Huddle up, folks. I just got out of HR, where Allison gave me the full-court press and explained that some of you think my sports analogies are creating a toxic workplace. It’s clear I let my guard down. But now that the gloves are off, I want to remind you I’m calling the plays here. You might think you have me against the ropes, but I can roll with the punches and will go down swinging.

Because my sports analogies go far beyond a shorthand that excludes specific groups of people who, 30 years ago, wouldn’t have even gotten a tryout. It’s a worldview. It’s a language that keeps our head in the game and reminds us that there are winners and losers—that when clock runs out, you’re either a game-changer or you’re gonna get benched. It’s the simple language of results.

And we need that simplicity. That’s why I also use the terms, “When it comes down to it” and, “At the end of the day” and, when I’m really fired up, “When it comes down to it at the end of the day.”

This team, if I can even call it a team after that low blow, is trying to move the goal post by complicating the game with trick plays like emotional intelligence and compassion and equality. Whenever you fumble, you call foul and want to take a mental-health day. This is way out of bounds. Sometimes, you gotta play hurt. Sometimes you have to lay down the sacrifice squeeze for the sake of putting points on the board.

With this weak-side blitz, it’s like you’re trying to call an audible and turn this place from a dynasty into one nonstop Brene Brown podcast. And, worse, turn America into Sweden or Norway or one of those other Scandinavian countries that gets praised for being so forward but can only pull that off because, like, fifteen people live there, and they’re all cousins.

Why in God’s name would you take your cues from a country that cares about curling?

So when it comes down to it at the end of the day, your Hail Mary went incomplete, and now I’m playing hardball. You better be ready to get in the zone and leave it all on the field. You better be ready for man-to-man coverage with all your assignments so that I can devote my attention to the nineteen fantasy-sports leagues I run. Just the way my father did it, and his father would have done it if fantasy sports had been a thing and getting drunk and harassing secretaries hadn’t been such an accepted practice.

Now if thinking this way is toxic, then consider me as toxic as the bloodstream of Lance Armstrong, Mark Maguire, and Sammy Sosa, three American heroes who did what it took to win.

All right, I think I covered all the bases. If you don’t like it, you can take your ball and go home.


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