Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Someone on Facebook responded to a post I made concerning Colin Kaepernick and
his decision to sit during the national anthem before NFL games with San Francisco 49ers:
"When it's all said and done, Kaepernick's protest will accomplish nothing."
My response was simple: He already has.
The veteran quarterback ignited a firestorm that mushroomed into a towering inferno,
causing heated debates about the American flag, national anthem, patriotism, oppression,
freedom, racism, and law enforcement.
And you know what? That's damn good thing for a lot of different reasons.
Oh, sure, when news first broke of Kaepernick dissing the national anthem, America
did what it does best: it went bat shit-crazy, overreacting, and talking stupid. That
can happen when the knee-jerk reaction is strong enough to split the uprights with
a football from 95 yards away.
My goodness. Some people act like Kaepernick committed mass murder, jeopardized
national security, or bilked the country out of its lifetime savings.
Many people wondered how Kaepernick can cry about oppression when he lives
in a country that's afforded him the opportunity to make $19 million dollars a year
slinging a football around. I believe they got that part wrong because Kapernick
made it clear he is standing up for others who are being oppressed, not him.
Kapernicked was blistered for disrespecting every person who fought for this
country and protecting our freedom, which actually gives everybody the right to
protest and criticize those who do.
Stan VanDriver, a 12-year Navy veteran, told USA Today, "I and other veterans
fought so he could have his freedom of speech rights, so that all Americans can
have the right to free speech, the right to protest."
This from a person that actually fought for the country, the flag, for you and me.
Do you respect his opinion?
All of these issues needed be talked about and discussed. And everyone's
talking about them from legends and social activists Jim Brown and Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar to military veterans, law enforcement officials, and just about
every athlete in the sports world has weighed in on the subject, as well.
And that is truly a great thing.
Many people think Kaepernick snubbed his nose at the American flag, national
anthem, and patriotism when he chose to stay on the bench while everyone else
saluted them. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said the protest was actually very patriotic.
People have different views on it, which again, is their right.
The outrage touched off by Kaepernick has actually shed more light on what
many African-Americans have had to endure in their lives and that flag and song,
no matter how beautiful and sacred it is to most, represents something completely
different to others, including Jackie Robinson, who faced more obstacles than
any athlete in the history of sports.
In his autobiography, Robinson wrote:
"I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am
a black man in a white world."
Whoa! I had never heard that before. That's from the immortal Jackie Robinson and
a history lesson right there. So, if you hate Colin Kaepernick then you must also hate
Jackie Robinson, right? I don't think many are willing to crush the legacy of 42, that's
If you despise Kaepernick, then shouldn't you also despise the late Muhammad Ali
for refusing to fight for the country after being drafted? Just about everybody admired
Ali for "taking a stand", albeit years after Ali became a true legend. So, why are we
vilifying Kaepernick for what he did?
I am quite certain that for all their love Americans have for the national anthem, flag,
and country, most do not know all the lyrics to the song or understand what the 13 stripes
on Old Glory represent.
After Kaeperick's protest, I am thinking most Americans will become more attentive
when the national anthem is being played and that flag is unfurled. They will make
damn sure they know all the words and become better educated on what every stripe,
star, and color of the flag represents. Going to the bathroom while the Star
Spangled Banner plays at a sporting event will no longer be considered.
On Memorial Day weekend next year, perhaps, people will stick around for a
parade and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, even thanking a veteran
for their service, instead of bolting to the Hamptons for a barbeque.
And that would be a great thing.
Some people had a problem with the method by which Kaepernick tried to send
his message. But what was he supposed to do to get everybody's attention? Tweet
something out? Post it on Facebook? Give me a break. He went big and bold and
got the world talking.
Perhaps, with Kaepernick's protest and the debates that follow, we will get a better
idea of what comes with all the rights the founding fathers crafted and every
member of the military fought so hard to maintain. And what true freedom actually
Freedom of speech is a powerful thing. So is the freedom to protest. I have the right
to put my thoughts down in a blog, you have the right to bash them. Whatever the
case, we have been given the right to do both.
Kaepernick may have cost himself friends, a fistful of dollars, and eventually, a
football career, but he may have done something positive that most of us may not
understand for quite a while.
He has forced us to think, debate, and perhaps, even sympathize. It may have
come at a great cost, but I believe this country really needed it.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Jules Alexander's career was defined by the iconic photographs he took of golf
legend, Ben Hogan. They helped him become a bit of a rock star in the golf industry
where he cultivated friendships with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and
even Hogan himself.
While his photographs of Hogan earned him a name in the sport, it was Alexander's
generosity with his wonderful gift that revealed a large part of his character. The
Bronx native, who died on August 19, was Santa Claus with a camera, showering
his friends with family photographs capturing moments that were both magical and
Alexander never asked for a thing in a return, nor would he charge his friends for
photographs. And he and his family had many friends--more than you could possibly
know or even count. If you were lucky enough to have caught the keen and creative
eye of Alexander, then you probably received something that could only be categorized
I was luckier than most.
I grew up as a childhood friend to Alexander's sons, Paul and Carl. We did everything
together, playing Little League, Pee Wee football, golf, and just about anything else
little kids did back then. Our families became best friends and Jules was always there
to capture moments the Devlin's will never forget.
I am so grateful to have known Jules.
Jules Alexander documented a big part of my life with his signature photographs,
always rich in black and white, capturing the raw emotion in a way that only Jules
could. I have posted many of those photographs on Facebook for all to see and I often
get comments like, "Wow, it must've been nice to have your parents pay for a
photographer to be at all your games."
My parents never paid anyone to take pictures of me playing a game. Ever. Jules
did it because he loved doing it and was so good at it, none of us ever knew he was at
the games taking photographs. Jules Alexander was just that good.
In the fall of 2002, I was home from Atlanta visiting my father, who started to have
some health issues. We were playing a round of golf with Jules like we did so many
times over the years. When we got to the 12th hole at Westchester County Club,
Jules took out his camera and said, "I have the perfect shot that I want to take."
There was another foursome finishing the previous hole and there wasn't exactly
enough time to do a full-fledged photo shoot. Jules didn't need it because he had
picture the shot in his mind long before we arrived at the tee box.
When he presented the photograph to us several months later, we were speechless,
breathless, and forever grateful. It was amazing.
No one could possibly have captured the love between and a father and son like
Jules. The picture is worth far more than 1,000 words and one I will cherish forever.
When I attended the 90th birthday party of Jules in early June, I shared a moment
with him in his studio which was lined with some of the most beautiful photographs
man has ever laid eyes on.
I said to Jules, "That photograph you took of my Dad and I is the greatest gift that
I've ever received." That wasn't hyperbole, but fact. No material thing or amount of
money is worth more to me than that photo of my father and I. It captured the total
essence of the relationship and friendship I had with my father, perfectly.
Jules Alexander died less than two months later. I am so glad I got the chance to
tell him that how much that photograph meant to me. It is truly special.
That was the beauty and greatness of Jules Alexander. Nobody could do with a
camera what he did. Nobody. And he shared his wonderful gift with all his friends,
never charging a cent for photographs that were so special.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Jules Alexander passed away peacefully Friday morning August 19, 2016.
It marked the end of an truly incredible life that was rich with an amazing family,
countless friends, and almost universal love and respect.
times, and a legacy fortified by the keen eye of a photographer who captured moments
that became indelible ones in the lives of so many, including my own.
Alexander had a personality as unique as his first name. He was thoughtful, measured,
loyal, honorable, and blessed with a gift for not only taking pictures, but telling stories
in a way that not only made people laugh, but left them feeling better about themselves.
The Bronx native photographed everyone from John F. Kennedy to Muhammad Ali.
In between there was Frank Sinatra, Christie Brinkley, and a young Mike Tyson.
However, it was his spectacular pictures of golf legend Ben Hogan that helped
Alexander gain fame within both the photography and golf industries.
In 1959, Alexander, made the short journey to the Winged Foot Golf Club to
photograph Hogan. Alexander was fascinated with just about everything the legendary
He studied his swing, how Hogan stood, the way he dressed, and even the way he
took a drag off his cigarette. Alexander would build a collection of Hogan photos
like the tradition of the Masters: unlike any other.
It was pure gold and nearly every golfer on the PGA Tour would flock to
Alexander's home which sat at the end of the driving range of the Westchester
Country Club. They wanted to see the perfect pictures of the golf legend who
possessed a near perfect swing.
He became friends with Nicklaus, Palmer, Trevino, Player, Mickelson, and
just about every other big name in the game of golf. But Alexander's named carried
a lot of weight, as well. Say the name, "Jules" and everyone in the industry
knew who you were talking about.
Alexander's first name was Jules, but to nearly everyone at his home course
at the Westchester Country Club, he was the "Hawk", which was the nickname
of his hero, Ben Hogan. When he played, Alexander dressed a lot like Hogan,
right down to the white hat Hogan used to wear.
Jules played the game with style, a little flair, and the laser-like focus of Hogan.
He loved the game dearly, had fun with it, and was damn good, always
carrying a handicap in the single digits. And anybody who played a round with
Jules was always a little disappointed that it had to end after 18 holes.
Alexander also got paid to travel the world to shoot amazing holes on the
best golf courses ever built. They would be turned into spectacular calendars that
always seemed to show up in the hands of all of his friends.
His best friends in life were his wife, Danna, a former model, who could deftly
handle Jules and his big personality like no one else. She is brilliant, kind, and
magnificent. She was the perfect partner for Jules during their more than 50 years
Then there is Paul and Carl, the sons who made golf into careers as professionals,
presiding over two of the most prestigious country clubs in New York, located
within a Bubba Watson drive of where they grew up.
Jules, Paul, and Carl were as close as any father and sons could possibly be. The
kids worshipped Jules, who got to see, play with, and photograph them as they
grew into spectacular golfers known by just about everyone in the industry along
the Eastern seaboard.
I was best friends with Paul and Carl growing up. We spent countless days playing
baseball, golf, and just about everything else kids did to pass the time. Jules was
seemingly always there with camera in hand. From Little League, Pop Warner
football, to the golf course, Jules took incredible pictures and gave them to
the family, never asking for, or expecting anything in return.
In June, many of Jules' good friends gathered at his home to celebrate his 90th
birthday. There were great pictures, even better stories, and that laugh from Jules
that we all loved and could never forget.
Sadly, it turned out to be a good-bye for many people, the last time they would
see or talk to Jules. I have known Jules since I was 7-years-old. He was family
and a big part of my life as well as the rest of the Devlin clan.
Jules took his last breath Friday morning, putting the period on the story of an
incredible life well-lived.
I will miss Jules. Countless other people will, too. There was nobody like him. Nobody.
Rest in peace, Jules, everybody loved you.
It's hard to believe Ryan Lochte had his own reality series that was shown on one
of those mindless networks that pollute the airwaves. Yep, in 2013, there was an
eight-episode series featuring the Olympic swimmer who lived his life more like
Spicoli than Spitz.
The title of the series? "What would Ryan Lochte do?"
The cameras followed Lochte after his impressive performance in the 2012 London
Olympics and the TV world found out that while Lochte swam a lot like Mark Spitz,
he was about as smart as Spicoli, the surfer dude featured in the classic movie,
"Fast Times at Ridgemont High."
Unbeknownst to Lochte, the cameras were on him during an early morning in
Rio during the Olympic games, capturing a moment that would change his life forever
while giving television producers, reporters, anchors, analysts, and world of critics
enough juicy content that should be labeled:
"What Ryan Locthe did."
Yeah, the frat boy made up a story that Manti Te'o would be proud of. But instead
of an imaginary girlfriend, Lochte made up a tale that included an imaginary gun being
thrust into his forehead, accompanied by a demand for all his money.
The world believed all of it, because that's what the world usually does. It believes
everything it hears and read, especially if it's on Twitter, Facebook, or any other of
the million ridiculous things that can be found on the Internet.
Turns out, Lochte's tales about he and three other American swimmers being robbed
at gunpoint, was one big lie. But hey, give Lochte a gold medal for a fertile imagination.
I mean, getting robbed at gunpoint by a group of Brazilians posing as law enforcement
officials complete with badges and uniform? That is awesome and probably made
Brian Williams scream to the heavens and say:
"Why didn't I think of that?"
Lochte concocted the story with a river of alcohol soaking up his pea for a brain.
That reality show he starred in three years ago must've sparked the creative side of
that pea brain and he asked himself:
"What would Ryan Lochte do?"
After trashing the bathroom at the gas station and being confronted by security,
Lochte's imagination started to run wild. Most people involved in that type of
situation, especially celebrities would try to keep the entire incident
a secret. I mean, who wants to tell anybody a 32-year-old man trashed a bathroom
at a gas station at six in the morning while bombed out of his mind?
What would Ryan Lochte do?"
Yeah, he texted his mommy and told her he and his buddies had been robbed
at gunpoint. Hey, that's a great story to tell that hot Brazilian you just met, but
not your mother! Way to go, Lochte. Your mom is only slightly less addicted
to attention than you.
What would Mrs. Lochte do? Yeah, she contacted somebody in the media and
the story got Usain Bolt-like legs and took off faster than the speedy Jamaican.
Most athletes-celebrities would lay low and try to temper the concocted story
and its aftermath.
What would Ryan Lochte do?
Yeah, he strolled down to the Olympic village and just happened to run into
Billy Bush of NBC and whatever show he is a host of. Lochte could've avoided
the attention, but he's addicted to it, so he gave Bush the "exclusive" on what
We were robbed at gunpoint, said Lochte. Some fierce looking guy put a gun
to my head and I was like, "whatever"
Whatever? Who says whatever while having a gun stuck into your forehead?
Oh, sure, Spicoli might've said, "Whatever. Just as long as you don't take my
weed or surfboard, you can take whatever you want."
Lochte made it seem like one of his BFF's told him he was canceling plans
to get his hair dyed silver just like him. "Whatever."
As the story about the early morning heist began to fall apart, most people would
disappear and stay quiet
What would Ryan Lochte do?
Well, he disappeared, leaving Brazil, but he couldn't resist talking about the
incident. Lochte spoke by phone to NBC's Matt Lauer and his original story
began to change. He told Lauer that the gun wasn't actually stuck in his forehead
but waved in his general direction. He also said the taxi he was in was not
pulled over by guys dressed up as cops.
When asked why the events of the story changed, Lochte blamed it on
"traumatic mischaracterizations." Traumatic mischaracterizations?! That's right
up there with Roger Clemens making up the word, "misremember."
Just over 24-hours after concocting this spectacular tale, it all blew up in
Ryan Locthe's face. He has been branded a liar forever and a big fraud. He
should be remembered as a world-class swimmer with a crate full of Olympic
gold, silver, and bronze instead, he is now one big liar.
What should Ryan Locthe do now?
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
I've often said that while most adults graduate from elementary school, a great deal
of them act as if they're still sitting in the back row of their second-grade class.
I was never more confident of the validity of that statement than I was after observing
the way in which American gymnast Gabby Douglas was treated by millions who
slither their way around the social media cess pool in search of the almighty 'like'
The nation's nastiness started last Tuesday after the United States won the gold
medal in the team competition. During the medal ceremony, Douglas didn't have
her hand placed over her heart as the American flag was raised and the national
anthem played. Twitter went into obsessive overdrive, accusing Douglas of
disrespecting the country and our flag.
You want to berate and bully a 20-year-old girl with viscous Tweets and criticism
because she forgot to place her hand over her heart in the midst of one of the
biggest adrenaline rushes of her life?
People were reacting as if Douglas, a 3-time gold medal winner, disgraced our
country like Bowe Bergdahl, who is awaiting trial for disserting his fellow United
States soldiers during combat in Afghanistan several years ago.
They unleashed more vitriol on Douglas than they did on Edwin Snowden, who
leaked some of the country's most classified information while working for the NSA.
Sadly, most of the haters didn't actually see the medal ceremony to determine for
themselves if Douglas acted "inappropriately". As in most cases, they read about
it on-line or drew their conclusions thanks to a tweet or post by someone else.
Oh, and I forgot the time when they won a gold medal in the Olympics and acted
perfectly and by the book.
Man, I sure don't remember other athletes getting bombarded like Douglas has
when they didn't do the right thing. The words below are courtesy of an article
that appeared on the ABC News web site in February of 2012 explaining the
protocol for the national anthem during sporting events like the Super Bowl.
"As Kelly Clarkson sang the national anthem at a packed Lucas Oil Stadium in
Indianapolis Sunday night, the camera flashed from her face to fans and football
players - many of whom did not have their hands over their hearts. Though New
York Giants Coach Tom Coughlin held his hat there, some of his players - including
Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Martin - appeared to have their arms at their sides."
Wow. Grown men forgot to put their hands over their hearts during the national
anthem? That's unpatriotic and they disrespected the country! Damn, they should
have been stoned to death, right?
Perhaps, the football players didn't feel the wrath Douglas did for her "omission"
because they weren't decorated with gold medals like Douglas has been three times
over. Or maybe, just maybe, Douglas was a far easier target to shoot vicious tweets
at than those football players.
In the 2012 Olympic games in London, Douglas became the first African-American
female to win a gold medal in the all-around competition. Making history at just
16-years-old is a pretty big deal and Douglas capitalized on her accomplishment
with endorsement deals, public appearances, and for better and probably worse,
her own reality television series.
But nobody in this country or on Twitter would be envious of her success would
they? Nope. The great people of the United States would never be jealous of
someone blessed with so much and talent achieving more in their first 16-years
of life than most people ever do during their time on this planet. No, way!
What did I say again about adults acting liking they're still sitting in the back row
of their second grade class?
Elementary school was still in session on Twitter as people were attacking Douglas
about everything from her hair, facial expressions, and body language. They didn't
think acted "happy" enough when some of her other teammates were having success.
I often wonder what is really going through the minds of people who take the time
to go on Twitter and post viscous comments about someone they don't even know
as they hide behind an avatar or some clever and crafty twitter handle.
Does it make them feel better about their lives which clearly contains a lot
of misery? Grown men and women taking shots at a 20-year-old kid?
Gabby Douglas is a world-class athlete who has represented this country admirably.
With the world watching, Douglas never embarrassed herself, family, or team.
She didn't get caught using PED's or wind up on the police blotter. Yet, when
Douglas doesn't put her hand over her heart or act how the social media maggots
want her to, she becomes the worst people on the planet.
These are the same people who give Jose Reyes of the New York Mets a standing
ovation after he returns to the team after serving a long suspension for beating the hell
out of his wife.
These are the same critics who give Nelson Cruz, then of the Texas Rangers,
a standing ovation after he returns from a 50-game suspension for testing positive
Douglas worked hard, made tremendous sacrifices, and performed incredibly
well under pressure that would cause 99.9 percent of those on Twitter to fold
or crack. She made history in becoming the first African-American female to win
gold in the all-around competition. That can never be taken away from her no
matter what the fools say on Twitter.
But those fools brought Douglas to tears and pretty much ruined her Olympic
experience this year. Like most of us, except for the Twitter scum, Douglas is
human. She has feelings and emotions that can become raw and exposed.
I've heard some people say that Douglas should've ignored social media. That's
funny. Social media seems to have become as important to our lives as breathing.
We can't do without, so don't blame Douglas for doing the same and seeing how ugly
the world truly is.
The critics and so-called experts on Twitter are most likely those who never
got into the arena and competed. They never broke a sweat, endured ridiculous
pain or overcame any obstacles to capture true victory. They are the people
who show up 10 minutes late for church, leave five minutes early, and don't
take 15 seconds to thank a veteran for his service to the country.
Yes, the critics are incredibly perfect.
Anytime an athlete gets into the area to compete, they are signing up for the
possibility of failing. They know there can be heartbreak and tremendous
disappointment. Years of hard work can be flushed down the drain
in a fraction of a second.
Gabby Douglas should be recognized for the incredible world class athlete
she is, not as some kind of unpatriotic villain who in a split second, simply
forgot to put her hand over her heart.
Douglas has the heart the size of California. She earned three golds medals
for the United States which is truly a great accomplishment.
I ask the critics: what have you done for your country?
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Those two words alone seem to ignite a cauldron of hate in a lot of people.
We spit out vitriol like a King Cobra spews venom on its prey when somebody
rolls Tim Tebow off the tongue. Many act as if he is about to rob us of something,
whether it be a coveted opportunity or a thousand likes on Facebook and Twitter.
My question is, why do we hate Tim Tebow so much? Wait. I'll correct myself.
Why do we hate a person we don't even know with such incredible passion?
Our society thinks they know someone because they heard a 15-second sound bite
with an athlete like Tebow on ESPN. They judge based on how he smiles, sounds,
and expresses himself in the smallest of sample sizes. The conclusion is, take your
pick: a fraud, self-righteous, entitled, perfect, too-good-to-be true, or just a nice guy.
It's all in the eyes and ears of the beholder, but for some reason, Tebow has caused
a lot of people to hate him for simply being Tim Tebow.
Oh, sure, I know Tebow has millions of supporters in his home state of Florida
and amongst the legions of Gator fans who worship him like no other athlete in the
history of the school. A significant part of Colorado adores Tebow, who led the Broncos
to a playoff win before John Elway got into the shotgun formation and blew him out
of town in favor of Peyton Manning.
However, it seems like the rest of the sports-obsessed country just hates Tebow and
when word spread that the former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback was going to
try to make it as a professional baseball player, the hating on Tebow seemed to reach
an entirely new level.
Many people who didn't bother to get the facts straight, hated on Tebow even more
simply because they thought major league baseball was opening the doors to an
opportunity that just about everyone who has ever picked up a bat and ball, covets.
They thought Tebow was getting a contract and going straight to the big leagues
simply because he is Tim Tebow.
Reality is, Tebow invited every major league team to watch his personal talent show.
They can come if they like, stay at home if they wish. People act as if Tebow said,
"I'm Tim Tebow. I can walk on water and heal sick children, now please give me a
professional contract to sign."
And people began to hate Tebow even more.
Why do we waste so much time and energy hating on a guy we don't even know?
Why do we hate a guy for wanting to see if he can do something he dreams of doing?
Are we jealous?
Do we hate our lives that much that we are envious of someone else's?
Do we just wish god had blessed us with a body and the athleticism that Tebow has?
Do we hate him because we wish we had lived our lives like Tebow does, one that
doesn't include drinking, smoking, promiscuous sex, and bad-mouthing others?
Seriously, why all the hate towards Tim Tebow, a guy that 99.9 percent of us have
never met, much less even know?
Jose Reyes returns to the New York Mets after beating the hell out of his wife and
serving a long suspension and the fans give him a standing ovation. Seriously?
Nelson Cruz gets busted for PED's, missing 50-games which may have been a
reason the Texas Rangers ended up in one-game playoff game. The fans give him
a standing ovation upon his return and then he goes on to sign a mega-contract with
I could go on and on and on about all the love fans show athletes who have broken
the law, embarrassed their teams, family, and friends, but I won't. If you've been a
sports fan over the last 20 years, you know what I'm talking about.
I just don't understand why all the hate comes out for a guy who doesn't drink, smoke,
get in trouble, or has ever embarrassed a team, teammate, or coach. Tebow has
always acted with class, dignity, and shown everyone respect. He's never said,
"I'm all this, I'm all that, and by the way, you can follow me on Twitter @I'mGod."
Oh, that's right, he wrote a religious note on his eye-black sticker. He got on one
knee and prayed before, during, and after a game that he was in and just played.
And he thanks his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on national television. And people
By the way, don't turn the channel when a football game is over. Stay and watch the
cameras focus in on players from both teams at mid-field, holding hands, kneeling
down, while praying to someone. Do you hate on them like you do Tim Tebow?
You live the way you want to live, why don't you let others live the way they want
to live? Instead of wasting so much time and energy worrying about Tebow's life,
why don't you do something constructive like focus on a goal or going to the gym
and work hard to improve your body and fitness level. Try spending time at the food
kitchen or helping others who are less fortunate than you.
Oh wait a minute, then you'd be like Tim Tebow and we wouldn't want that, would we?
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Go ahead and mock, criticize, and even laugh at his dream to make it in a sport where
so many, including Michael Jordan, have failed so miserably. Twitter was on fire with
jokes, condescension, and plenty of haters the second news broke that Tebow would
hold a workout for every major league team later this month.
Criticizing, doubting, and mocking others have long been the American Way and it's
already in overdrive with the latest news about Tebow, the squeaky-clean, God-lovin'
person most of society loves to hate. He doesn't smoke, drink, or been in any kind
of trouble, but somehow rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Perhaps, it's because
he openly prays, is so kind to others, and says all the right things.
By the way, there are so many athletes in professional sports who publicly thank
their Lord and savior, Jesus Christ or point to the Heavens after a touchdown or home
run but never feel the wrath bestowed on Tebow for expressing himself and his
beliefs. The athletes who won a silver medal in synchronized diving for the US
Monday night were thanking their savior profusely on national television but there
weren't very many tweets on the feed criticizing their actions.
Tebow, who failed miserably in the NFL, according to the so-called experts, hasn't
played baseball since his senior year of high school, where he made the all-state
team in the filthy talented-rich state of Florida. He's 29-years-old now, which is
about the same age Jordan was when his airness quit basketball to try to make it
with the Chicago White Sox.
By the end of the day, most of us with be all Tebow-ed out from ESPN trying to
break down Tebow and his chances of making it to the major leagues. We will
probably be praying for NBC to air re-runs of synchronized diving earlier to break
up the overkill of Tebow's next adventure. People will be on social media incessantly
spewing all their hate towards Tebow and mock him for his latest mission.
I will not be one of them.
I applaud Tebow for what he's doing and hope people who are so blinded by their
disdain of him, can somehow see all that is good in Tebow's desire to become an
Tebow may not have fulfilled his expectations in the NFL. Many will label him
a colossal failure. He was mocked, vilified, and criticized harshly by fans, players,
and front-office personnel, but Tebow never lost his composure or lashed out at
anyone, anywhere, and at anytime through the media. He never quit, either. Never
listened to the haters and doubters. He kept working, believing, and striving to
be the best player he could be.
When he was told he wasn't good enough to make the team, he thanked the
organization and moved on, always with the same class and dignity.
Now, after failing in football, Tebow wants to play a sport where failure is a
significant part of the game.
Good for him.
In the face of all the haters, doubters, and critics, Tebow isn't afraid to fail again.
He's chasing a dream. And perhaps, doesn't want to look back 20 years from now
and say, "What if?"
What is wrong with that?
Tebow isn't going to be like Michael Jordan who just took 10 swings for the Chicago
White Sox and basically told them he'd be signing with them. The former Heisman
Trophy winner doesn't have any ties to a major league team like Jordan did.
(Jerry Reinsdorf, who owns the Chicago Bull, also has a big chunk of the White Sox.)
Tebow is putting it all out there in a try-out for every major league team to see. He will
hit, run, and throw for scouts and let them determine if he is worthy of signing a
professional contract. He has enough belief in himself to attempt to make it in a game
that spits so many players out.
What is wrong with that?
First-round picks often come up short of their dream to make it to the major leagues,
so the odds are definitely stacked against someone who hasn't played baseball since
However, I applaud Tim Tebow and daring himself to dream a really big dream. Isn't
that what we tell our kids. Isn't that what we preach to the Little Leaguers we coach?
Don't we encourage them to believe in themselves and never let anyone dissuade or
destroy their dreams?
So, go ahead. Make fun of Tebow. Disparage him on Twitter. Go on a rant for
all your Facebook friends if it makes you feel better.
I will always applaud the person who actually gets in the arena and fights for what
he wants. I will never criticize the man who bleeds, breaks a sweat, and runs toward
achieving something instead of running away from it.
I am pulling for Tim Tebow. I hope he overcomes every obstacle to achieve his
Sunday, August 7, 2016
If you've worked in the sports media for a long time, there are times when the
stories you cover seem to blend into one another. Mind-boggling contracts, steroid cheats,
domestic abusers, player releases, coaches fired, etc. They can dull the senses, jade us,
rob a little of the joy we all thought was just about guaranteed in the profession.
Every once in a while, we get blessed with the spectacular whether it be a no-hitter,
a 50-point game, or another type of performance that leaves us in total awe, demanding
that we recognize and appreciate greatness.
Then you get a day like August 7, 2016. Long before NBC signed off on its Olympic
coverage for the evening, there were performances, milestones, and news that made us stop
and go, "wow."
It all came so fast and furiously that Twitter seemed to be on the verge of overload. News
broke around 9 a.m. that the Alex Rodriquez and the New York Yankees scheduled a
press conference for 11 a.m. Anybody with a clue knew this wasn't going to be an
announcement for an upcoming A-Rod bobblehead day at the stadium. Either A-Rod
was retiring or getting released.
I didn't wait around for the news conference. God didn't create a day like today to sit
around and watch ESPN. I went out for an 8-mile hike. I wasn't all that surprised when
I checked my cell phone around 12:15 p.m and read about A-Rod's plan for departing
the game. Not a shock, but still big news when a player of A-Rod's stature says good-bye
to the Yankees and the game, albeit this Friday.
Then things started to get real interesting as I scrolled down the Twitter feed. Jim Furyk
shot a blistering 58 in the final round of the Travelers Championship. A god-dang 58!
The lowest round in PGA Tour history. The dude has an ugly head, an even uglier swing,
and is on the doorstep of playing on the Senior Tour and he shoots a 58!! Unreal.
Something not quite as unreal as Furyk's 58 but still amazing, were the first three at-bats
of Manny Machado. The All-Star third baseman of the Baltimore Orioles hit home runs
in his first three at-bats against the Chicago White Sox and had seven RBI's. This
was all before his fourth at-bat in the fifth-inning, plenty of time to tie the record for home
runs in a game with four. Machado gave it a good effort, but ended the game with those
three home runs.
A few hours later in Colorado, Ichiro made MLB history by roping a triple for his
3,000th hit. He is the 30th player in the history of the game to reach that milestone.
What's incredible is that Ichiro didn't start playing in the big leagues until he was
27-years-old, spending the first seven years of his professional career playing in Japan.
It took the Miami Marlins 42-year-old outfielder just 16 seasons to reach the 3,000
hit mark, which has proven to be an automatic ticket to Cooperstown.
under the avalanche of milestones and major news Sunday. Venus and Serena Williams,
the most dominant double tennis players in the world, lost in the first round of the Olympics
And the NFL's Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio was cancelled because of poor
field conditions. Yep, on a sun-splashed afternoon and with a synthetic turf field, the
NFL made the decision to cancel the game.. Brilliant! Apparently, the field was like
concrete after a Tim McGraw concert was held there Friday night. I'm sure Roger
Goodell will try to pin the blame on the New England Patriots. LOL.
Only 30 players in the history of the game have 3,000 hits or more, so yes, today was a
very special day in sports even without the A-Rod drama. Throw in Furyk's incredible
58 and this is a day that made you go, "Wow."
*Note. This article was written before Kate Ledecky of the US set a world record and
Michael Phelps captured his 19th career gold medal as part of the 4 x 100 relay.
I'll say it again: wow! what a day in sports!