If you’ve been a regular listener to the CornerstoneDad podcast (if not, check out the episodes), you’ve heard my son KD on quite a few shows break down his thoughts on sports, race, relationships and anything else thrown at him.
Today is his 24th birthday!
When I was 24, he was 3 1/2 years old. I was working at a grocery store and was entering my 5th year there, struggling to figure out what to do with my life. The only stability I had at that time, was my then girlfriend and now wife, oh yea…and my Mustang!
However, there’s one thing I’m pretty confident about, and that’s the impact that young man had on my life.
Without him, there would likely be no CornerstoneDad.com, because it is through our trials and tribulations that made me appreciate my role even more.
Once again I’d like to remind my young dad’s out there to keep pressing. If you’re struggling being a young father while you’re trying to grow up and be a man your own-self, think of this time period out there as a football game:
0-5 yrs. old – 1st quarter
6-10 yrs. old – 2nd quarter
11-15 yrs. old – 3rd quarter
16-20 yrs. old – 4th quarter
Now, which QB will you be? When I was younger, I always knew that Joe Montana could make comeback. Dan Marino could make a comeback. You did not turn the channel because you never wanted to be “that guy” on Tuesday morning after Monday Night Football to hear, “You didn’t see what happened last night?”, because you turned the game off and went to bed because you thought the game was over. Not with those guys, because even if the Niners or the Dolphins would lose, the game would almost always be close in the end.
Will you give up because of the struggle in the 1st quarter or the 1st half? Oftentimes, the 3rd quarter determines the game, so if you have a good lead (relationship), will you relax and lose it in the 4th quarter? Are you a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady (the two top active career comeback leaders in NFL history) that are always determined to win, no matter what the early quarters looked like? Are you steadfast on remaining in the game because of your integrity and even if you “lose”, the court system, your child’s mother, your relatives, her relatives will all know, that you’re a fighter? You’ll fight to see or be involved in your child’s life regardless of the obstacles.
Personally, I wanted to throw in the towel in every quarter of the game. When the picture above was taken, seeing that young man at 24 was out of my realm of possibility. I thought the tough times would never end.
God is good, and was working even when I was not a good father, and I praise him for allowing me to see my son turn 24, and for me to be alive to say, Happy Birthday for yet another year.
“Nothing lasts unless it can be expressed in the terms of a human spirit.”
Steve Sabol (1942-2012)
I just watched the NFL network’s, A Football Life: Steve Sabol, with my sons. Steve, founder of NFL Films, revolutionized sports television and to a lesser degree, sports video games such as the John Madden franchise.
Steve’s story is absolutely amazing, but the story and relationship he had with his father is even better.
Check out the video below that Steve put together about his dad, Ed Sabol, for his enshrinement as a member of the Hall of Fame class of 2011.
I met with some clients a couple of weeks ago from South Korea. We talked a little baseball, and one of the gentlemen stated that one of the teams had no Korean players on the team, so he was going for the other. I laughed and told him these days, I’m struggling to find African-Americans on any baseball team either!
This years Fall Classic featuring the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals looks like nothing like your father’s baseball teams.
Thirty- years ago in 1983, here’s the opening day line-up I remember shuffling around. My boy Damon and I battled each other daily at the strike-box we made on the side of the building imitating the batting stances and characteristics of the following players:
Four of the nine were African-American, or perhaps we could say they were batting .444, which was very good!
What about the Red Sox?
One of the nine would at considered African-American, or perhaps we could say they were batting .111. Well, Boston was the last team to integrate in the MLB and it’s been said that African-American’s would rather cheer for the opposing team than for the home team (sounds like me actually).
St. Louis, doing well, Boston,…not so much. The Red Sox have always had problems with their racist past (passing on Willie Mays because of his color) but were trying to change things, at least they were 10 years ago according to this article in 2002 (click here).
So how much has actually changed?
The following is an article from the Boston Globe seems to indicate that perhaps the 1983 Red Sox were ahead of the “changing demographic” time. I’m glad that some are still calling attention to the fact that African-American’s are becoming extinct in the National Pastime. Why is that a problem? Because the train will not be returning to the station to pick up the passengers left back. As legendary Father of Sports Sociology Dr. Harry Edwards pointed out in a recent interview, without African-American ball players, baseball is experiencing record profits (check out why Forbes feels it’s more than about ticket sales here). So with the money rolling in, why should that be a primary area of focus for MLB? Bob Costas, appearing on Dave Zirin’s Edge of Sports podcast (listen here), points out that the problem is beyond the changing demographics of teams, but the game itself could face overall irrelevance with future generations. As Costas duly noted, the NFL makes sure that its most important games can be seen by everyone. However, with MLB, the early rounds of the playoffs are nearly impossible to find (in some cases like Detroit vs. Oakland, the game was not on television at all in Detroit!) and the World Series comes on late and lasts long after the bedtimes of its future fans.
Therefore, beyond the extinction of African-American baseball players in the game. Baseball needs to be careful that its current prosperity isn’t the final rally before the Closer (i.e. NFL) comes in to put them away in the game.
Check out this article below from the Boston Globe by Gary Washburn.
Feel free to leave comments below!
World Series shows MLB’s dearth of black players
When Adron Chambers was left off the Cardinals’ World Series roster Wednesday to create a spot for the team’s RBI leader, Allen Craig, Red Sox utility outfielder Quintin Berry realized that he was the sole African-American representation on baseball’s grandest stage.
This exemplifies an issue Major League Baseball has been grappling with for the better part of two decades. The participation of African-Americans has been dwindling to the point where there is not one black starter or front-line player in this year’s Fall Classic.
Berry, 28, who was acquired by the Sox from the Royals in August for his speed, is unlikely to even get an at-bat in the Series. It’s a stirring testament to the decline of baseball’s popularity in the African-American community.
MLB records show that just 8.5 percent of players on Opening Day rosters were black. And now, just one of the 50 players participating in the World Series identifies himself as African-American.
Berry, whose father is black, said he is fully aware of the declining numbers and that many athletes of his generation chose to pursue basketball or football, more fast-paced and popular sports.
“Especially being from the neighborhood that I’m from, you don’t see a lot of guys playing this sport,” said Berry, who went to Morse High School in San Diego. “You see them playing football and choosing that alley.
“But I had to go where my body type and my ability was going to allow me to. It was weird, because nobody in my family knew much about baseball. My father was a football player.”
The problem is not a lack of effort by Major League Baseball. It has implemented RBI programs — for “Reviving Baseball In Inner Cities” — throughout the country to encourage young African-Americans to embrace the sport. But MLB in general has done a terrible job of promoting its sport, let alone to African-Americans who admire athletes such as LeBron James and Adrian Peterson.
Major League Baseball has long struggled with self-promotion, and the past 20 years have been a public-relations disaster considering the scandals involving performance-enhancing drugs. Seven-time MVP Barry Bonds was perhaps the most talented player of his generation, yet baseball wants nothing to do with him because of his association with PEDs.
While the NFL and NBA are busy ushering their all-time greats into the Hall of Fame, baseball wishes Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and Sammy Sosa would disappear.
Part of the issue is that baseball is a classical sport caught up in a hip-hop world. The games last well beyond three hours. The pace is slow. The commentators analyze the game as if they were detailing the government shutdown and not talking about a kid’s game. The sport takes itself much too seriously, and for the casual fan — which most kids are — that translates like organic chemistry.
With the sport considerably less appealing than basketball or football to the novice fan, there isn’t the eagerness for parents to register their kids for Little League. A generation ago, it seemed Little League was a staple of every community. Even if you didn’t like baseball, you played on the local park team. Now? Those kids are playing basketball, football, and soccer, or have become part of the X Games trend.
Former major league outfielder Chris Singleton, now a commentator for ESPN, believes the issue expands beyond the playing field.
“I’m looking at management positions in the game,” said Singleton, who is African-American. “I know we’ve had an issue with the declining number of African-American players on teams, whereas you had teams like Minnesota, which had one player, Aaron Hicks, and then when he got sent down, they didn’t have an African American player, which is kind of a first in a long time.
“You can even look at broadcasters if you want to and say there’s 30 teams and there’s one black full-time play-by-play announcer [Dave Sims in Seattle].”
There has been an influx of African-American talent such as Matt Kemp, Jason Heyward, David Price, Adam Jones (Berry’s high school buddy), and Andrew McCutchen, but many of those players would go unrecognized by the casual sports fan.
Also, one current African-American major leaguer said there’s a perception among African-American major leaguers that the game isn’t as welcoming to them as it is to others when their physical skills begin to decline.
A fundamental problem is that baseball didn’t have to emphasize its greatness, its beauty, and its allure to previous generations.
It was America’s Game. The national pastime. That is no longer the case.
Baseball has to restate its worthiness to a new generation, one that didn’t grow up breaking in new gloves with plenty of oil and a couple of nights under the bed post — for those who don’t remember Bo Jackson scaling an outfield wall or Dave Parker throwing out Brian Downing at third base on a bullet from right field.
Otherwise, the sport is simply selling itself on history and tradition, and as with many other genres, that isn’t good enough for the young folks.
“When I go home and tell my buddies what the game needs, they need guys with speed and athleticism and the role that I am doing,” Berry said, “hopefully that will help them or their kids down the line, maybe push them to try to get them into this sport.
“I am happy I am able to do this and hope people follow in these footsteps.”
Remember last week when I said I would lose to william’s Team this week? All I have to say is; I think I have what it takes to be a fortune teller. Here are the summaries.
The Kansas City Chiefs Defense scored a team-leading 26.00 points to help Father_N_TwoBoys (4-2, 773.32) knock off The Crushers (0-6, 635.68), 120.44 – 111.48. The 120.44 points put up by Father_N_TwoBoys was the lowest winning score of the week and the win was the team’s third in a row.
BaldHeadSlicks (4-2, 730.16) got 27.50 points from Marshawn Lynch and knocked off FluffyKittens (3-3, 720.26), 125.36 – 98.40. BaldHeadSlicks scored 12.3% more points than projected (111.58) and has now beaten expectations for three straight weeks.
william’s Team (4-2, 635.08) picked up the league’s highest score of the week from Cam Newton (30.68 points) and waxed The Best Team (3-3, 693.70), 126.68 – 82.80. It was the biggest margin of victory of the season for william’s Team.
I’m hoping I will be able to come back into first place. But for now, I’ll have to do everything in my power to get to that top spot. Unfortunately for me, I hate waiting a week for things to happen.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s update and I’ll see you next time.
I was feeling pretty old last night and bummed-out after being injured yesterday. But the more I thought, I remembered a post by Dante Trudel (inventor of the Doggcrapp training program) about getting injured. To paraphrase, he pointed out that if you are really training hard and you get after it in the weight room, you will likely get injured at one time or another. To not get hurt likely means that you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. Fitness-folk will always treat injuries as if it’s due to irresponsibility of “being macho”, yet in no other sport is being injured considered this way. Groin pulls, hamstring pulls, ankle sprains are all a part of giving your all and part of the job.
Unfortunately when you get older, you don’t have that Adrian Peterson recovery any longer.
Just ask Derek Jeter:
“Jeter, 39, played in just 17 games this season as he recovered from two ankle surgeries. Jeter fractured his left ankle in Game 1 of the 2012 American League Championship Series, came back to play in spring-training games, but underwent a second procedure in April. He made his season debut on July 11, but immediately suffered a quadriceps injury, and has been dogged by leg ailments since. Jeter hasn’t played since Saturday, complaining of more pain in his left ankle.
“It’s very disappointing not to be able to play,” Jeter said at a press conference at Baltimore’s Camden Yards, before the Yankees played the Orioles, “especially this time of year. This is when I want to play the most.”
Moderate stretching as I get up from my desk frequently just to kneel on one knee.
Afternoon Treatment – Ice bag – 30 minutes
Tonight – Ice bag – 30 minutes
My hips actually feel better than they did this time last week. Shifting the Stang last week was brutal! I could barely flex my legs and had to depend a lot on dorsiflexion to move my feet to handle the pedals.
I’m walking with more of a noticeable limp than last week. Walking and standing without my butt sticking out is very difficult (and I’m not a flat-booty brotha either), but it is actually quite painful to push my hips forward as it stretches the hip flexor muscles. My glutes are also sore as well, because yesterday I had to continuously use them to extend my stride when my feet hit the ground since I could not get my leg high in the air to propel my body. Times like now, you’re definitely remind of what a marvelously integrated-system God designed.
Of course the atheists out there would say evolution did it. But they would never go out and not have their car start one day and just not take it to a mechanic. But perhaps it has evolved to another state for no reason? Oh, just leave it there for 100,000 years and then it’ll turn into a perfectly running Boeing 757.
But I digress…
Take a look at the diagram below and you’ll get an idea of all of the muscles involved just for us to walk and run (e.g. hip extension and hip flexion are only two motions!)
In my next post, I’ll introduce you to the best drug/therapy you can use for most injuries, and it’s probably not what you think!
First, today’s post is not brought to you by CornerstoneDad, this is his son (aka the Large Professor).
What do you think? After a teammate takes his life, should the team play a game the next day? After you have a teammate that might be gone for the
rest of the season and one you will never see again, should the team play the next day?
Saturday morning, December 1st, 2012. Jovan Belcher, one of the starting linebackers for the Kansas City Chiefs, is said to have murdered the mother of his three-month-old child. Belcher then drove to the Chiefs facility, which is where it is said that he took his own life in front of his head coach, defensive coordinator, and general manager.
Now, think about what happened the next Saturday, December 8th, 2012. Early in the morning, nose tackle Josh Brent was driving with linebacker Jerry Brown as passenger, both from the Dallas Cowboys. It is said that they were traveling at a high rate of speed, hit a curb, causing the car to flip at least once. Brown did not survive the crash. Brent was arrested and was charged with Intoxication Manslaughter. This was the second time in three years Josh Brent has been arrested for an offense involving drunk driving.
But after both of those tragedies, the NFL decided to have the teams play as scheduled on Sunday. Some are wondering, why? I agree with the position of Jason Whitlock from Fox Sports:
You may argue that we all grieve differently. You may argue that playing the game is the best way to move on and heal. You may argue that canceling or delaying the game would serve no purpose and would be unfair to the fans who traveled to Kansas City to see Cam Newton and the Panthers play the Chiefs.
I would argue that your rationalizations speak to how numb we are in this society to gun violence and murder. We’ve come to accept our insanity. We’d prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of the prevailing notion that the second amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it.
What are your thoughts? Should the NFL have canceled or postponed the games?
Feel free to leave a comment and thanks for reading!