Archive for the Sports off the field Category

An Open Challenge to all Male Professional Athletes

Posted in Sports off the field with tags , , , , , on April 21, 2010 by nathanelwell

Dwight D. Eisenhower once said the following about accountability: “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both”.  Seeing that Eisenhower was once our President, he may have actually known what he was talking about.  After watching the unfortunate outcomes of Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, Santonio Holmes, Matt James, etc etc etc, it makes me perplexed and frustrated to see professional athletes continue to make the same poor choices again and again.

Don’t get me wrong – I am sure that being a professional athlete presents challenges that many of us would never understand.  You are considered a god, and get attention and affection that a normal Joe like me would never get.  Drinks, clothes, cars, ladies, everything that would make most men quiver with anticipation.  You get endorsements, media attention, for some of the lucky few, political recognition.  But lets not forget that whether Ben Roethlisberger likes it or not – he is immediately thrown into the “role model” arena by being a professional athlete.  Teenage football players aren’t looking up to Anthony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, or Zig Zigler – they’re looking up to all the football players who have made it to the big show.  And for every Michael Oher success story, we seem to get three or four miserable failures.  I’m not saying that male athletes should sew themselves in a potato sack and vow to be sober for life.  What I am saying is, “DON’T BE STUPID”.  We may never know what really happened to Roethlisberger in the bar bathroom in Georgia.  But what on earth was he doing at a bar, with trashed women in the first place?

I liked what Herm Edwards said on SportsCenter, when asked about what he would say to Tiger Woods after the whole scandal became public:

#1 – The 12am rule – nothing good ever happens after midnight

#2 – Have only one of everything – one car, one house, one piece of jewelry, one wife, etc etc

#3 – Leave a good legacy

At the end of the day, will people remember a guy like Ben Roethlisberger because of his athletic prowess, or because of his barroom affairs?  Will they remember Matt James because he was a talented football recruit, or because he fell to his death after having too much to drink?  Will they remember Tiger Woods for being a golfing phenom, or because he has a loose zipper?

Are we sacrificing values because we are entitled to whatever we want?  Are we sacrificing ideals for instant gratification?  As human beings, we don’t like rules, authority, or discipline.  But living without these things doesn’t promote a life of freedom, but a life of anarchy.  And anarchy will only bring a life of poor choices and self-destruction.  Why so serious?

If Kanye West were a sport…

Posted in Sports off the field with tags , , on September 15, 2009 by nathanelwell

kanye

Kanye West.  Hearing that name is like hearing someone’s nails scratching down the chalkboard.  Its like that rattling noise you can’t find when you’re driving in the car on a road trip.  Hearing Kanye’s name is like having to listen to Carrot-top or Kathy Griffen, even just for a minute.  We all probably know what went down last night at the MTV VMA awards.  Kanye walked up and interrupted country singer Taylor Swift in the middle of her award acceptance speech, and he basically told the audience that Beyonce was the one who should’ve gotten the award.  This is a sports blog, so I am going to tie this post with sports…..and Kanye West….

If Kanye West were in baseball, he would be the pitcher who would intentionally throw a ball at a batter’s head just because he felt like it.

If Kanye West were in football, he would be like Albert Haynesworth, who stepped on some guy’s head with his cleat, when he was down on the ground.

If Kanye West were in basketball, he would be like Bill Lame-beer, Danny Ferry, or Xavier McDaniel.  Extremely annoying and all dirty players.

If Kanye West were in soccer, he would be like Zidane, who head butted that Italian player in the last World Cup.

If Kanye West were in golf, he would be the sand trap – always in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If Kanye West were Ultimate Fighting, he’d always be the first to tap out.

I think I’ve made my point.  Kanye, we’re all sick of you.  Go away!

The Generous Giving of Professional Athletes

Posted in Sports off the field with tags , , , , on June 14, 2008 by nathanelwell

It seems like nowadays there are so many negative things floating around in the press regarding professional athletes.  Whether its substance abuse, domestic disputes, or marital unfaithfulness, pro athletes have been scrutinized and over-scrutinized for their off-the-field actions.  Don’t get me wrong, if pro athletes make poor decisions, they naturally should expect to be in a fish bowl.  But in this day and age of poor decisions and bad choices, what positive can we make of it?

Professional athletes and philanthropy are a combination that you’ll rarely read about in the newspaper.  Whether it is the conscious decision of a journalist to ignore it, or whether it is the athlete’s personal decision to give quietly, philanthropy in professional sports is often overlooked.  Even if we have trouble swallowing the fact that professional athletes can make up to $27.5 million per season (choke…cough…ALEXRODRIQUEZ…choke) we neglect to realize that they may actually be using that money towards something worthwhile.  So with that said, today I decided to highlight some athletes who have chosen the philanthropic road.

Lets start with David Robinson.  Most of you will remember him as an NBA basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs.  What you might not know about David Robinson is that he and his wife founded a school in San Antonio called the Carver Academy.  The Carver Academy was created to make a productive environment for children, to give them a family like setting to learn and ultimately be fed into the nation’s most competitive high schools.  To date, David and his wife have given over 11 million dollars to the Carver Academy.

Tony Hawk, professional skateboard “artist” started his own foundation in 2002.  After receiving thousands of letters from kids who had nowhere to skateboard, he decided to start a foundation that would provide funding to build skateparks around the country.  As of this year, the Tony Hawk Foundation has given over $1.5 million towards creating skate parks for kids.

 Whether or not you are sick of hearing about his memorable “play-off flip” against the Oakland A’s, or his tumble into the stands after catching a foul ball, Derek Jeter, shortstop for the New York Yankees, also has paved the way as an individual dedicated to philanthropy.  In 1996, Derek Jeter founded the Turn 2 Foundation, which focuses its efforts on “creating and supporting signature programs and activites that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alchohol and “Turn 2″ healthy lifestyles”.  To date, the Turn 2 Foundation has awarded $8 million in grants towards children in New York City, Western Michigan, and Tampa, Florida.

These athletes are just three examples of the thousands of athletes out there who give to various charities and causes.  Let this article be a reminder to all of us sports fans that there may be a side of professional athletes that we never think of in philanthropy and giving – and maybe ultimately we will be motivated to give to similar charities.  Not only can giving help others, but it ultimately will help ourselves more than we think…