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

The Taunting Two-Step

December 2nd, 2015 | Comments Off on The Taunting Two-Step

When is a touchdown dance more than a dance? Cam Newton is only the latest example in the age-old dance of celebration vs. taunting.

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 18: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on October 18, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 570176333 ORIG FILE ID: 493267298

The Carolina Panthers are the last undefeated team still dancing and Cam Newton, the front runner for NFL MVP, is a big reason why. Over the last week Newton became the subject of scrutiny after a Music City mother sent a letter that the Charlotte Observer opportunistically published scolding Newton’s Elvis-esque gyrations.

Then came the response.

A response to the response.

And finally a response to the response of the response.

If you are trying to remember the steps to this media montage – it’s racism, the objectification of women, and celebratory limits of franchise players, cha, cha, cha.

The steps for settling the dance between celebrating and taunting are much simpler.

In hopes of creating clarity and not stifling the moves of our favorite sporting entertainers, here are some quick pointers for players and fans.

Celebrating…

… is brief during play.
… directed at teammates or your fans.
… is proportional to the value of the moment.
… is from the pure emotion of joy and satisfaction.
… is rarely misinterpreted by opposing players or penalized by the officials.

Taunting…

… is excessive in length during play.
… is directed at opponent or their fans.
… is disproportionate to the value of the moment.
… is from the raw emotion of arrogance and anger.
… is often interpreted by opposing players as disrespectful or penalized by officials.

This is hardly comprehensive or complete, but it could help in spotting some of the differences on any field of play in which you are watching or playing.

In the case of Cam Newton, dancing is no problem… unless an opposing player takes offense. Then attempt to defuse the situation, or just avoid directing an emphatic pelvic thrust in his direction.

Hit the Quan or even Whip / Nae Nae.

Just remember your mother, my mother, and apparently everyone else’ mother is watching – so when in doubt, make it about giving away footballs to kids and not all this other nonsense. That’s the most entertaining and rewarding celebration.

The Lead Block challenges players and fans 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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Weekly Block – Turkey Leg Bowl

November 16th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Turkey Leg Bowl

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

1. Tennessee Titans (5-4) (2nd in AFC South)

Chris Johnson needs another performance before I jump back on the bandwagon. The Damian Williams’ bandwagon on the other hand, needs to make room for me.

2. Nashville Predators (9-5-3, 21pts) (2nd in WC-Central)

The Predators were playing great hockey on the road before letting one slip away at home this weekend. But, a convincing win over a good Capitals team is a good sign.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (See You Next Year)

The NBA players turned down the owners proposal on Monday effectively cancelling games until December 15. It is time to face the reality of no basketball this season.

4. Chicago Cubs (New Boss)

Whether it is Pete Mackanin, Dale Sveum, Mike Maddux and Sandy Alomar Jr., one thing is for sure, they will have their work cut out for them with these departures.

5. Final Block (Turkey Leg Bowl)

The Lead Block is hosting a charity flag football tournament this Saturday, November 19 from 9:30am-3:30pm. All donations benefit the mentoring program.

For more information or to sign-up a team, check out www.TurkeyBowl.com or click on the ABOUT page to find out more about how you can take your Thanksgiving football tradition to the next level.

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Weekly Block – Winning Isn’t Everything

September 21st, 2011 | 1 comment

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

1. Scott Stallings (57th in FedEx Cup Points)(38th on the Money List)

Although, the BMW Championship was a disappointing tournament, Stallings is looking on closing out an extremely successful rookie season. Well done, Scott!

2. Chicago Cubs (68-86)(5th in NL Central)

Good news: The Cubs can pass a Pirates squad that led the NL Central early this year. Bad news: Cubs closer, Kerry Wood, might be done for good. Again.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (Rudy, Rudy, Rudy)

Finally, Rudy Gay is healthy and ready to get back on the court for the Memphis Grizzlies as they prepa… what’s that?  Oh, yea.  The NBA season is not going to happen.

4. Tennessee Titans (Calm Down)

First, Titan fans need to realize that single coverage (a.k.a. most of Kenny Britt’s receptions) and Chris Johnson’s carries are related. Secondly, it was the Ravens.

5. Final Block (Winning Isn’t Everything)

I admit it.

I did not expect Cam Newton to enjoy much early success (or any success, for that matter) in his rookie NFL season.  Especially as the Carolina Panthers’ quarterback.

But, with two of the best rookie performances ever under his belt in as many attempts, it is hard to refute what Newton has demonstrated on the field.

So, let’s compare Newton to quarterbacks around the NFL that are having similar starts to see if those quarterbacks are receiving a similar response.

                              QB Rating   Yards   TDs    INTs   Record
Rex Grossman            90.6         596      4         2        2-0
Cam Newton               89.1         854      3         4        0-2
Mark Sanchez             87.7         517      4         3        2-0

It is fascinating that Sanchez and Grossman are the passers that statistically most resemble Newton. Of the 3 passers, all have enormous potential and all have consistency issues, from quarter-to-quarter. And sometimes from throw-to-throw.

More interesting, are the expectations of NFL analysts and fans of the New York Jets and Washington Redskins. Grossman is currently highly received, as is Sanchez.  But, would the same be true if the Redskins and Jets were 0-2?

Probably not.

Neither are rookies and expectations elevate, especially in the ruthlessly competitive NFL market. So, is there a correlation between support and belief a player receives, and their development as a player (in this case as a young NFL quarterback)?

Expectations should elevate.

Competition and achievement are incredible motivators.

But, maybe growth is best nurtured in an atmosphere with lower expectations.

Peyton Manning still holds the record for most interceptions thrown in a rookie season (29). However, I doubt Manning nor the Indianapolis Colts (who finished 3-13) will ever regret that season of growth.

So, maybe winning isn’t everything. But rather, a reward worth growing into.

What if Panther fans found strange satisfaction in Newton’s growing interceptions, knowing each was teaching him something new. What if Charlotte celebrated a 3-13 record, content that this season was the payment for many great years to come…

 

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