Sunday, January 25, 2009


Rob Gilbert, Ph.D.

Montclair State University (NJ)

After exhaustive research, I’m ready to go out on a limb and make a fearless Super Bowl prognostication. I’m going to predict who’ll be the most outstanding player at Super Bowl XLIII.

Before I reveal the player’s name, allow me to whet your appetite.

Prediction #1: The player will have grown up in New Jersey.

Prediction #2: He’ll be under six-feet tall and weigh less than 200 pounds.

Prediction #3: He won’t play the whole game - he’ll play only a few minutes.

Prediction #4: The player won’t score any points.

Prediction #5: He’ll go on the field and play without a helmet or a uniform.

The best player at this year’s Super Bowl won’t be a football player - he’ll be a guitar player. His name: Bruce Springsteen, who will be performing at half-time with his E Street Band.

I’ve been a professor who teaches sport psychology at Montclair State University for the past

30 years. Ever since I’ve moved to Jersey, I’ve been “researching” this Garden State phenomenon known as “the Boss.” There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be the best player on the field on the big day in Tampa.

How can I be so certain?

I think I can sum it up best with a story I heard a devoted Bruce fan tell on a radio program. The fan said that he’s been to more than 40 Springsteen concerts and a few years ago, he was lucky enough to get a pass to go backstage after a concert.

When he met Springsteen, he asked him how he does it? Sing song after song. Play concert after concert. Perform year after year. And do it with total excellence, total energy, and total passion time after time after time. He said that the Boss got very serious and said that before each concert, he thinks about two things. Number one: This is the most important concert of my life. And number two: It’s only rock and roll!

The players with the uniforms and helmets on will all think something similar to Bruce’s “number one”: This is the most important game of their lives. But many of them will not remember that there’s also a “number two.” They’ll forget it’s only a game and they’ll let the pressure get to them. As a result, their performance will suffer. It happens all the time.

Not Bruce. When he takes the field, he’ll be totally energized. He’ll be going all out. He won’t be holding back. He’ll be totally into it. That’s why, he’ll be the best player on the field - guaranteed! After all, he was born to run.

Call Dr. Gilbert’s Success Hotline at (973) 743-4690.