The ESPYs

The ESPYs
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS July 24, 2017, #650 Up Next…“The ESPY’s”

After further review…Earlier this month, ESPN presented its 25th anniversary of the ESPYs Awards in Los Angeles, California. The TunneySide watched with personal interest as a fan of ESPN since it began in 1975. In 1994, I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a “bumper” for the second edition of the ESPYs, to which my first thought was, “What’s a bumper?” That description was “We are asking you to be in your NFL uniform and, on cue, step to center stage, give the official time-out signal and say, ‘Time out – we’ll be right back after these messages.’” I did that four times during that show and have always looked forward to the event ever since.

This year the 25th ESPYs honored the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver with the Arthur Ashe Award, given in the name of the late legendary tennis player who was a longtime human rights campaigner. Shriver’s son Tim Kennedy accepted the award with a dynamic speech about inclusion, specifically, the Special Olympics, which Shriver founded. Shriver’s commitment to Special Olympics believed,” Everybody has something to contribute and everybody deserves a chance.” I was privileged to take part in the Special Olympics California Summer Games for several years and can testify that these special athletes give their all to win. They embody their motto, “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.

The other significant part of this year’s ESPYs was the presentation of the Icon Award, given to Vincent Edward Scully. Scully, who retired as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ broadcaster in October 2016 after 67 years, is a man I have considered a friend for 40 years and I can attest that he deserves every accolade for the grace and humility with which he appreciated the game and all the people he worked alongside. Scully said it was never a job, but something he enjoyed and looked forward to every game. He was the broadcaster with a marvelous voice and an unmatched choice of words. During one Dodgers’ game, a ball was fouled back into the broadcast booth. Scully, with great aplomb, said on-the-air. “That sound you heard was a foul ball that crashed into our booth next to my wife Sandy, and almost nailed her.” Classic Scully.

One disappointment of these ESPYs is that some of the athletes dressed as if they were going to the gym, instead of a prestigious awards event being televised nationally. With the evening comprised of such poignant moments, it would be nice to see a higher formal standard from our current sports role models.

Will you honor those so awarded with respect of their accomplishments?

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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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How Much is Enough?

Steph Curry, with a five-year $201 million contract.
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS July 17, 2017, #649 Up Next…“How much is enough?”

After further review…The month of July means a swirl of National Basketball Association contract negotiations, as free agency commences for those NBA players who have completed their existing contracts. Free agency was first obtained in Major League Baseball by Curt Flood of the St. Louis Cardinals, and allows a player, after his contract expires, the option of leaving his current T*E*A*M to seek another.

In the NBA, July 1, 2017, was a monumental date for some players. The world champion Golden State Warriors locked-in their outstanding point guard and 3-point shooter, Steph Curry, with a five-year $201 million contract. Wow! This computes to just over $490,000 for every game he plays for the Warriors over the next five years. Now just minute, you Warriors’ fans, don’t go jumping on the messenger. As you review what the NBA is paying players throughout the league and assess the value that Curry brings to the Warriors, you may (or may not) agree that the money is well-served.

Curry’s teammate for the 2016-17 season was Kevin Durant, who exercised his free agency at the end of the 2016 season, leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Warriors. His presence and abilities not only may have been the deciding factor in the Warriors’ NBA championship, they also earned Durant the Finals MVP award. To remain with the Warriors, this off-season, he took a “pay cut” to help his T*E*A*M retain a couple of his teammates – namely Andre Iguodala, who signed for $48 million over three years and Shaun Livingston, who got $20 million for three years. Durant could have easily demanded the Warriors pay the maximum allowable salary of $31.8 million. Instead, he will make just over $25 million in each of the next two years. In his nine-year NBA career to date, Durant has made approximately $135 million. However, In the most lucrative deal of the summer, Houston Rockets star James Harden’s $228 million is the largest contract in NBA history and has further stretched the limits.

If you are a basketball player, maybe since grade school, and love this game with the ability to play at the professional level, would you take less to follow your dream and passion to play?  Of course, you would, if the rest of the NBA complied. But what amount would you demand? Or would you search for another field to earn a living? In past years many legendary NBA athletes played when the salaries were far lower. However, this is where the NBA market is today.

Will you log-in your thoughts about the salaries of professional athletes today?

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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

An Honest Approach

TunneySide of Sports - An Honest Approach
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS July 10, 2017, #648 Up Next…“An honest approach”

After further review…A friend and fellow NFL official told me this story that bears repeating. One day while golfing with colleagues in the insurance business, he discovered yet another example of honesty being the only policy. He knew two of the men in his foursome but didn’t really get to know the fourth until later in the round. For sake of anonymity here, he called this fourth player “Ace.” Ace and his business partner had owned a property and casualty agency.

Those two had put in years of effort and grew their business into a respected midsize firm. It had attracted the attention of one of the big conglomerates. So, after heavy negotiations, they decided to accept the big firm’s offer and sell. But after a couple of years, Ace and his partner felt they weren’t active enough and wanted to take their business back into their own hands. The “big guns” said they couldn’t, claiming they had agreed to a non-compete clause. Ace knew there had never been such a discussion, much less an agreement, so the case went to court.

After two days of listening to both sides insisting their memory was the truth, the judge said, in effect, “It’s basically a question who do I believe, and in in the absence of any real evidence, I have to go with my gut. Several years ago, the judge said, “Ace played in the state golf championship. On the 18th hole, he hooked a drive into the rough, he was up and out in one, made his putt and apparently had won the tournament. However, before Ace signed his scorecard he admitted that he had grounded his club in the hazard. This violation, which no one had noticed, resulted in a two-stroke penalty and dropped him into second place. Ace could have slinked through and taken the win, but he didn’t. He told the truth when he didn’t have to and I believe he’s telling the truth now. Case closed.”

Being honest — in sports, in business, or relationships — for all the right reasons, even ones that you can’t anticipate, is the best and only way to live your life. This truth has been exposed time and time again, and more and more aptly proves the age-old saw—virtue is its own reward.

Will your path of life be down the road of honesty in all relationships?

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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