Junior Seau, THE MAN, will be missed

Junior Seau will be remembered by many for his hard-hitting style of play on the field. But his gentle, kind nature off of it is what will leave a lasting impression on many more.

I’m almost embarrassed to be writing this post so late. I was shocked and speechless when I first heard the news. To be honest, as numb as I was in the initial hours after the news, there was no way I could’ve written anything remotely coherent. Then I questioned if the fact that I didn’t personally know him meant I lacked the authority to write on the subject. But in driving to work yesterday, I heard Colin Cowherd (on his show, The Herd) replying to a tweet in which the writer stated something along the lines of “No extraordinary man commits suicide.” What?!? With the wounds still very much fresh in the heart of the thousands–not hundreds, thousands– of people, he had the audacity to say something like that!?!

So, even though I’m certain that I will fall well short of expressing what I and many others feel about Junior Seau, this is my humble and brief attempt to do so. Read more of this post

Run it Back!

Me: “Run it back!”
Him: “You want to switch the teams up a little?”
Me: “Run it back!” (this time throwing, the ball at–um, I mean toward–him)

Anyone who is a competitor, and we all have a little bit of that in us, can relate to that scenario.  You’ve just been whooped.  And at something about which you care at least a little bit (why else would you be playing the game?).  And rather than go home, or sit on the sidelines, or worse yet, take the easy way out and change your team, you want nothing more than to play again.  You want to start over, hit sport’s equivalent of a reset button.  You want to, as they say on the hoop courts, “run it back”.   Read more of this post

Always at the Summit(t)..Always

If you were looking (and listening), Coach Pat Summitt doled out lessons on a lot more than just basketball.

“That’s a bad woman!”  I remember saying that to anyone who would listen after I read Reach for the Summitt several years ago. (Of course, as Run DMC would say, “Not bad meaning bad but bad meaning good” I’d heard about Pat Summitt and respected her as a coach and a leader, mostly from afar since women’s sports weren’t nearly as visible nor as popular as they are today.  She, in fact, was one of the first women in leadership–sports, business, or otherwise–that really captured my attention.  That stare.  That intensity.  Her will to win was unparalleled and the main reason I believe she could have been successful as the first female coach of a major men’s college basketball program, something that has been debated for years.

Today, Pat Summitt officially stepped down as the head coach of the Lady Volunteers (‘Vols’ for those in the know), for more than a decade as popular a draw to the University of Tennessee students and fans as the football or men’s hoops programs.

She leaves behind a remarkable slate of success.  Included on her coaching resume are 8 National Championships; 18 Final Four Appearances; 7 NCAA Coach of the Year and the Naismith Coach of the Century Awards; and the 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a United States civilian can receive. Read more of this post

Andrew Luck unleashing some business advice

I was just watching ESPN SportsCenter this morning (while doing some work, of course) and the feature known as (Jon) Gruden’s Camp came on.  In this Exclusive Special ESPN segment, Jon Gruden, the former Super Bowl winning coach, grills college–soon to be professional–quarterbacks.  While footage of the the NFL combine and individual school pro days are meant to showcase athletic ability and skill, this regular segment on ESPN is meant to give fans an idea of the information these quarterbacks are expected to digest and the mental makeup and capacity that is necessary to be successful at the professional level.

This episode’s guest: Andrew Luck, the former Stanford University Quarterback considered by most to be the #1 QB prospect of his generation.  That may be true, but I’m still not convinced I’d pick Luck over Robert Griffin III, who will still probably be selected #2 but is at least now being considered a possibility at the top overall selection.  My thoughts and opinions aside, though, I was very impressed with Luck’s interview with Gruden.  Here were some of my takeaways: Read more of this post

Expectation…Resolution…Action

By: Julie Manriquez

Expectation

My 12-year-old son expected an Xbox 360 for Christmas. Instead he received an emphatic “not gonna happen, Kid!” He persevered with the drive and optimism of a skilled closer, spouting assumptive comments like, “When I have my Xbox, you can use it to make sure I do my homework and my chores.” Wait a minute, isn’t it the JOB of every 12-year-old to—uhhh—do his homework and chores? After discussing with friends their discontent with the game and their kids’ effective behavior, the hubby and I stuck to our guns and kept the “kid crack” out of our home.

Just to clarify, we don’t have a problem with gaming, even the violent or adult varieties. And anyone who knows us knows we are certainly not big on censorship. The kid watched Gladiator at the age of eight at the hubby’s suggestion to get “pumped” for his basketball playoff game!  We simply do not wish to sabotage our kids’ sometimes limited focus on school and their chosen activities; but, even more importantly, we do not wish to rob them of the gift of pure, unadulterated boredom, which every child needs to expend physical energy, inspire creativity, innovation, and passion for something (anything!) larger than they are.

We proudly stood united and much to his chagrin no Xbox miraculously arrived beneath our rather odd left-leaning Christmas tree. Read more of this post