Sunday, January 30, 2022

It's Better to be Feared by Seth Wickersham

It's Better to be Feared by Seth Wickersham is a solid biography of Tom Brady and look at the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick. There's a huge amount of ground covered well in the book and below are some of the sections from it that reflect on the Amazon Kindle app as those most highlighted by others:

"The New England Patriots were a subculture within a spectacularly unhealthy world. They were defined by many of the things that defined America during the first two decades of the current century: an embrace of overwork; a refinement of craft to a previously unseen level; empiricism and a love of data, along with the creation and marketing of pseudoscience; tribalism and both its cohesive and splintering features; the pursuit of agelessness; an erosion of ethics; and finally, a zero-sum ethos toward victory."

"All athletes, especially great ones-especially those with impossible expectations for themselves-swing between extreme confidence and extreme insecurity in a way unfathomable to fans."

"Belichick's football ideology was the lack of an ideology."

"For Brady, uncertainly prompted a strange reflex. Every time he was doubted, or he doubted himself, whether he admitted it or not, he upped the stakes, to prove others wrong and to prove himself to himself."

"He taught himself to love-to be addicted to-the feeling of improvement."

"Jerry Seinfeld was once asked how he summoned the will to be great at comedy, even after his legend was secure. He replied that it wasn't about will at all. Will was required to pass on cake after dinner; this was love. He loved everything about comedy, from finding the precise language for a joke to perfecting its delivery. Belichick was the same. 'I enjoy all of it,' he later said. 'It beats working.'"

"It might not be enough to just love your job. You had to want to live in the world the job created. Working with people you like, a tribe with a common goal, would make your professional life far happier than any accolade, salary, or a company's prestige could. You need to do the work you love, at a place and with people you love. You have to feel-Brady repeatedly returned to this work-'appreciated.'"