The Jacksonville Jaguars are the NFL’s ambassador to the world and it is a terrible idea. Every year for the past five seasons the NFL has sent the sorry excuse for a professional team, the Jags to London to spearhead a movement towards a global NFL. Yet, the Jaguars have constantly been near the bottom of the league during this stretch, so are they the right ambassador or the only choice?
The Jaguars will host a game at Wembley stadium for the next three seasons with more possibly on the way. So, why is the NFL sending the Jags, a team who hasn’t had a winning season since 2007, over to London each year to act as tough leagues number one diplomat?
In my experience, a good product will sell itself, so why are we sending the Jags and Bengals to London instead of The Patriots and The Seahawks? The Jags are almost unwatchable half the season and this is who the NFL is using to sell its product…
It’s obvious that Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL want to expand outside of the US and London is the first target market. The money is there to be made so you know the NFL will get their greedy hands on it somehow.
The Jaguars have an international owner in Pakistani-American Shahid Khan and he has expressed interest in possibly moving the team permanently to London. Jacksonville is a small market in an area already saturated with NFL teams, so a relocation is likely.
What about the players, who need all the prep and recovery time possible after games? They are the ones who suffer from playing games overseas. A day less of preparation and added travel time only wears on the players mental and physical health.
While players are asking for fewer games and more recovery time, owners and the league want more games and further travel. The sides see the future of the NFL very differently and with a looming strike when the collective bargaining agreement ends in 2019, the fans will end up losing the most.
A strike or lockout is almost guaranteed so prepare for a drawn-out battle as the two sides fight for their rights. It seems like a poor time to try and expand when there is so much internal strife between players, the owners and the league.
Like I said earlier, the NFL is only worried about the bottom line and it’s obvious that player health and quality of product are not their immediate concerns. Until they realize that the product and players should be their number one concern, the NFL will struggle with its own demons.
Expect to see more NFL games overseas, with bottom feeders Jacksonville Jaguars scarfing up all those scraps left over by the original football in London. It will be tough to steal market share form the world’s biggest game by sending over the Jags as your ambassador.
Words of Wisdom from Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is an Argentinian soccer player known to be the greatest in the world as he helped his team win more than two dozen tournaments and league titles. In fact, in 2012, he also set the record for most goals in a calendar year. In 2019, he was named as Europe’s Ballon d’Or winner for the sixth time.
With his plethora of achievements, Messi is a role model that aspiring athletes can look up to. Through his dedication and passion for soccer, he was able to be one of the most famous athletes in soccer. Let’s take a look at some of his inspiring words of wisdom for budding athletes and people who want to be successful.
5 Success Lessons from Lionel Messi
Be Passionate about Your Beliefs
The motivation to achieve for successful people are those who are genuinely passionate about what they believe in. Knowing what your purpose in life is and anchoring all your mindsets and behaviors towards achieving that purpose in life will seep through, through your words and actions and make you successful. Believe in yourself, belief in your capability to achieve your dreams, and work hard every day to attain those – and no one can stop you.
Be Patient; No One Becomes Successful Overnight
No one can become an instant success within 24 hours. More often than not, success requires hard work, dedication, and yes… even patience! Be patient with yourself because success requires getting your hands dirty, and with consistency, it will surely pay off!
Be a Team Player
In any activity – may it be business or sports, collaboration is very important! Being a team player means being open and listening to other people’s ideas and building upon that to make a good idea even greater. Being a team player sometimes would also entail sacrifices – foregoing your pride, spending more time with your teammates, and even conflict management! In teamwork, it is important to realize what your team’s objective is by going back to your team’s mission and vision – and anchoring your beliefs, mindsets, and behaviors to your team’s core.
Incremental Improvement Is Still Progress
Remember that progress is still progress, whether it’s baby steps or a huge leap from where you were. Make sure that you are consistent in making progress and commit to doing something that will make you achieve your goal. You can do this by acquiring knowledge through training and development activities, practicing for even 30 mins per day, or read books that would increase your knowledge about your chosen craft! Slowly but surely, you will achieve your goals in no time.
Part of being a team player is making sure to give credit where credit is due. Even though you are the CEO of a hugely successful corporation or the MVP of a sports team, you will never attain your goals without the help and support of your team members. Part of being in a team is the acknowledgment of people who have helped you along the way.
Hopefully, the inspirational words above can help you jump off your feet and ready to take on your craft.
For Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma Sooners, Facemasks Are Essential Part of Uniform
Norman, Oklahoma—masks can easily get soaked with sweat, especially amid August’s sweltering heat.
“You’ve got to wring it out, put it back on. But we’ve been wearing it so long, we kinda got used to it,” explains Charleston Rambo, Oklahoma Sooners’ wide receiver.
In contrast to other teams and programs all over the US, the Sooners are required to wear masks even out in the field. Their masks are now part of their uniform. Hence, it gets to be a problem, especially since players need to drink water every now and then. In fact, if a player is seen with his mask down for even a minute, he gets to be sternly told to put it back on.
As of writing, the Sooners belong to the few programs that impose the wearing of masks. Many of the photos show players and even coaches having no masks on during training. Some coaches are even seen to have their masks down as they shout instructions to their corresponding teams. Nonetheless, a few programs now require their players to wear face shields.
At OU, both coaches and players police themselves as they remind their teammates to wear their masks each time one of them slips up and forgets.
“We want to play,” explains DaShaun White, Sooners’ linebacker. “It’s one of those things, it’s just the circumstance. It’s just the obstacle we have to get over. Do we want to be people that allowed a mask to keep us from playing the game we love? That’s how I see it,’ he adds.
For Iowa State, no shields were found suitable. Their program, then, turned to their school’s own engineering department. The program developed a “Cyclone Shield,” a polycarbonate one that is identical to those clear visors worn by some players to shield the eyes. The newly created shield covers the lower side of the mask, designed to prevent exhalation from reaching other players, which is especially possible as they line up for scrimmage. To promote such practice, Iowa State has the manufacturing information available to the public.
As for OU, they attempted experimentation with different solutions before deciding to opt for facemasks. The masks that they wear are similar to those worn daily by many. They are tightly held to the wearer’s face.
“We initially did the cloth covering over the face mask. Not bad as far as breathing… It really limits the vision, which is dangerous, relates Sooners coach Lincoln Riley. He adds that they tried to experiment using the face shield that’s placed over the face and the facemask. He mentions that players find it satisfactory when it comes to breathing, as well. “The problem is that it easily fogs up,” Riley explains.
Riley adds that another problem considered was the sustainability of wearing such a face shield during bad weather. The face shield could pose problems when players are under the rain or other weather conditions. So they opted to wear facemasks, instead, because they don’t get knocked off and they don’t fog up.
Why Do We Love Sports?
Why do we love sports? There are many reasons why a lot of us fall in love with sports—why many of us continue to support and watch our favorite players, spending time and money to attend regular meets. In fact, some of us aren’t mere fans. Many are also athletes, coaches, and managers of the different teams we love.
Sports as Passion
Being a sports enthusiast is a passion. Many of us watch or play various sports because we consider them a passion in life. Whether it is baseball, basketball, football, or golf, we focus on a specific sport because it provides us with more significant meaning in life. Athletes, for instance, do not merely play a particular sport just because they want to. Many of them train for a sport because it enables them to do something that they’re good at—it allows them to gain self-worth and, in the process, inspire others, as well.
Sports as Platform
Playing a sport enables us to have a veritable platform to be heard and to be noticed. For instance, women athletes get to inspire more women to join a field that is primarily dominated by men. Due to the increase of female athletes excelling in various games worldwide, the measure of being a woman is finally changing. Nowadays, women are gaining more respect due to the influx of more women joining various sports worldwide—games are, in a sense, acting as equalizers, showcasing how women can capably do physical activities that were previously only reserved for men. Sports, then, serve as excellent platforms for women empowerment.
Sports for Healthy Living
Actively playing a specific sport alters your lifestyle. Watching a particular sport also inspires you to try it out, as well. We all know that regular exercise promotes muscles’ development and helps prevent various health complaints like obesity, hypertension, and cholesterol build-up. Sports also perpetuate the body’s production of endorphins—the hormone responsible for the feelings of pleasure and joy. Training for a specific sport eradicates the feelings of depression and worthlessness.
Sports as a Career Choice
When a sport is one’s passion, it can quickly be developed into a career choice. Athletes, for instance, earn because of their expertise in a particular sport. They get to represent the country, earning medals and trophies for the country, their state, their team, and themselves. They also get to inspire others, as well. The crowds in a baseball stadium attest to this glorious phenomenon—sports’ ability to inspire people from all walks of life.
The Sports That We Love
Indeed, sports aren’t just competitions and recreational activities. They are way more significant than that. They have the ability to inspire people to reach their dreams, to represent others, and to gain self-worth. Sports perpetuate healthy living and even provide athletes the careers that they worked so hard for.
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