What a great day to be a Baylor Bear! Yes, it’s that time again. Football season is here, and our defending Big 12 Champion Baylor Bears are making their final preparations to take on the Great Danes of Albany University on Saturday. As we approach the weekend, I want to call your attention to an important difference compared to this time last year. In the preseason rankings last year, the Bears were picked to finish near the bottom in the conference rankings. This year, the Bears are entering the season as favorites to win the conference title. They have the challenge of dealing with the additional pressure associated with living up to those expectations. That pressure can get quite heavy. As letterwinners, we are no strangers to that pressure, but many of us would admit that we would prefer to enter a season as hunters rather than the prey.
As a young and curious rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1982, I asked our legendary Head Coach Chuck Noll how the Steelers managed to stay at the top of the NFL throughout the 1970’s. He shared with me a story that I will never forget. He said, “Every morning in Africa, the slowest gazelle wakes up knowing that it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning, the lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. So, it does not matter whether you are the lion or the gazelle — when the sun comes up, you had better be ready to run.” That story stayed with me during my entire career and often provided the motivation I needed to prepare myself for battle.
So, whether the Bears are preseason favorites or dogs, I know they will be ready to run. Let’s get ready to run with them.
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