The Thin Line
When confronted with a challenge you have three choices to give up, to give in or to give it all you have.
|The Daily Coach||Jan 7|| 15|
Bill Parcells, the former coach of the Giants, Patriots, Jets, and Cowboys, never saw the Eugene “Cyclone” Hart versus Vito Antuofermo middleweight fight. But he loves to tell the story. On November 3rd, 1977, Hart and Antuofermo fought in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for their middleweight bout. Hart was coming off a loss to Marvin Hagler, and Antuorfermo was known as a boxer who could absorb a lot of punishment. Hart’s talents were evident for all to see. Smooth, fast, athletic, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart could move from side to side and was a well-skilled puncher. Vito Antuofermo’s skills were not as visible. He had toughness, relentless passion, and the will to compete. For four rounds, Hart was hitting Antuofermo with all he had thus beginning to fatigue—both mentally and physically. In the fifth round, because of his exhaustion, Antuofermo landed a few big punches knocking Hart to the ring and ending the fight in a knockout.
Most people might want to focus on Antuofermo’s relentless approach as the moral to the story, but not Bill Parcells. Coach Parcells loved the part after the fight. When in the dressing room, a small curtain separated the two boxers. Hart heard how close Antuofermo was to end the battle and how he was almost ready to give in. Vito Antuofermo said, “Every time he hit me with that left hook to the body, I was sure I was going to quit. In the second round, I thought if he hit me there again, I would quit, then the same after the fourth. Finally, he never hit me again, no more.”
The thin line between losing and winning as well as the smallest of margins between the quitter and the doer is the moral of the story. These themes resonated strongly with Bill Parcells. How often have we said enough is enough? Or thought we couldn’t deal with something for another five minutes? And how often has the disappointment of an experience caused us to stop believing in ourselves?
We are almost one week into the New Year. Some of us have already given up on our resolutions, or have gotten to the point that being sufficiently disciplined might be a little too hard and uncomfortable. Realize deeply when confronted with a challenge you have three choices to give up, to give in or to give it all you have. Next time you face that thin line or have the urge to quit, think of the Eugene “Cyclone” Hart versus Vito Antuofermo fight and decide who you want to become!
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