Tag Archives: Athletes

Grammar Game

By: Gina Mason

Word traps…there are a lot of them out there and you would be surprised how often people fall victim to common grammar mistakes. (We are all guilty of it!) Whether it’s something as simple as the misuse of a homophone such as “their, they’re or there” or mixing up the definition of a word such as irreverent or irrelevant, it is important to make sure your grammar game is strong (especially, when writing a big email or working on a presentation). For some grammar snobs, the misuse of a pronoun or verb can send them through the grammatical glass roof and may cost you that big deal.

I recently read a great article in Forbes that had a useful breakdown of some of the most common grammar missteps in business. Here are some common words and some easy-to-remember tricks to ensure (see example 1) we stay on the right grammar track:

“Ensure vs. Insure

You insure a car or a house. Think: insurance.

You ensure the company will be a fit for you by doing your research.

Capitol vs. Capital

The Capitol is a building in Washington, DC. Do note its proper noun status.

Capital is money, as in a venture capital firm. It’s also what you’re referring to when you ask someone to stop emailing in ALL CAPS—and the spelling you’d want to use if asked to list all of the state capitals.

Perspective vs. Prospective

You have a unique perspective, or take, on events.

Prospective means potential, as in, the prospective candidates are impressive.

Gauge vs. Gouge

You’ll gauge your client’s reaction to the new slogan (i.e. take his or her temperature).

You’ll gouge out your eyes if you have to stare at your presentation slides much longer.

Moot vs. Mute vs. Moo

The point is moot—or, in other words, it doesn’t matter.

The TV is on mute.

And if you think the point is moo, you’ve watched too much Friends.

Prosperity vs. Posterity

Prosperity means wealth, so if you’re toasting to prosperity, you’re celebrating your fortune.

Posterity means future generations. You could toast to posterity as well, so long as you know you’re raising a glass to your descendants.

Principal vs. Principle

You went to the principal’s office when you misbehaved in school.

Principal can also mean main, as in principal investor.

And a principle is a tenet you believe in.

Tenet vs. Tenant

While we’re on the subject, a tenet is a rule.

A tenant is a renter.

Rein vs. Reign vs. Rain

You rein in your tendency to overreact, much like you use the reins to control a horse.

Meanwhile a monarch reigns over his or her empire, while rain falls from the sky.

Solidarity vs. Solitary

You show solidarity by joining or supporting a cause or social movement.

If you’re the solitary member on a project, you’re the only person working on it. (Note: Solitary often includes a connotation that means lonely or isolated.)

Weary vs. Wary vs. Leery vs. Leer

Weary means tired. It can also mean jaded, which is why some people confuse it with…

Wary, which means suspicious. You’d be wary of a candidate with terrible references.

Leery also means suspicious. You would be rightfully leery of a hiring manager who never showed up for your interview.

Finally, to leer is to stare in an inappropriate way.

Accept vs. Except

You accept an offer from your dream company.

You would go to the upcoming event, except you already have plans.

Broach vs. Brooch vs. Breach

You’ll broach the subject tomorrow, while wearing your grandmother’s lucky brooch.

Neither of which has anything to do with a breach of contract.

Fleshing vs. Flushing

You flesh out the findings by going into more detail.

You flush something down in the restroom.

Banal vs. Blasé

The topic is banal, a.k.a., boring.

He’s known for his blasé attitude—meaning he’s never flustered and seems generally unconcerned.

Skim vs. Scan

When you skim a document, you’re glancing at pretty quickly.

Scan can be used as a synonym for skim, but it also can mean reading something in detail (much like the oft-misused peruse). Scan can also be used in a medical context, e.g., a full-body scan.

Underserved vs. Undeserved

Underserved communities suffer from a lack of resources.

Undeserved means something was not merited, like an unwarranted dismissal.

Proceed vs. Precede

If someone says, “let’s proceed,” he means “let’s get started” or “let’s continue.”

Something that precedes something else, comes first (e.g., winter precedes spring, spring precedes summer).

Intents vs. Intense

Your intents are noble.

But your intense gaze is creeping the interviewer out.

Squash vs. Quash

You might eat squash after a game of squash in which you squashed your opponent like a bug. (What an eventful lunch break!)

On the other hand, you’d quash a merger that you’ve reconsidered and decided is a bad move.

Irreverent vs. Irrelevant

You might think irreverent just means colorful, but it often connotes something that is disrespectful, rude, even blasphemous.

While something that’s irrelevant doesn’t relate to the matter at hand.

Amused vs. Bemused

If you’re amused, you’re enjoying yourself, whereas…

If you’re bemused, you’re confused.

Farther vs. Further

Farther and further both measure distance. But farther is more often used for a distance you can actually measure. So, my favorite lunch spot is farther from the office than the sandwich spot up the block.

If you don’t want to go there, we don’t need to take this conversation any further.

Elicit vs. Illicit

If you’ve read this far, you deserve to know that elicit means provoke, as in elicit a response.

Illicit means illegal or forbidden—illicit activities have no place in the office (or, really, anywhere).”

I’m sure most of us have all fallen into these grammar traps and the best advice that I have for those who are unsure of the proper use of the word is USE GOOGLE! Google can pretty much tell us everything these days and if not, use two of my favorite grammar websites are Grammar Girl and Grammarly for quick and dirty grammar tips. I hope you found this post to be helpful and this will help us all step up our grammar game.

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.

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Red Nose Day – May 21, 2015

By: Dallas J. Short

Are you, your friends or your office participating in Red Nose Day?

Red Nose Day is a campaign dedicated to raising money for children and young people living in poverty by simply having fun and making people laugh. The inaugural Red Nose Day will be held in the U.S. on May 21, 2015. People across the country will come together to have fun and raise funds and awareness. The day’s events will culminate in a three-hour entertainment TV special on NBC featuring the country’s favorite comedians, musicians and Hollywood stars (you can check their website or social media for the long list or just tune in and be surprised.) The TV special will showcase top comedy and entertainment live and in pre-recorded segments, hosted by David Duchovny, Seth Meyers and Jane Krakowski. It will also highlight the issues for which Red Nose Day is fundraising. Viewers will be encouraged to make donations by phone and online. The monies received will be going to 12 charities working with children and young adults in the U.S. (where half of the money is going), Africa, Asia and Latin America.

This year’s Red Nose Day in the U.K. (March 13) raised over 121 million dollars so far and the number constantly increases with donations still pouring in. I’m guessing the U.S. donations will be a lot more.

#RedNoseDay is aimed at being a fun day. Yes, you will look like a clown, but it is for a great cause. This continues the trend of raising funds and awareness through doing ridiculous things. The Ice Bucket Challenge (ALS), dancing in adult underwear (Depend’s #Underawareness), and Color Runs (multiple organizations.) It might have already been coined, but it is what I refer to as #FUNdraisers.

Red noses have been available for purchase at Walgreens & Duane Reade stores across the country. You can locate a store near you here: http://www.walgreens.com/storelocator/find.jsp. A lot of locations are sold out, but keep looking or make one of your own. M&M’s has also partnered for the campaign.

About Red Nose Day: Red Nose Day was founded by Jane Tewson and Richard Curtis (writer and director of TV and films including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually). Comic Relief UK launched on Christmas Day in 1985 with a live broadcast from a refugee camp in Sudan. It was created out of the firm belief that the power of mass media and high-profile celebrities can raise awareness of issues of poverty to change and save millions of lives. For more information or to make a donation online: http://www.rednoseday.org

If this event somehow snuck below your radar, hopefully now that you are aware, you will participate. It is never a bad day when you can have fun and help others.

Here are some ideas for this year and to help you plan better for next year’s: https://www.rednoseday.org/get-ideas

Have you held or been involved with a philanthropic event based around having fun? What are your thoughts on #FUNdraisers?

Let’s laugh and do good.

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share. I look forward to seeing lots of pictures of people with red noses.

We’re Still Talkin About Practice

By Dallas J. Short

May 7, 2002, a day that will forever be remembered as the greatest NBA press conference in history or least the press conference that created a timeless quotable. The date when Allen Iverson questioned “Practice? We’re talkin about practice, man.”

(Full disclosure, the Sixers are my favorite team and I believe Allen Iverson is one of the greatest players of all time.)

Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d29VsG35DQM

Thirteen years later, we’re still talking about practice. This is a quote I use on a regular basis, as recently as Monday night I used it at my kickball game. I used it in a blog a few months ago. It has taken on a whole life outside of that press conference, been parodied by comedians, referenced by other athletes, paid homage to on t-shirts and much more.

If you’re reading this, you probably have already done your Allen Iverson “practice?” impersonation out loud or replayed it in your head. So, now that we have got that out of the way, let’s talk about a few social media practices. Don’t worry, I didn’t click bait you with the Iverson story. I really wanted to talk about it, but this is, after all, a professional blog and I figured it was a good tie-in.

Here are five social media practices, which while known, often seem to slip through the cracks.

  • Questions are a great way to engage your community. It makes your fans and followers feel involved. Do not just talk at them, talk with them. Keep your questions short, simple and to the point. “Are you talking about practice?”
  • Asking for a retweet, this is a practice which I know a lot of people say they are against, but when used right, it’s effective. If you have a strong opinion or emotional photo, this could be the time to rally your troops. Use sparingly, otherwise it will be like crying wolf and will have negative effects.
  • You have a story to tell, get it out there. Make sure you sure you have options for people to share your blog posts or articles through other social media platforms. It lets your story grow outside of your own site and increases readership.
  • Your social media voice should be the voice of your company, not an employee. Define it and ride with it. If the person handling your social media ends up not working there anymore, it should not be obvious to your readers. If the ball is ever dropped, it should be able to easily and seamlessly be picked up by anyone on your team.
  • You can never take your online community for granted. You do not need to fawn over them, but you need to make sure to thank them and make them feel appreciated. They are an extension of you. Online and offline, you want them cheering on your side.

Are there any memorable sports quotes you find yourself bringing up at work? What other social media practices do you think people sometimes forget or should try to improve?

As always, I welcome your comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Yes, practice.

Zero Dark Thirty: Step Away From Your Cell Phone

By: Dallas J. Short

The NBA Playoffs are back and I’m sure you are just as shocked as I am that my Philadelphia 76’ers somehow did not make the cut. While many are convinced this year’s champion will be from the Western Conference, that has not stopped one of the league’s best from continuing a tradition that has helped him #StriveForGreatness.

LeBron James is once again on his “Zero Dark Thirty” social shutdown. No phone, no Facebook (21.5 million), no Twitter (20.7 million), no Instagram (9.6 million), it’s radio silence from the 4-time MVP. He started this in 2012 postseason, one year after he and the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals. He says he only needs to talk to his family and his teammates. He’s locked in and focused on bringing the trophy home to Ohio.

Forbes.com has an article “30 Reasons to do a Digital Detox” and #19 “because it’s a challenge” is also one of the reasons LeBron gave. I’m sure King James’ bigger reason is to avoid distractions, trolls and negative comments, but who doesn’t love a good challenge every now and then.

Though I probably have as much chance of getting an NBA Championship ring as my Sixers do, I think a digital detox can be beneficial for anyone. That break free moment of ceremoniously throwing your phone into the ocean, taking a deep breath and inhaling the beauty of the world around you. At least, that’s how I picture it in my head. In reality, I make deals with myself. “I’ll only use my phone as an alarm clock.” “I’ll only reply to texts.” “I’ll just check it for e-mails.” “I’ll do it next weekend.” There always seems to be something that stops the disconnect. We focus on captioning the moment instead of capturing it. LeBron’s won back to back championships and continues to make the finals, so it’s definitely working for him. The super busy, super productive and super successful Arianna Huffington is also big on digital detoxes.

Here are a few other reasons Forbes listed on why to do a digital detox.

  • To give your brain a break from digital processing. Information overload is a serious issue. Recharging is healthy.
  • To see things clearly, make better decisions, and find a more productive way to do things when you return.
  • Once you switch off, time seems plentiful (compared to the version we tend to race against most days).
  • To have in-depth conversations that meander and make you think and bring up questions that aren’t answered by the Internet.
  • You’ll carve out space to think deeply, connect to yourself, and connect to the people around you.

So let’s do it this weekend. I’m in and up for the challenge.

Are you addicted to your smartphone and social media? Have you ever tried a digital detox?

As always, I welcome or comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Bryan Price Takes on the Media

By: Gina Mason

Professional sports have changed in many ways over the last few decades. From instant-replays to pace-of-play and heads-up tacking rules, all aspects of pro sports are now under a microscope and aggressively dissected by their respective leagues, officials, media and the public. Thanks to the invention of fantasy sports and our tech-savvy culture, the way we consume and talk about sports in general has changed drastically. The media and the public now expect a lot more out of coaches and players than ever before and coaches especially are put in the hot seat all of the time and forced to provide reasoning for every decision that they make.

From my experience working with a professional baseball team, I have witnessed this firsthand and truly applaud the players and coaches (and the staff that media trains them) who have been able to maintain their composure and confidence in the spotlight. For those of you who don’t really know much about baseball, the media gets an incredible amount of access to the players and the coaches behind the scenes. There is usually a press conference before and after each game with the manager, reporters are allowed in the locker room before batting practice, allowed on the field during batting practice and back into the locker room after the game. From a media standpoint, this is fantastic and it at allows reporters to get a great deal of insight from the team and provide fans with the insider scoop that they crave. However, this constant access can also put a lot of pressure on the players and the coaches as they constantly have to be ready to face a media firestorm.

Last week, the media scrutiny became all too much for Cincinnati Reds manager, Bryan Price. During a pre-game interview, Price unleashed his welled up emotions on the media after a reporter wanted to know why All-Star catcher Devin Mesoraco was not with the team for a game in St. Louis. Price blurted out 77 “f-bombs” during the five-minute, 34-second expletive-filled tirade and he targeted the media for breaking a story about the catcher the night before. “I don’t know what the importance is for everyone to know if we have a player that’s not here,” Price said. “We don’t benefit at all from the other teams knowing we don’t have a player.”

Call it pent up frustration or a moment of insanity, Price went on questioning the way in which the media behaved and why they have to always know everything, “I don’t get why it’s got to be this way. Has it always been this way where we just tell f****** everybody everything? So every f****** opponent we have has to know exactly what we have. Which f****** relievers are available, which guys are here and which guys aren’t here, when they can play, and what they can do. It’s nobody’s f****** business. It’s certainly not the opponent’s business. We have to deal with this f****** b*******.I like to talk — and I have spoken as candidly as I can with you people, if that’s not good enough, I won’t say a f******thing. I’ll go, ‘yes sir, no sir.’ And I can do that. But f***, I’ve been as candid as I can f****** be about this team and our players, and we’ve got to deal with this s***, every f****** team that we f****** play has to know every f****** guy that’s here and what they can and can’t do? F*** me. It’s a f****** disgrace. I’m f****** sick of this s***. It’s f****** hard enough to f****** win here to have f****** every f****** opponent know exactly what the f*** we bring to the table every day. It’s f****** horse****. I don’t like it. It’s what I’m saying. To make it very clear, I don’t like the way that this s***’s going — at all. I don’t like it. I don’t think you guys need to know everything. And I certainly don’t think you need to see something and tweet it out there and make it a f****** world event. How the f*** do we benefit from them knowing we don’t have Devin Mesoraco? How do we benefit from that? They benefit from it. I just want to know how we benefit from these f****** people know we don’t have a player here. Can you answer that? How is that good for the Reds?

Price definitely struck out with his delivery and I am sure the Reds PR team stood there in horror witnessing a verbal car crash in slow motion. However, many are saying that despite his foul language, Price’s message was not that outlandish. The necessity of knowing everything at all times in real-time may be taking away from the game and is putting too much pressure on the players and coaches, not only in baseball but in all sports. While some feel that as a professional athlete or coach, you waive your right to privacy and must address your critics daily.

I tend to agree that the public doesn’t need to know every single thing that is going on with each and every player at all times and that he does have a point that it can somewhat take away from a team’s competitive edge. However, I will say that as a manager of a professional baseball team, addressing the media is part of his job and he is getting paid a lot of money to do so. I would highly suggest that he should consider a few more media training sessions after that fiasco.

What do you think of Price’s rant? Do you think it was justified?

To hear all five minutes of Price’s rant, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wROe2dzJDqY

As always, I welcome your like comments and if you what you read be social and share.

Let the Madness Begin!

By: Dallas J. Short

March Madness is upon us. If you have not filled out a bracket, time is running out, but be warned: the person who does not watch college sports will probably win. It just happens. If you do not have an interest in the NCAA Tournament, sorry, but it almost becomes unavoidable. There is still a good chance it is the big buzz around your office or by a lot of people you know, it is especially a huge deal on social media. Expect the hashtag #MarchMadness to be trending for the next 3 weeks.

While Facebook will definitely include predictions, outbursts, and reactions – people will be on Twitter and keeping with up the action in real time. According to the research Twitter has done with DB5, “75% of sports fans on Twitter use the platform to follow their favorite teams and athletes, and 61% follow their Twitter feed and/or Tweet while watching sports on TV. Nearly half (49%) say they feel as close to the action following games on Twitter as they do watching them on TV.”

Last year, Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings found that in the US, TV broadcasts of the tournament generated 14.1M Tweets and 1.6B Tweet impressions.

Even if your team was ripped off and wasn’t selected for the tourney (Miami Hurricanes, Temple Owls), this is an exciting time in sports. The college players play with not only skill, but so much passion and heart – that it is not as easily predictable as the major professional sports. Anything can happen and there will be “madness” indeed. Duke (3) was upset last year by Mercer (14) and Twitter exploded and it actually became more tweeted about than even the Championship final. Duke is a #1 seed this year, people love to hate Duke, so let’s see how they do this year. Another story to follow is Kentucky, also a #1 seed – they went the entire season undefeated, how long will the ride last?

There are so many experts and self-presumed experts on Twitter right now, it is easy to learn more about the players, the coaches, the matchups, predictions and more. It becomes fun and addictive to stay in the know and follow along as it goes. No matter if you are using Twitter for personal or professional use during #MarchMadness, you will want to be in the know.

In 2014, Twitter users were as engaged on game days as they were on non-game days, so this a great chance for brands to be involved and jump into the conversation as well. Be prepared to be locked in until at least April 7 (Championship game is April 6), fans are watching and responding, they want a brand they feel like they are watching the tournament with, not being sold to while trying to enjoy it. Brands need to respect the intensity of the game and the fans. People tend to have deep ties to college sports and it is not just a random or forced association.

As I said in my blog for Get in the Game: Tips for Tweeting on Super Sunday, this is an opportunity for you and your brands to connect and engage on a more natural level and develop meaningful interactions and relationships. With games starting March 17 and ending on April 6, this gives you a lot more time to build and strengthen those bonds with fans, followers, and possible/future fans and followers. Do not waste any more time, jump in now.

As far as who my predictions are to win? Well, we are doing an office pool and I believe in the jinx. So, let’s talk more in a few weeks. When I’m not at work, you can be sure I’ll be tweeting along. @Meddafore If you feel like throwing your predictions out there, feel free to do so. If you think there is a better platform for #MarchMadness engagement, please let me know that too.

As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

Free Agency & NFL Trades

By: Dallas J. Short

In case you forgot, the NFL proved this week (more so than usual), that it is indeed a business first. Veterans, starting QBs, Super Bowl Champions, no one was safe and job security was thrown out the window.

Here are a few of the dealings that caught my attention this week:

The New England Patriots decided not to pick up the $20 million second year option on cornerback Darrelle Revis, he then went and cashed in by reuniting with the New York Jets for 5 years, $70 million, with $39 million guaranteed. Revis said he was following his heart, not the money. He obviously has a heart of gold. After a bad few years, Gang Green has a reason to smile again, while Patriots Nation stick to believing in Brady and Belichick.

The Patriots’ running back Shane Vereen is out of Foxboro as well and now with the New York Giants. Vereen said joining the Giants is a “step up”, not sure how going from winning the Super Bowl to a team that did not make the playoffs is a good thing. I’m sure his new fans loved hearing it, but it just sounds ridiculous.

New Orleans Saints let Pro Bowler, tight end Jimmy Graham go and he ended up with the Seattle Seahawks. The Saints had just given him a $40 million contract a year ago. The Seahawks were already a solid team and with him now, they have got to be the favorite to head back to the Super Bowl. While some players during free agency are going to downgraded teams, this is a big win win for Jimmy and Seattle.

Two stars who have shined time and time again, but I guess once you get to that 30 club, that shines diminishes in how your team judges your worth. The San Francisco 49’ers running back Frank Gore and Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson were also released from the teams they have taken to the playoffs. This worked out well, with both former Miami Hurricanes ended up together on the Indianapolis Colts, where they are online trying to recruit other Miami Hurricanes players to come to Indy. (Currently defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who the Patriots also let go after 11 seasons, but the Pats might pick him back up.

The St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford and the Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles swapped cities, sort of how Michael Vick and Mark Sanchez did before (Philadelphia and New York), but this seemed more intentional. It could possibly be the most pointless trade, as I predict they will both end up as third stringers, behind a draft pick QB from this year.

There were a lot of things that happened (Suh to Miami, the other Eagles moves, etc.), and they will be a lot more going on before the season starts. It has been fun watching Twitter explode (announcements and reactions from players and fans), Facebook meltdown with related memes, and Adam Schefter is putting in a crazy amount of overtime to break as many stories as possible.
I stopped buying players jerseys and almost think it could be a jinx. If you like a player too much, he’ll be gone. Loyalty lies with the fans and it is a job for the players and owners, sometimes it would be nice though if NFL teams could act like it cared a little bit more and not just know no matter who they give you or take away, you’re stuck with supporting them and spending money anyway.

Were there any deals made you that liked? How did your team make out? Is your favorite player still allowed to be your favorite player?

As always, if you like what you read be social and share.