Thursday, January 23, 2014
Greetings super stars!
I hope all is well with you. Its only been a day :) but I was talking to my sister and of course the NFL playoffs came up. If you are reading this then you have certainly heard your fair share of commentary about the "controversy" regarding Seattle CB Richard Sherman and his actions. First of all, the Seahawks vs 49ers was the best game of the ENTIRE football season! Its really sad that this was lost in all the discussion. Now, let me tell you up front what this post is NOT about. Its not a rehash of the typical story lines at play here. This isn't about race, class or sportsmanship. Its not about Compton to Stanford or the score and certainly not about whether the reporter was afraid. Not that those aren't valid opinions to express but you have all heard those expounded upon and I promised something different. I aim to deliver :) So I'm talking to my dear sister and she asked what I thought about it and to me it was very simple "Nobody gets it..Sherman demonstrated exactly why playoffs are must see TV me. Because it takes these grown men and strips away their life armor and makes them young all over again" Let me explain..
Professional athletes in the major sports live very very comfortable lives..and they have 100% earned that comfort in my opinion. The countless spent working to hone your skills to a professional level comes with a ton of perks. We all can see how comfortable and nice life is for the mega-star athletes. Turn on any gossip website and you'll see Kobe, Floyd Mayweather, Tom Brady or Cristiano Ronaldo living it up to put it mildly. You can also easily imagine the good life being lived by guys who are really good but maybe not at the top of the food chain like those guys. Think about your favorite pro team and the second and third best players..yeah those guys are having a ball too. Lets leave these class of players aside (even though Sherman is one of them) The reality is that all those guys live, in an overall sense, very comfortably. By all of those guys I mean even the guys who are on the team but just don't play much. They are still part of an exclusive club that gets the keys to whatever city they play/work in. How comfortable? Lets put you in the comfortable life of your local non star but still professional athlete.
If you are a player under contract with a team, you live in a really nice house. If you're a rookie maybe you are renting a really nice place to see if you stick with the team. If you are a 2-4 year veteran (again not top guys on the team) you probably own one really nice house in a nice neighborhood in your city. You have 2 really nice cars. Maybe not a million dollar super car but you can easily swing a luxury sedan and a luxury SUV or sports car. Every one's personal taste is different but those cars will be customized as you like as far as color, rims, sounds etc. You're in a city that supports a pro sports team..so you have at least a few really nice restaurants and a few trendy ones too. Guess what..you get to show up at any of those places without reservations and get an excellent table. Maybe not the best table..that's for your star teammate but boy being able to walk in and sample the cuisine of the hot new chef is awesome. Any social events in your metropolis? No problem..an invitation is in the mail for you automatically. If somehow you are left off the invite list because the party doesn't think its your cup of tea..just show up. Come on in. You are always welcome. The club perks are pretty done to death..but its worth noting that you walk right in and generally are very popular with the ladies at the establishment. This is to say nothing of those who will go there to meet you after they hear you are inside. Golf much? Perfect..you have a tee time at any course you can get to.
Ok Ahmad..we get it. They get perks and its comfortable but life is bigger than cars and parties and restaurants. Very true. Ok..so now you have children. Those children either go to very nice public schools in very nice neighborhoods or they go to the best private schools in your city. Now you have to pay for school, which you can afford, but pesky little things like applications and academic qualifications magically disappear. Not that your child isn't smart..but so that the school can say that your child is a student there. God forbid that they have health issues but if they do, you can access the best treatment available. If not in your city you can go visit a specialist in another city..no problem. Time for the family vacation? You can actually take a look at a globe and basically go anywhere. Now, only the alpha dogs have private jet money but there is no shame in being able to travel and stay first class with you and your immediate family. Sounds like a dream to me, frankly. Now all this gets you through the regular season. If you're on a winning team then holy cow life is going FANTASTIC. If your team is losing then all the comfort that your job provides you and your family provides a more than fair balance. Losing always hurts..that's a key to why they are there. When you compare all that I described to being on a non playoff team, those guys are WAY ahead of the game of life. But now lets talk about playoffs..
When those guys are in the playoffs..they are playing for bigger stakes. Much bigger..so big that the comforts of their lives aren't the main focus. For us it is entertainment, for them the playoff road to their respective championship is all they dreamed about. Its the only path to the pinnacle of their field and that always matters. Its what got them out of bed to train and work and play and work and work and play. Sure those comforts are there but in the moment that is playoff game all that stuff is suspended. Said another way, some regular season games don't matter to those guys (there, i said it) but EVERY playoff game is the biggest game on earth. Winning or losing is all that matters. All the other stuff gets stripped away and these guys return to being in 8th grade or high school when all they wanted to do was WIN THIS GAME. (more on this later) They didn't want a nice house or expensive watches..they just wanted to win THIS game here. That purity of desire played out in competition is beautiful and compelling!
So specifically to Richard Sherman. Here we are in the NFC championship game. The biggest game of the season as it gets you to the Super Bowl. It goes without saying that as an All-Pro cornerback, Richard does have all the comforts we discussed above and then some. In that moment of the deciding play of the game do you think Richard was thinking of those comforts..NO. Was he thinking of that when he woke up..eh maybe. When he arrived at the stadium and got out of his car..that was likely the last moment he thought about any of that stuff. Because tonight was a big game..the most important game of his career..A game he had to win and winning was going to be the ONLY THING HE WANTED. He didn't want a table, or another car or to go meet pretty women at some exotic locale. He wanted to win a football game. Period. When you want to do something with such singular focus, it REQUIRES you to lay it all on the line. The fact is every player on both teams wanted nothing but to win that game. The victory would be greater than any comfort life and their job has already provided them and none of those same comforts would immediately alleviate the pain from the loss. When that play began, Richard Sherman likely looked across at his man and among other things thought "I ABSOLUTELY CANNOT LET THIS GUY BEAT ME RIGHT NOW" So the play happens and he makes a spectacular play..the season is saved and you are going to the Superbowl!! Holy COW! Now people love to toss around the stereotype of the spoiled rich athlete who only cares about his money. I am not saying it doesn't exist but in contrast I present Richard Sherman. When asked by the reporter to describe that last play..aka the BIGGEST play he has ever made in his entire career..was he thinking about his money, cars, clothes, money, cars, clothes...NOPE he was thinking with the purity of an 8th grader..That sorry receiver cant beat me!! He cant beat me! I told you! We won!! I told you and were going to the Super Bowl!!! His exact words are obviously up for interpretation..but this is what I heard him thinking in that moment.
Now the game is over..The Seahawks went and celebrated and nothing they did during that celebration was better than the feeling of that win. NOTHING. Those guys were ecstatic! The 49ers went home to mourn and no amount of houses, cars or beautiful ladies to comfort them would console them in that moment. NOTHING. Those guys were devastated! Both the respective bottom lines for those men. Both teams knew that going in and that's why I stood up and applauded them both for that game. You have to risk being hurt to feel that kind of joy..in the playoffs..those are the risks and that's why its MUST WATCH.
So for those that think the world is coming to an end with what happened...allow me to share with you a fictional but possible (read: likely) Richard Sherman story that's gone on and will continue to go on at middle schools and high schools across our great nation....
Yo Tony, you ready to play today?
Yeah man..gonna be fun.
Yup. Hey, Steve Willis said he was gonna burn you today if you guarded him!
Yeah man, I heard him tell Jackie in history class
Man Steve is sorry as a receiver! he cant burn me!
Yo that's what he said man.
Ok..lets do this!
Late in the game..with Tony's team up by a few points, he looks across and sees Steve. Snap..they head to the endzone, the ball is up...Tony tips it away! Game is over. Tony is mobbed by his team "I told y'all! I told y'all Steve was sorry" Steve's reply? "Whatever man..that's the only play you made all game"
I told y'all!! Steve was sorry..he cant burn me.
Not worried about money cars or anything..Just who would win that day :) Ah...the purity and simplicity of youth. Always refreshing when I see it from adults.
Quote of the post
"You have to risk being totally destroyed in order to feel epic happiness. It sounds tough, but its worth it"
Good night yall!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Happy belated NEW YEAR!!
Great to talk to you all!! I realize its been a while. The simple fact is that I had to clear my head and step away from this for a while. It was tough not having an outlet like this but it was something that I had to do for the sake of my sanity and my life. It also helped me remember that I get as much if not more out of this than you do. There were a few people who constantly asked me when I was going to start writing again..so for those folks THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH..I didn't know ya cared. :) All this being said this post will not be as topical as I just want to get some things out there, catch you guys up and get back on the proverbial horse
-This will be my biggest year ever
Might as well start with this. Ill share my full goals in my next post but I have added some aggressive goals to the sheet and actually have a good mind to complete them. Part of my mind reboot while stepping away has hammered home the point that time is precious and I need to get to "it" on a number of levels.
-My new agent rocks
Her name is Jacque and she likes college football. More importantly she gave me the kick in the ass that I needed at the time AND she gets me out for quality auditions. I am not saying this to brag, but I remember when this wasn't the case in town so I am happy
-Old friends and new opportunities
A couple of dear friends have approached me about a big business opportunity. So big that I have to mention it here but too early to say anything specific. It came out of the blue and it has been on my mind ever since as it could be a life changer. Point being you never know when good stuff comes out of nowhere.
-My first NATIONAL RELEASE FILM
This fall I am slated to start shooting my first nationally released film. I have a very juicy supporting role opposite some notable actors. Of course, its not set until you get a call sheet but basically a director who i worked with on his first feature is now doing his first big budget film. All I can tell you now is that I get to be scary and will get to use a British accent the whole time. Who knows what will happen until we get there but this could also be a life changer
-My current day job is laughable as in the people I work with.
The only reason that I mention this is because when I think about all the day jobs I have had in town I have millions of stories and ideas to work on. Just gotta flesh em out on the page but I cant say I don't have stuff to work on. I think I'm the only person there who doesn't have a neck tattoo, a weave or a criminal record. BTW this is all volunteered information they are happy to share.
-Today's proof that god has a sense of humor
I submitted for a modeling agency open call months ago. Before the holidays which included generous amounts of peach cobbler and champagne. Never heard anything and didn't think about it...until last week when they contacted me and wanted to represent me for modeling stuff. So now I have to rush even more to eliminate my holiday weight..haha all I could to is laugh, thank god and know that he is laughing at me too. I mean that guy is busy, so if he gets a laugh at my expense..its the least I could do
Most of all guys...its still about being positive and believing in the strength that we all have inside of us. Sometimes life can fool us into thinking it isn't there...BUT IT IS. Its right there when you need it most. Never forget that..
Quote of the day..
"If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
Thanks for reading! Its so good to be back. As always hit me up on twitter with your thoughts