The Nixon Report: The Art of Influence

Dear Alumni:

I have always encouraged retired players to speak their minds on the issues that are important to them.  That doesn’t mean we will always agree with each other.  Nonetheless, we should all be in favor of an honest and open dialogue. This can lead to new information and ideas that might just change the way we think – and maybe even the way the world thinks!

Just because we may have different opinions on an issue, doesn’t mean we want to shut down anyone’s freedom of speech. Everyone deserves the right to speak freely on what they believe, including the freedom to respond to what someone has said.

In most cases, when we have strong opinions about an issue, we are trying to persuade people to see our point of view and convince them to come over to our “team”.

Unfortunately, there are some former players that have dug their cleats in so deep on certain issues, it appears that they will never change their attitudes and beliefs, no matter how convincing or persuasive one might be, or how much factual information and evidence is presented to them.  That’s fine; I too have a hard time changing the way I think about certain issues. You have to build a compelling argument, based on facts and rational ideas, to get me to move in a new direction.

When we write about something, we should do it with passion, conviction and honesty. We won’t always get it right.  No one has a lock on the “truth” and there are times when the facts will show us that we are dead wrong. We need to admit it when that happens, and “man-up” as they say.

The question that we all need to ask ourselves is this: What is it we hope to achieve when we make a statement, or we respond to a statement? What is our goal?

There is a good article that everyone should read if they want to be effective in getting their beliefs and ideas across to other people. It is called the Art of Influence: Secrets to complaining effectively, motivating loved ones, and getting what you want without being a jerk.

Here is a link to the article: The Art of Influence.

I will be the first to say that I have not always followed the recommendations that are made in the Art of Influence, but I am doing my best to evolve and learn more about the best ways to advocate for the things that retired pro football players need.  I want to influence people, including active and retired players, the news media, the U.S. Congress, the courts and the public. I want former players to take the steps necessary to get their ideas across to everyone – and develop a game plan that will lead us to victory in anything we decide to do.

While we try to persuade some people, we should always remember the old saying “You can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

As you know, I have written articles for the NFL Alumni Association and Fourth and Goal. I posted my articles on those websites for several years. In doing so, I gave former players the ability to comment on  my ideas, opinions, information and the action steps I have recommended.

I am no longer affiliated with either of those organizations and I haven’t posted articles on their websites for almost a year now. Nonetheless, I still wanted to share my thoughts with you, so I continued to send my articles directly to you – via email.  Unfortunately, this one-way communication does not lend itself to an open dialogue and discussion on the issues.

When former players commented on one of my articles (or someone else’s), I was the only one that could see their opinions and comments – unless I shared them with others – which I have done from time to time.

This is why I have decided to set up a website simply called “The Nixon Report”.

I will continue to send emails directly to you, but now, if you want to comment, you can do so at the website at the bottom of every article.  All I ask is that you do your best to use the “Art of Influence” to guide you in writing your opinions and comments.

Former players need to be heard.  Information is power.  Sharing is caring. Knowledge is the ultimate weapon, but it’s only useful if you use it.

Please understand that this is not another retired player organization that is professing to speak for all retired players – we already have enough of those.

I will use this site as a forum for the free exchange of information, ideas, opinions and some “play calling”.

You know you’ve always wanted to be a head coach………so what’s your game plan?

Your alumni brother,

Jeff Nixon


About Jeff Nixon

Jeff was a first team consensus All-American from the University of Richmond in 1978. He is 7th in NCAA history with 23 career interceptions. Played for the Buffalo Bills 1979-1984. Led the team with 6 interceptions in Rookie Year. Holds Bills record for 4 takeaways in a single game - 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Tied Bills record with four consecutive games with an interception. After 5 knee surgeries Jeff retired from pro football in 1985. He worked for 13 years (1988-2000) as the Youth Bureau Director for Buffalo and Erie County. He has worked for the past 11 years as the Youth Employment Director for Buffalo. Plays guitar and was voted best R&B guitar player by Buffalo Nightlife Magazine in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Posted on March 28, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thanks for creating a forum for open dialogue. Hopefully this will remain open and honest without the usual hierarchical BS that most of these things tend to be dimished to. I like the articles you have turned me on to thus far.

  2. Thanks Jeff looking forward to this.

  3. Jeff, Thank you for everything you do for the retired players!!

  4. Keep the Press alive Jeff. Good work.

    Bob Grant
    Retired Baltimore Colts/Washington Redskins
    Retired Player Advocate

  5. Wonderful Jeff, I look forward to the articles and the dialogue they create. Keep up the Good work well appreciated ..

  6. Sounds like this could be a great vehicle for getting a solid opion on some key issues that we face.

  7. Thanks, Jeff.
    You make sense to me.

  8. Thanks Jeff for your insight and honesty in reporting these atrocities. I only wish you had a bigger stage to reach more fans.

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