Archive for the ‘Sports About Hope’ Category

Almost Is a Start…

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

A buddy of mine (a.k.a. Young Boy) passed this off to me (on the humble) and I had to share the love… Not a pro sport thing, but really something worth sharing.

Summer time, asphalt, grudges, and idol time are almost always toxic ingredients for drama, fights, jail-house calls to Momma, and gunned down corner kids laying in gutters. I’m happy about the “almost” concept… Specifically, the possibilities within these same conditions that allow for dramatically different results.

There is a basketball court with 12-foot fences surrounding it and is one of the few places where the neighborhood’s 2,729 residents can escape the harsh realities of life. Nike donated $50,000 for the court to be done up (redone, that is). And back in the day, “The Farm”, as it’s called (Barry Farm Dwellings, in southwest Washington), was a tobacco plantation before it became a community for freed slaves.

Read this fascinating story on how the “almost concept” can be the norm…

Thanks, Young Boy!

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Hope Never Tires

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

In 1992, the New York Jets defensive end, Dennis Byrd, in a tragic second, hit head-first into his 275-pound teammate, shattering a vertebra, one of the 33 bones that make up the spine. In that moment, he was left on the field partially paralyzed… 19 years later, Byrd returns the #90 jersey, that was cut from his back on that 1992 day, to Coach Rex Ryan and the Jets’ organization.

Top Professional Athletes' Stories

Now while I don’t really understand the jersey returned sentiment (Can anyone help me with that?), I’m well aware of the emotional impact his presence made on the current Jets team. As the honorary captain for this playoff Jets team against the formidable Pittsburgh Steelers, Byrd re-energized the already awakened Jets with a speech for the ages. The profound and passionately significant point of Byrd’s speech resonated with me as a “must share” with readers.:

A man has a body, a mind and a spirit. There are times in a man’s life when his body will tell him it can’t continue on. There are times in a man’s life when his mind will tell him that the task set for him is too hard to accomplish. Those two don’t matter. It’s a man’s will and his spirit, and in those moments and in those times that will tell him ‘You can do it,’ and it will make the mind and body follow along.

While this is a powerful in-between-the-lines message, it is also such an impactful one to take into the most calm and tumultuous parts of  every day life. This man told his personal story to this Jets team, a group of men in a completely different generation, where the men can typically be bigger and the hits can potentially be harder. But, they got the message. From all the lessons taught, speeches delivered, or plays drawn out, I believe the one common thread and driving force among them is simply the hope that they get it…

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Playing Pass the Pain

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I know, I know… It’s been a minute. Haven’t you heard its about quality and not quantity (LOL… I am performing a Jedi mind trick on you… You’re getting sleepy… Okay, that’s enough.)? I honestly have to be inspired to write, and one such story has done just that.

The Baltimore Ravens veteran safety, Ed Reed, is impromptu to say the least. As someone who has been given carte blanche by the coaching staff to play off his intuition versus the standard route running expectation, Reed has proven to be mature in his judgement. Currently in the playoffs, I’m sure the Ravens weren’t expecting Reed to play as total turmoil was very much present within the Reed family.

Apparently, his brother Brian Reed, after he was spotted in a stolen vehicle is believed to have jumped into the Mississippi River as he ran from police in Louisiana. This was a few days ago and subsequently, even after finding Brian’s shoes and jacket, authorities have called off the search for the missing Reed.

How could Ed Reed’s mind have been in the game, let alone him playing as dominantly as he did? And with his ridiculous hit on Dexter McCluster, he was very much present in the Ravens’ 30-7 AFC wild card win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Before Reed boarded a private jet to be with his family, he was given the game ball as one of many gestures the team exemplified showing their support. Now while everyone would have understood his absence, Reed showed young players and his other team mates alike the importance of being committed to your craft and to live up to the maturity badge he’s obviously earned.

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Makes No Dog-On Sense…

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I’m feeling some type of way, y’all, about what I’ve been seeing on major networks… and some commercials in general. Man, my thing is, just let sleeping dogs lie (Uh, maybe poor choice of idioms, but my intention held no malice. LOL!)…

So, if you’ve watched a single segment of any sports’ program recently, you know that Michael Vick is now apparently the second coming. As the latest crowned quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Vick has perfected his game—accelerating his passing game and perfecting his running prowess—is being mentioned with the great veteran quarterbacks. I love it! I’m glad he’s back and because he spent a good deal of time off the field, he’s fresher than the average 30-year-old quarterback who may have had an uninterrupted career.

Surely, if you’ve lived on this planet for any amount of time you’ll know that Vick was part of this horrific group who funded and operated dog fighting rings (hence the poor usage above) and obviously supervised while animals were injured and killed. He served his time, along with attending various help classes, and he also donated to several charities. Now, you fast forward to today and Vick has all the analysts’ tongues wagging (OMG! Another one… I’m telling you, I guess you just don’t know how much you use dogisms to make a point.) and team officials wishing they’d chosen him. So, now that he’s the man on top, there are some haters out there who want to bring his past back to the nations’ attention by displaying just how horrible the superstar NFL player really is. Really?

Why? He served his time. I’m sure he’s learned a great deal and now he’s trying to get on with his life… Shouldn’t everyone else, too? There are so many examples I could pose here for conversation sake, but I’m sure you all can go through your mental rolodex to note a handfull, too. With not minimizing his actions, I want to add that the man didn’t kill another person. And, as a pet lover I was disgusted by this entire story, but at the same time I’m not trying to be his judge and jury each time his face or stats go across the screen in a positive manner… Why can’t people create commercials and such that relay the message that he’s a real life example of how you can make bad decisions, deal with the consequences, and still make it? Man, sometimes I just wonder what planet I’m really on.

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Medicineball

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Hey Readers,  this is Hubby.  Let me apologize for the lull in posting… Wife and I are enjoying the warm ocean waves in the Dominican Republic and this excellent experience on the Punta Cana resort doesn´t feed the desire to stop and post, but the beat goes on, right?… Anyway, here are my vacation ponderings…

As you may know my wife, the standard blogger here, has never denied her love for the L.A. Lakers. We happened to be watching ESPN and the story about Pau Gasol truly intrigued us. As a young man, Pau had two things he wished to become and do: a basketball player and a doctor. Here is the interesting thing… the catalyst for his desire to become a doctor was watching one of his basketball idols, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, announcing his retirement because he had contracted HIV. I remember watching that same press conference and feeling that same sense of loss that I am sure Pau felt at that moment. It is in these times of loss that we, human beings, tend to find real appreciation in a person, place, or thing. It is also in these times of loss that we resolve to make changes and hopefully changes that benefit our family, our community, our nation… you get it? But anyway…

According to the story Pau decided to pursue his dream of professional basketball and put his medical studies on hold. He could not continue his rigorous schedule of both medical and basketball training. What came to my mind reading his story is the fact that no matter how famous, successful, or prominent we become we still all have to make choices that will affect our present and future reality. According to Pau, he believed that he would be able to pursue his medical career after his basketball playing days were over. Even if he gets the chance to accomplish this, he still had to choose at one point in his life.

…back to the beach!

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There is a Plan, You Know?

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

I haven’t really written at all about the major leagues this year just because, well, there’s nothing too much to speak on… The game has really, overall, bored me into watching summer NBA games, where the bench talent show off their stuff and, of course, the ups and down of NFL summer camp. But, something of note has crept up and I think it is a small spark in an otherwise dull MLB season (And, there’s a wonderful lesson… Take out your pens.).

So, “A-Rod” (I’m so over tough-guy nicknames outside of high school. LOL!) A.K.A. Alex Rodriguez, of the New York Yankees, is about to make crazy history by being in the elite group of power hitters (6 to be exact) who have achieved 600 home runs. He’s currently at 599 and, frankly, seems to be in some sort of hitting rut. He’s taking his time and telling the media that he’s approaching this hit just like any other, but you know somewhere inside that almondy (Yes, “almondy”) skin, he’s itching for that long ball.

I’m not a fan, really, but I can appreciate the quest. It’s really something else when you’ve gotten so close only to be denied what you believe you rightly deserve. A-Rod appears to be a relatively upstanding guy, so for that reason I hope he achieves his goal. I’ve experienced both… the fallen short gloom and the utter glee of achievement, and, well, I gladly prefer the latter. The thing is (And it’s pretty simple!), there is much to be said about the former. Preparation, proactiveness, and passion are things I take along with me on the journey to achieve. Each one has its place and together, I’m pleased to say, you’ll have the perfect formula. You should really take the onus to achieve, but in order for that to happen you have to sketch out a plan(Uh, yes, okay… You can use my formula.)… A-Rod included. It’s doable… but its always a choice.

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A Champ’s Return

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I’ve become a fan of sorts of the A&E program, Intervention. It’s a reality-driven show, but without all the bells and tantalizing whistles. It, however, depicts the life of an addict and attempts to break down the source of addiction to help the individual find the road back to recovery through a surprise intervention by friends and family. This latest one had me and just wouldn’t let go…

Rocky Lockridge "The Champ"

“The Champ”… is what passersby still referred to this homeless addict as… “Champ”, they yelled as they drove up and handed him $20 or passed by and handed him $1 in support of him, but in actuality in support of his alcohol and crack addiction. Whitney Houston said it best, “Crack is wack”. But the amazing downward spiral of  former boxing champ, Rocky Lockridge, was heart wrenching to say the least.

I’m sure you’ll catch the episode again, but what caught me were his twin boys. Rocky’s name sake loved him and never gave up hope while the second son was filled with hurt and disappointment that he masked with hate. This man had it all and before he knew it, he had nothing. He left his family and only last year, after over 15 years, was he reunited with his eldest son. Rocky, like all the addicts on the show, was surprised by the intervention of family members and friends, but easily accepted the gift of rehabilitation.

The show panned back onto his life 2 1/2 months later and there stood no longer a shell of a man. Rather, there stood a man, in front of his proud boys, who seemed to had learned some things and who was completely sober. Throughout the emotional story, what stood out to me was hope… it was the hope of his eldest son and reluctantly of his younger twin, and of course others, that pulled him back from the life as a living dead. Surely, we all have a “Champ” in us… and even when we aren’t living up to our fullest potential there will be some who will still be able to identify us and call us by name. It is never too late and you’ve never gone too far to find the Champ in you.

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A Sling-Shot Mentality

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Okay, so Hubby and I were watching the NCAA Finals tonight, Duke versus Butler, and I’m telling you… I’m drained.

Now, I won’t assume that everyone knows the biggest differences between the two, but in a nutshell it was the modern-day David and Goliath epic event; with Duke being the conceptual (and financial) giant between the two. Now, if you’ve read any of the Wait Til A Commercial posts, you’ll know that I chat about professional sports. But, as a sports lover in general, I just had to start typing… I had to get it out.

butler-colorduke-university-collection

Let me start by saying I’m not a hater, although I will say that teams like Duke are why I don’t watch much of the tournament in general. Seriously! They just dominant everything… I mean, from getting those “ghost” calls or as I’d like to say, “Coach K” calls (As a note, Coach Krzyzewski is like America’s coach, having a championship legacy and was the coach for the NBA Olympic team.), to just the overall “I’m-better-than-you” feeling from a good number of the players that translates onto the court.

Butler gave Duke a run for their money and the Dukies were hating that the refs were actually calling them out instead of giving them their usual carte blanche calls. In the end, Duke won, but barely… I know, I know. A win is, indeed, a win, but David got some really good hits in on Goliath. Watching the game really had me thinking about how you can never give up. No matter what! I know those Butler young men are sad right now, but winning is relative in that they came so far… much further than many expected.

Life is gonna keep coming… a lot of times with no pauses and no let-up moments. You have to be fortified in knowing that you are worthy and you can achieve what you’ve set out to achieve. Don’t be put off by the haters in your life. And sometimes that can even be that voice in your head… Bottom line, you are worthy. Get your sling shot and knock ‘em down… one by one.

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Gentle Giant is an Understatement

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

You know, I heard this news a few weeks back and just couldn’t believe it, let alone writing about it…

So, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has cancer. Yes. Specifically, its chronic myeloid leukemia. He was diagnosed, late 2008, but just recently shared it with the world. This Hall of Fame NBA basketball legend decided to share his disease as a way of saying that a cancer diagnoses doesn’t mean an automatic death sentence (Crazy, huh?).

Jabbar is fortunate that what he has is treatable. And even with this, he still experienced the common fear associated with this reality that death is around the corner. I just applaud his bravery and his heart that, even in this state, he’s still teaching and being a pillar of strength.

He appears to be such a great guy and, man, what a humbling spirit.

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Much Respect, Shaq…

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

I’m not the biggest Shaquille O’Neal fan, although I respect what he’s done for the game and he has made my mouth drop in amazement a few times…

But, really I just wanted to give Shaq a huge shout out, his propers, for paying for the funeral expenses of that little 5-year-old girl, who was raped and murdered. There’s really no where to go with this story because, for me, its too disgusting to expound on and I don’t want to give the baby’s murderer and mother (yes, mother) any more publicity.

Shaq was touched, as any sane human being would be, by the situation and what a way to make a difference.

I do send out regards to that baby’s dad and extended family.

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