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Stop Saying “Old School”

When I hear the term “old school” or “throwback” I want to wince and resist the urge to projectile vomit.   When I hear those terms it is usually said by somebody who didn’t live in the era they are referring to. If they see a player wearing their socks really high or baggy that is called, old school.   Usually, “old school” is a moniker placed on individual who isn’t flashy and not trashy. Old school and throwbacks might be considered boring because they use the tired clichés during interviews. They are considered team players.   Throwback players are tough and don’t reveal their injuries. Throwback guys and gals can play multiple positions and don’t wear gloves for every task on the field. Old school is playing with an injury and diving for a ball near the end of a game. Old school is running every play out, even a dribbler to the pitcher.

Can you see my point? Why are there such terms? Why do we need to label somebody something that is just not required? Why not call them hard workers, no nonsense types, team players and respectful. Since when are traditional values, old school? What is new school, not hard work, short cuts, boastful, lazy, slackers, followers, and crybabies, thick in the head?

I watched the Forty Niners play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The first round draft for the Panthers is Christian McCaffrey, a multipurpose player. At Stanford he played running back, punt and kickoff returner.   In the game, he played the same positions. Now that he is in the pro’s he gets called old school. Projectile vomit.   He is unique and multi-talented.   I can agree that few players can play all of those positions but not for lack of qualified players. The main reason you don’t see coaches uses their players for multiple duty is because of injury risk. McCaffrey is talented, not a just a throwback.   Reggie Bush, the great USC running back could play the same positions and did also in the pros.   Sadly, Bush has been besieged by injuries.

Not all things were so great in the old days of sports so when the terms start getting thrown around, see if the announcer clarifies his position. “Look at Joe Blow, he hustles on every play, he is old school.” I want to reach through the television screen and strangle the moron. The reason people want to use the old school label is because they see a player who is not carbon copy of every other player. Maybe they give a damn about character and moral than the next guy.   Substance over style?   What I do know that the floods of money in professional sports makes almost every player a slave to the dollar. They cannot be as risk adverse so everybody starts to act and look the same. I am not sure when the stupid terms will go away, probably never because times have changed. It’s a shame we have use labels to make us recognize what is not really unique at all.

The Best Athlete in the World Part 1

Who is the best athlete in the world? What are the metrics is second question one must ask.  CrossFit games, Tough Mudder, the Decathlon, the Highland Games and the list goes on for events that have their own version of who is the best athlete.   The first thing to look at is to separate all of the contest and come to an agreement on the criteria.

Let’s say we start with basic categories; Speed, endurance, strength, power and hand eye coordination. Then you might want to add flexibility, stamina, balance, quickness and skill. Read More →

Jack Lalanne, Where are You?

We are confronted by the all experts telling us we need to do this and eat this and to stay fit and live a long and happy life.   Choices and more choices and decisions and more confusion.   I heard on the radio today a doctor telling me his secret to working out.  He is saying you should work out with a friend for encouragement.  You should also change up your exercise routine every so often to keep it fresh.  It goes on and on.  It doesn’t stick in my head because it all becomes just noise after all these years.

I am no doctor, or physical trainer, professional athlete but I have been exercising for my whole life.  I have also had stretches where I have done no exercise except maybe push a lawn mower which I considered  physical exercise.   Does going to the grocery store count?  I know it does on my Fitbit.  I have tried so many different routines and purchased a plethora of equipment that could outfit a gym.

I saw an advertisement for an exercise program for 8 minutes a day.  I have to laugh because there seems to be a race to who can come up with the shortest routine.  We are getting close to the five minute routine.  Just purchase the set of DVD’s for $49.99 and the dieting guide to own a killer body in two weeks.   It’s coming trust me, so is the one minute workout.

I have thought long and hard about this so called fitness noise.   If you are like most people you want to feel good, strong, and flexible and have good health.  Simple enough.  The real secret is that it doesn’t take hours of torture and ways to trick yourself into working out.  You can do fifteen minutes of old fashioned calisthenics like Jack Lalanne used to do every day on his television programs.   You don’t need to pump endless iron and an do an hour of the Daily Method.  If you like it then good for you.   If want to spends hours every week doing yoga in a hot room with dozens of other people, great for you.    But never try to convince that you need to do it to survive and be in good physical health.

I see ads for the ultimate torture type exercise program that will make you into a rock hard muscle machine.  Great,  do it.  But can you consistently do it for very long?   Probably not. Once you stop,  you have to get back on that program and start at the bottom rung again.   It’s like yo-yo dieting.   Best that you do a moderate to easy routine daily or every other day and keep it going.   The dividends will pay off higher in the long run.

You ever see those older Asian people doing Tai Chi in the park.   It looks simple right.  Well it’s supposed to be.   They are performing consistent movements with their body that keeps them strong and limber.  Look up Jack Lalanne and see what he has to offer.   It’s a beautiful thing to see the simplicity of his message.

Photo – latimesblogs.latimes.com

 

The Culture of Winning…and Losing

“One of the most basic factors in sports is that winning becomes a habit, and losing is the same way. When failure starts to feel normal in your life or your work or even your darkest vices, you won’t have to go looking for trouble, because trouble will find you. Count on it” Hunter S. Thompson Read More →

Speed, Where Art Thou?

You can’t help noticing the players on the field or court that are running around like their hair was on fire. Those are the energy guys, players that are the hustlers that don’t stop until they are removed from the game.   Those are the players whose bodies run a little hot and need to let loose on opposing players.  Can you imagine having a whole team of these types of players?   Two things would either happen, the team would implode from chaos or the opposing team would drop from exhaustion.   From a marketing standpoint it would put people in the seats but in all serious this experiment doesn’t usually work.

There is not a day gone by when athletic coach doesn’t talk about speed. The Italian physicist Galileo Galilei is credited with being the first to measure speed by considering the distance covered and the time it takes.  The opposite of speed is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its state of motion.  Speed will always be a go to strategy for all sports but can never be the means to all ends.   The slower teams will always try to slow things down and send the high energy teams into a spastic frenzy.   On the other side of the coin, the slower methodical teams will dictate game flow many times but will get exposed when high wire acts rattle their cages.   The best teams that can win championships are the ones that adapt to either style and can turn on the switch when needed.  You see this most often in the playoff rounds of sports when the winner dictates game flow.

Speed without precision and inertia is reckless and worthless. Show me player that is quick and skilled and you will see a player that is worthy of a lot of playing time.  It doesn’t matter if that player is 350 pounds, if he can outmaneuver his opponent with his speed then you will be looking at a highly desirable player.

In the NFL, you have the two minute offense and the hurry up offense.   There is a reason they only play it for two minutes or for limited plays.   In the world of football you can only ride your players so long before you wear them down.   There have been plenty of experiments in high school, college and football where accelerated play calling is used and has been successful.   Unfortunately is can only be sustained so long before that team either sustains too many injuries or they get out-strategized by superior talent.

In most team sports, the accelerated play mode gets used as much as the talent level allows them to.   If you have a team of gazelles why wouldn’t try to tire out the other team   It’s usually makes for a good contest when you see the gazelles playing against the methodical task masters.  In the NBA all the rage is the “Small Ball Offense” which pits your guards and smaller forwards against the teams with the big front court presence.    What is driving a lot of the older NBA player’s nuts is that you are seeing small guys against small guys.  They cry, “Where’s the Beef?”   Where are the dunks?  Why all the three point shots?   Owners are saying, “Why do I need to have all big guys on my team eating me out of house and home?”

In baseball, it’s hard to think of a baseball game being accelerated but there are plenty of teams in history that have utilized team speed as their biggest weapon. When teams don’t have the big home run hitters they have to rely on small ball. (Here is that term again)  Give me a team with guys that can steal bases on a regular basis and I will show you a team that scores runs.   Ricky Henderson the best base stealer of all time could steal bases so often that I consider him the best leadoff hitter of all time and one of the best players as well.

Lastly, when it comes to our mundane daily lives, we are always to avoid the resistance to our forward motion desires. Everybody wants speed.  When we are able to harness our speed and fly, great things happen.  Just try to use it wisely and not become the rabbit in Aesop’s fables.

The Great Divide…Athletes and the Public

When you give millions of dollars to a young athlete in the world of professional sports don’t feel shocked when you hear about them getting caught doing ridiculous activities.   Money, fame, idolization, special privileges are the age old recipe for a spiral down the hole of shame.  As much as all of this frivolity gets reported the more it keeps happening.   There is an endless amounts TMZ type reporting that is just waiting for these athletes to misstep so they can fill their pages with juicy slander.  The cycle stays in motion as long as there is new material to feed it.

I can’t imagine someone giving me a million dollars when I was young.   When you grow up in a situation where money was scarce and then all of the sudden you have a posse of friends, what do think could happen?   Then you have the opposite effect where kids that grew up with a lot of money and privilege.  That money and privilege could manifest into spoiled brat syndrome and the young person becomes an unleashed monster.  The team management has to send in their handlers to help reign in the malcontents before the situations implode into a quagmire.

I can understand the professional’s athletes need to shield themselves from the overzealous clamoring fan base and their attempt asks for their time.   Professional athletes are working in a high pressure situation in which most of them can be replaced very suddenly.  Injuries and a few subpar performances can send a lot of guys and girls packing.

Social media and the twenty four seven press has sent most of the professional athletes into hiding. Last thing an athlete wants is to be seen in a bar having a beer have his mug shot on Facebook.  These athletes also have endorsement deals that can’t have them shown in a bad light.   The endorsement money is thrown around in bunches and with it comes the expectation to represent the products with dignity.   The days of seeing your favorite athletes signing autographs at the shopping mall or a car lot are few and far between.

The more popular the athlete doesn’t mean that they get more news. The bad boys and girls will get more attention because of the gossipy nature of their lifestyle.  Young kids want to wear the clothes styles that some of these athletes are representing or wear their jersey.

Not all professional athletes feel they owe nothing to society and don’t care about being a role model.   The ones that do a lot of charity work and do wonderful things for their community rarely get mentioned.    As long as there is some player who gets pulled over for drunk driving the story to report a great deed will get the backseat.  It’s sad but it is no different than all of society, good news will get the five minute mention at the end of newscast.    Oh well, enjoy those five minutes of good news cause it’s all you are going to see.

 

 

 

Is God a Sports Fan?

God must be a sports fan. A lot of athletes seem to think the Almighty had a plan for their great play and victory.  Why would God pick one player over another?  Because God loves sports. Go with it please, don’t fight the urge to yell bad words at me.   But you say, “Why would God use his energies and great awesome powers to worry if one team beat another?”   The answer is fairly simple, God honors greatness and when a player has given their all, God rewards that type of action.  God wants that from all of us and wouldn’t that be the biggest lesson for all mankind? Read More →

2017…Step Up Your Game

Maybe 2017 can be the year everybody and everything is held accountable. Okay, that won’t happen but maybe you can hold yourself accountable and raise your game.   Since this is a sports themed blog let’s keep it in that perspective.  So take the activity and sport you have involvement in and raise the bar of your skill level.

Say you’re golfer, what are you going to do to shed a stroke or too?   If you are still shooting over 100 on the course then you certainly have a lot of room to improve.   It’s time to take a couple lessons, buy a club that actually complements s your swing or have your swing analyzed.    I personally can’t stand the fact that  one time I will have a great round then the wheels completely fall off the next time.   I reached the point where it bugs the hell out of me and start throwing clubs.   When you start throwing your sports equipment its time to hit the sports psychologist’s couch for some needed therapy. Read More →

Vince Scully and Other Old Guys that Rule

I am sure you have seen the “Old Guys Rule” shirts worn by middle aged gents who want you to know that they still have old man strength and they are not ready for the pasture yet.   In the world of professional sports, there are a lot of older athletes that are over 35.  There was a strong group of older guys that called it a career in 2016. They didn’t just have good to average careers but long and storied careers that will be hard to imagine anybody duplicating. Read More →

The Chicago Cubs, Trump and the Super Moon

What’s with 2016? Odds makers and all you prediction types appear to be having a bad year.  I am sure there were other times in history when the current events of the day were so erratic and whacked out that reading the daily newspaper was an exercise in futility.  The things you once took for granted are now being flipped on their head and people are left scratching themselves.  2017 looks like more of the same so hold onto those tarot cards and tea leaves.

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