In this Super Bowl LVII special episode, we’ll do a Failure Profile on some of the legendary moments, teams, coaches, and quarterbacks of Super Bowl’s of years gone by and how their failures became a catalyst for success.
We always think of Super Bowl champions, like Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and Eli Manning, as elites and masters at what they do.
With the prestige that comes with their championships, it’s easy to see them as infallible and otherworldly. That they’ve reached the pinnacle of their football careers and have risen to the top of their game because of their successes, not their failures.
But under their helmets are men who have faced setbacks and obstacles— just like you and me.
In this episode of the Success Through Failure podcast, we’re going to reveal the true nature of success this time for Super Bowl champion teams, coaches, and players.
If you don’t have time to listen to the entire episode or if you hear something that you like but don’t have time to write it down, be sure to grab your free copy of the Action Plan from this episode— as well as get access to action plans from EVERY episode— at JimHarshawJr.com/Action.
[00:00] This ended up being one of the biggest upsets in the history of professional football, certainly, and, and, and maybe even in sports. But the Patriots lost 1714 to the Giants they lost. This was a massive failure. Welcome to another episode of Success Through Failure, the only show that reveals the true nature of success.
[00:25] This is your host, Jim Harshaw, Jr. and today we're talking about Super Bowl success and failing your way to becoming the best in the world. We're dropping this episode before Super Bowl 57 because we're heading into the Super Bowl, and we always think of Super Bowl champions as infallible, as elite, as masters.
[00:44] They don't make mistakes. They've reached the pinnacle of their sport. And we think they've risen to the top of their game because of their success, not their failures. And it's easy to see them as infallible and as sort of otherworldly, but as we always do today, we're gonna reveal the true nature of success this time for Super Bowl champion teams and coaches.
[01:07] And players. If you enjoy the Success through Failure podcast, be sure to subscribe and, and let your friends know. You know, that might be sending them a text saying, Hey, check out Success through Failure, or tagging them in a post, in a social media post or a response to one of my posts, whether it's a retweet or a share, or otherwise, those.
[01:27] Are always very, very much appreciated. That is how podcasts grow. It's a word of mouth thing. Your help is very much appreciated. So let's get into this now. This was a fun episode to create. This is kind of a, a profile of failure, which is what something I'm gonna start doing more, looking at successful people in breaking down their stories, their stories of success, but also revealing their failures along the way, which we never hear of, right?
[01:50] We just see them. On the podium, we see them as successful, but we don't really see their pains and their failures and their setbacks and you know, football, it's on everybody's mind right now. We just got done watching the college football championship where we saw Georgia and Stetson Bennett and their incredible success.
[02:10] Stetson Bennett, if you don't know, he's the quarterback for University of Georgia two time. They won the last two national championships, so he is a two-time national champion quarterback. What an amazing successor failure story his is. I mean, this guy was a two or three star high school quarterback, so basically in the recruiting services, depending on which one you look at, he was either a two star or a three star.
[02:32] So he was like, He was good, but he wasn't really, you know, like a a four or a five star. Those are the big time recruits that Alabama and Georgia get. They get the four and five star recruits, right? They're getting the five star recruits, pretty much. And this guy's a two or three star and he gets some offers to some other schools, but Georgia's really where he wants to go.
[02:50] It's his mom and dad's alma mater, and he decides to walk on, he's from Georgia, he's from a small town in Georgia, just a few hours away from the university of. So he walks on to the team, but he is not good enough. I mean, coaches let him know that. And he's on the practice squad, and he, he's just really, he's not there.
[03:05] He's not at that level, but he, he wanted to be right and he wasn't, he was told, so it was demonstrated to him that you are just not of this caliber. And so he transfers, he leaves, he goes to Jones County Community College. Never heard of it. Neither have I , but that's where he goes to play football. And he doesn't have this storybook ending in mind, right?
[03:27] He just transfers out, never thinks he's gonna return to Georgia. And I want you to think about yourself too. Like have you know, have you had to make this decision? Maybe you left your last job because you were hoping to get the promotion, but you got passed over and maybe you left and you're at another company with no intention on going back.
[03:44] But don't ever shut that door on yourself. Don't ever shut that door on yourself. Stetson Bennett transfers to Jones County Community College. Has a good season. And he decides to transfer back. He actually gets offered a scholarship by Kirby Smart. The head coach at Georgia gets offered a scholarship, comes back, but unfortunately he's like fourth or fifth on the depth chart.
[04:04] I mean, he's deep on the depth chart. There's these great quarterbacks, you know, again, four and five star recruits that they recruit over him. Justin Fields is one of them, and he's, you know, playing in the n right now in successful quarterback, but he's deep, right? He's never really gonna see the light.
[04:18] But he does, he gets a shot because you know, one guy transfers out and another guy gets injured and there's like some eligibility issues with another guy. All along he's been preparing. What about you? Have you been preparing all along for when your shot comes? This is a quote from Kirby Smart. The head coach, Kirby Smart said he didn't get a lot of opportunities and to be honest with you, he didn't cry, pout, leave, transfer, do anything, have his parents.
[04:45] Actually, apparently he did transfer, but this is the quote. He said he didn't do any of that. He just kept working and working and working. And when he got that opportunity, he took advantage of it. So he started and he had a good season. He, he actually, I think it was was 2019, was when he first transferred back and he only appeared in a couple of games and he had two touchdowns and one inter.
[05:08] Not a very good ratio, right? If you know anything about football, two touchdowns to one interception, not very good. But after that, he actually made the following year, again, he's passed over for the starting job by JT Daniels and gets a little bit of playing time cuz Daniels didn't have a great season, but he earned his way in.
[05:28] He earned his spot and takes them to the national championship game in 2021. And then, They win the next year. He comes back in 2022 and they win the national championship again. I mean, this is like, you can't write a better script for this guy, but he just kept showing up. He just kept working. He just kept believing.
[05:49] He just kept taking the next step despite being told you're not good enough. And despite being put deep on the depth chart, how about. What do you feel like, think about when you were told you're not good enough. Maybe you were told outright, maybe you were told in a, in your performance review, maybe you were Passover for a job, whatever it was.
[06:09] What about the Stetson Bennett in you? Quick interruption. If you like what you're hearing here and you want to learn how you can implement this into your life, just go to jimharshawjr.com/apply to see how you can get a free one-on-one coaching session with me. That's jimharshawjr.com/apply. Now, back to the show.
[06:30] All right, so this is not actually about college football. This is about NFL professional football. Franco Harris, immaculate reception. I'm from Pittsburgh and I'm biased, but lots of other people, including the NFL, have said the Immaculate Reception is the greatest NFL play of all time. Now, if you're an Oakland Raiders fan, Las Vegas Raiders fan, now you think it's the worst play in history.
[06:55] But as a Steelers fan, growing up in Pittsburgh, Franco Harris is just a celebrity unfortu. Two days before he was recognized at a Steeler's game, just this, this past season he passed away tragically and, and sort of unexpectedly. He died two days before they were gonna retire his jersey, and they did retire his jersey.
[07:15] But this was sort of the remembrance of the immaculate reception, the 50th anniversary. But here's the deal with the Immaculate reception. The Steelers were the worst franchise in football, period. They were terrible. Had all these losing seasons year after year after year. But they get this new coach, Chuck Noel, and they start winning some games and start winning some games, and they finally make it into the playoffs, and it's like it erases this long playoff drought.
[07:42] They get into the playoffs, they're losing, and then the immaculate reception happen. Terry Bradshaw throws a pass, it bounces off a player and. Franco Harris, he's, it's kind of, it's a heads up play. I mean, you gotta see this play. If you've never seen it before, you've probably seen it a million times. Like most of us, if you watch any football.
[08:01] But he catches this ball right before he hits the ground, runs it in for a touchdown. Steelers win the game. It's amazing. It like sparked the success of the Steelers in one of the most successful franchises in football. Since then. Period. I mean, they're, it's, it's, you know, year after year, they're consistently competitive.
[08:17] You know, haven't had a, a single losing season ever since Mike Tomlin got there, 17 or 18 seasons in a row now. But this, this play sparked the success of the franchise. But here's the deal. Here's what most people don't know, so they win that game. That's their first playoff win in forever. The very next week, they lose.
[08:37] They're done. They're out. They didn't win the Super Bowl. That didn't, the, the play didn't happen in the Super Bowl, and that play didn't, you know, happen during the Super Bowl season. That's not like it sparked them to, you know, go win the Super Bowl championship that year. They didn't. Well, guess what? The next year they make it to the playoffs again.
[08:53] And this time they lose in the playoff. They lose in the first round of the playoffs. Whereas the immaculate reception was their first playoff win the year before they actually went backwards. The year later, they get worse. The immaculate reception happened in 1972. 1973. They lose first round of the playoffs.
[09:08] So think about you like, did you get your big break, your big turnaround, your big moment, and then you blow it. You failed. Welcome to the. Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers greatest football team, greatest football team of all time. I just gotta, I'm just gonna have, it's a fact. It's not really an opinion, it's a fact.
[09:26] I'm from Pittsburgh, so it's a fact. Greatest football franchise of all time. Uh, I know that there's a lot of Ravens fans and, and Browns fans unsubscribing right now. I apologize, but this is where my heart's at. But seriously, think about it. Think about. Like, did you get your big break and your turnaround, but you blew it the next time around?
[09:45] Like the Steelers went on to win six total Super bowls after that, but four in the next subsequent years. So think about your moment, your immaculate reception that the next year turned into a failure and, and how you can turn that into a comeback and how you can turn that into to long-term success.
[10:03] Let's talk about the New England Patriots 2007. 16 and O season first ever 16 and o season. In NFL History, the Patriots crushed records, of course, they're led by Tom Brady. They crushed tons of records, points scored during the season. Total touchdowns, total number of different players scoring touchdowns.
[10:25] There's actually 21 different players scored a touchdown in 2007 for the Patriots. Uh, longest touchdown, 108 yards. Uh, Tom Brady turned in one of the greatest seasons of a quarterback in the history of the NFL. He threw. 55, 0, 50 touchdown passes. That was a new record in the postseason. They beat the Jaguars and Brady.
[10:45] He, he completed 92.9% of his passes. It was an NFL record. That's absurd. 93% of his passes beating the Jaguars in the, in the playoffs, they beat the Chargers and they end up in the Super Bowl, their 14 point favorites against the New York Giants. However, This ended up being one of the biggest upsets in the history of professional football, certainly, and, and, and maybe even in sports.
[11:11] But the Patriots lost 1714 to the Giants. They lost. This was a massive failure for the Patriots. I dunno if you remember the game, but it was like Eli Manning was the quarterback for the Giants and he drove them down the field and they had a, he had a great, uh, late game drive. And then the following, like very, like, it was like the last minute of the game was the, the, the miraculous the, the helmet catch, uh, happened with less than a minute remaining.
[11:39] Uh, it was David, David Tyree caught the helmet, catch, he like caught the ball and, you know, pinched it against his helmet, went down with it, maintained control, and the giants upset Tom Brady and the Patriot. Was that the end of the Patriots? Of course not. They go on in one Super Bowl, you know, three more Super Bowls in the Brady era.
[11:58] I mean, they went on to continue to be dominant. It was a bump in the road. What about you? Have you had success and then had that failure moment? Have you thought, yeah, I'm on track. You know, we had the best season in the history of the friend of the sport in the history of the NFL 16 and oh, and then they lose, they didn't even win the Super Bowl.
[12:20] But that was just a blip on the radar. That was part of their journey. By the way, here's the next segue into the next success through failure story. Eli Manning and the Giants beat the Patriots right in, in the Super Bowl, but here's the, here's what most people don't know. In the beginning of that season.
[12:39] So the pre-season, they're interviewing Eli Manning and they ask Eli Manning, do you think you are in the same category as like a Tom Brady? Do you think you're a top five or top 10 quarterback in the NFL? And his answer was, yes. His answer was yes, I think I am. Here's the deal. First of all, th this sets off this huge media storm, like everybody's throwing him under the bus.
[13:00] They're like, how can Eli Manning possibly think he's in the same category as Tom Brady? And here are his stats from the year before. The year before, right, the year before he, he beats Brady in the Super Bowl, and he thinks that he's one of the greatest quarterbacks in the NFL, least at the top five or top 10, Tom Brady.
[13:18] The year before, the year before this interview takes place. When the year before they ask Eli Manning if he thinks he's one of, he's one of the best. Tom Brady throws 36 touchdowns in four interceptions, Eli Manning through 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, only 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. As a matter of fact, Eli Manning led the NFL three times three times.
[13:46] He led the NFL in interceptions. How about you? Have you ever been the best at being the worst? Have you ever been the worst of the wor, I mean the worst at the top of the league? Who, who were the worst at what you do? Okay. Eli Manning's, one of them. Not just once, not just twice, three times. Eli Manning is also a two time Super Bowl champion.
[14:06] Two time Super Bowl MV. Think about yourself. Think about your failures, think about your setbacks. Think about when you've screwed up at something. You thought you were good at it, but, but then you had evidence that you weren't. Can you still find the will? Do you still have the vision to get up one more time every time?
[14:30] Eli Manning did. He became a two-time Super Bowl champion. Two-time Super Bowl champion. How about that? One of the best, who's ever played the game? How many Two-time Super Bowl champion quarterbacks are there? Not many. How many of won two Super Bowl MVPs, even fewer. Amazing. All right, let's continue with the New York Giants theme.
[14:49] Michael Strahan, you may have seen him. He's on Good Morning America. Here's his background, his football background. He was a second round draft pick in 1993. He's all. In 1997, so an amazing start to his career. Gosh, he's one of the best coming outta college, second round draft pick. He makes all pro a few years later and he loses his confidence.
[15:10] He's a past rusher and he loses his confidence. He's incredibly successful by any measure. But he actually said quote, he thought he sucked. He said, quote, I, I thought I suck. And he talked about how he would like the vision that he had of himself was in like this recurring dream that he, he has talked about having, was envisioning himself like on the field, chasing the quarterback.
[15:35] And, and he always almost gets there, but the quarterback gets away. Like, this was, this was going through his mind. And he actually struggled with this and he worked with a performance coach. As a matter of fact, he worked with Dr. Nate Zinzer, episode 336. If you haven't listened to that one, go straight back and listen to it.
[15:52] Episode 336. Nate Zinzer, who wrote the book called The Confident Mind. Fantastic book. Great interview. Coached not only Michael Stra. But also Eli Manning, he was Eli Manning's mindset coach, and so he actually talks quite a bit about, not quite a bit, there's a couple great sort of chapters about Michael Strahan, Eli Manning and the work that he did with them and kind of the words that he used and the tactics that he used to, to build these guys back up.
[16:19] And Strahan goes onto a, a great career, but. Eight years into his career, the Giants actually lost to the Ravens in the Super Bowl, 2001 Super Bowl, they lose. And he said he felt like such a failure that he couldn't even face his family. He felt like such his failure, he couldn't even face his own family.
[16:37] But now he looks back at that failure and sees that as a catalyst for success and that that ended up being the, being the catalyst for his Hall of Fame career. He ended up playing, uh, a total of 15 season. And here's a quote from Michael Strahan. He said, losing motivated me to play longer and to push harder until I did win a Super Bowl.
[16:57] But he said, had we done it in 2001, I would've been too relaxed and lost some of my spirit to succeed. As much as that loss hurt, I learned to look at failure as a chance to grow and not feel like my worth is lost if I fall short. Because even if something doesn't work out, I can trust that I'm still on the path to where I want to go.
[17:19] How about you? Like, can you look at your failure as your catalyst for success, or do you say, no, this is just proof that I'm not good enough, not smart enough, not capable enough. I need to lower my goals, settle for less. Listen, success is not a straight line. We'd like to think of it that way, but it's not.
[17:38] It wasn't for Eli Manning. It wasn't for Michael Strahan, it wasn't for, you know, Franco Harris. It wasn't for, you know, shoot. We talk about Tom Brady, you know, the goat, the greatest of all time hundred 99th pick in the draft, didn't have a great college career. He's the goat. Has anybody ever told you, have you ever had had evidence or proof cuz you were selected, you know, towards the end of the draft of, of whatever that is in your world, which is a, a message that you're not good enough.
[18:06] Can you take that and become the greatest? Here's another one. Andy Reid. Andy Reid. 14 year career with the Eagles, Philadelphia Eagles. 14 years as the head coach with the Eagles, and it ended with him being fired. Fired after a four and 12 season. Four and 12. You're 14 years into your career, supposed to be getting better.
[18:25] You're supposed to be hitting your stride and you're, you're good. You've got, now you've got experience and knowledge and wisdom, and you go four and. You lose 42 to seven to your rival. Again, the New York Giants, I didn't mean to have a giant theme here, it just kind of evolved, but they lose 42 that they get demolished, the Eagles do to the New York Giant by the New York Giants, and boom, he's outta there, gets fired.
[18:49] Imagine that. Imagine being fired for being so terrible at what you do, especially after you've done it for a long time. You're supposed to be good at it by then. You're outta here. Sorry. You're not good enough. You're over the hill. You're done. You had some good times, but sorry, you're outta here. You're, you're, you're not good enough.
[19:05] Go find another career. Then he gets hired by the chiefs, takes them to two straight playoff appearances. For the first time in nearly 20 years, the chiefs make the playoffs back to back. They won an AFC title in 2019. In 2020. They won the Super Bowl in 2019. We know them as a perennial powerhouse. Now, what about you?
[19:28] What about you? Like where have you failed and being even kicked to the curb for being so bad? Told you you're not good enough. You're fired. You're outta here. You're not, you don't belong in our club. You're not good. Can that be the catalyst for you? Can you get up and keep moving forward? Can you believe in yourself?
[19:47] Can you create that belief in yourself that you are good enough? Because you are plenty of examples here. I could have gone, you know, an hour and a half in this episode because there's so many amazing stories. So as you enjoy watching the Super Bowl or any other championship for that matter, All these people failed.
[20:06] The men and the women who you're watching, they, they've failed. They've struggled. They've had injuries, they've had losses. They've been told they're not good enough. They've been kicked to the curb. And this is the same with your story too. Your story is still being written. Enjoy the Super Bowl. Remember, your greatness is in you.
[20:30] Thanks for listening. If you want to apply these principles into your. Let's talk. You can see the limited spaces that are open on my calendar jimharshawjr.com/apply, where you can sign up for a free one-time coaching call directly with me. And don't forget to grab your action plan. Just go to jimharshawjr.com/action.
[20:49] And lastly, iTunes tends to suggest podcast with more ratings and reviews more. You would totally make my day if you give me a rating and review. Those go a long way in helping me grow the podcast audience. Just open up your podcast app. If you have an iPhone, do a search for success through failure, select it, and then scroll the whole way to the bottom where you can leave the podcast a rating and review.
[21:15] Now, I hope this isn't just another podcast episode for you. I hope you take action on what you learned here today. Good luck and thanks for listening.
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