Be at your best—every time!

ON THE TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS May 8, 2017 #639 Up next…Be at your best—every time!On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS May 8, 2017, #639 Next… “Be at your best – every time!”

After further review…It has been the intent of these TunneySides to look for the best in every current situation. Yet we remind our readers to not erase the past. A man and his son were riding in a cab in Washington D.C., when the son spotted a sign on a building inscribed with the saying “The past is prologue”. The son asked his father what that meant, and the father was speechless. Whereupon the cab driver spoke up and said: “It means y’all ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” The saying is from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest Act 2 Scene 1, and the cabbie was right.

With the 2017 NFL draft completed and 273 players selected, hopeful becomes a key word. How many of those drafted will make a positive impression on their T*E*A*M? Perhaps more importantly, how many will remain hopeful, including #273, the last player chosen? He is Mr. Irrelevant, Chad Kelly quarterback from the University of Mississippi, nephew of Jim Kelly, the Hall-of- Fame quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. Everyone at this point believes they all will make an impression. Can you blame them for believing so? Not at all.

I can remember my first year as an NFL game official in 1960, believing that I would be successful, yet as my career progressed there were many Sunday afternoons or Monday nights when I left the stadium wondering if I did my job to the best of my ability. My mantra after every game, was: Did I leave this game better than I found it? To maximize my performance, I created a self-evaluation form. I analyzed each game’s outcome with the following:

  • Was I prepared both physically and mentally?
  • Had I worked out daily so that I could keep up with players who were years younger?
  • Mentally speaking, had I studied the rule book so that I could administer the rules with confidence and without hesitation?

Secondly, did I represent the NFL without prejudice toward a player, coach or fan? I always felt that sustaining the integrity of the game rested with me.

Thirdly, did I treat each player and coach with respect? No matter how unruly a player or coach became, it was my responsibility to maintain dignity and composure.

Fourthly, in my referee position, as crew chief of the officiating team (once comprising four, then five, and now six others) did I work with them as a T*E*A*M to ensure we did the best job possible? We’ll explore other evaluation points later.

Will you strive to maintain your job, your family with the best you can offer, every time?

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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.

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Don’t give up on others too soon!

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS May 1, 2017 #638 Up next..Don’t give up on others too soon!On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS May 1, 2017, #638 Next… “Don’t give up on others too soon!”

After further review…May is here and major league baseball is in full swing. Coaches are thinking about their Little League summer schedule. A friend sent me this coaching story:

“When I stepped in as interim coach for my son’s Little League T*E*A*M, I met Harry. He is every coach’s dream. He shows up for practice early, stays late and is enthusiastic.  However, he is also every coach’s nightmare, as he has neither the instinct nor the physical talent for the game. He was a thin and awkward kid with his best throw about five feet and terrified when batting.

When Harry tried batting, he would close his eyes each time the pitch approached. So, as we prepared to play a team that beat us 22-1 previously, I went to the dugout and got a different bat for him, and said, ‘I want you to use this bat. It’s a magic bat. All you have to do is swing and it will hit the ball.’ Harry was skeptical but said he would try.

Beating this overpowering team would be a challenge, but our kids were doing their best. When lo and behold, we came to bat in the bottom of the final inning with runners on first, second and third, bases loaded, and you-know-who was next at the plate That’s right – it was Harry. Our opponents had already seen Harry at the plate and expected an easy out. How easy you ask? Well, all the infielders were in close (from their usual positions), the left fielder was lying on the grass, and the right fielder was chasing butterflies (oh, you’ve seen Little League games).

The pitcher was confident, having faced Harry earlier. First pitch, strike one. Harry didn’t swing, but he kept his eyes open. Second pitch, he swung with his eyes open but missed. Strike two. Coaching from first base, I yelled, ‘Good swing, Harry. You can do it.’ Harry looked worried. The opposing coach yelled to his pitcher, ‘Fire it past him and let’s end this thing.’ The pitcher threw a fastball and Harry swung. The magic bat did its trick. It found the ball, which sailed over the shortstop’s head.

Harry stood in wonderment as I yelled, ‘Harry run, run Harry.’ As Harry ran toward first base, our entire T*E*A*M was cheering him on. Our three base runners were waiting at home plate when Harry, who had never run this far, finally crossed the plate. A Grand Slam! Tears were streaming down my face as I hugged Harry, who looked at me and excitedly said, ‘Coach, the bat – the bat did it!’ I said, ‘No, Harry, it was you who hit the ball, not the bat.’”

Will you not lose faith in others who may appear less capable, until…?

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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.

Posted in Current Affairs, Sports | Leave a comment

Tanking!

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 24, 2017 #637 Up next…Tanking!

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 24, 2017, # 637 Up Next… “Tanking!”

After further review…Tanking, often defined as “the intentional losing of games,” has been associated over the years with professional tennis. Players who tanked were paid by gamblers. It is also a term used in the NBA (National Basketball Association) in more than one way. First, teams, who appear not to have a chance to win their division, either don’t play their star players or the players on the court commit unforced errors allowing their opponents to win. Thus, the tanking team finishes low in their division, thereby allowing it to be higher in the draft order. The NBA powers-that-be maintain this is strictly verboten. Hmmm.

Another version of tanking is occurring in this NBA season as head coaches are “sitting” their star players in games that are not important to win, i.e., that team has already qualified for the playoffs and is resting its stars. Often, when playing an inferior team, their bench players can play and beat a weaker team. Today’s fans are screaming loudly that they are paying top dollar for seats and demanding their favorite star players be on the court.

Coaches, who sit their star player(s), claim that the NBA is a long season and they need to rest those players so they will be fresh for the playoffs. Is that fair to the paying fans? Ok, so what if the coach does play his star player(s) in those meaningless games, and then because they are worn-out, the team is not successful in the playoffs. Is that what the fans want? The coach as well as the players on the team, want to win the division, the conference, and of course, the championship. Can you blame them?

A former NFL coach, who had a long and successful tenure with a Super Bowl victory, told me “You don’t get paid to coach, you get paid to win.” That same coach left coaching for several years because he said he “was burned out.”

Is it unethical for a coach to withhold a star player for him to be in his best shape for the playoffs? Do coaches today intend to lose a game near the end of the season because they have already qualified for the playoffs?

Herm Edwards was coaching in the NFL he said, “You play to win the game.” Is that still valued?

Will you log-in your opinion about tanking?

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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 | Tagged | Leave a comment