Thursday, April 30, 2009

Greener Side: A Walk In Other Shoes

So often through life, we focus our energies on ways to improve ourselves. And why shouldn't we? Self-potential is the mere goal every individual strives for in his or her existence. Whether it be professional, personal, spiritual, emotional, physcal, or mental, pushing the lever each and every day, to improve, to succeed, and to enjoy life, is our subconscious objective.

However, many times through this race called life we stumble. Trip. Wipe out. Fall. There are those times when you feel locked into a fight, and you are grossly underweight and over matched. A mere punching bag for the champion called Life who seems unconquerable, unmovable, and impossible. Not to mention, the times it cheats, and gains an unneeded advantage.

Yes, we all know those times.

Those are the times when we begin to look to others, and compare their experience with Life, their race called Life, with that of others. It's then that we see (Or so we think) that somewhere, somehow we are not prepared enough, or experienced enough, or tough enough for this race. It is then when we look at others and think about their success, and their lives, and wonder "how did they get there?" and "What am I doing wrong?"

The grass always looks greener on the other side.

The cars. The Clothes. The houses. The jobs. The smarts. The physique. The friends. The lifestyle. The success.

It's a mental trap so easily, and able to fall into. A trap that lures us in and keeps us in the abyss when our greatest enemy in adversity has mounted us, and our greatest ally in perseverance seems no where to be found. With the attitude and emotion of negativity and envy being the easiest option for human beings, the grass will always seem greener on the other side.

It will remain that way until, you are let in on the other, "greener" side.

For its only then, where you can imagine yourself in another's shoes.

If...they have shoes at all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Alive, Well, & Healthy: The Survival, Recovery, and Future of MLB

Major League Baseball has seen an increase in Black participation for the first time since 1995. According to the Associate Press, black players accounted for 10.2 percent of Major League Baseball players, up from a dwindling 8.2 percent in 2007. The percentage of black pitchers also increased from 3 to 5 percent, as well as black infielders, from 7 to 9 percent.

Major League also received other positive news, grades, and stats regarding diversity, and their game:

Five minority General Managers.

Increased of minority employees in commissioners officer from 28 to 34 percent.

Overall, received a B for gender hiring, and an overall grade of B+ for diversity. Up from the B- in 2008. 

With the celebration of Jackie Robinson, his life, and his accomplishments last week, baseball is prepared to move forward for the future. And with the growth of diversity throughout the game, that movement is poised for a lengthy and successful run due to several key elements coming together for the game.

The first element that was immediately fixed, was the marketing of the teams, and players. Major League Baseball has been criticized for the past decade for how it handles the images of its players. In the past three or four years, MLB has begun focusing on promoting its stars, especially its stars of color. It also worked out that players such as Jimmy Rollins, Albert Pujols, and Ryan Howard have played on the game's biggest stage along with rising stars in BJ Upton, Carl Crawford, and David Price.

The second key element is the modernization of the game. In the age of iPhones, flat screens, and various technology, our society demands a certain pace that if not met, causes you to become outdated. For a game so rich in tradition, history and lure, baseball struggled to find its niche in preserving history, while moving forward and keeping the game fresh. It is what the National Football League does so well which makes it king. However, with the addition of a two tiered playoff system, parity throughout the league, instant replay, brand new stadiums, television coverage of the draft, growing coverage of the NCAA College World Series, and a more entertaining product, baseball has indeed reinvented itself. When Commissioner "Bud" Selig says, "The game has never been more healthy", he is indeed telling the truth.

Finally, the last key element that has come together for MLB is the addition of the World Baseball Classic. Despite it's critics here in the United States, the WBC has done wonders worldwide in expanding the game, and exposing the greatest talent on earth. It gives the game an international dimension that not even the mighty NFL can boast about.

Baseball has come a long way from the strike of 1994. It has gone through it's trials and tribulations with performance enhancing drugs, narcotics, irresponsible financial decisions, declining minority participation, grand jury testimonies, and fallen heroes. Yet, it has rebounded, recovered, and reshaped it's direction, and the future of the sport. 


The final element for MLB would be a key figure along the likes of Tiger and Lebron, but that remains to be seen, and that pedestal remains void.

Nonetheless, the sport is on its way. After surviving, and recovering, through modernization and diversity, MLB is alive, well, and healthy. And it's future looks bright. Really, bright.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dome Pondering Import - E60: Lord of the Ring

In the past, yours truly has been often critical of ESPN and other media outlets for jumping on the negative stories, most often the deaths and steroid issues, regarding the business and industry that is professional wrestling. However, credit must go, where credit is due for ESPN's great piece on E:60, as they acknowledged the great event that is Wrestlemania, highlight the genius that is Vince McMahon, and educating the masses on the success of this great art form. Hopefully, this is the beginning of more awareness for the business, and more intrigue beyond the industry leader in World Wrestling Entertainment.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Wrestlemania 25: The Evolution of Two Greats

April 4th, 2009 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the event epic that is Wrestlemania. For the past two-plus decades, Wrestlemania has evolved from a vision from the genius mind of Vince McMahon into an event more revenue producing and in-demand for cities in some cases than the World Series, Stanley Cup Finals, NBA Finals, Final Four, or even, the Super Bowl.

Wrestlemania, through its evolution has provided many memories and moments that will forever raise the eyebrows of wrestling fans. From those that step up on the grandest stage of the wrestling calendar, to the celebrities and Hall of Fame inductions, Wrestlemania weekend has grown into a week long event (now including other wrestling companies as well) anticipated by wrestling fans throughout the world.