Stanford All American '81



What People are Saying

“9”


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1968 – The Missles Were Still Pointed At Us


After 2 Tours of Vietnam – my Dad bought me my first glove it was 1968. The world was changing. There were Russian missiles pointing at us,   my Dad said.  We had to be home before the street lights came on. Dr. King was assassinated. I was confused because my white friends did not have a curfew. Then I saw that casket again, draped in the American flag, just like I saw when I was 4 years old.   The president brother was shot too. I didn’t know what my future was going to look like. When we traveled in public with my Dad in his military uniform, everyone was mad at him for something. I got in trouble for giving the “Peace” sign to some funny dressed people called “Hippies”. The only thing that made sense to me was baseball. I saw athlete’s on TV that were the same color as me. I loved Bob Gipson. I knew Willie Mays was going to beat Babe Ruth’s record,  not this young guy named Hank Aaron. I loved Roberto Clemente, Lou Brock,  Tommie Agee, Don Clendenon.  The only thing that mattered was Winning.


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“I Brian Holloway…promise I will do my best…”

I discovered cub scouts. It was the first time I was apart of something bigger. They had goals,  they had milestones, and they had vision and values. This made sense to me. I saw other achieve. I took an oath. I was surrounded by models of success and achievement. This was the first time I identified pathways to success,  and I saw that the values, skills, discipline would be important to a future that I wanted to create. There was nothing I could do about the fact that some people did not like me because of the color of my skin,  but still I could learn to navigate and succeed in this difficult world.

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The B
urning Desire Ignites

I discovered cub scouts. It was the first time I was apart of something bigger.   They had goals, they had milestones, and they had vision and values.   This made sense to me. I saw other achieve. I took an oath.   I was surrounded by models of success and achievement. This was the first time I identified pathways to success, and I saw that the values, skills,  discipline would be important to a future that I wanted to create. There was nothing I could do about the fact that some people did not like me because of the color of my skin,  but still I could learn to navigate and succeed in this difficult world.

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Role Models Inspired Me To Achieve Against Tremendous Odds.
 
We stayed at Grandpa’s during the summers in New Rochelle, NY. My father was finishing up his work at Strategic Air Command in the  Air Force and getting his PhD,  at USC. My grandfather was continuing

to roll out the new intelligence platform for minorities and women in the development of the United Negro College Fund.    This project was so important to our country, Grandpa became part of President

Roosevelt’s and President Kennedy,  famous  “Black Kitchen” Cabinet. These were the elite group of “Negro”  Ivy League scholars that help craft the educational empowerment of the civil rights movement. At night  we watch Walter Cronkite and the Mets. During some period Granpa was mentoring this young rising star leader at Yale, his name was George Bush. At dinner he would have a bunch of very important leaders over and we had to sit at the table for hours. Churches were no longer safe for strategy meetings because of the bombings.


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Hanscom Field Air Force Base Massachusetts

The presidential physical fitness award was way out of reach for me. At 12 years old I was 6’ tall and 215 lbs. I was so big, and growing so fast my tendons were ripping off my knees. I was in excruciating pain. It hurt to walk,  much less run. I started to train. I would stay after school and practice. I would come

early to school before classes and practice. It took me 2 years of hard work to finally climb the rope. I started my first business delivery papers. I took over the entire community market.  This was my first experience of winning customers and dominating the market. This was exciting. It was profitable. I understood this.   We were transferred to Montgomery Alabama, I step onto the football field for the first time. I did not make the team – the coach said, I was the sorriest football player he had ever seen.” The next time I would return to Hanscom Field Elementary School it was 20 years as the New England Patriots, 1st Round draft pick. The first person I met was my old gym teacher. A was speaking to the students about excellence, persistence and dedication. After the ceremony, I was presented with this award – the moment had great meaning to me.  And I was in business for myself.


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Coach Fred Shepard – Lombardi,  Woody Hayes

When my dad retired from the Air Force we moved to Potomac,  Maryland.   My new school – Churchill HS.  We were the hardest working team in the state – Fred Shepard made sure of that. We would scrimage against Coach Boone’s Titans,  in Virginia. In the off-season, I started training with the Track team. I found that after losing more weight I had quickness and speed of the running backs. The junior prom was a big deal. I wanted to look sharp.  I took some money,  I saved from my paper route to buy my first suit. If you saw the movie, Remember the Titans, that was Churchill scrimmaging them.

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The Practices Were Harder Than The Games.

I was not the best player on the team.  I had a lot to learn, but I could always hustle and give that extra effort. This was a difference maker. It made up for the lack of experience. The long 3-a day practices broke a lot of people.   Player’s passed out. Some quit. Some broke down and just cried. You were pushed to your breaking point. He was building mental toughness. This would pay huge dividends in years to come. It was harder than college football and harder than the NFL. I learn to focus and concentrate and perform in extremely exhaustion.


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You’ve Got To – Shake & Bake!  To Change The Game

I’m blocking downfield freeing the running back. You can dominate a space on the field just by your presence. You may get down field 40 times a game,  30 times it will not make a difference,  5 times it will get you a first down,  2 times it will be a game breaking play. That’s what PLAYMAKERS do. Most people only play a half a play. In business,  the same is true. Greatness does not come from doing your job and nothing more. You can never win that way. Not in the new world of 2012.  Can’t happen. Ever.



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This Became My Signature --  To Dominate In Every Platform

This became my signature. It was a distinction that no one else was bringing to their game. The defense had no way of accounting for me.   This type of effort shifting the odds. It was like we had 12 men on the field. The bottomline -- lineman weren’t suppose to be downfield. It required superior conditioning and most BIG MEN were not willing to work that hard. However I discovered this gave us an instant competive advantage. You’ve got to block your man first,  taking care of priority #1.  Then if you’ve got a chance to make the crucial block.   Darrin Nelson is my Stanford Running back,  we are 40 yards downfield. Darrin went on to a great NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings,  under Denny Green.


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Tom Landry Was The First In Line Dallas Cowboys – America’s Team

Tom Landry was the first Pro team to Scout me. They had a complicated Multi-platform offense led by Roger Staubach. They flew me into Dallas. They put my name up in lights on the Jumbotron. I starred up at the open in the stadium at the star filled Dallas night. I stood at the 50 yard line at the sacred star. The world was getting very big, very fast. I traveled all spring semester of my senior year. I had 2 classes to finish,  accounting and Wall Street. I was determined to graduate on time. The accounting was brutal. To learn,  you needed rest, and there was no chance of me getting that. The other class – we were required to read one book. Atlas Shrugged. The 2nd most important book I ever read.


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The Secret Meetings With The Washington Redskins

In DC everyone was a Redskin fan. Our weekends revolved around the Redskin game. The Redskins offensive line was In shambles.   They were recruiting me hard. I was secretly brought into the Redskins camp two weeks before the draft by Joe Bugel. He reminded me of the passionate,  focus of Marv Goux the beloved Coach at USC. He loved what he did. He loved his lineman. It was his whole world – they were his “Hogs” as he called them. I knew he would be great to work for. We watched films. I could feel that great chemistry, and just knew I was going to be a Redskin. His only concern was I would be selected before the Redskins 24th pick.


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The Brutal Beginning – It Was Not What

I Had Expected --  I Didn’t Sleep For Days

 

There are many driving forces that shape, change and propell you. Some are positive and inspirational – others are difficult and painful. I was furious. I sat up all night with deep seated anger unlike anything I had ever experienced and I tapped into a level for fierceness,   competitive excellence, and passionate reslove that consumed me. I didn’t have a word for it at the time.   It was the awakening of the Passion of the PLAYMAKER. It became my magnifcent obsession that still drives me today.



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WHERE THE BATTLE IS WON

Winning does not happen on the field. It happens long before with hours of painstaking preparation. You did not just lift the weights and build your strength. You were visualizing every play,  every situation against every player you were going to face. It’s in these quiet moments alone you where

 

make the decisions on how you were going to face tremendous adversity. This is how you see what is impossible to see.   This is how you slow down time,  having thought out every situation possible. In doing so,  your brain has already been instructed on how to respond. It reduces your reaction time  from .7 seconds,  to .35 seconds. This gives you a 50% advantage against your opponent. It also instantly creates the ability to adjust,  shift,  see the opening that flashes in front of your eyes in split seconds. It trains your brain to see stuff that your eyes can’t see.   This is that intangible. It does not just happen.  You must build It.   This is an absolute requirement of business and busines leaders today. This is how you generate the “elusive” business intelligence that gives you “the edge”,  that sets your product and product experience apart. This is the secret to creating the BUZZ that drives the viral word of mouth conversation on the social network platform.  This is the skill set that is currently changing the landscape of business development in 2012 and beyond.



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The Other Face of Winning. The Front Line.

The front line has the toughest job. You smile for the fans,  your customers and clients. You make each engagement personal friend and memorable. This drives sales and fills the stadium with die-hard loyal fans. But on the field – their another face,  another person that must merge. It’s hard on the front line.  There is no margin for error.  The work is the toughest. The pay is the lowest.  The demands on you are the greatest, mentally and physically.  When you do your job with excellence, no one knows  -- the running back scores, the quarterback throws the winning touchdown. When it’s all over, they get the recognition. They get the press. The front line, leaves the stadium quietly, in silence,  with a deep sense of pride/pain of doing an extremely difficult and dangerous job well. That’s the nature of the front line warriors. As the Left Tackle, you protect the blind side of the quarterback. You play against the opponents very best player.    You are the T-Rex and you better be.


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Getting Crushed by 80,000

Leadership Emerges – The Dynasty Begins


As leaders you must  stir up the team. You must provoke greatness. You have to talk about Winning. You’ve got to breath Winning. Leadership must fuel that bravado, that dominating swagger of confidence. When you step on the field -- you can feel it and the fan’s and feel it too. The passion of the PLAYMAKER  intimidates the competition.  You can literally bring 80,000 people to their feet with this energy, force and belief. I was becoming  the “semi-famous” ROCKSTAR of the 85’  New England Patriots. I still don’t know how that happen. I’m a T-Rex.  The Left Tackle. I protect the blind side.

 

This was unexpected.  I almost did not make it off the field.




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After the game,  the locker room was insane. I had never seen so many people in my life. Press was everywhere – forget the shower. All the corporate sponsors were in the room. All the investors were in the room. I was then taken to the private VIP room where the Sullivan family meet privately with the most elite Wall Street giants, corporate heads,  entertainers, and national celebrities. This lady came up and asked for my autograph. I recognized the smile instantly. It was The Teacher in Space   Christa McAulliffe. I wanted her autograph. She was changing lives of young children all across the world – as she help push math/science education. We talked off and on during the next 3 weeks. Sadly our country lost this hero and the other members of the Space Shuttle Challenger.



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The Revenge. Dan Marino. Shula.

 The Ultimate High Stakes Game – Super Bowl XX.


We just beat the Raiders in the Coliseum, in January…no one does this. I blew up to 320 lbs for this brutal slug fest and glad I did. And we won. I pulled Howie Long off sides using a very risky technique…this time it worked and gave us the crucial first down to seal the victory. Everyone on the team pressed the edge.   Everyone played a part. Every play mattered.  Everyone had to carry the GAME BALL to win. It’s a total team mindset. Fast-forward. This pictures was taken in pre-practice the following week in Miami. The AFC Championship was staged at the Orange Bowl. It was the classic revenge match,  the Dolphin’s beat us on Monday Night 3 weeks earlier. I dropped to 290…the heat demanded it. Both wrists get a roll of  tape,  just like a prize fighter.  This was the 22nd game of the season.  Everything hurt.


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The Beginning of The New England Patriot Dynasty


New Orleans -- SUPER BOWL XX. My Chest was pounding.  I never felt so alive in my life. The Super Bowl experience is bigger than the game. You reflected back on the difficult journey.    You remember the pain, the sacrifice and hard tough times.   You remember wanting to quit. You remember those moments when life dropped you to your knees and look up at God. That’s what the Super Bowl is really about. As you stand on top of the world, one thing is abundantly clear – you did not achieve this alone.  You thank God. The outcome of the game was significant for sure,  but the  biggest breakthrough was knowing the way there.  (This mindset, vision and passion is vital for business leaders in 2012 and beyond) Your body goes numb with adrenalin.  You have the entire off season to heal.  We had no idea we would become legendary, as the original New England Patriot’s iron men,  that blazed the trail to the first SUPER BOWL.  It was the beginning of the New England Patriots dynasty that is on-going today after  25 years. It was the beginning of a 10,000,000 mile journey helping companies rise to greatness and dominate markets in the most difficult times.




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SUPER BOWL XX

 Started Here.


In 2012 and beyond success still starts with the foundation of values,  commitment,  dedication and sacrifice. Leadership is built on these pillars. Winning is a lifestyle. It’s the most important force that must be the heart beat of every company that must re-invent themselves in the face of the impossible.  In these most difficult times, the reality is clear – not everyone is going to make it. The PLAYMAKERS will. The new solutions must be invented today. Business intelligence is a competitive advantage only if it is shared and acted upon.


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SUPER BOWL XX

Started Here.


The years spent on the bench had nothing to do with baseball. It had everything to do with preparing the heart of the champion that is within us all. I stopped worrying about coming from behind.  I stopped talking about how difficult the future was.

I did not blame anyone. I did not spend one ounce of energy complaining about my frustration. And I did not get consumed by the negative chatter of others. I made a powerful and profound decision – to do whatever it took to win.


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Stepping Up. Leading. Serving & Giving.

 

I pulled the NFL Star’s together – to step up and help out.    This capital raise was for Living Memorial To Teacher In Space. President Bush,  Bob Hope,  Joe Namath,  Joe Dimaggio,  Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy,  Roger Staubach,  John Elway,  Frank Gifford all stepped up to help. The power of the celebrity brand was extremely helpful to bring the needed resources to the table for the national platform. Today, 30 years later The Challenger Center for Space Science Education is operating and successful all across America.



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The Trade.

Holloway Become’s A Raider – Bo Jackson emerges

 

I had just got off the plane at 1 am and arrived at training camp at 3 am. Art Shell met me in the film room at 3:30 in Oxinard, California. We implemented the PLAYBOOK until 6 am. This picture was taken at 6:30.  Al Davis said, “I was born to wear Black, he could see it in my eyes.” He needed a T-Rex at Tackle. Bo Jackson was due to arrive and Al  wanted to run the ball. We were playing the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night. We were going after this kid named Bozworth. He was a myth. We took him down. Bo crushed it. Bo  was by far the greatest athlete I have every seen in my life. A 240 lber that blows out a 4.12  40 yard dash. That’s sick. You had to discipline yourself to keep playing when Bo was breaking free. It was the only time going down field to block was totally useless. He was too fast.  One step and he was gone. I still ran down field anyway,  just to get a closer look. That running into the endzone thing and disappearing in the tunnel was no joke. He did not have enough runway to slow down. That’s fast.



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The Launch Beyond – NFL,  Hollywood,  Wall Street

Leveraging The Power of the Sports Celebrity Brand

 

 After the games in Los Angeles,   some of the ballplayers would head out to Beverly Hills to network inside the Hollywood/Wall Street billon dollar marketing machine. It excalated my vision as I started to wrap my head around the power of the sports celebrity brand. This elite inner circle was reserved for SUPER BOWL quarterbacks,  super star running backs – no lineman had ever been in this space. I saw the opportunity. I would give it a shot. The biggest risk was doing nothing.  Easy choice.  Not easy for many people who are stuck inside “the box.”  New thinking will drive change and increase sales in 2012 and beyond. For those who cannot change,  for those who cannot see a bigger future – the end is near. 2012 and beyond requires the big boy shoulder pads, and everyone must cowboy up and carry the game ball to win. It’s Go big or go home time. It’s the greatest time ever for PLAYMAKERS.