The Eternal Optimist

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The Eternal Optimist

I am always a little confused why people get upset by what their coach says at a press conference.  This happened again yesterday when a few Clemson fans on message boards got upset at Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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when he answered the following question:

Q. Having watched FSU the other night in that stadium and then again at the office on film the morning after, are they better than you thought they were?

Swinney. "I think if we played them 10 times, we'd win five and they'd probably win five. We didn't give ourselves a chance. You can't make those mistakes and reassess it in terms of where you are competitively. They have a couple of areas where they are ahead of us where I think we will catch up. I think we're two evenly matched football teams. They're not that much better than us. We're certainly not that bad a football team. They don't have a lot of weaknesses. They may be one of the best teams in the country. And I said that going in. They have more depth in some areas. We're coming. We're going to be really good in the secondary in the next few years. We're similar programs. It wasn't our night. We have to give them all the credit for that."

Some reacted surprised by the comment.  Others were upset.

I have a couple of points on the subject.  First, I don't care what my coach says after a win or after a loss.  I only care about the win or the loss.

If we win, Dabo Swinney can get on stage and sing “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” for all I care.  If we lose he can go into a long detailed account the loss and give a perfect explanation and again I could not care less.  Al Davis said it best, "Just Win Baby!"

However, if you are different and you do care what he says then I have a question for you.  What did you expect him to say?

Swinney is the CEO of the football program.  He sets the tone every day in that football office.  His players, his assistant coaches, his support staff, his secretaries and everyone involved in his program looks to him for leadership.  He is optimistic to a fault but that is part of the reason why he is a good leader.

When was the last time you saw the President of the United States stand up at the State of the Union address and say, "Boy, our country is in big trouble.  The economy is down the tubes and we should panic soon."

During the automobile decline in 2008 you didn't see the CEO of Ford or Chevrolet stand up at the podium and say, "Ladies and gentlemen, our company is awful and we are getting our butts kicked by the competition.  Their cars are so much better than ours.  We cannot compete with the foreign market."

Can you imagine Pepsi's CEO having a press conference and saying, "Man that new Coke product is awesome and I really think they are kicking our butts.  We are getting destroyed by Coke right now."

Napoleon said, "A leader is a dealer in hope."

The point is that Swinney is trying to lead his people and his positive attitude has been successful.  Players like his leadership.  Coaches do as well.

Personally I don't think Clemson would split 10 games with FSU, but if I were the coach at Clemson I would never admit that.

Finally, Swinney is truly the most optimistic person I know.  As a Clemson fan this ought not be news to you.  When a player gets hurt and Swinney says he expects the player to be out 4-6 weeks then you better count on six or more.

Swinney lives his life this way.  He married up because he was optimistic and had enough confidence in himself to convince Kathleen to marry him.

In pick-up basketball games at lunch, Swinney never sees a shot he doesn't like.  He may miss five in a row but he shoots it the sixth time because he is an optimist and truly feels he will make the next shot.

You see, Dabo Swinney changed his life by being optimistic. It would have been easy for his life to have taken a different path if he did not make that choice in his formative years.

Some people were born on third base but think they hit a triple.  Swinney is the kid that hits a dribbler back to the mound but is trying to get an inside the park home run.  And you know what, he is rounding third as we speak.

In all honesty, it seems like a pretty cool way to go through life. Many among us could benefit by trying it sometime.

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Those who need our prayers include: Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Shervin Messer, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Christopher Tuten, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Meredith Legg, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Trish Orcutt, Jeanne Thompson, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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