Survivor: Nicaragua Roundtable - Part Two
By BOP Staff
September 16, 2010
We were afraid we'd save the Jimmy Johnson discussion topic for today and he'd get voted out on Wednesday...Kim Hollis: Survivor has generally existed without star power. This season, we have the much-publicized appearance of Super Bowl and College National Championship-winning coach (and NFL analyst/celebrity spokesperson) Jimmy Johnson as one of the contestants. How do you think this is going to play out?
Bruce Hall: I know it is a serious question, and having never watched even one full episode of Survivor I may not be the best man to ask. But I feel compelled to point out that the promos for this represent the first time I have ever, EVER seen Jimmy Johnson's hair out of place. Really. It is.
More seriously, even though I haven't watched the show to any degree I have been a big admirer of Johnson since his days at Miami and have had the opportunity to know more than a few football coaches in my time. To be successful in that line of work it takes much more than acumen with X's and O's, but it takes an innate ability to lead people not just by example but by sheer force of will. At no level is it more evident than college. Most college football players were among the best athletes in the country at the high school level and are used to being treated with reverence. Add the fact that they're away from home for the first time, plus standard issue teenage behavior patterns, and it takes a lot of skill and creativity to keep the kids focused and obedient. This is leaving out the administrative half of being a college football coach, which often takes up as much or more of your time than football.
My point is that Johnson is almost unparalleled in his ability to lead and inspire and I am admittedly curious as to when he will choose to fall back upon these attributes and when he will let his considerable charisma do the talking. This might be an unlikely environment for him to shine but he's a resourceful and cunning person and as someone who's never had an interest in the show this might be enough to tempt me to watch.
Jim Van Nest: I touched on this earlier, but a lengthy run by Johnson is imperative to this season even thinking about competing with HvV. I've watched some of the videos of Jimmy and he is not just a random celebrity coming on this show. He's an obsessive fan of the show who knows how to play the game. Further, he knows what someone of his stature is going to face. He knows that he's in the hole before the game even begins.
I think there are a couple things he HAS to do in order to have a deep run in this game. First, be an ordinary guy. Don't try to run the show. This will be hard for him as it's all he's ever done. But he has to force Coach Johnson into the background to start off or he's an early boot. Second, he needs to really focus on his incredible motivational skills. If he can help motivate his team to a couple early wins, they may see him as instrumental in their success and despite his money an fame, they may feel his motivation is worth keeping him around. Finally, play on the celebrity if at all possible. There is bound to be at least a couple people in awe of him. I know I would be. If he can find those people quickly and align with them, he could be poised for a deep run into this game.