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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#100 – Manning vs. Tebow

March 14th, 2012 | Comments Off on #100 – Manning vs. Tebow

After ten months, The Lead Block mentoring movement is impacting the lives of players at the high school and college level with  6 athletic programs.

Here are the readers’ top picks from the 100 blog posts along the way.

10. More than a Handshake
The Lions and 49ers each had great seasons, but the most interesting occurrence for each team was this post-game exchange between their young head coaches.

9. Everything You Hate About Pro Athletes
Athletic stereotypes are difficult to overcome, especially for professional athletes. One of The Lead Block‘s goals is to help players overcome these misconceptions.

8. Sure Bet
Arian Foster (@ArianFoster) demonstrates good humor during the NFL Lockout, EA delivers a top-notch commercial, and Michael Jordan wins a golf bet with a fan.

7. Field of Dreams 2
Another Best Red in the Top 10 (should bring this back), complete with the most clutch golf shot I have ever seen, the human homerun, and the sports video of 2011.

6. Pursuit of Perfection
Nobody is perfect. However, one NFL quarterback achieved perfection in his career. Tom Brady’s career is a testimony to the rewards of a commitment to excellence.

5. Join The Lead Block
The Lead Block would not be possible without a community of supporters and partners. By the way, becoming a partner might be easier than you think.

4. Putter Slinging
Scott Stallings trot around the 18th hole at the Greenbrier Classic, leading to his putter fling in jubilation is one of the best live sports moments of 2011.

3. Lead Blocking
This updated and in-depth description of the personal mentoring offered by The Lead Block is the best page to share with friends and family who are interested.

2. Scott Stallings is a Champ
One of the best final round comebacks of 2011, Scott forever stamped his name on the Greenbrier Trophy. I am already looking forward to seeing him at The Masters.

1. The Thing About Tim Tebow
Tebow-mania may be so 2011, if John Elway and the Denver Broncos mange to land the biggest free agent signing in my lifetime. Only Peyton could unseat Tebow.

 

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Titan Thursday – Week 13 Predictions

December 1st, 2011 | 1 comment

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

Overall Record: 113-61

Week 12 (Record: 14-2)

Shame of the Week: Green Bay Packers over the Detroit Lions
What a disappointment. Not only did Ndamukong Suh ruin this game with a single stomp, he could very well have ruined the rest of the Lions season. Aaron Rodgers is good. But, with that Green Bay defense he is going to need to be to keep winning.

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


Week 13

Tennessee Titans over the Buffalo Bills
Smart money is on the struggling Buffalo Bills who host a Titans team that has not put back-to-back wins together in two months. But, the Bills are giving up 120+ yards a game on the ground and have yet to see a back like Chris Johnson all season.

New Orleans Saints over the Detroit Lions
The Lions season is in jeopardy, as Detroit desperately needs this game to keep pace in a heated NFC Wildcard race. But, Drew Brees in the Superdome is potentially an even scarier proposition than Aaron Rodgers anywhere, right now.

 

Eagles over Seahawks
This far into a lost season, games come down to who has the more talented roster.

Patriots over Colts
Remember when this game was the perennial highlight of the NFL regular season?

Broncos over Vikings
At the risk of jinxing Tim Tebow, I cannot in good conscious pick the Vikes here.

Raiders over Dolphins
The AFC West is Oakland’s for the taking, but this game is pivotal for a playoff berth.

Jets over Redskins
The Battle of the Rexes should be entertaining, until Santonio Holmes takes over.

Falcons over Texans
The annual Texans slide begins this week, how far they slide is the only question.

Bears over Chiefs
The Chiefs do not have the firepower to battle even a depleted version of the Bears.

Steelers over Bengals
It is so easy to see the young Bengals stealing this game, but Pittsburgh finds a way.

Buccaneers over Panthers
Cam Newton is in for a long day. But, the Carolina run defense is in for a longer one.

Ravens over Browns
Any given week the Ravens are the class of the AFC, while the Browns, well… are not.

Packers over Giants
The trap-game meter is peaking for this game. Can Eli Manning steal one for A-Rod?

Cowboys over Cardinals
Beating the Cards is easy. Build an early lead and avoid kicking it anywhere near him.

49ers over Rams
A tale of two NFC West teams. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Chargers over Jaguars
Ugh. Just when you thought Monday Night Football could not get any worse…


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An Arm and a Leg

November 28th, 2011 | Comments Off on An Arm and a Leg

This week in the NFL provided some of the best and worst examples of character.

Stomping an arm out of frustration shows pride and disrespect for all involved.

The stomp heard round the world left every football-watching American thankful they can watch Ndamukong Suh from the safety of their living rooms. And sadly, it also demonstrated yet again that Suh is an immature and self-absorbed hothead.

The only thing worse than young Suh’s inability to control himself (an action that cost his team valuable points and momentum in a pivotal moment during the biggest game of Detroit’s season), is his inability to take responsibility for his actions.

Players with character use frustration to fuel their motivation to succeed.

Pretending to shoot yourself in the leg to mock an opponent lacks wisdom.

In pretending to shoot himself in the leg during a touchdown celebration, Stevie Johnson actually shot himself squarely in the proverbial foot. Directed at Plaxico Burress, who foolishly did this in 2008, Johnson’s TD-celebration was a poor choice.

The only thing worse than young Johnson’s hurtful taunt (an action that cost his team a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct and valuable points before the end of the half), is his thoughtless pattern of wreckless actions and thoughtless comments.

Players with character use wisdom to create opportunities on and off the field.


Players with character share credit and create trust amongst their teammates.

Tim Tebow did it again on Sunday. This time to yet another division opponent on the road in the San Diego Chargers, who only a month ago were atop the AFC West. Tebowing is more than a pose and more than gimmick. It is a way of winning.

The only thing better than young Tebow’s success on the field (including a 5-1 record, 4 fourth quarter comebacks, and the support/belief of virtually every Denver Bronco player), is his capacity to give credit to everyone other than himself.

Playing with character may cost an arm and a leg, but its a bargain at any price.

 

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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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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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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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Titan Thursday – Week 4 Predictions

September 29th, 2011 | 1 comment

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


Overall Record: 29-19

Week 3 (Record: 11-5)

Shame of the Week: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick is right to cry out for relief. Because Andy Reid nor his offensive line seem interested in answering that call. And calm down Giant fans, for every one of these games from Eli in September there is the opposite lurking for December.

Pick ‘Em Again: Patriots 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: Buccaneers over Falcons
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way these games could ever end.


Week 4

Tennessee Titans over the Cleveland Browns
Okay, so the Titans have not dazzled in their two wins, Chris Johnson is depressingly bottled up, and Kenny Britt is lost for the season. But, Matt Hasselbeck and the stingiest defense in the NFL will maintain their winning ways for another week.

Detroit Lions over the Dallas Cowboys
I hate to pick against Tony Romo after he just willed his team to another tough win. But, expect this Cowboys secondary to struggle against a good quarterback (Matt Stafford). Something they have yet to see (i.e. Sanchez, Smith, and Grossman).

 

Steelers over Texans
Steelers are sloppy, but win this one close. The Texans just look like a .500 team.

Bears over Panthers
Cam Newton came back to earth last week. And the 1-2 Bears are no 1-2 Jaguars.

Vikings over Chiefs
It is sad to see recent division winners struggle so badly. The Vikes can’t lose this.

Bills over Bengals
Although I am impressed with the Bills, I feel a letdown coming on. Just not yet.

Rams over Redskins
Both looked bad in defeat last week, but the Rams have played better teams so far.

Eagles over 49ers
Vick’s overblown injury should go away quietly, just like the 49ers will in the 4th.

Saints over Jaguars
Not even a monsoon could help the Jags win this game. Drew Brees is too much.

Falcons over Seahawks
The Falcons are struggling, but it is nothing a visit to the Seahawks cannot fix.

Giants over Cardinals
An easy match-up for the Giants sure smells like a trap game. Cards can steal it.

Patriots over Raiders
There is no way Bill Belichick and Tom Brady lose back-to-back games. Is there?

Packers over Broncos
Attention Fantasy Owners, insert all Packer offensive players… put the D in, too!

Chargers over Dolphins
What if the Chargers and Dolphins actually played up to their potential? Hmm…

Ravens over Jets
Rex Ryan should really consider Joe Namath as an option against his old team.

Buccaneers over Colts
Being wrong about these two teams has cost me 4 games. Will they make it 5?

 

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Titan Thursday – Week 2 Predictions

September 15th, 2011 | 2 comments

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

 

Week 1 (Record: 6-10)

Shame of the Week: Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets
Tony Romo may be a better quarterback than Mark Sanchez, but unlike Rex Ryan and the Jets, Jason Garrett and the Cowboys have not idiot-proofed the Cowboy offense.

Yet.

Pick ‘Em Again: Falcons over Bears, Titans over Jags
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 Colts, 49ers over Seahawks
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way these games could ever end.


Week 2

Baltimore Ravens over the Tennessee Titans
The Titans defense tightened the screws late in last week’s game, but the problem will be beating a resurrected Ravens defense. Last week, this unit terrorized Ben Roethlisberger, causing 7 turnovers. Expect another close loss for the Titans.

New England Patriots over the San Diego Chargers
If there is an offense in the AFC capable of keeping pace with the Pats, it is Philip Rivers and the Chargers. Honestly, this game could easily go either way. But, I give the edge to the Pats (who always start fast) over the Bolts (who always start slow).

Bills over Raiders
Fitzpatrick should shred the Raiders as easily as he did the Chiefs. Maybe easier.

Saints over Bears
Are the Bears for real? I think not, look for the Saints to get on track and after Cutler.

Lions over Chiefs
The Chiefs are not THAT bad. But, apparently neither are the Lions anymore.

Colts over Browns
The Browns are more disappointing than the Colts. At least Indy has an excuse.

Vikings over Bucs
Picking against the Bucs again, because I trust in AP more than Josh Freeman.

Packers over Panthers
Cam Newton will see his first NFL defense his week… yes, the Cards are that bad.

Redskins over Cardinals
(See above) But, which Rex Grossman will show up to play this Sunday?

Steelers over Seahawks
Poor Seahawks.  I actually feel pity for what is going to happen to them this week.

Cowboys over 49ers
Tony Romo is a better quarterback than Alex Smith… (sigh) … I think.

Jets over Jaguars
The Jags offense is a one trick pony about to be saddled by Rex Ryan’s… defense.

Broncos over Bengals
Orton’s tenure depends on a win here. Otherwise, Tebow chants will only get louder.

Texans over Dolphins
Henne looked good, but Wade Phillip has given the Texans defense quite a bite.

Falcons over Eagles
Look for the Falcons to recover and take advantage of a weak Eagle offensive line.

Rams over Giants
Sam Bradford and the Rams have my attention. This game will decide if they keep it.

 

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