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

Titan Thursday – Week 8 Predictions

October 27th, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.

Overall Record: 66-37

Week 7 (Record: 8-5)

Shame of the Week: Kansas City Chiefs over the Oakland Raiders
Okay, so I believed last Wednesday night when I wrote Titan Thursday that the Raiders would have no choice but to start Carson Palmer. I was wrong. Still, I stand by Carson Palmer, who was without Darren McFadden and down 21 points.

Pick ‘Em Again: Ravens over Jaguars
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Texans over Titans, Jets over Chargers
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.


Week 8

Tennessee Titans over the Indianapolis Colts
Something will give for two teams heading the wrong direction in the win / loss columns. The Colts are better than the 62-7 beat down they received courtesy of the Saints. But, are the Titans better than their 41-7 humiliation? I sure hope so…

Dallas Cowboys over the Philadelphia Eagles
Yes, Tony Romo is in the news for celebrity reasons and the Eagles are playing at home. But, Michael Vick has 8 interceptions in the last 5 games and the Eagles are not immune to the run. Not sure why, but I will ride with Romo and the ‘Boys.

 

Giants over Dolphins
If any team could lose to the Dolphins, it is Eli and the Giants. Home field is enough.

Texans over Jaguars
No outcome in this game would surprise me, but not buying into Blaine-ia just yet.

Ravens over Cardinals
The Ravens are just like that sometimes. Expect a big rebound this week at home.

Saints over Rams
Seriously?! What did New Orleans do to deserve this favorable schedule? Oh yea…

Vikings over Panthers
Newton may be better than Ponder, but Peterson should slowly wear down Carolina.

Lions over Broncos
Even powered by the winning machine that is Tim Tebow, the Lions get it done.

Bills over Redskins
The Redskins are who we thought they were. Will the Bills let them off the hook?

Bengals over Seahawks
The Red Rifle and this young Cincinnati defense have made a believer out of me.

49ers over Browns
Do you think Pat Shurmur is preparing a gracious midfield handshake, right now?

Patriots over Steelers
Belichick and Brady after a regular season bye week is a lock regardless the opponent.

Chargers over Chiefs
The Bolts need this game as injuries mount and the Packers await them next week.

 

Byes: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Weekly Block – Getting Better

October 26th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Getting Better

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

1. Tennessee Titans (3-3) (2nd in AFC South)

The embarrassing loss to the Houston Texans puts the franchise, coaching staff, and players at a real crossroads.  Expect big changes to the line-up by next week.

2. Nashville Predators (3-4-1, 7pts) (5th in WC-Central)

If the Predators do not figure out how to put more shots on goal, this is going to be a long season. Sadly, it does not look like the answer is on the current roster.

3. Scott Stallings (Finished 28th in Children’s Miracle Network Classic)

Even in the off-season, Mr. Stallings continues to thrive in the final chapter of his rookie year. Up next is the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia. Good luck, Scott!

4. Chicago Cubs (Great Expectations)

Theo Epstein was finally announced and I must admit, I am truly excited. Still, the new regime appears to be committed to fixing the farm system first, so be patient.

5. Final Block (Getting Better)
There is a well established code amongst teammates in all sports, that at practice a certain percentage should not be exceeded in effort given for a practice drill.

Where did this code of laziness and apathy come from? Is it worth following?

You can be assured that someone, somewhere is getting better at your position, for a job you want, or to seize an opportunity you are waiting for the question is…

Will you get better, today?

Everyday is a chance to get better.

At The Lead Block, players are challenged to set the benchmark for effort on their team, improvement in the classroom, and restoration throughout their community.

Be sure to check out the ABOUT page to find out more about how you can join a mentoring movement that changes the world.  One destiny at a time.

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Tough to Understand

October 24th, 2011 | 1 comment

[cue heavy sigh] Ndamukong Suh is one of a growing number of young players in professional sports that does not understand the true meaning of toughness.

On Sunday, Suh along with a Detroit Lion teammate, mocked injured Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan as he writhed on the ground after suffering an ankle injury.

This was not a display of toughness.

 

Toughness IS NOT

mindlessly breaking rules designed to increase player safety.

insulting your opponent, fool-hearty fans, or any NFL authority.

allowing your frustration or emotions get the best of you.

instigating a physical altercation to “motivate” your teammates or coaches.

 

For players like Suh and James Harrison toughness and respect are apparently earned through brutal or excessive penalties and chest thumping in interviews and on-field antics. In reality, demonstrating true toughness is far more challenging.

 

Toughness IS

finishing a game injured.

showing restraint following a late hit or opponent’s taunt.

believing in yourself and your team when no one else does.

finishing games that are lost causes.

 

Toughness is an inner-strength that is outwardly apparent.

Hopefully, this is just a phase for Suh, who is both a gifted and dominant young NFL defensive star that could set a great example of true toughness for years to come.


At The Lead Block, we encourage and expect toughness from our players and create opportunities for those players to use that toughness in pursuit of their destiny.

Be sure to check out the ABOUT page to find out more about how you can join a mentoring movement that changes the world.  One destiny at a time.

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Titan Thursday – Week 7 Predictions

October 20th, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.

Overall Record: 58-32

Week 6 (Record: 10-3)

Shame of the Week: Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the New Orleans Saints
If you told me an ugly leg injury would impact this game, I would have suspected Drew Bress or Josh Freeman as the victims. Sorry Bucs’ fans, but this game was an anomaly. Without Sean Payton’s horrible injury, this game goes the other way.

Pick ‘Em Again: Lions over 49ers
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Giants over Bills
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.


Week 7

Tennessee Titans over the Houston Texans
The Titans are clearly the better option at home coming off a bye week. But, which Titans team will show up? Will Chris Johnson finally have a breakaway run? Regardless of those answers, the Texans are still the same ‘ol Texans. Mediocre.

Atlanta Falcons over the Detroit Lions
This is another top notch NFC showdown, that hopefully will not be ruined by post-game shenanigans. The Lions will miss Jahvid Best and although the Falcons secondary is atrocious, the Lions will not be able to stop Michael Turner.

Broncos over Dolphins
Tim Tebow will do just enough to win this week at home. Er… away in his honor.

Buccaneers over Bears
The only team more frustrating to predict than the Bucs on Sundays? Da Bears.

Browns over Seahawks
Even with an extra week and a momentous win over the Giants, Colt gets it done.

Chargers over Jets
The only Bolts buddy I have said to pick the Jets. So, this is with little confidence.

Panthers over Redskins
Cam Newton steals the second win of his career against another reeling squad.

Steelers over Cardinals
The Cardinals and Steelers are inverse case studies of operating an NFL franchise.

Raiders over Chiefs
I am a believer (apparently one of the few) in Carson Palmer’s immediate impact.

Cowboys over Rams
The Cowboys will do their best to make this a close game, but still salvage a win.

Packers over Vikings
How great would it be if Christian Ponder stole a win? Highly unlikely, but still…

Saints over Colts
Fortunately, the Saints will test out their new play calling system against Indy.

Ravens over Jaguars
Monday Nightmare Football continues in another mismatch that demands flexing.

Byes: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers

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Weekly Block – Popcorn Partnership

October 19th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Popcorn Partnership

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

1. Tennessee Titans (3-2) (1st in AFC South)

Terrell Owens a Titan? Don’t choke on your popcorn. It is extremely unlikely that the Titan front office will fall in this trap… again. Besides T.O. has bigger issues.

2. Nashville Predators (2-2-1) (Tied for 1st in WC-Central)

Any momentum the Predators started the season with is completely gone after the last 3 games. The Preds are just not putting enough shots on goal to win games.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (Middle Market Money)

The NBA lockout is costing Memphis, and lost revenues could push the city into an offensive legal position. Either way, the lockout is crushing teams like Memphis.

4. Chicago Cubs (A New Era)

Theo Epstein will become the Cubs new GM by the end of this week and regardless his asking price, his statistical prowess should improve the Cubs overnight.

5. Final Block (Become a Partner)

There are so many ways that you can become a partner with The Lead Block.
Here are just a few.

Be sure to check out the ABOUT page to find out more about how you can join a mentoring movement that changes the world.  One destiny at a time.

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More than a Handshake

October 17th, 2011 | 3 comments

The Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers are off to hot starts. Sadly, the two squads head coaches’ post-game handshake turned into an ugly scene on Sunday.

Three years ago, Jim Schwartz left an NFL best Tennessee Titan team (as defensive coordinator) to become a head coach for the Ford family in Detroit. A decision that seemed foolhardy, especially after two seasons with a combined 6-24 record.

But, 2011 is a totally different story. The Lions look like a legitimate NFC power and real threat to challenge the daunted division rival Green Bay Packers. Stafford, Johnson, and Best provide more than enough offense for Schwartz’s defense.

Schwartz is a good up-and-coming coach with a lot of unchecked passion.

This year is Jim Harbaugh’s rookie season as an NFL coach and to say he has overachieved would be an understatement. A frontrunner for NFL Coach of the Year, Harbaugh has cemented and ignited a 49er team everyone slept on.

But, Harbaugh has a history of his own for violating coaching decorum and until recently had a well-documented history with Pete Carroll. Ironically, now that Carroll and Harbaugh are reunited in the NFC West, the hard-feelings appear softened.

Harbaugh is simply a new NFL coach trying to earn respect from his peers.

Put these two emotionally charged teams and young coaches together for the best early season game of the year and enjoy, right? Unfortunately, a great conference showdown will be obscured by experts and columnists alike for this fracas.

And all because Harbaugh and Schwartz neglected humility in their handshake.

Just look at their resumes. Accomplishment and achievement through hard work and determination drip from each of their stories. They are more similar than different.

Humility does not require restraining emotion, rather valuing respect more.

Mr. Harbaugh, why not honor a coach like you that has worked hard with his players to become one of the best teams in the NFL for a city that desperately needs it?

Mr. Schwartz, why not humbly accept defeat and realize that your opponent is passionately celebrating this win because of his respect for the caliber of your team?

I believe the growing lack of humility in players at every level is directly proportional to the growing lack of mutual respect amongst coaches.

At The Lead Block, we strive to encourage and value humility from players, while supporting and promoting coaches that demand respect in themselves.

Be sure to check out the ABOUT page to find out more about how you can join a mentoring movement that changes the world.  One destiny at a time.

 

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Best Red – In Search of Honor

October 14th, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – In Search of Honor

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

1. Woman of Honor
Courtesy of Jonathan Wall and Yahoo! Sports

Ignoring the storm this story creates, Mina Johnson deserves a moment of honor for putting her team before herself, regardless the circumstances.  Well done, Mina!

2. Philly Fans Strike Again
Courtesy of Greg Wyshynski and Yahoo! Sports

Snowballs at Santa, cheering injured players, and now booing a cancer ad? Demonstrating humility and honoring your opponent never seemed so smart.

3. Meanest Player in the NFL
Courtesy of Chris Chase and Yahoo! Sports

These are just for fun, but Sports Illustrated seems extra proud of their results for dirtiest player and meanest player. Why not ask who is the most respected player?

 

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Titan Thursday – Week 6 Predictions

October 13th, 2011 | 1 comment

Every week, Titan Thursday will share predictions of each week’s NFL match-ups.


Overall Record: 48-29

Week 5 (Record: 8-5)

Shame of the Week: Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants
Are you kidding me, Eli Manning?! First you say that you are in the class of Tom Brady, then you start the season head of the class with Tom Brady, and now you lose to the Seahawks?! Unbelievable.

Pick ‘Em Again: Eagles over Bills
If the NFL played these games again this weekend, under the same conditions, I would pick the exact same way.  And I genuinely believe I would be right this time.

Shoulda’ Known Better: Raiders over Texans, Steelers over Titans
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way these games could ever end.


Week 6

Detroit Lions over the San Francisco 49ers
The Lion bandwagon is crowded, which means a letdown is imminent. And if any team can sneak up on the Lions, its Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers. This has all the makings of a trap game, but the Lions will extend their winning streak to 10 games.

Philadelphia Eagles over the Washington Redskins
What is wrong with the Eagles, right now? Exactly. There really is no explanation for the underachievement of this squad. The NFC Chargers are off to a slow start, but I still do not trust the Redskins and this game is very intriguing…

 

Packers over Rams
Ahem, fantasy owners. Should the NFL institute a mercy rule just for this game?

Bengals over Colts
I am buying the conspiracy theorists. “Suck for Luck” is in full effect for Indy.

Bills over Giants
Does this count as a trap game for the Bills? It should. Manning is the wildcard.

Falcons over Panthers
Could Atlanta really be 4th in the NFC South after this week? Surely not.

Steelers over Jaguars
Ben Roethlisberger woke up last week. Ironically, this game will put you to sleep.

Raiders over Browns
A tribute season for Al Davis just launched this team into overdrive. Lookout.

Ravens over Texans
Houston is not ready to win the AFC South. In this season, how is that possible?

Saints over Buccaneers
The Saints are vulnerable, but the Bucs have much bigger problems to sort out.

Patriots over Cowboys
I would love to pick the Cowboys here, but I have absolutely no faith in Romo.

Bears over Vikings
The Bears will play angry and might just launch Ponder-time in Minnesota early.

Jets over Dolphins
Against all odds, Mark Sanchez will not be the worst QB on the field next Monday.

Byes: Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks

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Weekly Block – Six Pack of Chances

October 12th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Six Pack of Chances

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

1. Tennessee Titans (Tied for 1st in AFC South)

The new players and coaching staff were going to catch up with them sooner or later. Have patience Titans’ fans. After all, this is supposed to be a rebuilding year.

2. Nashville Predators (2-0-0) (Tied for 1st in WC-Central)

Anytime you can start a season with 2 wins against division opponents in their home openers is awesome. The Preds will need this quick start in a stacked division.

3. Scott Stallings (2011 Earnings: $1,927,865) (Cuts made: 12)

The next stop on the off-season tour for the Greenbriar Champ will be a charity dinner for his alma mater, Tennessee Tech University. Check this out for more info.

4. Chicago Cubs (Lifting the Curse)

Only one man in baseball has a lifted a curse the size of the one haunting my beloved Cubs. The Boston wizard will be a Cub within the week, book it.

5. Final Block (Six Pack of Chances)

How many chances is enough?

For University of South Carolina quarterback, Stephen Garcia, his number of chances ended up being the same as the number he will no longer wear on Saturdays.

Five.

Five times, Garcia was suspended for vague and conspicuous reasons.

And five times, was reinstated after contrite apologies and solemn vows to change.

“Being a student-athlete at the University of South Carolina is a privilege, not a right and we remind all of our student-athletes that there are consequences for their actions.”  -Eric Hyman (Athletic Director – University of South Carolina)

Opportunity is fragile and should be handled with care.

At The Lead Block, we are all about helping young athletes understand and pursue the fragile and limitless opportunity that uniquely awaits them, on or off the field.

In a word, destiny.

Because no one wants to see destiny unrealized.

“Spurrier said he was sad that Garcia’s career ended this way.

‘We all feel like we’ve given Stephen numerous opportunities to be a student-athlete here at South Carolina. Obviously, he has chosen not to follow the guidelines of his reinstatement contract,’ Spurrier said in a statement. ‘We wish him the best.'” -Pete Iaocobelli (courtesy of Yahoo! Sports)

Be sure to check out the ABOUT page to find out more about how you can join a mentoring movement that changes the world.  One destiny at a time.

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Drop Back and Taunt

October 10th, 2011 | 6 comments

College football is about passion, pageantry, and apparently, a TD-erasing penalty.

The NCAA usually only registers on my radar for doling out hypocritical probations to universities and disgustingly greedy alterations to the college football landscape.

But on Saturday, they impressed this critical college sports fan with a new rule.

During a fake punt in the LSU vs. Florida game, Brad Wing (LSU punter), was stripped of a long TD-run following a brief taunt directed at Gator defenders in pursuit.

Watch the play for yourself.

That’s right, sports fan. Taunting during a live play can now cost your favorite team.

According to Section 2 of the NCAA Rule Book,
Article 1: Unsportsmanlike Conduct (Celebration)

“If the penalty occurs before the play is dead it is ruled a live ball foul and the penalty is enforced from the spot of the foul where the player’s feet are at the beginning of the act…”

Taunting is one of the ugliest displays of pride from an athlete.

Although it is a somewhat sad statement that this rule need be enforced, much less canonized, I applaud the NCAA for attempting to curb a destructive and disrespectful practice that spread from the NFL all the way down to Pop Warner football.

Honoring your opponent is key to establishing mutual respect.

Is there anything better than watching two players get after it, share a violent collision, and then pick each other up after the play is over? Honor is inspiring to behold on the field and in life. And encouraging honor should be a priority.

I admit, that although I would prefer the NCAA reward honor rather than punish taunting, at least they are trying something.

Bad sportsmanship just got more expensive. Funny, it was already overrated.

Thanks for reading and sharing this blog with friends and family.

Be sure to check out the ABOUT page to find out more about how you can join a mentoring movement that changes the world.  One destiny at a time.

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