Archive for August, 2009

A Deadly Impact

Monday, August 31st, 2009

This isn’t a professional sports’ story, but one of relevance none the less… What do you make of this?

High school, death, a coach possibly going to jail…

As I understand it, a 15-year-old lineman, Maxwell Gilpin, collapsed on a high school practice football field from a heat stroke and later died. Gilpin’s body temperature reached 107 degrees. David Stinson, the Pleasure Ridge Park coach with a reckless homicide charge, may be on his way to jail for alleged not giving students water on this day where temperatures reached 94 degrees. If convicted, the coach could face 5 years behind bars.

I wish I could get all the facts because there has been so much lost already. I know of many young people who find themselves in back-breaking practices and only want to appease their coaches to ensure playing time and personal growth. Well, then you ask a kid how they’re feeling and they say they’re fine. There are so many questions… Where were the other coaches? Is this normal? Where were the parents? A boy’s life is gone and for what (This isn’t a sarcastic or rhetorical question.)? It definitely stirs questions and emotions. What is the future impact?

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Hard Knocks Life…

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Hubby and I were up late watching Hard Knocks, this special on the Cincinnati Bengals going through training camp and some of the preseason. There’s a newfound respect because you see the behind-the-scenes happenings that make everything look good on game day.

You get these great highlights of coaches pushing the players, along with rookies finding their way, and veterans enjoying the experience. The snapshots pinpointed one specific message… make every rep count…

The message resonated with me (For real!)… So, during training camp there are more players than what is needed. By the end of camp, if the player hasn’t made a positive impression they’re waived or cut. That sucks, right? Well, the whole point is to make every rep count and take full advantage of the opportunity.

Seeing this whole process and the urgency behind it all really helped me to refocus on the task at hand. I think it is a great lesson for us all. When opportunities present themselves (even when hard work is involved) count them as chances to make an impact and make your dreams come true. It’s all about the hard work… That’s what gets you to your end result.

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What to Do When It Comes

Monday, August 24th, 2009

There is adversity in the world. We all know it. Sometimes we greet it into our lives and other times it comes when we least expect it. Out of all the things you can count on, adversity showing up is definitely one of them.

When you think of adversity, what does it look like to you?… I mean, that can be a literal or figurative question. For me (on a very personal note), adversity looks like the divisive stance that seems to pop up within my family. Not between my husband and I, but the extended family (parents and brothers, etc.). There is always something that happens in the family that makes me want to pull the covers over my head and just start again tomorrow. But I digress…

I thought of Tiger [Woods] and couldn’t help but think of his recent adversarial experience. Obviously, with having a champion’s hunger, he expects to win each time he steps onto the greens. Well, someone else had other plans. During the PGA Championship, Y.E. Yang stunned the world (and Tiger!) by defeating Tiger and leaving him without a major title for the year. As the first Asian-born player to gain a major title, Yang walked away the champion of a game in which Tiger had every intention to win.

You know that sucked for Tiger, right? Yeah, I know, he’s won before so give someone else a chance… but imagine losing in something you thought you had in the bag AND in an event that never evaded you in this fashion. Tiger gave Yang his props and kept it moving. That’s the key (Put it in action this week!)… Adversity will come, but keep it moving!

 

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I’ve Heard It All…

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Uh, injections? Yes. Creams? Yes. Pills? Yes. Higher levels of testosterone? Yes. I thought I’d heard it all… Apparently, I hadn’t. You’ve gotta sit down (maybe lie down) for this one…

The World Championship Track and Field action is going on in Berlin and well, I got a story for ya (LOL!)! A South African teenage “girl” is under scrutiny after winning the gold medal for the women’s 800 meters. She is being accused of being a “boy”. Yep! I couldn’t even build it up any more. The thing is, she won the race by a huge margin and the crazy muscular build along with the deep voice aren’t helping her case.

Geesh! In all my days… Wow, right?

Caster Semenya just wants to run and says she has a God-given gift that she plans to exercise, but the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) suspects that she’s a guy. You know, women in track and field are known for having less than the hour-glass shape as a result of weight training and anything else that might possibly be used as a supplement. So, when I heard the story, I wasn’t a believer… But, wait! Then I saw the photos and the television coverage and, well, uh…

You decide…

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A Flood of Change

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

We all know about the 60s and 70s (and some will say even today), right?… Those were the times of terrific racial tension and horrifying actions to match. Well, during those times a Major League Baseball player, Curt Flood, made—what some would say—a positive and courageous move for the liberation of all baseball players.

The “move” was being part of a lawsuit that would give players playing freedom (free agency) to play for other teams versus what they were accustomed to (reserve clause), being bound to their teams.

It is important to note that Flood was an African American and during that time had a great deal to lose (which he did) by just speaking out. The point is that today, years after his death, it appears that he’s no closer to being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame than he was then.

I explained in an earlier post just what the Hall requires for induction and Flood seems to fit. He has been noted throughout history as a great player and, I would think that his fight for the rights and justice of all players (of all races and backgrounds) would be acknowledged today as something of some significance.

Above all, I think we should always give respect and honor (his propers!) to those who made it possible for others to benefit from the freedoms they had to fight, suffer, sacrifice, and die for… For me, it’s as simple as that. He didn’t just fight for Blacks or Whites, but everyone. Honor him…

Thanks “Kid” for the heads up on this…

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An Eagle

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Isn’t that apropos that Michael Vick becomes an Eagle?…

Something that can soar above obstacles, is powerful, and has a keen sense.

Now, like all of us, an eagle is flawed sometimes in judgment and uses its powers for less than the good of itself and the society around them. Vick’s past as a Falcon allowed him to fly at a high speed and change direction rapidly. Not an eagle! An eagle is steady and purposed on the task at hand.

Destiny seems to have a way of making things as they should be…

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My Very Own Caddy…

Friday, August 14th, 2009

You didn’t know that about me, did you? But yep, I have my very own caddy… There are a whirlwind of recent stories that I intend to comment on, but I thought I’d be a little light going into the weekend.

I was watching Sports Center earlier this week and a story came up about Tiger Woods and his caddy, Steve Williams. Moreover, it was a story of the relationship that evolves between two people on the path toward the same goal. From the story, I gained a new respect of a caddy’s role and the increased bond that stands in the gap. It also made me think of my own caddy, my mom…

It sounds all mushy and all, but man, “Mama D” (which Hubby affectionately named her years ago and now everyone calls her) has been that point of trust for many years… And I guess (well, I know), before the times when I could appreciate her efforts and sacrifice. She has, in a grand way, been the catalyst that has seen me through so much. Mama D has always advised me (and still does) with my best interest in mind and even when I fall to my less than better judgement, she remains calm and firm and loving, all at the same time.

And now, in my adult years she’s still definitely right there to the side, whispering to me the right move to make from her vantage point. And although it’s completely up to me to ultimately choose the proper route, it’s good to know there’s a voice right over my shoulder that has my best interest at heart. So, when I watch Williams behind Tiger, or just to the side, I will make that mental note of just how Mom is always there.

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Who Knew…

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Why didn’t I know Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the founder and chairperson for the worldwide Special Olympics movement? Isn’t that so random (that I didn’t know, that is…)? I mean, I would never equate the two… anyway, she just passed and obviously all of her contributions are coming out.

I mentioned it to Hubby and a totally surprising conversation started up. Before (like me) he realized what she’d contributed (to sports), he didn’t realize why her death was on random channels, like the sports’ channels. He summed all the publicity up to her family’s dynasty… He felt like people shouldn’t just live off the name without contribution to the name. I could see his point.

When we discovered her contribution, to not only her name (I mean, let’s not kid ourselves, the Kennedy name is synonymous with scandal), but to the world, there was a new found respect for her because of her insight and forward thinking… She maintained that a person’s disability and state of being had nothing to do with a person’s spirit. And, she desired that people with disabilities were included, accepted, and valued.

Now although I feel this was a major sports’ blunder on my part, especially with the pride I have in being a history and knowledge “mini”-buff, I am happy to learn something new (Hubby, too) about such an impact to the sports’ world (FYI, I did know her sister suffered with a disability so now that I think of it, it makes total sense.).

You just never know… Hey, is it just me or has anyone else experienced assuming something (or that they something) about a person, only to realize you were premature in judgment?

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What’s Your Contradiction?

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Greed and contentment. I’m thinking about these two words and I’m curious about your thoughts…

Recently, a boxer was robbed and killed in Atlanta. Vernon Forrest, a former boxing champion, was murdered senselessly because of greed. A guy robbed Forrest at a gas station, took off with his wallet, and shot him repeatedly from the back. I literally have to ponder on this murderer’s actions because it is just so random. I’m captivated by the notion and the obvious reality that I can choose to kill you because I want what you have…

What’s hard for me, I think, is the very public life of Forrest outside the ring. He resounded contentment as a humanitarian and lover of life. I mean, this guy wanted to change the world and imparted into children this same desire.

Why is this okay? I’m not really asking about the murderous aspect of it all because, unfortunately, stealing lives is very much a reality in this world. I’m more referring to the disproportionate meeting of greed versus contentment. I asked Hubby to give me an example of my lack of contentment so I could share it with you guys… He said that situationally, he felt that I am always content with where I am, good or bad (Stop buttering me up, Honey! LOL!). But he then continued by saying that regarding greed, I am quite greedy with my time (Don’t judge me… Crack up! And hey, he didn’t expound and I didn’t ask.)…

I’m showing my greed/contentment contradiction because I think we all possess it… That innate contradiction, that is. Well, don’t we?

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When to Ask…

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

A friend of mine called me today to get some advice on how to help his wife better understand sports. He and I had discussed the subject several times before, but he was at a record high on irritation and needed some answers. I had to think about his questions because it was paramount to gage whether he was frustrated with his wife for her lack of knowledge on the subject or whether he felt she didn’t care about understanding the subject.

I asked him for an example and he said she asked questions like, “Why is the point guard so small? Shouldn’t he be bigger? Isn’t he suppose to guard the other team from getting points?” These questions made him angry and resentful, and we eventually pinpointed why… It wasn’t so much the questions, although he did ask her if she was serious (LOL!). It was more about timing. He said it was during the Finals (NBA, people, for those who aren’t aware) and the game was close, and now she wanted to have this conversation.

It’s timing… with everything that we endeavor, timing is one of the most important facets of a situation. Now, with training camp (NFL yall… Go Ravens!!) in full force, he wanted to be sure that he could stop the questions before they started and before the season started. I recommended asking her to learn one thing a week (You can choose the range.) about the particular seasonal sport that he’s watching. All the while letting her know that this is the type of gift he wants to receive and how important it is to him. I conveyed to him from a woman’s point of view, that one of the more difficult things about relationships is understanding what your partner REALLY wants… You know, instead of trying to guess in the dark.

So, instead of telling your significant other to zip it… just relay that it’s about timing.

I know this is a common reality, huh? I’d love to hear yours…

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