Archive for March, 2015

WAKE UP CALL: Young Athletes Retiring Early

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Over the past decade, we have witnessed young professional athletes entering the prime of the their careers beginning to call it quits; competing in the sport that they love and dreamed to be part of.  Health concerns and long term effects, have begun to over take the amount of money these potential superstars would most likely make over a solid career.  “Player safety is our priority every day with our players”, is the statement that was recently released by the NFL as some of its top players and rookies have decided to hang up their cleats to have a better future elsewhere.  Is it the right decision to retire early? Is it worth it to throw away millions of dollars that will be guaranteed? Is it more so pressure to be this new age superstar? Or, is that these players just want to have a healthier lifestyle and are paying attention to those from past experiences?

Recently, the hardest hit organization with players retiring early has been the San Francisco 49ers.  7 time Pro Bowler and Team Captain Patrick Willis, decided to retire after battling through a bundle of minor injuries that became more irritating to deal with.  His replacement, Linebacker Chris Borland, also decided to retire after just one season in the NFL.  When asked on ESPN Outside The Lines, Borland stated: “I have learned and observed other players in this league and the effects from head injuries.  I don’t want to fall into that category of players that suffer from long term effects and catching it now means more to me than a career in NFL.”  Due to recent concussions hits, player safety has grown more into the spotlight of NFL athletes and has dropped 25 percent from over the past few years.  Although that is a positive, its still something that lingers among everyone.  Jason Worilds and Jake Locker also decided this offseason, to retire as these players 26 and 27 years old in the prime of their careers, felt it was best to hang it up. These potential stars and leaders in the NFL, are now at a stand still as organizations must now revise their plans to replace the productivity they both represent.

The NFL is not the only league that has had to deal with early departure of athletes.  Portland Trailblazers All Star Brandon Roy, was viewed as the new age point guard when he entered the league and with Power Forward LaMarcus Aldridge; were the cornerstones and franchise players to bring the Trailblazers back to championship forum.  Due to several knee injuries and aggressive treatments, Brandon Roy was forced to retire early in his career.  Although he tried to make a comeback with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Roy was not the same player. Realizing this at 25 years old, it was a hard task to say goodbye.  Former Duke star Jason Williams and others have become analyst at varies networks to continue having a connection with the game that they love; but realized the pressure, commitment and sacrifice wasn’t worth the risk.  As a former pro athlete myself, you endure a lot of underlined expectations to be at your very best and have to be willing to take on everything that comes your way.  Everyone has their own cap of what they can handle, and the issue is that we as fans and humans, have a hard time understanding that reality.

No matter what these young players decide, the show will still go on and bring wealth to those that invest more into it.  The questions will always remain unanswered or with answers that are tainted with prejudge notations that these players are suppose to not quit and give everything.  They are looked as cowards and guys that couldn’t hack it; yet people forget, that we the athletes volunteered and choose to play these sports and should be given the right to walk away when we see fit.  We proclaim we care about the health of others, but rather care more about the almighty dollar.


Joshua Jeremaine Horton


Jakallinc / JH85 Marketing


Little Tykes: Superstars At Young Age

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

This player has the speed, instincts like a pro, ability to be one of the greatest and this kid is not even in middle school yet.  Sports in America are not what they use to be with how athletes are coming into high school already stars and well known among the masses through the use of social media.  Where they are truly discovered, is when they are just between the ages of 5 to 10 years old; before they even hit the 6th grade.  So why are we after these young tyke stars so early? Is competition really ramping up so much that we have to go after these potential future stars so early in their young careers? Who is to blame for this? Is it that parent that highlights them even before their child is one year old? Whomever we lay the responsibility on, its time to see what has transpired to create this new wave of attention to our young children.

Recently, LeBron James came out to media and requested, “We leave his 10 year old son alone.  He’s not available for recruitment at this time.”  LeBron James, Jr; is already being proclaimed as better than his father at his age.  Prince James might have a long way to go, but his name is here to stay and observed by everyone; especially Division 1 top ranked universities.   But LBJ, Jr isn’t the only little phenomenon that is polarized and displayed as a true talent at such a young age in America today.  Esquire Network runs a very well documented and creative outlook on pop warner football with their hit show “Friday Night Tykes.”  Last year, “Friday Night Tykes” debuted and caught everyone off guard and by storm; by displaying how aggressive and intense football is breed into young players at an early age in the self proclaimed home of football: Texas. By the end of the season, not only were athletes shown tested and taking risks at such young ages, but also the competitive, caring, dedicated, and loving treatment of parents and coaches.  Regardless of it all, this series gave a very in depth look at how this cultural norm has existed for decades. The confusion for most, was is the community pressuring and attempting to introduce themselves as the top dogs in football by showing loving compassion for the game and the players; or as, this is the life we live in so either accept it or keep it moving.

Nevertheless, we are all victims and suspects in this new society we live in where the achievement is greater than the risk.  Concussions and long-term health concerns are ever more present than before; but are completely ignored to achieve the goal.  So much so, that with improper treatment to injuries and quality of gear with germs and bacteria that can create infections such as MRSA; are of no concern to some parents and coaches, as long as the victory is the end results.  At the end of the day, these are kids that just want to have fun and enjoy the game in their own way.  Not pressed by the masses to be the next Tom Brady, LeBron James, Venus Williams, Sue Bird, or any other superstar living today expected to impress every hour of every day of their young lives.

At The Mercy Of Staph: Impact of Infections Among Athletes

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Picture something or someone never leaving even when you have tried everything to get ride of that particular thing or person; simply because you have just hit your limit and can’t take it anymore. That sensation is similar to the feeling of when a staph infection, on any part of the body, wants to come be part of your existence. No matter who you are, staph doesn’t care at all; it just wants to not leave your side. According to research conducted by the Mayo Clinic, “Staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, types of germs commonly found on the SKIN or in the nose of even healthy individuals.” Staph infections can turn deadly if the bacteria invades deeper into your body, entering your bloodstream, joints, bones, lungs or heart. A growing number of otherwise healthy people are developing life-threatening staph infections.

Recently, we have seen varies professional athletes and organizations fall victim to staph infections; specifically the MRSA strand. From two Tampa Bay Buccaneers players in 2013; to now NBA All-Star and Franchise Player for the Los Angeles Clippers Blake Griffin. Formed from a previous elbow injury that now has turned into a staph infection, Griffin was immediately removed from the team and all endorsement responsibilities. ESPN, The New York Times and The Washington Post all agree; that no matter who you are, what you try to do, or where you try to run a staph infection will catch you if you don’t take care of your body and equipment effectively. Blake Griffin will be sidelined for surgery and will need to stay away and have no form of contact with anyone and potentially a longer wait period. You never know with staph infections which way these things can go. Having a true end date is impossible to determine, because once the bacteria enters your bloodstream, all bets are off!

Maintaining a safe, healthy working and living environment not just as an athlete, but also in everyday life; is essential to avoiding prolonged medical and health concerns as you move forward each day. As many of us have seen, staph infections are the real deal and always ready to put up a fight to take you down. Blake Griffin is newly added victim to a list of many that have had to face this enemy head on, without the understanding of what to do to properly prevent this crawling evil from attacking. It is time to stand at the ready and keep not only yourself protected and destinktified, but also fresh and clean from all harmful bacteria that want to see you wrapped in this potentially deadly disease.

Joshua J. Horton



JH85 Marketing & Social Media

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