Thoughts regarding sports and mentoring.
Caution: Severe Tennessee Titan, Memphis Grizzlies, Chicago Cubs, and Scott Stallings bias.

Best Red – The Argument

July 29th, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – The Argument

Every Friday, Best Red will list the best sports articles (or videos) of the week.

1. The Vince Young Argument
Courtesy of and NFL Total Access

Jamie Dukes and Michael Lombardi clash on the enigma that is Vince Young’s pro career.  Michael Vick has a chance to further establish his legend of redemption.

2. Punter holds #5 ransom from Donovan McNabb
Courtesy of MJD and Yahoo! Sports

I could easily turn this into a screenplay, starring Keanu Reeves as Chris Kluwe and Morgan Freeman as Donovan McNabb.  Just kidding.  No way I’d get Freeman.

3. NFL Players ‘Thank You Fans’ video
Courtesy of YouTube and the NFLPA

I suppose expecting an apology for grinding to a halt the most profitable business in the world during a recession, was too much to hope for… but at least it’s something.

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Weekly Block – Locked-In

July 27th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Locked-In

Each Wednesday, the Weekly Block will cover everything that matters in the world of sports.  To me.  And maybe you, too.

1. Scott Stallings (22nd at RBC Canadian Open)(88th in FedExCup Points)

Holding strong in the top 100, Stallings added another strong finish to his rookie season.  He also shared this interesting article about the PGA’s labor situation.

2. Chicago Cubs (42-61)(5th in NL Central)

One of the most difficult skills to learn in baseball is locking in on a ball in the milliseconds it takes to cross the plate. And Starlin Castro is a perfect example.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (Lockout Love Letter)

From Shane Battier: Dear @NBA, the @NFL makeup has inspired us all. How’s this sound? You, me, a house at the shore, some Asti, and that mixtape you made me?

4. Tennessee Titans (Locker Era Begins)

As expected, Baptist Sports Park was open to Titan players who flocked to the facility from all parts of the country.  Jake Locker made the biggest statement, arriving first.

5. Final Block (Locked-In)

Unless you live under a rock, you heard that the NFL Lockout officially ended yesterday morning.  With that highly anticipated settlement will come a flurry of activity not seen in the modern era of professional football.

But, what does this mean to the average NFL fan?

First, your favorite team will probably make some significant roster changes.  The player salary cap (shared NFL revenue allotted for players’ salaries) is lower than 2010.  More importantly, the NFL will now impose a salary spending floor.

This means that several teams will reduce their star-studded rosters (Cowboys, Giants, Raiders, and Steelers), while others will be required to expand (Buccaneers, Seahawks, Bengals, Bills, and Bears).

Second, your favorite team will probably under-perform early in the season.  Off-season training activities were missed league-wide and even though training camps will start this week, most are already way behind schedule.

This is good news if your team has a difficult schedule early, because it is likely the opponents will not be at their best.  Then again, perennial powers (i.e. Patriots, Steelers, Colts) will be ready from running consistent systems.

Finally, if your favorite team is in a transition, prepare for a tougher season than usual.  The lockout wasted critical introduction and installation months for new front offices, coaches, coordinators, and players.

Look for the Titans, 49ers, Panthers, Cardinals, and Vikings to struggle early and often as they scramble to make up for lost time from this off-season.  Keep an eye on the Cards though, because they have the best opportunity to prove me wrong.

At the end of the day, the resolution to the NFL Lockout really only means one thing… football is back.  Amen.

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Multiply and Conquer

July 25th, 2011 | Comments Off on Multiply and Conquer

When it comes to investing time or money, multiplication is a good thing.

You invest in retirement (hopefully) and keep money in a bank instead of between your mattresses (bold assumption).

Why?  Because it multiplies your money.  The same is true with time.

You schedule a business meeting over lunch and text/e-mail/tweet/facebook (sometimes simultaneously) while you drive.

Why?  Because it multiplies your time.  You get more value for your minutes.

Next week, The Lead Block will officially launch and begin mentoring four student athletes at three high schools.  Besides development services and mentoring appointments, each player will be equipped to become a multiplying force in their community and any future community they call home.

Cortland Finnegan (Ark31 Foundation)
Ryan Dempster (Dempster Family Foundation)
Shane Battier (The Battier Take Charge Foundation)

Like these professional athletes, each Lead Block player will be challenged to not only make a plan for their destiny, but to plan to positively affect the destiny of their community.

This increases the positive influence throughout East Tennessee and multiples the return on investment for sponsors and donors.  Each dollar and every minute given to a player will multiply in its ability to build and restore individuals and communities.

The end-goal for The Lead Block becomes simple.  To multiply and conquer.

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Best Red – Sure Bet

July 22nd, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – Sure Bet

Every Friday, Best Red will be the best sports articles (or videos) I found this week.

1. Arian Foster signs CBA
Courtesy of Arian Foster (@ArianFoster) and Twitter

The former University of Tennessee and current Houston Texan running back posted this last night on his twitter feed.  Apparently, the NFL Lockout is still on…

2. NCAA12 Gator Chomp
Courtesy of YouTube and EA Sports

I may be a closet Florida Gator fan (in post-Tebow depression), but this is still a hilarious spot by EA promoting one of their perennial, powerhouse video games.

3. Sure Bet
Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports and Jay Busbee

If I were taking a sure bet on someone making a clutch shot, the last person on the planet I would bet against would be #23.  Besides, who heckles Michael Jordan?


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Weekly Block – Meet John Lackey

July 20th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Meet John Lackey

Each Wednesday, the Weekly Block will cover everything that matters in the world of sports.  To me.  And maybe you, too.

1. Scott Stallings (Next: RBC Canadian Open)(91st on the PGA Tour money list)

Although, Scott is one of the best PGA Tour rookies this year, that doesn’t prevent him from setting higher goals.  Look for Stallings on a major leaderboard very soon.

2. Chicago Cubs (39-59)(5th in NL Central)

The Cubs are 20 games below .500.  But, they did manage to defeat arguably the best pitcher in the National League in Roy Halladay, with a little heat help.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (SPACE AVAILABLE FOR LEASE)

The weekly Grizz Nation update has been cancelled on account of sickening greed and a wholly corrupt business model.  Nashville Predator updates, anyone?

4. Tennessee Titans (Britt-ney Spears)

Randy Moss is out and Kenny Britt will likely be the first cuffed by a Roger Goddell post-lockout suspension.  Sitting Jake Locker in 2011 just became obligatory.

5. Final Block (Meet John Lackey)

Have you heard the story of Boston Red Sox pitcher, John Lackey?  Catch up here.

So, how should a professional, collegiate, or competitive team handle a player that is struggling on-the-field because of personal issues off-the-field?

Grant a furlough? Cut him? Start him? Bench him?

Complicating this issue is the factor affecting Lackey’s performance (his wife’s battle with breast cancer) is outside of his or the team’s control.  There are no guidelines, little precedent, and very divisive opinions on the topic.

The game of life is not always a thoughtfully scheduled, fairly officiated, or understandably scored.  Yet, some of life’s greatest analogies derive from athletic competitions.

This story is no different.  If, the Red Sox seize the opportunity.

Lackey needs the support of his team and franchise in this difficult time.  Should he start?  Maybe not.  But, what if the Red Sox considered temporary assignment.

What about using him for relief work?

Or taking this distracting opportunity to spend time improving his delivery?

Or theme a Breast Cancer Awareness night at Fenway Park in his wife’s honor?

The options are as limitless as Boston’s imagination for addressing their needs and the needs of one of their starting pitchers.  Do the right thing, BoSox Nation and make this happen.

Even Yankee fans could get behind something like this…


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Field of Play

July 18th, 2011 | 1 comment

Sports and life have always had an indelible connection.  Here are just a few life lessons I learned in the field of play.

1. Life is not always fair.

Whether playing a superior opponent, getting an unlucky bounce, or being on the wrong end of a bad call, the odds will sometimes not be in your favor.  Play anyway.

2. Authority is absolute.

The ratio of coaches and players successfully changing the mind of a game official, to their getting ejected from the competition, is very lopsided.  Respect authority.

3. Winning is hard.

Winning creates an overwhelming temptation to gloat, coast, or appraise your talent beyond its true value.  Handling victory is the key to maintaining success.

4. Losing is harder.

Losing creates an overwhelming temptation to complain, become lazy, or pass the blame anywhere possible.  Handling defeat is the key to improving your tomorrow.

5. Never give up.

Buffalo Bills vs Houston Oilers Boston Red Sox vs New York YankeesDallas Mavericks vs Miami HeatJapan vs USA Hope creates new opportunities.


Cliches and trite sports observations aside, The Lead Block’s purpose is to leverage experiences from the playing field to prepare student athletes for life off-the-field and after high school.

Check out how you can become a part of a mentoring movement that will shape communities around the country for years to come.



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Best Red – Best of the Best

July 15th, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – Best of the Best

Every Friday, Best Red will be the best sports articles (or videos) I found this week.

1. Best Dressed at the ESPYs
Courtesy of David Brown and Yahoo! Sports

As fans, let us never forget that all sports are for our entertainment.  Leaving the only question… are you not entertained?!  I am, Mr. Wilson.  I am.

2. Best Sports Twitter Users
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Regardless your location or favorite sport, you would be hard-pressed to scroll down this list and not find someone worth adding to your twitter feed.

3. Best Futbol Match Ever
Courtesy of YouTube and ESPN

U.S. Women’s Soccer will play for another World Cup.  But before booting France on Wednesday, came the greatest come-from-behind victory in the history of futbol.

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Weekly Block – App Assessment

July 13th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – App Assessment

Each Wednesday, the Weekly Block will cover everything that matters in the world of sports.  To me.  And maybe you, too.

1. Scott Stallings (22nd at John Deere Classic) (90th on the PGA Tour money list)

Scott turned in a solid performance this weekend, notching 18 birdies and only 5 bogeys. Besides quietly turning in one of the most consistent rookie seasons, he is also one of the biggest-hitters on tour right now. 

2. Chicago Cubs (37-55)(5th in NL Central)

You heard it here first (okay you probably already knew).  The Chicago Cubs have a 0% of winning the division or making the playoffs (according to Accuscore).  Let the Albert Pujols countdown begin.  But should the Cubs also consider a new manager?

3. Memphis Grizzlies (Shoot for Next Year)

It is no secret the Grizzlies are in desperate need of outside shooting.  But with Rudy Gay coming back next season, head coach Lionel Hollins is confident that last year’s first round pick and Gay will be enough to solve their lack of outside shooting.

4. Tennessee Titans (QB or not QB, that is the question)

Speculation is so rampant about the next starting QB for the Titans, that Vince Young is actually coming up.  Although, there is no chance of that, Matt Hasselbeck is the front-runner to follow his ward Jake Locker to Tennessee.

Can Marshawn come, too?  We could use a power(-ed up) runningback.

5. Final Block (An App Assessment of MLB)

Do you think baseball games are too long?  Does your your mind wander between the velcroing and unvelcroing of batting gloves between each pitch?  Are the shenanigans of zany mascots more entertaining than the action in most innings?

Join the club.  And buy the app At Bat 11.

The app offers you key play highlights, At the Ballpark check-in (with venue maps and social media functions), customizable home screens, the ability to watch out-of-market games, and the ability to listen to radio broadcasts of home or away games.

[End cheesy infomercial.  Begin Final Block rant.]

The most startling feature of this magical MLB app?  The Condensed Game feature.

That’s right, you can watch only the plays where something happened (groundout, base hit, third strike, fourth ball, etc.) in a particular game.  Quite the time-saving feature considering the average length of a game is around 3 hours.

This could save you, what?
30 minutes?
An hour?
Surely, not two hours…

Actually, the app (on average) will shave a major league baseball game down to under 10 minutes!  This is not a Sportscenter highlight clip we are talking about, but the entirety of action from a 3 hour sporting event.

To Bud Selig and MLB –
Shorten the season (99 games) and shorten the length of games, for the love of baseball.  Less is more (see NFL).

To and the creators of At Bat 11 –
Thanks for incontrovertible evidence that baseball games are as devoid of action as soccer matches.

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Join The Lead Block Community

July 11th, 2011 | 4 comments

The Lead Block consists of a community of businesses, entrepreneurs, coaches, educators, professional athletes and parents strategically aligned to pave the way for student athletes to score their destiny on and off the field.

As a non-profit organization, we could not exist without these committed partners.  The Lead Block community are the primary supporters and play a critical role in mentoring dozens of players from local high schools and universities.

If you are reading this blog, thanks! Thanks for your support through readership.

Here are a few other ways you can make a difference…


:: Sponsor Mentors ::

       TLB Fan – $25 / per month OR $1-$599 donation

       TLB Rookie – $50 / per month OR $600-$1199 donation

       TLB Teammate – $100 / per month OR $1200-$2999 donation

       TLB Coach – $250 / per month OR $3000-$5999 donation

       TLB Legend – $1000 / per month OR $6000 and beyond donation

:: Services ::

       Tutoring If you are an educator or have experience tutoring, you can educate.

       Career If you are passionate about your current profession, you can inspire.

       Secondary-Education If you work for a college or university, you can inform.

:: Resources ::

       Books If you can share books (non-fiction, biographies), you can enlighten.

       Office If you can provide essentials for the office, you can equip mentors.      

       Food If you can offer discounts, you can assist mentoring appointments.


You can make a difference through mentoring!

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Best Red – Field of Dreams 2

July 8th, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – Field of Dreams 2

Every Friday, Best Red will be the best sports articles (or videos) I found this week.

1. Carl on The Big Break at Indian Wells
Courtesy of the

If you are a casual golfer and are not watching The Big Break Indian Wells, shame on you.  This and Hard Knocks are the only reality shows on TV worth watching.

2. Human Homerun
Courtesy of YouTube

Back, back, back, back, back, back… gone in the head. 

3. Field of Dreams 2: NFL Lockout
Courtesy of

I never thought something could bring together Twilight and NFL fans and yet this is it.  Sadly, Ray Lewis out-acts Taylor Laughter… but what else is new?

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