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Awesome Behind The Scenes Moments Before SuperBowl Blackout

Everyone will remember where they were when the SuperBowl Blackout occurred. I was at a hotel outside of Chicago watching the game as snow was falling outside. Where were you? What were you doing?

The above video is some awesome behind the scenes moments just before the SuperBowl Blackout. Ray Lewis goes over to Jacoby Jones and places his hands on him just before his 108 yard kickoff return. Ray Lewis says, “I touched him, I just did what God told me to do.”

Share your thoughts on the video, in addition to where were you were and what you were doing.

I’m Thankful To Be Afforded The Same Grace As @RayLewis

Well the Super bowl is over and all of the dust has settled from the blackout, Mr. Unassuming Joe Flacco getting it done and Kaepernick’s Big League effort. One thing the dust has not settled off of is the love/hate relationship for Ray Lewis. It’s more hate than love if you are basing it on the snapshot of the Social Media world.

A couple of weeks ago after the Ravens beat the Patriots, Patriot Receiver Wes Welker’s wife Burns Welker had this to say about Ray Lewis, “Proud of my husband and the Pats. By the way, if anyone is bored, please go to Ray Lewis’ Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay! What a hall of fame player! A true role model!”

Burns Welker, eventually apologized and Lewis accepted her apology, not before referring to the “Good Book.” Lewis said, “I’ve always been a firm believer of the Good Book, and the Good Book always confirms, even a fool is counted wise until he opens he or she mouth.” 

Welker’s comments were mild compared to the rest of the negative comments about Lewis in the Social Media World. According to Forbes.com, approximately 20 percent of all mentions of Lewis on sites like Twitter and Facebook were analyzed as negative or mixed in the past week and half of those negative mentions referenced Lewis’ alleged involvement in the murders.

I could mention some of the negative comments; however I don’t want to give them anymore attention than they deserve. If you want to read some of the negative comments, simply do a twitter search for “Ray Lewis” BAM they are still rolling in like the Crimson Tide.

The intriguing thing for me is non-Christians are beating Ray Lewis up for quoting scripture and the Christians are beating him up because “uhh, well, uhh, maybe because, he’s a guy who says he’s been changed by the power of Jesus, quoting scripture the best he can, sharing inspiration every chance he gets, representing shirts with scripture, the first words out of his mouth after winning the Super Bowl being scripture, because he’s got a past, he admits he used to be stupid and immature, he’s trying to look to the future, he had a road to Damascus experience, he forgives people that hate on him, he encourages people who are down and out, he wasn’t convicted of murder and…”

Ray Lewis has made a positive impact on the lives of many including Olympic Favorite, Michael Phelps. According to Phelps, Ray Lewis is who got Phelps back into the pool and kept him there. “He was probably the single reason I came back for four more years,’ Phelps said. “A lot of people don’t know that, but things that he has said to me, I can never thank him enough.”

As a former Prison Warden, I can say I’ve seen the Ray Lewis story up close and personal through the eyes of hundreds of really bad men who found Jesus. The one thing I can say about Ray Lewis and those prison inmates is they were blessed to be afforded a unique grace that can only be found through the blood of Jesus.

I’m Thankful To Be Afforded The Same Grace As @RayLewis

Thoughts?

5yo @SarahReddenDYT Rappin’ and Reppin’ The 49ers

This is funny… 5yo @SarahReddenDYT rappin’ and reppin’ her 49ers. Cool thing is she’s a #Thunder fan. Kaepernicking is what she does.

I gave my predictions on the playoffs and the #SuperBowl, so far I’ve been right. I think my streak will continue, Ravens win, Ray Leis story goes down in history and Kaepernick, Wilson, RG# and Manning’s battle it out over the next 5 years.

Kevin Durant Posterizes Marcin Gortat

This is ridiculous… Kevin Durant is “Not Nice!” Kevin Durant posterizes Marcin Gortat with one of the best dunks of the year.

Ray Lewis’ Inspirational Post Game Interview

Above is Ray Lewis’ Inspirational Post Game Interview after the Ravens defeated the Broncos in a double overtime 1st round playoff game… He wore a shirt with Psalm 91 on it last week and this week’s Post Game is laced with scripture and God inspiration all over it.

Ray Lewis inspires me and I think his retirement season is going to inspire many, as he leads the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl victory. There is something special about what’s going on with the end of his career and the beginning of his life post football. Every time I hear him speak, I learn a lot and walk away inspired. There seems to be a special anointing on his life.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on this interview and the miraculous nature of this post game since his retirement announcement.

“Rule 31”

For those of you that have followed me online for awhile, there are a few things that I hope you have come to know about me… I Love Jesus, I Love My Family, I Like Developing Leaders, I Love Encouraging My Boys, I Love Helping Others Win, I Like Sports and I Used To Be A Prison Warden. Speaking of sports and my boys, I love watching their games, teaching them and watching them grow as athletes and more importantly as young men.

One of the things that I have always had to balance when it comes to my boys and their athletics is atta’boys and encouragement vs. outlining areas for improvement. I have always tried to strike a balance of making sure I give enough encouragement and highlight the good before the bad. The natural bend can easily be to focus on the areas of improvement.

To combat that negative tendency my boys and I came up with the rule that has evolved into what we call the “Rule 31.” Rule 31 is basically this:

  • After a game, practice or competition, before anyone says anything about performance other than “Good Game,” our boys have to first point out “3 things they did well and 1 thing they can improve on.” They must start with the 3 positives first.
  • As parents if we agree we simply say “We agree” or if we saw things a little different then we can do the same thing, offer “3 things they did well and 1 thing they can improve on.”

Rule 31 was actually inspired from my days as a prison warden and specifically when I ran a Maximum Security Juvenile Facility. We tried to make sure that we had 3 times as many rewards as we did consequences. The 3-1 positive ratio seemed to be some sort of magic potion.

What “Rule 31” has done for us is allowed space to not say anything until our boys can self-evaluate. It gives us the opportunity to simply agree with their assessment and it allows all of us to accentuate the positive and call attention to the area of development.

Rule 31 is a great concept for leading teams, families, interactions with a spouse, teacher/pupil relationships, pastor congregants, trainer/trainee and the list goes on and on.

Accentuate the positive and allow individuals to self-assess, you’d be amazed the growth you will see both them and yourself.

What do you think? How do you see “Rule 31” working in your life?  

Nick Saban and The Difference Between Winners and Losers

Many of us grew up hearing the phrase, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.” The reality is that statement isn’t totally true. Winning does matter and deep down everyone has the desire to be a winner, including: the business that you work for, your church, your children’s school, your favorite sports team, your daughter’s gymnastics club and even those who don’t like winners.  As much as I don’t like the Alabama Crimson Tide and Nick Saban, I love the fact that Nick Saban is a big time winner.

Many people say that Saban is too hard on players and doesn’t like to have fun. His response to those that don’t hink he’s a happy person or doesn’t like to have fun is, “Winning is fun, I’m happy and have fun when we win… I’m a very happy person.”

If winning is fun and it keeps Coach Saban happy, he’s probably one of the happiest people you could ever meet. All he does is win, Coach Saban has led his teams to win 3 out of the last 4 BCS Titles and straight up put a beat-down on top ranked Notre Dame 42-14 and it wasn’t even that close. One of Coach Saban’s mantras is this:

You can’t feel entitled if you want to stay on top.”

Coach Saban’s response after last nights BCS Beat-down pretty much sums up his philosophy and the difference between Winners and Losers:

“I feel great for our players, fans, administration, and the people of Alabama. Our guys maintained their focus and played through the adversity of winning during a tough season and difficult schedule. My job is to put the players in position to win. I want them to be able to look back 25 years from now and say they won the national championship… We will take a couple days to celebrate this, and then it will time to start a building toward a next season. “

The Difference Between A Winner & A Loser is the desire to win and the desire to keep winning. Vince Lombardi said it best when he said, “Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.”

What’s The Difference Between Winners & Losers?

You tell me… share your thoughts on winning, losing and the success of Nick Saban.

We Need To Stop Recycling… In The NFL

There seems to be lots of talk about the coaching carousel that’s happening in the NFL and most sports for that matter. It happens to a degree in both college and pro sports; however the NFL is the King Of The Recycling Carousel. Simply take a look at this year alone: 7 coaches and 6 General Managers fired.

I want to start with a definition of recycling:

re·cy·cle [ree-sahy-kuh l] verb, re·cy·cled, re·cy·cling, noun.
Recycle – to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse, to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature, to use again in the original form or with minimal alteration: to cause to pass through a cycle again, repeat a process from the beginning.

I am all about giving coaches, leaders and individuals from any spectrum a second chance and a new opportunity. I’m a firm believer in the 1 man’s trash is another mans treasure, environments matter and people are successful under different regimes and new cultures. I just think it’s important that organizations look to renew and refresh and not simply recycle.

It feels like there is a lot of settling on the recycling front when it comes to NFL Head Coaches. Many chalk the “settling” up to the fact that the NFL Head Coach is an elite and Exclusive Fraternity. Because of this elite fraternity perception/reality, the day a coach gets fired, he’s on the shortlist to get hired by another NFL team that currently has a vacancy sign in the window.

Below are a few of the 7 NFL Firings/Recyclings:

  • Arizona Cardinals ask Ken Whisenhunt to fly away… so what? The Bills will be interviewing Whisenhunt to replace their recently fired Chan Gailey. Gailey’s record: a sad 16-32 over the last 3 NFL Seasons.
  • After 14 years of coaching and a crazy year both on and off the field, The Eagles dropped Andy Reid like some roadkill… so what? Before Reid could even get his office cleaned out the Cardinals swooped in like an Eagle grabbing some food and appear to be down the road on finalizing a deal. And they aren’t even the only team he’s interviewed with.
  • Probably the most controversial was the Bears dropping Lovie Smith like he was hot, although the Bears were a Minnesota loss/Adrian Peterson not making a Big-Time run away from making the playoffs… so what? There are many teams trying to scoop Lovie away from the windy city.

I spoke of this Elite Fraternity known as NFL Coaches earlier, well the 3 coaches that were fired above all are a part of an even more Elite Fraternity… coaches that have taken their team to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they are also part of a Fraternity of coaches that have been to the Superbowl and didn’t win.

Apparently the Cleveland Browns are not going to go the Recycling route as they have their eyes set on a coach from the college ranks. The up in coming, no huddle, pro offensive, spread master mind Chip Kelly from the Oregon Ducks. I’m all for 2nd chances; however when it comes to the NFL Head Coaches, there may be some better solutions out there. How about taking a risk on an up in comer and giving them a first chance. If you don’t think taking a risk on the up and comer works, look at Jim Harbaugh and the success he’s had with the San Francisco 49ers in just a couple seasons.

I’m all about recycling when it comes to preserving the environment, but when it comes to recycling to preserve the status quo – Not So Much. We Need To Stop Recycling… In The NFL.

What do you think?

Leadership Lessons From Jerry Jones and The Dallas Cowboys

If you watch NFL or at-least watch the news you are familiar with America’s Team… The Dallas Cowboys. More importantly you are familiar with the Owner/General Manager of the Cowboys Mr. Jerry Jones. Jerry Jones is the Leader, General Manager, Operator and Part-Time Coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He has always been known for being on the sidelines, being overly engaged, not always knowing what he’s doing and having lots of ca$h to throw around. He has so much cash that he spent $1.3 billion on the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys have gotten off to another rough start this year. They have been plagued with injuries, inconsistent QB play from Tony Romo and what appears to be ineptness of controversial hire, Head Coach Jason Garrett. Needless to say the Cowboys are 3-5 and the Leader of it all, “Mr. Jerry Jones” isn’t happy.

The term “Leader” carries a great deal of responsibility. Once a person obtains the title of Leader, they also get the bonus baggage of “The bucks stops with me!”  No matter how you slice, sugarcoat, twist, manipulate or make excuses for organizational outcomes; the bottom line is that “It’s All Your Fault!”

Leaders are generally comfortable carrying the “It’s All Your Fault” tag when their team, area or organization is experiencing success, their team is winning and people are patting them on the back about how nice their stadium is. When things take a turn for the worse, wins are hard to come by and “Big Mo” has left the building; the excuses will begin to roll like the Alabama Crimson Tide. Speaking of Crimson Time, they could probably beat the Dallas Cowboys and Nick Saban could definitely out-coach Jason Garett. Saban might be on the short list of phone calls Jerry Jones will make at the end of the season.  Stop with the excuses, stop blaming your team and look in the mirror, because “It’s All Your Fault!”

Sometimes it may not seem fair for the leader to take all of the blame, as they don’t have control over every decision that others make. There are simply too many variables that are out of their control. Leadership is not about fairness, and the responsibility nature of it is just part of the game. Jerry Jones is responsible, your boss is responsible, your pastor is responsible, Steve Jobs was responsible… the leader is responsible — win or lose, it’s their fault.

I remember having a conversation with a leader who had dotted line responsibility for one of the team leaders under my tutelage. They asked me the following question about this particular team leader, “Is so-and-so’s area successful because of their leadership or in spite of their leadership?” My answer was, absolutely because of that particular leader and not in spite of. If things were failing and falling apart it wouldn’t be in spite of that particular leader. It’s a two-way street.

Dear Leaders, if your organization is failing, people are leaving, people are not being developed, people are not growing, people are unhappy, leaders are not rising to the top, momentum is long gone and you can’t seem to spell suczcess. “It’s All Your Fault!” If things are great and success is happening, enjoy the season because “It’s All Your Fault!”

There is no need to complain about the outcomes, just embrace the reality.  Next time your boss starts complaining and making excuses, simply look them in the eyes and say “It’s All Your Fault!” Keep in mind, just because it’s their fault doesn’t mean they won’t pull a Donald Trump on you and look you in the eyes and say, “You’re Fired!”

Speaking of being fired, Jerry Jones the Owner was asked the question about would he fire Jerry Jones the Manager and he said yes. He also recognized the difficulty of being the man that makes all of the decisions. In an interview Jones said, “I have always worked for myself and you can’t do that. You basically have to straighten that guy out in the mirror when you work for yourself. But certainly, if I’d had the discretion, I’ve done it with coaches and certainly I would have changed a general manager.”

The person who complains about the way the ball bounces, is likely the one who dropped it. ~Lou Holtz

A leadership lesson from Jerry Jones is this… It’s Your Fault!

What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences.

Your Temper Is A Knife and You Hold The Blade

Temper, Temper, Temper, Temper…

I am inspired to write a post this morning about the affects of a bad temper after my son’s football game last night. It was an amazing 2 hr. and 10 minute, triple overtime epic battle 9 year old’s that resulted in a loss for our team. During the 3rd overtime one of our players that is known to have a temper, totally lost his temper. The result was him being rejected from the game.

This young man has played with my son on several other teams, so I had a relationship with him. I sat on the sidelines and talked to him about his temper and control. I encouraged him to use his “passion” in a positive manner, talked about alternative ways to behave and talked about how tempers generally hurt the person with the temper more than it does anyone else.

“Your temper is a knife that you hold by the blade.”

I don’t know how many leaders, bosses, husbands, wives, public figures, athletes, kids… that have been taken out because they are holding the blade of a nasty temper. We can try to point children in a different direction, call their behavior passion in order to find a positive spin and help them to get it under control. Adults on the other hand must take responsibility and put down the knife. If they don’t put the knife down now, it will only snowball into a huge machete that can no longer be hidden and it will cut them every time they turn around.

Your temper will take you out You are going to take yourself out if you don’t let go of your temper.

Share your thoughts, experiences and observations on the negative repercussions of a temper and your thoughts on the knife analogy.

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