The Company You Keep

I had just dropped the kids off at school on Tuesday morning and was heading to work when I finally got sick and tired of listening to commentators explain how the Cowboys’ revolutionary “Pass Out The Game Clock” tactic wasn’t as dependable as the standard “Run Out the Clock” approach to holding a lead.

So I turned the radio to one of the pop stations my daughter programmed into the Camry just in time to hear the DJ mention an article which read that any individual is nothing more than the average of the five people he hangs out with most.

I thought it was a completely new thesis that put a little science to the old adage, “You’re the company that you keep.” But after some research, I discovered that the idea was a decades-old hypothesis from old-school motivational speaker Jim Rohn.

The thing about the radio segment, and Rohn’s hypothesis, that kept my ADD at bay long enough to hear the entire piece was how people could use this law of averages to help improve themselves. Before, my thought on the subject was that you hang out with who you hang out with. Your boss is your boss, your wife is your wife, your best friend is your best friend and your enemies are your enemies.

However, if you were willing to make an honest assessment of how you’re doing and who you’re doing it with, and then were willing to make some calculated decision based off those assessments, you could move closer to your goals simply by dropping some friends or changing some habits.

For example, if you are overweight — or if the Fort Meade Wellness Center confirms it — and you want to be skinny, and if you noticed that when a lot of your colleagues sit around the house, they are literally sitting around the house.

Then, according to the theory, you could lose weight simply by dumping your plump friends in favor of some who are fit. The thought being, if you are around fit people, you are naturally going to do more things that fit people do – eat right, exercise, etc.

The other thing the segment revealed is that there is a formula for who a few of the people should be:

1. A younger, motivated person who could keep you energized and also take your advice

2. An older mentor who could impart knowledge and give you something to aspire to

3. A confidant or peer that you can bounce ideas off of without fear of being wrong or foolish

I didn’t catch who the other two should be, but knowing me and how I am motivated, I’d want at least one person who makes me feel good about where I’m at and another person who is great at whatever they do.

In my life, I think I have most of those things covered. My counselors at camp are young and keep me on my toes; I have been plenty blessed to be around some great bosses; Mary Staab at DPTMS is a peer of mine who will tell me how it is; I have a few family members who make me feel completely squared away; and of course, my wife is pretty great at most things.

But with this being the holiday season, and a time where dreams come true, I couldn’t help but let my mind wander a bit and try to figure out who would make up my crew in the sports world.

* Younger: AJ McCarron – QB, Alabama

A few years ago, this would have been Tim Tebow. He had the passion, the winning, the intangibles, the manners. Well, AJ seems to have all those things, plus, unlike Tebow, he’s still relevant, has an actual shot at being an NFL quarterback, and when all else fails, unlimited access to Katherine Webb.

* Older: Mike Krzyzewski – Coach, Duke

I really wanted to go with Iron Mike Ditka after I heard him say, “If God had wanted man to play soccer, he wouldn’t have given us arms.” But then I remembered, he coached the Bears, and if I’m taking an honest assessment, there is no better leader in sports than Coach K.

* Confidant: Derek Jeter – Shortstop, New York Yankees

I am not sure if I could consider any current or former professional athlete a peer, but the Captain and I did grow up in Kalamazoo, we played on the same Little League fields and love Michigan.

Plus, if we were boys, he would be able to talk to me about more than just winning rings, i.e. Jessica Alba, Mariah Carey, a former Miss Universe and Teen USA.

* My ego pick: Mike Tyson circa 1997

I don’t care how bad things may get in my life, I know if I was hanging out with ’90s Mike, I’d always be able to say, “At least I’m not that guy.” Not to mention, whether it is ’87, ’97, ’07 or 2017, as long as I’m with Iron Mike, I know ain’t nobody gonna mess with me. ,

* Greatness: Whether in my dreams or in my kitchen, I’d probably still choose my wife. But if you pushed me to pick someone else, and I already had Jeter in the posse, of course it would be Justin Verlander – Pitcher, Detroit Tigers. Great 12 to 6 curve, great 100 mph fastball, great mustache and he has been great for the D.

Happy holidays, Team Meade. We’ll see you in January for the Jibber Year in Review.

Until then, if you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at or hit me up on Twitter @CTJibber.


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