Do you ever wonder what NFL football coaches say to their players during a big game? That’s the challenge for Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Doug Pederson of the Philadelphia Eagles, the men whose teams will compete this Sunday in the Super Bowl.

Perhaps they’ll turn to the words of a fictional counterpart. En la 1999 movie “Any Given Sunday,” veteran Coach Tony D’Amato [Al Pacino] delivers one of the greatest inspirational sports speeches, ever.

Pacino challenges his team to win the game “inch by inch, play by play.”

This is a football speech, in a locker room, at half time. Per a mi, it’s also a speech about farming. And life.

Please hear me out on this and let me explain, the idea’s not as strange as it sounds.

Pacino’s character begins by calling the game “the biggest battle of our professional lives.” Then he makes an almost philosophical point: “You find out life’s this game of inches.”

The same is true for farming.

I farm about 1,500 acres in the south of England, growing a variety of crops: blat, l'ordi, herba, llavors oleaginoses [colza], pèsols, i fesols. They become everything from bread, biscuits and animal feed, from beer to whisky, cooking oils and bird food! We also graze sheep on our land, grass and cover crops.

If winning and losing in football comes down to what happens “inch by inch, play by play,” then success and failure in farming also comes down to what happens “inch by inch, crop by crop”— as well as “row by row,” “field by field,” and “season by season.”

Back to Pacino: “In either game—life or football—the margin for error is so small. Em refereixo a, one half step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us.”

Also true in farming!

Today we live in an era of precision agriculture, which means we can measure everything. It’s a slogan used in all successful businesses -including farming: “If you can measure it, you can manage it.” We drive tractors that rely on GPS satellites and use software that monitors our farms and all of their inches. Sometimes those inches are literal…other times, metaphorical.

In the spring, we have to wait for the right time sow seeds in the soil. If we plant too early, our crops will die in the frost. If we’re too late, they won’t flourish. En el camí, we have to apply exact amounts of fertilizer, herbicide, i plaguicides. We worry about moisture levels, heat waves, and high winds. At harvest, we stand or fall based on our yield.

The inches are everything, and everywhere.

More Pacino: “On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team … we claw our fingernails for that inch. Because we know, when we add up all those inches, that’s going to make the difference between winning and losing, between living and dying.”

Every time I hear that speech, it fires me up. It’s not just about football and farming. It’s about life as well.

The late Chuck Noll, the legendary football coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, put it this way: “If you want to win, fer millor que ningú fa les coses ordinàries, dia en i dia."

És tot sobre la polzades.

Pot ser un pagès a l'UK, però estic mirant endavant a la Super Bowl en la EUA — tot i que la puntada inicial d'obertura és per a nosaltres al mig de la nit.

Futbol americà no és encara un gran esport al Regne Unit, encara que diversos jocs de la NFL a Londres han jugat a grans, audiències esgotades. He estat un fan anys i recordar l'apogeu de la Chicago Bears i la seva línia defensiva, així com els atacs de pas de la Dallas Cowboys i els 49ers de San Francisco.

M'agrada veure la velocitat i l'habilitat d'aquests esportistes sorprenents, i les mètriques i estadístiques utilitzades per entrenadors — i ho prefereixo el joc aquella trucada de nord-Americans "futbol".

El diumenge, aquest agricultor anglès es animar pels patriotes de Nova Anglaterra. Estic impressionat per la llarga trajectòria en de l'equip la excel·lència, durant moltes temporades. Sigui quin sigui el resultat final, el resultat probablement arribarà a només unes quantes polzades en un grapat d'obres.

El mateix serà veritable per a mi el dilluns al matí, Quan vaig començar un altre dia i preparar-se per un altre any com un pagès que es Guanyi o perdi, polzada per polzada.

Tan Pacino acaba el seu discurs als seus jugadors "ara, Què vas a fer...?"avui el mateix es pot dir que nosaltres com a agricultors....