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

Disappointing

October 7th, 2014 | Comments Off on Disappointing

University of Florida Head Coach Will Muschamp delivers a quote that reveals the ugly landscape in competitive collegiate sports.

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Just two Saturdays ago, University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt delivered this wise observation following an exciting win over the University of Tennessee.

Well said, Coach.

Sadly, the battle of mutual respect between players appears lost with examples like this and this. The next front appears to be coaches, after this emotionally-powered blast from University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp on Saturday just moments after Florida defeated Tennessee 10-9 in Neyland Stadium.

First off, it is worth mentioning that Muschamp is on the coaching hot seat and this win could go a long way in helping him keep his job through the end of the season.

Also, sometimes it seems baiting by media and the fans that consume it, to ram a microphone in the face of a player or coach immediately following a mentally and emotionally taxing marathon of physical competition.

Finally, as consumers of competitive collegiate sports, it is important to be honest with ourselves. If we expect collegiate sports to be about character, education, teamwork, and the molding of young minds, then we need to begin behaving as though values matter more than recruiting classes, wins, and championships.

Coaches and athletic directors are paid by you and I (with our cable subscriptions, tickets, and sports apparel) to win games and championships. Everything else is a peripheral luxury that we blindly hope happens, while fearfully suspecting it is not.

We cannot have it both ways.
We must choose one over the other.
That is how values work.

Just ask University of Texas football fans about their season.

Does Coach Muschamp deserve a pass for his disrespectful and immature snipe?

Not at all, but maybe the blame for a man like Will Muschamp being given an opportunity to influence so many and be heard on national television does not reside in Gainesville, but somewhere a bit closer to home.

Encouraging coaches and players to give and earn respect is what The Lead Block is all about. To find out more about how you can become a part, click HERE.

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Titan Thursday – Week 17 Predictions

December 30th, 2011 | Comments Off on Titan Thursday – Week 17 Predictions

This week, Titan Thursday Friday shares predictions of this week’s NFL match-ups.

Overall Record: 151-89

 

Week 16 (Record: 9-7)

Shame of the Week: Philadelphia Eagles over the Dallas Cowboys
Without Tony Romo, the Cowboys offense had no chance of keeping up with the Eagles finally explosive offensive. More importantly, the struggling Cowboys defense limited Vick and McCoy to only 6 points and 2 field goals in the second half.

Pick ‘Em Again: Texans over Colts, 49ers over Seahawks
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: Bengals over Cardinals
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.

 

Week 17

Tennessee Titans over the Houston Texans
Okay, so maybe this is just the wishful thinking of a Titan fan. Especially if Texans DC Wade Phillips returns and the Titans do not establish an early lead. But, Houston could play it safe and not reveal anything to a potential first round playoff opponent.

Dallas Cowboys over the New York Giants
I will continue to ride with Tony Romo and the Boys in a game where precedent demands a different selection. Eli Manning’s elite status is once again at stake and although he is having a banner season, he is also still incredibly inconsistent.

 

Lions over Packers
It is hard to see the Pack risking injuries, while Detroit could still benefit from a win.

Jaguars over Colts
Maurice Jones-Drew’s pursuit of the rushing title will be enough to grind out a win.

Jets over Dolphins
The fight the Fins summoned seems to have fizzled and the Jets are a better team.

Saints over Panthers
Expect the Saints to do their part in ensuring the Super Dome gets a playoff game.

Bears over Vikings
Who would have predicted neither of these teams would be relevant this season?

Patriots over Bills
Home-field is at stake, while the Bills are fresh off a rare win and ripe for a letdown.

Eagles over Redskins
The Dream Team will again shine, begging the question, will they be back next year.

49ers over Rams
Home-field is at stake, who desperately need a win to outpace the New Orleans.

Falcons over Buccaneers
Raheem Morris’ job and Josh Freeman’s nightmare season will both come to a close.

Seahawks over Cardinals
Alright, alright. So maybe Pete Carroll and the Seahawks deserve a little more

Chargers over Raiders
The Bolts are eliminated and Oakland needs this, meaning both will fail to blow this.

Broncos over Chiefs
Tebow’s future and the fate of quarterbacks like Robert Griffin hang in the balance.

Steelers over Browns
With or without Big Ben this game is one Pittsburgh needs to close out the season.

Ravens over Bengals
A toss up. And were it not for Dallas vs. Giants, this would be the game of the week.

 

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Titan Thursday – Week 12 Predictions

November 24th, 2011 | 1 comment

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

Overall Record: 99-59

Week 11 (Record: 10-4)

Shame of the Week: Denver Broncos over the New York Jets
This is the second week in a row Timmy made me pay for picking against him. And honestly, I could not be happier about it. There is little difference between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow. The Broncos defense was better than the Jets on Thursday.

Pick ‘Em Again: Giants over Eagles
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: Seahawks over Rams
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.


Week 12

Tennessee Titans over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Titans offensive line is depleted, the Bucs just turned in one of their more solid outings of the season, and LeGarrette Blount is relishing a chance against the team that cut him. Still, Tampa Bay is weak against the run which could be the difference.

Detroit Lions over the Green Bay Packers
The Packers are rolling and the Lions’ defense will present little resistance to Aaron Rodgers. But, I will not jump on the 16-0 bandwagon until after this game. Detroit circled this game weeks ago and it means far more to them than it does Green Bay.

Baltimore Ravens over the San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have plenty to prove to me against an elite team from the AFC, especially since 6 of their 9 wins came against teams with a losing record. Alex Smith must manage a better game than Joe Flacco, whoever wins that matchup wins the game.

 

Cowboys over Dolphins
The Fins slapped down 3 sinking opponents, unlike the Boys who are riding high.

Falcons over Vikings
No Adrian Peterson could actually make Ponder and the Vikes more dangerous.

Panthers over Colts
I cannot go back on a promise from a few weeks ago. I will not pick the Colts, again.

Texans over Jaguars
This game will reveal whether Houston can hold onto the AFC South without Schuab.

Cardinals over Rams
The Rams are a mess and the Cardinals are not much better. This game is a toss up.

Jets over Bills
Too much is at stake for Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan to drop this to the reeling Bills.

Bengals over Browns
Dalton and company need this game to keep pace in a heated AFC wildcard race.

Redskins over Seahawks
Throw out the Ravens win and the Seahawks are not as impressive as they look.

Raiders over Bears
A good rule of thumb is to go with the team whose QB is healthy and improving.

Patriots over Eagles
Vince Young never had much success against the Patriots defense in Tennessee.

Chargers over Broncos
At this point I just keep picking against Tim Tebow hoping it helps him win.

Steelers over Chiefs
If Tyler Palko thought the Patriots defense hit hard, he might want to call in sick.

Saints over Giants
These are the games the Giants typically win convincingly, just to confuse us all.

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Titan Thursday – Week 10 Predictions

November 11th, 2011 | 1 comment

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

Overall Record: 81-47

Week 9 (Record: 6-8)

Shame of the Week: Cincinnati Bengals over the Tennessee Titans
This is a disappointing loss for the Titans who were soundly beating a young and talented team. Andy Dalton is for real, but the Titans secondary must be more consistent in coverage to win. Finally, Chris Johnson is almost back to his old self.

Pick ‘Em Again: Patriots over Giants, Steelers over Ravens
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: Packers over Chargers, Jets over Bills
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.


Week 10

Tennessee Titans over the Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton could have a field day against this Titans secondary and it is not difficult to see the Panthers running away with this game, but I think this is a game the Titans pull out another commanding performance (i.e. Ravens and Browns).

New York Giants over the San Francisco 49ers
Alright Mr. Manning, you have my attention. The 49ers are a team that an elite quarterback with a defense in support should defeat, even on the road. This is the biggest test for 49ers this season, who also have something to prove.

Chargers over Raiders
Is this the beginning of the end for the Bolts? Rivers vs. Palmer should be great.

Colts over Jaguars
This will probably be the last time I pick the Colts all season. Unless they win…

Saints over Falcons
First place and control of the NFC South is at stake. Are the Falcons back to form?

Buccaneers over Texans
The sneaky Bucs are playing good enough to sneak up on the coasting Texans.

Steelers over Bengals
Pittsburgh’s momentum came to a screeching halt. The Bengals are in trouble.

Eagles over Cardinals
Which defeat was more crushing? The Eagles NFC Wild Card chances or this?

Chiefs over Broncos
Tim Tebow fans need to brace themselves for more Tebow-Hater nation taunts.

Cowboys over Bills
The Bills are reeling and the Cowboys playoff hopes are at stake. It’s still a pick’em.

Rams over Browns
Sam Bradford and the Rams look eerily similar to Matt Stafford and the 2010 Lions.

Dolphins over Redskins
Yuck. Picking a tie would be the right move, but one will inevitably give this away.

Ravens over Seahawks
Joe Flacco is not an elite quarterback. Good thing it will not matter against Seattle.

Lions over Bears
Come on, this is easy Detroit. Hint: Build an early lead and punt out of bounds.

Patriots over Jets
Brady is playing the worst football of his life… which is still better than the Pats D.

Packers over Vikings
Catch up on your sleep cycle. Mercy Night Football should be over before halftime.

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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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