In most cases, you’re going to have a tough time making it in the real world if you spend the majority of your days screaming at your co-workers about why your opinion is the only one that matters.
However, there are occasional exceptions to this rule, including Stephen A. Smith, who has managed to build an incredible career for himself thanks to his impressive ability to dish out Hot Takes at an almost unprecedented pace.
Along with the likes of Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless, Smith has helped usher in an era of sports analysis where the ability to yell loudly is one of your most valuable assets— in addition to acting like you’re friends with famous athletes who probably mute your texts.
Smith is a character in at least a couple of senses, and while there’s no doubt he comes off as a blowhard an impressive amount of the time, there’s another side of Stephen A. Smith we don’t always get to see.
For reasons I wish I could tell you, the ESPN personality was recently invited to speak to the Syracuse football team to give them some words of wisdom ahead of the upcoming season.
However, this wasn’t the Stephen A. Smith we all know and love (or hate). The team released a clip from the talk and it turns out the analyst might actually have a career as a motivational speaker if the whole “manufactured controversy” thing ever runs its course.
Here’s the highlight of the pep talk:
“When I give speeches, I tell people all the time: ‘I’m brilliant.’ Because I know I’m not. I’m never satisfied.
I learn from people who are brilliant and I steal knowledge from them.
The same is applicable to you. If you see somebody that’s better than you. If you look in your mind’s eye and you know that somebody has something that you don’t, why not ask yourself why? Why not ask yourself how can you get it?
Who told you that they get to have a monopoly on greatness? You’re living, you’re breathing, you’re eating, you’re working! How come you can’t get it?
You got to ask yourself these questions. And that doesn’t mean the answer will always be yes. It doesn’t mean the answer is always going to be in an affirmative for you.
But what is does mean is the fact that you asked yourself that question means that you are looking for every excuse— every little nugget— that you can find, that you can muster, to maximize your potential.”
Damn. I never thought I’d live to see the day where Stephen A. Smith made me want to run through a wall for him.