I recall a long time ago in school there was a new football coach who had these t-shirts made up for the team that simply said “TEAM” across the front, and down in the bottom edge of the shirt there was a small “Me”. The thought behind this was that the age old saying of “There is no I in Team” is true, but without the individual accomplishments and work of the individuals collectively there would be no team. There is a “me” in team and that while it is important to work together to accomplish a goal, it is equally important to look out for yourself and take note of what your part in the process was.
The flip-side of that is that no single person is more important than the team. Tom Brady is an accomplished quarterback in the NFL, but he can not go out on the field by himself and win games. He needs the other players on the team to be successful. He also needs to be able to take hits from the other team, get shoved to the ground, and downright mistreated and then he needs to get back up and keep going. If Brady or the other stars in the NFL were to take each hit, tackle, interception personally and continue to dwell on it they would soon be out of a job. See Ryan Leaf for an example.
The individuals that stand out in the NFL are able to survive grueling seasons, year after year as equally talented people do their best to stop them. They don’t get caught up in feelings and wondering why the other team does not like them, they just go out there and do their jobs. Those are the real superstars in the NFL.
Like I tell my son when we are playing sports and he gets hurt. “Stand up, rub some dirt on it, and get back out there”