straight from the heart

Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Character, Perceptions & Reality

In Media, Society, Sports on November 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

The henious Penn State scandal is another perfect example of how people and society’s assumptions can go terribly wrong. I have argued for years how many in todays world would view a khaki pants, button down shirt, clean cut, good grammer individual as an honorable, upstanding, decent citizen while most times not bestowing those same thoughts upon the jeans, hoodie wearing sneaker crowd. When will we all learn that evil has no dress code or no color; it neither speaks a certain way nor has a certain DNA type; it doesn’t hear a certain type of music or follow a specific religion. As most things, it comes in many different packages & all too often it can not be readily identified. Most people you see look at a guy like this Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State Defensive Co-ordinator accused of multiple sexual assults on young boys, immediately labeling him – by appearance mind you, as an upstanding, decent, God fearing, all american male. Well SURPRISE! As is usually the case, he is the worse kind of evil, preying on innocent, defenseless kids. Almost as deplorable is how Joe Paterno or “Joe Pa” as he is affectionately known, the revered head coach, appears to have done very little to further prevent these tragedies, even as he learned of his co-workers indescretions. How people throughout the area were rioting over “Joe Pa’s” dismissal is beyond me. Is football that important in these people’s lives that they choose to overlook the most disgusting of offenses? Could it be they can not believe how wrong they have been about these people – their heroes? Would they be as forgiving if it was one of the students, a history teacher or the janitor? This blog is not to highlight the crime, as we all know it is unspeakable, it is intended to further explore our views on people based on how they look or how we want them to be. It has always been an issue of mine how some people are always granted the benefit of the doubt as if somehow wearing khakis and loafers exclude you from misbehaving. How I can walk into an interview room or a resturant along with another suit wearing individual and automatically be addressed differently, given different opportuinities or asked if I know where the bathroom is? I learned of this NJ cop who had a family, was “clean cut” and was a pillar to his community, who was arrested for infecting numerous women with the HIV virus he had been infected with from his multiple dalliances with prostitutes. You see this “social blindness” as I call it, can and probably has affected us all at some point in our lives to varying degrees. So the next time you meet one of the all american boy types, don’t be so quick to accept him with open arms, he may end being a Sandusky.

Character is what you do when no one is watching.

                                     – Unknown

Rex, Dungy & Muscular Christianity

In Religion, Spirituality, Sports on August 19, 2010 at 11:57 am

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a die hard NY Giants fan, I respect Tony Dungy & believe wholeheartedly in God.  With that said, I must respectfully disagree & call out Mr. Dungy for his comments recently regarding Rex’s use of some, or obviously to some people, a lot of profanity during a taped segment of the HBO show, Hard Knocks.   Now what possessed Tony Dungy to criticize Rex Ryan to the nation is beyond me.  And therein lies the problem with people who I call “Muscular Christians”. Now come on, we all know people like that, very good people for sure, but people who try to force their Christian beliefs down your throat every chance they get.  I consider myself a spiritual person, but not religious.  I believe in a greater spirit, one who looks over us & provides us with guidance when needed.  However, I do not believe the use of profanity makes anyone less Christian than the next.  I mean known criminals have committed crimes Monday thru Saturday, only to go to church on Sundays to absolve themselves – every week.  Now I would understand Mr. Dungy’s comments more if Mr. Ryan worked in Corporate America, was a doctor or held some sort of political office.  Rex Ryan however is a football coach and from what I see, a damn good one.  That fact that he curses a lot is irrelevant, as he works in an environment of Alpha Males who, by the way seem to enjoy his banter.  It’s not like Rex is being disrespectful to his players; in fact he seems to be quite caring & motivational to them.  Tony Dungy was also a damn good football coach.  Actually he is a Superbowl winning coach, but he had a different style, a quieter, calmer, more stoic approach to his game.  Regardless, I am sure he has heard cursing before.  By lashing out at Rex, Tony came across as being judgmental, intolerant and well unchristian like.  It is that type of behavior that turns people off to Christians and the positive message they try to spread.  It is also a bit hypocritical of Tony to come down on Rex for cursing, but then support others who have committed crimes against society.  It’s like their cause is better than others?  Spirituality is a personal thing expressed differently by everyone.  Now I am not condoning all of Rex Ryan’s rhetoric.  He can sometimes come across as a blowhard.  But if one listens close enough, one can hear the voice of a passionate, caring coach who just wants to win.  Come on Tony, you’re fucking better then that!

Cursing the darkness only delays the dawn.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Bron, Favre & Hero Worship

In Sports on August 17, 2010 at 9:38 pm

This is the summer of LeBron as its been called in the sports world.  Billionaires lined up to woo this so called “King”, begging him to please take their millions and play for their team.  Fans like myself, I must add, waited with baited breath hoping & praying he would grace our cities with his “talents”.  But something happened on the way to South Beach.  As I watched this unfold, I became increasingly disgusted with not only this process, but with the arrogance depicted by today’s athlete’s. To watch Bron attend these, what amounted to speed dating sessions, dressed in shorts, sweats and t-shirts, while grown men groveled at his feet made me realize we are most to blame for this fiasco.  If we would not be so enthralled with watching a mere human fly through the air, perhaps LeBron would be a bit more humble.  Now he’s a grown man and should show a little more respect for others and the game itself, but if we did not care so much, the “decision”, as his hour long spectacle was called to announce where he would provide fans the privilege of seeing him play, would be but a byline.  We see it across all sports.  Brett Favre is at it again.  He retires & un-retires weekly, yet it is still reported as big news on all broadcasts.  His continued selfish acts of skipping workouts, training sessions and other team functions, under the guise of not “being certain” he wants to play has turned into a soap opera, yet he is still labeled a leader?  Why?  What is it about most athletes that have grown men chase them down for their name on a piece of paper, or pimp their kids smiling faces just to get a handshake & a simple grin from people who can care less you even exist?  Is it because they can do things physically most wish they can do, that have some make fools of themselves just to get their attention?   Are they worthy of this hero status bestowed upon them?  As a coach, I have seen this phenomenon even at the grade school level, when adults excuse some young athletes boorish, pompous behavior or unsportsmanlike conduct as him being a competitor.  At a very young age, these young athletes begin to believe they are bigger than the game, feeling they are entitled to different rules, all because they have always been given a pass, when none was deserved.  As I hear LeBron continue to act incredulous as if he has been dishonored,  while all his enablers prop him up further and make excuses for him, I realize he just doesn’t get it – but it’s not his fault.  We created the monsters we see before us.  Now if you would excuse me, I have a baseball game to finish watching, Santana is pitching….