Sunday, October 14, 2012

Matt Ryan's Resilience Keeps Falcons Flying

"What's impressed me more than anything is probably his resiliency of not playing our best the last two weeks and still being able to have success and get the outcome that we wanted. His ability to handle those types of situations is impressive. He's had 18 fourth-quarter comebacks in four years and six games. Matt, he's a guy that doesn't get rattled easily. You've got to have that. He's a calming influence across the board for the entire team."

--Mike Smith, head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, talking about quarterback Matt Ryan's mindset and leadership.

The Atlanta Falcons are the only undefeated football team in the NFL after a last second field goal defeated the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon. 

Excerpt from "Ryan shows he knows how to win" by Ashley Fox, 10/12/2012,

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alex Rodriguez Shows Leadership

"I couldn’t be happier for Raul.  Ten years ago, I might have reacted differently. I admit I might not have taken it as well. But I have matured. I told Joe when he came to me that he had to do exactly what he felt he had to do." 

--Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees All-Star, celebrating a winning home run by the Raul Ibanez, who replaced him in the lineup in the ninth inning.  

Wednesday night in the Game Four of their best-of-five American League division series with the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium, with the New York Yankees behind and facing a 2-1 series deficit, Alex Rodriguez saw Yankees Manager Joe Girardi walking toward him.  It was the ninth inning, the Yankees were trailing by a run, and Rodriguez had gone 0 for 3 in the game, with two strikeouts.  Girardi told Rodriguez that he was going to replace him with Raul Ibanez, a pinch hitter.
Ibanez tied the game, 2-2, with a home run to right field. Perhaps surprisingly to many people, Rodriguez was the first Yankee to greet Ibanez at the top step of the dugout after he rounded the bases.

Then, in the 12th inning, Ibanez did it again, winning the game, 3-2, with a second homer.

Asked if he was insulted by Girardi’s decision or if he would harbor any hard feelings, Rodriguez shook his head.

“No, no way,” he answered. “I’m one of the leaders of this team now. It’s about winning. We won; I’m pleased. Whatever it takes.”

Excerpts from (October 11, 2012), "Slumping in Middle of Lineup, Rodriguez Is Center of Attention" by Bill Pennington.   

Monday, October 01, 2012

Has Lionel Messi Got the Right Idea?

"I prefer to win titles with the team ahead of individual awards or scoring more goals than anyone else.  I am more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world. When all this is over, what are you left with?  When I retire, I hope I am remembered for being a decent guy. I like to score goals but I also like to have friends among the people I have played with."
--Lionel Messi, considered by many to be the best soccer player in the world.  

Messi has won three consecutive world Player of the Year awards and may win a fourth in 2012 after scoring a record 73 goals last season.

Excerpt from "Messi Wants More Than Just Accolades" (Reuters, 10/1/2012).