Posts Tagged ‘football’
On Friday, August 31st my neighbor Jeff and I went to Charlotte to a breakfast at the Weston hotel to hear my friend, Coach Joe Gibbs speak about his new book hot off the press: Game Plan For Life, co-authored by Jerry Jenkins.
I’d say there was a pretty good turn-out. Over 1200 people, to be exact! We sat at the table next to Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. There were several former NFL players there and some NASCAR folks too. Joe was introduced by his son J.D. who is now the President of Joe Gibbs Racing.
Joe always has a great sense of humor and some wonderful stories from hisdays on the gridiron.
So here’s a guy who was a physical education major from San Diego State University. He goes on to be offensive line coach at four major colleges before moving up to the National Football League. For seventeen years, he served as assistant coach to the St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the San Diego Chargers before getting the call to become the newfor the Washington Redskins.
In spite of losing his first five games with the Redskins, Joe went on to lead the team for 12 seasons and led them to eight playoff appearances, four NFC titles, and three Super Bowl titles.
In 1996, Gibbs was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. He was one of the winningest coaches in NFL history, at that time having a record of 124 wins and 60 losses, and a post-season record of 16 wins and five losses.
If that were not enough, upon retiring (the first time) from the Redskins, in 1992 Joeed his full attention to his NASCAR race teams and now boasts three Nascar titles. Driver Bobby Labonte holds one title and Tony Stewart won two championships. And this season is looking strong with his newest drivers, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Bush and Joey Logano. Joey is the youngest driver in Sprint Cup history to win a race at just 19 years old.
So it is certainly an honor and a privilege to know Joe and his wife Pat personally. I first met Joe when the Lake Norman Young Life area was birthed, splitting off of the Charlotte area eleven years ago. My wife and I were honored to chair the adult leadership committee of this non-profit high school youth organzation – younglife.org. We often held our monthly meeting at the Gibbs home where Joe would be walking around with one of the grand babies on his shoulder with a burp cloth. Joes’ son J.D. and wife Melissa joined the committee and also continue to actively support Young Life.
So Joe has been on this grueling whirlwind tour promoting his new book, Game Plan for Life for about a month now. His fierceand that are reminiscent of his coaching days is apparent as he travels the country getting the word out.
How did this book get started? Thanks for asking. He commissioned a study that essentially asked the question, What are the key topics that will lead people to a “ful” life?
He put together an amazing list of Christian men (Josh McDowell, Chuck Colson, Ron Blue and many others) to write on a variety of topics, which is woven together by Joe’s personal testimony. He will also be interviewing for video all of these authors (each committed to do four hours of interviews with Coach Gibbs over the next year). Gibbs considers this his legacy work.
The foreword is aptly written by former Indianapolis ColtsTony Dungy who has also won a Super Bowl.
The book is interwoven with many fascinating stories from Joe’s colorful career and abruptly begins with the shooting death of Redskins player Sean Taylor.
, a best-selling author famous for his non-fictional and biographical writing, has written a new book tackling a very difficult issue in the world today. His main topic in his new book “ : The Odyssey of ”, is the epic rise and fall of star . However, the there is so much more to the book than an extraordinary . The author talks in-depth about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the life of a soldier from start to finish, and politics of the world for approximately the last 30 years. Krakauer has obviously done his homework while writing this book the result is a second-to-none, non-fictional account of an exceptional person.
Pat Tillman was a very active young boy with his brother Kevin while they were growing up in California. Both were athletic and aggressive and always outside playing. Kevin eventually went on to play minor league baseball which never amounted to much while Pat went on to have a greatcareer in college and the pros. Tillman played at Arizona State University where he gained much attention as an undersized but extremely aggressive defender. Eventually, his fearless attitude and reckless demeanor on the field caught the attention of scouts and after his senior year he joined with the Arizona Cardinals. No one even expected him to make the team due to his small stature.
Tillman showed up in a big way during training camp, starting a few practice games at safety, and eventually earning a spot in the starting defensive lineup. Every year he seemed to get better as he was hitting running backs and receivers with all he had and gaining recognition as one of the best safeties in the NFL. While he kept getting better and working harder in the NFL though, there were other issues that were going on in the world that were weighing heavily on Pat’s mind. Specifically, the United States had just gone to war with Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11 and the United States was very uneasy and angry at the Taliban and other extremist groups.
Tillman was so moved by the attacks on American soil and the decision to hunt down the Taliban that he decided to drop his illustrious NFL career and join the Army Rangers. Pat was due to receive a massive pay raise in the NFL and had just married his wife, but there was a burning desire in him to do what he though was right, and that was to go overseas and fight for his country. Also, he was not going alone. Pat recruited his brother Kevin to join him. Kevin easily dropped his minor league baseball career and joined the same Army Ranger class as his brother allowing them to serve together for their entire time in the Army.
The Army was not what Pat and Kevin had expected when they left their family and friends back in California to fight for their country. What they found was a bunch of immature, annoying kids who had no other prospects in life except to join the Army so they could have a paycheck. The Tillman brothers, along with some other older gentlemen in their class, were constantly telling the young guys to quiet down and act their age. Even though they were always annoyed by the immaturity around them, they always thought about the prospect of going into battle and knowing what it is like to fight for your own life while trying to take someone else’s life from them. This idea really excited Pat and Kevin and kept them going the whole time. Also, Pat knew that his loving wife was waiting for him at home, and every night Pat would write in his journal how he missed his wife and her undying love for him. Pat wanted nothing more than to return home to her and live the life he should not have left behind.
One of Krakauer’s main points in this book is how the government uses military information and manipulates it for their own good. For example, Krakauer talks in depth about the Jessica Lynch case in Iraq. Lynch supposedly was trapped in an Iraqi hospital fighting for her life and being tortured by the Iraqi forces, but this was not the case at all. This idea of Lynch fighting for her life was fabricated by high-ranking government official directly under the command of George Bush. If Bush and his officials could use Lynch to their advantage and make her look like an admirable American who somehow survived the worst conditions possible, the rest of the American public would build morale and support the war and the Bush Administration more.
Krakauer uses the Jessica Lynch example as a building block to the death of Pat Tillman. Pat and his brother Kevin were driving in a convoy of military vehicles in a hostile part of Afghanistan when one of their Humvee vehicles broke down and needed a tow truck. The Army has a policy where a military vehicle can never be left behind where the enemy can capture it, so the men had to sit around and figure out how to get the vehicle out of enemy territory. Eventually, commanders of Pat’s group demanded that the group split into two smaller groups, leaving both of them vulnerable, so the truck could be brought to a main road and a small town nearby could also be cleared of Taliban fighters by sundown. Everyone in Pat’s group thought this was a bad idea, but had to continue since they cannot disobey orders from people ranking higher than them selves.
The decision to break the group up proved to be ill-fated very quickly. Pat’s group was quickly amed by Taliban forces shooting from higher ground, causing pure chaos among the young and inexperienced group of Rangers. The Rangers mostly left their vehicles as taught in training and Tillman and another soldier ran to higher ground to get a better angle on the action. Radio communication was non-existent since everyone was trying to talk and yell at once. Many of the soldiers started firing upward blindly and were said to be “trigger-happy”. One of the younger soldiers in charge of an automatic gun mounted on one of the vehicles started shooting upward in Pat’s direction causing him to panic and wave his arms. What happened next is one of the most controversial events from the war with Afghanistan and still is secretive until this day.
While Pat Tillman and his fellow Ranger were hiding on the hilltop behind a small boulder, waving their arms frantically for the other Rangers to stop shooting at them, Tillman was struck three times in the head above his eyebrow. There was no doubt that he died instantly, and all of the Rangers had to decide what to do with his body. They decided not to tell his brother, Kevin, and leave him in the dark about the mysterious body being brought down from the hilltop well within Kevin’s view. Only much later did Kevin and Pat’s remaining family find out that Pat was killed by friendly fire. Needless to say, Pat’s family was beyond angry. Not only was he killed by friendly fire, he was not treated according to standard Army protocol. His clothes were burned before his autopsy to hide evidence, and his autopsy was never signed-off on due to mysterious clues that the medical examiner cited and disagreed with. Despite all of the mistreatment of the American hero that was Pat Tillman, Bush and his fellow administrators saw an excellent opportunity to make another fine example out of Pat Tillman, exactly like Jessica Lynch in Iraq.
Tillman’s funeral and burial were shown on every major news station, even ESPN. Nothing about his mistreatment and death by friendly-fire were mentioned or made clear, leading on the American public that Tillman died by the hands of a Taliban soldier. Investigations were being carried out by the Army and monitored by the Tillman family, but high-ranking military officials were lying to everyone just so they could save their jobs and reputations. The soldiers responsible for actually killing Pat said that they were just doing their job and never once said that they might have been a little trigger-happy. The worst part is, most of these soldiers and commanders who lied received little or no reprimand except a possible demotion from the Army Rangers to the general Army. Pat’s mom and brother continued to press the Army to come up with answers and admit to the wrongdoing over the past several years, but still there has not been much responsibility taken by anyone in the Army.
Pat Tillman will go down in history as a model American. There are not many people in this world who would give up over three million dollars to go fight for his/her life in a country such as Afghanistan. Not only did Pat give up so much money, but he gave up valuable time with his beloved wife, friends, and family. Now, instead of remembering him for the brave soldier, amazingplayer, good friend, and loving husband he was, they will also have to bear with the fact that he should still be alive and there is a huge gray cloud overshadowing the last days of his life. Krakauer has done an excellent job portraying Pat Tillman as a legend of our time, but as a human being as well. His insight into Tillman’s private life, his personal journals, and memories from Pat’s friends and family give a perfect picture of how Pat Tillman lived his life. This book, while long, is rated an easy 5 out of 5.
Many people knowas the head coach who took Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts to the in 2007. You may also know from watching him on television as an announcer and just from watching his mannerisms that he is a decent guy. But many of us have no idea about his upbringing and the people and experiences that made him who he is today. is a which was written after Dungy’s super bowl victory and one of the most impactful years of his life.
The book takes us through Tony’s life in chronological order, starting with his childhood and home life. Dungy had two straight-forward, moral parents. He mentions in his book how they instilled a sense of calmness in him and the difference between right and wrong. Dungy always says that when he is frustrated or wants to confront someone, he must think back to what his dad used to tell him, and figure out if yelling out will accomplish anything and actually make his situation better. You can tell from the beginning of the book that Dungy is, and always has been a family man.
As a teenager, Tony was an excellent athlete. He played varsity high school basketball and. As a tall, slender, muscular young man, he excelled in basketball and was actually a quarterback on the team. He was so good in fact that he went on to play at the University of Minnesota. Dungy played a solid four years for the Golden Gophers and thought that he had a solid chance of playing in the . One thing though, he did not have the typical build or college statistics of a NFL quarterback and would have to work his way onto a professional team the hard way. He was skeptical about getting drafted, and his suspicions proved to be right as he never received a call from a pro team. However, the Steelers eventually gave him a chance and signed him as a free agent to play in their defensive backfield.
Dungy made the most of his time at the Steelers organization. He felt comfortable in Pittsburg because the ownership was more like a family to him than just a boss. He made the team as a defensive back due to his smaller size and won aduring the short time he was there. Dungy happened to be playing for the very best team of that time and ended up with a ring during one of his three years as a player. Although he did play pro football, he knew his days in the NFL were limited and needed to think of another job he could perform once his playing days had ended. As an intelligent young man who had experience as both a quarterback and defensive back, he was in a unique position to become an excellent coach.
Tony held several coaching jobs for teams such as the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the NCAA, and the Pittsburg Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Minnesota Vikings in the NFL. Dungy knew all of the right people at the teams he used to play for and they accelerated him on his coaching career due to his diligence and character. His first head coaching job came after several years of being a coordinator and assistant coach. The Glazers, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, hired him as their head coach. The Glazers and Dungy had a great relationship throughout his entire career in Tampa Bay. They fully supported him and his straight-forward ideas about running a complete football team. Dungy ended up bringing his team to thechampionships several years in a row, but could never quite reach the biggest game. The Glazers therefore decided to release Coach Dungy. Not only did he get fired, but his coaching staff did as well. This is what bothered Tony the most; he had a feeling that he could find another job in the NFL, but he had an awful time knowing his assistant coaches, hand-picked by Coach Dungy himself, may not have such a future.
Not long after being fired from the Buccaneers’ organization and not know what God had planned for him, Coach Dungy returned home one day to find a message from the owner of the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts owner told him that he recently fired his coach, and knew that Tony would be the perfect fit for the head coaching job in Indianapolis. Tony and his new boss would develop a football team as part of the community, not just to win games. Tony’s ideas of morality, self-accountability, and family-first for his football players would work well in Indianapolis.
Coach Dungy inherited an exceptional offense in Indianapolis, lead by Peyton Manning. The defense needed work and confidence, but with Dungy’s help, they were quickly playing on a whole different level. The team started to make the playoffs every year where they usually encountered their rivals, the New England Patriots. The Patriots usually got the best of the Colts, but not in 2007. Dungy won nearly all of his regular season games, beat everyone in the playoffs, and then destroyed the Chicago Bears in the NFL Super Bowl. Coach Dungy became the first African American head coach to win the Super Bowl, and instantly knew he had to apply his knowledge and fame to make the world a better place. Dungy knew that as a successful black man with such an important title and a world championship to his name, he could make an impact.
has always been an extremely busy man, working seven days a week, usually with only a few hours sleep. However, he always has found the time to do charitable work. This includes church work, starting charitable organizations with his wife, Lauren, and running All Pro Dad. This organization focuses on making fathers all across the nation into better people, and to teach these men to be there for their kids. The concept is simple, yet profoundly important. Imagine how many kids in this world do not know who their fathers are and how they do not have a male presence in their life. All Pro Dad teaches fathers and even male figures to be role models to the younger people in the world.
While Coach Dungy has shown himself to be a great man and a noble person, it is what he does behind the scenes that truly makes him great; he puts his family first and always makes them his number one priority. Not only do Tony and Laura have numerous kids of their own, they have started to adopt. Since they are in such a fortunate position in the world and financially well-off, they have made better lives for black orphan children. Anyone who has children knows that they can be a blessing, but difficult at times. Often in life children can bring incredible happiness, but also sad moments as well. The first child Tony and Laura adopted is missing a critical gene which would allow him to feel pain. Since the child cannot feel pain, his parents must watch the child at all times to make sure he is not doing anything which may unknowingly harm him.
Most of Coach Dungy’s book is uplifting and has a positive vibe, but there is a part of the book which takes the reader by surprise. During Dungy’s 2007 championship season, he received a call in the middle of the night. Everyone knows that middle of the night calls are never good, and this call was heart breaking; Coach Dungy’s son, Jamie, had committed suicide. Dungy says repeatedly that he will never know what caused Jamie to take his own life, but he knows that Jamie had placed God first in his life and is undoubtedly in Heaven now. It is very sad to read about terrible things that happen to such great people, but Dungy put a positive spin on the situation. He said that Jamie blessed their lives for eighteen years and he should be remembered for all the joy he brought. Jamie never had an enemy and made friends very easily. From what Tony Dungy wrote about Jamie, it is very clear that Jamie was just as good of a person as his father.
After reading Coach Dungy’s, one thing is evident: Coach Dungy lives his life for God. Life will put you through the highest of high moments and the lowest of lows. The thing that makes us all different and special is how we react to these situations. Dungy has learned to persevere through the tough spots in life and to stay modest through the championship-caliber moments. Tony Dungy is a role-model for everyone and we all can learn a positive lesson from reading his book. This book is rated 5 out of 5.
I hadn’t watched agame in four years but last Sunday I was inspired to watch the and was amazed when I felt into the energy of this American championship game. From the perspective of art, watching how plays unfold and the amazing skill of some of the players can be beautiful and inspiring. On the other hand, it also carries the energy of battle big time. There is a front line that literally smashes into each other on every play with brute force. This grueling aspect of the game usually gets completely overlooked and for good reason-the game itself is a huge source of energy feeding. Let me explain.
All of us have within us bothand characteristics but if you’re male, your masculine nature is usually dominant and if you’re female, the is usually dominant, although this isn’t necessarily true because in terms of creating, it has been the masculine energy that has been dominant. In other words, even though women have come a long way in the last 50+ years in terms of freedom of expression and equality, they gained this status through using the masculine way of creating-struggle.
In terms of our ability to create, the masculine energy is actually a supportive energy. The feminine energy actually does the creating, and she gives birth to hers by simply allowing them to manifest through trust and grace. Before taking physical form our energy was primarily feminine and it was this energy that created this world through the use of our imagination. However, for various reasons the feminine surrendered her creator role (creating through trust and allowing) to the masculine, even though he didn’t really want it, but out of compassion he accepted that role.
The masculine though, did not understand how the feminine energy worked and all he could do was what he knew how to do, which was to support through taking action rather than just allowing. This is why duality became the place forto occur through struggle, or the push/pull of energy, which allowed for evolution. It’s also how the mind became the dominant force in our lives, because it represents the masculine energy.
Once the masculine energy had taken over and used the creator position to bring forth new creations through struggle and literally battling, it became addicted to the energy and power that battling holds. This is why God was seen even in early Biblical times as a male warrior who was in battle with the devil. Because males (and some females) have always resonated with this, there’s never been a shortage of fighters when it comes to going to war. The feeling of honor and nobility far outweighs the risk of being attacked or killed.
Meanwhile, historically some males have carried a more dominant feminine energy. These individuals have been prone to give birth to new creations through expressions that were typically associated with the feminine, such as dance, but such individuals have always been a threat to the masculine dominated power of authority because they needed strong men who they could control and who were willing to battle, not act like women, which made them of no use to their male-oriented lifestyle of power and control. For this reason, there has always been an attempt to snuff these individuals out, dating back to early Biblical times, led primarily by religious authorities.
In the New Energy available today, we are beginning to shift away from duality, which means the male dominated masculine energy of battling no longer serves this world. It has its place, just not as the dominant force. The feminine energy represents grace. There is nothing that needs to be proven because all are worthy. Nor is there a need to battle. That way of creating is actually not very effective in the long run. Yes, we have evolved historically in amazing ways thanks to the masculine energy of struggle, but since the masculine is mind-dominated, it lives in the past or future, so whenever a new creation is birthed in order to solve a problem, it’s never good enough. Because the process of creation involves pushing on energy, it pushes back and when it does it brings with it a new set of problems, causing the need for more struggle to solve these new problems, and this is how we’ve always been creating from the beginning.
This pushing back can be seen in the game of football. One side is attempting to get to the man with the ball and the other side is doing everything they can to stop these attackers from succeeding. Meanwhile, the quarterback (who has the ball) attempts to move that ball the length of a 100-yard grass field, whether by running it or passing it to someone else. When on occasion should either side succeed at their job, this excites all the spectators who are rooting for them because it shows strength, agility and athleticism-but mostly because it represents the energy of battle that all involved in the game, whether playing it or not, absolutely love and feed on. Never mind that during the game players get hurt all the time, and some of the injuries can be bad enough to end their career as a football player.
The irony is that this is a sport that involves lots of contact between males. Grown men touch, grope at, wrap their arms around and even tackle other men, and this is totally acceptable because it’s all in the name of battle and energy feeding. If at anytime one of these men expressed a sexual intent towards another, they would instantly become an outcast. The game itself then is a clear example of the masculine, mind-dominated energy, where certain behavior is allowed and used to feel safe and accepted, but anything outside of the rules is feared and even scorned.
Take a look at the recent accusations seen in the media by former players towards one of their coaches. Not that such behavior is appropriate-not at all. What I’m addressing here is the attitude that certain sexual preferences are okay while others are forbidden, and why? Because they threaten the entire identity the masculine dominated energy has created for itself, where anyone who is seen as different is feared and therefore ridiculed, and in a game such as football, the entire consciousness supports this, leaving no room whatsoever for anything that threatens it. In fact, in this consciousness sex is seen as quite healthy, even promoted, as long as it involves a man and a woman-just don’t dare to cross the line.
This continual need to battle, not just in order to create a solution to a problem, but also to eliminate anything seen as an enemy, no longer serves us. There is a much more efficient way to create and there are no enemies, only aspects of ourselves that we fear and thus deny. In the New Energy, when such fear shows up, the only solution that works is to embrace and allow it, because this allows it to come into balance. This is the masculine energy-the energy of compassion. It is an energy that provides a safe space for the feminine to be free to laugh, sing and be herself, letting go of all worries, fears, and doubts.
Likewise, New Energy creation involves allowing for grace through absolute trust in the now moment. This is the feminine energy. When she feels safe (thanks to the compassionate energy of the masculine), she can then begin to trust herself that it’s okay to express herself in whatever way she feels. Such trust of the feminine, combined with the safe space of the masculine, brings a person into wholeness. When they are radiating this energy of being complete from within, this creates the energy of the magician that lives within all of us that is capable of bringing to us everything we need without having to work hard to earn it.
The magician is actually the divine, because the divine is the combination of the masculine and feminine. When they become balanced within, you are literally allowing yourself to become a manifestation of the divine energy. In the New Energy, this is called the melding of the divine with the human and it is a process that is now taking place within humanity on one level or another across the board.
Of course, within the current mass consciousness we have no belief in creating without hard work, and we certainly don’t believe that embracing something we don’t want is the solution to getting rid of it, but both of these are viable solutions to so many of the challenges humanity faces at this time. In other words, balancing the masculine and feminine energies within us is the solution we’ve been seeking.
As you can imagine, this idea doesn’t sit too well with those who are heavily masculine dominant because it threatens the image they have of themselves, which is what they’ve been relying on to be accepted and feel safe. But, if we are to release the backlash that always comes from pushing on energy, where just when we thought we were getting one problem under control another one shows us, balancing the masculine and feminine energies within us is the only solution.
By the way, this need for balance also applies to some gays and lesbians who tend to defend their image as being homosexual through battling, which means that within them the masculine and feminine is still out of balance. The energies of battle and struggle themselves are no longer necessary when compassion and trust come together within.
It may be several years before the majority of us reach a point in which we are capable of creating through grace and allowing, and willing to bring painful emotions into balance through acceptance, but this is where we are headed in the New Energy.
The Rookie, by Scott Sigler was recommended to me by a friend as being “wildly,” and indeed, it is. I’m generally not into sports books (or movies), but this one is different. Right away, I was drawn into the world and various storylines that Sigler creates. I enjoyed not only the uniqueness of this book, but the creativity and originality as well.
The idea of playing700 years in the future seems absurd, but Sigler really scores with this one. The plot goes well beyond or any sports for that matter. From the get-go, we’re not even on earth, but a planet that was colonized by a group of “purist” humans who abandoned earth long ago. They are self-righteous and, as it turns out, quite racist against other “sub-races,” which mean anything not human.
Our main character, Quentin Barnes, is a young orphan wannabe football player who is one day discovered by the people who can get him into the big leagues. From there he becomes ain the high-stakes world of professional sports. With smarts and natural ability, he’s quickly noticed, and after being sold to another team, finds himself a level higher in the whole football league. Suddenly he’s on the playing field with other races and beings, each with unique physical and mental abilities and styles of playing. All of this is totally new to him. As we go along, Quentin comes face to face with his beliefs, his racism, his arrogance, and learns to lead a team that is mostly non-human.
In very multifaceted ways, Sigler not only creates a“ football league,” complete with the teams, coaches, and owners, but alien races and societies with amazing and well thought-out complexity. These differing beings have their own unique cultures, history and ways of perceiving things. As a reader, you become totally immersed in these worlds where the political power plays and strong-arm manipulative nature of big money and big business very much mimic the way we do things now on earth.
This book is also a huge social commentary on some of the problems that exist on earth today, from racism to tensions between differing religious beliefs and attitudes. As we near the end of the story, we end up back on earth and see how it’s changed, how it’s now rules by another race and how it has become a hotspot of terrorist activities.
I find it almost strange to say this, but I actually highly recommend this “out of this world” book. You may read it only as a distraction and to put yourself in a fictitious fantasy world, but one so meticulously described and, you’ll want to believe it.