For the ;rst time, ABC aired a two-hour special on the NFL combine, and this
loyal Sooner could not turn away.
I’d just ;nished my last semester at The
University of Oklahoma when OU won the
2000 BCS National Championship. We haven’t won a No. 1 football title since, but we’ve
had four Heisman Trophy winners: Jason
White in 2003, Sam Bradford in 2008, Baker
May;eld in 2017 and Kyler Murray in 2018.
The ABC announcers couldn’t stop
talking about Murray despite his not taking
part in drills. Murray proved himself during
the season, they said. They compared and
contrasted Murray to the more charismatic
May;eld. The bigger hands (and smaller
chip on his shoulder) belong to Murray. They
talked about his 5-foot- 10 stature (
uncharacteristically small for NFL quarterbacks). White,
at 6-foot- 2 and after two blown ACLs, wasn’t
drafted. Bradford, 6-foot- 4, was. May;eld, also
a small quarterback at 6-foot- 1, went ;rst.
Players’ stats, heights, measurements,
speed and agility matter to the scouts.
May;eld and Murray, however, display
a trait beyond natural talent that’s stronger
than their size: raw, unstoppable grit.
To football fans and movie bu;s, you
know it as the only thing “Rudy” had going
for him. It’s determination, will power, goal
setting. It’s practice, practice and practice
some more. It’s playing your heart out.
Psychologist Angela Duckworth de;nes
grit as a measure of one’s stick-to-itiveness
in her best-selling book “Grit: The Power of
Passion and Perseverance.”
Grit, Duckworth writes, predicts success
more reliably than talent or IQ, and anyone
can learn to be gritty.
Most successful people, she learned, aren’t
that special — they just didn’t give up. They
simply outlasted their competition.
How many times will you get up after
you fall? Can you stick to a diet or exercise
program? Will you play smarter after getting
crushed? Dare you venture into new products
or services when people say it can’t be done?
Watch “Rudy” again if you need to be
reminded that gritty little guys can come out
on top. Some, like Murray and May;eld, are
diversifying their sport.
Who are the Murrays and May;elds on
your ;eld? Better yet, who are the Rudys?
Editor in Chief
Go! Go! Grit it, Grit It!
6 | PEI.ORG | Second Quarter 2019
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield
makes a surprise visit to the OU vs. Army game in
September as my husband captures our daughter
and me being starstruck. Had we been grittier, we
might have snagged Mayfield for a real photo.