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

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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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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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 – Top Titan Moves

August 3rd, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Top Titan Moves

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

1. Scott Stallings (Won Greenbrier Classic)(26th in FedExCup Points)

Maybe now PGATour.com, CBS, the Golf Channel, ESPN, and Yahoo! Sports will figure out that Stallings is for real.  Congrats and see you on the leaderboard, Scott!

2. Chicago Cubs (45-65)(5th in NL Central)

The trade of Kosuke Fukudome and the lack of free agency moves raise red flags.  Maybe ownership and the front office are contemplating a change.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (What Could Have Been…)

Apparently, there was a trade lined up in February that would have sent O.J. Mayo away for… well, something better.  Isn’t it sad that NBA news comes from February?

4. Tennessee Titans (The Holdout: Part 2)

The only thing worse than the horrific cinematic sequels being forced on the general public this summer, is an equally draining contract drama with Chris Johnson, again.

5. Final Block (Top Titan Moves)

Like most NFL teams, the Tennessee Titans made a flurry of moves last week after the NFL lockout wall came down.  Here are their moves (so far) graded and profiled.

(A-) Matt Hasselbeck (Signed in Free Agency – Seattle Seahawks)
The addition of this veteran passer from Seattle has been the haul of the preseason.  He will be a great mentor for the new #10 and solve the QB problem this year.

(B+) Barrett Ruud (Signed in Free Agency – Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Six months ago this guy was a top linebacker prospect by this expert.  Ruud brings leadership, experience, and size to a linebacking corps that was lacking.

( B ) Akeem Ayers (Drafted 2nd Round – 39th overall)
Already the rave of training camp, Ayers will have plenty of opportunities to become a force in Jerry Gray’s new defense.  Defensive Rookie of the Year?

(B-) Jake Locker (Drafted 1st Round – 8th overall) (The new #10)
The Titans have received an unjustifiable amount of flack for their 8th overall pick.  But, what Locker lacks in polish he makes up for in work ethic and desire.

(C+) Daniel Graham (Signed in Free Agency – Denver Broncos)
Jared Cook and Craig Stevens are making leaps and bounds in camp, but it never hurts to bring in a veteran tight end with playoff experience that weighs 257 pounds.

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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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