Category Archives: Sports
It has been 66 years since the great Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Although I never saw Jackie play, he impacted me from the time I was very young. My parents bought me a children’s story, called “The Value of Courage: The Story of Jackie Robinson.” I read it over and over again. A poster of Robinson adorned my room as a teen, as a reminder of this courage.
I never experienced an ounce of what Jackie went through, yet I have always been drawn to the way he carried himself during turbulent times. He never fought back and let his actions, on and off the field, do the talking. I think about Jackie a lot when times are tough and even when they are great. Here are a few ways that he has inspired me.
- Tenacity- Despite great odds and constant scrutiny, Jackie never backed down. This is a great lesson, regardless of race, how we can stand up for what we believe. If you believe in your heart of hearts that you can do something, go with confidence and do it!
- Work Ethic- Jackie never settled. He continued to improve his game and push himself to be the best he could be.
- Pride- Jackie knew he couldn’t necessarily fight back against those who hurled racial slurs or threw an intentional fast ball at his head. He pressed forward and got stronger. The lesson here: No matter what the odds, YOU have the power to be in control.
- Courage- Jackie could have given up at any time. He didn’t… despite what seemed like insurmountable odds. Think about your toughest time… how did you handle it? While starting your own business may not seem at the level of courage of what Jackie did, it still takes a ton to step out on your own.
Jackie Robinson was much more than a baseball player. He was a symbol of hope, dedication and pride. It’s something we can still embrace and learn from today.
(photo courtesy of MLB)
The NHL is back, but it has a ton of work to do in repairing the damage done from its most recent player lockout. How could they start to fix a brand that now needs serious repair? I’ve got some suggestions.
Let me know your thoughts and what YOU would do, as a hockey fan, to help the NHL repair the damage.
For the second time in eight years, the National Hockey League has locked out its players. In 2004, the lockout wiped out the whole season. At that time, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman sought fiscal responsibility (read: Salary Cap) and a better game. He seemed to have received it.
Teams are (apparently) better off now than they were eight years ago. Well, ok, let’s not include the Atlanta Thrashers; they picked up and left for Winnipeg and became the (new) Jets.
Here is what Commissioner Bettman said during the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals:
“During the regular season, we played to nearly 96% of capacity and attracted about 21.5 million people, and we’re at nearly 102% of capacity for the playoffs.
In the face of what remains a challenged economy, we estimate that we did $3.3 billion worth of business, which is another record for revenues for us. I can’t thank adequately our fans, business partners and broadcasters for all of their support.
In addition, we had record ad sales, record sponsorship activation, connecting our sponsors’ brands with our brands and with our fans on a deeper level than ever before. We look forward to an even brighter future in traditional and non-traditional media.”
Pretty rosy outlook, eh? Fast-forward to September. The lockout took effect on the 19th because… team owners feel they are losing too much money using the Collective Bargaining Agreement system that expired. So is the NHL a moneymaker or is the league not as strong as the commissioner has said?
This is PR issue number one for the NHL, which is coming off a season where a top five market (Los Angeles) won the Stanley Cup. The NHL must be up front and transparent. Are you losing money or is the league strong? No fuzzy math is needed, commissioner.
Should there be a sympathetic eye put towards to NHL Players Association? Just because they are locked out, doesn’t mean they are without blame. The NHLPA is already ramping up their PR, with players tweeting and saying that they want to play in front of the best fans in the world.
Sure, that’s great but if the players care for what is “best for the sport” they’ll work harder at getting a deal done. The players are winning the PR “war” now, but if this continues to stretch, the Donald Fehr-led players’ association will find less and less support.
I put the question out to folks on Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday: Will the NHL and NHLPA still have a PR issue when the lockout eventually ends? Here are some of your thoughts.
Dan Carubia (via Facebook)- This is all about money, greed and power on both sides. No one wins here, but in the end TV income will be there, sales of team apparel will be profitable and fans will have interest, (especially the) Canadian cities, original six cities and a hand full of others (Philly, Pittsburgh, St. Louis).
John Trader (via Facebook)- I think that if the season is lost, there will be a PR problem. Since you are talking about a league that plays fourth fiddle to MLB, NFL and NBA and is already behind the eight ball in revenues and popularity, this will have some damaging effects. If they somehow manage to salvage part of the season, it will be less damage control. I know one thing – the two sides are far, far apart of revenue sharing discussions so bring in some firewood and warm up the cocoa – it’s going to be a long winter.
James McCusker (via Facebook)- The NHL should have learned its lessons after the last lockout, but I think the main reason this lockout is happening is the NHLPA hiring Donald Fehr as their president. When I saw he was hired, I knew there would be a work stoppage.
My feeling? The NHL will take the brunt of the PR pain. Eight years ago, fans were upset about the lockout, but understood the reasons. The players were seen as having had their way for too long. Now, the owners want some more control of fiscal responsibility, but owners are still throwing money around.
So, what do you think? Let me know in the comments.
I normally don’t get caught up in hero-worship. But, Thursday afternoon was a sad day when I got the news that my baseball idol, Gary Carter passed away due to cancer.
When I was young, Carter was my baseball hero. He was traded to my favorite team, the New York Mets, in late 1984 and was the last piece towards an eventual championship in 1986. I found myself drawn to Carter because of his smile and enthusiasm. Both were infectious. Carter’s nickname was “The Kid” because of that boyish attitude. I began to wear the number 8 because it was Carter’s number. The more l read about how he lived his life, I wanted to be like him.
Some years later, Carter was retired and working for the Florida Marlins as a color analyst on their broadcasts. I was an intern with the Philadelphia Phillies when I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Carter, thanks to Phils public address announcer Dan Baker. His smile was the same that I saw after the opening day home run Carter hit at Shea Stadium in 1985; the same one that lit up his face the night the Mets reached baseball’s pinnacle in 1986. We talked for only a few minutes, but he treated me like I had known him for years. The autograph he gave me adorns my office desk because it reminds me of one thing…
Every single day, we must treat our lives like a blessing. Cliche? Maybe. But it is absolutely true.
Think about it. How many little things do we let bother us? Things that, ultimately, don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. Maybe a little “Kid”-like attitude can help you face your challenges. Think of what makes you happy… smile… then, brush yourself off, and step back up to the plate.
Today, Gary Carter is gone, but his Kid-like spirit and giving nature will live on. While you may not be battling brain cancer, take a moment and remember that our life is something to live to the fullest. Don’t take advantage of it.
I’m including a link so you can see what Carter’s foundation does.