Archive for the ‘Sports About Hope’ Category

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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A Family’s Gift

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Sorry I’ve been M.I.A… I was under the weather. But, on to more interesting stuff….

During the LA Lakers/Orlando Magic series there are many stories that are worth noting, but one stands out for me. This father and son were watching Orlando on television (pretty normal, huh?) and all of a sudden the boy spoke…

Here’s the story… The boy, up until this point, hadn’t spoken and the family was as resolved as a family could possibly be that he wouldn’t talk. Now with the surprise of his reaction to the team on television, the father thought that maybe there was something to do. And, it was…

This story found its way to the Magic offices and they responded by giving the boy and his father season tickets.

The glorious part of this story is in the fact that the boy has talked ever since. During each game the father says it’s hard to even shut him up. What a great inspiration to embracing the thought of never giving up…

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Drafting More Than Talent

Monday, April 27th, 2009

So, the 2009 NFL draft was this weekend. Many dreams came true for a lot of young men on Saturday and Sunday… Those who dreamt as young boys about their names being called, finally got to the point of making their dreams a reality.

I like the stories behind the draft… The ones that tell you about the person rather than their stats. For me, it just reminds me of what this site is all about (You know?)… I mean, I love the game, but what makes this player relative and relevant to me? Here’s one…

Michael Oher, once an offensive tackle for Mississippi was picked up by the Baltimore Ravens. The thing is, he was once homeless. Just watching this guy and his humbleness brought chill bumps all over. He was just so thankful and appreciative for the opportunity. He said he was ready to start today. Man…

The family that took him in were there to share in the celebration and he, for me, just stole the show by his story and his desire to now be there for the family who took him in.

Man, I’ve got to follow this guy to see what he does… And, apparently, others have already followed his story… Oher’s journey was chronicled in a book, The Blind Side, by Michael Lewis. I’m sure the book will be a moving read.

Keep your eye on this guy…

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This Beats Sliced Bread…

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Hubby and I were relaxing the other night watching a NBA game. The analysts were, well, analyzing and they mentioned something that I just had to share…

The owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, is known for a lot of things, but this added a whole new take on his character… He has this Seat for Soldiers thing going on. Isn’t that the best thing you’ve heard all week? I’ll explain… Apparently, men and women of the Armed Services can enjoy a Mavericks’ game (premium seating and all) on Cuban.

I think this is awesome. We add “awesome” to a lot of things that, really, aren’t truly awesome… This, this is awesome. If you ask a serviceperson what he or she would want (of course, outside of a job waiting for them once they’ve served) the answer would be just to get their mind off what they’ve seen… separation, death, nightmares, whatever you can imagine.

I give Cuban mad props for this endeavor… It’s the best use of money and presige that I’ve seen all year.

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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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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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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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This Moment

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

I was watching ESPN today and was amazed that the historic election of the first African-American president (elect) even reached the wide world of sports.

Now, apart from Barack Obama’s love for basketball and his desire to see the college football rankings done differently (The rankings process has been under great scrutiny.), I was shocked that he had  become a serious part of sports media analysis. I really didn’t think this event would have received much air time on the sport shows… but, indeed, this news brought out the best of the best in professional sports…

Kobe Bryant, who openly voted for Obama, expressed how this time in history shows young people that they can do anything and that “thing” doesn’t have to be sports’ focused. Michael Irvin, National Football League Hall of Famer, discussed the pride he felt about this moment in time and how far his people had come. Athletes and sports’ analysts alike were divulging what the election of the 44th president meant to them.

While I sat there watching all the sports’ news of the day, I was glad to have been part of this historically moment.

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Brute Force of Perseverance

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Strength is a magical thing, isn’t it?… It shows up in different forms. There is influential and perceived strength. There’s also mental, emotional, and physical strength. And strength wouldn’t be just that without a patient strength or an amazingly hidden strength that we may only see once and a while. One of the NBA’s top finishers around the rim, Amare Stoudemire-ironically donning #1 on his jersey-seizes the magic of strength personified… (Yes, this is a feel good one for ya!).

Amare Stoudemire

This guy, Stoudemire, power forward/center for the Phoenix Suns, amazed me as I learned the story of his undeniable strength acquired at an early age. His father died when he was 12 and his mother endured hard ships from her actions for surviving. Although he was without his dad and often left without his mother, Stoudemire possessed treasures that were already instilled in him from his parents… His father taught him and his older brother to stand tall and talented. Standing tall is what this virtually unstoppable, 6 foot 10 inches of solid man carried into adulthood.

His reality of survival and staying above water is what made Stoudemire such a shoo-in for the professional world of basketball straight out of high school. His work ethic and determination for better tomorrows served to be well thought out. Stoudemire represents that no matter how difficult and unrealistically unfair the world can be there is a way if there is a will.

I just wanted to share some goodness, y’all.

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Remember Well…

Friday, October 31st, 2008

How do you remember someone who meant a great deal?…

My uncle meant a great deal to me and his death was one of my hardest experiences. He thought enough of me to leave me a few keepsakes to remember him by… He died when I was much younger, but the irony lies in one special treasure. He left me his jewelry pouch… And at the time I was like, oh thanks. It didn’t dawn on me then that today one of my greatest joys would be to travel. I just love to go-I love to see other places (Hubby does, too, so it’s perfect!) and other people. And from this love I get to take my uncle’s gift all over the world (Thanks Uncle!).

Jewelry Pouch

I share this because the New Orleans Hornets’ David West has a similar story (Sorta). His college coach, Skip Prosser, died unexpectedly while jogging, but the coach’s motto, seize the day, stayed with West. He took that saying and had it etched into his skin to remind him to always optimize the day… Yep, “Carpe” is donned on his left calf, while “Diem” completes the right (You guessed it, “Seize the Day” in Latin.). What better way to honor someone and acknowledge how his legs are crucial to his success?

For me, you never can be reminded too much to optimize today… Be sure you do!

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