Superbowl Sunday was yesterday and it got me thinking about things. I thought about Colin Kaepernik. I thought about Steve Biscotti. I thought about John Elway. I thought about all of the sports figures that I have watched throughout my life. I also thought about the ones I have read about that were before my time. I thought about what it must feel like to reach the pinnacle of your career. Some reach it early; some reach it multiple times, some reach it later in their career, and some never achieve it.
On one side of the field was Kaepernik. Kaepernik, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, had never played in a Superbowl. Kapernick had only been a starter since mid-season, and as a 25 year old, he was going to experience something that some people spend a career trying to achieve. I thought of Dan Marino. Dan played for the Miami Dolphins from 1983-1999. He, like Kaepernik got the call to be a starter mid-way through 1983 and in 1984 led the team to the Superbowl. Marino never went back. His pinnacle happened when he was 23. He is now 51. The 49ers lost the Superbowl. Will Kaepernik ever go back?
On the other side of the ball was the Baltimore Ravens. Steve Biscotti is the owner of the Ravens and was the founder of Aerotek. He knows a thing or two about recruiting. I remember how he spoke in front of thousands of account managers and recruiters during his tenure at Aerotek. He built a winner at Aerotek. Years later, he built a winner with the Ravens. It was the first time the Ravens had been to the Superbowl since 2000. Yesterday, he helped build a team that made the Ravens Superbowl winners again, thirteen years later. He built an empire around recruitment. He has hit his career pinacle more than once.
So other than the 2013 Superbowl teams, players, and owners, there have been many others who have made the trip to play for the Lombardi trophy. John Elway went to 5 Superbowls. He lost his first 3. John did not only lose them, his team lost by a large margin every time. Despite opposition, he kept playing and in 1998 and 1999 he finally was a champion. It took hard work and determination. It also took a team. John was in the twighlight of his career, but had a supporting cast that could help propel him into superstardom.
Countless others have attempted to reach the Superbowl and have failed. Some have reached the Superbowl, while others never achieve it.
Reaching a Superbowl is infrequent. You need to embrace it when it happens as it may not ever happen again. Getting to the top is hard. Sometimes it is impossible. When we are on top, it is importatant to treat it as a once in a lifetime moment. Lighting stikes once, and it may not strike again. If lightning does strike more than once, you are one of the fortunate ones.
Everyone needs something to chase after. Go ahead, start planning now, and see if you can hit your career pinnacle. You have to shoot for something, or you will obtain nothing.