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

Best Red – No Love Lost

April 28th, 2015 | Comments Off on Best Red – No Love Lost

Short takes on relevant sports and character issues.

scuffleThe NBA playoffs are here and not disappointing, delivering highlights and some of the best basketball from most of the best teams. Unfortunately, in two of the more lopsided playoff series, physicality is getting out of hand.

 

1. No Love Lost

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Thankfully the the Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets series only experienced small, chippy moments from its Game 4 – Boston vs. Cleveland, on the other hand, was completely out of control. One ejection, two technical fouls, two unnecessary and unwarranted injuries, and three games lost to suspension.

NBA officials on and off the court are not to blame. The lowered standards of coaches and players are the real culprit. When respect for each other and the game take a backseat to “competitiveness,” “pride,” and other sports lingo masking players and coaches’ poor sportsmanship in losing efforts, the results are as ridiculous as burning down a CVS.

 

2. Riot Mom

riot mom
The tragic story of Freddie Gray and the subsequent Baltimore riots created an unexpected and interesting twist on Monday, when a mother of a young, masked rioter publicly reprimanded her son in front of the entire nation.

Mentors, coaches, teachers, and community leaders can never take the place of an involved parent.  If you are a contributing member of society, call your mother or father today and thank them. If you are not, you better hope your mother does not find out and humiliate you on national television.

 

3. Respect and Authority

Suspect Dies Baltimore
The increasing public displays of disrespect for officials in sports is a prophetic warning for a culture moving in the same direction. Consider how the world’s diminishing respect for authority will culminate in more and larger displays of violence like Ferguson to Baltimore.

It starts with a parent at the ballpark screaming obscenities at a little league umpire or dressing down a teacher for grading too harshly at a parent-teacher conference.

It continues with professional athletes using homophobic slurs towards the commissioner of their league and a congressmen shouting disrespectfully at the office of the President of the United States.

We can choose respect for each other and the authorities placed over us – especially when they make mistakes. Only then will we be in any position to affect change over the true injustices that are happening all around us.

 

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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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Respectworthy

January 21st, 2014 | Comments Off on Respectworthy

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman ruffled a few feathers with the post game press conference screamed round the world.

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Is there anything wrong with Sherman’s passion?

Not really. Players that make big plays on big stages in big moments should be allowed to celebrate those moments appropriately with their teammates and fans.

Still, it would be wise for the NFL and every sporting league to consider adding a buffering time after competition for players and coaches to reflect before responding to questions. Fans and media alike can still drink in the raw emotions, after the adrenaline is drained.

Is Sherman ‘classless’, ‘a thug’, or ‘a human piece of garbage’?

Not exactly. Hardly. And obviously not, although I do enjoy the quite ironic description.

Apparently, the high road is closed in more places than just Seattle.

Did Sherman miss an opportunity?

Sure.

It is clear after watching, reading, and observing Sherman on the football field that respect is a hot button issue for him. Respect for his game, his character, his education, his accomplishments. Disrespect him and be prepared for the business end of his bravado.

For the record, I do respect all of the above. He is a first team Pro Bowl talent who passionately volunteers and generously gives to charities in his community, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Stanford University, and is what I consider a genuine success story.

Still, Richard missed an opportunity to demonstrate transcendent character on Sunday. Showing others the respect they have refused you is both noble and inspiring. Any observer would recognize that posture of humility and grace as a position held by someone of power, worthy of emulation and respect.

The fundamental misunderstanding of respect is its origins. The giver creates respect, as the result of observing someone worthy of the gift.

Unlike a Kaepernick pass fluttering back to earth, respect is not something to be snatched out of air in a show of superior strength, intelligence, or chest thumping.

Respect can only be given.

So, the real question is…

Is Sherman worthy? And are you?

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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