From Underdog to Top Dog

Ok, I’m bias. I realize there are others out there who would challenge my assertion, particularly my clients and friends in Boston, Dallas and San Francisco. But let’s look at the facts:

Chuck Noll came to the Steelers in 1969. His first round draft pick that year was Mean Joe Greene who was drafted after the Buffalo Bills selected OJ Simpson first overall.

Both were multi year pro bowlers with lots of individual and team accomplishments.  They both eventually made it to the Hall of Fame.  There is one difference, however between these two NFL greats. Joe Greene retired with four Super Bowl Rings and OJ never even made it to the Big Show.

When Chuck Noll became head coach, his initial focus was on the defense. It wasn’t just Joe Green, but he also drafted , LC Greenwood, Ernie Holms and Dwight Wight. Plus he drafted an incredible linebacker core headed by Jack Lambert and a secondary lead by corner back Mel Blount.

When asked about his focus on defense, Chuck responded: “ Before you can win a game, you have to NOT loose it”.

This mentality brought about one of the greatest football dynasties of all time, the famous Pittsburgh Steel curtain hit its zenith in 1976 when it had five shutouts and opposing teams scored an average of 3.1 points per game for the last 9 games of the season. ESPN rated this squad the best defense EVER with 8 defensive starters going to the Pro Bowl that year.  

The Steelers of course added offensive weapons to their team with Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann and the rest. It was a powerful combination that gave Chuck Noll four Super Bowls in six years and he never lost the big one, a feat never again to be accomplished in the modern Super Bowl era (not even by Bill Belichick).

Two thousand five hundred years earlier a famous Chines General wrote about the same concept in his book “The Art of War” saying “Invincibility lies in defense” and before you try to win a war you need to make sure that you can’t lose it.

These are same core principals used today in asset protection planning. We plan, then build our legal fortress using “modern” legal structures and planning techniques that have in fact been around over a thousand years. These old English Common law concepts in turn trace their roots to even older pre Christian Rome and ancient Persia.

So before you concern yourself with winning your “war”, let’s make sure we position our assets in legal structures that are tried and tested from any sort of attackers, so that you can’t lose the war (whatever form or shape the war takes).
Pittsburgh by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen is licensed under Unsplash License

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