Archive for December, 2008

Every Underdog Has His Day…

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

2008 Baltimore Ravens Team

I think the title says it all… You know, I’m like my mom in that I always shoot for the underdog. I just like seeing someone unexpected come out on top. The Baltimore Ravens’ story is no different.

The whole idea of the underdog is that no one expects you to succeed, to win. And then, when you do (if you do… LOL!), you have some unexpected bandwagoners (Is that a word? Well, you get the point, right?).

Well, I’m a believer in the notion that “bandwagoners” or no, you have to do your thing… You know, give it all you’ve got. The Ravens’ story was an inspirational one for me in that they competed every week, win or lose, and now, they’ve made it to the playoffs… The story is something that reassures me that I can make it to the playoffs in my life: the best wife, a great writer, a terrific friend, a curious traveler of all the world, and whatever else I put my mind to.

So, “bandwagoners” or no, remember the playoffs of your life and do what you have to do to get there.

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Unspoken Conversation

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

So, a guy friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, was chatting it up with me about how his significant other and her desire to ask questions when the game is on. Wow!… I had to write about this because it is so relevant.

First, let me say that there must be a balance. Sports lovers are just that, lovers of sports… (That was funny! Well, it was.), so the significant other has to take that into consideration when deciding to ask questions or discuss the day’s events when the game is on. It may seem small, but this realization is priceless.

Conversely, the sports lover has to realize that the significant other wants to develop a level of knowledge for the game (or at least spending time) and he or she is coming to you for instruction. With this, or any other subject that is brought to you, the last thing you’d want to do is dismiss conversations and feelings.

So here’s the balance… Ask questions (Yeah, seriously sports lovers…), but not during those important games. Come to know those games that really mean a lot, like favorite teams and such, and those that are hit or miss (You know, that they watch just ’cause the television is on.)… it makes all the difference. Hubby actually gave me this balance to share with you guys. It’s important to always try to find balance, especially within relationships… Oh, and yes, you can always wait ’til a commercial (I had to do it!).

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You’re Not The Boss of Me…

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

My boy, Terrel Owens “T.O.” (not really, but it seemed like a good opener), has been under so much scrutiny about his antics off the field surrounded around him and his teammates. Apparently, T.O., in my opinion, the best receiver (A receiver is the guy who catches the ball and then runs towards the end zone.) in the National Football League (whatever… that’s why its called ‘my opinion’), is becoming more and more of a distraction to his team, the Dallas Cowboys.

I have my thoughts about this in that a lot of players are distractions to their teams, not just T.O… I believe when you mix an enormous salary with fame and accessibility, without established consequences for contrary behavior, you’re going to see lots of distractions in action.

Well, T.O., self-proclaimed “sexy devil”, was said to have accused his quarterback (coach on the field) of not throwing as many balls his way as those thrown to another player. For me, it’s just hilarious that this story is getting so much play (I guess I’m adding to this story getting play, huh?… LOL! Don’t judge me!). I have a more black and white approach… My mother always says it takes two people to argue, which implies that if its only one person arguing, they’ll soon quiet up. If T.O. is such a distraction, ignore what you can’t change… he’s in a contract and he’s a superstar athlete, who makes outstanding plays.

… This goes for you, too. Ignore what you can’t change. All the effort put into something you have no control over is maddening and very close to insanity. Instead, keep a positive outlook (fake it ‘til you make it), hope for better times, and keep it moving… You can only control yourself. I think that’s worth whispering to your significant other…

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Just Got Paid… (Sing along)

Monday, December 15th, 2008

There has been so much chatter about these “gi-normous” contracts that MLB players have been receiving (And, yes, it is Major League Baseball.)…

I’m a little on the fence with this one because… yes, the contracts are ridiculously large (Uh, would you say Carsten Charles CCSabathia’s $161 million for 7 years is a bit on the plump side?), and yes, the economy is experiencing a down spell… but, do you feel like you’re being paid what you’re worth to do your job and if you could make more, wouldn’t you?

I know, I know… these athletes are getting PAID (I just yelled, putting a lot of breathe into it!) to play ball for goodness sake and are living the grand life, but I’m still not sure I’m ready to hate on them because their particular employers (…the New York Yankees in CC’s case) aren’t suffering the same down spell as other employers.

I’m not totally convinced that it’s fair, but (but, wait for it…) I have to take into account the fact that I can turn on the television or go to the ball park (stadium, court) and get great entertainment, which is priceless during those stress-filled times (among other reasons of course).

Now, you have my permission to take these numbers in to your boss and see if you can haggle your income rate a bit… LOL (Don’t you dare.)!!

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Wealth Unknown

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

Shaquille O’Neal, explosive and veteran center for the Phoenix Suns, is experiencing what we rather not deal with at all, but have on some level… and that’s death. He took off some time from the team to be with his family after his great-grandmother’s passing.

When I heard the news, after the initial feeling of sadness for O’Neal’s loss, I thought of how wonderful it must have been to have a great-grandmother (Wow!)… All the stories and memories and things cherished. What a treasure he had to have had her ear and her love and support.

I remember losing my grandmothers (four weeks apart) and the pain I felt for my parents along with the weird feeling that a layer of protection had left me… (I think it’s a feeling that one can only experience.). I believe that’s indeed what happens. You lose a layer of strength that protected you all of your days, but in the same breathe, you take on the strength that they passed on to you. Its an unwavering strength that reminds you of lessons learned, of dreams deferred, and precious loves.

I mourn with O’Neal and anyone, for that matter, who loses someone dear… and, with this, what a cherished thing to have had such wealth.

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Testing… 1, 2, 3

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Sports… they are about (for me) competition, survival, discipline, skill, talent, emotion, wins, losses, etc. Professional athletes have been doing this for a major part of their lives, and now it is paying off for them in a pretty lucrative career. I think a lot about why we, as fans, get so emotionally tied to the success and failures of our favorite teams and athletes. We have very high expectations for them. Sometimes our expectations are maybe too high… these athletes are people who are affected by life and things that we humans go through. Bringing out the lighter and better human sides of these athletes is what this blog is about. Learning as we look at the athletes off the field all the while giving some definition to what these players do “on the field, court, etc.”

What are some of the words you would use to describe what sports mean to you?

Oh, by the way, I am the hubby of this blog’s author just saying hello to all you readers out there.

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Big Man, Big Difference

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Dikembe Mutombo, one of the NBA’s premiere big men at center position and currently with the Houston Rockets, (He has played all over the NBA!) is a humanitarian… The end (Actually not, but I really could end there because his efforts have been far reaching and speak for themselves… Hence, the picture.).

As one of the oldest players in basketball today, Mutombo has used his wealth and name to help others all over the world… especially for his home country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has impacted Africa and from education and sports, to computer and AIDS awareness, Mutombo is doing what matters.

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Despite It All…

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Hubby and I were thinking about what I should share today when I came across a story that really moved me (not to tears, but almost… almost). You know, Wait ‘Til A Commercial isn’t just for you all. I learn so much and it just supports my initial heart for this site, for people to see the person behind the athlete… Dwyane Wade’s story didn’t disappoint.

Wade is a guard (coach on the court) for the NBA’s Miami Heat and has experienced his share of unimaginable hardship… (Man, where do I begin?)… You have to get a little background to appreciate this…

…From the time he could remember his mother was a crack and heroine addict. She served stints in jail and was obviously not a great caregiver for her children. His slightly older sister took care of him, in their mom’s absence, and one day she just had enough. She told Wade they were going to the movies, but as they came upon the bus stop to their dad’s home (They saw their dad on some weekends.), Wade’s sister asked if he wanted to get off to go play with their step brother. She said she’d come back to get him, but never did. As his father got him involved with basketball, his mom continued the downward spiral of drug abuse. She admits hitting rock bottom when she became a drug tester, someone who tries the drug before its distributed and if the drug is bad she could die. After having an experience at church, Wade’s mom dropped drugs and alcohol from that day and has been clean since (7 years).

Crazy story, right (In a good way…)? It just confirms that you never can assume anything about anyone. On the court, he appears to be void of those crazy family problems and, wow, to the contrary. Wade’s mom began preaching and after developing a following she opened a church, with the help of her son.

His story just helps to remind me that you never can tell and that everyone has a story…

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