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No Coasting

No Coasting

A couple of years ago I had the privilege of speaking on the same program as Terry Bradshaw, the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback. This was a real treat because it turns out that Terry Bradshaw is as good a speaker as he was a quarterback! In this blog post I will re-tell my favorite story from Terry’s presentation.

First, let’s review some football history. In the 1970’s the Pittsburgh Steelers were the NFL’s best team, winning four Super Bowls. Their defense was known as ‘The Steel Curtain’ and with a cast of characters like Jack Lambert, ‘Mean’ Joe Green, Mel Blount and L.C. Greenwood they quite literally struck fear in the minds of opposing players. As good as their defense was, their offense was an equal match. Their offense was led by receivers Lynn Swan and John Stallworth receiving passes from future Hall of fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw and running backs included the duo of Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. Truly an amazing team!

In 1974 the Steelers won their first Super Bowl Championship. As was customary at the time the city of Pittsburgh threw a ticker tape parade in their honor following the victory. As Terry tells the story, over a million people lined the streets on a chilly January day to honor the team. He said it was such a high to feel the love of the fans lining the streets that they never even felt the brutal cold. At the very end of the parade the team gathered together as the fans were dispersing and as the noise from the parade was quieting down a lone fan yells out, “Hey Bradshaw, ya bum, ya better do it again next year.” Terry’s initial response was anger……….. and then he realized the truth in the words.

Next year, same result. The Steelers win back to back Super Bowls. The city of Pittsburgh throws another ticker tape parade. This year’s parade had even more people than the last. At the end of the parade, Terry was ready this time. As the fans quieted down, Terry stood on the trunk of the convertible he was riding in and cupped his hand to his ear. When the fan yelled, ‘Hey Bradshaw”, Terry immediately yelled out, “I know, I know, Bradshaw ya bum, ya better do it again next year.” The entire team and everyone within hearing distance broke out into hysterical laughter. Despite the laughter, Terry knew the wisdom of those words.

As Terry tells the story, he expressed his gratitude to the lone heckler who reminded him that he was only as good as his next victory. Terry said this brutal reality motivated him throughout his career. How does this story relate to dentistry? Quite simply, in today’s challenging economy there can be no coasting. Just like Terry Bradshaw, you are only as good as your next victory. Challenge yourself daily by asking ‘Whose life are you going to change today?’……Then go out and answer that question! Then go do it again tomorrow! Thanks Terry for reminding us that there is simply no room for coasting if we are going to achieve our potential. Keep Smiling!