||36th NACDA Convention|
Salt Lake City, Utah
June 10-13, 2001
All NACDA Members
President's Remarks and Keynote Address
Tuesday, June 12, 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Good morning. I am Debbie Yow, director of athletics at the University of Maryland and I'm serving as president of NACDA for this year. It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to NACDA's 36th Annual Convention.
I am pleased to announce that there are close to 2,000 people registered for the Convention and the Workshops. We have a very special speaker this morning. I don't know how it could get any better than this for us, since he's gone to great trouble to join us. Before he begins speaking, I'd like to mention that last night, Jackie Stiles of Southwest Missouri State, won the Broderick Cup Award.
I think we want to give as much time as we possibly can to this very special speaker, so without further ado, I'd like to introduce Bill Bradshaw to introduce our speaker.
Thank you Debbie. Good morning. On behalf of NACDA, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce to you our very special Keynote Speaker. The name Tommy Lasorda is synonymous with baseball, the Dodgers and now, with the 2000 Olympic Games held in Australia last summer. Tommy has been associated with the Dodger organization for 52 years counting as a player, coach, manager, scout and in his current position of senior executive vice president.
During his Hall of Fame career, Tommy's staggering accomplishments include winning five pennants during eight seasons as a manager in the minor leagues. During 20 years as manager of the Dodgers, he led his team to two World Championships, four National League pennants and seven Western Division titles while his '94 team was leading the division before the strike. He is one of only two managers ever to win league titles in their first two seasons as manager, when he led the Dodgers to two pennants, in 1977 and in 1978.
In the history of baseball, Tommy is 13th in total wins, 12th in total games managed, 3rd in postseason games managed, second in National League Championship Series Games managed and was 3-1 managing the National League All-Star Team. He is one of only four individuals in baseball to manage one team 20 or more years. One of the others, Walter Austin, was replaced by Tommy on September 29, 1976. The other two, Johnny Mack and John McGraw were also owners of the teams. That's not bad, Tommy. There were 210 managerial changes in the major leagues during Tommy's 20 seasons with the Dodgers.
Among his numerous honors are 1970 Sporting News Minor League Manager of The Year and Major League Manager of the Year in 1977, 1981 and 1988. On August 3, 1997, Tommy Lasorda was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He's one of only 14 managers in the Hall of Fame and he gave what historians believe to be one of the greatest speeches ever in Cooperstown. In honor of his Hall of Fame election, the Dodger's renamed the main street that leads to the entrance of Dodger Town in Vero Beach, Florida, Tommy Lasorda Lane. On August 15 of that same year, his uniform number two was retired in a pre-game ceremony at Dodger Stadium. I think we saw it about 25 times last night on "Sports Center."
When the 2000 U.S. Olympic Committee was looking for someone very special to manage our National Olympic Baseball Team last summer, they looked no further than our Keynote Speaker. Afterall, Tommy had developed and managed nine of the 16 Dodger Rookies of the Year during his career, more than any big league skipper in history.
A motivator and developer of young talent, par excellence, Tommy led a team of non-descript minor leaguers to an 8-1 record and an historic 4-0 win over world power Cuba, in the gold medal game. The U.S. Olympic Committee recently named our baseball Olympians as Team of the Year and Tommy as honorary Coach of the Year. There was not a better story in all of sports in the year 2000 than our Olympic Gold Medal Baseball Team. Before I bring Tommy up here, we'd like to show a brief highlight video of the 2000 Gold Medal Olympic Team managed by Tommy. At the conclusion of the video, we'll bring up Tommy.
Tommy has been married to his wife, Jo, 51 years. He's lived in the same home in Fullerton for 38 years. Without fanfare, he has also directly helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for numerous intercollegiate athletics programs across the country. He epitomizes many of the qualities that we, in our profession, embrace including loyalty and family, sportsmanship and fairplay, hard work and perseverance and a passion for his life's work. Please welcome, truly one of the greats in all sports, Tommy Lasorda.
Thank you Bill. Wow! Thank you. What a reception. President, Bill, athletics directors from all over the country, it's an honor to be here. When Bill was talking about me having to come here, I think it was about four or five months ago, he called me and said, "Everytime I watch you on television, you never fail to mention how proud you are to be living in the greatest country of the world." I said, "That's right, Bill." He said, "Then, you definitely believe in the constitution of this country." I told him I sure did. He said, "Then, you definitely believe in free speech in this country." I told him I sure did. He said, "Good, you're going to have to make one."
I just arrived yesterday from Japan. I was working with a baseball team over there. I arrived at 11:30 yesterday morning, went home changed clothes, unpacked my suitcase, packed an overnight bag and told my wife that I had to go to Salt Lake City. She said, "You're not going out to make another speech, are you, Tommy?" I said, "Yes, I have to go." She said, "I finally realize that after being married to you for 51 years, that you love the Dodgers and baseball more than you love me." I said, "Yes, but I love you more than I love football or basketball."
I speak to a lot of groups. In fact, there are a lot of people in this room that I have been fortunate enough to speak to in their schools to help raise money for their baseball programs. I enjoy going out to speak, because it gives me an opportunity to meet people. I love to meet people. When I leave, I always feel so much richer because I made new friends. When I can meet an Italian, it makes it that much greater. I don't care what organization I speak to, I will always meet an Italian there. Invariably, I will meet an Italian named Tony. I'll always meet one named Tony because every Italian has a friend named Tony in this country. I was the Grand Marshall at the Columbus Day parade in Philadelphia two years ago. I must have met 15,000 Italians and at least 5,000 of them were named Tony.
The year before that, I was the Grand Marshall of the Columbus Day parade in New York City, where my wife and I led 33,000 Italians down Fifth Avenue. There must have been 10,000 of them named Tony. I asked why there are so many Italians named Tony in this country. I discovered why. When they shipped them over from the old country, they stamped on their forehead, TO NY.
In fact, I have a story about two Italians. One was named Angelo, and you know what the other guy's name was, Tony. They made a pact that whichever one would die first, he would come back and tell the other one how things were. Unfortunately, Tony passed away first. For three years, Angelo kept looking for a sign from Tony telling him where he was, but to no avail. One night, he went to sleep and turned out the light. He saw a red ball of fire and a vision and heard a voice. "Angelo, Angelo, it's me, Tony." "Oh my God, Tony, you said you would come back. How is it." He said, "It's fantastic here. Unbelievable. I wake up every morning and I have sex and then I have breakfast. I have sex and then lunch, sex and then dinner." Angelo said, "I can't wait until I die and come to Heaven." Tony said, "To Heaven? I'm not in Heaven, I'm a rabbit in Colorado."
I tell the story about the time our Pope came over from Italy to the United States. He landed at Laguardia Airport. He ran to the limo driver and told him to take him to this address and in 30 minutes. He didn't want to be late. The limo driver said, "Impossible, I can't drive that fast." The Pope said, "Look, it would be embarrassing if I walked in to that meeting late. I'll pay you an extra $100." The driver said, "I can't do it. I can't drive that fast." The Pope said, "Look, you get in the back and I'll drive." The Pope got behind the wheel and drove down the highway at 60, 70 and 80 miles per hour. There was a highway patrolman on a motorcycle who saw the car. He went after him, stopped him and looked in the window. He saw the Pope. He said, "Oh my God, I don't believe it." He went back to the motorcycle and picked up the two-way radio. He said, "Chief, you won't believe who I just stopped. This guy is big. I mean really big, Chief." The chief said, "Mario, you're excited, who is this guy? The President of the United States?" "Bigger than that." "Well then, who is it, Frank Sinatra?" He said, "Bigger than that, Chief." "My God Mario, who is this guy?" I don't know who he is, Chief, but he's got to be big, he's got the Pope driving him."
When I was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, I told them the story about if God had planned for me to be a high school baseball coach, I think my objective would be to try to impress upon the youngsters playing for me how important it is for them to go to college and get a good education. Education is something that no one can take away from you. Education opens many doors to success. I believe that's more important than winning. If God had planned for me to be a college baseball coach, my objective would be to try to impress upon the youngsters playing for me how important it is for them to prepare themselves for the way of life. When they get out into our world, yours and mine, if they are not fully prepared, like many, they fall by the wayside. I believe that's more important than winning.
When you're a manager of a Major League Baseball team, you can forget those two philosophies. You've got to win. If you don't win, like many, you fall by the wayside. As Bill mentioned, in the 20 years I managed the Dodgers, there were 210 managers fired. It's positive proof that you've got to win. I'll tell you how bad I wanted to win. I can remember playing in Cincinnati. I got up Sunday morning and went to church. Who comes in and sits right next to me, the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, Johnny McNamara. I looked at him and knew why he was in church and he knew why I was there. At the conclusion of the Mass, we were walking out together. I looked at him and said to myself, this guy doesn't know it, but he's going to get his brains beat out today. We're going to kill this club today. As we approached the front door, he said, "Wait for me outside, Tommy, I'll be right out." I wondered where he was going. The Mass was over. I watched him and he went over to the side of the church, knelt down and lit a candle. I went over to the other side of the church, went in front of the altar and waited. When he left, I went down and blew that candle out. I knew one thing, he was not lighting that candle for a dead relative. All throughout the game, I kept hollering to him, "Hey, Mac, it ain't gonna work, I blew it out." We clobbered them that day, 13-2. It's positive proof that I took the game with me no matter where I went, whether it was to church, or wherever. You've got to win. It makes no difference what you undertake in life, you've got win.
I've spoken eight times to the Air Force Academy. I've spoken twice to West Point and twice to the United States Naval Academy. It's a thrill and an honor for me to go to those places to try to remind those young men exactly what it will take from them to make it in life. I tell them that I know what it is to be young, but they don't know what it is to be old. When I talk to them, I'm telling them what it's going to take for them to make it in life. I love every minute of it because it gives me an opportunity to motivate those future leaders of our country. I do the same thing at many, many colleges throughout this great nation of ours.
I try to convince people that "any man or woman who loves their job has never worked a day in their life." I've been with the Dodgers 52 years. I don't believe I've ever said I have to go to work. I told my wife that I was going to the ballpark and having fun. You've got to enjoy what you're doing because it's very important. In my travels throughout this great nation, I talk to a lot of people. I can't tell you how many people will tell me that they are unhappy with their job. I tell them to quit and do something else because you're not doing yourself any good nor are you doing the people who employ you any good. What a great feeling it is to wake up in the morning and thank God you're alive and then go to your place of employment with all of the enthusiasm, all the self-confidence and say you're going to be better today than yesterday. If you have that feeling, there isn't any doubt in my mind that you're a very happy person and, in most cases, you are a successful person.
I try to impress that there are three types of people, just like there are three types of baseball players, three types of athletes. Number one, is the one who makes it happen. Number two, is the one who watches it happen. Number three, is the one who wonders what is happening. We must make it happen. The only way we can make it happen is we have to love what we're doing and we have to pay the price. The price of success can only come through the avenue of hard work. In order for you to be a success, we have to outwork our opponents. That's the only way we'll succeed.
Self-confidence is, without a doubt, the first step to success. When I got the job as manager of the Dodgers, Vin Scully interviewed me. In his own way he said to me, "You are replacing a man who's been there for 23 years. You are replacing a future Hall of Famer. You are replacing one of the greatest managers that ever managed in the history of the major leagues. Don't you feel there's going to be a lot of pressure on you?" I didn't even hesitate and answered, "You want to know something, Vinnie, I'm worried about the guy who will replace me." You see, if I was concerned about who I was replacing, there's a chance I might have felt inferior. When I thought about the guy who was replacing me, all of a sudden, I felt superior. It's just the direction that you look and how you believe. You've got to believe you can achieve anything in life.
I remember the first time I was asked to go to the Air Force Academy. General Scott asked me to go there and motivate the cadets. I was honored to do this. When my wife and I arrived in Colorado Springs, there was a young lieutenant who was assigned to take my wife and I around. In conversation, he said to me, "I came to this Academy wanting to be a pilot. I graduated this Academy wanting to be a pilot, but I could never fly." I asked him why not. He said, "I was a pitcher on the baseball team. I got hit on the head with a line drive that knocked me unconscious. I spent three weeks in the hospital. I just took my physical and the doctor said I could never be a pilot." I asked him the name of the doctor who told him this. Was it God? He said, "No, sir." I said, "Well, the only person who can tell you that you cannot fly is God and don't you ever forget that." I went in to make my speech to 4,600 cadets. He was then going to take my wife and I to the general's house for a party. He said to me, "I'm going to fly." I said, "Wait a minute lieutenant, one hour ago you told me you couldn't fly. What changed your mind?" "It was something you said to the cadets. You told the cadets that your father said to you that in everybody's lifetime, there comes a time when one door will close on you. If you're so concerned with the door that closes, you will never find the one that is open. You must wake up every morning and look for that open door. Your father told you when you went away to play professional baseball at the age of 17 to remember this little saying, because God's delays does not mean that God denies." Two years later, I received a letter from Lieutenant Bob Wright. In the envelope, there was a picture of him standing next to his jet getting ready to go into Desert Storm to battle. On the bottom of the letter he wrote, "Because God delayed, God didn't deny."
I was asked by Harvey Schiller to speak at a luncheon in Colorado Springs to raise money for the U.S. Olympics, which I was honored to do. At that luncheon, a colonel walked up and said he was sure I'd like to know that one of the most prestigious honors we bestow upon an alumni of the Air Force Academy was given to Captain Bob Wright, who just shot down three enemy planes in Bosnia. You remember when Officer Grady got shot down, I was sent the conversation between the pilot in the air and the pilot on the ground, Captain Bob Wright. General Kelly asked me to go to Montgomery, Alabama, to Maxwell Air Force Base to speak to the graduating class. As I got off the plane walking toward the baggage claim, someone ran toward me. I looked and it was Major Bob Wright, the youngest major in the U.S. Air Force. He was hugging me like I was his long-lost father. He said, "If it weren't for you, none of this would have happened." I said, "Major, don't ever say that to me again. It was because of you that it happened, not me. When that doctor told you that you could not fly, you believed it. The moment that you believed you could fly, you went on to become a hero." That's what it takes for all of us. We've got to believe in ourselves. We've got to understand that whatever we undertake in life, we've got to believe in it.
Your job is no different than mine was as the manager of the Dodgers. I wanted to be the best manager in baseball. I'm sure you want to be the best at your job. I wanted the Dodgers to be the best organization in baseball and I'm sure you want your school to be the best. I wanted to make money. We need it to survive and I'm sure you need to make money. It's all relative. What becomes important in our lives is how much of a price are you willing to pay for that school to represent? That is the question you will ask yourselves many times and only you can give the answer to it. The only way you're going to beat your opponents is to outwork them.
Somebody said to me once, "Tommy, everytime I hear you talk, you talk about motivation. Do you really believe that you have to motivate players making $5 or $8 million a year?" I said, "Without a doubt. Everybody in this country from the President of the United States on down to the lowest job needs to be motivated. At sometime or another, we think we're doing our best, but in reality, we aren't, so we need something to get us to be just a little bit better and go a little bit harder." He asked, "When did you start feeling like this about motivation?" I told him that I knew the day that I could motivate players. I was managing Spokane in the Pacific Coast League. We were playing in Tucson and had them beat 3-2. They had the bases loaded with two outs. I had a little left-handed pitcher, Bobby O'Brien, on the mound. I thought I would go out and get this kid fired up. If I could get him to believe he could get this guy out, we'd win the ballgame. I ran out and said, "Bobby, if the heavens could come apart and you could hear the voice of the big Dodger in the sky saying to you, Bobby, this is the last hitter you're going to face on earth and you're going to die and come to heaven." Son, how would you like to face the Lord, giving up a base hit or getting this guy out? He said, "Skipper, I want to go facing the Lord getting this guy out." I said, "Then, how do you know that when you make that next pitch, that you're not going to die? If you are going to die, I want you to die getting this guy out." I ran back to the bench. Before I got to the dugout, he threw the ball, the guy got a base hit, two runs scored and they went ahead 4-3. Now, I had to take him out. As I walked to the mound, I thought I had this guy believing. What happened? When I got out there, I asked him what happened. He said, "You had me so afraid of dying, I couldn't concentrate on that hitter." Now, that is motivation. If I can get them to believe they're going to die, I sure as hell can get them to believe that they can play better. It's really that important because you've got to believe.
I can remember one of my players asking me why I always hollered at him. I told him it was because I wanted him to play better than he was playing. He was a better ballplayer than what he was showing me. He said, "Well, I try." I said, "Try? I could get a truck driver to try. I'd go out on the highway, get a guy driving a tractor and trailer, bring him in here next to you. I'd ask him if I paid him $2 million a year, like I pay this donkey, would he try?" That guy would try from 3:00 a.m. until midnight. I said, "For $2 million a year, I'd wrestle piranhas and believe I could beat them. What the hell are you telling me? I've got to commend you for trying and you're making $2 million a year? I don't win championships with tryers, I win with doers. You've got to do the job here, pal. If you don't, it's adios, you've got to go." We don't run a development program up here. You've got to win. I don't want to be like those 210 other guys, who got fired, I wanted to work and be the manager. It takes that in order for you to achieve what you're attempting to do.
I've spoken to a lot of schools and I say that you have a tremendous responsibility. In your job, you have a responsibility to make sure these youngsters who come to your school, first of all, get an education. That's what they're there for. They are not there just to play sports. If they're lucky enough to play sports, that's a bonus. They should get a good education and they should not let the opportunity of getting an education go by. They should get that education and that is your responsibility. They send their daughters and sons to your schools and say, "Here they are. Make something of them for us. Take them and make them believe, prepare them for when they leave your school that they will be better prepared to exist and be productive." Your responsibility is to take them in and make them believe and make them want to do it and make them understand what it's going to take for them to make it in life. If you can do that, you're doing your job. It's the most important part of your job. Make sure that those youngsters get a good education.
I can't understand that people who run universities and schools have to cheat to win a game. I can't understand that. It is beyond my imagination. I believe that when you take those youngsters as a coach or athletics director, your responsibility is to get them prepared for life. That's your responsibility. You also better hope and pray they graduate and when they do get out into our world they are better prepared and more productive. When I was asked to take that Olympic team, I wanted to be a part of this. I wanted to take an Olympic baseball team to Australia and bring a gold medal to the United States where it belongs. Understand this, there were 24 young men on that team, 23 of them, I had never seen before. I had never seen them play, I didn't know who they were. The only guy I knew was Pat Borders and he was older than dirt. I met with him for the first time in San Diego before we went over to Australia. I told him that I didn't know who you guys are. I didn't know where you were from. I didn't know whether you're single or married. I didn't know whether you're good, mediocre or bad. But, I'm going to tell you something right now. When this thing is all over, the whole world is going to know you guys. Want to know why? Because your are coming to play your hearts out. You are coming to play for one thing and that's to bring the gold medal in baseball to the United States where it belongs. Baseball is not the Korean's game or the Japanese' game or the Italian's, it's our game and we cannot let these teams beat us. When you come here, you do not represent your family, nor do you represent that school you went to or the town you come from or that organization that signed you, you represent the United States of America. You're going to do everything you can to make the United States proud of you. You're not going to do anything over here to embarrass our country.
You saw when that Cuban hit that player. You saw when that Cuban slid into home plate. He liked to break the catcher in half. Our guys wanted to fight him. I told them they were not going to fight him. They asked me if I was backing off on these guys. I told him I knocked down more guys in baseball than you have hair on your heard. I started more fights in baseball than Tyson has, but you're not going to fight. Want to know why? That's what Castro wants you to do. They want you to go out there and fight and embarrass your country. All of those other countries are envious of the United States because they would all love to live here. Anything you do is going to embarrass your country and you're not going to do that. You know what you're going to do? You're going to beat them on the baseball field. That's what you're going to do. That's the toughest thing you could do is beat those Cubans. By golly, they did I hollered to them in Spanish when we beat them. I told them to go back to Havana. I told them that next week Fidel would have them cutting sugarcane. I'm not going to let these clowns beat us.
I got my gold medal when I saw that medal go around my players. I got my gold medal when I saw our flag being raised. I got my gold medal when they played the National Anthem. I felt I did something for my country and that was the greatest thrill and honor I could have. Before I went to Australia, in all of the interviews I had, I told everybody that this was bigger than the World Series. I managed in four of them and this was bigger than the Dodgers of '51 at that time were. This is bigger than Major League Baseball. People thought I was wacky for saying that. When we won World Championships, the Dodger fans were happy, but the San Francisco Giant fans were not, nor were the Padre fans or the Cincinnati Red fans, but you win that gold medal and the United States in happy. That's what happened. Those young men played their hearts out. They played because they believed they could beat them and they wanted to beat them a little bit more than they wanted to beat us. To see them, when all of that celebration was going on, my coaches and me stayed back and watched them. To see them jumping up and down and hugging and crying was something to see. That's how they all were. Everytime they did interviews, I was so proud of them. I'm doing it for my country, for the United States of America is what they said and you wanted to hug them for saying that. It wasn't that they wanted to play for the Olympic Games, wanted somebody to see them, it was for their country.
All of those schools that these men represent should be proud of them because they represented that school in the highest degree of class, dignity and talent. That's so good. They were outstanding men. Four years ago, when that hockey team destroyed the Olympic Village, they embarrassed our country. I told my guys they weren't going to do that because I'm going to be with you all of the time. We're not going to do anything to embarrass our country. I can't tell you how proud I was wearing the American emblem.
My wife said to me, "What's the question the writers always ask you?" The one question they all ask is what do I want on my tombstone when I die? When I die, I want you to put on my tombstone in big letters, Dodger Stadium was his address, but every ballpark was his home. That's what I want. Peter O'Malley found out about this. About 15 years ago, in spring training, I was out on the field and they said Mr. O'Malley wants to see you in the press room. I went in and there were members of the press, his friends and his family. He made a presentation to me. It was a marble tombstone and on it, it said, "Tom Lasorda, a Dodger." In the middle of that heart, there was a picture with a drop of blood painted blue for Dodger blue. In letters at the bottom was, "Dodger Stadium was his address, but every ballpark was his home." I was so honored. I felt like I was the only man in organized baseball to receive a tombstone long before he was to pass on. In accepting it, I said to Mr. O'Malley that I wanted to go on record of saying to you in front of all of these people, that I want to work for the Dodgers even when I'm dead and gone. He looked at me and said, "I can understand how much you love the Dodgers. How in the world can you work for the Dodgers when you're dead?" I said, "Mr. O'Malley, when I die, I want my wife to put the Dodger home schedule in the tombstone. When the people are in the cemetery visiting their loved ones, they'll say let's go to Lasorda's grave to find out if the Dodgers are playing at home or on the road." Now, that's pride. Pride in the organization you represent. How many of you sitting in this room can honestly and truthfully say you want to work for your school when you're dead and gone? Think about it. If you can say you do, then you are, without a doubt, the happiest person in the world, in most cases, the most successful person.
Love what you're doing. Be proud of what you're doing. Be proud of that school because whatever you feel and however you want to feel will filter down to everyone you come in contact with. As a manager of the Dodgers for 20 years, no matter how dejected or depressed or tired I was, when I walked into that clubhouse, I put on a new face. I put on a winning face, an enthusiastic face and a self-confident face. If my players saw me dejected or depressed, what is the attitude of that clubhouse going to be? It's going to be the same. If you walk in there full of enthusiasm, all of a sudden it begins to spread throughout that clubhouse. That's the same with you. You can come home, have a tough day, walk in the house, your wife or husband says hello to you. If you're down, everyone in that house is down. The next day everything goes well and all of a sudden you walk in and it's, hi, kids, how's it going? That home then becomes a happy. Spread that at all times. You can spread it when you're with your coaches, your students. You can spread that enthusiasm, that self-confidence and the will to make it.
Love your work. Love your job. Do everything you can to make it the best. When you go to bed tonight and lay your head on the pillow, thank God. Sometimes you might feel cheated, denied or deprived. Just look over your shoulder and see how many people are worse off than you are. You'll realize how lucky you are. When you do go to bed tonight, say your prayers and if you have any compassion in your heart, say a prayer for Tommy and the Dodgers.
Ladies and gentlemen, I haven't heard a better speech here other than the one Tommy just gave us. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to play for Tommy right now. Tommy, on behalf of NACDA, we have a gold medal and a NACDA medal for Tommy Lasorda. I'm not sure if you realize this, but the coaches do not get medals at the Olympics, only the athletes.
Thank you Bill. I'll cherish this and hang it in my office with pride. For all of you, I have this message, if you don't pull for the Dodgers, there's a good chance, you may not get into heaven.
Thank you Tommy. I think that what you said, by the way, is particularly important to all of us because, in the year 2001, the athletics director position has become hazardous, very complex and, basically, generally misunderstood. We've been talking at this Convention and long before about the fact that we are going to have to become vocal advocates for our profession. The answer to the question of why is because if we don't nobody else will. No one understands what we do for a living so your words are very timely for us. The NACDA Convention turns out to be a place where we can share mutual concerns, especially in our breakout sessions to discuss remedies for those problems and to get re-focused and re-charged for all of the challenges all of us face in the upcoming years. In that regard, I'm going to need a little bit of help in terms of what the timing is. I know we have a breakout session coming up at 9:00 a.m. We have a 10-minute break here. I believe that Division I stays in this room.
For those of you who came to the luncheon yesterday, spread the word. It was a luncheon we all enjoyed and also ended in less than two hours. There's a rumor that the one today could be similar. If you have stayed away from the luncheons because you didn't want to devote your entire afternoon, the good news is we don't think you have to do that anymore. We hope to see you there as well as in the breakout sessions.