Define “Fun” Again, FS1

When FOX Sports announced that it would be launching a “rival” to ESPN in the form of FOX Sports 1, many in sports and social media circles were thrilled. ESPN needs competition said some. The amount of drivel on ESPN makes it unwatchable said others. That was over a year ago. Some still believe that. 

How did I feel? Meh. 

Meh for the simple reason that sports networks just didn’t resonate with me anymore. I long ago tuned out ESPN’s non-event offerings. Only exceptions: 30-for-30 and E:60. Even their ESPN Radio offerings were a turn-off. Same goes for Fox Sports. Aside from a soccer match or an occasional NFL game, Fox’s sports offerings were putrid. So what would I need with a new sports network? Nothing. Especially since I have Twitter and my phone. 

Why watch a highlight on SportsCenter when I could see a GIF of it on Twitter? Do I really need to see the scores when it’s so easily accessible on the beat writer’s Twitter feed or on a phone app? Everything I need for sports news is easily accessible these days without turning on the television. What could Fox Sports 1 offer someone like me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

Now that they’ve been around for a year and seeing stuff like this…I’m not missing much am I?

Didn’t think so.

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Truth be told, I couldn’t watch much of that video. I know some people who work at Fox Sports. I have no idea if they had anything to do with that ad or not. I truly hope not. FS1 has made some smart moves in recent months by hiring the likes of Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel for their college football offerings. Those two additions make up for the extreme misstep of the Crowd Goes Wild show and the still-employed Clay Travis. But, just barely.

The expectations and braggadocio of Fox last summer about FS1 were, in a word, FUN (The One for Fun).  They would challenge the mighty behemoth, ESPN. One year on, those expectations and braggadocio are gone. Disappointment might be a better description.

Long-term disappointment? Maybe not. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But, with ads like that “one” FS1, your definition of FUN might need a bit of refining, especially for your long-term prospects.

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FINAL THOUGHT: Just in case you thought I was alone, a few replies to Richard Deitsch’s second tweet:

Twitter   richarddeitsch  College football is abt. passion  ...

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CadChica Sports

 Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

CBS Sports: It Is Time

 

The headline read: 

 

CBS Sports to Make TV History with All Female Sports Talk Show This Fall   The Big Lead

History.

An all-female sports talk show? YES!

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m not a female sports fan. I’m not a champion of all things women’s sports. I’m just a sports fan. Period.

For years, the sports media industry has relegated female sports journalists to very specific roles. Sideline reporter is number one on that list. If you’re a pretty blonde and you work in sports, there’s a good chance you’ll land a job as a sideline reporter somewhere in this country. Sure, there are female sports anchors, but how many are there to actually “discuss” sports? There simply isn’t enough time on a sportscast to hear an anchor’s opinion.

Then along came that story above from The Big Lead. The premise of it is exciting. A show with an all-female panel that is just talking sports? Not women’s sports – just sports! Terrific news, right? Well, I thought so initially. Heck, I’d want to be on that.  

Then, I started reading some tweets from folks who know the business far better than me. 

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Stepping stone or network gimmick?

I would hope a stepping stone and beyond. For women like me, we want to talk about sports. Not just women’s sports either. I want to talk about college football or basketball. Whether it’s on Twitter or more so on Google+, talking about sports is fun and insightful to me. Call me crazy, but this thing called dialogue…well, I like that! 

And that’s part of my hope for this new show from CBS. I’ve been trying to do something along those lines on Google+ with my show Tuesday Ten. Showing that a woman can talk about sports, in my case sports-social media, beyond the reasons of looks alone. Not saying I’m a beauty or anything like that — but it’s about being on camera for who you are on the inside too. Having someone of Amy Trask’s stature on that show (per The Big Lead), that’s saying something to me. That’s telling me that CBS knows there needs to be a platform to feature someone like Trask or Lesley Visser.

Maybe it’s a naive way to look at things, but that’s my hope. That this won’t be a gimmick by CBS Sports. Steve Lepore is right in his tweets above that sports media needs a change from within. More women decision-makers or, at the very least, less of an all-boys club. More people who are willing to think outside the box. For now though, the show needs to be an investment – a long-term investment in women who love talking about sports. 

It is time. 

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CadChica Sports

 Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Tuesday Ten: Kyle Bruce

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Oh, Foot-ball

Oh, Foot-ball

There’s always col-lege foot-ball.

It’s only two weeks away! 

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Sorry to hurt your ears with that song from Annie, but I am chomping at the bit. That makes this week’s Tuesday Ten episode all the more fun. Join me on Tuesday, August 11, when I’ll be joined by Kyle Bruce, Assistant Sports Information Director at Eastern Washington University. We’ll be discussing Eastern Washington’s season opener versus Sam Houston State on August 23. It will be broadcast live by ESPN’s family of networks. Kyle’s specialty lies in his creativity and innovation. He speaks the language of the EWU students and fans. And, maybe, just maybe, we’ll get in a little bit of soccer talk too. 

WHO IS KYLE?

In his second year as the Assistant Sports Information Director at Eastern Washington, Kyle Bruce serves as the primary contact for EWU’s volleyball, women’s basketball, soccer, golf and tennis programs. He is also responsible for crafting and implementing the department’s social media strategy across a broad range of platforms.

In his first year at EWU in 2013-14, Bruce spearheaded an innovative social media campaign involving the use of Snapchat, garnering a 2014 SoMe Award in the “E.T. Phone Home” category.

Prior to joining Eastern, Bruce served as a graduate assistant in the athletic media relations office at University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., where he worked with the Tigers’ women’s basketball, water polo and swimming programs. While at Pacific, he implemented the first-ever live video broadcast of home aquatics events, streaming contests from Pacific’s home pool for the first time. He also traveled with the Tigers’ women’s basketball team to both the 2012 and 2013 Big West Tournaments in Anaheim, Calif., where he handled all of the team’s media responsibilities during the postseason tournaments. Bruce also served as the primary statistician at all of Pacific’s home basketball and volleyball contests.

In March of 2013, Bruce volunteered at the Second and Third Rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship in San Jose, Calif., serving as a locker room quote taker and mini-cam steward, among other responsibilities.

Bruce served as an intern in the sports information department during his final two years of undergraduate study at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore., working primarily with women’s basketball and softball. While at WOU, he created the department’s Facebook and Twitter pages, giving the Wolves their first-ever online presence outside of the deparment’s official website.

Bruce received his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in sport management from WOU in June of 2011, graduating summa cum laude. He received his master’s degree in sport management from Pacific in December of 2013.

Bruce currently resides in Cheney and enjoys spending time with family and friends, eating Mexican food, reading the occassional book and cheering on Liverpool FC. He is currently a member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

 Tuesday Ten - 81214

WATCH

You can watch Tuesday Ten right here (remember to bookmark or favorite it) OR join the conversation on Google+:

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Kyle and EWU Eagles

  • Twitter: @_KyleBruce

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CadChica Sports

 Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Open Minded

Are you open-minded? 

Take your time on that answer. I’ll wait. 

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Who is in your sphere of influence ( in real life or online)? Are you surrounded by “yes-men”? Or, do you include those who you have philosophical differences with?

These types of questions ran through my mind when I read tweets like those from John Walters above. Retweets may not equal endorsements in my book, but he is spot on in his assessment. Michelle Beadle was called a “hero” by some. Admirers sang her praises for standing up to Stephen A Smith’s misguided words. 

Problem is, many of those same people hate Stephen A Smith. They blast him and the shows he appears on at every turn. Hate the attention he gets. Hate the platform he has on ESPN. Hate that he can say whatever he wants, whenever he wants. 

Guess what? He can. And, Smith does have some points to make that are worth listening to.

And, guess what? Beadle can too. And, Beadle does come across as somewhat hypocritical in her tweets.

But, is anyone paying attention?

Only if you’re open-minded.

***

 

CadChica Sports

 

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Hall of Fame Diary: Day 4

Today, was fan day.

No, not any special type of fan event. Today, had nothing to do with being media. It was all about just being a fan. 

Correction. There was some media work involved which you can read about at The Sporting Nation. Aside from that, it was all about the experience. Soaking it in began quickly:

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Players adorned both walls as you enter the museum itself to the left. A who’s who greeting you hello. Hello, Jerry. Hello, Reggie. Hey, how you doin’ L.T. and Anthony? 

Alright, so maybe that’s just a me thing having a conversation in my head…with a wall…of players. (enter smiley face emoticon here)

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Be the ball. 

Gold star if you know that line. That’s the first thing that popped into my head as I look at this picture again. The ball of today…so vastly different than the one from the old days, eh? 

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Read any “Greatest Athletes” list and you’re sure to find the name of Jim Thorpe on there. Here he is bigger than life:

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Well-worn:

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“Reintegration” 

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Game changer. As much as I may overuse the term, it applies here:

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There were other #32’s. Then there was Jim Brown:

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I think this would have made a great dress on me. Not that I would ever do that, but that was my first thought when I saw how big this jersey was.

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He wanted me to take a picture with him, but I didn’t want to break the camera.

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If you like history, this display is for you. It has yearly record for every team, including defunct teams or those under different names. 

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Pro football as we know it today would never be what it is without technology:

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Found this guy too. He didn’t ask to take a picture with me. Whew!

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40 points in one game. Not in basketball. In football. By Ernie Nevers. 

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One of my favorite displays to see? Mayyyyyyyybeeeeeee. 

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Walter Payton may be right there too on the favorites.

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These next two pictures belong together. If you haven’t heard the name Tom Fears, click here. 

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The gold jackets are BIG!

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On Pro Football HOF Weekend, the wait to see the busts is long. But, it was well worth it.

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Anything to do with the Raiders, well, you know the drill with me:

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In this edition of How to take a bad display picture… (still, it is Oakland)

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Those who know me know that I hate having my picture taken. Bonus. I’ll edit for a better picture later.

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As my friend Russ said, “Only place you’ll ever see this display.”

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What a terrific time in Canton. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. One that I won’t soon forget. If you get a chance to go, DO IT!

Lots of pictures to sort through when I get home. I’ll add more later. Until next time…

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CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Hall of Fame Diary: Day 3

The best laid plans…

I don’t know who the mice and men were on Saturday, but they surely made things go awry.

One of the reasons for coming to Canton was to do a live show from here. My partner, Russell S Baxter, and I wanted to do our 1st and 60 Show somewhere in Canton. We found a place through some fortuitous connections by Russ and decided to broadcast live from TD’s Tailgate Grill in downtown Canton.

As we were going to utilize Google+Hangouts On Air, we needed to do some early testing. Testing was necessary – the mere thought of  trying to achieve this only provided a few hours of sleep the night prior. Although mixed early results, we thought we had it figured out. Oh how wrong I was!!!!!

If you have a couple of hours to spare and want to see a train wreck, well…this is for you:

Best laid plans don’t always include a bar full of rabid Buffalo Bills fans and a nasty storm rolling through. Remember that “Freeze Frame” song by J. Geils Band? Well, we had our own version of freeze-frame action going on. Freeze-frame, audio-freeze. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Freeze was in town.

So flustered was I that I had to order a BBQ Bacon Burger and fries. Normally this is where you put a #foodporn pic, but I was too frustrated to remember to pick up that phone and snap that pic. I picked up fry after fry after fry instead. Then the burger. Then, fry after fry after fry.

And  it was good.

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Many, many thanks to the folks from TD’s Tailgate Grill for allowing us to attempt our Hangout from their establishment. Scott and his crew have a terrific place in Canton, OH. Special thanks to our waitress, Kayla.

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Dwelling on that would not do today. There was a Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony to attend. I had no idea what to expect. But, my partner is an old pro at this, so I had nothing to worry about.

I thought I would have a different feeling walking into the stadium. A surreal moment? Maybe. But, it wasn’t like that for me.

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It’s surprising. I’ve been in stadiums before. I’ve been to the Rose Bowl for a Rose Bowl game, not a regular season UCLA game. The Rose Bowl was magical. Fawcett Stadium was unassuming. Unpretentious. Nothing fancy. It is what it needs to be.

And, that fits just fine in the game of football.

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I will admit, however, that it felt (for lack of a better word) weird to walk into the press box. I’ve walked into press boxes before, but not for an NFL event. On a daily basis, I see thousands of tweets (literally) in my job for Sportsmanias. I see their tweets and faces every work day. Seeing them in person all gathered together in one place felt a little…weird.

Well, that and this wasn’t an ordinary event. We would be witness to a momentous occasion in the lives of seven men and their families. Much sacrifice by both players and families. Many came from humble beginnings. Family was key to their development. That means both positively and negatively. Andre Reed mentioned his father was an alcoholic. Walter Jones “loved on” his mama from the podium for all she gave to him and his family growing up. No mention of his father.

And that’s what struck me. Every single player mentioned family.

They mentioned coaches.

They mentioned teammates.

They mentioned friends.

They mentioned people throughout their lives who helped them along the way. Even as kids.

Cheyenne Humphrey-Robinson, daughter of Hall of Famer, Claude Humphrey told how her father would bench press her and her sisters. Why? He wanted to “incorporate” them so they “would understand” what he did. He gave them a piece of himself while he gave a piece to his craft.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, I was able to see Walter Jones play (on television only) on a weekly basis during the season. I knew of his holdouts. And, the franchise tags. I think I even saw him once in person when the Seattle Seahawks used to have training camp in Cheney, WA (home of Eastern Washington University).

Dude was big.

Dude had a trunk. A big, bad-a$$ trunk. 

When I listened to him last night, though, I didn’t think of what he did as much as what he said. Or rather, who he said it to.

To his ex-wife. 

I’ve heard or read the stories about what it takes to be a professional athlete. Many marriages fall apart because being a top-level athlete puts a strain on the relationship. It’s not the cause by any means, but it’s a key contributor.

It’s not often you hear someone thanking their “ex”. Jones even called her a friend. And yes, she was in the audience.

Remarkable.

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You could hear a pin drop.

Both in the press box and in the stadium.

Andre Reed was at the podium. Buffalo Bills fans were in the house.

Wait. Let me correct that. Andre Reed was at the pulpit. Buffalo Bills fans were in the sanctuary. 

Reed preached. Heck, a lot of the players preached in some way last night (more on that later). Although he would go on to have the longest speech last night, Reed should have just dropped the mic when he said early in his speech, “And oh yeah, the Bills will stay in Buffalo too.” (Google: Jon Bon Jovi, Buffalo Bills).

He wasn’t the only one with some memorable moments in his speech. Nothing quite like a pin dropping with Reed, but still memorable. Or, the roar of the crowd whenever former Bills’ quarterback Jim Kelly’s name was mentioned or he was seen on the screen.

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Or this gem from Claude Humphrey:

And, Jones:

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There were two speeches that stood out to me: Ray Guy and Aeneas Williams.

Guy for the obvious reason that he is an Oakland Raider and the first punter to ever be elected to the Hall of Fame. Although I was in the press box, I did find myself fighting back tears. Even when I was young, I knew there was something special about him. Listening to him last night, I still new. Some Ray Guy quotes:

  • On his parents: “Even though they are not here, they are here.”
  • On his mom watching games: “I don’t know how my mom ever knew what was going on because she had her eyes closed.”
  • On family: “I was taught to respect the family life.”
  • On playing for the Raiders: “I knew God had something special for me.” “Playing for the Raiders was my destiny.”
  • On advice from his dad: “Be who you are and no one else.”
  • On being in the Hall of Fame: “Now, the Hall of Fame has a complete team.”

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Aeneas Williams made me feel like I was in church.

Or in the huddle. 

Speaking eloquently, Williams brought you in to who he was as a player and who he is as a person. Passionate. Every indication to me is that he’s passionate about everything. Faith, family, football. You name it, Williams is probably passionate about it. Two of the key phrases he passionately spoke about:

#1: Begin with the end in mind.

“The goal is to reach your potential”, Williams said. Begin with the goal of “your potential” is what he was saying. To achieve the heights he has in his football career, there was no time to dwell on what he was not. The focus had to remain on who he could be. 

#2: Die empty. 

I think the essence of that is give until you can’t give anymore. Give in whatever you do. Give to others. Give all that you are in this life and when you die, there will be nothing left to give. Give and will come back to you. 

 Begin with the end in mind. 

Die empty. 

What’s your focus on? 

***

 GREAT TWEETS FROM THE NIGHT

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CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Seize the Mic

When you’ve got the mic, use it!

Over fifteen years ago, I heard those words uttered in church. That’s right…church. 

It’s hard to explain what I felt when I heard it. Maybe it was what Aeneas Williams was trying to describe in his speech last night when he said, “Pay attention to the signs God gives you”. I don’t know if it was necessarily a sign, but it was something that pierced my core. It pierced my soul. 

I’ve always taken that in the literal context. If the microphone is in your hand, use it for what its meant to be used for: to be spoken into and convey a message to others. 

Think about that concept for a minute. When someone is holding a microphone in their hand or it’s sitting in front of them on a desk or table, it’s there for them to speak into it. It’s as if the mic is saying, “SPEAK TO ME”. 

And, on the other end of that microphone is someone. Anyone with ears to hear will hear what the speaker has to say, right? You choose to speak. They choose to listen. 

But, nobody is listening if you ain’t even willing to use the mic you’ve been given. 

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I thought about this again last night at the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Florida State Seminole, Derrick Brooks was up first. Brooks’ speech lasted 24 minutes. The chuckling in the press box began some time around minute 15 or so. After all, there are deadlines to meet. An audible groan could be heard when he said, “When you go first, you can take your time.” Which prompted a terrific response from Keith McShea from Buffalo News:

Funny as that was, I remembered that statement, When you’ve got the mic, use it. 

Brooks used it. He, and the other enshrinees, used the mic last night to share a piece of they are. Who they are now, came from who they were back then. Who they were as a kid, you found out through the stories and introductions of their families. 

From Brooks whose mom told him, Never let me hear you toot your own horn ’cause it only makes one sound.

From Claude Humphrey whose mom told him after he asked to go play football, Yeah, but if you don’t get back in time for dinner, you don’t eat.

From Aeneas Williams’ dad: The name Aeneas means He is worthy to be praised. And he (Aeneas) is worthy to be praised. 

From Walter Jones on his mama working hard for the family: We were never in the dark and we never went hungry.

From Ray Guy: We were taught to appreciate the things we had and to take care of what we’ve got.

These are just a few of the examples of how these men used the mic to share a piece of themselves. When placed in front of them, they used it. 

But, the more I think about the statement and its literal meaning, I think about it now in a broader sense. 

When you’ve got the mic, use it = When you’ve got the opportunity SEIZE IT!

How does one get to the Hall of Fame? Any Hall of Fame, not just the Pro Football Hall of Fame? It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. On the part of the players, as well as their families. There is no possible way to do it alone. Families need their attention, love, affection and most of all, time. Coaches and teammates pushing them beyond their limits. They demand more day in and day out. Fans too have their own expectations of players. Numerous challenges both internally and externally were faced by the Hall of Famers along the way.

These players last night (which also included Michael Strahan and Andre Reed), had opportunities throughout their lives. And, they seized them. They didn’t shirk away. They didn’t run and hide. Sure, they may have been angry or upset at times. Even despondent or frustrated. But, to achieve the level they did last night, they had to SEIZE THE MIC.

They had the mic and the used it. They seized the opportunity to speak to us last night. They won’t get that opportunity again. However long it took, despite media groans, they had the mic and the weren’t afraid to use it.

They had the “mic” placed before them throughout their childhood, teenage and college years, their playing career and they SEIZED IT. 

So I have to ask myself and you, my reader, what’s your “mic”?

For players, during their playing days their mic is on the field (or whatever their respective playing surface may be). For written media, their mic is through websites, newspapers, magazines or books. For broadcast media, the mic is through the televison or computer screen or a speaker (radio or computer/mobile device). 

We all have a mic in some way, shape or form. Mine now is through both written and spoken word. But, I could have easily shied away from them. I’m not one for the spotlight or self-promotion. But, you have to do that to some degree or you’ll never make it in this business. The opportunities (the mic) have presented themselves and I SEIZED IT

It hasn’t been easy. Speaking is not comfortable for me. Putting myself out there to be criticized and ridiculed for what I do, speak and write…hmm…let’s see…that’s a risk in today’s social media world. 

But, the mic (opportunity) has been placed in front of me…

And I’m SEIZING it.

Are you?

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CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.