Thursday, October 28, 2010

NRF - League Pass - ND Tragedy

Last night I was a part of a forty-player tryout to get into the NRF league (Nike Recess Federation) on the lower east side.  After a day trying to finish edits on a doc film and continuing to play catch-up on other numerous things Coach was not all that motivated until arriving at the gym.  With the caffeine still keeping me amped up from my afternoon French Roast and some familiar faces from the “industry” world there to greet me I was able to flip the switch and turn in a good showing during the 5 on 5 audition.  A few transition baskets, solid board work and a lot of chatter got the attention of the team “captains” who were on hand to scout the new candidates to fill their vacant roster spots.  Guys that the Coach has battled with in the past both on the court and the football field, were paying close attention to my game, which of course is based more on intangibles and experience at this point more than athletic ability.

Following the run Coach headed back up to the Gramercy Garden to get the NBA League Pass fired up.  League Pass has been a high quality part of the rotation for years, but it just got that much better.  Thanks to changing to direct tv all the games have an HD option and two feeds to choose from.  This is a basketball blessing, as I know longer have to listen to these mid west simpletons who do their game prep from a yahoo sports summary that comes out at 4pm online the day of the game.  Between the some of the non HD surveillance footage and these broadcasters there have been many times over the past several seasons where I feel like I am stuck in some strange basketball nightmare, which I guess equals being a Knick fan before they signed the their savior, Amar’e “the Israelite” Stoudemire. 

Following a team Dime trip to the green shack for lunch I caught the story about the student from Notre Dame who passed after being thrown from the tower where he was filming football practice from during a storm with winds reaching 50 mph.  This is an absolute tragedy.  Declan Sullivan was 20 years old and according to head football coach Brian Kelly, "Declan was a diligent student worker in our video department and had a tremendous personality and great sense of humor. He brightened the days for all that had the privilege to work with him, and the Notre Dame football family will dearly miss him."  Well coach if he brightened that many days for that many people is there a reason why you let him up there in the first place?  Obviously as head coach you are thinking about many many things before, during and after practice but your FIRST responsibility as a leader and educator is to ensure the safety of your football family which Declan was a part of.  We know getting the film of practice is important, and before anyone asks the question, yes, I played four years of college football, and there is no way my head coach as clueless as he was at times would let anyone up on the tower to film PRACTICE in those conditions.  When do we draw the line as a society and start handing out consequences for individuals who are completely careless and lack common sense?  How many more accidents and tragedies do we need to have before people start to see the big picture? 

Forget the fact there is no playoff system in college football and many of the games before October 1st are boarder line unwatchable, but now a 20 year old college student, who was living a dream has his life short because those in leadership positions did not have their priorities in order.  50 mile per hour winds!!!  Not 20 mph, which is what is being reported as being too high to have someone in a tower, but 50!!!  To film practice!!! Not a game, PRACTICE!!!  Can anyone imagine how his poor family is taking this?  I can only imagine the spin the University and the Athletic Department is putting on this.  This is infuriating.  

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