Russell Wilson’s quiet leadership is exemplary among black quarterbacks

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hopes to lead his team to consecutive championships.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hopes to lead his team to consecutive championships.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On  Sunday, February 1, 2015, Russell Wilson has a chance to become back-to-back Super Bowl champion. There are only a handful of quarterbacks that have that distinction on their resume, most recently his opponent on Sunday, Tom Brady. However, Russell Wilson has already achieved an historic accomplishment by being the first African-American quarterback to reach the Super Bowl in consecutive years.

Steve McNair had a great deal of success in his career, including his play in the wildly entertaining Super Bowl XXXIV.

Steve McNair had a great deal of success in his career, including his play in the wildly entertaining Super Bowl XXXIV.

Wilson is the fourth African-American quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. In 2004 Donovan McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl and in 1999 Steve McNair also led the Tennessee Titans to the Super Bowl. McNair and McNabb fell short of leading their teams to victory and were ultimately unsuccessful in winning the Super Bowl.

McNabb fell short of Super Bowl victory in 2004, but led the Eagles to several NFC title games.

McNabb fell short of Super Bowl victory in 2004, but led the Eagles to several NFC title games.

In 2012, Colin Kaepernick surprised many by leading the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in just his 10th career start. He narrowly missed a second opportunity to appear in the Super Bowl last season, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Wilson, Kaepernick, and Cam Newton are few of the young African-American quarterbacks who are changing perceptions about the position with their varied styles of winning.

Doug Williams put forth one of the best Super Bowl performances of any quarterback when he led the Redskins to victory in 1987.

Doug Williams put forth one of the best Super Bowl performances of any quarterback when he led the Redskins to victory in 1987.

In 1987 Doug Williams guided the Washington Redskins to the Super Bowl and was victorious over the Denver Broncos. Williams’ Super Bowl appearance is not only distinctive because he is African-American, but also because of his superb performance that day. Williams orchestrated a 42 -10 rout of the Denver Broncos with 340 passing yards and 4 touchdowns, en route to being named Super Bowl MVP. As successful as Williams and the Redskins were that day, they were unsuccessful in repeating the following year.

Marshawn Lynch (l) and Richard Sherman (r) have been the main attractions when discussing the Seahawks during this week's media sessions.

Marshawn Lynch (l) and Richard Sherman (r) have been the main attractions when discussing the Seahawks during this week’s media sessions.

Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks hope to add their names to the history books with repeat Super Bowl victories on Sunday against the New England Patriots. While many of Wilson’s teammates like Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman have become major headlines during media week, Wilson has flown under the radar. However, his importance to the game cannot be understated.

Wilson hopes this Super Bowl ends the same way the last one did, with the Seahawks victorious.

Wilson hopes this Super Bowl ends the same way the last one did, with the Seahawks victorious.

Wilson is the unquestioned leader on offense and will have to play a much better game than he did in the NFC championship game if the Seahawks are to prevail this Sunday. So far in his career Wilson has been successful in overcoming challenges, so there’s no reason to believe Super Bowl XLIX will be any different.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. Is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.

Cheating Patriots should be disqualified from Super Bowl, fined steeply

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will be answering lots of questions over the next week about the deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game.

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will be answering lots of questions over the next week about the deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

What do the New England Patriots, Alex Rodriquez, and Lance Armstrong have in common? Cheating, lying and championships. Rodriguez and Armstrong are now pariahs and their accomplishments have been completely tarnished. The Patriots are on their way to similar treatment from fans, competitors and some media outlets.

Fans had fun online referencing the cheating ways of the Patriots, at the expense of head coach Bill Belichick.

Fans had fun online referencing the cheating ways of the Patriots, at the expense of head coach Bill Belichick.

News spread quickly that 11 of the 12 footballs the Patriots used in the AFC Championship game were inflated 2 pounds per square inch below NFL standards. This newly dubbed “Deflategate” has moved beyond whether the Patriots did something wrong and is now in the penalty phase.

Has the Patriots' constant cheating landed them in the same league as known cheaters Alex Rodriguez (l) and Lance Armstrong (r)?

Has the Patriots’ constant cheating landed them in the same league as known cheaters Alex Rodriguez (l) and Lance Armstrong (r)?

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, “Under NFL rules, no alteration of the footballs is allowed once they are approved. If a person is found breaking league rules and tampering with the footballs, that person could face up to a $25,000 fine and potentially more discipline.”

A pass intended for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (l) was intercepted by Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson. Jackson noticed the difference in the feel of the football which eventually led the investigation.

A pass intended for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (l) was intercepted by Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. Jackson noticed the difference in the feel of the football which eventually led the investigation.

NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice had a very common take on Twitter on the situation stating, “11 of 12 balls under-inflated can anyone spell cheating!!! #Just Saying.” People are not willing to dismiss this latest transgression from the Patriots, despite the large margin of victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Hall of Fame finalist and current ESPN analyst Jerome Bettis referred to the Patriots as “known felons,” referring to their previous punishment for being caught improperly taping their opponents, aka “Spygate.”

Will NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (l) let his close relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft (r) affect his ability to properly punish the team for breaking the rules again?

Will NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (l) let his close relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft (r) affect his ability to properly punish the team for breaking the rules again?

Roger Goodell levied serious penalties to the New Orleans Saints during “Bountygate,” when Saints players were found to have received financial incentives for intentionally harming opponents. Part of the reason for their stiff penalties was the fact that the team had been warned by the league before ultimately getting caught.

So what should happen to the Patriots? Head coach Bill Belichick should be fired, the team should forfeit multiple draft picks, and they should replay the AFC championship game. Those actions would restore integrity to the NFL, of course, it will not happen. Whatever the punishment we know they’re still going to have a chance to win the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks on February, 1.

A common excuse given after Deflategate is it didn't make a difference in the outcome of the game. Barry Bonds (l) and Roger Clemens (r) wish the Hall of Fame voters would give them the same benefit of the doubt.

A common excuse given after Deflategate is it didn’t make a difference in the outcome of the game. Barry Bonds (l) and Roger Clemens (r) wish the MLB Hall of Fame voters would give them the same benefit of the doubt.

Former NFL tight end Byron Chamberlain pondered via Twitter: “45-7, did deflated football really make that much of a different? #DeflateGate” Grammar aside, the answer is yes for everyone else in sports who is caught cheating. Did Rodriguez or Armstrong need to cheat to be successful in their sport? Shouldn’t the accomplishments over long careers for players like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds easily grant them entrance into the MLB Hall of Fame? After all, performance-enhancing drugs cannot account for all of their success.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and his teammates do not seem phased by Deflategate.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and his teammates do not seem phased by Deflategate.

The bottom line for the Patriots is coach Belichick leads the team and should receive the majority of the credit, and blame as well. The NFL could make sure the Patriots no longer break rules like this by coming down hard on them. Such punishment might not happen. In the meantime, as Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman adequately put it, “They’re still going to be playing in this [Super Bowl] so whatever they did, the risk/reward was greater.”–OnPointPress.net–


Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.

Drake drew laughs, Stuart Scott caused tears, at 2014 ESPY Awards

Music artist Drake (c) was the host for the 2014 ESPY Awards. He was joined on stage  at this moment by the Seattle Seahawks in attendance that won the award for  Best Team.

2014 ESPY Awards host is surrounded by members of the Super Bowl Champions Seattle Seahawks, who won the for Best Team award.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On July 16, 2014, ESPN aired the ESPYs, the network’s award show for the world of sports. Hosted by musician and former child actor Drake, the award show drew laughter and tears. The host performed numerous sketches, monologues, and presentations that are standard for current award ceremonies but Drake stood out by creating a special song for those who didn’t win an award.

Drake  had skits with a few different people including Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins.

Drake had skits with a few different people including Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins.

The well-dressed crowd was entertained all night by Drake and other stars like Brian McKnight, Blake Griffin, Chris Brown, and Skylar Diggins, who teamed up to perform skits.

Drake made jokes on some audience members including Richard Sherman (l) and Russell Westbrook (r). Both won awards that night as well.

Drake made jokes on some audience members including Richard Sherman (l) and Russell Westbrook (r). Both won awards that night as well.

Drake also poked fun at a number of athletes who were in attendance, such as Lance Stephenson, Russell Westbrook, and Richard Sherman. All those who were mentioned as part of jokes and skits seemed to take everything in stride in what was mostly a light-hearted event.

Michael Sam (r) was presented the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (l).

Michael Sam (r) was presented the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (l).

There were serious moments in the show as well. Michael Sam was presented with the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Sam expressed his appreciation for the award and shared a touching story of how he was able to make a difference in the life of a young woman who gained courage to admit that she is also gay after conversing with Sam.

Stuart Scott (l) gave an emotional speech after receiving the Jimmy V Award for  Perseverance. He is pictured with his daughter Sydni (m) and Peyton Manning (r).

Stuart Scott (l) gave an emotional speech after receiving the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. He is pictured with his daughter Sydni (m) and Peyton Manning (r).

The emotional highlight of the night might was ESPN’s Stuart Scott’s acceptance speech for the Jimmy V[alvano] Perseverance Award. Scott was presented the award by the star of Scott’s favorite television show, Kiefer Sutherland, from “24”. Scott’s moving speech touched on all the challenges he currently faces while fighting cancer and continuing to persevere for the sake of his family, his daughters in particular. Scott was joined on stage at the end of the speech by the youngest of his daughters, Sydni, 14. Scott concluded his speech stating:

Scott (m) and his daugher Sydni (r) were congratulated on stage by the presenter for the  award, Kiefer Sutherland (l).

Scott (m) and his daugher Sydni (r) were congratulated on stage by the presenter for the award, Kiefer Sutherland (l).

“When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you lived, why you lived and in the manner in which you lived. So live. Live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, then lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you.”

Danica Patrick (l) and Taye Diggs (m) were the presenters for the Male Athlete  of the Year Award that was won by Kevin Durant (r).

Danica Patrick (l) and Taye Diggs (m) were the presenters for the Male Athlete of the Year Award that was won by Kevin Durant (r).

The awards presented to the different winners gave viewers an opportunity to see entertainers from numerous fields in the same setting. The most noticeable awards handed out that night include the Seattle Seahawks winning “Best Team,” Ronda Rousey winning Female Athlete of the Year, and Kevin Durant winning Male Athlete of the Year.

Blake  Griffin (l) and Chris Brown (m) were a part of one of the skits that kept the audience laughing at Drake's (r) expense.

Blake Griffin (l) and Chris Brown (m) were a part of one of the skits that kept the audience laughing at Drake’s (r) expense.

Overall, the ESPYs were entertaining from beginning to end. There was a good blend of levity and solemnity from host Drake and the other stars who graced the stage. If you were unable to catch the show, check your local listings for replays on the ESPN family of networks.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Seattle Seahawks win first franchise Super Bowl, 43-8

Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson speaks to reporters after leading his team to Super Bowl 48 victory.

Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson speaks to reporters after leading his team to Super Bowl 48 victory.

By Carmen Glover

The Seattle Seahawks dominated the Denver Broncos from the very first play of Super Bowl 48 in New Jersey on Sunday night to win its first Super Bowl in franchise history. The victory is especially sweet as it vindicates the mobile quarterback style of play, effortlessly displayed by Russell Wilson. At 26, Wilson becomes only the second African-American quarterback to lead his team to Super Bowl victory, after Doug Williams first did so in Super Bowl 22 with the Washington Redskins. Williams, in the 1987-88 NFL season, thrashed the John Elway-led Broncos 42-10. Elway is the current president of the Broncos.

Doug Williams is the first African-American quarterback to win the Super Bowl in 1988, also against the Broncos.

Doug Williams is the first African-American quarterback to win the Super Bowl in 1988, also against the Broncos.

The Seahawks stifled the Broncos with their defense, leaving highly touted season MVP Peyton Manning looking bewildered, bemused, lost and totally out of his league. The precision, poise and spectacular plays that exemplified the major action by the Seahawks team serve as a strong statement to skeptics of the mobile quarterback play and the keen instincts exhibited by the overall Seahawks team.

Marshawn Lynch is a man of very few words, choosing to let his play speak for him.

Marshawn Lynch is a man of very few words, choosing to let his play speak for him.

The Seahawks earned a safety within the first minute of the game, ending the first quarter with eight points. On a mission to secure their rightful place as the team of destiny, they ended the first half 22-0. The only touchdown for the Broncos came in the last play of the third quarter, after the Seahawks shut them out in every single play up to that point. In what seemed like an unapologetic Super Bowl clinic, the Seahawks team read cues, manhandled the Broncos and outplayed, outclassed and embarrassed a team, which, boasting a drop back, pocket quarterback in Manning, was largely seen as the winner of the game even before the coin toss to start the game.

Richard Sherman declared that he is the "best cornerback" in the game.

Richard Sherman declared that he is the “best cornerback in the game.”

Leading up to the game, Wilson was asked on Media Day how he planned to play come game day, “Just to have poise and fun,” he replied with a smile. That message appeared to have resonated with his teammates because it was evident throughout the game that they had a single-minded focus: Dominate the Broncos and win convincingly but have fun doing so. Wilson, in his second year in the NFL, soundly outplayed Manning, who in his sixteenth year, amassed the most impressive statistics of his career and was seemingly crowned as the winner by virtue of those numbers, while the reserved Wilson was overlooked and treated as an afterthought prior to the game.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll had the pulse of his team, making sure they had fun while playing to their diverse strengths.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll had the pulse of his team, making sure they had fun while playing to their diverse strengths.

The Seahawks were coached by Pete Carroll who appeared to tap into the players’ individual personalities, from the loquacious Richard Sherman to the media-shy Marshawn Lynch and the sophisticated, polished, effective leadership style of Wilson, who seemed content to fly under the radar. All season long the Seahawks have been a team on a mission, determined to make their statement with their style of play which deftly utilized both the running quarterback and the suffocating defense that mesmerized fans while confusing and frustrating their opponents.

Percy Harvin, who missed most of the season with hip surgery, scored a touchdown in the game.

Percy Harvin, who missed most of the season with hip surgery, scored a touchdown in the game.

The only thing that matters, however, is that the long drought is officially over and the Seahawks have taken their rightful place among the elite teams in the NFL by becoming the latest winners of the prized Super Bowl and the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Wilson, for his part, has expanded the number of African-American quarterbacks who won the Super Bowl to two, and he did it by dazzling with the running style that has excited fans while demonstrating that the game is versatile enough to accommodate more than one type of quarterback play to ultimately lead to Super Bowl victory. Lynch and Percy Harvin were among the touchdown scorers.

Malcolm Smith was named game MVP.

Malcolm Smith was named game MVP.

At the end of the game, Seahawks Linebacker Malcolm Smith walked away with game MVP honors. A jubilant Wilson thanked “God for leading” the team to victory and said he asked “the guys at the beginning of the season: ‘Why not us?'” Now he has his answer. —OnPointPress.net.

Please follow us on Twitter @OnPointPress_.