2 Lessons From the Philadelphia Eagles in Defeat
The Philadelphia Eagles may have lost Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, but they also provided two powerful leadership lessons.
There's a brilliant quote from Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Robert Caro: "Power doesn't always corrupt. Power always reveals."
But maybe more so than power, defeat shines a spotlight on a leader's character and true make up.
Super Bowl LVII was played on Sunday with upwards of 114 million people watching worldwide — and came down to a controversial call in the final seconds that left one team celebrating as the confetti reined down and another in agony with regret.
James Bradberry, the Philadelphia Eagles starting cornerback, was called for holding with under two minutes remaining, a penalty many disputed based on the timing of the infraction.
The Kansas City Chiefs would go on to kick the game-winning field goal with just seconds left and win, 38-35.
It would've been easy after the game for Bradberry to bash the officials and use them as a scapegoat for the loss.
But he did the exact opposite.
He instead stood in front of the media and accepted full responsibility for the penalty — taking the referees off the hook and not allowing his team to blame external factors on the loss.
"It was a holding. I tugged his jersey," Bradberry said. "I was hoping they would let it slide."
Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts, the Eagles' star quarterback who played magnificently in the game, added: "You either win or you learn, that's how I feel.
"Win, lose, I always reflect on the things I could have done better, anything you could have done better to try and take that next step. That'll be the same process I always have going on."
The Eagles might have lost the game, but it became apparent with their postgame remarks that the franchise has two consummate leaders providing incredible examples for all to follow.
Never shy away from blame: Stand in front, accept responsibility, and face the consequences of the action. Leaders don't use shields.
Win or Learn: Hurts isn't going to drown in his tears. He is going to find some takeaways from the game, learn from his mistakes and work harder to prevent them from happening again. Hurts understands losing is simply a temporary setback, not a fatal one.
"You go out there and you make it happen," he said. "It is a tough feeling to come up short. It's a very tough feeling, but I know the direction is to rise and that will be the M.O. going forward.
"We'll sit back, reflect on it and learn from it."
As leaders, we also learned two things on Sunday: Accept responsibility and win or learn.
Two great messages the 114 million people who watched the game can carry with them for the rest of time.