Is Gardner a Machiavellian Prince?

Rivalry week is the week in college football that everyone looks forward too. This past weekend we saw two of the greatest rivalries games in college football: Alabama vs. Auburn, and Michigan vs. Ohio State. Rivalries happen because of tradition and past events. For example, the reason the Alabama vs. Auburn game was so talked up was because of the punt return by Auburn in the last seconds of the game against Alabama last season that sent them to the championship game. For Michigan and Ohio State, the tradition goes much farther back. Michigan and Ohio have been known to despise each other on and off the field. Last year Ohio State player Marcus Hall flipped off the Michigan crowd after a fight and “violated the conference’s sportsmanship policy”. This was not forgotten by the Wolverines so they were very ready to get redemption this weekend regardless of our record.

Iowa v Michigan

While the score was tied after the first half, Ohio State sadly pulled away at the end of the game to win 42-28. While we beating the spread was impressive, I think what was more amazing was the sportsmanship that Devin Gardner showed after J.T. Barrett injured his ankle in the fourth quarter. Barrett, the key to Ohio State’s offense, went down with a season ending ankle injury Devin “showed an admirable display of support for rival Buckeye quarterback J.T. Barrett when Barrett went down with a season-ending ankle injury on Saturday.” I think this shows that there is more to sports than rivalry and competition. Devin could have remembered what Hall did to them the year before and been happy that the opposing teams star was out of the game. Instead I think Devin showed a remarkable sense of camaraderie that could show the world that he is a Machiavellian Prince. Here is a quick video that talks about this incident.

Barrett gets carted off after season ending injury.

Barrett gets carted off after season ending injury.

Although being a prince doesn’t directly relate to the Michigan Wolverines, I think to be a great leader you need to acquire some of the traits. I think Devin, although he did not have his best season, displayed his character during that moment. Machiavelli said that in order to be a prince “you must set unusual examples.” That is exactly what Devin did when he went to console J.T. Barrett. It was very unusual to have a Michigan quarterback during the Ohio State game give kind words to an Ohio State player. Machiavelli also says that it is better to be feared than loved. However, when applied to an athletic captain, I believe you must be both. I know Devin is very well respected by his teammates and coaches and by this remarkable act of sportsmanship, I believe Gardner will never be forgotten as a Michigan quarterback. Even the Ohio State community now loves him and in order to make it through history as a quarterback you must do something extraordinary in the Ohio State rivalry game; what Devin did was truly amazing.

Did you agree that people will remember Devin because of this act of sportsmanship, not just how he performed this season?

The Regal Coaches

(Public Domain Image)

____________ Ball used in Football (NFL size Football) – [1] ___________ [public domain image – credit: wikimedia]

Football is the quintessential American sport. Like all other sports, it has coaches. In fact, professional (NFL) and college football (NCAA) teams usually have coaches for every position in the offense and the defense. To those of you who are unfamiliar with football, coaches related to the offense (wide receivers coach, tight ends coach, etc.) adhere to the principles and methods of the offensive coordinator. Similarly, all coaches related to the defense (corners coach, safeties coach, etc.) follow the strategy given by the defensive coordinator. Above this hierarchical structure is the head coach position. Both the offensive and defensive coordinators, who are usually selected by the head coach, implement their strategies while adhering to the general principles of the head coach. Ultimately, the head coach is responsible for the success of his team as well as its failures. Since every year counts, failure to produce results with players often leads to a head coach being fired. Additionally, loss of support from players is another cause for head coach dismissal. These reasons explain why many head coaches have had (and lost) several jobs in different teams or universities over their career. There are, however, ways to ensure tenure in a head coach position.

Continue reading

What Machiavelli Would Say About The Ebola Outbreak

Workers Moving Child Suspected Of Having Ebola

Workers Moving Child Suspected Of Having Ebola

You might be really confused right now. Why? Because the title of my blog post has the words Machiavelli, who was a politician alive almost 500 years ago, and Ebola, a deadly disease that is severely affecting Western Africa and starting to sneak into countries like the United States and Spain, side by side. However, my blog post will, hopefully, leave you with a thorough understanding of what I think Machiavelli, based off his book The Prince, would have to say about dealing with the Ebola epidemic. Continue reading

Was It Worth It?

Baseball’s all-time home run leader, Barry Bonds.

If you have ever participated in a competitive sport, you can surely appreciate the determination of some athletes to win at any price. The admiration, recognition, and financial bounty available to those who are most successful is very lucrative and can temp some to try anything.  In most cases this would include very intense training and practicing, but too frequently today athletes are resorting to a very dangerous method, performance-enhancing drugs. The usage of performance-enhancing drugs in athletics today has become a very important and problematic issue in recent years, but the reasons athletes use performance-enhancing drugs can be connected to a principle several centuries old by Niccolò Machiavelli. Continue reading

The Machiavellian Athlete

“Modern psychiatrist now use Machiavellian to describe people who are brilliantly and dangerously self-centered” this is described by Rebecca Coffey of Psychology Today. Which means people are selfish, driven, devious, and would do anything to get what they want. The term Machiavellian comes from Niccolo Machiavelli and his dissertation called The Prince. The Prince tackles selfishness, manipulation, cruelty, and being tricky in the expression of power. Today business leaders, politicians, and now coaches agree that Machiavellian traits are central to success.

To be competitive it means to be fearless, strong, and motivated to win. People who are competitive would do anything in their power to win and nothing can get in their way. In my opinion, being competitive is essential to being a successful athlete. Without competitiveness either in an athlete or in the work force it would be difficult to get to the top as in being where you want to be in your career.


Continue reading

A Kids’ Guide to Becoming King of the Playground

We’ve all been through the virtual hell that is learning to climb the social ladder, whether it is now or in elementary school. However, in elementary school that “Social Ladder” was actually the monkey bars in a strange and slightly scary place called the playground. I know you all remember how difficult it was to navigate this oddity of man, trying to find your friends, avoid the bullies, and somehow seem cool all at the same time. It was like a little kingdom full of woodchips and metal slides, and just like a kingdom, the playground had its peasants and its princes.


It’s my intent to help all those who are struggling with the dog-eat-dog world of playground mentality, all those who have struggled with it, and all those who will struggle in the future with this guide to becoming king of the playground; it’s inspired by the man, the legend himself—King of All Playgrounds: Machiavelli. The following steps will be here to help guide you to greatness (results not guaranteed): Continue reading