Book Review: Highpockets by John R. Tunis

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Five Stars!

One prideful ballplayer… One misguided father… One boy that changes their worlds… Break out the tissues because the second half of this story will bring the tears.

My favorite author has done his literary art once again. He doesn’t just write sports stories; he writes stories about character and the importance of personal growth.

In Highpockets, Tunis takes the reader on a journey into the lives of three people and opens their eyes to the definite moral progression of how people can change; old and young alike.

It all started when Cecil “Highpockets” was taking a drive in his new car and runs over a young boy named Dean. Even though the boy ran out in traffic, Highpockets feels guilty over what happened. He begins to visit Dean in the hospital and develops a relationship with him.

Cecil McDade “Highpockets” was being prideful talking to Dean about his baseball career. But to Highpockets’ surprise, Dean hates baseball. He would rather spend time collecting stamps. Cecil wanted to keep checking up on Dean but didn’t know how to handle a kid who has interests outside of baseball.

The beauty of the story unfolds as Dean treats Highpockets as a non-celebrity. This brings Highpockets down to earth and he comes to realize that fame and wealth are not the most important things in life.

Their relationship deepens so much that one day when Highpockets came for his regular hospital visit with Dean; he asks to go see him play. It was Highpockets’ interest in Dean that opened Dean up to Highpockets’ world of baseball.

This gets close to the ending, but you’ll have to read for yourself to see what happens. Every parent needs to get this book for their children and teens. It’s important to get meaningful literature into a teen’s life.

The social media athlete

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Greetings everyone!

Hope you had some good holiday rest and are ready for what the new year brings.

One topic that will always be talked about is how athletes relate to social media.  I’m working on combing my “9 to 5″ job of mobile tech into the blog! Bear with me while I get the kicks out.

If you leave in the Noblesville, Indiana area, contact me for more information about my workshops this year.  As for the rest of my blog readers, let me know what you think about adding more social media/athlete topics on here. Input, please!

Also, WordPress informed me that I am running out of free space on my blog.  So if you see an old blog that you liked and it is no longer here, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll send it to you.

The NFL Season Is Upon Us. Are You The Capital Or Will You Be Katniss?

Some of you might not follow me on Twitter to know about my other blog at www.dystopiaministries.wordpress.com.  This is a reblog from my other site in case you missed it!

football hunger games

For these sports fans that might not be into movies or reading the latest books, I’m copying my plot about The Hunger Games from my movie review here:

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen lives in the nation of Panem (a post-apocalyptic North America) with her mother and younger sister, Prim. Her family resides in District 12, the poorest of 12 districts ruled by the wealthy Capitol.

As punishment for the districts’ rebellion attempt years earlier, the Capitol holds an annual televised event called The Hunger Games. Each district must draw the names of a boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18. These 24 youths become contestants (called “tributes”), who must fight to the death in a vast arena created by the Capitol Gamemakers. The lone survivor returns home to wealth and fame.

One year, on the day of “reaping,” Prim’s name is drawn. Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place. The other tribute is Peeta Mellark, a baker’s son who once saved Katniss’ family from starvation by sneaking them bread.

After Olympic-like opening ceremonies, aired live on T.V., the tributes are thrown into an arena with miles of forestland.

T.V. cameras continue to follow the tributes the whole time while they are in the forest.

There is a twist at the end of the “games” where the government didn’t get its way and the film leaves off with President Snow angered at Katniss.

*     *     *     *     *

HUNTER HILLENMEYER played eight seasons with the Chicago Bears.  Recently I came across an article that he wrote which led me to write my own.  He writes:

I went to see “The Hunger Games” the other night. In this science-fiction movie, 24 people fight to the death in a forest as entertainment for the masses. As I walked out of the theater, I found myself drawing parallels to ancient Roman gladiators and even Monday Night Football—and then wondering: Are we so different now?

An NFL kickoff most closely resembles a battle scene from “Braveheart.”  …As Ariel Kaminer articulated so well in her New York Times piece, we watch sports, in general, and football specifically, in part because of that risk, that rush. Like an Evil Knievel stunt, much of thrill comes from knowing it could go wrong. The greater the gasp, the louder the cheer.

The Rush Of Battle: From Hunger Games to NFL Bountygate -http://chicagosidesports.com/the-rush-of-battle-from-hunger-games-to-nfl-bountygate/

I see more and more desensitizing in the human race that the government would not have much of a push back to make these “games” reality.  Viewers love the violence and wouldn’t think twice to watch it on a reality T.V. show. Think I’m rushing to judgment?

Do you remember what happened last October? Chiefs’ quarterback Matt Cassel was knocked out of the game played against the Baltimore Ravens with a head injury. While Cassel lay motionless on the field,

“there were not calls of encouragement nor any form of respectful silence from the fans in Arrowhead Stadium while he was being treated for an injury of then-unknown severity. There were cheers. Cheers. People were actually happy that Cassel got injured.

…Kansas City’s left tackle Eric Winston said, “Matt Cassel hasn’t done anything to you people, hasn’t done anything to the media writers that kill him, hasn’t done anything wrong to the people that come out here and cheer him. If he’s not the best quarterback, he’s not the best quarterback and that’s OK. But he’s a person, and he got knocked out in a game, and we’ve got 70,000 cheering that he got knocked out.”

Kansas City fans cheering of quarterback Matt Cassel’s head injury disturbing – http://www.thepenn.org/sports/kansas-city-fans-cheering-of-quarterback-matt-cassel-s-head-injury-disturbing-1.2923154

The NHL fans are no different than the NFL when it comes to wanting entertainment.  NHL television partner NBC appears to believe violent hits and on-ice fights help drive ratings. As NBC’s Ed Olczk said on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption on April 17, 2012, “When you do have people watching that’s a great thing…You want to see guys get hit and hit hard, you want to see the guys drop the gloves and fight.”

*     *     *     *     *

My question for you to ponder is this: as the violence gets worse and the sports arena games continue, what type of person would you be?  Would you be like the pompous citizens of The Capital, callus and wanting their entertainment?  Or would you be like Katniss and start a revolution against reality T.V. violence?

Just remember, “By participating in the mass phenomenon, you reinforce on-field violence as a cultural norm, and you give the sport that much less incentive to reform itself”.  (Ariel Kaminer)

I have the sinking feeling that I already know my answer.  In the beginning of The Hunger Games, Gale tells Katniss that if only people didn’t watch there would be no games.  Katniss answers him by saying that “they will always watch.”

Book Review: Men of Sunday: How Faith Guides the Players, Coaches & Wives of the NFL

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Men of Sunday: How Faith Guides the Players, Coaches & Wives of the NFL

by Curtis Eichelberger

                        This book is worse than bad; it’s misleading.

Where do I being with this review?  The book is a mess.  I’m a sports psychology consultant and constantly study up on athletes and believe me, this author is way off base with a lot of his “facts”.

To start with, I question this author’s “Christianity”.  I speak a lot about sports idolatry and I feel that either the author has a bad case of this, or he is a “lukewarm” Christian.

I reviewed the Kindle version of the book and location 219 has, in the author’s words, “a common Sunday prayer”.  It’s sickening, yet it’s eye opening because this reveals a problem in the Christian Church.

Eichelberger’s “prayer” states, “Dear God, please make the wind blow behind Mark Moseley’s field goals, and don’t help the defense any when they are chasing Joe today.  I’ll try and be better next week.”  God help the Church.

People ask me all the time, ‘Hey, you’re a sports consultant and you must be really into the NFL.  Do you follow Tim Tebow?”  To which I reply, “No, but I follow his God.”  It’s time to let the NFL idols fall.

And just to show people that their superheroes wings are made of wax, let’s talk about the biggest misrepresentation of the book: Ray Lewis.  Eichelberger promotes his “leadership style built around the tenets of Christianity and God’s teachings.”  (See location 172 – 174).  I couldn’t disagree more.  Domestic violence, having children with different women, and murder are not the marks of a true Christian.

Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens All-Pro linebacker, was implicated with two friends in the killing of Jacinth Baker and Richard Lollar in a street brawl. The incident took place outside Cobalt, an Atlanta nightclub, after the Super Bowl on January 30, 2000.

At the murder trial Duane Fassett, the limousine driver, backed away from his earlier statements and as a result the prosecutor’s case fell apart.   Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. He was given one year’s probation and then testified against Oakley and Sweeting, who nevertheless were acquitted.

Lewis also has a history of domestic violence. In 1994 and 1995, while he was a student athlete at the University of Miami, two women, who reportedly were pregnant with his children, accused him of assaulting them. He was again accused of battering a woman in 1999.

To all the victims that must feel victimized all over again at the mention of Ray Lewis’s “good boy” articles, books or write ups, this is one reviewer who is not fooled with the masses.  Shame on the author!

Another thing that I noticed is that these athletes really need guidance.  I don’t think that some of them get what a Christian is.  Take for example Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles.  He thinks that Jesus would be a middle linebacker if he played football.  I’m just blown away.  The Bible says that God never changes.  So that means Jesus’s mission wouldn’t change.  This means that He would hardly be playing football, but “be about His Father’s business”.

To pick two good things to say about Men of Sunday, it would have to be the part on Tony Dungy, who led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl championship in 2006.  Dungy would pick men of character rather than the most talented players on the training camp roster.  Not that’s setting an example.

The second is the chapter on temptation and Justin Tuck’s (New York Giants defensive end) warnings to rookies about women.  He tells them flat out that it’s not the looks that these groupies go for; they want to get pregnant.  It’s all about the money.  NFL rookies should head this advice.  It would save them a world of trouble and they get to keep their reputation in tack.

I received this book free from Booksneeze. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols – Book Review

Just finished reading this!  Scroll down and see my review!

Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols – Book Review  [Kindle Edition by: Stanley H. Teitelbaum

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Here’s the book description from Amazon:

Publication Date: June 1, 2008

On the court and on the field they are the world’s winners, exhibiting a natural grace and prowess their adoring fans can only dream about. Yet so often, off the field our sports heroes lose their perspective, their balance, and ultimately their place. In a work as timely as the latest fracas on the basketball court or the most recent drug-induced scandal in the dugout, Stanley H. Teitelbaum looks into the circumstances behind many star athletes’ precipitous fall from grace.

In his psychotherapy practice, Teitelbaum has worked extensively with professional athletes and sports agents—work he draws on here for insight into the psyche of sports figures and the off-the-field challenges they face. Considering both historical and current cases, he shows how, in many instances, the very factors that elevate athletes to superstardom contribute to their downfall. An evenhanded and honest look at athletes who have faltered, Teitelbaum’s work helps us see past our sports stars’ exalted images into what those images—and their frailty—say about our society and ourselves.

You know the routine I use by now!  Bookmark this same post for updates and my final book review!

Favorite passage so far:

The greater our investment in a hero’s accomplishments and the more we define ourselves through his achievements, the more we resent it when he lets us down.

Stanley H. Teitelbaum. Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols (Kindle Locations 53-54). Kindle Edition.

A question that I will be studying is our love with superheroes and how it connects with our love for athletes!

REVIEW

Wow!  This book might give a lot of old history that might make some people’s eyes glaze over, but every women who has a teen athlete or married to an athlete needs to get this book and really focus on the first two chapters.

Questions will be answered as to how male athletes view women and why.  The short answer to this is society views them as objects so the male athlete sees women the same way.  Also, the male athlete wants to prove their virility or sense of worth to other men.

One of the most surprising facts is that the rate of divorce and separation among newly retired athletes is close to eighty percent. In fact, when baseball players’ marriages do end in divorce, almost 50 percent fall apart within eighteen months after the athlete has left the game. The main reason for this is stress and adjustment issues they face as they attempt to settle in to life in the real world.

Another alarming fact is something that every parent and college should recognize:

There are indications that antisocial and maladaptive behavior patterns among athletes emerge before they reach the professional level. In a study comparing student athletes with their nonathletic counterparts, psychologist Stephen Weiss found that athletes scored significantly higher on a maladaptive behavior scale than the nonathletes. Such a finding demonstrates the distorted view of the self that many future athletes acquire early on.

Stanley H. Teitelbaum. Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols (p. 31). Kindle Edition.

One of the main issues that cause the above scenario is that athletes lack empathy.  As noted above, athletes are taught at an early age to be self-absorbed.  Parents, get your athlete into community service as a condition to partake in their sports!

Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols hopefully will open the public’s eyes in regards to being careful not to make idols of athletes.   Society and even the athletes themselves would be better off for it if we did.

End

 

Reality TV and A-Rod

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES

I came across this article today about A-Rod.  Why won’t he just go away?  It turns out he will not go away for the same reason that reality T.V. will not go away.

The popularity of reality TV has proved that famous people do not need to be talented or interesting. They just need to be well known and outrageous. Then we will watch.

So here we are, with seven more weeks of reality TV disguised as Yankees telecasts.

Here is the link to the article:

The Dog Days of a Summer Circus ~ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/10/sports/baseball/rodriguez-love-him-hate-him-but-lets-move-on.html?smid=tw-nytsports&seid=auto

LET’S ANALYSE!

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  1. Do you notice a trend between sports and reality T.V.?  Are they becoming the same thing?
  2. The producers on reality T.V. shows give contestants plastic surgery, etc., for better ratings.  Can you see this with athletes taking PEDs?

***Breaking News: Doping Scandal of 2013***

thesportsbookanalyst:

Wow! What a great blog! I agree, time to clean up sports!

Originally posted on AbiSkyhigh:

It was a Monday evening in Hamilton but it doesn’t feel like I’m in Hammer at all, but rather walking in the Sahara dessert through the scorching heat. Okay, so that’s probably a bit of an exaggeration, but in all honestly that feeling when I momentarily stepped out of Mac’s refreshingly air conditioned athletic center and got blown over by a heat wave, now that a bipolar feeling. I felt like a marshmallow being stuck into the fire-pit, moments away from being roasted to death. But in all honestly… me checking the weather forecast? Yea right, but if I’m updated on anything its definitely track and field news. 3 days ago, the track world was definitely turned upside down as many fans were left in shock and devastation as what to believe and what not to believe. What was true and what was false?

If you haven’t caught on, I’m…

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