One play influenced my life more than anything.
It was 4th and 1 in Super Bowl XVII. A young head coach by the name of Joe Gibbs looked across the field at the legendary Don Shula. It was a scene like a modern day David vs. Goliath. The score was Dolphins 17 – Redskins 13. There was enough time left in the game to punt and maybe play the field position game – and live to see another day. This was way before Gibbs was in two different Halls of Fame, at this point Gibbs was a second year head coach who might have gotten fired had Miami stopped Washington on this play.
The way the story goes Gibbs looked at his offensive line coach, Joe Bugel (Buges, may God rest his soul) and he asked him, “What do you think?” Buges replied, “I like our chances with John Riggins against any safety in the league.” The play call was “70 Chip,” and as they say…the rest is history.
Riggins took the hand off off the left side as the Hogs (The nickname of the Redskins offensive line back then) blew Miami off the ball. Riggins ran over Dolphins’ defensive back Don McNeal and dragged him about five yards before he accelerated off the attempted tackle and Riggins took it the house – 43 yards to football immorality. It was the play that put Washington up for good and the names of Gibbs and Riggins became bigger in our Nation’s Capital than any President since.
That one play made such an impression on a young boy’s heart and soul – me. That one play shaped my entire life’s philosophy.
In 1998, I put everything I had, every penny and all of my blood, sweat and tears into a self-published “1998 NFL Draft Report,” and that 350-page “resume” is what got me hired by the New York Jets out of nowhere. At the time, I was working at a bank. In 2013, I went into full-time preaching Ministry for a year trusting only Jesus Christ for all provisions. I had no savings, no credit, no credit cards and no back-up plan and I watched as God Himself provided without me asking anyone for a penny. I am used to pushing all my chips up – like Gibbs – for what and who I believe in.
And now I am about to do it again.
I am proposing to become the first General Manager (GM) in NFL history to sign a one-year Super Bowl or bust deal. 100% commission. I would get paid, $7 million dollars in cash only if my team wins it all. Otherwise, I will not get paid anything if my team fails to win the Super Bowl. I can do this with any team in the league. No base pay and no other money outside of that. I do not care if the team that wishes to hire me is winless the season prior (in fact I would prefer that). I have the plan and staff in place that will run the table. All I need is a 10-minute meeting face-to-face with an NFL owner to close the deal.
Through my example, it will cause a league-wide chain reaction and it will spell the end of GM’s and executive level management getting paid regardless if their team wins or loses. I am tired, really tired of seeing all 32 NFL GM’s making millions of dollars a year no matter if their team wins the Super Bowl or if their team barely wins one game. Currently, the way things are financially structured there is no real need to win. Either way, the bi-weekly paycheck looks the same. Furthermore, if the GM’s or executives get fired for their team’s poor performance, their remaining contracts still get paid out and they are set for life.
Once I take a revolutionary commission only deal like this, and win the Super Bowl in my first year, it will revolutionize the pay structure of NFL front offices – – and it will put the emphasis back where it belongs, on winning it all.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.