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Hi, I'm Kevin Coupe and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy.
While I'm happy to say that I'm filing this report from Portland, Oregon, I actually want to talk for a few minutes about New Jersey. Specifically, the Meadowlands…where there is a stadium that hosts a couple of football teams that say they're from New York. That sounds logical until you actually are in Met Life Stadium for a game, at which point you realize that no matter what the helmets say, you aren't in New York.
(To be clear…this is not an anti-New Jersey rant. I'd feel the same way if a team said it was from New York and played in Bridgeport, Connecticut. I just think that if they're going to be based in Jersey, they should say they're the Jersey Jets or the Jersey Giants.)
Last Sunday I actually had the opportunity to go to a Jets game at Met Life. Mrs. Content Guy had never been to an NFL game and that's what she wanted for her birthday this year. She puts up with me, so I figured it was the least I could do … I got tickets for a Jets-Broncos game when the weather was likely to be nice, even though it was six weeks before her birthday, and we'd have a chance to see Peyton Manning play.
It ended up being a terrific day, and Manning threw three touchdown passes, and the Jets didn't even stink as much as I expected. But here's what really surprised me…
Tell people that you are going to an NFL game, and most of the time they'll say in conversation that you really get a much better view of the game at home, on television. Which is sort of annoying when you've already paid for the seats. But the argument for going to the game, as opposed to watching it from the comfort of your family room with a big screen TV, a nearby kitchen and no line at the bathroom, is that you get to have "the experience."
Here's what I found, however, and it actually is a pretty good business lesson. We were sitting in the upper deck, pretty much on the 50-yard line … and we loved it, in part because we could choose what to watch, as opposed to having the TV networks make the decision for us. When you do that, you actually get a much more holistic view of the game, and a far better sense of how things are playing out. (if you are a Jets fan, this can be painful.) From the very first play, I found myself much more involved in the game than I usually am at home. Which I didn't really expect.
The business lesson? Don't let other people dictate what you know about the company you are trying to run, the associates you are trying to lead, and the competition you are trying to best. There's an old rule of agriculture that says that a farmer's best fertilizer is his shadow, and I think the same things goes for business. Sometimes, you just have to sit in what sportscaster Red Barber used to call "the catbird seat" - sitting pretty, with a great and even enviable view, able to decide what you think is important and what you think is not.
That's what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind…
- KC's View: