Is Kap Inspirational?

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 16, 2017 # 628 Up next...Is Kap Inspirational?

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 16, 2017 #628 Up next… “Is Kap Inspirational?”

After further review… Leonard Charles Eshmont died from hepatitis over 50 years ago. He was a member of the first San Francisco 49er T*E*A*M (1946-1949). After graduating from Fordham University, Eshmont was the 30th pick of the New York Giants. He was traded to the 49ers, as both a running back as well as a defensive back – he played both positions in every game. He scored the first touchdown in 49er history. Because of his inspirational and courageous play, the ‘Niners named an award in his honor: “The Eshmont Award for Inspiration and Courage”.

When I recently read that a current San Francisco player, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, was named the 2016 Eshmont Award recipient, I researched the past winners. The first recipient was quarterback Y.A. Tittle in 1957. Other Eshmont Award winners have included Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice, and Jimmy Johnson, who each won twice. The most frequent recipient of this award, which is voted on by teammates, has been eight-time winner Bryant Young. Considering (as well as knowing) all the 50-plus recipients of the 49ers’ most prestigious team award, the choice of Kaepernick was a surprise.

Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem prior to the 49ers’ 2016 NFL games struck a chord of disrespect in many, as it did in me. The TunneySide takes the stance that while Kaepernick has the constitutional right to protest, he did so while being part of a T*E*A*M, which stands as a unit out of respect to the flag and anthem – symbols of our nation, the very entity that gives him and others the “right” to disrespect. Moreover, he was “on-the-clock,” i.e., being paid by an organization which promotes patriotism as part of their pre-game ceremony.

If the 49er organization had taken the position to disagree with Kaepernick’s form of protest, could they have cut him from the T*E*A*M? They surely could. But per his contract, they would have to pay him his salary for that year – a double-digit million-dollar figure! Of course, Kaepernick knew this, and thus, in this case, held the upper hand.

Further, Len Eshmont, and all the other recipients of the award created in his honor, inspired their fellow T*E*A*M (Together Everyone Accomplishes More) members to perform together as one. While all 53 active players, as well as management, must share in the responsibility of the 49ers’ disastrous 2016 season, how important a role did Kaepernick’s refusal to stand play?

Will you log-in your argument for or against Kaepernick’s position?

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

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.

Posted in NFL, Tunney Side of Sports Columns | 3 Comments

Rose Bowl – The Granddaddy…

Rose Bowl

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 9, 2017 #627 Up next… “Rose Bowl – The Granddaddy…”

After further review… ”The Granddaddy of the Them All” was the proud subhead first given to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. When there were just four college bowl games played on January 1st, this name for the Rose Bowl recognized the culmination that its outcome represented, and it was a game that people couldn’t miss seeing or listening to. I carry a lot more than the name of that game with me; my history goes way back. So it comes as a distinct pleasure for me to comment on the game played this year (because January 1 fell on a Sunday, the Rose Bowl was played the following day). Penn State University vs the University of Southern California was the best of all 40 bowl games played this season. Did you notice that no member of either T*E*A*M was identified by his name on his jersey, a lack of display suggesting that “you play for the T*E*A*M and not for yourself?”

The Rose Bowl itself is a most memorable stadium for me. I started going there when I was six or seven years old. My dad, a high school and college football official, officiated games there, and he would take me with him (I carried his “gear bag”). I would sit on the players’ bench and watch the action up close and personal. One evening during a Pasadena Junior College game, Dad came over to the bench and said to me, “Now keep your eye on this kid, he’s really gonna be somethin’.” He was pointing right at him, and that kid was Jackie Robinson, later to be known as #42, and he was sitting right next to me.

On January 1st, 1947, just 70 years prior to the 2017’s Rose Bowl game, my dad was the Rose Bowl referee for a game between University of Illinois and U.C.L.A., with the Illini winning over the Bruins 45-14. I sat in section 21 that day watching halfback Buddy Young score two touchdowns to lead Illinois to victory.

Thirty years later – January 9, 1977, forty years ago, today – I was fortunate to be assigned as referee in the first Super Bowl (XI) game to be played in (my) Rose Bowl. The Oakland Raiders, helped by their great receiver Fred Biletnikoff’s MVP performance, defeated the Minnesota Vikings 32-14. I had a better seat that day standing behind both quarterbacks – the Raiders’ Ken Stabler and the Vikings’ Fran Tarkenton. The Rose Bowl will always be a “Granddaddy” to me, and I am, indeed, grateful.

Will you log-in your favorite memory of the Rose Bowl?

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

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.

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Careful what you ask for!

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 2, 2017 #626 Up… Careful what you ask for!

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS January 2, 2017 #626 Up next…Careful What You Ask For!

After further review… As we begin a new year what can we expect from our sports world as it searches for perfection? Will our well-paid professional athletes perform without error? Will video replay correct all misdeeds? Can we excuse our amateur athletes (little league to college student-athletes) from on-field errors? Can we expect them to give their best effort with their will and determination, although perhaps faltering along the way? Careful what you ask for!

As professional sports leagues search for perfection through video replay, careful consideration must be given to the integrity of the game. Since the use of video replay is well embedded in our living rooms, sports leagues need to maintain a balance for what the fan wants and what is best to ensure that the game is well managed. Some sports purists have long insisted that all decisions be kept on the field/court. The opinion here is that those purists have already lost that battle. If the fan at home can see replay after replay and decide on a fumble or score, why shouldn’t sports supervisors use it to ensure perfection? Careful what you ask for!

Football, basketball and baseball as well as others are under fan pressure to ensure accuracy. Professional golf ran up against an issue when fans at home caught a rules violation that on-course rules officials missed, and contacted the on-course authorities to have it corrected. Golf ruled that out. Replay, for better or worse, is here to stay.

In some sports, there is a call that all fouls/violations be reviewed, if a coach wants to challenge it. Careful what you ask for! Fans are unhappy with the time-delay in the video review. On-field officials are of the same thinking. Don’t get me wrong. Every official I have known in my six decades of officiating not only wants to correct errant calls, but more importantly wants to make the call correctly the first time, i.e., perfection. While perfection may be unlikely, seeking it may attain excellence in the process.

NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB now all have command centers (or similar names), where questionable calls are decided therein and not on the field or court. Careful what you ask for!

Will you log in your thoughts about the use of video replay in this coming year?

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

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.

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