Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Respecting Institutions: The Right Way to Compete

“I was in awe every time I walked onto the field. That’s respect. I was taught you never, ever disrespect your opponents or your teammates or your organization or your manager and never, ever your uniform. You make a great play, act like you’ve done it before; get a big hit, look for the third base coach and get ready to run the bases.”

“These guys sitting up here [previous Hall of Fame inductees] did not pave the way for the rest of us so that players could swing for the fences every time up and forget how to move a runner over to third. It’s disrespectful to them, to you and to the game of baseball that we all played growing up.

“Respect. A lot of people say this honor validates my career, but I didn’t work hard for validation. I didn’t play the game right because I saw a reward at the end of the tunnel. I played it right because that’s what you’re supposed to do, play it right and with respect ... . If this validates anything, it’s that guys who taught me the game ... did what they were supposed to do, and I did what I was supposed to do.”

--Ryne Sandberg, retired, Hall of Fame second baseman for the Chicago Cubs (2005).

Excerpts from New York Times op-ed column, What Life Asks of Us by David Brooks, January 27, 2009. For the entire article, click on: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/opinion/27brooks.html?th&emc=th

Friday, January 23, 2009

Checklist Reduces Deaths in Surgery

A checklist for surgical teams can significantly lower the number of deaths and complications, researchers are reporting.

A year after surgical teams at eight hospitals adopted a 19-item checklist, the average patient death rate fell by more than 40 percent and the rate of complications fell by about a third, the researchers reported last week in the online edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.

The senior author of the study, Dr. Atul Gawande of the Harvard School of Public Health, said it was hard to identify which items were the most important. But even a small change, like having surgical team members take a moment to say who they are and what they do before scalpel touches skin, can have important consequences should one of them develop a concern during the operation.

The study was conducted over a year at hospitals in Canada, England, India, Jordan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Tanzania and the United States.

To see the New York Times article, click on:


Thursday, January 22, 2009

New York Jets' New Coach Reveals Mindset

"I'm not afraid of the expectations being high. They should be high -- we are a team that won nine games last year. I'll meet them head on. My goal is to win a Super Bowl. That's what I am here for, to win Super Bowls. I look at it as an opportunity, an opportunity that we can win immediately. There's no reason we shouldn't win immediately. You've got the right guy. I plan on proving that each week."

--Rex Ryan, new New York Jets' head coach, speaking after being introduced and implying that he predicts a Super Bowl win for the New York Jets in two years.

"I learned so much from my dad. I learned about the game of football, the way he would build his team on passionate, physical, aggressive people."

Ryan was most recently the defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens. Ryan is the son of former Chicago Bears' head coach and winner of the 1985 Super Bowl, Buddy Ryan. The elder Ryan is considered to be one of the greatest defensive coaches in NFL history.

"I want to be a better head coach than my father. That sounds crazy, but it's the truth, and I don't mind saying it."

"I understand the pressures that go with the New York media and the expectations coming with this team," Ryan said. "I look at that as an opportunity that we can win immediately."

"I can't tell you how excited I am to lead this organization," he said. "It's a dream come true. I plan on being here a long time, there's no doubt."

Excerpts from the Star- Ledger (www.nj.com), 1/21/2009 and the New York Times, 1/22/2009.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cardinal Accountability: Getting to the Super Bowl

"It feels good. It's my job. I want to make sure I'm accountable. If not, I get that death stare from Kurt."

--Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals' wide-receiver, talking about his record-setting performance in the NFL playoffs.

Fitzgerald has 419 receiving yards in the 2008-2009 postseason breaking the great Jerry Rice's record. Fitzgerald has become the favorite target of veteran quarterback and two-time NFL Most Valuable Player Kurt Warner as the Arizona Cardinals have advanced to the Super Bowl despite 50-1 odds.

"Larry's not a flashy guy. he's not going to showboat, not going to taunt you. He gets into the end zone, and he acts like he expected to get there."

--Tim Hightower, Arizona Cardinals' rookie running back.

Fitzgerald caught three touchdown passes in the Cardinals' 32-25 win in the NFC championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cardinals will now play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.

"He always said he was going to be the best receiver in the game, and he is. He doesn't play football for the fame. He doesn't play football to have cameras shoved in his face. He plays football to be the best receiver who ever lived and win championships. That's not a show, that's Larry."

--Tyler Palko, former University of Pittsburgh quarterback, who played with Fitzgerald in college.

Excerpts from the New York Times, 1/19/2009 and 1/25/2009.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles: Catching Fire at the Right Time

"We're playing with heart and everybody knows we have one goal in mind, and that's just to make it to the end."

--Trent Cole, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end, following their upset win over the New York Giants in the NFC divisional playoff.

"We have a collective heartbeat and a collective heartbeat is a very powerful thing."

--Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles safety.

Winning Notes from the NFC Divisional Playoffs

“You can lean on him all the time. He has great experience playing deep into the playoffs, two Super Bowls and he’s played phenomenal for us. You can’t say enough about Kurt and his leadership. Very vocal and he tells you exactly what its going to take for us to get there and we’re all just following his lead.”

--Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals' wide-receiver, talking about Cardinals' quarterback Kurt Warner.

Fitzgerald had eight catches for 166 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Carolina Panthers in another upset in the NFC divisional playoffs.

Warner, who threw for 220 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Panthers, has been here before. His breakout year came in 1999, when he won the first of two M.V.P. awards and led St. Louis to a Super Bowl victory against Tennessee. Warner did it again in 2001, when he was the M.V.P. and the Rams reached the Super Bowl once more, falling to New England.

Warner was rewarded with a Pro Bowl season in 2008, throwing for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns with 14 interceptions as the Cardinals won the N.F.C. West. It was his fourth Pro Bowl selection, but his first since the 2001 season.

Excerpts from New York Times, January 12, 2009.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Florida Gators: BCS National Champions

"There's no feeling like being a champion. I love it. There's nothing like it."

--Percy Harvin, University of Florida wide receiver, who missed the SEC championship game against Alabama, because of an ankle injury.

In his return, Harvin had 171 total yards and a touchdown to help top-ranked Florida beat No. 2 Oklahoma 24-14 in the national championship game Thursday night. He ran nine times for 122 yards and a touchdown, caught five passes for 49 yards.

"Unbelievable performance.
The brighter the lights, the bigger he plays. He's a big-time game performer."

--Urban Meyer, University of Florida head coach.

However, the turning point of the season and the key to the Gators' championship may have occurred following the Gators' upset loss to Mississippi, 31-30, Sept. 27. This is what their leader and 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, quarterback Tim Tebow said:

“To the fans, the Gator Nation, I’m sorry. Extremely sorry. But I promise you one thing: a lot of good will come from this. You will never see a player, in the entire country, play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season. And you will never see a team play harder than we will play the rest of the season. God bless.”

Florida did not lose again.

Excerpts from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 9, 2009.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Striving for a National Championship in BCS Game

"I picture things in my mind before I try to go accomplish it."

--Chris Brown, Oklahoma Sooner running back.

Brown, who has started only one game this season, will be starting in Thursday night's championship game against the University of Florida. The starting running back, DeMarco Murray has a hamstring injury.

Despite his backup status, Brown leads Oklahoma in rushing yards (1,110) and touchdowns (20). Brown was an honorable mention selection on the 2008 All-Big 12 team.

Watch a Chris Brown touchdown run on YouTube below.

Excerpts from the New York Times, 1/7/2008.