Under a clear, blue sky, a man sprints to catch a speeding train. He has fired a machine gun at his pursuers-Nazis-and thrown grenades at them, setting various other charges and traps for them as well. Now, he has almost caught up with the German transport train that he and his fellow prisoners of war have commandeered and are riding into Switzerland. He closes in on the train, running with his hand out…and is shot and killed with his hand just inches from his fellow prisoners and only feet away from the Swiss border and safety. Death by inches.
People look at me, especially when I was on the sidelines as a coach, and say, “He’s cool, he’s calm, he’s collected, does he ever get angry?” They would also hear stories about how I never raised my voice at the team. Well, I can tell you this, my high school and junior high buddies know that that’s not the Tony Dungy they know. I was a hot head in high school. I was a hot head in college, but I learned the ability to keep my emotions under control, particularly controlling anger. But I do get angry and this is what I do about it.
My father used to tell me that having integrity is not a “sometimes” thing, you either have it or you don’t. Your integrity gets tested many times in life. This is one of the toughest times it was difficult to maintain my personal integrity.
One of the most important gifts a father can give his children is time together creating memories. Having experiences together gives us a chance to bond. One of my favorite things about my childhood is all of the time my dad and I spent with one another. It was important for my development and sense of self. That is why I have to try to make sure my kids experience as much with me as possible. So I try to create times together they will remember forever.
Fortunately, I have had a lot of wonderful experiences with my children. It’s tough for me to remember all of them. I tend to think first about the most recent. So, if I had to pick my top 3 experiences I would have to narrow it down to these recent ones.
I have been asked many times what is the best parenting advice I have ever received. For me, it goes all the way back to 1984. Our first daughter Tiara was just born and Ron Blackledge was an assistant coach with me on the Steelers staff. He had children already and this is what he told us.
Please join Benjamin Watson and me for a special event called Under Our Skin: A Forum on Race and Faith. The current state of affairs in our country has highlighted the continual need to bridge the racial divide.
Have you ever looked back and wished you had done something different? As I look back on my playing and coaching career there are not many things I would do differently. I don’t have many regrets. I always tried to do what I thought was best at the time and try not to second guess. […]
If you were to ask Colt fans who the on-field leader of the team was when I coached, many would say Peyton Manning. Given that he was an All-Pro quarterback who led the offense, it makes sense and was certainly true. But what I observed during my years with the Colts is that we became a much better team, and a much better organization, when other players on the fifty-three man roster also stepped up alongside Peyton to take leadership responsibility.
This past August I had the honor of being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. One of my favorite parts of the experience was re-connecting with people who influenced me and reminiscing over the years of my career. I was recently asked, “What achievements are you most proud of in your career?” There are a number of achievements I enjoyed that make me proud. One of the first that most people mention of course is our trip to the Super Bowl. That was definitely an exciting time, however, there are two things I think about before that. These are the 2 achievements in my career that make me most proud.
When I asked him why that was his favorite memory he told me it was because that was the last thing we had done together. It made me realize what kids need most from a parent and child relationship is this one thing.