Mind Over Sports

Archive for October 2016

Ten year old Campbell Faulkner, who has a rare genetic disease, is friends with Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber, who was the hero of game two of the series, is now being benched by his manager because of the designated hitter rule. In my opinion, this is a bad judgement call. Schwarber should be starting because his relationship with Campbell is the Cubs’ secret weapon. Schwarber’s relationship with Faulkner is what I often refer to as “excelling for a higher order” which enhances an athlete’s self-esteem and performance. Schwarber even wears Faulkner’s green “Campbell Crew” wristband. If I were managing the Cubs, I would make every member of the team a member of the Campbell Crew and each would wear a wristband. I would also let Faulkner sit in the dugout with the team.

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When I lived in Phoenix, Arizona, I did some volunteer work with Pima Indian cross country runners. They were very nice young men but they told me about some of their experiences in the public school system where they were prejudged by their teacher who insisted on the first day of school, without even knowing them, that each would have to sign an agreement assuring her they would not be disruptive in class. Where did she get the idea they might be disruptive? It was a belief she developed over the years by observing negative images our society has created of Native Americans. Such as the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo. I wonder how many Americans, many of whom are fine Christians, would feel if there existed the “Jersey Jesuses” or the “Jacksonville Jesuses” and show a cartoon of Jesus on their caps and jerseys. I doubt they would look the other way and not give the idea much attention. You would see an explosion in the media about what a horrible thing it was to use the Jesus image to promote a sports team. Perhaps those same Christians (and Jews) should stand up and complain now about the Native American image that is being promoted in America.

In my opinion, Maria Sharapova is not telling the truth. According to the New York Post, she is serving up bitter criticisms of tennis authorities on a gloating victory lap after getting her drug suspension reduced. But the International Tennis Federation returned the shot Thursday, essentially saying Sharapova is using revisionist history in her criticism of the ITF’s handling of her ban for using the prohibited drug meldonium. Even Maria Sharapova’s ex-boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday suggested she deserved her ban from tennis for a doping offence — an incident that sent shockwaves through the sport.

The administrator of the Tennis Anti-Doping Program denied it had sought a four-year ban for Sharapova, as she had stated, and rejected suggestions by the Russian that its independent tribunal was “not neutral.” The ITF also emphasized it had not known, prior to this year when the drug was put on the banned list, that meldonium was in common use by Eastern European athletes.

In an interview with Charlie Rose on national television, Sharapova was seated directly across the table from Mr. Rose, and when she discussed her use of the drug meldonium she continally broke eye contact and looked away from Mr. Rose which, based on my experience, indicated she was not telling him the truth.

Too bad. She is a fantastic athlete. But like many Russian and Eastern European athletes, decided to cheat the system. Unfortunately, she got caught.


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