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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Weekly Block – For Starters

March 21st, 2012 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – For Starters

The Weekly Block covers what matters in sports to me. And maybe you too.

1. Scott Stallings (8:45am Tee Time on Thursday – Arnold Palmer Invitational)

Stallings missed the cut last Friday at the tournament that started it all (Transitions) last year. But, he did finish each round and looks to be on the road to recovery.

2. Memphis Grizzlies (25-19) (2nd in WC Southwest)

In a surprising and potentially exciting free agency move, the Grizzlies signed talented and troubled scoring guard Gilbert Arenas to back up Mike Conley.

3. Nashville Predators (42-23-7, 92 pts) (2nd in WC-Central)

Copy and paste the Grizz move for the Predators, who are looking to give a fresh start to Alex Radulov, who walked away from Nashville in 2008 for the KHL.

4. Tennessee Titans (Late Start)

The Manning Sweepstakes cost the Titans shots at Mario Williams, John Abraham, and an opportunity to resign Jason Jones. Still, a late start is better than no start.

5. Chicago Cubs (Rough Start)

The Cubs preseason is off to a rough start. The pitching rotation and top of the batting order are both unsettled and in a state of flux. Looks like a rebuild year.

 

The Lead Block added a new player this week and is looking for new mentor sponsors to join. To find out more and how you can become a part, click HERE.

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Just Admit It

January 9th, 2012 | 1 comment

Our response to Tim Tebow’s season reveals the character of us all.

We have all been wrong.

I thought The Matrix was going to be a bad movie.

I thought the iPhone was too expensive for a phone.

I thought shrimp was a slimy and undesirable appetizer.

And I thought all of Tim Tebow’s critics had an axe to grind.

I was wrong.

His critics (who include former NFL quarterbacks, scouts, and current general managers) have legitimate concerns about his potential and future in the NFL.

Tim Tebow is not an elite NFL passer-sometimes missing open receivers, sometimes too slowly looking over his progressions, or occasionally winding up a little too long to throw downfield. He is not the next Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, or Drew Brees.

I admit it.

For comparison, here are two quarterbacks’ regular season statistics:

courtesy of www.pro-football-reference.com

Each young passer led their team to the playoffs. Each quarterback was supported by a solid defense. Each quarterback did more damage on the ground than in the air.

The 24-year old quarterback is Tim Tebow, this year.

The 26-year old is former NFL MVP Steve McNair, who led his 1999 Titan team to a Super Bowl appearance with the help of a far more miraculous game-winning play.

Both won their first playoff games in an unconventional way.

So, in the face of one of the more memorable Denver playoff victories against a favored Pittsburgh team, how will those same critics respond the day after?

NFL gurus and fans alike that doubted or touted Tebow have to admit it. Even if this is his only season as the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos, it is a season worth remembering. A humbling contrition that both sides can admit after Sunday.

Faced with the same criticism and fandemonium, Tim chose humility. Why can’t we?

Humility is a difficult, but powerful, demonstration of character.

For this reason, The Lead Block challenges its players to play with humility on the field and live in humility off it. To find out how to become a part and click ABOUT.

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Weekly Block – Tough Times

December 29th, 2011 | Comments Off on Weekly Block – Tough Times

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

1. Tennessee Titans (8-7) (2nd in AFC South)

The Titans are in a tough spot to make the playoffs and secure the last AFC playoff spot. And it appears, for now, that new head coach Mike Munchak is staying around.

2. Nashville Predators (19-14-4, 42pts) (4th in WC Central)

The indefinite injury to captain, defenseman, and Preds leader Shea Weber is a tough loss. The overwhelming amount of concussions in the NHL, demands league action.

3. Memphis Grizzlies (0-2) (5th in WC Southwest)

Playing at San Antonio followed by Oklahoma City was a tough way to start the year. Still, Gay looks healthy while Randolph and Gasol are picking up where they left off.

4. Chicago Cubs (Tough Off-Season)

The Cubbies are having a tough off-season thus far in 2011. And a recent Jimmy Kimmel segment piled on with a harsh take from a young baseball fan in Chicago.

5. Final Block (Tough Times)

Tough times are inevitable, especially for athletes whom are victims of unavoidable or unpredictable injuries, fraudulent athletic programs, changing schemes, and economic downsizing. So, what happens to players that fall through the cracks?

The Lead Block prepares athletes for a life after their sporting careers fall on tough times or inevitably end. Find out how you can become a part and click ABOUT.

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Titan Thursday – Week 16 Predictions

December 23rd, 2011 | 1 comment

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

Overall Record: 142-82

 Week 15 (Record: 8-8)

Shame of the Week: Carolina Panthers over the Houston Texans
T.J. Yates may not be as good as advertised, but Sunday is a perfect example of what the Texans defense looks like without the strategic prowess of Wade Phillips on the sidelines. Gary Kubiak should send more than a Christmas card to his new DC.

Pick ‘Em Again: Packers over Chiefs
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 Bears, Dolphins over Bills
On any given Sunday… ah, this is the only way this game could ever end.

 

Week 15

Tennessee Titans over the Jacksonville Jaguars
The annual trip to LP will not disappoint, as Chris Johnson will reach 1000 yards for his 4th consecutive season and the Titans use a ball control offense to smash a depleted Jags squad into submission. Jake Locker will also get some time to shine.

New Orleans Saints over the Atlanta Falcons
This battle for the AFC South is huge. If the Saints complete a sweep of the Falcons on Monday Night they will take their league leading winning streak to 7 games and will hold wins over playoff teams including the Falcons, Texans, and Lions.

 

Texans over Colts
Houston does not need this and is falling fast, but the Colts will come up short.

Cardinals over Bengals
Cannot sleep on the NFC’s version of Tim Tebow. The Cardiac Cards are back.

Giants over Jets
Eli Manning is such a tease. Still, its hard to see Sanchez outperforming anyone.

Patriots over Bills
Tom Terrific and the Pats have a humiliating loss to avenge. This will not be pretty.

Ravens over Browns
The Ravens typically follow-up bad losses with huge games. Cleveland is just a mess.

Raiders over Chiefs
Romeo Crennel and Kansas City will come crashing back down to earth this week.

Redskins over Vikings
Anyone else notice that Chris Johnson is not the only elite RB having a down year?

Panthers over Buccaneers
Earlier this season Newton and Carolina would find a way to lose. Not this time.

Broncos over Bills
No need for Tebow Time. The Bills and Broncos are two halves of the same coin.

Steelers over Rams
Look for Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch to make this game a little more exciting.

49ers over Seahawks
Not even the opportunistic Seahawks can turn out the lights on this error-free squad.

Packers over Bears
Even if the Pack rested their starters, the Bears do not have the firepower to win.

Chargers over Lions
This is great postseason practice for Detroit. Youth and inexperience will ruin it late.

Cowboys over Eagles
Against all odds, history, and critical evaluations, the Cowboys and Romo get it done.

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An Arm and a Leg

November 28th, 2011 | Comments Off on An Arm and a Leg

This week in the NFL provided some of the best and worst examples of character.

Stomping an arm out of frustration shows pride and disrespect for all involved.

The stomp heard round the world left every football-watching American thankful they can watch Ndamukong Suh from the safety of their living rooms. And sadly, it also demonstrated yet again that Suh is an immature and self-absorbed hothead.

The only thing worse than young Suh’s inability to control himself (an action that cost his team valuable points and momentum in a pivotal moment during the biggest game of Detroit’s season), is his inability to take responsibility for his actions.

Players with character use frustration to fuel their motivation to succeed.

Pretending to shoot yourself in the leg to mock an opponent lacks wisdom.

In pretending to shoot himself in the leg during a touchdown celebration, Stevie Johnson actually shot himself squarely in the proverbial foot. Directed at Plaxico Burress, who foolishly did this in 2008, Johnson’s TD-celebration was a poor choice.

The only thing worse than young Johnson’s hurtful taunt (an action that cost his team a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct and valuable points before the end of the half), is his thoughtless pattern of wreckless actions and thoughtless comments.

Players with character use wisdom to create opportunities on and off the field.


Players with character share credit and create trust amongst their teammates.

Tim Tebow did it again on Sunday. This time to yet another division opponent on the road in the San Diego Chargers, who only a month ago were atop the AFC West. Tebowing is more than a pose and more than gimmick. It is a way of winning.

The only thing better than young Tebow’s success on the field (including a 5-1 record, 4 fourth quarter comebacks, and the support/belief of virtually every Denver Bronco player), is his capacity to give credit to everyone other than himself.

Playing with character may cost an arm and a leg, but its a bargain at any price.

 

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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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Best Red – Tebow on Tebowing

November 4th, 2011 | 1 comment

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

1. Make it… Snow?
Courtesy of Jeff Eisenberg and Yahoo! Sports

An honored and proud tradition of John Brown University is to cover the basketball court with toilet paper following the first home points of the season. See for yourself!

2. Grayed Out
Courtesy of Cameron Smith and Rivals.com

High school records are typically not that impressive. However, an Aledo RB named Jonathan Gray is currently averaging more than a point per carry. You read that right.

3. Tebow on Tebowing
Courtesy of MJD and Yahoo! Sports

This is Tebowing. This is Tim Tebow getting Tebowed.  And this is Tim Tebow responding with the class and humility that we all have come to expect from him.

 

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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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