The Real Athlete Blog


Category: Human Relations

  1. Corey Jackson's One-Way Greyhound Ticket to the NFL

    by Kelly Davies 02-23-2011 01:04 AM Athlete Interviews | Athlete Career Development | Human Relations

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    With the second month of 2011 coming to a close, you may be finding yourself with a few less gym visits than you had planned. Or you may have let those pesky sweets that you swore off January 1st make their way into your grocery bag. It’s the weather… It’s hard… It’s the end of football for seven whole months. Whatever the excuse, you are lacking the inspiration. 
    I’m about to present you with true inspiration. A kind of inspiration that is only found in each other.   
    Corey Jackson grew up in a town of a few hundred people in rural South Carolina. Corey was a basketball player. In high school, he was highly decorated, averaging twenty plus points per game, and snagging double digit rebounds. He had his eyes set on a division I scholarship, his dream since he was a little boy. Corey’s junior year arrived and he sat down with a guidance counselor. The counselor reviewed his average grades and recommended that he look into learning a trade skill. Corey was floored, devastated by his counselor’s bleak recommendations. At 16, an adult looked him in the face and not only told him he wasn’t good enough academically but that he wasn’t good enough to even pursue his dreams. 


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  2. Will Renardo Sidney Take Advantage of His Second Chance?

    by Randy Brown 02-19-2011 01:04 AM Athlete Career Development | Crisis Management | Education | Human Relations

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    Renardo Sidney appears to be back on track thanks to a second chance. His team and coaching staff have accepted the past incidents and are moving forward. Sidney was ruled ineligible for his entire freshman year and part of this season due to NCAA infractions. In his sophomore season, he has missed 12 of the 25 games Mississippi State has played this year. Following his two-game suspension in late December after a highly-publicized brawl with teammate Elgin Bailey in the stands of a tournament in Honolulu, the 6-foot-10, 275-pound big man has been averaging 12.9 PPG and a team-leading 7.4 RPG for the Bulldogs.


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  3. Changing Lives, The So Cal Falcons Way

    by Allison Collinger 02-16-2011 12:22 AM Philanthropy | Athlete Career Development | Camps | Coaching | Education | Human Relations

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    The influence of the National Football League and football reach across our country and our world. One doesn’t need to live in an NFL market to see the positive influence that the sport of football can have on the character of our youth. Before Super Bowl XLV, I caught up with Keith Johnson, President of the Southern California Falcons (The So Cal Falcons), a Pop Warner League, to learn about the organization, its mission, its efforts, and its progress. Despite Los Angeles not having an NFL team (a little bit of irony for me since I helped to relocate the Rams from Los Angeles to St. Louis in 1995), The So Cal Falcons are a beacon of light in a tough part of the city.

    In the spring of 2005, Keith Johnson, a speaker and trainer, joined forces with the entertainer Snoop Dogg, and together they created the Southern California Falcons in the Snoop Youth Football League. Their initial goal was to offer an affordable youth football league for children in Los Angeles’ inner city.


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  4. Rudy Award Winner Chance Anthony and Insightful Player Kevin Reilly Turn Adversity into Awe-Inspiring Triumph

    by Chrissy Carew 02-05-2011 05:27 PM Athlete Career Development | Education | Human Relations | Insightful Player

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    If you passed Chance Anthony on the street, you might not guess that he was a high school football player, and you almost certainly wouldn’t guess that he recently won one of the most coveted awards granted within his sport: the High School Football Rudy Awards, which searches for the most inspirational football players in America who best demonstrate the exemplary values of football legend Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger, the iconic figure of the classic football film Rudy. The Awards seek to find those players who best define what Rudy refers to as the “The Four C’s”: Character, Courage, Contribution, and Commitment. As the first-place winner, Chance received a $10,000 academic scholarship.
    Although he has the strong physique and size of many high school football players, Chance is different from most in one significant way: one of his arms is normally formed, but the other ends at the elbow. But his parents set an example for him from day one that he could probably do just about anything his peers could. As a doctor told them around the time of Chance’s birth, Chance would never know his body any other way; to him, his status would feel normal, and he would learn what his body was capable of doing as he grew the same way any other child would.


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  5. The Limits of Loyalty: How Far Should Friendship Go for Pro Athletes?

    by Dr. Timothy Thompson 02-04-2011 12:52 AM Trusted Athlete Educator | Athlete Career Development | Human Relations | Image Branding

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    The Oregonian columnist John Canzano raised an important point in his January 5 piece about a New Year’s Eve murder allegedly committed by one of former Portland Trailblazer Zach Randolph’s running buddies (at least while Randolph was with that team). Although nothing links Randolph to the murder, for Canzano the incident raises serious questions about which kinds of personal demons a professional sports franchise should accommodate and which ones should be deal breakers. 

    My understanding of the columnist’s main answer to that question is that he believes sports teams should consider the types of people in a player’s inner circle as a major clue about the player’s true character. Canzano goes further to suggest that the Portland Trail Blazers and all other professional sports teams should stay away from signing any player who hangs around with people who are likely to be involved in criminal activities, despite how talented such a player might be.


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  6. Lessons from the Jay Cutler Story

    by Jason Krump 02-03-2011 10:45 PM Social Media | Human Relations

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    Not that there needs to be another piece on the Jay Cutler saga, especially now that it seems the furor has died down (unless you are a Chicago Bears fan, like me), but the story does offer lessons about the ever-increasing influence of social media and the power of perception.

    First a couple of disclaimers. 

    1)          As I have already mentioned, I am a die-hard Bears fan which leads to…
    2)          …that I, too, joined the multitude of fans, who offered their thoughts via Twitter on Cutler leaving the Jan. 23 NFC Championship Game.
    So what motivated me to express my opinion?


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  7. The Insightful Player: Tony Richardson and Jerricho Cotchery

    by Chrissy Carew 12-24-2010 04:25 PM Athlete Interviews | Philanthropy | Family Life | Human Relations | Insightful Player

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    The New York Times recently published a very touching story by reporter Greg Bishop about the beautiful bond between Tony Richardson, New York Jets fullback, and Tyler Nelson, a 16-year-old from Texas who is awaiting a multiple organ transplant.

    Tony and Tyler met in Tampa, Florida in February 2009 through the Make a Wish Foundation and bonded instantly. The friendship between the professional football player and the ailing teen with cystic fibrosis blossomed in the months that followed, and the two have shared hours of conversation as well as visits, phone calls and text messages. While Tony admires the boy’s courage and stamina, young Tyler is flourishing under the nurturing attention of the sports star and his colleagues.

    Those who have followed Tony’s career prior to this will probably not be surprised by the poignant story. A wonderful role model, he has dedicated much of his free time helping others throughout his 16 years in the NFL.


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  8. Kevin Durant

    by Alan Stein 12-24-2010 02:56 PM Athlete Career Development | Human Relations

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    I met Kevin Durant during his junior year at Oak Hill and began working him out that spring. He then transferred to Montrose Christian for his senior year (I was the team’s strength & conditioning coach). 
    Fast forward to today. KD is an All-Star and one of the NBA’s most potent scorers. Even though I no longer work him out, we have kept in touch after all these years.  
    This past weekend, Blair and I flew to Oklahoma City to see the Warriors play the Thunder. It was a whirlwind trip – in and out in less than 24 hours. But it was one I will never forget.


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  9. Rampant Infidelity Amongst Pro Athletes Is No Surprise

    by Dr. Timothy Thompson 12-07-2010 12:49 AM Trusted Athlete Educator | Human Relations

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    I want to begin this commentary with a big shout-out to Elizabeth Merrill and Amy K. Nelson, the authors of a (yet another) great piece about the trials and tribulations of being married to a professional athlete. Now that all kinds of people’s “dirty laundry” is airing out in this new age of transparency, it looks like we’re going to be hearing a lot more about these kinds of personal issues in the athletic world from now on. 
    What I find so fascinating about the subject of athletes’ infidelities is that people continue to seem surprised by the seemingly endless stories about this admittedly juicy subject. Yes, of course I fully understand that we tend to love a good soap opera and all. But what fascinates me most of all is that so many of the women who get romantically involved with high-profile athletes actually appear to believe that it’s realistic to expect their widely adored and sought-after spouses to shun everyone else’s sexual advances under all circumstances. After all, it’s one thing to remain optimistically hopeful that we’ll experience true romantic love at least once in our lives. However, it’s another matter entirely to project that hope onto an athlete without having seriously observed his capacity to resist the steady flow of temptations that come with his job.   



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  10. The Passing of a Legend: Mack Lewis

    by Matthew Allinson 12-02-2010 11:48 PM Athlete Career Development | Coaching | Human Relations | News

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    From the Editor's Father, Arthur Allinson.

    It would be right with the many other testimonials bestowed on the beloved and greatly respected Mack Lewis that I comment on the legendary boxing trainer and manager's recent passing. Mr. Lewis, who died at the age of 92 on November 12, spent his lifetime mentoring and tutoring at-risk youth in East Baltimore at The Mack Lewis Gym. He guided them successfully in their teenage years and through adulthood as they encountered the many temptations and challenges presented by inner-city life. Through boxing, he offered an alternative life that brought success to hundreds of deserving young men. Mr. Mack would often say "I don't care if you become a world champion, as long as you become a productive member of society."


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