Friday, January 30, 2009

On The Tunney Side of the Street #214, Feb. 2, 2009 (

“SHOW ME THE MONEY!” shouted Rod Tidwell to Jerry Maguire in the movie “Jerry Maguire.” Tidwell (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), was telling sports agent, Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) that if you want me to sign with you as my agent: “Show me the money!” It’s a scene played out in real life by college athletes becoming professionals.

Mark Sanchez, a junior in his fourth year at University of Southern California, is the latest of those shouting, “Show me the money.” Quarterback Sanchez had a great 2008 football season at U.S.C. which was ranked No. 2 in the country. U.S.C. handedly defeated Penn State in the Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2009, with Sanchez leading the Trojans to victory. Is Sanchez now ready for the NFL?

Many don’t think so – including his U.S.C. Coach, Pete Carroll Carroll once coached in the NFL before coming to U.S.C. and has resurrected the Trojans to top National ranking status. Carroll tried to convince his star QB to stay for his final year and questions Sanchez’s ability to move into the NFL; it makes a lot of sense. But “cents” isn’t what it’s all about; it’s about dollars as in, “Show me the money!”

Coach Carroll knows a quarterback’s strengths and areas that need developing. He coached Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, both Heisman Trophy winners and NFL first round draft choices. Neither Palmer nor Leinart has yet to make a strong impression in the NFL.

Why would Sanchez not want to return to U.S.C. (for his last season of eligibility) with an opportunity to improve himself before taking on the NFL? Sanchez is projected to be a 2009 first round draft choice, and perhaps THE first pick. His salary and signing bonus could be likely in the $15-20 million range.

Sam Bradford, the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner, decided to remain at Oklahoma for the 2009 season Colt McCoy, runner-up to Bradford in the 2008 Heisman race, will return to University of Texas to complete his eligibility Tim Tebow, 2007 Heisman winner (and who finished 3rd in the 2008 Heisman race), will also return - to the University of Florida.

Maybe that answers the Sanchez issue. If Sanchez stays at U.S.C. and enters the NFL next season, he will compete in the 2010 draft with Bradford, McCoy and Tebow, and – perhaps – would be drafted lower than the first round, and offered less money. On the other hand, with a powerful 2009 season at U.S.C., Sanchez could win the Heisman.

Will you stay the course to further develop yourself or choose “show me the money?”

Saturday, January 24, 2009

On The Tunney Side of the Street #213, Jan. 26, 2009 (

On the Tunney Side of the Street #213, January 26, 2009

After Further Review Perhaps you have read this before, but it bears repeating … Kurtis the stock boy, was busily working at the supermarket, when a new voice came over the loud speaker asking for a carry-out at register 4. Kurtis answered the call. As he approached the check-out stand, he noticed the beauty of the new check-out girl.

After his shift was over, he waited by the time clock to find out her name, and when she punched out, he looked at her card – Brenda. The next day, he waited again and offered her a ride home, which she accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of work. She said it wasn’t possible, and explained she had two children and couldn’t afford a sitter. He offered to pay for the sitter. Reluctantly, she accepted his offer for a date for the following Saturday, but when he arrived at her door she said she was unable to go. The sitter had cancelled, to which Kurtis said, “Well, let’s take the kids with us.”

She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Finally Brenda brought him inside to meet her children. She had an older daughter who was just cute as a bug. Then Brenda brought out her son - in a wheelchair. He was born a paraplegic with Down Syndrome.

Kurtis asked Brenda, “I still don’t understand why the kids can’t come with us?” Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with two kids, especially if one had disabilities – just like her husband and father of her children had done. Kurtis had a different mindset. So that evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the movies.

When her son needed anything, Kurtis would take care of him. When he needed to use the restroom, Kurtis picked him up out of his wheelchair, took him and brought him back. The kids loved Kurtis. At the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to marry. A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children. Since then, they have added five more kids.

When you watch Super Bowl XLIII next Sunday, look for Kurtis. He’ll be wearing a Cardinals’ jersey with #13 and the name “Warner” on the back. Yes, Kurtis is Kurt Warner, starting QB of the Arizona Cardinals !

Will you “pick yourself up and dust yourself off” to help someone in need?

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his website:, or if you would like to respond to this message,
please send your email to

Sunday, January 11, 2009

On The Tunney Side of the Street #211, Jan. 12, 2009 (

After Further Review M. Scott Peck wrote in “The Road Less Traveled” that “life is difficult” -- sometimes interpreted to mean “life is not fair.” Often we hear someone say “Why me, Lord? Why did this (bad break) happen to me?” On the other hand, when one receives a “good break” or “good fortune,” do we think “I really deserve this?”

When the San Diego Chargers lost to the Denver Broncos in the second week of the 2008 NFL season on an official’s missed call, the Chargers Nation was quite vocal proclaiming the “why me - life is not fair” pule. Throughout the 2008 NFL season, as the Broncos kept winning and the Chargers kept losing (4-8 in the first ¾ of the season), the fans kept referring to that “bad break” in the Broncos game.

Then, as the Chargers revitalized their season and the Broncos lost 3 of 4 games that they were favored to win, things began to even out. So it came down to week 17 – the final week of the season as the Broncos played the Chargers in San Diego with the winner advancing to the playoffs. The pundits were saying, “The Broncos and Chargers now control their own destiny.” Huh?

Just an aside note: You can control what you can do next, but not your destiny. Destiny, by definition, cannot be controlled – it is what it is – “fate.” Anyway, destiny set up that final game – Broncos vs. Chargers - and the Chargers won, sending them to the wild card playoffs where they were paired with the Indianapolis Colts, who by nature of their 8 game winning streak and a 12-4 record (vs. the 8-8 Chargers record) and an earlier 23-20 victory over the Chargers, were favored to win

Here’s where “destiny” comes into play. With the score tied at 17 at the end of regulation game time in that Colts – Chargers wild card playoff, the game went to O.T. (overtime). A coin flip determines who receives the kickoff. The Colts captain, as the visitor, called “heads.” When the referee’s coin landed, it came up “tails” – the Chargers won the toss! Was that fate? Destiny?

NFL statistics show that 60% of the time the team that wins the coin toss, wins the game. The Chargers did just that with a run by (second string running back) Darren Sproles, who scooted 22 yards for the winning score 23-17 Did the “breaks” (e.g. winning the coin toss), even it out for the Chargers?

Will you do your best in 2009 no matter what “bad breaks” befall you?

Monday, January 5, 2009

On The Tunney Side of the Street #210, Jan. 5, 2009 (

After Further Review As we start a New Year and begin a fifth year “On the Tunney Side of the Street,” my sincere gratitude to all of you for reading – and many who have responded – to these musings. These messages over the last four years have taken issues – good, bad, right or wrong - from the world of sports in an attempt to relate them to lessons for everyday living.

So, what will we be facing in 2009 after experiencing a financially difficult 2008 – especially the last quarter? Surely, the troubling economic downturn has not left anyone unscathed. Will we endure more of these disastrous economic times, and if so, how do we deal with it? Will our new president make certain that “Yes, we can” becomes “Yes, we did?” Is a positive attitude enough?

Legendary Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers Coach Vince Lombardi said, “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of determination” (e.g., “It’s the Will, Not the Skill”). In the NFL, players who became injured during a game, retreated to the sideline and would often say “Tape it up – I’m going back out there (to play).” That’s a work ethic and a WILL that is needed today. Here are a few examples:

Charlie Johnson, Denver QB (circa 1960s) was told by the team doctor during a game that the cartilage in his knee was torn. Charlie said, “Just straighten out my leg; I gotta go play.” Larry Wilson, defensive back of the then St. Louis Cardinals (circa 60s & 70s), broke both hands, taped them up (looking like 2 small pillows) and continued to play and even intercepted passes! Jack Youngblood (Los Angeles Rams circa 1980s), who had broken his leg in a playoff game, had the leg taped up and played the entire game in Super Bowl XIV There are hundreds of other stories.

The message here – as it relates to everyday living – is that our “determination” (our WILL) to step onto the field (Life itself) must not let downturns (disabilities) deter us from succeeding in spite of the problems ahead. We must trust ourselves to be successful – and that leads me to suggest a new book, “Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Teal Book of TRUST” (, which gives us an insight on how to use trust as a blueprint to make our lives better.

Will you let trust, coupled with determination, be paramount for you in 2009?