Summertime!

On the TunneySide of Sports August 7, 2017 #652 Up next…Summertime!
On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS August 7, 2017, #652 Up Next… “Summertime!”

After further review…Summer vacation, as I called it way back then, was always a joyful time. School was out about the third week in June and didn’t resume until the Monday after Labor Day. It was a lazy do-what-you-want-to do time until I was 12. At that age, I began having a summer job – still have one! As a high school or college student, teacher, school administrator, or professional speaker, I have always worked during the summer to maintain our family lifestyle. But prior to age 12, it was my bike, the playground, the local swimmin’ pool, and friends.

I relate so well to the story that famed sportswriter and long-time friend Rick Reilly sent me some years back. Reilly has been named National Sports Media Association’s Sportswriter of the year 11 times, and for years served as the “back page” columnist for Sports Illustrated. His story, edited here to reflect present conditions and some brevity, is about a father and his young son lying on the grass on a summer afternoon watching the clouds wander by, in the stillness of the moment the son asked, “Dad, why are we here?”

Dad replied, “Well son, I don’t think it’s all that complicated. I think maybe we’re here just to teach a kid how to bunt, turn two, and eat sunflower seeds without using his hands. Maybe we’re here to see, at least once, the pocket collapse around Andrew Luck, when it’s fourth- and-never with 26 seconds on the clock. Or to sit and watch as the count goes to 3-1 on Aaron Judge with bases loaded, and the pitcher begins wishing he’d gone on to med school.

“We’re here to wear our favorite sweat-soaked Dodgers cap, torn USC sweatshirt and the Jordan basketball shoes we once could afford. It’s one of those Saturday mornings with nowhere we need to go and nowhere special we have to be. We’re here to see Crosby setting up behind the net, tying some poor goaltender’s neck into a Windsor knot. We’re here to watch Kershaw peer-in for a sign, two out, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth. We’re here to witness Spieth lining up a twenty-foot birdie to win the Open.”

Dad continued, “I don’t think we’re here to get on Sportscenter. Or to see grown-ups spend so much time doggedly slaving toward the better car, the perfect house, chasing happiness when happiness is already within themselves. Does that answer your question, son?”

He said, “Not really, Dad.” Dad, with wrinkled brow, said “No?” And the son said, “No, what I meant is, why are we here when Mom said to pick her up forty-minutes ago?

Will you log-in with your favorite summer memories?

To contact Rick Reilly, go to Rick Riley Online. For Jim, visit JimTunney.com. Both Reilly and Tunney are available to speak with stories like these for your enjoyment.

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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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Sully

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On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS July 31, 2017, #651 Up Next…“Sully”

After further review…The 2016 movie produced and directed by Clint Eastwood titled Sully was named after Captain Chelsey Burnett Sullenberger, the captain of US Airways Flight 1546 who safely landed in the Hudson River in New York on January 15, 2009. After taking off from LaGuardia Airport in Long Island, Sully’s Air Bus A320 encountered a flock of Canada geese that knocked out both engines. And while Air Buses are built to be able to glide without power, Sully and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles had only a few seconds to decide where to land with 155 passengers aboard.

During the follow-up investigation by the National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) many questions were asked as to how this “Hudson River Landing” could be prevented in future “bird-encounter” incidents. The movie portrayed the NTSB as hostile toward Sully and Skiles, although the NTSB claims it was asking difficult questions only to determine proper safety measures. The integration questioned whether Sully could have returned to LaGuardia or landed at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. Several simulations were shown how landing at either of those two airports was a better option than the dangerous water landing.

Sully, portrayed in the movie by Tom Hanks, said his response very well, indicating that while the simulations were done without the emotion of real-time pressure. In a situation this unusual, the personal responsibility and all that must go through a pilot’s mind created the tense reality of the situation.

Hanks’, er, Sully’s explanation recalled to mind many such decisions that game officials must make during live action on the field of play. While the NTSB wanted perfection, it must depend on the judgment and integrity of its personnel. In sports, fans want absolute perfection from game officials, yet must understand that is likely unattainable. For instance, Major League Baseball is currently exploring the possibility of calling of balls and strikes by use of an electronic strike zone. A recent claim was that today’s major league plate umpires are calling balls and strikes at a 30 percent error rate. Furthermore, the strike zone differs from plate umpire to plate umpire, enhancing the cries for electronic monitoring.

While all professional sports leagues are using video technology during their games, the TunneySide is opposed to the use of such measures for balls and strikes. Taking a lesson from Sully’s argument, the position here is that human judgment, in games played by humans, is important to the integrity of the sport.

Will you log-in your thoughts about the use of technology in human judgment?

JimTunney-DeniseGriffittsI was recently interviewed on Your Partner In Success Radio and we discussed this very thing, among other important topics.  You can also listen in iTunes. Please listen in and I would love to hear your thoughts!

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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 Tunney Side of Sports Columns | Leave a comment

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!

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