Offense Wins Games. Defense Wins Championships.
By The Playbook
The Blind Side by Michael Lewis is a fascinating read and an excellent study of the importance of risk management. The term “blindside” refers to the side of the football field that the quarterback can’t see when looking downfield to pass. A hit from his blindside is one the quarterback won’t see coming and can often leave him debilitated, confused, and heavily disoriented.
As the leader of the team, the quarterback is usually the highest-paid position in football – the current being Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions earning a cool $135 million over a five-year contract. The second highest-paid position is often the offensive left tackle, otherwise known as the blindside tackle. This wasn’t always the case, but from a risk-management standpoint, it makes sense.
With such a high investment in one player, the NFL eventually recognized the importance that the left tackle plays in defending the quarterback from devastating blind side hits such as the one Lawrence Taylor put on Joe Theismann in a 1985 Monday night game against the New York Giants. If you happened to be one of the 17 million viewers to have seen the career-ending hit L.T. put on the Washington Redskins’ quarterback, you already know the importance the left tackle position plays.
From the snap of the ball to the snap of the first bone took only four seconds.
A Crack In Defense
Theismann had played in 163 straight games, a record for the Redskins. He had led the team to two Super Bowls winning one in 1983. Then, in just four seconds, the Redskins lost their all-star quarterback and, arguably, their biggest asset.
The Redskin’s left tackle, Joe Jacoby – a 300-pound wall of pure muscle – was absent because of a knee injury, and inadequate protection was put on Theismann during the game. The coaches felt Theismann’s prior experience outweighed the risk of leaving his blind side exposed, but they were just leaving it all up to chance. It was a gamble that proved to be catastrophic. Theismann never played another game.
A Concussive Blow
In the fall of 2008, America experienced a similar strike to its blindside when the stock market experienced the largest point drop in its history, resulting in a cumulative loss of $10.2 trillion. To put that in perspective, that was roughly one-fifth of the world GDP at the time. Assets set aside for financial security or retirement were erased in an instant. Talk about a career-ending blow.
But not everyone lost out that year. While thousands of advisors were pulling their hair out, others were prepared for this downturn by putting the proper defenses in place. They invested in a powerful risk management strategy, covered their blindside, and prepared for the unexpected.
“The play is now 3.5 seconds old. Until this moment it has been defined by what the quarterback can see. Now it—and he— is at the mercy of what he can’t see.” – Michael Lewis
With a good blindside tackle, you don’t have to be at the mercy of what you can’t see. 2008 was not the first-time markets retreated. And it won’t be the last. But if you’re using the same strategies now that you were then, you can expect the same results the next time the market dips.
And at some point, the market will decline.
Just as the goal of the left tackle is to protect the quarterback’s blindside, my goal is to help protect the safety of our clients’ assets and help secure their finances both present and future.
And, while the truth is that no financial plan can make you bullet-proof, there are research-based strategies that improve your chances of moving the ball down the field when it’s time to be on the offensive, shore up your defense when the pressure’s on and help you win the game.
We provide risk management services through a process called Smart Diversification®.
You might find our innovative, outside-the-box approach worth a conversation.
If you’re looking to change up your strategy, give me a call at 615-550-5570.
Let’s do more than win the game. Let’s define your career.