INDIANAPOLIS – The Chicago Cubs play in the MLB. The Indianapolis Colts play in the NFL. One is a baseball team, the other a football franchise. But, Colts general manager Chris Ballard is looking at how the Cubs’ baseball team was structured, and take those examples on how he can succeed in his job on the NFL level. Sounds silly right?
Except its not.
The Chicago Cubs ended a 108-year drought in 2016, but they didn’t just start winning overnight. When Theo Epstein took over the team, there were some long years of rebuilding. Those efforts have paid off the last three years with reaching the pinnacle last season for them. Now, the Cubs have a dynasty with a core group of young talent that’s not going anywhere in the next 5+ years. That’s a great example of what Ballard is trying to do in Indianapolis.
The parallels are more similar than you would think too. Yes, they’re two separate sports, but Ballard, like Epstein, is taking over a team with a long-term goal in mind. Epstein knew he wasn’t going to come in and win the World Series in his first season. He knew it was going to be a process and he couldn’t pay attention to the outside noise. Ballard, knows he’s not going to win the Super Bowl this year too. But, calculated moves with the right players to build a new culture, is what Ballard is trying to emulate.
Accoring to a release, Ballard leaves the west side facility and before he closes his eyes for the night he reads a book titled “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse by Tom Verducci.”
The books resonates with Ballard as he’s learning from key quotes from Joe Maddon and Theo Epstein. How both of them stay calm and build a team of character is what Ballard is striving for.