Full Time?


On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS August 21, 2017, #654 Up Next… “Full Time?”

After further review…The National Football League has recently announced there will be full-time on-field officials for the 2017 season. The announcement stated that 24 officials of the current staff of some 123 will be selected for full-time status. The NFL will then be the sole employer of those 24 officials. Further, the NFL is requiring there be at least one full-time official in each of the seven on-field positions, with no more than five in any one position. The obvious reason is to improve the skills of officials. Is the NFL seeking perfection? Stay tuned!

Let’s look at some issues. Those who work jobs outside of the NFL may not want to give-up that job with tenure, a family-plan for health insurance, and either a 401k or a retirement plan in place. For the years of my NFL tenure, it would not have been an option. Working as a teacher and school administrator would mean terminating those positions. Today, however, several officials have retired from their full-time employment and can make that transition. Others may be self-employed or work in jobs that allows freedom from their daily tasks.

The bottom-line for “full-time” is to improve on-field performance. NFL’s statistics indicate that today’s on-field officials are accurate about 96 to 97 percent of the time. That’s a high number to exceed. How much greater can it be? The sports of basketball (NBA), baseball (MLB) and hockey (NHL) employ full-time officials. Yet, and, with no disparaging thought intended, officiating mistakes in those sports do occur. Further, players make mistakes. A “satisfactory” passing completion rate for a starting NFL quarterback is around 64%, and they are full-time!

Further, studies of improving performance in any skilled activity claim that in doing it full-time, one must perform that activity on a regular basis, i.e., every day. Yet, teams only play a live game once a week. During the week, teams practice, but with minimal contact and not against an opponent, with none of the emotion created by live action. Having been on-the-field for more than three decades as well as recently having been in a trainer’s position, I can attest that today’s NFL officials take their responsibilities with the utmost care. The video review of each official’s performance every week is studied and critiqued with the intent to improve.

While the TunneySide admires the NFL’s goal to seek perfection, it must be understood that perfection is rarely achieved. No one – players, coaches, officials, or fans, want errors to happen, yet they will. My colleague, Dr. Nido Qubein, has said, “Imperfection is part of being human.” Football is a game played by humans.

Will you log-in your thoughts about full-time NFL officials?

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.com. Thank you!

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Profootball Hall of Fame 2017

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On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS August 14, 2017, #653 Up Next… “Hall of Fame”

After further review…The Class of 2017 was enshrined into the Profootball Hall of Fame this past weekend in Canton, Ohio, the home of the NFL’s elite. The 2017 Class included Kenny Easley, a free safety selected by the Seniors Committee, who questioned why more free safeties had not been inducted. Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, selected by the Contributor’s Committee, largely recognized for advancing the NFL through his marketing skills. Jason Taylor, defensive end for the Miami Dolphins and running back Terrell Davis, whose short tenure of seven seasons for the Denver Broncos were brilliant enough for the Hall’s consideration. Davis also questioned why more running backs were not enshrined. That begs the question of why no on-field officials have never been selected.

Kicker Morten Anderson, the NFL’s all-time scoring leader, was only the second placekicker to be selected and advocated for more recognition of kickers and punters. Kurt Warner, quarterback with the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals who went undrafted out of college and plied his trade in the Arena League; and lastly LaDainian Tomlinson, a running back for the San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints. More on L.T. later.

The hall has grown dramatically under the leadership of current CEO David Baker. There is a new stadium in the name of Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, who donated ten million dollars to rebuild the Fawcett Stadium and additional monies to rebuild and enhance the exhibit hall. The stadium, although providing luxury suites, will seat only 23,000, being designed to that capacity to make it “family-centered” to be used for local high school games.

Although the speeches of the seven inductees were all heartfelt, the message by LaDainian Tomlinson (L.T.)  captured the essence of America. Tomlinson is the son of his great-great-great grandfather George, who was brought to this country as a slave by landowner Tomlinson. George tilled the soil for his slave master, and later adopted the name of Tomlinson. LaDainian explained how he (then) is “mixed race.” He stressed how all of us are immigrants, save the American Indian, and that we need to work together. L.T. is proud of his heritage and wants to spend the rest of his life helping others.

Will you heed L.T.s message of inclusion in your life’s journey?

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.com. Thank you!

Posted in NFL, Sports | Leave a comment

Summertime!

On the TunneySide of Sports August 7, 2017 #652 Up next…Summertime!
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS August 7, 2017, #652 Up Next… “Summertime!”

After further review…Summer vacation, as I called it way back then, was always a joyful time. School was out about the third week in June and didn’t resume until the Monday after Labor Day. It was a lazy do-what-you-want-to do time until I was 12. At that age, I began having a summer job – still have one! As a high school or college student, teacher, school administrator, or professional speaker, I have always worked during the summer to maintain our family lifestyle. But prior to age 12, it was my bike, the playground, the local swimmin’ pool, and friends.

I relate so well to the story that famed sportswriter and long-time friend Rick Reilly sent me some years back. Reilly has been named National Sports Media Association’s Sportswriter of the year 11 times, and for years served as the “back page” columnist for Sports Illustrated. His story, edited here to reflect present conditions and some brevity, is about a father and his young son lying on the grass on a summer afternoon watching the clouds wander by, in the stillness of the moment the son asked, “Dad, why are we here?”

Dad replied, “Well son, I don’t think it’s all that complicated. I think maybe we’re here just to teach a kid how to bunt, turn two, and eat sunflower seeds without using his hands. Maybe we’re here to see, at least once, the pocket collapse around Andrew Luck, when it’s fourth- and-never with 26 seconds on the clock. Or to sit and watch as the count goes to 3-1 on Aaron Judge with bases loaded, and the pitcher begins wishing he’d gone on to med school.

“We’re here to wear our favorite sweat-soaked Dodgers cap, torn USC sweatshirt and the Jordan basketball shoes we once could afford. It’s one of those Saturday mornings with nowhere we need to go and nowhere special we have to be. We’re here to see Crosby setting up behind the net, tying some poor goaltender’s neck into a Windsor knot. We’re here to watch Kershaw peer-in for a sign, two out, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth. We’re here to witness Spieth lining up a twenty-foot birdie to win the Open.”

Dad continued, “I don’t think we’re here to get on Sportscenter. Or to see grown-ups spend so much time doggedly slaving toward the better car, the perfect house, chasing happiness when happiness is already within themselves. Does that answer your question, son?”

He said, “Not really, Dad.” Dad, with wrinkled brow, said “No?” And the son said, “No, what I meant is, why are we here when Mom said to pick her up forty-minutes ago?

Will you log-in with your favorite summer memories?

To contact Rick Reilly, go to Rick Riley Online. For Jim, visit JimTunney.com. Both Reilly and Tunney are available to speak with stories like these for your enjoyment.

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To contact Jim, go to JimTunney.com or email Jim@JimTunney.com.

Jim’s books are full of inspiration and interesting stories. Please visit his online store to learn more.

Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports

Be sure to get Jim’s book ‘Another 101 Best of TunneySide of Sports’ by clicking this link or using the email above to contact Jim directly.

These TunneySides take issues from real-life situations and relate them as inspiration for the betterment of others.

Jim is available for speaking engagements on leadership and T*E*A*M Building. His books are available for $20 which includes shipping and tax. The Tunney Bobblehead is available for $30. Please visit JimTunney.com. Thank you!

Posted in Sports, Tunney Side of Sports Columns | Leave a comment