Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Art of War an overview

In my continuing effort to open my mind as
well as others, to inform and to entertain I will expose to you this ancient
book and it's actual chapters from time to time. In the meantime read this
general overview and how it could be applicable to you.


The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise written during the 6th century BC by Sun Tzu. Composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of warfare, it has long been praised as the definitive work on military strategies and tactics of its time.

The Art of War is one of the oldest books on military strategy in the world. It is the first and one of the most successful works on strategy and has had a huge influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, and beyond. Sun Tzu was the first to recognize the importance of positioning in strategy and that position is affected both by objective conditions in the physical environment and the subjective opinions of competitive actors in that environment. He taught that strategy was not planning in the sense of working through a to-do list, but rather that it requires quickly responding appropriately to changing conditions. Planning works in a controlled but competitive environment, and competing plans collide, creating situations that no one planned for.

The book was first translated into a European language in 1782 by French Jesuit Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, and had possibly influenced Napoleon,[1] and even the planning of Operation Desert Storm.[2][3] Leaders as diverse as Mao Zedong, General Vo Nguyen Giap, and General Douglas MacArthur have claimed to have drawn inspiration from the work.

The Art of War has also been applied, with much success, to business and managerial strategies.[4][5]

Chapter Summary
Laying Plans explores the five key elements that define competitive position (mission, climate, ground, leadership, and methods) and how to evaluate your competitive strengths against your competition.
Waging War explains the economic nature of competition and how success requires making winning pay, which in turn, requires limiting the cost of competition and conflict.
Attack by Stratagem defines the source of strength as unity, not size, and the five ingredients that you need to succeed in any competitive situation.
Tactical Dispositions explains the importance of defending existing positions until you can advance them and how you must recognize opportunities, not try to create them.
Energy expels the use of creativity and timing to build your competitive momentum.
Weak Points & Strong explains how your opportunities come from the openings in the environment caused by the relative weakness of your competitors in a given area.
Maneuvering explains the dangers of direct conflict and how to win those confrontations when they are forced upon you.
Variation in Tactics focuses on the need for flexibility in your responses. It explains how to respond to shifting circumstances successfully.
The Army on the March describes the different situations in which you find yourselves as you move into new competitive arenas and how to respond to them. Much of it focuses on evaluating the intentions of others.
Terrain looks the three general areas of resistance (distance, dangers, and barriers) and the a six types of ground positions that arise from them. Each of these six field positions offers certain advantages and disadvantages.
The Nine Situations describes nine common situations (or stages) in a competitive campaign, from scattering to deadly, and the specific focus you need to successfully navigate each of them.
The Attack by Fire explains the use of weapons generally and the use of the environment as a weapon specifically. It examines the five targets for attack, the five types of environmental attack, and the appropriate responses to such attack.
The Use of Spies focuses on the importance of developing good information sources, specifically the five types of sources and how to manage them.
Applicability outside the military
Since at least the 1980s, The Art of War has been applied to fields well outside the military. Much of the text is about how to fight wars without actually having to do battle: it gives tips on how to outsmart one's opponent so that physical battle is not necessary. As such, it has found application as a training guide for many competitive endeavors that do not involve actual combat.

The book has gained popularity in corporate culture; there have been a variety of business books written applying its lessons to "office politics" and corporate strategy. Many Japanese companies make the book required reading for their key executives.The book is also popular among Western business management, who have turned to it for inspiration and advice on how to succeed in competitive business situations.

The Art of War has also been the subject of various law books [10][11] and legal articles on the trial process, including negotiation tactics[12][13] and trial strategy .

It has also crept its way into sport: Australian cricket coach John Buchanan handed out excerpts from the book to his players before a match against England in 2001, and the book is allegedly a favorite of University of South Carolina football head coach Steve Spurrier.

Former Brazilian football coach, and current coach of the Portuguese national football team Luiz Felipe Scolari uses the book to plot his football strategy. In the 2002 FIFA World Cup he gave each of his players copies. In the recent 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany he used the book to plan his team's win against England.[20]

On the popular reality television show Survivor: China, participants were given copies as a source of strategy and advice.

It has found use in political campaigning as well; Republican election strategist Lee Atwater claimed he travelled everywhere with it.

Some have also interpreted The Art of War as providing methods for developing social strategies, such as social relationships, maintaining romantic relationships, and seduction.[citation needed] The book stresses subtlety and always making it appear like one is trying to achieve something other than one's actual intention.

The use of individual quotations from the book as a source of fortune cookie-like proverbs and not seeing the general coherence of the text has been criticized by many scholars of Chinese history.

The book has also gained influence among players of strategy games, including TCGs, collectible miniatures games, and real-time strategy games.[

In 2008 Swedish Heavy Metal band Sabaton decided to record an album called The Art of War based upon the book.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dare to Win -Chapter on Affirmation Part 2


"Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve."


In order to achieve your goals, you've got to believe you can do it. Just giving lip service won't do. The principle is this:

Your beliefs determine your actions, and your actions deter­mine your results. Take massive right action and obtain mas­sive right results.

Consciously believing is the key to achieving. But how do we arrive at our beliefs? As noted in the previous two chap­ters, we first set out a goal in writing. Then we visualize that goal. Finally, we use affirmation to drive home our belief in our abilities to achieve that goal. Affirmation is the key that unlocks the door to belief.

Will Rogers is reported to have said, "I only know what I read in the newspaper." While he may have meant something else, the truth of that statement comes from the fact that we all tend to believe things that are written down.

Another truth is that we all tend to believe something that's been affirmed. Repeated affirmation lends credibility. When we say it out loud, we always have an audience of at least one—our own subconscious mind. And when our subcon­scious hears us affirming, it at least gives us the benefit of the doubt. It at least says, "Well, he could be right."

When we affirm in front of someone else, we really put the squeeze on our subconscious. It's forced to say, "Wow, you really did it! You committed yourself. If you don't follow through, you'll look the fool and be embarrassed. Now I have to get off my behind and save you on this. I guess I'll have to go to work!"

Can you see the power of affirmation? It forces our subcon­scious to believe that we really can.

How to Affirm

Once we understand the vital importance of affirming in achieving our future greatness and living up to our potential, our next question must be, "How do we affirm?"

In our seminars we suggest that people use the following technique. As you read this book, we suggest you follow it yourself. At first you may want to do it alone until you get the hang of it. Later on, you'll probably feel comfortable doing it in public.

1. The first thing you must do is stand. Standing brings your full consciousness to attention. We always suggest that people stand whenever they're doing something important— for example, making a phone call. The next time you're mak­ing a phone call, instead of sitting down, stand up and listen to yourself. You'll be amazed at your increased energy, bril­liance, newfound enthusiasm and power. You'll dazzle the people on the other end of the line with your heightened energy level.

2- When you're affirming, take your index finger and the center finger of your hand and jab yourself in the center of your chest. This engages the sense of touch and feeling. The index finger is the most sensitive instrument of touch in our bodies. It is the portal to our mind. What the index finger touches, we "see." The middle finger adds strength to the index finger. When we jab both of these into our chests, our minds know instantly that we're talking about ourselves, and there can be no doubt. We engage our full attention by doing this.

3. Finally, as you jab yourself in the chest, make a statement of affirmation. Make it loud and clear and be sure that your voice isn't quavering. Mean it!

In the Star Wars sequel. The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda, the Jedi teacher, tries to implant into Luke Skywalker the means of engaging the "force" that is the greatest power in the uni­verse. He says to his pupil, "Luke, there is no try. There is either do or not do." The "force" is the felt power of affirma­tion. You make it so by saying it is so.

In those simple words is a world of meaning. When you say something such as "I'm going to try to be the greatest," or "I'm going to try to be beautiful," or "I'm going to try to suc­ceed," remember that it doesn't cost any more to affirm great­ness than it does to affirm mediocrity. So why affirm anything less?

Affirmations don't have to be fancy, long or drawn-out. Sim­plicity is the key. And they should be in the present, not the future tense (remember, the subconscious doesn't operate in the future, it only has now!).

Your affirmation should be spoken with as much conviction as you can give it. If you find yourself stumbling over the words, start over. A hint here is that if you just can't make yourself say it, shout it- Go for loudness. Blow the lid off. You'll get the message across to your subconscious.

Do It Often

The more you affirm, the sooner you'll put your obedient sub­conscious to work and get results. You master your mind; don't let it master you.

Touch yourself and say, "I've got greatness in me. I am a genius and I am applying my genius."

According to Indian thought, once we state something ten
thousand times it becomes a mantra, a frequently repeated thought form that molds and shapes our future. When you af­firm regularly, you'll find yourself tuning in to the depth of your being and eavesdropping on yourself and your future. We affirmed we'd sell 1.5 million copies of our book Chicken Soup for the Soul, using a technique called "by-pass marketing," and now we're doing it.

Your inner knower—the part of your subconscious that gets things done—will start parroting back your affirmation, say­ing, "You're the greatest!" Repeated affirmations will eventually block and edit out the counterproductive, negative and self-sabotaging old thoughts.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sun Tzu The Art of War Chapter Two Doing Battle

Chapter Two is interesting because it starts talking about physical assets required to do battle. Then it talks about troop morale then you realize that is an asset too. Then it talks about getting the battle over with because time has a way of bringing your assets down (physical and morale) . Oh yes clumsy parallelism from me . There are also a few lessons of supply and demand thrown in.



Chapter Two: Doing Battle

Sun-tzu said:

Generally, the requirements of warfare are this way:

One thousand quick four-horse chariots,

one thousand leather rideable chariots,

one hundred thousand belted armor,

transporting provisions one thousand li,

the distribution of internal and on the field spending,

the efforts of having guests, materials such as glue and lacquer,

tributes in chariots and armor,

will amount to expenses of a thousand gold pieces a day. ?

Only then can one hundred thousand troops be raised. ?

When doing battle, seek a quick victory.

A protracted battle will blunt weapons and dampen ardor. ?

If troops lay siege to a walled city, their strength will be exhausted. ?

If the army is exposed to a prolonged campaign, the nation's resources will not suffice. ?

When weapons are blunted, and ardor dampened, strength exhausted, and resources depleted, the neighboring rulers will take advantage of these complications. ?

Then even the wisest of counsels would not be able to avert the consequences that must ensue. ?

Therefore, I have heard of military campaigns that were clumsy but swift, but I have never seen military campaigns that were skilled but protracted.

No nation has ever benefited from protracted warfare. ?

Therefore, if one is not fully cognizant of the dangers inherent in doing battle, one cannot fully know the benefits of doing battle. ?

Those skilled in doing battle do not raise troops twice, or transport provisions three times. ?

Take equipment from home but take provisions from the enemy.

Then the army will be sufficient in both equipment and provisions. ?

A nation can be impoverished by the army when it has to supply the army at great distances.

When provisions are transported at great distances, the citizens will be impoverished. ?

Those in proximity to the army will sell goods at high prices.

When goods are expensive, the citizens' wealth will be exhausted.

When their wealth is exhausted, the peasantry will be afflicted with increased taxes. ?

When all strength has been exhausted and resources depleted, all houses in the central plains utterly impoverished, seven-tenths of the citizens' wealth dissipated,

the government's expenses from damaged chariots, worn-out horses, armor, helmets, arrows and crossbows, halberds and shields, draft oxen, and heavy supply wagons,

will be six-tenths of its reserves. ?

Therefore, a wise general will strive to feed off the enemy.

One bushel of the enemy's provisions is worth twenty of our own, one picul of fodder is worth twenty of our own. ?

Killing the enemy is a matter of arousing anger in men;

taking the enemy's wealth is a matter of reward.

Therefore, in chariot battles, reward the first to capture at least ten chariots. ?

Replace the enemy's flags and standards with our own.

Mix the captured chariots with our own, treat the captured soldiers well.

This is called defeating the enemy and increasing our strength. ?

Therefore, the important thing in doing battle is victory, not protracted warfare. ?

Therefore, a general who understands warfare is the guardian of people's lives, and the ruler of the nation's security. ?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Steven Covey quotes

A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.
Stephen Covey

Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.
Stephen Covey

Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.
Stephen Covey

In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.
Stephen Covey

It's a fact that more people watch television and get their information that way than read books. I find new technology and new ways of communication very exciting and would like to do more in this field.
Stephen Covey

Live out of your imagination, not your history.
Stephen Covey

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.
Stephen Covey

Our character is basically a composite of our habits. Because they are consistent, often unconcious patterns, they constantly, daily, express our character.
Stephen Covey

Public behavior is merely private character writ large.
Stephen Covey

The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
Stephen Covey

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
Stephen Covey

There are three constants in life... change, choice and principles.
Stephen Covey

We are not animals. We are not a product of what has happened to us in our past. We have the power of choice.
Stephen Covey

We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.
Stephen Covey

We are the creative force of our life, and through our own decisions rather than our conditions, if we carefully learn to do certain things, we can accomplish those goals.
Stephen Covey

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Jessica Jessica

Which Jessica would you choose?

Jessica Simpson?

Jessica Alba

Jessica Biel

My personal favorite is

Jessica Tandy.

I promise you I came up with this idea myself but I have to admit it was inspired by non stop references to Bea Arthur, Ruth Bader Ginsburg

and the Gabor Sisters(Eva and Zsa-Zsa) by Tony Kornheiser.

Love Him Hate Him;_ylt=Avl7zlZI9QWLdcyyT0vk4CPevbYF?slug=dw-knight020408&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

(Dan Wetzel)

(Phil Taylor)

(Pat Forde)

Bob Knight retires

The last time Bob Knight won the NCAA National Championship , I was actually cheering for Syracuse, the opposition. Since then I learned a lot about him, good and bad. There are very few polarizing characters like him. In the interest of fairness I provided you with opinion pieces that both praise and knock him (three links above) .

We are all human and we are all flawed. What I love about Bob is he is viewed the way we humans view in general. We identify with the spectacular and sensational negatives . We never look for , remember or glorify the mundane, regular positives. Like a lot of intense Type "A" driver types, they can rub most people the wrong way . But underneath all that , he cares about the right people and the right things. You can often judge a person by his friends. Do a little research and you will see that a lot of prominent people will rally for Bob during times that he needs it. I read the brutally honest book Season on the Brink more times than I care to remember. I will quote some pages here from time to time.

The thing about Bob is that his flaws are out there for all to see. His good points are a lot less subtle but are there in abundance.


General's last stand
By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
February 4, 2008

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo! Sports
His closest friends always cringed when the latest flare-up would occur – a thrown chair, a flipped chin, a fight at a salad bar (of all places) serving as red meat to the media and allowing Bob Knight's most incredible accomplishment to be lost in the clouds of controversy.

It's easy to show Knight's drama, of course. It's hard to admit the truth. But before retiring Monday after 42 seasons, 902 victories and three NCAA titles, Knight managed to prove the impossible somehow possible:

The coach who cheated the least won the most.

If you want to be honest about Bob Knight then you have to be honest about college basketball, which means admitting it has been corrupt to the core for decades, a sport where the sinners exponentially outnumber the saints, where no matter how pretty the pig gets painted each March, it's still a pig.

At the elite level, you cheat, you might win. You don't cheat, you'll probably get fired.

That's about it. It really is. Plenty of your coaching "geniuses" are nothing more than smart recruiters eviscerating the NCAA rule book. But don't take my word for it.

"At the national level, the elite level, how many coaches really did it honestly through the years?" said Sonny Vaccaro on Monday. "That's a good question."

Vaccaro spent 43 years virtually inventing and then running grassroots basketball. He staged all-star games and shoe company camps, signed endorsement deals with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and was, at the very least, a sounding board for just about every dirty recruiting deed ever done.

He's not called college basketball's "Godfather" for nothing.

"Because of my role, I know these things," Vaccaro said. "I've heard it all. I've been there for these things."

So how many of the big-time, great ones are or were really, truly clean? Vaccaro spent some time thinking about it, running down national championships won, Final Fours made and coaching careers lionized.

"I guess three coaches, maybe four, I'm not 100 percent sure about one guy," Vaccaro said. "And even among that group, Knight stands alone, stands above. I've never heard a single thing about him, never heard anything. Nothing. He's the cleanest one."

Vaccaro, never a close friend of Knight, paused and was kind of blown away at the idea.

"You know, that's incredible. Really, that's the greatest thing you can say about him."

Through the years that incredible fact got mostly lost, misunderstood or simply unappreciated. It should be the first point concerning Knight, not a footnote. But much of this is Knight's own fault. No one said he had to cause the drama that he did – let alone often embrace and even enjoy it.

He could be a boor. He could be a maniac. He could be difficult. Truth be told, he was mostly great entertainment, unless you were on the other side of an unnecessary outburst.

But there are no pure storybook heroes. Not in college hoops. The other coaches might smile nice for the camera, say politically correct things and play right into the great college fallacy that they are angels in Armanis, life-teachers for the downtrodden.

In truth they are just guys trying to win within a system where the rule book was written to be broken. Some of them try harder than others to be ethical, most do try to help kids, but none at the elite level tried (and succeeded) like Knight.

"We don't even read the NCAA manual," Pat Knight, who will succeed his father in Lubbock, said Monday. "We never even come close to anything even in the grey area. No extra phone calls, no extra practice. Nothing."

There was no coach the NCAA would have loved to bust more through the years than Knight, their chief antagonist. In more than four decades, though, they never even got enough to launch an investigation.

The thing was, he actually played by his own higher standards.

When Knight got to Texas Tech in 2001, his assistants found out the school had a group of pretty coeds, the Raider Recruiters, who would give campus tours to recruits. This is NCAA legal and standard at virtually all major schools, some of which encourage it to go beyond the "here's the library" stage.

But Knight had never had such a group at Indiana because NCAA legal or not, he felt it was ridiculous and inappropriate.

Still, the assistants saw a chance to get, at least a little, on even ground with other schools they were recruiting against. They were always suffering in signing players. In 42 seasons Knight coached just one NBA all-star (Isiah Thomas) and now they were way out here on the South Plains.

So they told the chief Raider Recruiter to give the tours but never, ever, under any circumstance, talk to Knight. It worked for about two weeks until she decided to pop into Knight's office anyway to introduce herself.

And that was the end of the Raider Recruiters.

"Our players are our hosts," Knight ruled.

The assistants just shrugged. This was a tough way to run a program; even the legal stuff was illegal. But there was a hidden joy. Knight would never say it publicly, rarely commenting on the duplicity of his peers, but winning the right way brought an added satisfaction, like going four on five or something.

When assistant coach Chris Beard was hired by Knight seven years ago, the two had a meeting.

"Chris, I'm going to tell you this one time, we're going to do it the right way here," Knight said to Beard. "And you'll find that we take our greatest satisfaction in beating those people that we know aren't doing it the right way."

"As I look back on it, he was right," Beard said Monday. "We always did."

What exasperated Knight through the years and, who knows, maybe even encouraged his outbursts, is that in his opinion the purpose of college athletics falls into three main categories:

1. Ensure an education (both academically and in life) for student-athletes.

2. Follow the NCAA rules.

3. Win.

After that, it's all small stuff. After that, he figured, what really mattered?

So, if you happened to be the coach who has a near 100 percent graduation rate, who has hundreds of former players who swear your teaching drove them to success, if you happened to do all this while completely following NCAA rules and you won more games than anyone – essentially the best of all-time at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 – would you want to hear about what you consider the other stuff?

If you're the guy who’s loyal to your wife, attentive to your kids and honest at your work but aren't much for keeping the lawn up, do you really want to hear about your neighbor who is quite the landscaper, but also the philanderer, drinker and gambler?

"I don't have a bad feeling about the guys who want to cheat," Knight told me last season. "I have a bad feeling for people in your profession who don't recognize what's important and what isn't – and fail to recognize what has been good and what hasn't. That is why I have such a total lack of regard for most people in your profession.

"Because I yelled at somebody that supersedes everything else?"

It shouldn't, of course. But good video is good video. And after so much good video, so many headlines, so much misunderstanding about the base reality of recruiting – well, for a lot of people, it all gets mixed up.

"'He threw a chair,'" Knight said, mocking the outrage. "What difference does it make if you threw a chair? How (expletive) many guys have thrown things? Bats out on the field, balls, picked up bases, water coolers, thrown coats? How many guys have kicked something over?

"I'm tired of that. That's what I'm tired of."

Knight was tired of everything this season. At age 67 with a 12-8 Texas Tech team, he had proven what he wanted to prove at Tech, reaching four NCAA tournaments at a program with minimal tradition.

Now, this year, he was just worn out. The travel was bothering him more than ever, the refs, the hassles.

"He wasn't even enjoying the victories," Pat said. "I felt bad for him."

Most of his confidants thought he'd call it quits at the end of the season. A month ago Bob told Pat he was retiring. Pat talked him out of it. Friday, Knight called his long-time friend, former UTEP coach Don Haskins, and told him he was about to retire.

"He said, 'don't tell anyone,' " Haskins said. "I didn't, but that's only because I didn't believe him."

After a satisfying victory Saturday over Oklahoma State, the Red Raiders had Sunday off. Early Monday, Knight went to the office, asked Pat and his brother Tim, who also works with the program, to come down.

"I thought we were going to talk about the Super Bowl or hunting or something," Pat said. "Instead he just said, 'It's your program. I'm done.' "

Pat couldn't talk him out of it this time, and he really didn't want to. "He was tired, it was tough on him, the poor guy," Pat said. "He was just so tired."

And so that was that. Bob Knight gathered his team at practice that afternoon and told them the news. Pat, 36, took over practice and preparation for a game at Baylor.

Bob left, more than four decades of Army, Indiana and Texas Tech coming to an end, all the history, all the moments, all the players, all the memories, all the scandal and all the truth, just walking out the door to no fanfare, no cheers, no nothing.

Just how he wanted it. Let history sort through the clouds for the stunning reality – the coach who cheated the least won the most.

"He'll be at a fishing hole soon," Pat laughed.

It was a great day for referees, a terrible one for trout.

Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Updated on Tuesday, Feb 5, 2008 2:22 am, EST

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Interesting take on Tiger Woods

Everybody knows Tiger Woods. Special athlete , yes. Madison Avenue heaven , yes. Just don't go to him for an opinion. Just don't look for him to take a stand. Jim Brown walks the walk. Tiger's endorsements are precious to him. More precious than the good he can do from the position he is in.


Brown not backing down regarding Tiger
By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
February 2, 2008

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo! Sports

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Tiger Woods is not just one of the world's most popular athletes, he's one of its most popular people. He is relentlessly positive, as appealing away from the game as he is on the golf course.

Some of that is his natural personality; some, presumably, part of a calculated (and understandable) attempt to navigate a public life that impossibly asks him to be all things to all people.

Woods glides through the world like one of his shots toward the green; a breathtakingly precise, yet soft-landing approach.

It takes a tough guy to criticize Tiger Woods, to demand more, to square off and to risk the inevitable backlash of challenging such a personality. In the end, you can't really win.
Jim Brown has no such concern, of course, no such fear. His approach to life – particularly in addressing social issues – is like his old football running style. He just squares his shoulders, buries his head and blasts right at you.

That's how Brown, the product of the contentious 1960s, believes it needs to be done; the same way Woods, a far calmer generation later, probably feels his way is best.

Brown recently criticized Woods for being "too politically correct" in not speaking out sooner or with more force when a Golf Channel anchor said opposing players' best bet to stop Woods was to "lynch" him.

"He should have come out right away," Brown told ESPN. "Instead, he waited until it was politically correct (to comment)."

Even then, Woods brushed the entire episode aside.

For Brown, much of the backlash for criticizing Woods was swift and thorough. In some quarters, he was as vilified as the announcer. But as you'd expect, he isn't backing down.

"Someone asked me a question and I gave them an answer," Brown told Yahoo! Sports at a Super Bowl charity golf event this week. "And the answer, I thought, was very thoughtful and very meaningful.

"And if it is understood, a lot of people will go into their history and learn something about who developed this country, who helped develop it, who are the people who made it as great as it is today and at what cost."

Here's the thing with Brown, he asks questions and gives answers that few of us in comfortable positions sometimes want to hear. This includes me.

It's not that you have to agree with him, but simply contemplating his point can take energy, thought and even study in a day and age that prefers instant, simple-minded agreement or dismissal.

But life isn't "Hannity & Colmes."

Brown's point is that in the fade of history the true meaning of lynching had been forgotten.

"Lynching was the weapon of the greatest terrorist group in this country, the Ku Klux Klan," he said. "That was their weapon of choice. So if you don't know that, then you should really become educated because a lot of people have suffered many years because of the sickness of that terrorist organization."

To Brown "evil is evil." To joke about lynching is no different than joking about a hijacked plane on 9-11 orphaning a child, a roadside bomb in Fallujah taking out a Marine's knees, or an explosive-packed car murdering innocent shoppers in some far off land.

It's not just about race, it's about rememberance and perspective. It's a point that, at the very least, makes you stop and think.

Woods has been criticized for not being as socially outspoken as many great athletes of Brown's era. Clearly, Woods has the kind of immense power that was unattainable a generation ago.

His response is that he is socially active through his charities, which is a fair point. And he certainly doesn't have to apologize for not being Jim Brown or thinking like Jim Brown.

Brown has no more the final say on this than anyone else. If Woods thought Kelly Tilghman's two-week suspension was enough and this was, indeed, no big deal, then that's fine.

But Brown certainly can have a say. The worst thing that happened from the lynching fallout was some of the instantaneous, outright dismissal of everything Brown and others articulated.

The powers that be, especially in golf, wanted no part of looking in their sport's historical (or current) mirror. So they rallied with a simple message, "Just move on, it's no big deal, just an innocent mistake."

It would seem that at least some in the golf establishment and some of its lock-step media were as angry with Golf Week at attempting to continue the debate than the magazine's terrible choice of cover art.

But that's always the moneyed-power reaction; kill all discussion, protect the status quo. Woods – knowingly or not, purposefully or not – became their perfect spokesman on the issue.

That's Tiger's right, of course. But doing what Brown demanded – examining the past, educating people to history, challenging Woods' approach and opinion – can never be a bad thing either. Even if it becomes rarer and rarer in a sports world now mostly devoid of socially outspoken stars.

"(Athletes don't speak out today) because the most difficult part of the struggle is over," Brown said. "Now an African-American athlete can enjoy pretty much everything that everyone else can enjoy.

"When you are in an era when you can utilize the fruits of someone else's labor, it takes a thoughtful person to think the battle still goes on, the struggle still goes on and there (are) still barriers that we still have to break down."

At age 71, Brown refuses to stop challenging athletes to think about the world outside of endorsements, parties and public relations. No matter how much it costs him in all of those things.

"That's the life I live," he said. "The life I live is to try to be a part of change. A lot of youngsters, once they become educated they become advocates. They really try to do the right thing."

It's too simplistic to say Brown's approach is always right or always wrong; just as it would be to say about Woods'. Both have their merits.

Here's what is wrong in discussing race in America: taking the easy route and just say be quiet, just say it's over and no one cares anymore, to just say the other side's opinion has no merit or meaning.

The thing is, it takes courage to listen.

Jim Brown, no doubt, has that courage; the courage to fight even against an overwhelmingly popular conventional wisdom articulated by no less than Tiger Woods.

Maybe, in the end, he changed few minds in golf or anywhere else, but America remains a better place because Jim Brown, all these years later, keeps trying to fight these mostly un-winnable fights.

Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.