A Philadelphia Story

 

On the TunneySide of Sports February 12, 2018 #679 Up next…A Philadelphia Story

On The TunneySide of Sports February 12,  2018 #679 Up next…A Philadelphia Story

After further review…Whether your T*E*A*M won or lost Super Bowl LII, credit must be given to Philadelphia – “Fly Eagles Fly.” Most fans I talked to liked that the game was free scoring with the lead changing back and forth. The game had thrills, and some chills (it was 8 degrees outside). It was a fun game.

The question I’m always asked, prior to every game, is” who you like,” as if being an NFL referee for 31 years gives me inside information. It doesn’t! But my answer to the question is always the same, “since there are three teams on the field, I root for the officials.” The crew for Super Bowl LII did a great job, but always with the concern “did we get the calls right.” Questionable catches and calls were handled professionally. Credit or discredit usually focuses on the referee (white hat), aka crew chief. Referee Gene Steratore #114 in his 15th year, but his first Super Bowl, handled all calls and announcements expertly. NBC’s Chris Collingsworth commented on air, “Steratore always looks like he is having fun.” Good observation, since this is a g-a-m-e, officials, as well as players and coaches, should be having fun!

Just as important as Steratore, were the other 6 officials in Super Bowl LII. Umpire Roy Ellison worked on Steratore’s crew during the 2017 season, but the rest did not. The crew of DJ Jerry Bergman, LJ Byron Boston, FJ Tom Hill, SJ Scott Edwards, and BJ Perry Paganelli, were given the assignment because of their body of work this year. They worked together as if they had been with each other all season. You probably noticed on several plays officials conferring, being sure they made the correct call.

Philadelphia has been part of my 31 years on the NFL field. In my first year (1960) I was a field judge when the Eagles, with Norm Van Brocklin at quarterback, played the Los Angeles Rams in the L.A. Coliseum; then followed them to San Francisco where they played the next week against the 49ers in Kezar Stadium. Later that year I had the privilege of officiating the Eagles in Franklin Field on the University Pennsylvania campus — loved that venue. I didn’t officiate that infamous December game when the Eagles weren’t very good, and the fans threw snowballs at Santa Claus during halftime. At least a million others told me they were there!

Will you log-in to express your opinion of Super Bowl LII?

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

NEW: Jim’s new Podcast ‘TunneySide of Sports’ will be up and running shortly. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, he is available for speaking engagements. His bobblehead and books are listed on his website.

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.comThank you!

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A Cure for Disappointment!

On the TunneySide of Sports February 5, 2018 #678 Up next…A Cure for Disappointment! On The TunneySide of Sports February 5,  2018 #678 Up next…A Cure for Disappointment!

After further review…Listening to Olympic Swim Champion Michael Phelps as he spoke to the 1000 members of the Monterey (CA.) community attending the Montage Health annual luncheon recently, I was impressed with his message to young and old: “Don’t Give Up and don’t be afraid to ask for help,” when needed. Seemed like an unusual talk for an athlete who won 23 Olympic Gold medals, yet Phelps was open to discussing his own anxiety and depression history. He related how helping others has been important in restoring his healthy lifestyle. Phelps was asked if swimming wasn’t his sport, what sport would he want to participate in? He said he’d like to be a pro golfer. His story reminded me of this story about Jeff Sluman.

This week the PGA Golf tour is in Pebble Beach for the AT&T Pro-Am.

Clay Larson tells this story about his friend, professional golfer Jeff Sluman, playing in this tournament. Some years ago, Clay’s son, Derek, then about 17 years of age, was struggling with his game. Sluman volunteered to help Derek, after the final round of this tournament. As Clay and Derek were watching the final round on television, Sluman was tied with Mark O’Meara, when the match went to sudden death. In the first playoff hole, Jeff and Mark both reached the fringe of the sixteenth green at Pebble in two. Mark chipped his ball in for a birdie. Jeff’s 40-foot putt died short; Mark won the playoff and the tournament.

The Larsons’ groaned in sympathy as they headed off to another golf course to play, knowing that Sluman had to be disappointed and would not be able to join them. As they were putting out on the fifteenth green, Sluman came walking up and said, “Hi guys, I thought I’d find you here, and said to Derek, come on “D” grab your clubs, let’s play the last three holes, I want to see your golf swing.” As Clay walked along with them, he proudly watched as Sluman assessed and critiqued Derek’s every shot, making a few minor improvements.

Sluman had just lost a major PGA tournament by one stroke, one he had won two years back, and yet was willing to spend the time to help a young kid. Clay said to Jeff that they would understand if Jeff had passed on the golf lesson, Sluman remarked, “Ah, nah, nothing better for getting rid of disappointment than helping someone else”

Will you follow Phelps and Sluman’s example to help someone when you least feel up to it?

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

NEW: Jim’s new Podcast ‘TunneySide of Sports’ will be up and running shortly. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, he is available for speaking engagements. His bobblehead and books are listed on his website.

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.comThank you!

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

Basketball Chaos!

On the TunneySide of Sports January 29, 2018 #677 Up next…Basketball Chaos!On the TunneySide of Sports January 29,  2018 #677 Up next…Basketball Chaos!

After further review…Recently during a National Basketball Association game, the physicality of the action on the court led to one team so incensed that following the game two of their players burst into to their opponents’ locker room and started a brawl. If you have watched NBA games in recent years, you probably could assume this was bound to happen. Unfortunately, trash talk is acceptable in pro sports, but it can, and does, escalate into unnecessary physical contact. The size and prowess of today’s players makes avoiding contact in that 90’ by 50’ rectangle almost impossible. Further, the constant complaining by players and coaches to game officials has turned off many fans.

First, a bit of history. I played, coached, and officiated basketball for 50 years. In those days, it was a two-man officiated game. Any form of contact was to be called a foul.  Kareem Abdul Jabbar (aka Lewis Alcindor of U.C.L.A. one of the all-time greats) was unstoppable. But think how much greater he might have been if he were permitted to dunk, which was not allowed until after he graduated. In today’s game, the old term lay-up is almost non-existent; you must “slam-dunk it” or it will be blocked. For many years, NBA rules have permitted tactical contact with an opponent, but it has now escalated into grabbing and pushing.

The physical contact allowed in the NBA has trickled down to college and even high schools. If you have a son playing high school basketball, you probably have noticed how kids try to emulate their “heroes.” (Editor note: Players are not heroes in this writer’s opinion, but they are – or should be – role models.) Many of those NBA players take the role-model responsibility seriously. But far too many, including star players, do not. The role model example applies both on and off the court.

NBA rules’ makers have a lot of work to do. Palming, traveling, moving screens, charging, unnecessary contact are just a few violations and fouls that have allowed this game to get out of hand. It may be an impossible task. Monetary fines are not the answer. What is a $25,000 fine to a player making several million per season? While no fan wants to see their favorite player suspended, that may be the only answer!

Will you log-in your thoughts on to how to make basketball more watchable?

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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.comThank you!

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