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How to Win

Abraham Lincoln’s Great Halftime Speech

For all his greatness, Abraham Lincoln wasn’t much of a prognosticator.

Lincoln, born on this date in 1809, managed to give the worst prediction in the history of speechmaking when he said in the Gettysburg Address, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.”

Today, that address ranks as one history’s best. Its themes could easily translate into a great halftime speech. In fact, it’s already happened. Knute Rockne’s famous “Win One for the Gipper” speech uses the same elements that Lincoln did.

There’s reverence for tradition, a mission greater than the self, a sense of the sacred, the contributions of others, and a call to move the cause forward.

Whether it’s Lincoln or Rockne, the message is the same: It’s about others.
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