DCP Lessons from the New York Giants

Sarfaraz Nazir

On Sunday, February 5, 2012, the New York Giants were crowned the Super Bowl Champions. The Giants can seem like the least likely of Super Bowl Champions. Come on, admit it. How many of you thought, back in December, that the Giants would win the Super Bowl? How did the Giants walk away with the Lombardi trophy? Here are three lessons we learned from the New York Giants, who won the Super Bowl for the second time in four years. These lessons can be easily applied towards becoming a Distinguished Club in Toastmasters.

Leaders Must Take Responsibility

After losing four straight games to the 49ers, the Eagles, the Saints, and the Packers, New York Giants coach, Tom Coughlin took responsibility for what he called “disappointment.” As a result the Giants picked themselves off the floor, picked up the pieces, and rolled after a 4-game slide. They beat the Atlanta Falcons in the wild-card game. They knocked off the top-seeded team — the Green Bay Packers — on the road. They won in Candlestick Park against the 49ers, the second-best team in the NFC. They knocked off Tom Brady, a superstar. Eli Manning engineered eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter this season, including playoffs. He took the team on his shoulders. He came from behind, trailing 17-15, to defeat the Patriots with 3:46 left in the game, pinned at his own 12-yard line. Leaders Lead!

Club officers must contribute towards the achievement of the DCP award. In other words, they must lead by example.

It’s Teamwork

After winning the division, the Giants mounted a five-week, four-city, 5,000-mile title run. How is that possible? Tom Coughlin, the coach, said, “Because they [the players] continued to believe.” Eli Manning went on to say, “This isn’t about one person. This is about a team coming together.” Eli’s sideline, 38-yard, surgical strike to a tightroping Mario Manningham on the last drive of the game with less than four minutes to go, sparked a game-winning, 88-yard, nine-play, drive. The offensive line had to be productive to give Eli enough time to throw the ball. Eli had to be on target with two defenders around his receiver. Mario had to have perfect hands to bring the ball in while keeping both feet inbounds. That’s teamwork. “It was great confidence, great faith by our group, just believing,” Manning said.

To be a distinguished club takes teamwork. Each member of the club must contribute. The contribution can be an educational goal completion or bringing in new members or attending officer training.

It’s Never Too Late

The Giants’ late-season surge was a tour-de-force. Only 66 days ago, the Giants were 7-7, having lost their fifth game in six weeks. They won against the New York Jets and the Cowboys and with a 9-7 record, entered the playoffs. No team has ever won a Super Bowl after losing four games in a row in the same season. New York is the first team in the NFL to be outscored during the regular season that went on to win the Super Bowl. The Giants is the first team in the NFL to be crowned a champion that was 9-7 during the regular season. The Giants became the fifth team in NFL history to overcome a deficit of 8 or more points, and the first team to overcome that deficit in the second half of the Super Bowl. The Giants team that was aimless, being pushed by the winds of circumstance, for a major portion of the regular season, caught fire at the right time because they never quit.

There are 39 clubs in District 25 that have already achieved five or more goals. Eleven of these clubs need a few more members to be at charter strength (20 members) or have a net gain of five members. There are 19 clubs that have accomplished four DCP goals. They will have their five goals once the winter officer training is recorded by Toastmasters International. However, 12 of these clubs need more members (dual, reinstated or new) to qualify for the DCP award. It’s not too late for 17 clubs with three goals and 28 clubs with two goals to achieve five goals by June 30th. The New York Giants did not give up on their season. Neither should you. Almost eight months have gone by in the DCP year. That means there are four months left for the clubs to accomplish their DCP goals. It is doable. If the Giants can do it, you can too.

Sarfaraz Nazir
DCP Chair


By Jodie Sanders