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About Nice Guys and the NFL

With millions watching a game that will make football history, the Super Bowl is a high-stakes event – the very definition of stress, tension, and intensity. In last winter’s contest, I heard that coaches Tony Dungy of the Colts and Lovie Smith of the Bears got to and through the Super Bowl without screaming at their players or acting abusively, unlike some of their peers who did. These two were managing players laden with energy and testosterone, and they led their teams all the way to the Super Bowl. So if there is a place for civility among leaders in the NFL, the same must be true for leaders in other occupations like law, medicine, and business where the stresses are often used to justify loutish, outrageous behavior. Ironic to think that the civilized behavior of two NFL leaders could be used as models for others in supposedly more refined lines of work.

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