Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it’s so incredible, it’s unbelievable. -Tom Landry

I want to believe pro football’s off-field shenanigans are on hold for a while now, at least until we reach the pre-Super Bowl build up, when every story line is fair game. For now, I think we’re in store for some real football as great teams bear down for a chance at the post season.

This is how it should be, when we’re moved to focus on the best pro football has to offer, on and off the field, as the greatest team sport ever invented. For example, I’ve learned over 50 years as a fanatic that there’s wisdom in the poetry of football:

When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less. - Paul Brown

Two kinds of players ain’t worth a damn: One who never does what he’s told, and one who does nothin’ but what he’s told. - Bum Phillips

Know the difference between famous and great. – Deacon Jones

When you care about a guy beyond just the field, that’s when the chemistry becomes really special. – Drew Brees

The further you go in life, the more you realize what you’re going to leave this earth. It’s not going to Be ‘It was great to win the Super Bowl.’ What you’re going to leave this earth is the influence on others. – Joe Gibbs

From playing a little football myself, and watching a lot, I learned not to quit and that anything is possible. Even more important, football taught me to see past celebrity to the significance of facing adversity as a team, in recognition that we’re all an important part of something greater.

I’ve also come to this conclusion: Football is bigger than the NFL. And that’s why I am still, and always will be, a fanatic for the game.

-Michael McCormack/Born Fanatic