Archive for May, 2014

After Dark: Why Players Continue To Get In Trouble

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014










“If you haven’t got her number by 1130, then it’s not happening; so go home”, is a quote stated by former NFL Player and Coach Herm Edwards every year at the NFL Rookie Symposium. Former players and coaches will all gather to teach this young players how they are expected to conduct themselves in the NFL; in hopes that they don’t follow the coward and end up in the trap that we have seen many players in different leagues, always end up in.

No matter the sport, each year we hear about professional and collegiate athletes ending up somewhere that they should have never been. The usual times we hear about this bone headed acts, usual seem to be between the hours of midnight until 4am. In the cultural we live in today, players are groomed at such a young age, that once they reach these two levels they feel that they are untouchable and will find a way to defeat the system. Jamies Winston from Florida State University was accused of raping a young woman, was found to be not associated with this woman in any shape or form. Johnny Manziel, was found cited for receiving benefits from outside sources, signing autographs and other memorabilia at a nightclub while playing at Texas A&M. Donte Stallworth is player that left a night club intoxicated beyond the league limit that hit and killed a elderly man in Miami, Florida. After the case was completed, Stallworth served 30 days in jail and paid a fine; granted he did feel a great deal of remorse and ensured that this man family was taken care of, but the fact remains, he defeated the system. A typical American would have, most likely, served 10 plus years in prison, or received the death penalty. Although, their are players that don’t get so lucky into receiving a “lighter” sentence. Aaron Hernandez, is a player currently now awaiting trail for the murder of a semi-pro player and now being indicted on charges related to a murder a year prior. Darren Shaper is currently being accused and charged with rape and domestic violence charges in varies states by women he met while being out late at night.

Regardless of the status of a player, professional athletes in most sports, seem to find themselves in a situation of some kind from being after hours. Teams have protocols in place for these types of situations; whether related to alcohol, drugs, prostitution, or other circumstances that can be viewed as illegal, but are not able to catch everything. At the end of the day, it is up to the player to take responsible for their actions, or suffer the same reality that many have seen take away the dream they yearned to have for so long.

Drafted: What To Make of The 2014 NFL Draft

Monday, May 12th, 2014












Each NFL Draft comes with something unique and exciting. Moments that can be defined as groundbreaking or having that “OMG” sensation. This year NFL Draft came with an abundance of talent and story-lines, that simply in one word can be described as, historical.

Over the years, we have seen the usual “trick or treats” at Radio City Music Hall, in New York City; which come with special sweet and sour moments for all fans, critics, spectators, analysts, and more. Those whom have come to witness just how this event will unfold. This year came with, arguably, the best and deepest quarterback class ever in the draft era. With how offenses are more spread, running backs were left in the dark for the first time in long time during the 1st Round. Lineman, on both sides of the ball, did their usual shuffle of movement throughout the weekend, but wide receivers and corners emerged as the tone setters now to keep up with those faster paced offenses. Linebackers saw a slight decrease, and as always, punters and kickers just get left where ever they may fall if needed by a franchise. What truly made this draft special, was how a kid from Texas was talked about more for going late in 1st Round at 22nd overall to the Cleveland Browns, than how a 3rd overall pick was described as a young man that should have went way later than he did to the Jacksonville Jaguars, as their potential franchise quarterback. The other questionable factor, but yet historical, came from an organization willing to embrace a young man that showed himself to the world as being openly gay. The NFL Family views the St. Louis Rams, as being completely equipped and ready to accept everything about him and help him ease his way through the issues that might come to him because of his lifestyle. Finally, seeing 27 different trades, The University of Texas not having anyone drafted since 1937, and this year being the most watched NFL Draft in history; made this weekend one of the greatest for the NFL.

Now, brings the questions: How will these young men perform? Can Johnny Manziel be the savor in Cleveland? Will Michael Sam be able to handle the pressure of people accepting him as the first openly gay player in the NFL? Will Jacksonville and Houston turn it around with their top picks? Did Buffalo make the right move trading Stevie Johnson to the San Francisco 49ers, after drafting Sammy Watkins? Tons of questions to ask and only few will be answered. The NFL Draft might have came this year at a later date; but it sure was one that will never be forgotten.

GTech Sport Media/Promotions/Athletic Performance Director

Push The Pace: What Drives A Competitor To Be Great

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014








When it comes to competitors, they all surface from different walks of life. Some of us are born in poverty and hard times; while others are for the most part, fortunate to never see dark days until they reach the pinnacle of their career. That’s where this year 2014 Kia NBA MVP Kevin Durant comes into play, along with many others before him. Players like Durant in all sports, went through many difficult challenges in order to be the greatest at what they love to do.

The question these superstars are always asked is: “What drives you do be great?” No matter where athletes are breed and born, they are all asked the same thing. Quite frankly, what does drive a competitor? It could originate from a number of things: money and frame, a certain type of status, wanting that feeling of “I have arrived”, or just that you want out of where your life could potentially be heading. Nevertheless, their are a number of things that drive a competitor to want to compete among the best-of-the-best.

Accepting this role and title of MVP, proves that you are willing to sacrifice any and everything to be the King/Queen of the mountain in your sport. But should you stop their or should you continue the pursuit for more? That all depends on the fire that burns inside you to want to not just rest on receiving one form of acknowledgement for the determination you put in to be the greatest at what you do. As we continue moving throughout time, we will find out more and more what drives a competitor to be the best at what they do. In the meantime, I saw we sit back, relax, and just enjoy the show that these elite professional and future up and comers, continue to put on. Regardless of what is driving them, it is truly worth the price of admission, and it will forever be something to remain a mystery to the secret ingredient added to their pursuit to Push The Pace!

Joshua Horton
GTech Sport Media/Promotions/Athletic Performance Director

The AfterMath: Drama After Major Sporting Events

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014












Picture this: You have paid handsomely to be apart of history. You have sat and watched the future and the greatest of all, compete at the highest level, and on the grandest of stages. The hype and drama is all over in the arena, and then out of nowhere; “POW, POW.” Gun shoots, screaming, stampede of the masses begin to flood the area as Sin City comes awake in a new form on a night that was designated to be solely be about history and achieving something better than one’s self.

After the Mayweather vs Maidana Pay-Per View over this past weekend at the MGM Casino and Hotel, a shooting and fight broke out, which lead into the coward; which resulted in a massive riot and fans jumping onto social media creating a historic buzz. Though is still unknown how many were injured or if anyone was killed, many have posted that this was a fake, and nothing more than a stunt created by a fan of Maidana, whom like many, were highly upset that he lost to Mayweather.

Over the years, this isn’t the first time during major sporting events that situations like this come about. In 2011, Brian Stow, a Giants fan whom feel victim after a Giants-Dodgers game, was brutally beaten by 2 men who claimed they attacked him because he was just simply a fan of the opposing team. Rivalry games from the “Battle of the Bay” between San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, to the “Red River Rivalry” between Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners, to Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees; have all had incidences where passion that is shown as a fan before and during the game, can be transferred over into a art of war.

Through many can easily say it was due to gangs, drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other illegal substances to ignite the aggressiveness from within someone. When clearly, it’s just fans crossing the line between being “Die Hard Fans” to becoming a violent hannibal that simply takes things to far. Police and Security Personal can only do so much; because at the end of the day, it comes down to us controlling the beast from within to stay locked up and to not want the yearning desire to create devastation during a time of celebration.

Joshua Horton
GTech Sport Media/Promotions/Athletic Performance Director

Decades Of Evolution: How Different Cultures Have Shaped Sports

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014









No matter where you come from or the path traveled, athletes emerge from different backgrounds and societies; which have shaped the new evolution of sports. For decades, we have seen sports stay forever changing with new rules to protect players during competition, venues growing larger to facilitate the masses, and an increasing influx of different cultural backgrounds, that are reshaping the way we view sports.

Manu Ginobili is perfect example of a player coming into a sport from a different country, and scaring away defenses with one move: The Euro Step. Ginobili originates from Argentina, and once he hit the National Basketball Association, like other International players, wasn’t immediately accepted. Now; players have there own version of the euro step; which most would say, he patented to be his own trademark and imprint in the league. But Manu isn’t the only international player that stepped into a country and wasn’t welcomed with open arms.

Granted Canada is apart of North America, it’s still a International country, and import players that would enter the CFL weren’t always viewed by the fans as the solution to make their version of football better. Fast forward to today’s CFL, and import players and coaches from the NCAA and NFL, are scattered everywhere throughout the landscape of the league; which now, players that start there instead of the NFL, get to mold themselves into a professional and understand its meaning on a different level.

The NHL has been dominated by nothing but International and Caucasian players; but once few African-Americans entered the league, it wasn’t looked at as a “good idea.” Today, African-Americans that truly love the sport, are accepted because of their talent level and understanding of the game. Major League Baseball, as many know, struggled with the acceptance of race for years; especially once International players entered the league. Now; organizations will send scouts as far as Japan to have the best ace on the mound; as well as, go to Cuba to find the perfect slugger that can drive the ball 400 plus feet.

Regardless of how we debate it, if you have the skill set for that sport, you should be given the opportunity to showcase that on the grandest of platforms. Those that have opposed and voiced their opinions on how they view these cultural changes as a negative, have been shun out and presented as the one’s that are given the black eye, and not the sport that they claim may now be tainted. We are forever changing, and to be honest, will continue to forever change. Everyday, societies are reforming, and if you go back and look at how every sport has been shaped due to their high level of popularity, which is deserving to them, it’s because once we all took a step back and realized our flaws, that’s when we all saw that change is good.

Joshua Horton
GTech Sport Media/Promotions/Athletic Performance Director

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