Herman Edwards

The Life of Dad, by Jon Finkel and Art Eddy, is an all-encompassing, entertaining distillation of the full dad experience, through a collection of interviews with stars including Shaquille O’Neal, Ice Cube, Henry Winkler, Chris Jericho, Denis Leary, Michael Strahan, Chris Long, Grant Hill and Dell Curry. Here are some inspiring words from Arizona State football coach Herman Edwards.

DADOGRAPHY
Twitter: @HermEdwards
Born: April 27, 1954
Kids: Marcus, Gabrielle, Vivian
Career: NFL Player, NFL Coach, Analyst, College Football Coach

Life Of Dad "You play! To win! The game!" This is the most famous "Hermanism" from charismatic former NFL player and head coach Herman Edwards, but it's far from the only one.

Edwards, who has spent the last several years as an analyst for ESPN and is currently the head football coach at Arizona State University, has built an entire personal brand, including a bestselling book that contains homespun sayings, inspirational phrases, and allegories about leadership.

Because of this, Edwards is a sought-after motivational speaker and many of his best tales involve his father (a World War II veteran) teaching him lessons about character and hard work.

Life Of Dad: Your speeches are often focused on leadership, motivation, and positive advice. How do you impart these lessons to your own children?

HERMAN EDWARDS: I would say this: Being a parent is the most powerful form of education. Youngsters need role models more than they need criticism. Too often I think we get caught up in making a living rather than making a difference. I think you have to be a role model and it starts at home. I have said this a lot of times -- good character is like good soup. It is made at home. We have to give them hard love. You have to be able to say "no," but you have to explain why you are saying "no." You have to educate your children. Children can’t choose their parents. They have no choice.

My father also gave me ... a broom. A regular broom, and he gave me chores. He gave me the broom and made me look at it. He asked me what it was, and I said it was a broom.

He said it means hard work. He said no matter whatever you accomplish in your life, I hope you become whatever you want to become, but whatever you achieve, don't forget this broom. It is called hard work, and he was right. When I grew up there was no blower. You didn't blow the stuff in someone else's yard. You had to sweep it. Today, as God is my witness, I have a broom and I wear it out. I sweep all the time. It reminds me of my dad. Every time I pick up that broom and sweep I think about my dad.

The Takeaway: You Teach! To Raise! Your Kids!

Which one of the "Hermanisms" Edwards gave in his answer stuck with you the most?

Herman Edwards

Was it "good character is like good soup -- it is made at home"? Or was it the broom story? Or was it the phrase about people getting caught up in making a living instead of making a difference? There is almost too much to unpack from such a short answer, but the idea that character is intertwined with hard work is something many dads should keep in mind. It's almost impossible to have one without the other.

How many people of character do you know who are lazy or undisciplined or who don't want to put effort into achieving their goals? Not many. Raise your child to be a hard worker and your chances of them understanding the meaning of having character will certainly increase.

-- Excerpted by permission from The Life Of Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood from Today's Leaders, Icons, and Legendary Dads by Jon Finkel and Art Eddy. Copyright (c) 2019. Published by Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Available for purchase from the publisher, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple Books. Follow Jon Finkel on Twitter @Jon_Finkel. Follow Art Eddy on Twitter @ArtEddy3.