Sunday, August 24, 2014
It can be silly, self-serving, and sophomoric, but the Ice Bucket challenge has become the
greatest fundraising vehicle since Milton Berle hosted the first telethon for cancer research
What started as a tiny snowball, has now become an unstoppable avalanche on social
media. Facebook, once littered with pictures of food on a plate, feet by the sea, and every
second of a newborn's life, is now smothered with videos of people getting doused with
buckets of ice and freezing water.
And you know what, it's all good, so very good.
The Ice Bucket challenge has done what so many people and fundraisers couldn't before,
no matter the celebrity, type of event, or the relentless, tireless effort that millions of
activists put in. It has raised not only awareness of ALS, the most horrific disease known
to man, but significant money for research
As of Saturday August 23, the ALS Association has received $62.5 million in donations
compared to $2.4 million during the same time period last year -- July 29 to Aug. 23.
$62.5 million dollars in less than a month! The Ice Bucket challenge is working! But of
course, there are haters out there who want to criticize it. They are the ones who author
articles to be "controversial" so they can get on a lame talk show and become "trending"
in the social media world. Some have gone so far as to say it's a waste of one of our
greatest natural resources. Pure nonsense.
Just as Pete Frates has become the face of the fight against ALS, the Ice Bucket challenge
has become a symbol of hope and a reminder of what a truly insidious disease ALS is.
Are you ever going to look at an ice bucket the same way? Can you pick one up without
thinking about ALS and the millions of victims who've fought so valiantly against a
disease that has NEVER lost?
I'm not sure why the Ice Bucket challenge has become such a phenomenon. Perhaps, it's
a moment where we can unleash the little kid in all of us and not feel bad about it. Maybe
it's the cathartic effect that comes from rinsing away the dirty grime that has built up in a
society that sometimes seems to ooze with negativity. It doesn't really matter, does it?
What does is the message and everyone except the haters seem to be getting it loud and
clear. ALS is a brutal disease. I realize cancer is bad and has destroyed so many people
and lives. But with cancer, at least a person. has a chance. With ALS, there is none. The
disease in undefeated.
I think of the moment when the doctor said to Pete Frates, "I don't know how to tell this
to a 27-year old kid, but you have ALS." It's a death sentence. There isn't really even
a drug to slow it down. A person loses everything but their mind. They have to die a slow,
painful, horrific death. I hate to be morbid. But these are the facts
I realize the Ice Bucket challenge may grow old, which happens quite easily in our
A.D.D and social media driven world. But I hope it never goes away. I hope it shows
up on the Facebook newsfeed 1,000 times a day. I hope it continues to make people
open up their wallets and donate to the ALS foundation.
It is so good, so clean, so powerful, and right, so very right. How often have we've
been able to say that about anything these days?
Friday, August 22, 2014
He went to Boston College, was a big part of the sports program, and earned accolades and
respect for what he did for the Eagles. He also was diagnosed with ALC.
I'm not talking about Pete Frates, who has become the face of the crusade against ALS, but
rather Dick Kelly.
Kelly spent 22 years in the media relations department promoting student-athletes like Frates
and trying to put a shining light on the entire Boston College athletic program, In 2011, his
world went dark when he was diagnosed with ALS.
The long-time employee of Boston College died February 2014, just months before the
Ice Bucket challenge took social media by storm. Unless you lived in Boston, you probably
didn't hear of his death or his incredible and valiant fight about the insidious disease. There
wasn't an avalanche of videos storming the Internet, nor features on SportsCenter about
Kelly and his battle against ALS as he continued to work for BC until his final breaths on
It just doesn't seem right that Boston College has had to endure two members of its beloved
family being inflicted with the disease concurrently. It's mind-boggling and downright unfair.
Oh, I now there's nothing fair about this world. The parents of those killed in the Newtown
massacre will tell you the same thing. So will those who've had to watch their little children
succumb to cancer.
The Ice Bucket challenge and the courage of Frates has helped do what couldn't be done
before and that's bring ALS to the forefront of society. There were millions of victims like
Kelly and New Orleans Saints football player Steve Gleason who tried to capture America's
undivided attention about how harsh ALS is without great success. Curt Schilling
has been waging a war against the disease for nearly 20 years, donating as much as a million
dollars of his own money for research and awareness. It still didn't make a dent in our
Pete Frates and the Ice Bucket challenge certainly has and that's a beautiful thing. The
wave of momentum against ALS doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon. To see most
of the country on board to not only to raise money and awareness, but honor the victims
of the disease is really, really touching and refreshing. The glut of negative news about
St. Louis, the decapitation of an American journalist, and our economy, can wear everybody
down. This ALS fight is so good and so right.
But as Frates continues his crusade on the national stage to bring awareness to the disease
and America's infatuation with posting videos of the Ice Bucket challenge, please remember
those like Kelly and millions of others who suffered greatly in the shadows far away from
the media spotlight. Please remember all those caretakers, family members, and volunteers
who not only saw the effects of the disease up, close, and personal, but tried to raise money
for research and awareness.
For every Curt Schilling, there are thousands like Phil Gormley who work relentlessly in
a battle of a disease that is undefeated. Gormley, a childhood friend of mine, worked
tirelessly to raise money for research and the care that his sister, Claire, who lost her
fight against the disease several years ago. I was in awe of his dedication, passion, and
commitment. There are thousands of people like Gormley fighting the good fight without
getting any type of recognition.
As the fight against ALS continues with the Ice Bucket challenge as one of its biggest
weapons, please remember all those like Dick Kelly and so many others who fought
valiantly against a disease that never loses.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Impossible is nothing.
Joe Moglia proved that when he was named head football coach of Coastal Carolina at
the age of 62. He had built TD Ameritrade into a multi-billion dollar company and then
walked away to re-capture his dream of being a college football coach. In three years
at Coastal Carolina, the the team has compiled a 20-8 record. Imagine that, somebody
took a chance on a man in his 60's who believed he had the formula to make a college
At 50-years old, I'm looking to recapture my dream of being a sports anchor. I worked
in the business for 17 years, making stops at such places as Fox Sports Net, NESN, and
MLB.com. I had many great opportunities in the business including the beat covering
the New England Patriots on a daily basis.
Sportscasting is my passion. I took the same work ethic that earned me a baseball
scholarship to UNC and landed me a free-agent contract with the Boston Red Sox
organization, into the field of broadcasting. As those who worked with me can attest,
I'm creative and often think outside the box. I am also good at working under pressure.
Long before the Ice Bucket challenge became a phenomenon, I took a celebration
show with Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays.
That beer was cold enough to cause a serious brain freeze but I somehow managed to keep
my thoughts in-sync with my mouth. During my career in television I found ways to make
something out of nothing. While covering the Patriots, there were some dry days when the
players didn't feel much like talking so I did a piece about those bad haircuts the rookies get
in training camp.
I loved my job and was passionate about it not only every single day, but every single
show and feature I produced. I had the same all-out, all-the-time attitude whether I was
making $18,000 in Erie, Pa. or six figures for Fox Sports Net in Atlanta. I never considered
it a job, but a love. I vowed to never be outworked or outhustled. Sure, I got beat on a
story, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. You can't win them all, but you sure as heck can
be happy and love your job no matter where you are. Don't believe me? Check this out.
Ok, so I'm not a great dancer, but I do know sports and how to tell a story. Did you every
wonder what it's like to be Tom Brady? I told that story a few years ago while covering the
One more thing I bring to the table that may set me apart from other candidates, is that
I've been on the silver screen standing side-by-side with Kevin Costner before he gave me
the tip of lifetime. "Charlie, here comes the deuce, and when you speak of me, speak well."
I am an athlete through and through. I played baseball at UNC and in the Red Sox organization
before covering sports for the last 17 years. And I haven't stopped. I'm a triathlete who recently
completed the Ironman in Lake Placid.
I'm a lot like Joe Moglia: driven, passionate, hard-working, and driven. He recaptured his
dream. I fully intend to do the same. E-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
A baseball man.
We heard that phrase pinned to Don Zimmer after he died in 2014. Zimmer, a
long-time bench coach for Joe Torre, was in baseball for a long, long time. 65 years
to be exact. Zimmer was a player, coach, manager, and consultant for many
different teams during his marathon career in professional baseball.
Howard McCullough is a "baseball man" through and through. He might not have
reached the heights of Zimmer, but his impact on the game and the people in and
around it, is just as significant.
McCullough has been a scout in professional baseball for almost 30 years, but
his contribution to the game spans a lot longer than that. He was a catcher at
East Carolina before becoming a highly-respected pitching coach at UNC in the
"Coach Mac", as he's still affectionately known as to those who played for him in
Chapel Hill, grew up and went to high school in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
However, if he told us that he was from Mayberry and was best friends with Opie,
we would've believed him, no questions asked. He was, as our scrap iron second
basemen Mike Jedziniak, liked to say, "a Southern dude."
Coach Mac was really mature for his age but he certainly didn't move like someone
who hadn't even reached 30-years old yet. If he went out to the mound to talk to one
of his pitchers on a Monday night, he wouldn't get back to the dugout until sometime
early Tuesday morning. When he paused to put a wad of Red Man tobacco in his
mouth, the entire team could shower, change, and head for the training table by
the time he was done.
But Mac was loved and respected by everyone who played for him. You could
scout the country much like Coach Mac does today, and you'll never find a person
who says one bad thing about him. Ever.
The players on our team put the "North" in North Carolina baseball. All but a handful
of players on the team were from states far above the Mason-Dixon Line. New York,
New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts flooded the roster in the program and
most of the players came with brash attitudes, with a lot of cockiness that bordered
on arrogance. We talked fast, weren't afraid of much, and acted like we had
everything figured. We didn't, but Mac surely did.
It seemed like he started every sentence with "I reckon" or "Well, shug" or "Son", the
last of which you really didn't want to hear because you knew that Mac knew that you
really screwed up. Everyone wanted to get things done in New York City minute, but
there was Mac taking his time, all slow and methodical. In a baseball program that was
pretty damn crazy at times, Mac was always the steady and calm force who could
extinguish any mutiny on the ship in a hurry. He gave great advice and treated all
the players the same, whether you were a top recruit or a walk-on just trying to get
out of their own way.
Coach Mac left the program far sooner than any of the players wanted him to. He
was one of the people that made the North Carolina baseball program so special and
great. Coach Mac is a salt-of-the-earth type of person who we all wanted to be around
not only for his baseball knowledge, but for all his stories. We were all kids from
the North who had never been around a guy like Mac who talked slow, moved
even slower, and told great stories with a unique southern accent.
After a long and hard days work in the blistering North Carolina sun, Mac would
always find time to play with his young son, a bundle of exuberance, a great head of
blonde hair, and an even better nickname. He was known as "Clayton the Ram". It was
never just Clayton, but "Clayton the Ram."
Mac went on to scout for the Boston Red Sox for 10 years and then to the Arizona
Diamonbacks, and Seattle Mariners where he's still employed today. He's been awarded
several honors, including Major League Baseball Scout of the Year. He's very talented, but
I'm sure he received the award in part because he is so well-liked and respected by everybody
in the game. And perhaps, a small part of the award went to him because all of his
Legend has it that when Josh Hamilton was a phenom in North Carolina, McCullough
had been asked by his supervisors to track pretty much his every move leading up to
the draft. Coach Mac was scouting a game in which Hamilton got the start on the
mound. Hamilton was a man among boys, blessed with lightning in his left arm and
thunder in his bat.
Hamilton was scheduled to pitch the day Coach Mac was scouting him and his
advisers told him to call back to Phoenix with a report after every inning. In the
top of the first, Hamilton struck out the side and Coach Mac scurried to get out of
earshot of his fellow scouts and phoned his bosses. "This boy struck out the side.
His last three pitches were 93, 93, and 95 miles per hour." Mac then paused and
said he had to hurry back to his seat behind the backstop to see Hamilton, who
was hitting third in the line-up, hit.
Hamilton gets up and hits a 450-foot tape measure shot deep into the pine trees
over the right-field fence. Coach Mac rose quickly from his chair and called his
boss in Arizona before Hamilton touched home plate.
"Well, I think this kid is legit. He throws 95 miles an hour and just hit a bomb
over these dang pine trees in right field."
His bosses quickly asked Coach Mac which professional player Hamilton had
reminded him of.
"Well, I don't know," responded Coach Mac, "I've never seen anyone like him."
Bosses: "There has to be some player. Albert Pujols. Barry Bonds...who is he like?"
Coach Mac paused, "Well, heck, I don't know, Babe Ruth, maybe."
Anyone who knows Coach Mac, knows that is him to a tee. Beautiful.
Coach Mac has stayed around the game long enough to see his son, "Clayton the Ram"
become a manager in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. I see pictures of Clayton now
and I see Coach Mac nearly 30 years ago coaching us in Chapel Hill. Awesome.
Coach Mac is awesome. He hit a grand slam by marrying his wife Eva, who was
liked by the North Carolina family as much as Coach Mac.
They are beautiful people and who make you thankful they crossed your path in life.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
In the land of a billion selfies, Tom Hanny might just be the king of them. No, he doesn't take
selfies in a car at a stop light or in a parking lot or just because he has nothing better to do than
snap a mundane photo like the thousands of ones we see on Facebook every single day. (Yes,
the new haircut in your selfie looks really nice, by the way.)
Nope, Hanny takes the selfie to a whole different level. He dropped the kid's stuff a long, long
time ago and went for the spectacular and the ones you could only dream of posting on Twitter,
Facebook, Instgram, and texting to the hottest girl on the planet. His stuff is amazing.
Hanny's background, naturally, is in photography and video production. His resume includesstops at Fox Sports Net, NFL.com, and the Arizona Cardinals where he was the executive
producer and director of broadcasting. As former NBA Tim Hardaway used to say,
"He's got skills". Hanny has a great eye, is meticulous, creative, and thinks outside the box.
Way, way, way outside the box.
are hispassion. Stand-up paddleboard, wind-surfing, or just plain surfing, Hanny is at home
in the water. I've often told him that his home should be as the host of an adventure show on
one of those outdoor channels He just looks the part.
Hanny has been living in Seattle for sometime and certainly has taken advantage of what the
Emerald City and Great Northwest has to offer. His pictures are both stunning and just
flat-out cool. I've joked with him the only reason I stay on Facebook is to see his pictures
and what is coming next.
Even his pictures with his bulldog are cool. Like most of us, Hanny is a dog-lover and borderline
obsessed. OK, I'll be honest. I sometimes think he's just a little more than obsessed with his
dog. But all his pictures on are amazing and memorable.
Hanny uses a Go-Pro camera for his selfies. Oh, sure, anybody can buy one at a camera
shop or purchase one on-line, but they don't know have a clue on how to use them. Hanny
is a master of it. I love action shots but there are very few people who can take them like
Hanny can, especially when he is the subject.
In the water, under the water, or with the water engulfing him, Hanny always seems to get that
"money shot", you know, the one that makes you look, stare, and wish that it was you that
everybody is looking at.
Awesome, simply awesome. How do you like your selfies now?