With WrestleMania 31 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara just days away, we decided to talk with the man who literally wrote the book on this event. Brian Shields, author of 30 Years Of WrestleMania, joined "The Rundown," a collaboration between TYT Sports and ThePostGame to offer his insights, expertise and memories about the WWE's biggest annual production:

One of the most famous people born in the Philippines is Tim Tebow. His parents were missionaries there in 1987 when he was born, and Tebow has returned to Philippines many times to do missionary work of his own. So it's no surprise that Tebow is supporting one of the most popular people in the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao, in his upcoming bout against Floyd Mayweather.

Tebow visited Pacquiao's training camp in Los Angeles over the weekend, and both posted pictures on their Instagram accounts.


Awesome being with my Filipino and Christian brother @emmanuelpacquiao #inspiration

A photo posted by Tim Tebow (@timtebow) on


Good to be with my brother in Christ @TimTebow

A photo posted by Manny Pacquiao (@emmanuelpacquiao) on

Pacquiao grew up Catholic but converted to become a Born Again Christian a few years ago.

It's 5:45 in the morning at Belle Isle in Richmond, Virginia.

"Hooyah!" John McGuire yells.

"Hooyah!" yells back a gathering of people shrouded in the pre-dawn fog, eager and ready to go.

After a quick warm-up, teams form and scatter to their boats in the James River. For the next hour McGuire and his team of instructors lead activities and exercises designed to make getting and staying in shape fun.

"The more you keep fitness fun, the more likely you are to stick with it," says McGuire, who spent 10 years working as a Navy SEAL. "Have you ever heard of people doing push-ups on a kayak in the middle of a river early in the morning?"

On many mornings, those having this kind of fun with McGuire are doctors, lawyers, teachers and community leaders. They clean off their unrecognizably muddy faces, wring out their wet, stained clothes, get in their cars and drive away so tired they can barely sit upright -- then do it again the next day.

But during some parts of the year, this is the type of training that has helped the Virginia Commonwealth basketball team earn five consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, including a Final Four berth in 2011.

"Instructor McGuire has the unbelievable feel for what it takes to put a team together," VCU coach Shaka Smart says. "I thought it was great fun for our team. A lot of stuff that is directly related to basketball."

Before each of the past four years, McGuire spends a week with the Rams, and then makes follow-up visits during the season. His intense team-building exercises are designed to help them think and react like a team, rather than a group of individuals. Whether it's rowing boats across the James River, doing push-ups on the sandy shore or completing point-to-point missions, the goal is the same: It's to push everyone to maximize physical and mental abilities under pressure and exhaustion.

McGuire's success with teams such as VCU and Illinois has helped boost his national profile. His business, SEAL Team Physical Training, Inc., is thriving, and he has made guest appearances on CNN for his expertise on being a Navy SEAL.

His story is all the more remarkable, considering how unlikely it was that he became a SEAL in the first place.

***

When John McGuire was 5, his mother put him in the family car, drove him into downtown Richmond and left him on a street corner with nothing. In and out of foster care, McGuire attended nine different elementary schools. In the seventh grade, McGuire wanted to be a fighter pilot. In high school, he wanted to become Top Gun.

"It was right when the movie came out," McGuire says. "Those guys were the best, and I wanted to be the best. I wanted to be cool."

McGuire was studying martial arts at the time, and he still remembers the advice he heard from his sensei: "If you become a pilot and they take your plane away, you're no good. But if you become a Green Beret, you are a weapon."

But McGuire still wanted to fly. When a friend gave him a copy of the Navy SEAL issue of Gung Ho magazine, McGuire took it to his sensei, and asked him what do you think about Navy SEALS? "I'll never forget his response," he says. "He told me that they were a bunch crazy m------, and that there was no way I could make it. I decided right then, that's what I wanted to be."

After high school graduation (which only happened, McGuire says, because schools were tired of dealing with him), he told a Navy recruiter that he wanted to be a SEAL. The recruiter said he was too small to qualify. McGuire would not take no for an answer. The recruiter ultimately caved, and off McGuire went to Florida for Navy Boot Camp and volunteered for Navy SEAL training.

The first day they were told to swim 500 yards and they had to use either breast stroke or side stroke. While waiting in the water before the start, McGuire turned to the guy beside him and said, "Hey, buddy, what's a breast stroke?" As it turns out, McGuire, who was about to embark on one of the most intense -- water centric -- training programs in the world, didn't know how to breast stroke or side stroke.

"All I could ever do is walk down the diving board on my hands, flip into the water and make it over to the side of the pool," he says. "We were kids. We liked to show off."

McGuire spent countless hours in the pool to become one of the strongest and fastest swimmers in his class. The survivor who'd been essentially figuring things out on his own since he was 5 not only learned how to swim, but he ultimately became a member of one of the most elite military programs in the world, the Navy SEALs.

***

In 1998, after ten years of serving his country all over the world, and cataloguing experiences too clandestine to discuss, McGuire needed to focus on his family life. "I'd be gone up to 11 months at a time," he says. "I remember coming home one day after being gone and my 5-year-old daughter ran away from me and hid, because she was scared of this stranger in her house."

To devote the time and attention to his family that he wanted and needed, McGuire left the military. Needing work to support his family, McGuire got a job at a temp agency, and also did odd jobs such as shoveling snow, mowing lawns and raking leaves. "I go from counter drug missions in South America, to temping behind a desk," he says. "it was a real culture shock."

While at the temp agency, McGuire was left with mostly empty time on his hands. But born of this boredom came a concept that has changed the lives of countless people and boosted athletic programs all over the country: His SEAL Team Physical Training business. It has expanded beyond Richmond to Charlottesville, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Miami is next. The founding principle was simple.

"It takes Everyone to win, One person to mess it up, and if someone is confused, Help them out, E1H," McGuire says. "There really is nothing like teamwork to bring out the best in people."

Developing the business however, was anything but simple. "I thought I was going to get 750 members in the first three months, but it took me almost 15 years to reach that many members," he says.

Although McGuire has successfully prepared young men and women for careers in special ops, he is always quick to say that he is not training people to become Navy SEALS. "You have to join the U.S. Navy for that," he says.

He is teaching people to believe in themselves, and know that "we can do more than we think." The principles of teamwork, leadership, communication and confidence apply to being a Navy SEAL, running a fitness company, team building and motivational speaking. McGuire and his team of expert instructors apply their teachings in all of these settings.

***

By October 2006, the business had grown from less than 15 members to nearly a thousand, and he was a mainstay in his five children's lives. Life for McGuire was perfect.

Then while doing back flips on the family trampoline, he landed awkwardly and broke the C-4 vertebrae in his neck. He was paralyzed instantly.

"It seemed like forever that I was lying there, and I couldn't move," he says.

McGuire was swiftly taken to MCV hospital in Richmond, where he was told he was not likely to make it through the night and that if he did, he would never use his arms and legs again.

That night, as he lay in bed, McGuire reflected back on his SEAL training, and decided then and there that he would not only survive the night, but that he'd be doing more pushups than anyone within two weeks. The next day he had surgery to fuse his neck, and a few short weeks later he felt movement in his fingers.

As McGuire began the long road toward recovery, the doctors were amazed by his progress. Each day he would endure formal physical therapy, but there was so much more. Rather than following doctor's orders to rest afterwards, he stayed awake all night trying to move his toes, or his fingers, or whatever else the doctors thought he would never be able to do. A month and a half after breaking his neck, McGuire was released from the hospital.

"They gave me this fancy, expensive wheelchair to take home," he says. "I told them to donate it to charity," he said. "I just couldn't see myself in a wheelchair, and I wasn't going to use it."

For the next three months, McGuire crawled around his home on his belly, until he was finally strong enough to crawl on his hands and knees. A few months later, he began walking on his own. All told, it took McGuire about 12 months to walk somewhat normally.

Since breaking his neck, McGuire can no longer do the 20 one finger pull-ups he once did daily. He can no longer swim more than ten miles in open water like he once could, and he can no longer do flips off the diving board to impress his friends. But none of that matters more than what he can do: Inspire and lead others.

When McGuire is asked to talk about his positive impact on those who experience his teaching, he is quick to deflect to those who he works and trains with.

"It's not about me, it's about them," he says. "Once when a woman told me how positive of an influence I had been on her children, I looked at her with a smile and said, 'I just do push-ups, ma'am.'"

***

As a result of his successful role with VCU's basketball team, McGuire and his team now train several of the school's varsity teams, among 10 other colleges. Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf and hard of hearing, had its best record in baseball in more than 25 years after its coach, Curtis Pride, asked McGuire for help.

"John's training taught me a lot and I learned more about each player and how they respond to different degrees of challenges," Pride says.

But McGuire's most fulfilling projects might be the ones who face the longest road. Chris Crawley was one of those people who signed up to train at 5:45 in the morning along the river. In December 2012, he was 27, and he weighed 350 pounds. He wasn't sure if he'd make it to 30. He couldn't run 20 feet without losing his breath, and he couldn't do a single sit-up. Chris heard about SEAL Team PT through friends and decided to give it a try.

Two years later, Crawley has lost more than 80 pounds, has run his first 10k and completed a half-marathon. One of McGuire's many sayings is "If you'll cheat yourself, who won't you cheat?" That has particular meaning for Crawley.

"I personally lack the self-motivation when left to my own devices," he says. With SEAL Team PT, "if you miss more than a day or two, suddenly people start to check in. We hold each other accountable."

"If I waited until I was in better shape to join SEAL Team PT, I'd have died before ever getting the chance."

Director Billy Corben had nine cameras set up for the big fight between Alfonso "Chocolate" Frierson and Mike Trujillo. It was the crew's first fight, and Corben was in control of a camera in the corner of the ring.

It was in that corner that Trujillo’s body landed after "Chocolate" gave him a sweeping right hook just a few seconds into the fight.

"I just instinctually moved in on him with the camera, to get the shot," Corben says. "He had gone timber. He went straight back on his heels and just fell backwards. His head hit the grass and dirt landing outside the ropes of the ring."

Trujillo lay motionless on the dirt, and there were no doctors present to help him. Corben had to continue filming as Trujillo struggled to regain consciousness.

"We were making this movie, but of course it wasn't a movie, it was a documentary," Corben said. "We were capturing these moments as they were occurring in real time. When you're watching a movie, it already happened. We were there and we were living it, and it dawned on me that this guy might never get up again. … I saw everybody's lives flash before me.'

That was the reality for Corben and the fighters in West Perrine, Florida, a poverty-stricken surburb of Miami. Perrine was the site of Corben’s newest documentary, Dawg Fight, which is being released Friday.

Dawg Fight dove into the violent world of backyard fighting made famous by Mixed Martial Arts fighting star Kimbo Slice. Slice's YouTube videos went viral in the early 2000s and gave rise to the fighting scene in Perrine.

It soon became an outlet for hope in the less than two square-mile neighborhood where unemployment is high and crimes occur every day. This belief made Corben even more interested to film the documentary in Perrine.

"The [documentaries] that we've always done are kind of a twisted take on the American dream," he says. "These guys think that this is their best opportunity. These are underserved communities where unemployment in off the charts, they are ravaged by crime … These guys see this as their best hope, which in a way is kind of an American Dream."

Corben, a Miami native and director of films like The U and Cocaine Cowboys, began filming Dawg Fight in early 2009. Then, he met the crux of his story, Dhafir "Dada 5000" Harris.

Dada 5000 grew up fighting with Slice and eventually traveled around the world as his bodyguard. However, he returned to Perrine to become the head of the illegal backyard fighting scene.

"He and his brother dug four holes and buried these posts in the ground and built a 12X12 ring," Corben says. "His mom has a chain-linked fence around her property and so as soon as they would put the blue tarp up; the neighborhood knew it was going down."

Dada 5000 was an integral part of the growth of backyard fighting, yet he made no profit from it. He still dreamed of being discovered by scouts, much like the fighters he worked with in Perrine.

"I have a lot of respect for him and relate to him a great deal," Corben says of Dada 5000. "As a small business owner, as an entrepreneur, as an independent film maker, I have nothing but respect for his hustle. He's a father, he’s a son, he’s a brother, he’s a carnival barker, he’s a promoter, he’s a fighter."

Here is a trailer for Dawg Fight, which is available for $5 on its website and scheduled to hit Netflix in May:

Manny Pacquiao says he is embracing the role of underdog for his May 2 fight against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather. It's not a role he is accustomed to playing, but in the context of this bout, Pacquiao is comfortable with it. Reporter Elie Seckbach got some insightful comments from both fighters during their press appearance in downtown Los Angeles:

Basketball rescued Isaiah Williams from tough New Jersey streets where violence and murder were a part of life. Twenty-four close friends of his weren't so lucky.

The Iona hoops star comes from an infamous neighborhood in Newark called "The Jungle," and he wasn't always sure he would live to be a grown-up. As reporter Matthew Stanmyre reveals in a feature published by NJ.com, Williams keeps a list on his phone of the loved ones taken away from him by violence.

At the same time, he worries about a similar fate for his younger brother, Kevin. Those close to Isaiah say his fear of another loved one dying has him in a perpetual state of fear. Every text his phone receives sends him into a panic.

"I'd probably be done [if Kevin died]," Isaiah says through tears to NJ.com. "I probably can't take it no more."

Williams' story is one of escape -- or rather, an inability to fully escape. Basketball helped him leave The Jungle, but with loved ones still stuck in the neighborhood, he can't fully escape -- not emotionally, and sometimes not physically, either. NJ.com reports that he briefly left Iona at one point to return home and keep a watchful eye over Kevin, although he later returned.

Even now, as he leads his team toward a possible conference championship and NCAA tournament berth, Williams doesn't feel like he's actually escaped. He's in a different place geographically, but he remains close to the source of The Jungle's pain.

Growing up, Williams' mother made every effort to keep her boys inside and safe. She bought a mini-basketball hoop and invested into video games, which were safer than playing outside. But Isaiah was determined to play basketball on the outdoor courts. It was out there that he punched a ticket out of the neighborhood through a college basketball scholarship.

At first, that was a ticket he didn't want to accept.

"I had an 'I-don't-give-a-(damn) attitude' where I don't care about school,'" he tells NJ.com. "'I'm not going to school. Nobody can make me go to school.'"

Williams ultimately did, and his past was winding: He needed post-graduate year before entering college and played at two different schools before arriving at Iona. Along the way, various tragedies back home interrupted his ascent and kept the reality of his upbringing ever-close, but he has overcome those challenges to flourish as a junior, averaging 13.5 points while shooting 51 percent from the floor.

He's been a big part of Iona's success. And it gets better: Kevin and his mother attend as many games as they can. They're able to witness his success, while he can look behind the team's bench and see that both of them are safe.

With the clock winding down at the end of the first half, Katy Perry's Super Bowl halftime show was in deep trouble.

The production was saved at the last minute by an unlikely hero: Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

As Sports Illustrated details, the coach's aggressive play-calling and decision to go for a touchdown instead of running out the clock was the difference between a successful halftime show and one that would have been ruined by a sun that hadn't quite set.

Perry's production was designed to be displayed against a dark sky. But the first half of Super Bowl XLIX was played at such a fast pace that the organizers realized they were on pace to perform while it was still bright out.

In fact, it seemed at one point that the show would most certainly be performed in the light. It took three scoring drives to stretch out the first half. The last critical drive -- started with 31 seconds left before halftime, and when the Seahawks could have easily kneeled down and gone to the locker room -- involved three timeouts and one stoppage in play.

Even then, the halftime crew barely made it.

"We made darkness by something like 25 seconds,” said Katy Perry's creative partner, Baz Halpin, to SI. "For months and months, I never panicked. Then the game was so fast -- how did we not think about the sun? It was a miracle."

Here is a detailed illustration from Sports Illustrated about how intricate the production was:

If only Sebastián Fernández's former classmates could see him now.

Sebastián, 14, is gearing up to run the Los Angeles Marathon on March 15. He plans to participate in the event partly because he enjoys running but also to prove to himself and others that his disability is not enough to stop him from completing such a rigorous physical task.

Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at eight months old, Sebastián is partially paralyzed on the right side of his body. He tells HOY Los Angeles that he was teased by many of his elementary school classmates, and the bullying didn't stop after repeated pleas to teachers and administrators.

Now Sebastián is at a more supportive school, and he says the encouragement of his classmates and his mom were important in his decision to run the marathon.

"When I was in seventh grade, I wasn't sure I wanted to do it," Sebastián told HOY Los Angeles. "But now in eighth grade I thought about it more and I felt like I could do it. My mom liked the idea of running the marathon, and she told me it would be good for me and that it would make her proud."

Sebastián mother, Izela Haro, won't be the only one beaming with joy on race day. Here's a look at Sebastián's story and the teachers who have supported him along the way:

Ron Shapiro has represented Hall of Fame players, helped settle a major symphony orchestra strike, diffused racial tension in a metropolitan police department, raised millions of dollars for charitable causes and assisted in ending Major League Baseball's historic labor deadlock. In his recently released and revised classic, The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins - Especially You!, he demonstrates the value and practicality of his systematic approach to negotiation -- the 3 P’s: Prepare, Probe, Propose. The following excerpt illustrates elements of the third P -- Propose.

As Cal Ripken's consecutive game streak started to edge toward record levels -- after he passed 1,200 games, then 1,500, and 1,700 -- people would approach Cal, through me, to ask if he would write a book about his career. Each time they asked me, I asked Cal. And each time, he said, "No, Ron, not yet." He didn't want anything to interrupt his full concentration on his job or detract from his ability to perform on the field, game after game.

After he passed the 1,800-game mark, I asked him about a book again. Again, he said, "No, Ron, not yet." The last thing he wanted to do was write about a consecutive game streak because he didn't play for a streak. He played every game because, in Cal's own words, it's "the only way I know." Even after he played in 2,000 games, and people came to me to ask about the book, Cal still said, "No, Ron, not yet."

Then, on September 5, 1995, Cal Ripken, Jr., played in his 2,131st consecutive baseball game, breaking Iron Man Lou Gehrig's record. When the streak was formally announced, in the fifth inning, the sellout crowd at Camden Yards rose spontaneously and erupted into a 50,000-fan cheer. (The notables and celebrities in attendance are too numerous to list, but among those standing and cheering was the President of the United States.) After 10 solid minutes of ovation, Cal's teammates literally pushed him out of the dugout and onto the field to fulfill the fans' need to see their hero. Still, they wouldn’t quiet down. Finally, in an effort to satisfy the roaring, clapping, stomping crowd, Cal lapped the field, waving and smiling to the fans. When he came around the third base side of the field, just above the Orioles dugout, he leaned over to my box, hugged me, and whispered in my ear,"Okay, Ron, now."

Okay, maybe I embellished a little when it came to the whispered statement. Just the same, it was after Cal's record-breaking feat that we began to pursue the book in earnest. First, we narrowed the field of publishers down to the two we thought best.

We had a favorite but we wanted a solid alternate candidate to strengthen our position and increase our bargaining power. I made appointments in New York with both, scheduling the favorite first thing in the morning and the other for a lunch meeting. I wanted to be able to honestly say to the first publisher, "We have to leave for a meeting with another publisher."

Before the meetings I prepared, researching precedents of the advances paid to sports figures and other superstars for this type of mega-book. I found that for sports stars, the up-front money for such a book was in the $500,000 range. We knew, in Cal, we had someone who was a star even among stars so we set our sights high and decided to ask for $700,000.

But rather than walk in and say, "We want $700,000," we went to the meeting, asked questions, listened, and waited for the publisher to put a figure on the table. We followed the first rule we’ll deal with in this chapter: Don’t make the first offer. We said, "You're the experts; you know the market. We just know baseball. You tell us." The first publisher’s initial offer was $750,000.

Imagine if we had gone first. What if we had crossed our fingers and said, "Gee, we want $700,000.” We’d have already left $50,000 on the table and this was only their opening offer. So, when they said $750,000, did I leap across the table, shake their hands, grin from ear to ear and say, "Deal!"? No. We followed the second rule we’ll talk about in this chapter. Don't (immediately) accept the first offer. If I had jumped at that first offer, what do you think the publisher would have thought? Buyer's remorse. "Uh-oh, I paid too much." And if I had jumped at the offer, I also might never have learned what our potential was. I took a lesson from Hank Peters when he sat across from me in the Brooks Robinson deal. I said to the publisher, "I'll get back to you."

We went to the second meeting, with the second publisher, and learned that it too, had a high interest. It appeared they would be willing to pay as much or more than the first publishing house. But, since we maintained our leaning toward the first, we didn’t even push for a detailed offer from the second. Instead, we used our time to think and plan our next step.

When we got back to Baltimore from New York to take stock of our situation, we discovered that Cal's endorsement and licensing value was skyrocketing daily. Hundreds of inquiries and offers were pouring in. Realizing that Cal Ripken’s market value was reaching extraordinary levels, we revised our goal to a $1 million book advance, double what the precedents had indicated.

It so happened that the editor from the publishing house was an old friend. I suppose I could have said to her, "We know each other. Let’s not play games. Let's not beat around the bush. We want $1 million." But I recognized human nature, even among old friends. (And I didn’t succumb to the temptation to go right to the bottom line, which we too often do out of fear of rejection.) Instead, we formulated our counteroffer to their opener of $750,000 and asked for $1,250,000. And we never forgot the proverb that says, "Many things are lost for want of asking," and followed the third rule of this chapter: Aim high.

Eventually we signed a deal with the $1 million advance we wanted (plus some assistance to the Ripken Foundation). The negotiation for Cal’s book was a textbook example of the third P: Propose. We didn’t make the first offer. We didn’t grab their first offer. We aimed high.

***

The Three Rules Behind Propose

Try Not to Make the First Offer
When the other side does make the first offer, you can learn from them going first. You have a goal in mind. You expect to have to work your way up to it. But, the other side may meet or exceed it with their first offer. You might even be able to revise your expectations further upward as the negotiations continue. If you had gone first, you might have set your sights too low.

If you get a low offer, even if it’s far less than you hoped for, now you have a floor, a minimum from which to build. In fact, a low offer may suggest you try to achieve your goals creatively. Let's say you wanted to sell a business for a given price but the other side’s initial offer is so low it’s apparent, no matter how much you can inch it up, the purchase price alone won’t be enough.

Maybe you should pursue different or faster payment terms, retaining ownership, noncash remuneration such as in-kind services or other goods, or other imaginative ways to reach your goals. The knowledge you gain by the other side opening the bidding is invaluable in determining the course of the negotiation.

Don't (Immediately) Accept Their First Offer

If you grab the first offer, the other side’s first thought is likely to be that they offered too much, too good a deal, too high a price, too something. Since you are in the process of negotiating, they'll start finding ways to "unoffer" what they offered, to add conditions, subtract payment, to work their way down to where they’re more comfortable.

And chances are, their first offer is not their best offer. Wait a little. Let the negotiations play out. Ask questions. Suggest alternatives. Counter. You’ll soon see how far they are able to go. You’ll learn which parts of their offer are flexible and which are immovable. The very worst you can do, assuming their offer is still on the table, is end up where they started. You can accept their first offer later, not immediately, after you know it's the best you can do.

Set Your Aspirations High

If you expect little, you are liable to reach your goals. I’m losing money on this building. If I could just get what I paid and get out, I’d be relieved. Fine. But what if the building is worth more to someone else than it is to you?

If you set your expectations higher, you’ll often reach them. Say you're selling ad space in a program and the deadline is approaching, but you still have one page unsold. Aim low and you’re just looking for anyone who’s willing to buy that last page at any reasonable price. Aim high and you have a virtually sold-out program with only one page left. Who will pay enough to get it? Negotiators who ask for more, get more.

Caution: It's not enough to aim high; you must ask high -- not arbitrarily, but with reason (use precedents). Have you ever set a high goal in your mind, only to reduce that goal the moment you got to the negotiation table because you were afraid of rejection? We all have. When faced with this situation, write down on your Preparation Checklist the old English proverb, "Much is lost for want of asking." When the time comes to make your offer or "ask," reread that statement and bolster your confidence. There's no reason to fear that rejection. At worst, you’ll be where you are now. At best, who knows? And, further build your confidence by scripting.

Encouraging the Other Side to Make the First Offer

How do you get them to go first, especially when they want you to go first? And how do you do it without ending up in a verbal standoff?

"You go first!"
"No, you go first!"
"No way. I asked you to go first, first!"

Defer to the other side's expertise. They may have more experience in the category than you do. Instead of being intimidated, use that to your advantage to gain knowledge. You're in the real estate business. I'm a manufacturer who happens to own one piece of property that my business no longer needs. You tell me what an industrial park site of this size is worth. Use their experience as a basis for fairness or objectivity. "You've done more deals of this type than we have. What are the going terms in similar deals? What’s fair?"

-- Excerpted by permission of the publisher, Wiley, from The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins - Especially You! (Revised and Updated) by Ronald M. Shapiro. Copyright (c) 2015 by Shapiro Negotiations Institute. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. This book is available at all bookstores and online booksellers, including Amazon and iTunes.

San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Tomsula has a reputation as a hard-working, blue-collar type of guy. And that image is no fabrication.

In a profile on Tomsula published by ESPN, the coach admits that he spent part of his early coaching career living out of his car. That fact had already been circulated some in the media, but it's a little more gritty than that -- Tomsula also had a dog and a cat that lived with him in the car, which was a Cadillac.

At the time, Tomsula was an unpaid assistant working at Catawba College in North Carolina. His story has drawn humorous comparisons to Chris Farley's famous "Matt Foley" character, known for his motivational speeches built off the fact he was "living in a van, down by the river."

Tomsula's journey from those humble beginnings to head coach of the vaunted 49ers is pretty impressive, but when asked about his homeless stretch, he's mostly dismissive of it.

"It sounds like it was absolutely horrendous," Tomsula says. "It wasn’t. It really wasn’t. It wasn’t horrendous. I mean, there [are] people that have horrendous circumstances and I feel kind of bad, people making comparisons."

"I mean, I wasn’t living in my car in Maine in the winter. I was in North Carolina. … Listen, I’ve had an incredible life. I just have."

Spoken like a truly humble individual.

In fact, Tomsula resorted to a patchwork of odd jobs to try and make ends meet while waiting for his football career to take off. ESPN reports that he sold meat, cleaned floors and worked at a Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain.

Tomsula's blue-collar, somewhat unrefined nature has generated doubts about his readiness to serve as the 49ers' head coach, not to mention that his promotion from the defensive line was a huge jump in responsibility. He's also a stark contrast to the affluent, squeaky-clean profile of Jim Harbaugh, who he's replacing, so perhaps in that sense, Tomsula is exactly what the franchise was looking for.

Syndicate content