The investigation concluded that it was “more probable than not” that the under-inflated footballs gave quarterback Tom Brady an unfair advantage in its American Football Conference championship game 45-7 drubbing of the Indianapolis Colts, January 18, 2015; they proceeded to win a fourth Super Bowl, and Brady his third Super Bowl MVP trophy.
The Flag: Illegal Procedure
Subsequently, the Pats were assessed $1M, lost two future draft picks, and Brady incurred a no-pay four-game suspension, a whopping 25 percent of his salary for the year according to news reports. Yesterday, a federal judge nullified that decision, writing that the investigation into the matter lacked certain legal protections for Brady.
The Referee’s Call
Considered an all-time great quarterback, Brady’s accolades include two National Football League Most Valuable Player awards; 10 Pro Bowl selections; marriage to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen; an annual salary of $26 million and net worth of $120 million; and $7 million in product endorsements (2014).
“Deflategate”, derived from Watergate, the 1972 burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters housed in the Washington DC office complex bearing that name, now also symbolizes abuse of power. Just as for Nixon’s reelection team it was not enough to run a fair campaign for a polls-leading incumbent president, it was neither enough for the NFL’s winningest modern-day franchise to play fairly in its AFC title matchup.
Licensed therapist Dr. Howard C. Samuels: “I see many people who are very successful, . . . have absolutely everything: fame, money, family, career. Yet it’s almost as if they become spiritually polluted. These people are still looking for more, even when they have so much. I call it the ‘Disease of More.’”
Like you and me, the Pats and Brady suffer from egoholism, which I’ve coined and define as “thinking too highly of yourself and thinking too little of your God, and acting then excessively upon those two impulses.”
God’s (Intentional) Incomplete Pass
At the root of both Watergate and Deflategate, and despite the considerable competitive advantages over opponents, both teams here, represented by Nixon and Brady, felt nonetheless incomplete and inadequate. This is God’s incomplete pass.
He created us incomplete, intentionally. And, He made us to know and to feel this incompleteness so that, by admitting it, we would then partner with Him for completion, wholeness. However, God never fills our voids without our permission or assistance. Instead, He partners with us to fill our voids, and fills these voids in direct proportion to our faith in Him. Therefore, egoholism surfaces when you and I attempt to fill our voids ourselves without God. When you and I do not team with God in filling these voids collaboratively, we either supply too much (big egos) or too little (little egos) of ourselves.
It would be true to the egoholism model to fill a God-intended self-incompleteness by inflating too much of themselves and by deflating too much from the footballs. Only God knows the exact calibrations of Him balancing us for true victory.
Follow God’s Playcalling
In scripture, God had to make the call on even His most valuable players such as Moses, David and Solomon. And though they, at some point were felled as icons, God used them to impart valuable lessons. Like Moses, David, and Solomon, the Patriots and Tom Brady, we are all egoholics – thinking too much of ourselves and too little of our God, and acting excessively upon those two impulses. Like Paul’s flesh-thorn (2 Cor. 12:7), egoholism cannot be cured, solved or eliminated, only managed with God.
Therefore, take it to the TOP:
• Target your problems – if you do not identify them as problems, then you will not see the need to resolve them;
• Own your problems – stop finger-pointing and take full responsibility for both your actions and in-actions; and
• Proceed now, by carrying out – the seven steps for recovery.
The 7 Steps for egoholic recovery:
1. To change lanes effectively, glance back quickly before driving forward;
2. Uncover more buried treasures the deeper you plunge below your surface;
3. Fast-forward your success through “Homework Listening”;
4. Re-start your engines and give your life journey better mileage;
5. Let your failures jump-start your successes;
6. Your greatest healings come out of your revealing; and
7. Now that you know, go, elevate and grow!