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


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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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?


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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#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 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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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 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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