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

Shake It Off

June 14th, 2012 | Comments Off on Shake It Off

There is a growing trend of athletes not shaking hands or congratulating an opponent following a tough loss.

Bill Belichick walked off the field before Super Bowl XLII was officially over.

A young Lebron James exited the 2009 NBA Eastern Finals sans fist bumps.

The British Olympic Association is encouraging its athletes to not shake hands in the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics.

And now Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo are joining in on an ugly fad of not acknowledging an opponent following a tough loss.

Following one particular game (during the ceremonial sportsmanlike handshake line), I childishly told each player that they were bags of garbage and played like garbage.

Inevitably, word got back to my father (one of my coaches), who made himself very clear. Not only was I going to apologize to the opposing team, but if ever did something like that again, my sporting career would be over.

When you fail to honor an opponent, you fail to honor the game itself. And a game without honor is a game not worth playing, much less winning.

Aside from accidentally motivating your opponent to play better, risking further humiliation during the post-game handshake was a great deterrent to trash talking an opponent before or during a game. Who would risk eating their prideful banter in the grinning face of their victorious opponent?

If this petulant behavior continues, expect severe insults to increase, on-court confrontations to escalate, and respect amongst competitors to diminish.

Don’t believe me?  Ask Mr. Garnett how his peers feel about him.

The easiest way to practice for honoring your opponent at the end of the game, is to honor your opponent throughout the game.

The Lead Block challenges players and coaches to honor their opponents, on and off the court. To find out more about how you can become a part, click HERE.


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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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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 3 Predictions

September 22nd, 2011 | 1 comment

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

Overall Record: 18-14

Week 2 (Record: 12-4)

Shame of the Week: Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
I knew it!
This Titan team has the makings of the 2008 squad led by a younger and more effective Kerry Collins. The offense is dynamic and the defense is good enough to hold onto a lead. Still, this just makes last week’s loss to Jacksonville sting more.

Pick ‘Em Again: Vikings over Bucs
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: Browns over Colts, Giants over Rams
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way these games could ever end.

Week 3

Tennessee Titans over the Denver Broncos
Kyle Orton torched the Titans’ secondary to the tune of 341 yards and 2 touchdowns last season. But, I expect the explosive Titan offense to strike early and often in this rematch, forcing Orton to throw from behind for meaningless yards. CJ will return.

New Orleans Saints over the Houston Texans
These are the games the Texans never seem to win. So if Houston wants to be taken seriously as an NFL power this season, beating Drew Brees in the Super Dome is the ticket. But, they have to force FGs on defense and score TDs on offense.

Patriots over Bills
Ryan Fitzpatrick is good and will play well at home, but Tom Brady is just too good.

49ers over Bengals
I guess someone has to win this game. And the 49ers have looked better… at times.

Lions over Vikings
Williams is back and the Vikes are dangerous. But, I like Detroit in their first real test.

Eagles over Giants
If Vick can stay healthy, this is a lock. Giants’ interns should be safe for the weekend.

Panthers over Jaguars
This is hardly jumping on the Cam Newton bandwagon. That starts next week…

Browns over Dolphins
Chad Henne leaves a lot to be desired and I like what Colt McCoy has going.

Jets over Raiders
If Fitzpatrick and the Bills can pick apart this defense, Sanchez and the Jets can too.

Ravens over Rams
The Ravens will bounce back, but the Rams at home can steal this one if they want it.

Chargers over Chiefs
Expect Antonio Gates and a winning Chargers team to reappear after a week off.

Packers over Bears
The Pack defense is a real concern, but I will take Aaron Rodgers over Jay Cutler.

Cardinals over Seahawks
The Cardinals have no defense. Which is okay, because Seattle has no offense.

Falcons over Buccaneers
Can Josh Freeman make me pay 2 weeks in a row? Not against Matt Ryan, he can’t.

Steelers over Colts
Fine. The Colts are bad. Honestly, even with Peyton Manning this Colts team is bad.

Cowboys over Redskins
I am riding with Romo this week. Especially in an early NFC East division showdown.


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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.


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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Titan Thursday – Week 1 Predictions

September 8th, 2011 | 3 comments

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

Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints
Most defending Super Bowl Champs struggle the following season.  But, the Saints seem more likely to suffer a hangover following a humiliating first round exit that made Marshawn Lynch a football god overnight.  Whoever has the ball last will win.

Tennessee Titan at Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite the spin control and downplaying by both teams, David Garrard’s release is HUGE. The Titans can still lose this game, but look for a surprisingly dynamic Titan offense to pour it on the Jags at home.  Will Jerry Gray’s defense come ready to play?

Philadelphia Eagles at St. Louis Rams
The Rams will be tough this season. If Mike Vick finishes this game, the Eagles win.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens
Each year the Ravens defense gets weaker, while the Steelers remain dominant.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills
Matt Cassell’s health is a concern, and the Bills like to play close games.  But…

Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears
Look for the Falcons to get out in front and harass Jay Cutler all afternoon.

Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Two up-and-coming teams should deliver a great game. Lions by a field goal.

Cleveland Browns vs Cincinnati Bengals
The AFC North Chumpionship game should give a clue who is in worse shape.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Kerry Collins is not Peyton Manning. But, neither is Matt Schaub. Calm down.

New York Giants at Washington Redskins
Rex Grossman and Eli Manning are equally likely to disappoint or dazzle.

San Diego Chargers vs Minnesota Vikings
My AFC Super Bowl pick should steam roll Donovan McNabb and the Vikes.

Arizona Cardinals vs Carolina Panthers
Kevin Kolb is more tested than Cam Newton and the Panthers are a mess.

Seattle Seahawks at San Fransisco 49ers
Tarvaris Jackson is on my fantasy team. A pick that may twice prove foolish.

Dallas Cowboys at New York Jets
Mark Sanchez is the worst quarterback on a good team. Tony Romo is better.

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are a dominant combination in the regular season.

Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders
Oakland’s off-season moves (or lack thereof) left them weaker on defense.


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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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