Posts Tagged ‘Vikings’

And this isn’t about football.

Though we nestled inside during these last single-digit days, and enjoyed seeing GranJorja’s Insta pictures of our little cousins in Pasadena – visiting the preparations for the Rose Bowl floats and lining up for a front row view of the parade. Jorja’s first visit to the Rose Bowl was many years ago, when she and my brother Mike, the fairly new GM of the Minnesota franchise found out what winter in California was really like;

“The Vikings played in their 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years against the Oakland Raiders at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, on Jan. 9, 1977.”

And I have to admit that Bob did watch a little college ball yesterday, exclaiming about what a great game Georgia was playing against Oklahoma. I was reheating a black-eyed pea concoction I’d delivered to a party on New Year’s Eve (returning with half of it), and couldn’t care less about the game. I know, shocking!

Still during halftime, Bob paused the action to play a game of cards with me. An actual real game of cards, that are not on a device but depicted Provence in all its glory, with an “R” for the King and a “D” for the Queen and so we looked at each card carefully to see if we’d visited that market or that field of lavender… How many men would do that? Stop watching football for a game of chance?

My Daddy Jim would play Gin Rummy with me nearly every night when I was a child. The only TV show I remember being allowed to watch at night was “Father Knows Best,” and indeed, I learned quite a bit from Jim. He would help Nell clean up the kitchen after dinner, not many men did this in the 50s. He would put on the kettle for tea, open a box of ginger snaps, and get out the cards and the pennies. We played for pennies that would end up in my piggy bank aka a cigar box.

Every now and then, we’d sit at the kitchen table on a weekend morning, and roll the pennies up in reddish brown wrappers. Then he would drive me into town to deposit the  loot in my own savings account at the bank!

Maybe this is why I love games so much? I love backgammon, chess, rummikub, poker, Go Fish, and I think I want to learn Canasta and Exploding Kittens! And I really need to learn Mahjongg!! I saw a friend’s picture recently of her grandson playing a board game and the word “Sorry” just popped into my head. I recognized the board I haven’t seen in probably sixty years.

I remember playing Chutes and Ladders with my kiddos. Today, my best buddy’s retirement means he’s willing to indulge my love of games. Unfortunately, our Scrabble game is in the Pod. https://www.thespruce.com/best-family-board-games-4151145

Scrabble was the Flapper and Nell’s favorite game. It is one of my top 5 I have to admit, though you might have guessed that wordsmithy is my jam. When the Bride talked me into Words With Friends, it wasn’t the same. Call me old-fashioned, but I actually like interacting with REAL people, and so virtual gaming in any form is NOT my jam.

We got the Grands a wonderful new game this year for Hanukkah. It’s called “Silly Street”  and the Love Bug loved it! It’s not just fun, it helps children build confidence and think about their answers, and it ends with a dance party every time! http://playsillystreet.com And I’ve collected two beautifully illustrated Bingo games for our house as they get older, one with birds and one with bugs, of course.

So if you’re like me, and determined to add a little more fun to 2018, why not start a new routine with the family, a game night that doesn’t involve a device? Well, except for “Heads Up!” that’s the exception, thank you Ellen, and it’s great for travel.

Happy and Healthy 2018 Everyone! Here is our Lil Pumpkin mid-strike in our impromptu straw hockey game at a restaurant. Look out Preds!IMG_1678






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Well, not really “knew” him, but I did meet him once, at a football game. It was back in the ’80s, after we’d moved home to NJ. My brother Mike was the President and General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings, and he invited us to an NFL game in Giants Stadium when the Vikings were playing an exhibition game against NY – they are in different leagues. I think.

Really, I know nothing about football. I don’t even like to watch it. I love watching basketball, and soccer because I played those sports as a girl. But football, even in high school, didn’t interest me in the least. Bob, on the other hand, loves watching football and was excited to get up close and personal.

Except we were seated way up high, as far away from the field as the press, in the owner’s box. Butlers served us food and drink. I know it was around Halloween because a pre-teen Bride was wearing a pair of cheap skeleton earrings in that picture. The one I took of her with Trump. The one I can’t find for the life of me. He was larger than life, and his hair wasn’t an issue yet. The rumor going around was that he’d broken up with his wife, Ivana, and was dating a model.

In fact, soon-to-be wife number two, Marla Maples was supposedly waiting for him in the wings of the arena, hidden from photographers. Some NY paper later published the headline, “Best Sex I Ever Had,” referring to his new conquest. I remember this too because I bought Bob a tie with that headline enmeshed in some other text.

Trump was sweet to my daughter, generous with a warm handshake, and some polite small talk, before turning to my brother to talk business. There was an energy shift when he walked into the room; as if one gladiator, one titan of industry had come to see another. They were there to cement a friendship and to see if there was a team Trump might be able to buy.

Which is why it didn’t surprise me to hear Trump defend the Patriots and Tom Brady this morning. He does love the NFL, he walks in those owner’s box corridors of power.

And after listening to network media try and figure out what Trump’s allure is to Republican voters, I found my answer on Piers Morgan’s Twitter feed. Morgan was the first winner of The Apprentice, he worked closely with Trump for months and knew him pretty well. He’s also an old style newsman, who is not afraid to say what he thinks. In a nutshell, Morgan thinks Trump has a double digit lead in the polls for one reason – because he doesn’t apologize.! 

It’s literally not in his DNA to ever say he’s sorry. I watched him squirm under the Today Show’s repeated questions around his “hero” remark:  “Well, then why did Savannah start off by saying that I said that he was not a war hero? I never said that. I said he was a war hero, Matt,” Trump said. “So you misrepresent — just like everybody else.” http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-john-mccain-controversy-2015-7#ixzz3hHuJJY3s

And he didn’t say Mexicans are rapists; he said the Mexican government sends us their criminals, some of whom are rapists, and on and on – he clarifies, equivocates, and turns the table, but he never EVER apologizes. I once heard him say, “I try hard not to ever make a mistake.” And that was about the best he could do. He’s like that guy who says, “Honey, I’m sorry IF what I said hurt your feelings;” which implies it certainly didn’t hurt his feelings, if he had any to begin with… except Trump won’t even say that!

And we Americans love a good Master of Ceremonies, someone who can bring the three ring political circus we call the Hill under control, the benevolent Boss Man who has to fire people from time to time, the shark in the water who never looks back. No Apologies. We love that charismatic guy with the funny hair and the balls made of steel, who thinks nothing of a little deflate-gate. He’s larger than life, with the money to play and an ego to match, and God help us if we elect him President.

My Big Brother Mike

My Big Brother Mike

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Because a life cannot be summed up by two business deals. Reblogged from: http://lynn-and-associates.com/blog-1/

Mike Lynn was my older brother. He passed away this past Saturday, July 21st in Oxford, MS. The cause was complications from a long illness. For the past two days, sports columnists have been writing about his 15 years as the General Manager of the Minnesota Vikings, his lopsided Herschel Walker trade with the Dallas Cowboys, and the remarkable deal he negotiated to get 10% of the Metrodome Suite Revenues for 99 years in perpetuity.

I have started this blog to let interested people know about the consulting and training programs I am developing for on-line webinars, however, I am going to depart this one time to reminisce about my big brother, and show a different perspective of the ‘Purple Prince’ I knew.

One of the things I help clients do is ‘profile’ key positions … identify the core competencies that are needed for a position. Then you can advertise looking for those skills, and create a custom behavioral interview to look for candidates who have demonstrated those skills. So here is my take on Mike Lynn’s core competencies, with some behavioral examples to support them.

Composure – mood regulation and self-control. For as long as I have known my brother, (some six decades), he has been a cool customer. He was introverted and didn’t show his emotions very often. He was hard to read, tough under pressure. In high school, his friends called him “Duke” a nick name also given to John Wayne …another tough guy. Sometimes I would come to his Viking office to visit and watch as people would come and go with all kinds of problems … drama. Mike avoided the drama. He would listen … light up a cigarette, take his time, think about what he was going to say before saying it, and then tell them what needed to be done. He had great ‘street smarts’, emotional intelligence. He was self-aware and in control of how he expressed his own emotions.

Results – Mike was a bottom line kind of guy. He was very persistent at getting what he wanted. When he got out of the Army, he went to Pace College in Manhattan for two days…that’s right two whole days. Six years older than me, he came home and threw his General Introduction to Psychology textbook on my bed and said to me …”Here you read this crap …I’m going to work and make some money.” I read the text, loved it, and became a psychologist, and he did indeed go out and make some money.

I’ll never forget the first time he told me his business was basically to “get asses in the seats”. He was (he told me anyway) at 18, the youngest theatre general manager in the Walter Reade Chain. He was a young regional manager for Dixie Mart and a regional manager for a chain of theatres in Memphis …sometimes letting Elvis book a private mid-night party at one of his theatres. From the very start, Mike had management jobs… line jobs where he was accountable for business results. My brother never had a support or staff job. Even after retiring from the Vikings he started a private supper club in Oxford Mississippi, not too far from his antebellum home in Holly Springs. Up until the end, on my last visit to see him, he was on the phone giving orders to his club’s general manger. And the psychologist in me couldn’t help but notice how his affect perked up, his energy increased, breathing steadied, and he seemed and acted at his best during those few minutes – ’running his club’ – as I observed him – in a state of flow – issuing orders. I sensed he was happy, he had a purpose.

Negotiating – He would often start out by telling some young rookie football player …”You may have been a big deal in high school, or college …but this is the NFL …and you are a rookie … you’re only worth ….” . His previously mentioned skills tie right in here ..being composed and difficult to read, he could put players and their agents on edge. He had good timing, he knew when to speak up, and more importantly, when to just sit quietly and wait. He was very good at reading people, understanding their hopes, fears, and motivations. In many ways my older brother was the applied psychologist in the family.

As the GM for the Vikings, Mike did the player negotiations and he brought in some great players in those days. He was able to both keep his composure and handle the heat. His negotiating strategy with me on the golf course was different. I was a better golfer than him, so he would just keep doubling down on our bets until he won and we were even. It was like a game, although I think it might have been a little more than a game to him!

Compassion – There was a soft and tender side to my brother that he only showed to a few people, which is why this one would surprise many, and have them question my credentials. The fact is, my brother reached out and helped a lot of people during his life, including mine on more than one occasion when I needed support. He was the steady rock, the person in the family who could be depended upon to come through and help when needed. And I think this is a skill he developed and nurtured as he aged. Sure he was a tough guy – he thought he had to be.

In charge, in control, but underneath it all was a poor kid who grew up in Scranton Pennsylvania, lost his father when he was 13, and saw his family hospitalized with a head on car crash three months later. We were hit by a drunk driver who never even got a ticket …it was 1949. I was only seven and I’m not sure how we survived as a family, but I do know that when someone in the family suggested we go on welfare, by brother was adamant …”no welfare …I’ll work …we’ll get by.” And we did. My sisters married doctors, I became a psychologist, he ran the Vikings and we all turned out okay. I hope you feel you can finally rest now big brother … rest in peace. When you were alive, sitting behind your desk, staring into my eyes … it was not easy telling you, ‘I love you’, but I do.

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