McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee --
Super Bowl XLV is today! Super Bowl I was played between Vince Lombardi's NFL champion Green Bay Packers and Hank Stram's AFL champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Packers were NFL champions for the fourth time in the past five years. They were considered a dynasty since Lombardi had become the coach in 1959. The Chiefs were from the AFL which most considered inferior to the storied NFL. The Packers dominated the second half of the game, scoring 21 of their 35 points. That game sparked the event that most of us will enjoy tonight.
The game that will be played tonight is starkly different from the one played that day. Offenses are more pass-oriented. In Super Bowl I, both teams passed for 395 yards, completing 33
of 56 passes. As a point of reference, one of last year's Super Bowl quarterbacks, Peyton Manning, was 31 of 45 for 333 yards. Today's defenses are adaptive, amazingly faster, bigger and stronger. The game itself has changed. Players, coaches, officiating, equipment, and even viewing the game has changed tremendously. Each change was seen as a way to make the game better for all. But the teams today do have a common trait with the teams that played in the first Super Bowl--resilience. (Merriam-Webster dictionary defines resilience as: 1.) the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress; 2.) an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.)
Today's teams have done much to get to this point, much of which have been years in the making. Most think that NFL teams only work for that year to achieve greatness, but it is an ongoing process.Parallels can be drawn between these teams rise to glory and we here at the 134th. Each team has worked tirelessly in all areas to accomplish this feat and often in the face of adversity. Teams have faced salary caps (a form of Force Management), Strident practices (Exercise for inspections), Home / Away games (Inspections/deployments), Draft picks (new recruits), Free agency (new positions within the organization), Injuries and/or retirements, and another team that works diligently to bring failure (Al Qaeda).
As you can see, we have much that we have to rise above to have the success for which we are known. At the end of the game tonight, one team will have risen above all the difficulties to come out victors. They will be resilient and not allow the difficulties before them deter them from the mission at hand--win Super Bowl XLV. As the 134th team, we are going to face many difficulties in the days ahead. But we have always met the challenge head on and been successful. For that to continue, we must focus on the mission, carry one another when they need help, publicly celebrate our success, thank God for our opportunities, and remind our families we appreciate their support. At the end of the day, if we are resilient in these endeavors, we will stand as victors, just as one team will tonight.