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


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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Titan Thursday – Week 8 Predictions

October 27th, 2011 | 1 comment

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

Overall Record: 66-37

Week 7 (Record: 8-5)

Shame of the Week: Kansas City Chiefs over the Oakland Raiders
Okay, so I believed last Wednesday night when I wrote Titan Thursday that the Raiders would have no choice but to start Carson Palmer. I was wrong. Still, I stand by Carson Palmer, who was without Darren McFadden and down 21 points.

Pick ‘Em Again: Ravens over Jaguars
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 Titans, Jets over Chargers
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.

Week 8

Tennessee Titans over the Indianapolis Colts
Something will give for two teams heading the wrong direction in the win / loss columns. The Colts are better than the 62-7 beat down they received courtesy of the Saints. But, are the Titans better than their 41-7 humiliation? I sure hope so…

Dallas Cowboys over the Philadelphia Eagles
Yes, Tony Romo is in the news for celebrity reasons and the Eagles are playing at home. But, Michael Vick has 8 interceptions in the last 5 games and the Eagles are not immune to the run. Not sure why, but I will ride with Romo and the ‘Boys.


Giants over Dolphins
If any team could lose to the Dolphins, it is Eli and the Giants. Home field is enough.

Texans over Jaguars
No outcome in this game would surprise me, but not buying into Blaine-ia just yet.

Ravens over Cardinals
The Ravens are just like that sometimes. Expect a big rebound this week at home.

Saints over Rams
Seriously?! What did New Orleans do to deserve this favorable schedule? Oh yea…

Vikings over Panthers
Newton may be better than Ponder, but Peterson should slowly wear down Carolina.

Lions over Broncos
Even powered by the winning machine that is Tim Tebow, the Lions get it done.

Bills over Redskins
The Redskins are who we thought they were. Will the Bills let them off the hook?

Bengals over Seahawks
The Red Rifle and this young Cincinnati defense have made a believer out of me.

49ers over Browns
Do you think Pat Shurmur is preparing a gracious midfield handshake, right now?

Patriots over Steelers
Belichick and Brady after a regular season bye week is a lock regardless the opponent.

Chargers over Chiefs
The Bolts need this game as injuries mount and the Packers await them next week.


Byes: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Best Red – In Search of Honor

October 14th, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – In Search of Honor

Every Friday, Best Red will list the best sports articles (or videos) of the week.

1. Woman of Honor
Courtesy of Jonathan Wall and Yahoo! Sports

Ignoring the storm this story creates, Mina Johnson deserves a moment of honor for putting her team before herself, regardless the circumstances.  Well done, Mina!

2. Philly Fans Strike Again
Courtesy of Greg Wyshynski and Yahoo! Sports

Snowballs at Santa, cheering injured players, and now booing a cancer ad? Demonstrating humility and honoring your opponent never seemed so smart.

3. Meanest Player in the NFL
Courtesy of Chris Chase and Yahoo! Sports

These are just for fun, but Sports Illustrated seems extra proud of their results for dirtiest player and meanest player. Why not ask who is the most respected player?


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Best Red – Tough Call

September 9th, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – Tough Call

Every Friday, Best Red will list the best sports articles (or videos) of the week.

1. Patriotic Kickoff
Courtesy of Chris Chase and Yahoo! Sports

As expected, the NFL (more specifically the fans in attendance for Thursday Night Football) prepared an game opening patriotic gesture. Well done, Packer nation.

2. Stirring Hockey Funeral Mass
Courtesy of Greg Wyshynski

This tragedy in the global hockey community is terrible. But, the support and gestures of humanity demonstrate how sports can help in the healing process.

3. Tough Call
Courtesy of Mike Silver and Yahoo! Sports

This is the story of then NFL-commissioner Paul Tagliabue and then NFLPA-director Gene Upshaw making the difficult decision to postpone NFL games following 9/11.


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Weekly Block – Titan Thursday

September 1st, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Titan Thursday

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

1. Scott Stallings (38th in FedEx Cup Points)(33rd on the Money List)

It is nice to see Scott finally getting some coverage. Way to be ESPN, you truly are the worldwide leader in sports. Attention is not the only thing he snagged this week.

2. Chicago Cubs (59-78)(5th in NL Central)

I am still intrigued at the possibility of the Cubs courting Albert Pujols this offseason, but this is hardly a character highlight. Come on, Albert.  You are better than this.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (On Point)

So, you want to be a professional athlete? (Warning: graphic video) Watch this before you answer. One thing is for sure, the Grizz will be glad to get Rudy Gay back.

4. Tennessee Titans (Twi-tastrophy)

Add Chris Johnson to the long list of professional athletes, celebrities, politicians, and human beings that underestimate the scorn social media can draw from fans.

5. Final Block (Titan Thursday)

Tommie Campbell – (55%) (Competition: Frank Walker, Rennie Curran)
A 90-yard interception return for a touchdown is a nice way to get the attention of the coaching staff, Titan fan base, and “expert” bloggers. Well done, young man.

Justin Gage – (45%) (Competition: Kevin Curtis, Lavelle Hawkins)
Gage is an aging veteran wide receiver, one of the harder jobs in the NFL to hold when skills begin to diminish. But, the same can be said for Curtis’ at this point.

Rennie Curran – (33%) (Competition: Patrick Bailey, Tommie Campbell)
Curran still has a chance to make the Titan roster to start the season, but only because injuries at DE will allow the Titans to manipulate the roster early.

Stafon Johnson – (25%) (Competition: Jamie Harper)
Like Curran, Stafon Johnson could make the Titan roster for opening day, if Chris Johnson’s holdout lasts. When CJ2K returns, Stafon will join the practice squad.

Byron Stingily – (15%) (Competition: Troy Kropog)
The Titans’ recent offensive struggles and the need to ensure Jake Locker’s protection have left Stingily with precious little snaps to make an impression.

Lavelle Hawkins – (10%) (Competition: Justin Gage, Stafon Johnson)
Hawkins’ outcome has taken a turn for the worst, with Justin Gage jumping him on the Titan depth chart and the signing of Kevin Curtis. His days are numbered.

Yamon Figurs, Michael Preston, James Kirkendoll, Herb Donaldson, Kestahn Moore, Joe Tronzo, Riar Geer, Cameron Graham, Pat McQuistan, Kevin Matthews, Adam Terry

Hall Davis, Pannel Egboh, Zac Clayton, Julian Hartsell, Chris Hawkins, Peter Ittersagen, LeQuan Lewis, Myron Rolle, Robert Johnson, Anthony Smith


Rookie grades vs. Chicago Bears

Rookie grades vs. St. Louis Rams

Rookie grades vs. Minnesota Vikings

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Best Red – Fantastic Friday

August 12th, 2011 | Comments Off on Best Red – Fantastic Friday

Every Friday, Best Red will list the best sports articles (or videos) of the week.

1. Foul Balls and Fair Fans
Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports and ‘Duk

Last month, a foul ball led to even fouler behavior from a young fan. Thankfully, these fans restored hope that life is about more than just claiming a souvenir.

2. Inter-fan-rence
Courtesy of YouTube

What does the WWE and Arena Football have in common?  Appreciation for fans like this at their events.  Real sports eject fans for interfering, not congratulate them.

3. Fan vs. Radio Broadcaster
Courtesy of Matthew J. Darnell and Yahoo! Sports

I am not an Atlanta Falcons fan and even I agree that the Red and Black will again Rise Up as an elite NFL power.  Then again, this broadcaster is a little over the top.

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Scott Stallings is a Champ

August 1st, 2011 | 7 comments

Yesterday, I did something I have never done before… I watched golf with the passion that I normally watch an NFL game (and the occasional World Cup match).

He did it.

Oak Ridge native, Scott Stallings, won the Greenbrier Classic for his first PGA Tour victory.

What’s more, he won in one of the most dramatic come from behind wins of the 2011 PGA season.  On the back nine holes of the final round, Stallings demonstrated resilience and commanding poise.

Counting the playoff hole, Stallings had 7 birdies in the last 10 holes.  Two of which, were back-to-back on the 18th hole with everyone watching (both in the stands and across the country).

On a day where Stallings was in the final pairing with Anthony Kim, the tournament looked to be well within his grasp.  But, after 4 bogeys in the first 9 holes, this blogger and many others (including CBS) reluctantly counted the lurking champ out.

But not Scott.  Resilience is a powerful weapon in the hands of a champ.

The critical sequence of the round for Stallings was an errant tee shot on hole 17, most likely because play was virtually stopped for 20 minutes as groups piled up waiting to finish the hole.

After a penalty stroke, Stallings’ two approach shots left him with too long a putt for par and he settled for a bogey that would drop him one shot off a shared lead with only one hole to make up the difference.

Birdieing a par-3 with the pressure of everyone watching and the all-too-recent memory of what just happened at hole 17, is too much for most PGA rookies.

And when Stallings made birdie, his only reward was a sudden death playoff against 2 players (Bob Estes and Bill Haas) already waiting.

Then, as casually as I type this sentence, Stallings did this.

He did it.

Scott Stallings was a champ long before this win at Greenbrier.  But, it is nice now that everyone else knows it.  See you at the Masters, Mr. Stallings.


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