The Under-Inflated Football
The Super Bowl in the United States of America took place last week – it is now history. People got together with friends and family to watch the Game, or to see the commercials or the halftime show. We ate too much, drank too much and probably yelled too much, but it was a great time no matter which team you were pulling for.
The Super Bowl this year was somewhat different thanks to the New England Patriots and their history of allegations against them. Even if you do not follow football, you know the story by now. New England used under-inflated footballs during the first half of the AFC Championship Game, and the coverage of that event has overshadowed other aspects of the Super Bowl Game.
Nobody to this day, knows how or why the balls got that way! The Patriots Office has declared that they have broken no rules, and the truth is, it probably didn’t affect the outcome of the game. However, this is not the first time that the popular team from New England has been in the news for such things.
A few years ago, they were caught videotaping signals from opposing teams. They were found guilty after an investigation and punishments ensued, including the fining of their head coach to the tune of $500,000 (the largest fine ever imposed on a coach in the league’s 87-year history). Then it was reported that they had taped a practice held by the St Louis Rams prior to the Super Bowl in 2002. That may not have actually happened, but it was reported and investigated.
Now, even with no evidence, the least little infraction or the hint of the possibility of an infraction is met with overwhelming negative opinions from the fans and non-fans alike that New England is ‘at it again!’ Just ask any St. Louis Rams fan, and you will learn that nothing is going to change those opinions.
You can work for years to build a thriving business with a great reputation, and it only takes one mistake to destroy it all! Once a mistake is made (or even thought to have been made), the benefit of the doubt is extremely difficult to obtain.
There are people watching you and your business just as there are people watching the Patriots.
Almost isn’t good enough.
Everything we do has to be done the right way, every transaction must be handled with as much perfection as possible. We all make mistakes; we all have days when we aren’t feeling as kind toward our customers as we feel on a regular basis. But even on those days when we are irritated about something even unrelated to our business, we must act with honesty, integrity and the right motives.
Just remember that it’s really not about deflated footballs anymore, it’s all about credibility. And we need to let it serve as a great reminder of what’s at stake every time we make a business decision.