a greater effect on whether they would develop anxiety and depression than all the usual things that tend to screw up people’s lives, like traumatic life events, a family history of mental illness, low social status, or a lack of social support. (45)

Whether I’m able to fall asleep at any given moment or whether a breakthrough idea for my next book comes to me when I sit down at my desk isn’t entirely up to me, but one thing is for certain: I won’t do what I want to do if I’m not in the right place at the right time, whether that’s in bed when I want to sleep or at my desk when I want to do good work. Not showing up guarantees failure. (55)

To make sure we always have something fun to do, we spent one afternoon writing down over a hundred things to do together in town, each one on a separate little strip of paper. Then, we rolled up all the little strips and placed them inside our “fun jar.” (57)

“my wife bought a hard-to-miss headpiece on Amazon for just a few dollars. She calls it the “concentration crown,” and the built-in LEDs light up her head to send an impossible-to-ignore message. When she wears it, she’s clearly letting our daughter (and me) know not to interrupt her unless it’s an emergency. It works like a charm.” (76)

“I’m not telling you to tag emails by topic or categories, only by when the message requires a response.” (83)

When I taught at the Stanford design school, I consistently saw how teams who brainstormed individually before coming together not only generated better ideas but were also more likely to have a wider diversity of solutions as they were less likely to be overrun by the louder, more dominating members of the group. (88)

Ryan and Deci proposed the human psyche needs three things to flourish: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. (147)

According to Rogoff, “It may be the case that children give up control of their attention when it’s always managed by an adult.”(149)

Robert Epstein, the researcher who wrote “The Myth of the Teen Brain” in Scientific American, has a similar conclusion: “Surveys I have conducted show that teens in the U.S. are subjected to more than ten times as many restrictions as are mainstream adults, twice as many restrictions as active-duty U.S. Marines, and even twice as many restrictions as incarcerated felons.” (149)

Somehow, as a society, we have come to the conclusion that to protect children from danger and to educate them, we must deprive them of the very activity that makes them happiest and place them for ever more hours in settings where they are more or less continually directed and evaluated by adults, settings almost designed to produce anxiety and depression. (152)

The more you talk with your kids about the costs of too much tech use and the more you make decisions with them, as opposed to for them, the more willing they will be to listen to your guidance. (153)

Phubbing, a portmanteau of phone and snubbing, means “to ignore (a person or one’s surroundings) when in a social situation by busying oneself with a phone or other mobile device.” (170)

Did you like the quotes? Buy the book.