Tom Clancy and Tony Romo (and last impressions count)

impression value

“You will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you’re making.”

C.S. Lewis

—-

 

Ok.

 

While discussing Tony Romo and Tom Clancy I could have just as easily called this …last impression sailboat Last impressions matter the most … because this is more about Life than it is about Tony & Tom.

 

Well.

 

 

Whoda thunk I would put Tom Clancy and Tony Romo together to make a point.

 

Author Tom Clancy just passed away.

 

And quarterback Tony Romo just passed away an opportunity to change his legacy <on not being able to win the close games>.

 

 

Both made me think of the importance of last impressions versus first impressions.

 

I have written about this before from a marketing perspective < ….. http://brucemctague.com/clorox-storytelling  …. > where I point out the last impression was the most important one when using a product. This lesson is also relevant to Life in general.

 

 

Regardless.

 

 

I tend to believe we put far too much importance on first impressions versus last impressions.

 

First.

Some comments I found online:

———

Commenter:

Just how predictable was it the Romo would throw that interception???

——–

quotes to remember 

Commenter:

How predictable was that book???

———

 

Second.

 

My point about last impressions.

 

Let me begin with Tom Clancy … an author I loved in his early writing days.

 

An excellent author best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines that are set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War.

 

His first 5 books may possibly be the best ever written in that genre.

Complex brain twisters which were just not easy reads but great reads.

 

 

Oddly, many of these actually become good movies <oddly because translating multi-plot books into movies is not easy>.

 

His last dozen<s> of books were formulaic and slightly vapid but fun quick beach reads.

Likeable books but nothing even close to his first five.

 

Does it change his legacy?

 

Does it change his talent?

 

 

Kind of.

 

He was a great writer who liked to write. He constantly thrust himself back into the game.

 

Uhm.

Something I like to remind people.

 

Yeah. He played.

 

 

But should he have continued playing?

Should he have written the last books?

 

Geez.

 

Writers write. That’s what they do.

 

But you know what? If I had been Tom I may have squirreled away one manuscript just for the end of my writing days.

 

One more Hunt for Red October … or Red Storm Rising.

 

One last frickin’ gem.

 

The problem?

 

 

Well.

I imagine you just can’t pull that stuff out of thin air.

 

But imagine what his legacy would have been if his last impression was one of his first books?

 

I guess that is my point.

 

First impressions maybe get you in the game <maybe> … but last impressions are … well … the last. By the way … last means exactly that … it may be the last one you ever get.

 

finished beginning quote

Anyway.

 

Oh.

As for Tony?

 

He just played a spectacular game against the Denver Broncos.

Spectacular.

 

But for maybe 30 seconds and one choice and a confluence of random factors … his last impression in a statistically mind boggling performance would have been ‘elite.’

 

Ah.

The last impression though?

 

With 1:45 left in the game he throws a bad interception and his team loses.

 

The point is that it mattered WHEN he threw the interception. If it had been his first pass of the game? Who cares today.

 

Last impression?

 

 

He can’t close a tough game out.

He can’t perform when it counts.

 

Here’s the deal. He’s a quarterback … just as writers write … quarterbacks throw.

 

That’s what they do.

 

Athletics are certainly different than writing … authors have to thrust themselves into the game … athletes have the game thrust upon them.

 

But you know what?

 

Regardless of whether you are proactive or reactive … in the end … it will be the last impression that matters.

 

Now.

 

 

What do both of these guys have in common? <because … please note … I am certainly not suggesting that Romo will attain an athletic status equal to Clancy’s writing status>

 

limitations infinity

 

 

They both played the game … because that is what they do.

 

Clancy wrote … last impression be damned.

Romo passed … last impression be damned.

 

They realized it was … damned if you do … damned if you don’t.

 

They realized it was time to let the chips fall as they may … my last impression may suck … it may just not be as good as my first impression but ‘give me the ball coach and let me play’ is the attitude.

 

In today’s world … I included <because I am writing this damn post> … we are quick to judge off of outcome. Our last impression is the tangible. The output and the outcome.

 

Should it be? Sure <I guess>.

 

But it is quite possible that the last impression judged should be ‘the measure of the man.’

 

Like Tom Clancy’s books or not.

Like Tony Romo as a quarterback or not.

 

These guys chose to play.

Win, lose or draw.

Whether the game was thrust upon them or they thrust themselves upon the game.

 

They played … and asked to play day in and day out … as leaders.

 

They stepped up every day and every moment.

My last impression?

Character.

 

———–

 

Postscript:

Just in case you are not familiar with Clancy’s first 5 books … all classics in the genre … here they are. My favorite to this day remains Red Storm Rising but all 5 are spectacular.

 

 

 

–          The Hunt for Red October (1984)

Clancy’s first published novel. CIA analyst Jack Ryan assists in the defection of a respected Soviet naval captain, along with the most advanced ballistic missile submarine of the Soviet fleet.

 

–          Red Storm Rising (1986)

War between NATO and USSR.

 

–          Patriot Games (1987)

Patriot Games chronologically predates the first book that Clancy wrote, The Hunt for Red October. Jack Ryan foils an attack in London on the Prince and Princess of Wales by the “Ulster Liberation Army”. The ULA then attacks Ryan’s Maryland home while he is hosting the Prince and Princess for dinner.

 

–          The Cardinal of the Kremlin (1988)

The sequel to “The Hunt for Red October.” Ryan leads a CIA operation which forces the head of the KGB to defect. Other elements include anti-satellite lasers and other SDI-type weapons, and the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

 

–          Clear and Present Danger (1989)

The President authorizes the CIA to use American military forces in a covert war against cocaine producers in Colombia. The operation is betrayed.

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Written by Bruce