Sunday, May 24, 2009

On the Tunney Side of the Street, #230 May 25, 2009

After Further Review … Can the words “civility” and “sports fan” be used in the same sentence? If the simple definition of civility is “courtesy” and the word “fan” is abbreviated from fanatic (excessively enthusiastic), can a fan be courteous?

This became an issue at a recent NBA playoff game when a couple of fans wanted to cheer on their team by standing up, thereby blocking the view of other fans, who were cheering the same team, but seated. All of the fans were in seats near the playing floor. The seated fans asked those standing to “Please sit down, we can’t see.” Those standing refused to sit. If you were the one standing, what would you do?

What needs to be pointed out is that those standing were younger (20-30s), while those sitting were older (50-60s). Older fans want to sit more than stand, and at stadium events usually sit throughout the performance. Attending concerts by Bennett, Streisand or the Philharmonic, an older audience is seated, except for an occasional “standing ovation.”

Younger fans want to stand throughout - rock concerts and the like. You may have noticed that during the recent NCAA basketball playoffs, all the students from the participating schools stood the ENTIRE game! That’s what today’s students do!

During the confrontation that took place at the aforementioned NBA playoff game, the standing fans said (in response to the request to sit down), “We paid for these seats and we’ll stand if we want to.” “Well,” said those sitting, ”If you paid for the seats, SIT in them!” “No” was the reply … “You stand up.” And so the banter continued.

This happens in other venues as well. Since today’s younger fans want to stand, the question is: Do they have that right, even if they block the view of those behind them? One of the arguments of those standing is that the enthusiasm (of standing) is more supportive of the players, and thus the players play better with that enthusiastic (standing) support. Excuse me? My observation of players is that, while, they are glad the fans are there, they don’t – and shouldn’t – pay much attention to whether their fans are sitting or standing!

Will you be considerate of others in the arena, as well as in other places in our society?

Monday, May 18, 2009

On the Tunney Side of the Street #229, May 18, 2009

After Further Review … 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 and 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 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 several more kids.

If you watched Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009, you saw Kurtis. He was 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 reach out to someone today to give them needed support?

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

Friday, May 8, 2009

On the Tunney Side of the Street, #228, May 11, 2009

A recent television special detailed the earthquake that virtually destroyed Chengdu’s Sichuan province brought this to mind: “’Cause I’m the hall monitor,” said 9-year old Lin Hao, the Chinese schoolboy who marched in the 2008 Opening Ceremonies of the 29th Olympic Games in Beijing, as the co-leader with China’s Flag Bearer, 7”6’ Yao Ming. Yao Ming, of course, you know as the Houston Rockets NBA star, was playing in the Olympic Games for his native country China.

Lin Hao, perhaps, is a name you may never know. When that earthquake hit Chengdu’s Sichuan Province, China, on May 12, 2008, killing 70,000+ people, Lin Hao was among those buried beneath the rubble, yet survived. Lin Hao had pulled a classmate out of the rubble, then ran back in to rescue another, when he was caught in the tumbling walls. Alive when the rescuers got to him, Lin Hao was asked “Why did you go back into that building that was crumbling?” Here is 9-year old Lin Hao’s response: “’CAUSE I’M THE HALL MONITOR!” You may call it responsibility, or leadership or determination. Whatever you call it, please put “HERO” next to Lin Hao’s name! Extraordinary!

The spectacular opening of the 29th Olympic Games was the finest I have ever witnessed. The precision and splendor of that opening was exceeded only by the people who directed and performed in it. It was easy to be convinced that the light show, the drumming sequence and especially the ‘cube’ happening was controlled solely by electronics. I was delightfully surprised when the performers beneath those cubes popped their heads up at the conclusion. Extraordinary!

During an NBC interview with Zhang Yimou, who directed the opening ceremonies, Yimou said “We (meaning every ‘cube’ performer) worked for 4 months - 8 hours a day - and we never got it perfect – until that opening night performance.” Determination and a “never-give-up” attitude, coupled with TEAMWORK, gave the world China’s extraordinary best.

Some critics knocked the Chinese performers as “sterile” and lacking passion. I disagree. When you witness perfection, it may appear “sterile” and “passionless,” but what one often misses is the extraordinary effort to achieve perfection. Extraordinary performances given by ordinary people giving extra effort to perform the extraordinary!

Will you give your extra effort to every task you have in order to achieve the extraordinary?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

On the Tunney Side of the Street, #227 May 4, 2009

After Further Review ... FORTY-ONE MILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS GUARANTEED to 21-year old QB Matthew Stafford, who was selected first in the 2009 NFL draft by the Detroit Lions. Stafford, who left the University of Georgia after his junior year, is expected to resurrect the Lions franchise. It is important to note that his overall contract is for $78 million for 6 years and loaded with “ IF’s.”

Stafford’s contract is 20% more than the Atlanta Falcons contract given Matt Ryan (Boston College), the first year pick in the 2008 draft. Ryan did have a better-than-average year for a first year QB as the Falcons made the playoffs.
However, if Lions veteran QB Daunte Culpepper has a good year with no injuries, Stafford may be standing on the sidelines holding a clipboard, not a football.

There are more than a few football fans, as well as many others, who are scratching their heads, saying “How in the name of Bobby Layne can a football T.E.A.M. “guarantee” that kind of money to someone who has NEVER played one down in professional football?” Given the Lions 2008 record (0 wins and 16 losses) can any rookie quarterback – as great as Stafford was in college – create a winning record – let alone win the NFC North? It takes a T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Accomplishes More) to win in the National Football League.
The issue here is not so much about Stafford – he is simply the 2009 poster child – but the amount of money “guaranteed” to ANY unproven NFL player. Further, the total amount of money to be paid – much of it guaranteed – to the top 10 players chosen in this year’s draft, may approximate $250 million!

At some point, the NFL owners are going to have to revise the awarding of this kind of money to rookies. In today’s economy, that amount of money is out of line. Now, if the owners would take, say, half of that $250 million and help the many retired NFL players (who made the NFL what it is today) with medical bills, it would be the best thing they could do with those dollars. The money provided by the NFL Alumni dire need fund for these purposes is simply not enough. The NFL owners need to step-up and do the right thing.

Can you imagine the top-of-the-class graduate at Yale Law School guaranteed, or even offered, more money than the partners in the best law firm in New York?

Will you become aware of the financial plight facing retired NFL players?