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.

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Monkey On Your Back?

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On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 17, 2017, # 636 Up Next… “Monkey on your back?”

After further review…We’ve all heard that expression about an athlete who “hasn’t won the big one.” It was applied to PGA golfer Sergio Garcia, until he won the 81st Masters tournament on April 9, 2017. That same expression was hung on Phil Mickelson until he won the Masters in 2004, after being on the PGA tour and qualifying 11 times before winning. “Lefty” has won the Masters twice since, 2006 and 2010. Is monkey on your back real?

What does that expression mean? Where did it come from? History tells us, it was applied to Sinbad the Sailor encountering the Old Man of the Sea (we’ll let you research that). It was often applied to someone addicted to drugs and unable to get rid of that disease. Years ago some said it applied to those who had to carry (on their shoulders) a heavy house mortgage. Hmm, maybe it wasn’t that long ago. Is it metaphorical? If you have ever played golf, you know it is real! In golf, an expression called the “yips” plagues a golfer and often seems like it will never go away! The movie “Tin Cup” starring Kevin Costner as Roy McAvoy, an amateur playing in the U.S. Open, experienced the yips and tried every trick to get rid of it.

Monkey on your back and the “yips” are similar since they both contain an unknown characteristic not necessarily caused by any action taken by the athlete. The monkey label is most often applied by the media or outside influences. You could also make a case for someone experiencing the yips. In both cases, it is not something the athlete did on purpose or even accidentally. When outside influences override one’s mindset, more likely it is that person has lost confidence.

In our book “It’s the Will, Not the Skill” Herm Edwards, former NFL player as well as head coach and now ESPN analyst. makes a strong case for: “You can lose your momentum, but never lose your confidence.” That loss of momentum could well have taken place in Garcia and/or Mickelson, but when they did shrug off outside rhetoric, they maintained the confidence that got them where they are now.

Will you log-in your thoughts on how either of these characteristics can be overcome?

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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 | 1 Comment

Fair Play?

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 10, 2017 #635 Up next…Fair Play?

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS April 10, 2017, # 635 Up Next… “Fair Play?”

After further review…The topic of fair play in the sports world continues to be front and center in every frame on your television screen. That screen, perhaps, reveals more than it was designed to do. Several recent televised sporting events have raised concerns by the purists of sport. This is about the fairness of how the rules govern sports.

One involves the female golfer, Lexi Thompson, playing in the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration Tournament at the Mission Hills Country Club, Diana Shore Course in Rancho Mirage, California. Thompson missed a birdie putt on the 17th hole on Saturday. Before tapping it in for her par, she stopped and marked her ball. When she reset her ball, she mistakenly replaced it in a slightly different spot. Not only did Thompson not know it, but neither did her partners nor the rules officials present. However, some knucklehead watching at home emailed that mistake to tournament officials. Trouble is, the officials were not notified until the next day. They then penalized Thompson four strokes for the misplacement as well as for turning in an incorrect scorecard. Thompson went from three ahead to one shot behind. But those are the rules.

Jack Nicklaus, who has won more Masters’ Tournaments (six) than anyone in history said, “Once the round is over, and the scorecard is signed, the day is over; penalties shouldn’t be assessed after a round is completed.” As renowned as the “Golden Bear” is, changing golf rules may be beyond his influence.

A day earlier (Friday) and moving from Rancho Mirage to Dallas, Texas, we find yet another strange rule occurring in the semi-final NCAA women’s basketball tournament between Mississippi State University and the University of Connecticut. In the final two minutes of the game, with the score within a point or two, contact occurred between an MSU player and her opponent. No foul was called on the court, but replays showed that the Connecticut player was hit in the throat by the MSU player – it didn’t look intentional.
MSU took the ball downcourt to their basket and called timeout. Replays of that contact shown on the arena screen appeared that it could be ruled as a flagrant foul. The officiating crew, by rule, did review the play on video and ruled the contact a “Flagrant 1” foul awarding Connecticut two free throws and the ball out of bounds. Again, a ruling by video replay, not called by the on-court officials. Connecticut missed one free throw and MSU won the game!

Will you log-in your opinion on rulings of this type is any sport?

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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 | 1 Comment