Friday Feature number 2 is about the importance of your team. To keep things timely, I thought I'd riff a little on the importance of this week and a very important team.
In the spring of 2003 after the Iraq invasion had begun a number of people asked me what I thought of the president "sending our boys over there."
My reply each and every time was exactly the same. It doesn't matter how I feel about it, those are our boys, American boys and I stand behind them 100% no matter what.
America, the land of the free, the home of the brave and sometimes - a house, a team divided.
As I wrote in this space in November - we cannot afford such division, now or at any other time for that matter.
Our country is supposed to be the most powerful, the most respected, and perhaps most importantly - the most united.
This is how we will succeed. This is how any team succeeds.
They play hard and they play united.
The dictionary defines team as "a group on one side."
I have a funny feeling that the inauguration tomorrow and other activities from the week are going to put us to the test when it comes to America being the group on one side.
Why you may ask?
Well for starters there are the same old tired political differences. Republicans vs Democrats or Liberals vs. Conservatives or whatever labels you may choose.
I remarked to a colleague yesterday that I did not remember the inauguration and the accompanying celebration lasting all that long i.e. starting before and ending after the actual inauguration date. (Hey, the last one was a long time ago. Sue me.) My colleague got a little defensive which was understandable considering she had been flamed earlier in the day for celebrating the day's activities.
As she later told me - I love the pageantry and tradition of inauguration. It really is so very American ;o) of course better if your guy wins ;o)
We're supposed to celebrate our victories. The Giants had a parade when they won the Super Bowl. The Red Wings had a parade when they won Lord Stanley's Cup.
So yeah, her guy won and that made her happy, but that wasn't the "only" reason she was enjoying the day.
There is a question of technology. Do you think the president needs his Blackberry? How 'bout a laptop in the Oval Office?
Finally, there is the matter of race.
Yes, I said it. Why wouldn't I? It is important.
Barack Obama is our nation's first black president. It should be duly noted. It should be celebrated. It should be marked in time so that no one could ever forget.
Racism exists. You may not see it everyday. I don't see it everyday, but it does exist. For that matter so does reverse racism.
This ugly topic and all that go with it cannot be forgotten, nor should they be.
However, these things cannot be our focus, and I pray that those who predict that it will be are wrong.
Our focus has to be on America, on making our team united.
We need to seize the opportunity that new leadership affords us and use it as a time for change, a time for growth, and a time to come together as one team.
Therein lies our success.
So I am calling on my countrymen and countrywomen - regardless of your political affiliation, the color of your skin, your age, or your creed to remember this week that more than anything else you are an American.
To break it down to the simplest terms I'll borrow a phrase from a classic American moment and movie:
When you pull on that jersey, the name on the front is a hell of alot more important than the one on the back.
The front of that jersey says USA.
Please note - This post is not intended to support anyone's side. If you read it that way, I suggest you read it again. I don't believe in sides. I believe in purple.
14 hours ago