The following is reprinted with permission of a friend, Toby Gannett. He's a local visionary, instigator, and (his term) benevolent capitalist. These are his thoughts on the recent passing of the Southern Delivery System. The entire email I received from him is below, unedited. This is the type of civic interaction, discourse and factual debate I am proud to seeing beginning in our city.
Today marks an interesting day in the History of the Pikes Peak Region. I would like to congratulate Colorado Springs Utilities on successfully getting city approval to begin work on the Southern Delivery System. They have worked tirelessly to improve relations with Pueblo to make the project possible. Under Jerry Forte, Colorado Springs Utilities has delivered on its duty to prepare for the regions future water needs for generations to come. I also applaud CSU for helping to find a sustainable solution to keeping our parks green.
What is amazing to me, is that our city has not lived up to the same level of expectation. The debate on the SDS could have been a catalyst for strategic long term integrated planning for our community. Our community has been growth centered since the second world war and our city is synonymous with urban sprawl. Growth for Growths sake is not a sustainable or financially prudent policy. As our city has expanded, and now covers a vast footprint. First Union, then Circle, then Powers, then… As the expansion has moved eastward, the big boxes on each successive beltway have gone dark. Along with this expansion, we have accumulated more streets to maintain, larger utility infrastructure to support, and larger areas for our Police and Fire departments to protect.
In effect the expansion of the city has been subsidized by the taxpayers with the profits going to private developers. I believe that much of our cities current frustration is that we continue to grow, without a comprehensive growth plan. SDS is a 2.2 Billion dollar subsidy of this growth. It allows us to continue growing, but without a strategic plan and bold leadership we will simply become a larger version of our current community. In the end SDS may critical to our long term future, but it should be a catalyst to force our city to look at how we can use long term planning to make our city more efficient at delivering services and delivering our fiduciary duty to our taxpayers. The future debt service of the SDS will be equivalent to a major percentage of our overall city budget.
The SDS is the largest capital expenditure our community has made in decades. Today our city will most probably chose to continue to follow the policy subsiding growth and increase the Tax/Utility Rate burden on our citizens. It is ironic that after the community did not have enough confidence in our government to pass a modest tax rate increase last fall, and have slashed city services, that today we approved a 2.2 billion dollar tax increase. Next year our city will need to once again slash additional millions from our budgets and services. When will we as a city rise to the challenges before us? It is possible to be financially conservative, rely on our strong non-profit community to provide social services, and have a government that has a clear direction of the regions long term economic expansion. What is needed is a clearly articulated vision of how our city government, our hospitals and utilities are working together to make Colorado Springs an even better place to live. The current financial climate presents our communty with amazing opportunities to create a better future.
A Dunn & Associates Inc. Managed Community
Thank you Gregg Easterbrook. Because of you, my Colorado College diploma just increased in value by a measure of 5% to 10% this year.
Mr. Easterbrook and I are both alumni of Colorado College. He graduated 22 years before I did, but actually sequestered himself inside the bubble of academia south of Uintah and north of Cache la Poudre over the last two years to write parts of his recent and stunning work on global macro economics, Sonic Boom. He went back to his roots to write a book that is possibly the most comprehensive and visionary business book written in the last decade.
To say that it makes sense of globalization is to miss Mr. Easterbrook's thesis; here is an except, in all it's chaos-theory glory:
MANUFACTURING WILL BE OBSOLETE
The factory-based economy is nearly over, because of technological improvements. Fifteen years ago, Boeing took 22 days to build a 737 airliner; today, it takes 12 days. Such changes mean fewer factory jobs, even as production rises. China is losing factory jobs much faster than the United States, as efficiency improves. Soon there won't be any nation with a factory-based economy, and that would have happened regardless of whether there was trade liberalization. Higher productivity, in turn, generates the social wealth that creates more jobs for teachers, health-care providers, and other essential needs. The world is actually better off with declining factory employment, which is no consolation if you lost a job.
My friend Andy Fletcher introduced me to chaos theory right at the time the first pangs of the global economic contractions appeared. I became familiar with the physics and chemistry of chaos, and saw how readily this applied to the present economic climate. I predicted at our annual company retreat in October 2007 that we had not seen anything yet in terms of what was about to happen. Presto... something indeed happened. The Great Recession. Can I make sense of it? Can anyone? No. Easterbrook is one of the smartest minds in America writing about this and how does he conclude the startling assessment that GLOBAL manufacturing is over (not American manufacturing... GLOBAL manufacturing)? Higher productivity, in turn, generates the social wealth that creates more jobs for teachers, health-care providers, and other essential needs. The world is actually better off with declining factory employment, which is no consolation if you lost a job.
Let's challenge for a moment our American assumptions about the rest of the world, and take a look for a moment at the Olympics. Last night. Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo came out of retirement to end a half century of Soviet and Russian domination in pairs figure skating last night. It was China's first gold medal in skating. Afterwards, they were asked about their future: Their hope might as well have sprung from the mouths of victorious Americans,the pair, who are married, planned to have a child. It was now time for them to live a life on the drumbeat of their own personal autonomy, an elective choice of the individual(s) will for their own future. Yes, these two are the aristocracy of China, part of the enormous Chinese athletic machine, sequestered into dormitories before their tweens, groomed for a triumphant Olympic moment in a way that no other country either can compete with or chooses to. The liberties they represent do not represent the liberties expressed by the 1.3 billion other citizens of their country; they have rights, privileges and options that other citizenry do not. Yet their choice was fundamentally progressive, autonomous and recognized as a global value. These are not athletic cyborgs: these are two people with goals and hopes as familiar as any American. The inter-connectedness of globalization sometimes is disorienting in it's sonic effects (think Lehman Brothers, the world's largest cruise ships, the sand islands of the world in Dubai slowly sinking into the sea); and sometimes they are disorienting for the pan-familiarity such as the goal of two world class people to live a quiet, autonomous and somewhat private life like a couple of Midwesterners.
Easterbrook challenges our assumptions on the world so consistently, and instead of taking a Thomas Friedman approach (this is right; this is wrong), he takes what I like to call, the Platonic Technique: This is. Just as most Americans assume our trade with China is one-way (we buy what they manufacture), the number one country China buys from is... The United States. Is this good? In some ways: the American influence on China has profoundly liberalized their economy and with it, their culture. Instead of being the two largest super powers on the planet and adversaries, we are two, somewhat mutually cooperating super powers thanks to trade. Is it bad? Well yes, China is a huge consumer of the world's resources, one of the leading culprits at debilitating human welfare, and as American's we should all be worried by the amount of our country's treasuries they are holding. Is it what it is? Yes. Do we want to return to early 20th century industrial fabrication for the masses? Not really. Are we more financially well-off then anytime previously? Even post-recession-effects, essentially, we are. Are we more scared and confused and perplexed and clinging to assumptions that are made out-dated at ridiculous speed? Yes, we are.
The big is focused on the big picture. Those who see it as a treatise on modern airliner manufacturing, Shenzhen's harbor, how to venture capitalize, or USC football are really, seriously, missing the point.
Another example (from this week's Newsweek):
Many of these developments will have far-reaching positive consequences. But they will all add to our uncertainty. One reason our economic anxiety soared during the recent crisis is that it seems like no one is in charge of the U.S. economy. In fact, there is no one in charge. The president doesn't "run" the economy—no one does. In a way, this is a source of stability. There is no one person who can make a fatal economic blunder. Think of all the crazed, conflicting statements about the economy that were made by government officials, Democratic and Republican alike, in the fall of 2008, as economic grand plans and emergency theories changed daily. Imagine if any one of them had actually been in charge of the economy—surely he or she would have made the situation considerably worse.Because no one runs the economy, no one knows where the economy is headed
Many of the commentators on Amazon love tearing apart facts that support specific examples. This is not a formulaic book. The citations are well-documented. There may be studies that contradict the studies Easterbrook uses, but then again, that's part of Easterbrook's fundamental assertion: there are studies upon studies upon studies of the same subject and the same effects as to what is happening in the global economy all with the idea of explaining where this loose caboose is heading and where it will end up. At the end of the day, the global economy... is. Friedman took the Infosys example of a level playing field to proclaim it flat. Easterbrook says it is moving in a direction, but sonic shockwaves masking what it is really doing. Here are somethings that are going on, and knowing this, what course of action do you choose as an autonomous citizen of (likely) The United States? The economy will move with it's own caprice, like it or not. When individual data points are examined from a 1000 foot elevation, they tend to make nice, neat patterns that are easily understood. But when a giant collection of data and diverse fields, countries and viewpoints are brought into the light together, and seen from 30,000 feet, the overall pattern is very different. Climate is changing, but pollution is down. China holds much of our debt, but can't afford to attack us because it would destroy their economy. Brazil probably built that plane for your trip to Dallas, because Boeing was just fine with the 737 as the world's most popular airliner, even though it is about 30% too big for the job. Nice and neat and tidy answers this book will not provide. Does it over simplify things? Maybe if your desire is for a specific book on a specific subject. There has been nothing like the global economy and as Easterbrook contends, it is just getting started. To even begin to describe that requires anecdotal evidence, and the resistance of easy solutions and answers.
Most economic consumers approach life with the desire for ridiculously specific certainty: the Gazette now publishes our present temperature to the tenth of a degree. I was thinking it was 31.4, but it is really 31.0. With our traditional schooling in conventional wisdom, we cling to select data points to explain everything under the context of that one study or that one experience. But like a plane breaking the sound barrier, the ripple waves are disconcerting, loud, boisterous, and how something that small can make such a huge impact on everything else, well that doesn't make easy sense. To which Easterbrook might say: correct. It is.
http://www.newsweek.com/id/233528 . I just read this book. Sonic Boom makes World if Flat look pathetic, ideological and inconclusive (while it claims to be conclusive). Creating a post on this for later today. More immediately relevant than anything I've ever read, and interestingly, exceedingly comfortable with the present ambiguity of the world.
One of the finer values in Colorado Springs is now on the market in highly walkable Downtown Colorado Springs. The wonderful home at 916 N. Foote offers two full baths on the main (extremely unusual), two large bedrooms (including a master suite with sitting area and attached, private full bath), two large main level gathering areas with hardwood floors, picture windows, kitchen updates and new electrical.
With a 10,000+ square foot lot and abundant square footage in the basement, this is updated sophisticated living in the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs.
Every year since 2002, the Broncos have started at least 3-1, and several of those years have started 3-0. This year's rendition started 6-0. Since that time they've lost seven of nine.
There are tons of theories as to why the Broncos start out strong and then fade.
Some or all of these are right, but none of them alone. It is much bigger than one piece of a puzzle: I submit: the Broncos don't have a brand of football that takes advantage of their natural surroundings. It starts with how the team practices, where they practice, and how this defines them as a football operation. It ends with the style of offense they run (or don't run) and what types of players they end up drafting as opposed to who they could draft (brawn and skills over brains, in other words, only a few steps removed from Al Davis level insanity).
For better or worse, you are a product of your surroundings (can you smell the real estate metaphor building?). The Broncos present identity crisis begins in their exurb, sterile, entitled, pampered training facility named... Dove Valley. Man up boys and hit the weights in... Dove Valley. I really want you to lay the wood on that running back, we hit like men here at... Dove Valley. I want you to be mentally prepared for the hostile, frothing angry mob you're about to face... not get in your SUV and drive out to the sprawling business park in Parker called... Dove Valley.
The Broncos left Greeley after 23 years in 2003. They relocated their training camp to "Dove Valley" a cushy 13.5 acre spread in "the rapidly growing Dove Valley Business Park." Yes, the Broncos are the anchor tenant in a Business Park where private jets land and depart and high-tech cargo is off-loaded. In fact, on the Broncos own site, they highlight the numerous spa-like amenities of this facility:
Why the big to-do about the Broncos Real Estate?
Because the Broncos have an identity crisis that begins and ends with their real estate problem.
Let's look at this through different lenses, the Shannahan prism and Cutler grimace. There are rumors this week that Mikey is going to resurface as head coach in Washington DC as the Redskins new honcho. But there are lingering rumors that Lovie Smith will be canned in Chicago, where Shannahan's old protege Jay Cutler stews and pouts with a grossly ineffective offensive line, no playmakers and his bad decision-making constantly over-committing. Add to the mix that Shannahan is from Illinois and went to Eastern Illinois in college, and the match seems intriguing.
If Shanny does an uncompromising strength-weakness-opportunity-threat assessment of himself, he will go to DC and stay the heck away from Chicago. He coaches finesse football. His practice-time innovation was the removal of pads and rolling through plays in a complicated fashion. This established a trend throughout the NFL where the majority of teams now spend training camp in shorts and practice jerseys with minimal protection. Shoot, why wear helmets? Interestingly, arm tackling and plain old bad tackling is rampant throughout the NFL. Now I ask you: how does this produce a recipe for success on the shores of Lake Michigan? It was considered a huge departure from form whan Josh McDaniels had the team hitting and practicing in pads this summer. How can a team practice, play and gameplan this way for games played on a 5 degree, blustery December day? These are the standard conditions in Chicago, not just this year: every year. That's their real estate hand they were dealt. Enter their "best quarterback since Sid Luckman". Jay Cutler forces plays. Jay Cutler has played on bad teams that leaned on his arm alone for the last 8 years of his life. He does not know how to play within himself or rely on a single unit as a team. He would be awesome in Miami. He'd be awesome in St. Louis's dome. But his December record was miserable because he was not playing team football: he was playing me football, and that me was restricted to his right arm. Cutler is a bright guy to be sure (Vanderbilt doesn't accept dummies), but for the last 8 years of his life, a team won or lost on his arm. He's developed the heinous habit of football existentialism: it's totally up to me and nobody else. In other words... Shanahan is a really good match for DC. The weather is not exactly balmy, but it is far more condusive to realizing skilled players fullest capabilities than say, Cutler-town.
Shannahan should make his next stop about geography and opportunity as much as it should be about control and cash. The idea of him in Buffalo was laughable.
The Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis worked because they were in a dome. The on-field-coach-and-cyborg-in-chief Peyton Manning led Colts work brilliantly because they are in a dome. The high-octance Saints do not have too much to worry about, because if they do not get homefield, they probably have to go through Minnesota... who also plays in a dome. Nasty weather can benefit singular talents who play in nasty weather stadiums, but not whole teams. Gale Sayers is in the Hall of Fame primarily because he could score on any play. He did this despite playing at Soldier Field. But the identity of that team was "The Monsters of the Midway." It was Butkus-led smack-mouth... and Sayers. The two greatest return men in present history are Devin Hester (Bears) and Joshua Cribbs (Browns), who play at the aforementioned Solider Field and whatever they call the latest Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. These are single players that don't play quarterback. They also do their most effective work during the anarchic madness that is kick returns, really a solo event. What has been the identity of the Bears, the Steelers and the Browns over the years (especially when they were good)? Grind it out football. Hard-nosed gang-tackling defense. Grind it out football requires a team approach. It's pretty hard to generate a team-focused approach...
...when you practice in a business park.
Or when your training camp bed is your own California King in your own 8000 square foot home.
Yes, lots of teams (the Patriots!) operate this way. But there is no doubt that the Patriots have also emphasized and developed and have had 9 years for a all-for-one-one-for-all culture to take hold. It was kindergarten punishment, but Bellicheck sent home players who were late to an 8 am meeting due to... a snowstorm. I think questioning their manhood was a little at play there. They've since won three straight and Randy Moss has five touchdowns since the Kindergarten smack-around. THAT'S CALLED A TEAM IDENTITY.
I submit: even under McDaniels, the Broncos still have an identity crisis. That identity is building. It can be built. Yesterday's game showed a lot of heart. But for them to get over 8-8 or 9-7 and move to 12-4 like the Chargers... they must develop a brand of football that plays up the biggest advantage in the NFL: Home Field at 5280.
Would the Broncos be any better if they still practiced at 38th and I-25 in the warehouse section of Denver? Probably not. They probably would have an impossible time signing high draft picks, let alone free agents. And the idea of dumping a facility that just underwent a $4.5 million facelift (at 18 years old, the place was getting a little long in the tooth there, and the last renovation was over three years ago and only cost $3 million...!) is nonsense. But the Broncos seem to be plodding along on a course that is in denial of that fact that:
These are all real estate problems. They play at least 9 altitude or cold-weather games every year. They should win all 9. Over the last decade, on average it has taken 10 wins to get into the playoffs in the AFC. They can train, condition and gameplan for a singular brand of football that ideally gets them 90% of the way there. Get three or four bonus wins and your guaranteed to get one if not two home playoff games in January... again, ideally suited for the environment. Other teams have cold-weather advantages. Other teams have dome advantages. No other team has an altitude advantage. The cold weather is merely a multiplier.
How do the Broncos do that? How do they not lose that early season training advantage? Here are 7 tactics to a bigger strategy: Creating an Identity of Denver Broncos Football that plays to the strengths of the hand their dealt, namely, life at 5280, in a cool-weather environment, and a draft that is deep for their needs in 2010.
1.) They need to go on the road for Training Camp. A Ski Resort sounds cushy, but restricted to one field (not three) and training at higher elevations (Vail is almost 8000 feet, Breck is just shy of 10,000) has some serious mental and physical advantages. Teams that play as a single unit play emotional football. A common experience of "suffering" would have some great bonding advantages. Shoot, the mere logistical challenge of the coaches managing 90+ players on one field would be an organizational bonding achievement. Better to blow it in August then December when you can overcome your foibles. It also helps encourage goodwill among the fan base by bringing the players out of their bubble in the business park to a destination where the family might actually want to come out and see them. They don't need to spend all of training camp here, maybe two or three days. But a built-in road trip forces concentration and builds team morale. A Business Park Facility, er... doesn't.
2.) They have to win over the fans of Colorado with Blue-Collar story-telling. No product is worth your time or treasure if it is not worth talking about. There is an insidious under-current of racism at work in the fan reaction to Peyton Hillis not getting playing, Peyton being the white running back, and first round pick Knowshon Moreno getting the rock a lot. Peyton is a fan favorite just as Ed McCafferty... the white wide receiver and mustard salesman... was a fan favorite. But there is something fun about a guy named "Petyon Hillis" from Arkansas, drafted in the 7th round who weighs 250 and likes to return kicks. That's a fun story to tell about perseverance. Fans can relate to Peyton and the team should endeavor to make themselves relate a little better with their fans. Just as a trip to Vail would be a great publicity stunt, a trip to Pueblo would be an equally effective publicity stunt. Or a weekend back in Greeley. Organize the base. Reach out to the masses. It worked for Obama because human beings are emotional creatures who want to interact with something bigger. It had nothing to do with people being Democrats and scads to do with access. Besides... just two years ago south of Pueblo Pat Bowlen's marketing department had the audacity to put up a billboard with a man's hand covering his heart on his $500 ugly-as-sin Bronco leather jacket with the pronouncement "you're entering Bronco country". Really? How many Bronco bars are there in Pueblo? How many Steeler bars are there in that Steel Town? I know there are more Roethlisberger and Polamalu jersies down there then there are Orton and Dawkins. A billboard proclaiming it does not make it so. But practice at USC (that would be University of Southern Colorado!) for a weekend? Put the billboard back up the next week. You get Pueblo fans going to one game a year, you get loyalty. The kind of loyalty that doesn't sell their season ticket to Yinzers from Western PA as 20,000 some fans did this season. That loyalty is also louder than Highlands Ranch loyalty. When the Broncos beat the Patriots and Cowboys back to back this fall, Mile High was raucous and fun. That needs to last beyond mid-October. Pueblo and Greeley fans who share the story bring the noise.
3.) Your defense is a rock. This is part of the plan that is rapidly being implemented. Little-known fact: the Broncos 1997 Orange Crush unit was #1 against the run in the NFL. They were #27 (out of 28) against the pass. That's why Staubach tore them to shreds in the Super Bowl.Ladies and Gentlemen: the 2010 Broncos are one of the best defenses ever put on the field in Denver history. The NFL is now a totally pass happy league and a great defense is harder and harder to form. The Broncos are well on their way though as they are still rated #3 in the league after week 16 after being 30th last year. They will have their pick of free agents this year as a destination rather than a curiousity. McDaniels does have a knack for great free agent signings. People like watching great offenses, but people get loud and behind great defenses. Guys who hit like Brian Dawkins, who blitz like Elvis Dumervil, who cause fumbles like Darrel Reid, who persevere like Vonnie Holiday... those are studs who let Champ Bailey be Champ, etc.
4.) You wear a team out with the no huddle. McDaniels has tried to do this with Orton, but the limitations of his arm strength are just overwhelming. Marhsall had a gimpy Sheldon Brown beat by three yards on a deep out yesterday and the ball from Orton just died. He's precise, but you don't have to cover past 15 yards. A tired team makes stupid mistakes. Orton has the highest passing accuracy of his career (and yards and touchdowns) but he should be accurate if he rarely passes more than 10 yards (Marshall had 7 catches on Sunday... for 39 yards). To run the hurry-up, a team needs a quarterback who defenses must respect, which means he must be able to throw downfield on any play further than say, Brian Griese from his butt which appears to be Orton's max; the quarterback must be accurate so the cadence and flow of the play runs consistently without breaks between frequent incompletions; and just when you think I'm gonna say draft Colt McCoy, the quarterback must also be smart enough to audible constantly to take advantage of what he sees from his position, so no, don't draft Colt McCoy who always plays out of the shotgun in the spread. That quarterback also needs a center who is intelligent, respected by his peers and trusted by his quarterback. It's a pretty high formula for success, but why do you think Elway had so many game-winning drives at Mile High? Yes, his althletic abilities were great, but he rarely threw the ball 70 yards in the last two minutes. He engineered drives. He called the plays. He seized the opportunities. He gassed teams. Where did Elway go to school? Stanford. Why is Elway not like Dan Marino on the set yucking it up with six other stooges before games? He doesn't have to. He's worth mucho bank. He's smarted his way to much bigger millions after his playing career. The Broncos will probably pick around 10th in the draft. They'll probably need to package to move up into the top 6 which is where Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy will be picked. But also in there: Jimmy Clausen, University of Notre Dame. He's a cocky little punk in the Cutler mold, but he's matured into a leader and he threw 29 TD's this year against 4 picks. Three of the four picks were tipped. He has a cannon for an arm, a presence in the pocket, mobility, and due to Norte Dame's uncompromising academic standards: a brain. Perhaps the biggest prize in the draft might be to go after a cerebral center in the later rounds. Arguably the best center in the business right now is Jeff Saturday who with a few more years in the league will probably end up in the Hall of Fame as Peyton Manning's right hand mand (he's even making Mastercard ads now!). Saturday was undrafted. Where did he go to school? North Carolina, one of the finest public universities in the nation. When I used to tote camera gear at CU football games, the guy who the media always went to for a quote? Jay Leeuwenberg, the center. Jay was both an Academic All-American and a unanimous All-American at Center in 1991. Yet he was drafted in the 9th round. Still made the Pro Bowl and had a 10 year career. Jay was an English major which might sound puff... unless you consider he got his degree after three years at CU. Smart lineman are often passed over for brawn in the combine-centric world of the NFL, yet they can make teams go. If you have an intelligent gamer at center, you can run the no-huddle. Matt Tennant right now is the highest rated center in the 2010 draft, as high as mid 2nd round. Where does he hail from? Brain School: Boston College.
5.) On that note: Screens. The best way to defeat the no-huddle is with an effective blitz. The best way to beat blitzing teams is with the screen. The best way to run a team into the ground at elevation is to gas them out. Where on earth are the screens? Knowshon showed how effective he is on them yesterday with his 16 yard touchdown? It was the first time this year he had the ball in the open field... and in a blink he acted rather than thought and was in the end zone, barely grazed. Why not try that again? Do you know what Ryan Clady could do at left tackle on screen passes to guys after five or six straight successful plays? A healthy Ryan Harris on right tackle?
6.) Return to Zone-Blocking. All of the above build a cohesive, all-for-one unit. Emblematic of that is the zone block. It doesn't have to resort to chop blocking, especially with the size of Clady and Harris leading the way on tackle. Offensive lineman love the running game. Teams with happy offensive lineman build dynasties. Zone-Blocking is designed around offensive linemans' core competency: they're freaking huge human beings. Four or five of them shooting out in one direction as a single unit downfield, in the hurry-up, at elevation... bad news for any other team in the league.
7.) Stop playing for a "5" on the safety scale when the possibility of a "9" or a "10" is right out the door for the taking. Yes it requires execution. Yes it requires a QB with attitude and aptitude (and an arm). Yes it requires more younger bodies on the defense. Yes it requires some creative scheduling. But if there is anything more discouraging to Bronco fans of late than the sight of Steeler Bars in their town... then I don't know what else a team can do. If the Broncos pick 10th, the best thing they can probably get is the 3rd best Nose Tackle in football. To move up and get Suh (who would be amazing at 5280) would require way too much of Xanders and McDaniels who like value and utility. But they probably only need to move up three positions to 7th to get Clausen. They can probably do that by packaging either Tony Sheffler or Daniel Graham with their present first round pick.
On that note, this is the Broncos current route into the playoffs as presented in the Denver Post this afternoon.
I am an unabashed Godinite.
Others critique him as a copycat. Others claim he's a shark who lines his own pocket with the borrowed intellectual capital of others. Still others are frustrated by his flock of unquestioning disciples that blindly accept everything Seth mutters as gospel. People don't like the fact that his blog has commenting turned off, and still other gripe about his rating system for his blogs because they're almost always 4 or 5 stars, like Rolling Stone rating a U2 album.
But I also like U2. Maybe that's a problem. Or maybe both are as good as their reputations.
Seth just collaborated/edited/published a free e-book. You need to read it. Yes, the Platonic REALTOR is making a demand on your time. You NEED to read it. It won't take more than 40 minutes. Find it HERE:What Matters Now
Included are Dave Ramsey, Guy Kawasaki, Tim O'Reilly, Michael Hyatt, Tom Peters,and other luminaries in the list above. Mercifully, Bono is not on the list (nor is Warren Buffett).
Why you should read this:
Dignity is more important than wealth. It’s going
to be a long, long time before we can make
everyone on earth wealthy, but we can help people
ﬁnd dignity this year (right now if we choose to).
Dignity comes from creating your own destiny and
from the respect you get from your family,
your peers and society.
A farmer able to feed his family and earn enough
to send his kids to school has earned the respect of
the people in his village—and more important, a
connection to rest of us.
It’s easy to take dignity away from someone but
difficult to give it to them. The last few years have
taught us just how connected the entire world is—
a prostitute in the slums of Nairobi is just an
important ﬁgure in your life as the postman in the
next town. And in a world where everything is
connected, the most important thing we can do is
treat our fellows with dignity.
Giving a poor person food or money might help
them survive another day... but it doesn’t give them
dignity. There’s a better way.
Creating ways for people to solve their own
problems isn’t just an opportunity in 2010. It is an
Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder of the Acumen Fund and
author of The Blue Sweater.
If you have a job, you will need to reinvent yourself (if you have not already). If you are self-employed, entrepreneurial, charitably-minded or vote, you will need to reinvent yourself (if you have not already). If you are a person of faith, lacking faith, a muse or needing a muse, you will need to reinvent yourself... if you have not done so already, it must happen soon. The old rules no longer apply. But there are an abundance of perceptual maps collected in this tiny little 82 page treasure that will guide, offend, repel, distill, elaborate, collaborate, inspire, retire, mock and bless your preconceived notions of self, space and time. Yeah, I said all that.
Don't print it out. It's an e-book, and that's part of the charm. You don't need a Kindle to enjoy.
Finally, to Mr. Godin: Thanks.
The only credit I can give the boys at Freakenomoics is their love of the good professor, John Kenneth Galbraith. Galbraith gave himself a little undue credit around coining the phrase "Conventional Wisdom" (Levitt and Dubner apparently feel they don't need to research the origins of anything if they can simply prove it for their purposes), but he probably did perfect it's usage. In describing the masses tendency to reduce their thinking to simplistic ideas and then flock to that en masse, Galbraith said "we cling to it as if to a raft, set adrift..." It's an elegant analogy for the stupidity of group-think where individuals rush to a single idea and find comfort in joining the plurality that shares a common thought, rather than evaluate the rightness or wrongness of the idea.
Football as an educator of the American Masses is just such a spectacle. Shall we look at the headlines this week? The Chargers are riding high, the Colts are destined for their 22nd straight regular season win (a useless landmark since it spans two seasons, neither of which has included a Super Bowl appearance... yet), the Cowboys will lose because it is December (even though the Giants are mostly gutless this year and the Eagles just gave a long-term extension to the always-burn-my-popcorn-clock-management-disaster-but-the-media-loves-me-Andy-Reid) , the Pats are in shambles because a snowstorm made two of their stars late to an 8 a.m. meeting, the Broncos have again been dismissed as a passing fancy, no one respects the Bengals because they a.) play in Cincinnati and b.) are the Bengals and c.) have a star linebacker name "Dhani", and the Steelers goose is cooked because they have lost to the Browns, Chiefs and Raiders in the last four weeks and have no idea when Troy Polamalu will return.
Of course, the last statement is true, but it doesn't have to do with Troy's injuries. It has to do with Troy's Head & Shoulders Commercials. Your eyes said it, Troy? Did anyone see Tomlin or Ward's eyes last night? Part of this had to do with playing in a negative 20 windchill. Part of this had to do with losing to the Browns for the first time in 13 games. Most of it had to do with Head and Shoulders. You cannot be a Dick LeBeau Smashmouth Team and have your human Bazooka/Cheetah/Mystic doing advertisements for shampoo. It ha nothing to do with Madden 2010. Larry Fitzgerald is still the biggest play-making freak in football. It has everything to do with pitching shampoo.
Football is a game where David Tyree can make a velcro-headed catch Super Bowl winning catch (that was the ballgame, Plaxico's catch was a formality) and disappear from the game as a special teams player only on the 6-6 Ravens two-years later. It is possibly the perfect spectacle for the defeat of hubris. It is a Karmic Fantasy Land. In other words: betting on conventional wisdom... are you serious? When Plaxico caught the game-winning catch in the '07 Super Bowl, Asante Samuel was looking into the backfield. He was cheating, looking to make a pick. Rather than cover, and preserve the lead, arrogance to try and go after the pick. Plaxico "lit up" the Patriots secondary and was a popular fantasy pick the next year. Before he shot himself in the leg at a nightclub. Plax is now out of football and Asante is getting burned by Miles Austin in Philly and having his Orville Redenbacher flambed by the aforementioned Reid. Then there are the karmic reversals that just don't make any sense: Rodney Harrison who was draped all over David Tyree and now, somehow has a high-profile gig next to Tony Dungy on Sunday Night Football? Am I the only one who remembers that Harrison had been busted the season before for Human Growth Hormone? Kids, that's the stuff that killed Lyle Alzado. He gave up "The Catch" and now he's sitting next to one of the sports truly great men, Tony Dungy as his equal? Peter King is always quoting Harrison as "a gamer" among the crew and a great guy, who even made it to the video-viewing room in NYC by noon on Sunday, even though his wife just had their fourth kid a day or two earlier. Right on, Rodney. Tiger Woods, there's hope for you yet. Stories that are not neat and tidy usually don't get mass attention. Neat and tidy like "former Patriot equals Major Lucrative NBC Deal and that's the end of the story"... do.
Conventional Wisdom in real estate always said that if you built it, they would buy it. Anyone who has watched the real estate market meltdown with any objectivity knows that there is a 3.9 month supply of houses under $250,000 and a 10.7 month supply over $250,000. When you get to a half million and above, inventory is no longer measured in days or months, but years. Sellers that claim "we just have to wait for the right buyer for this, the right house" are deluding themselves. It is a game of constant improvement and only the prepared sell. Like Football, real estate is a game of proactive match-ups. Bill Walsh revolutionized the game with The West Coast Offense. His quarterback, Joe Montana was amazingly precise, could make plays on the move with his mobility and he had fleet-footed, soft-handed running backs. So why not pass the ball first and run it second? Bill Walsh exploited his team's strengths, created a strategy around it, and forced the other team to react. The West Coast is not a vertical offense, it's a dink and dunk, yards after the catch offense. Yes, it brought Elway a championship even though he personally wasn't the perfect skill set for it. But Shanahan's arrival with the West Coast also came during John's 13th season when he was getting more feeble than nimble and the emergence of Terrel Davis which also forced defenses to account for multiple scenarios and thus, react rather than blitz John like mad. Marvin Lewis and Brian Billick had Ray Lewis, a human landmine to play around with and revolutionized defensive football. Even though the 3-4 is the sexy defensive scheme du jour, the dominance of the Ravens was realized from the 4-3. The reason was that the 4-3 created match-up problems for the offense by unleashing Ray from an advantageous point of attack. In the West Coast, the defense was forced to adjust to what the offense wished to do. The defense rarely could be on the proactive and instead was forced to be reactive. Likewise, the Ravens 4-3 with Ray Lewis in the MIKE still works, and the are still times like this one where Ray can already see that the game is over before he makes the play. If you watch that video, he's clapping his hands BEFORE the Chargers snap the ball. Give Ray Lewis a superior match-up and scheme and the proactive strategy is destined to win.
As Football Descends in lovely High-Def across America this weekend, people will start chatting about life, the economy, their jobs, and possibly more than one person or family will decide that next year, they need to be hosting the football party, and next year, it needs to be in a bigger family room to accommodate a bigger television. It's the classic, "my experience has just changed so my perspective on everything has also changed" moment that creates Real Estate Fever. Football Friday Advice Section: Words of Caution. Absolutely it is a good time to buy. Absolutely it is a better time to sell than it was one-year ago. But do not delude yourself. The best prepared team wins in football (why I personally love the McDaniels/Caldwell match up...if McDaniels lines up Dumervil on the same side of the field as Bailey - who Peyton historically does not throw on- he will restrict Peyton to looking only at one side of the field taking the always proactive-Manning and making him reactive). The best prepared team wins in real estate. Is your price, perfect? Is your condition, perfect? Are your toilets and mirrors and showers and kitchen sink really and truly, spotless? Is your carpet without blemish? If any of the above are not 10 out of 10, then the buying impact is 3:1 to 6:1 in penalizing contributory value reduction. Longhand for saying, it'll cost ya', big-time. Price elasticity in real estate is like emotion in football... you're either riding the wave high, or getting crushed at the bottom of it.
A year ago properties were populating my fancy-pants Scattergrams on neat little patterns riding the trend line. NOW... well, check this out: This is on a forthcoming listing. The REACTIVE thing to do is cling to the idea that everyone in their right mind will happily overpay for a Charlie Shea custom home in Mountain Shadows on a superb lot. This house is just that... Charlie's former residence on one of the four or five best lots in a great neighborhood. But look at the absurd price elasticity in this market: one home sold for 20% over the trendline and another sold 26% BELOW the trendline. The one that sold below the trendline, geographically and year-built, was MORE similar than any other listing. Conventional Wisdom says: there's a buyer for that home. But in the over-heated world of consumer perceptions, REALITY says: take the proactive route on the match-up. Because REACTING to consumer preferences will cost a seller $100,000.