Bud Wilkinson, the streak, potential, and performance

Bud Wilkinson coached the Oklahoma football team from the late Forties to the early Sixties.  At one point his teams won 47 games in a row–still the record for college football.  The record is even more impressive than you might think since college football teams played fewer games in his era.  The record spans five seasons.

Mr. Wilkinson tried his hand at politics, but failed to gain elective office.  He analyzed the ABC TV Saturday football games in the Sixties.  His delivered his commentary with intelligent and enthusiastic softness.

During the past two weeks I have been reclaiming my memory.  I’ll always associate the number 47 with the Oklahoma winning streak.  As sports winning streaks go, it stands as a splendid statistical outlier. It dazzles like the IQ of a genius.  Some say Bud Wilkinson was a genius.

One of my all time favorite quotations comes from Bud Wilkinson.

Potential is nothing; performance is everything.

The quotation has brought a lump to my throat more than once.

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Published in: on July 13, 2009 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  

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