Baby It’s Cold Outside

I just came back from a long walk with the dogs. A welcome return to the land of the living after four days with New Year flu.

It was beautiful. The snow which fell on Sunday lies anywhere between eight inches and a couple of feet deep. It looks like we’ll get more tonight. I hope so.

It’s 22 degrees.

The Midwest has it worse. Feet of snow. Lows in the teens. In Cincinnati this Saturday, it will get down to 12. If you’ve got tickets to the Jets game, bundle up.

Which is precisely what they will do. They’ll pull out their thermals, dust off their fur hats, buy some double A’s for their electric sock warmers and head off to the game. As coldest NFL games go, it will be a non event.

I went to one of the coldest games in NFL history. In January 1986, during the Chicago Bears’ indefatigable march to the Super Bowl - back when they had a Head Coach with a heart and a football brain - I sat in the stands when it was -20 degrees. The windchill was - 50. And the thing I remember from that day is the moment when it started to snow as the Bears scored the touchdown that took them to the Super Bowl. Cold? I was warm from head to toe.

I was one of 61,000 in the stands that day. We weren’t special. Or crazy. Or unusual.

We were doing what we expected.

In Manchester, England tonight, a large football stadium called Eastlands sits empty. It is the home of Manchester City who were scheduled to play their most important game in the last 28 years. The game was called off yesterday morning. 36 hours before kick-off.

Great Britain is suffering one of its harshest winters in many years. With snow and freezing temperatures. However, the pitch, traditionally a problem in bad British winters, was found to be completely playable and entirely free of snow or ice - the result of the state of the art underground heating system.

Instead, the reason for the postponement was the concern by the local authorities that, “would not like to speculate on what type of journey home fans may face at 10.00pm tonight when temperatures will be sub-zero."

The low in Manchester tonight is 22 degrees.

The difference between my view of 22 degrees and that of the Manchester police is not one of ethnicity. We are both British.

It is not one of technology. Eastlands is a state of the art facility that provided a playable surface under conditions that would have defeated many American stadia.

It is not one of interest. Manchester City versus Manchester United beats any American sporting rivalry in any sport for passion.

It is not one of courage. The history of World War II was not casually written.

It is simply one of perspective.

In England, 22 degrees is dangerous.

In the Midwest and Northeastern parts of America, it is a moderate winter day.

If we see a challenge as impossible to overcome, it is.

If we see it as business as usual, we’ll show up and figure it out.

A lot of things go into informing those perspectives. The great thing about owning your own business is that you get to define most of them yourself.