A favorite conversation starter question is “who would you invite to dinner?”. Usually the question is meant for famous people and the limit is three people. Sometimes the answer can include the hypothetical of deceased or historical figures.
If I were to invite three living people to dinner to discuss football (over a BBQ with a few beers) they would be Bill Belichick, Jimmy Johnson and Ernie Adams. These three know so much about football, history, team building and the psychology of people that I think the dinner could be made into a fascinating movie.
Bill Belichick is not only the head coach of the New England Patriots, but he also coordinates the offense, defense, scouts players and handles the drafting of all the players. Obviously he has help but I have read stories about players on other teams who said it was Belichick who showed up at their colleges to work them out personally before their draft years. Not many head coaches are personally traveling and working out draft choices. He can be seen on the practice field grabbing a 350 pound defensive lineman and showing him how to break off a block to make a tackle or show a wide receiver how to break free on a route. The knowledge is immense and well chronicled online and in books.
Jimmy Johnson would be interesting as well as he is the current consigliere of not only current head coaches like Belichick but also world leaders, CEOs and many celebrities. He is most famous for coaching the Dallas Cowboys in the early 90s and winning Super Bowls but he is also known as the person who put together the famous NFL draft value chart. This an extensive chart that he used to determine the value of picks and it is still used today by many coaches, GMs and draft gurus. It is a bit “inside baseball” and geeky, but was an amazing accomplishment.
Finally, Ernie Adams is the mysterious man in the shadows of the Patriots football organization and the man who whispers in Belichick’s ear on draft day, every day and especially on game days. This person probably knows more about football than anyone alive today. He never speaks or gives interviews, but he must have some incredible stories and insight into the game.
I always thought the “who would you have to dinner?” was a fun question and it is still a good one to start a dinner time conversation. I like to use living figures because there is still a chance that it could happen.
A million to one chance, but still a chance.