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Waiting for the Weekend: O.J. Simpson – Trapped Between Two Worlds 1

Posted on July 21, 2017 by Dean Hybl
During the 1970s, O.J. Simpson was the best player in football, despite being relegated to Buffalo.

During the 1970s, O.J. Simpson was the best player in football, despite being relegated to Buffalo.

Typically, one of the great results of sports is in its ability to unite. Whether it be a team of players from different backgrounds coming together to create one cohesive unit or a group of fans with little more in common than their fondness for a team or player who come together to cheer, celebrate and agonize over the successes and failures of that chosen favorite.

As I join the rest of society in viewing the latest chapter in the nearly 50 year saga of former athlete O.J. Simpson, it seems clear that whether intended or not, instead of being someone that people unite around, O.J. has more often served as a divider.

Born and raised in the housing projects of the Potrero Hills section of San Francisco, Orenthal James Simpson joined a gang as a teenager and was incarcerated at least three times. His life could have very easily been one led quietly in jails and the neighborhoods of his hometown had he not possessed a number of characteristics that ultimately helped him rise above his potential path.

Regardless of whether it was a meeting with superstar Willie Mays or the encouragement he received around his own athletic ability, or a combination of factors, eventually Simpson moved off the path to destruction and became a standout high school athlete.

However, as this story from the 1973 book Power Football illustrates, even once Simpson moved onto a path with success as a potential end, he seemed to teeter on the edge.

A star athlete at Galileo High School, Simpson told writer Murray Chase about an incident that very nearly could have gotten him thrown off the junior varsity team.

Nor was it a bad beginning for a fellow who almost had his football career cut off before it started by coming within a lie of being thrown off the high school junior varsity football team.

On the day of a big game, Simpson and two teammates were spending some time shooting dice in the bathroom at school. They all crapped out, though, when Jack McBride, their coach, walked in and found them playing their little game. Many coaches in that situation would simply warn the players never to do that again and let them go. But McBride, in a move for which Simpson could later be thankful (even though he escaped punishment) took the boys to the dean’s office.

“When we went to the dean’s office,” Simpson recalled, “the other two guys, Joe Bell and Al Cowlings, walked in front of me. Coach McBride told the dean he caught us shooting dice in the rest room. He gave the dean the dice and left. When he did, the dean told me to close the door. So I started out and began to close the door from the outside, but the dean called, ‘Where are you going, O.J?’ So I said, “I wasn’t shooting craps. Coach just asked me to help him bring these guys down.’ Then the dean told me I could go and the other guys got suspended.”

The other two boys, one of whom (Cowlings) later became Simpson’s teammate at USC and Buffalo, couldn’t resent O.J.’s little ploy. “They thought it was pretty smart for me to think that quick,” Simpson said. “Al said there was nothing he could say about it. He said if I could get away with it, I deserved it.”

As we now very well know, Simpson has continued to live on that edge for his entire life.

After winning the Heisman Trophy at the University of Southern California in 1968, Simpson was relegated to the NFL’s equivalent of Siberia in Upstate, New York as a member of the Buffalo Bills. However, even though he struggled over the first three years of his career and some thought he might end up being an NFL bust, he still managed to catch the eye of television and advertising executives. Read the rest of this entry →

What It Truly Means to be a “Team Player” 0

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Dixie Somers

What It Truly Means to be a ''Team Player''Many coaches and sports enthusiasts talk about being a good “team player” but aren’t always clear about what exactly that means. Having the right skills and attitudes when working with others on a team can mean the difference between just being another member of that team and being a true team player. When your entire team is composed of true team players, then the abilities of your group are transformed and expanded. You have the opportunity to develop these skills and attitudes and help foster them across your entire team.

The Right Attitude

One of the cornerstones of being a team player is having the right attitude. This usually means being positive at all times. Most people can be positive when times are good, but those who are really team players remain positive when things are tough, after failure and when things go wrong. They are able to share this positive attitude with others and keep them motivated through the hard times. Whether your team wins or loses, your stabilizing attitude helps them see the positives or lessons that can come out of the experience.

The attitude of being a true team player is also displayed in how you relate to the accomplishments of others. When you are as excited about another player’s accomplishment as you would be for your own accomplishment, then you are starting to act like a team player. A true team player draws no distinction between themselves and their team. Every player’s accomplishment or skill is shared and celebrated.

Trust and Responsibility

A true team player is someone who has learned to balance the concepts of trust and responsibility with those around them. People come to trust a team player because they knew that person is going to be responsible and carry through. Real team players don’t try to do everything. They don’t try to play every position perfectly or promise, or expect, to carry the whole team. Instead, they balance what they do and understand their own limitations so they don’t take on what they won’t be able to finish or do well. This makes them more reliable and trustworthy. Other team members feel comfortable relying on them and depending on them.

On the flip side, a true team player is also capable of placing their trust in others and having confidence in their decisions and abilities. The true team player may act as a sort of mini-coach, recognizing the strengths and weaknesses in others on the team and helping them maximize those strengths while minimizing those weaknesses. This ability is critical to team strategy and cohesion. A team player is always practicing strategic thinking skills. They consider not just about what they themselves should do, but what everyone on the team should be doing.

Once another player’s role is set and their skills established, the true team player builds on that. Instead of trying to be the all-star, the true team player helps the entire team shine. In this way, the true team player exemplifies responsibility on both sides of the table. They are both responsible themselves and foster responsibility in those they play with. Read the rest of this entry →

5 Best Football Receiver Gloves 1

Posted on July 05, 2017 by Sivaram Sundarasamy

glovesFootball, being a very popular sport, does need its players to make an investment in the attires that they show up on the field in. Receiver gloves are one of these attires for the field. Both adults and kids require these gloves for the sport in order to lay like pros and make the games interesting.

  • When looking for receiver gloves, it is best to consider three major qualities that our chosen fit should pass in order for you to give your wallet a green light to let go of money from your wallet.
  • The range of sizes of the gloves. A proper receiver glove company should be I a position to provide for a wide range of sizes that fit very nice and snug. Both adults and kids have the size to age difference in size of the football gloves and they should be catered for by the company in question.
  • In addition to this, the gloves should also be of a high-quality material, capable of withstanding many games or rounds of games without looking like slippery eels on balls. The best gloves provide as much grip in their first game as well as they do five games later, still giving that wonderful grip that gives a receiver satisfaction every time the ball comes their way.
  • Other than that, the gloves should no doubt give the receiver good extra protection for his hands so that they are able to grip the ball as firmly from the beginning to the end of the game. Without this, they do not serve the receiver too well.
  • The ratings are given by customers for football gloves and brand of the company. The former customer is the most honest person while looking for information on how good pair of gloves is. Many good reviews and demand for a certain brand should automatically tell you that they help the job get done and efficiently at that.
  • The gloves should be light in weight and easy to work with. Such gloves are good because they help the receiver to remain at a steady state as the ball lands in their hands when it forcefully lands into their hands. Heavy gloves work as a disadvantage for the receiver.
  • Cost. Other than the good qualities and other praises people have for these gloves, it is your wallet that will decide which gloves you will select according to your budget. You should, however, be in a position to get good value for your money. Read the rest of this entry →

4 Strategies For Preventing And Overcoming A Sports-Related Concussion 0

Posted on June 27, 2017 by Emma Sturgis

concussionsOver 3.5 million sport participants are injured every year. If a person has multiple concussions, it may make simple tasks such as driving to the grocery store or remembering someone’s name difficult or impossible. A concussion can have serious effects on a person’s health both now and well into the future.  Concussions and brain trauma are becoming more common, with 79% of deceased football players having CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy.) Therefore, it is important for an athlete to understand how to either avoid a concussion or how to overcome one that has already occurred.

Wear A Head And Mouth Protection

While wearing a helmet or a mouth guard won’t necessarily prevent a concussion from occurring, it can provide protection against punches, errant throws or other debris. It may also be the difference between living and dying if your head hits the ice or the ground with force. Read the rest of this entry →

June 11th – A Hall of Fame Birth Date 0

Posted on June 11, 2017 by Dean Hybl
Ernie Nevers

Ernie Nevers

There aren’t many days that mark the birth date for multiple members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but June 11th happens to be one of them. In fact, three all-time legends were all born on the date: Ernie Nevers (1903), Vince Lombardi (1913) and Joe Montana (1956).

Ernie Nevers (1903-1976) – A member of first class of Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrines, Ernie Nevers was a five-time All-Pro in five seasons for the Duluth Eskimos and Chicago Cardinals. A college star at Stanford University, Nevers was part of the NFL in the early, less structured era. In 1926 he played both ways and was on the field for 1,714 of a possible 1,740 minutes during a 29 game schedule. Playing for the Chicago Cardinals in 1929, Nevers scored all 40 points (six touchdowns and four extra points) in a 40-6 victory over the Chicago Bears. In 52 official NFL games during his five seasons, Nevers scored 38 touchdowns, while also kicking 51 extra points and seven field goals for 301 career points. During his career, Nevers served as player-coach of both the Eskimos and Cardinals.

Vince Lombardi (1913-1970) – Known as one of the greatest coaches of all-time, Vince Lombardi actually had an interesting and storied journey in football even before leading the Green Bay Packers to five NFL titles in the 1960s. As a college player at Fordham University, Lombardi was one of the famous “Seven Blocks of Granite” on the front line. After coaching at the high school level, Lombardi spent time as an assistant coach at Fordham and Army before getting his first job in the NFL. He was a 41-year-old first-time NFL assistant with the New York Giants in 1954. He served as the offensive coordinator with future Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry leading the defense. The Giants won the NFL title in 1956 and lost to the Colts in the famous 1958 championship game. After being rebuffed for several college and pro coaching gigs, Lombardi took over the Green Bay Packers in 1959. In his first season, he led the Packers to their first winning record since 1947. The next year they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Championship Game. He went on to lead the Packers to five NFL Championships as well as victories in the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi retired as head coach of the Packers after the 1967 season, but returned to the sidelines in 1969 leading the Washington Redskins to their first winning season since 1955. He passed away from stomach cancer in 1970. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971 and the Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor. Read the rest of this entry →

Tips to Make Your Next Tailgate a Smash 0

Posted on June 11, 2017 by Eileen O'Shanassy

Tips to Make Your Next Tailgate a SmashYou and your friends gather in the parking lot before the big concert or the game and you want to make the tailgate experience as memorable as possible. The problem is, you don’t know where to start to make your tailgate great. There are plenty of things you can do that will help you to put together a tailgate party that everyone will remember and talk about long after the event is over. Here are some great ideas for your next parking lot smash.

Have Music Everywhere

When you plan your party, be sure music is part of your planning process. Along with your vehicle stereo, you should plan on bringing extra speakers to make sure everyone hears the music. Don’t forget to bring an equipment case for your extra speakers to protect them from the potential dangers of a really good tailgate party. You can find hard protective cases that offer protection from the elements as well as travel.

Go Crazy with Themed Food

If you are tailgating before a football game, go for the classic football food. Chips, soda, veggies, and hotdogs are staples that never go out of style. You can also theme your food with the event and get creative with football cupcakes, microphone kebabs and more. Food that is shaped to match the party theme is going to add plenty of character to your event. Ask everyone coming to bring along a dish so you can share in the fun. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Sudden Sam McDowell
      July 4, 2017 | 8:48 pm
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      Sudden Sam McDowell

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a hard-throwing lefthander who often led Major League Baseball in both strikeouts and walks. His off-the-field story also made him the prototype for a famed television character.

      Sudden Sam McDowell made his Major League debut for the Cleveland Indians a week before his 19th birthday and pitched in the majors for 15 seasons.

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