By about 10:30 this evening, either Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49’ers, or Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens will cement their place in history by winning the Super Bowl. I am sure they have had a sleepless night running through the great expectations that will be thrust upon them to lead their teams to victory. There are several things they will have to do in order to win the game.
Getting married is the same way. This is probably the one event in our lives where there is a set specific date, with a lot of spectators and a lot on the line. So like Colin and Joe, what must we do to prepare for the Super Bowl of Marriage?
Here are 10 keys to Winning the Super Bowl of Marriage!
- Know your Strengths and Weaknesses. Colin Kaepernick has a strong arm and is known for scrambling and running for big yards. While Flacco is the quintessential drop-back passer. In marriage we must know what we do well. Whether we are good listeners, strong at handling finances, or great planners, we must exploit our gifts and minimize our weaknesses to make our marriage successful.
- Know the Strengths of your other star and put them in the best position to succeed. Both Kaepernick and Flacco have strong running games with the likes of Frank Gore (49’ers) and Ray Rice (Ravens). In marriage, you have a partner that is ready and willing to shoulder the load. Get them involved early, otherwise they might check-out.
- Commit to the Game Plan, but call an audible if things aren’t working. All week, Kaepernick and Flacco have determined what the best plan will be to attack the other team in order to win. In order to win the Super Bowl of Marriage, you must also have a Game Plan. If you don’t have a plan in the first quarter of your marriage, it could help you lose the game before it really begins. Communication with the other players is the key. If you see something isn’t going right, don’t be afraid to call an audible.
- Fumbling or throwing an interception is part of the game. Don’t let it derail your confidence. Accept it and move on. Since this is the first Super Bowl for Kaepernick and Flacco, they may be so hyped-up they may make a mistake early in the game trying to force the action. In marriage, we have the tendency to ride the high of the honeymoon phase. We take it for granted and make mistakes that can slowly erode the excitement. Don’ minimize mistakes, accept it and move on. You will have a lot of time left in the game to make up for it.
- If you are about to get sacked by the defense, run. Ray Lewis and company are salivating at the chance to sack Colin Kaepernick, as well as Patrick Lewis and the 49’ers defense would love to flush Joe Flacco out of the pocket. Obstacles in marriage will come. In the course of the game of marriage opportunities of infidelity can come at anytime if your partner feels unappreciated and lets their guard down. As the quarterback if you feel that’s getting close to you, run downfield to your spouse and figure out what you need to do to protect it.
- To change the game of marriage you might have to throw in a trick play. In the 2010 Super Bowl, the New Orleans Saints ran a trick play, an onside kick, to change the momentum of the game that helped them ultimately win the Super Bowl. During the course of the game of marriage, you may have to run a trick play to infuse some life back into your marriage. Whether it’s getting away from the routine of your lives, or increasing your sexual relationship, have the courage and conviction to call this play when necessary.
- Calm your players during the heat of the battle. During a crucial moment of Super Bowl XXIII, Joe Montana relaxed his guys by having offense look into the stands toward a celebrity. This allowed the team as well as himself to get on track and close-out the Bengals beating them 20-16. In the game of marriage, conflict is inevitable, the longer you play the game. There will be conflict amongst your star player, your spouse, from your job, your family and your children. It will take you and/or your spouse to take a step back, show calmness and clarity during any situation in order to move forward.
- Throw the ball downfield. Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco, both have strong arms. Throwing the ball downfield is exciting, especially when no one is expecting it. This is similar in the game of marriage. Spontaneous actions, or surprise gifts just show your spouse you love them can go along way to making the game of marriage memorable.
- Great coaching can help change the momentum of the game. For the first time in history, two brothers, Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49’ers and John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, will coach against each other in the Super Bowl. Both coaches, even though they are born only 15 months apart are very different in their approach to coaching. John says all the right things, gets all the right jokes, makes all the right moves, whether it be setting up a news conference so the most veteran reporter in the room asks the first question or playfully imitating his brother’s clichés. Jim is the opposite of charming, visibly bristling at his surroundings, looking strangely at reporters, refusing this week to answer a query about his favorite food, snapping at the poor journalist who referred to the string hanging around his neck during games as a “necklace.” Both coaches, and their staffs, proved that they have what it takes to change their game plan to meet the situation they are facing. They do it in the moment, too, with all of the pressure and weight of the world mounting on their shoulders. In the game of marriage, utilizing a relationship coach during the heat of the moment can help change your game plan, especially if the pressure of life is mounting on both your shoulders. Don’t be afraid to use them.
- When you win, you go to Disney World. It’s almost certain that Colin Kaepernick or Joe Flacco will be selected to go to Disney World as the MVP of the Super Bowl. During the course of the game of marriage, you must take some time to celebrate your successes. The game of marriage is fun and exciting as long as you stick to your game plan, expect obstacles that will derail the plan, but have the calmness and clarity to ride it out.
Good luck, to Colin and Joe! I hope both of you play well. Also good luck to you. I hope you enjoy these 7 keys to winning the Super Bowl of Marriage.