The Sports Zone
Galatians 6:18 - Do Good to Everyone
This year’s NFL season hasn't begun yet, but a story from one of my favorite guys Michael Bennett has my attention - for all the right reasons.
Philippians 4:13 - Tommy Morrissey
Golf is definitely one of the hardest sports out there. Although you’re really only competing against yourself, the concentration it takes is super hard. I recently came across a story of a young golfer that’s only six years old! His name is Tommy Morrissey.
Colossians 3:23 - Work Ethic
When I think of women’s college basketball, I automatically think of a program with one of the best coaches ever, in all sports across the board: The University of Connecticut, and Coach Geno Auriemma.
Matthew 7:12 - Equality
America, our beautiful, vibrant home has been nicknamed the land of opportunity, because no matter where you come from, if you put your mind to it you can prosper here. One thing I love about sports is that, like America your background doesn’t matter! Nothing outside of what you can achieve in that moment matters.
Matthew 7:24 - The Foundation
Where do I begin to talk about how awesome of a game this year’s Super Bowl was?
Acts 10: 34-35 - Without Partiality
Today in America we have the ability to eat, sleep, live, work, and be who we what, but that has not always been the case. Previously in our history things that we may consider normal, people would have considered taboo, or irregular, like having people of different races on the same team.
Philippians 2:3-4 - Serena Williams' Humility
Watching an opponent win can be upsetting; but Serena Williams says not only watching, but cheering for her opponents, contributes to her success.
Romans 8:28 - Boris Berian
What if you could write a letter to your future self? What would you say?
1 Timothy 4:12 - Alex Ovechkin's 1,000 Goals
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, also known as “Alexander the Great” recently scored his 1000th goal! But his thoughts on that goal are what impress me the most. 
Matthew 21:22 - Just Believe
Come Monday night, the NCAA Championship game between Clemson and Alabama is sure to be an epic rematch. But it’s the actions of Clemson coach, Dabo Swinney that have my attention.
Matthew 5:16 - Tim Duncan's Retirement
Tim Duncan, one of the greatest power forwards to ever play the game of Basketball recently had his number retired by the Spurs. Duncan’s best trait was his humility, on and off the court - rarely bragging or boasting after his huge achievements.
Titus 3:8 - Ezekiel Elliot and the Salvation Army
I’m not the biggest football fan, but I always enjoy a well thought out touchdown celebration.
Matthew 25:21 - #SagerStrong
Recently, the NBA lost one of its most vibrant figures; Craig Sager.
Dos a Cero - Romans 6:6
The FIFA World Cup is set to be played in 2018 in Russia and once again, the USA looks to make its mark.
Hebrews 13:20-21
Your circumstances don’t determine your outcome.
Goodbye, Someday
I know I'm a little late, but after 108 years of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series! Although the 108 year drought provided a great back story to every season, most people just wanted to see the Cubs breakthrough their losing streak and win.
2 Corinthians 5:14 - I Love Basketball
It's the start of a new season in the NBA, and the Lakers have a new chant before each game.
Isaiah 58:13-14 - The Gift of Sabbath
Thank God for the Sabbath! I know a lot of us keep the Sabbath, but what is its real purpose?
Colossians 3:23 - Work for God, Not Man
I remember once when students were complaining about the crowds not cheering them enough. That's when I gave them some practical advice. 
John 20:21 - Jesus Needs YOU!
The Rio Olympics may be over, but I was thinking about the whole concept of the Olympics. Think about it...
Matthew 5:16 - Let Your Light Shine
As the Olympics are drawing to a close, I noticed something interesting...
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 - Let the Rio Olympics Begin!
The Rio Olympics have officially begun! Let's talk about how the Bible and the Olympics are connected.
1 Peter 2:9 - Chosen
1 Peter 2:9 reminds all of us that we are a chosen group of people. But what does that really mean?
John 15:12-13 - All You Need Is Love
John 15:12-13 tells us that we have to love each other as God loves us, but what does that really mean? 
Romans 8:38 - Nothing Can Separate You From God's Love
Romans 8:38 does an excellent job of explaining the different things that can keep us from God's love. Spoiler alert: it's nothing. 
1 Kings 19:11-12 - Hear What You Want by Kevin Garnett
1 Kings 19:11-12 shows a distressed Elijah trying to hear God's voice in enemy territory. But what's the key? How do you hear God's voice?
John 16:13 - Let the Truth Guide You
John 16:13 is always relevant to this time of year because of graduations. And it also means many important life decisions are being made. So how do know what the right decision is?
Proverbs 21:31
Proverbs 21:31 reminds readers that no matter what, victory belongs to the Lord.
1 Samuel 17:45 - Whom Shall I Fear?
Do you think David was scared when he took on Goliath?
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 - Sow sparingly, reap sparingly
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 is an important verse about sharing that some sports players should definitely learn.
2 Corinthians 10:17 - If you're going to boast...
Do you know someone who struggles with bragging? 
Psalm 139:14 - Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
I remember when people used to make fun of me for my body. Has anyone ever made fun of you? Read more to find out how Psalm 139:14 helped me. 
Hebrews 5:8 - It's Been a Great Month for Basketball
Hebrews 5:8 describes how Jesus learned obedience through the things He suffered, and that reminded me of a very important lesson.
Matthew 26:40 - Penalties of Leadership
Matthew 26:40 gives a small taste of what it's like to be a leader.
Acts 5 - Coach K Lies About Dillon Brooks Comment
Duke's Coach K initially told a lie, and it reminded me of what happened in Acts 5.
Colossians 3:3 - Covered by Christ
In Colossians 3:3, it reads "For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God." But what does that mean? I'm still alive. How have I died?
1 Samuel 16:7 - Appearances
God only uses the best people to do His work, but what does that look like? 
Lionel Messi - Don't Go Down - John 16:33
Lionel Messi has a new commercial out that mirrors the message God gave to the world in John 16:33.
Monty Williams Eulogy - Romans 8:28
NBA Assistant Head Coach Monty Williams suffered a devastating loss. As he gave the eulogy for his wife, listen to how important his relationship with God is at a time like this. 
Psalm 10:16 - Forever
Psalm 10:16 has a cool connection with with the NBA All-Star weekend. Keep reading to find out.
Psalm 112:7
Psalm 112:7 explains exactly why I don't worry about a lot of things. Want to know my secret?
1 John 4:8
1 John 4:8 reminds us of something very important :)
Proverbs 10:23
Proverbs 10:23 has a great message and relates to how recently "retired" Guide editor Randy Fishell helped start Sports Zone.
Revelation 3:20
Revelation 3:20 always painted a good picture of what accepting Jesus into your life really means.
Genesis 1:1
Genesis 1:1 is an awesome way to begin the New Year.
Romans 8: 37 - More than the Win
What happens when sports become more than just winning or losing? Read more to find out how one team is making a difference. 
Luke 2:11
Luke 2:11 is a simple message to remember on Christmas :)
Steph Curry Explains His Faith
Stephen has been the fan favorite in the NBA this year, but what does that mean to him? Read more to see how Curry uses his fame for God.
John 17:4
John 17:4 explains the best way we can show our appreciation for God!
John 3:16
It's one most famous verses in the Bible, but what does John 3:16 really mean?
1 Thessalonians 5:18
This is the time of year when we reflect on what we're thankful for, and the words of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 fit perfectly.
Psalm 23:6
Just a Biblical thought for this week. I really like the illustration.
Alberto's Story
Once you've watched Alberto's story, you'll better understand how God's love works.
PRIDE
Do you remember what happened in this photo? Keep reading to find out.
Confessions of a Transgressor
Have you ever done something so bad that you didn't want anyone to know?
TGIF
I'm starting to enjoy the Sabbath more and more. Keep reading to find out why!
Follow These Steps for Success
Have you ever tried to be good at something? Read more to see the best way to succeed!
How Much Does Jeff Samardzija Love Baseball?
Not only does Jeff Samardzija have an awesome last name, but click the link to find out what he did to show his love for baseball.
Free Tom Brady
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady appealed his punishment because he believed he was innocent, and guess what? He won!
A Friend of the King
Fall sports are starting across the nation. Are you trying to figure out how to get in good with your coach? I'll tell you the best way!
May the Lord Be with You
This week I found out the similarities between God and a coach. Wanna know the biggest similarity?
Back to School Blues
The summer is over and most of you will be headed back to school on Monday. Are you ready?
Team Spirit
What does it take to be part of the team?
Alex Morgan's FIFA 16 Cover
US Women's soccer star Alex Morgan will share the cover of FIFA 16 with Lionel Messi! But how did she do it?
Sports Zone Quote of the Week
It's been a long week.
Steph Curry's Faith
Steph Curry's faith is not a secret.
Wazeecha Sports Bible Camp
Wazeecha sports Bible camp starts this Monday in Wisconsin!
Bruce Jenner's Transformation into Caitlyn Jenner
Now that Bruce Jenner is Caitlyn Jenner, how should Christians feel about it?
Football Friends Grant Malik Sparkman's Last Wish
Malik Sparkman's wish for one last trip with his friends finally came true.
Steph Curry's Daughter Takes Over Press Conference
Let the little children come...
Motivation for the Last Couple Weeks of School
Just a little motivation for those of you waiting for school to be out for the summer :)
It's Time to Inspire
Just a small touch of inspiration today:
Forgiveness
Did you spot the two great examples of forgiveness in the sports world this week?
Seventh-Day Adventists Sue Washington Nationals
Three former workers for the MLB team Washington Nationals are suing because they feel that the Nats fired them because of their religion.
Final Four: Where's My Support?
By this time next week, a new NCAA champion will be crowned. What team do you think has the most fans?
Daxter Miles Jr. Learns Humility
It was a David vs. Goliath match, but David shouldn't have bragged.
More than a Great Catch
I have to admit, when I saw both these catches, I knew I was watching something special.
Just Keep Running
This week's video is a powerful reminder of why we must always push to do our best when being a witness for Christ.
Playing to Lose?
Would you play a game knowing you were trying to lose?
Alex Rodriguez the Liar
Why did Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez lie about his career?
Little League Team Stripped of Title
What started off as a great story turned into a very hard lesson to learn.
Losing A Super Bowl
So the Seattle Seahawks lost to the New England Patriots within the final seconds of the Super Bowl XLIX, but how does Russell Wilson feel about it?
Chicago Blackhawks' One Goal
For one day, 16 year-old Christina DeVries had the "best day" of her life, but what made it so special?
The Power of Positivity
What's the point of playing if all you're known for is losing? This team shares their incredible answer!
Potential
A New Year means new goals, but have you ever wondered what God really has in store for you this year?
Great Moments in Sportsmanship 2014
Around this time of year, I always like to take a look back on what spiritual lessons I can draw from sports. What follows are some great examples.
#ICantBreathe
What does "I Can't Breathe" really mean?
Dirty Play
This player gives a perfect example of how NOT to finish a game.
Thankful
The sports world took to twitter to show their thanks but...
Lauren Hill's Story: The Other Team
By now you've probably seen the story on Lauren Hill, the player with inoperable brain cancer, but let's not forget about the other team...
Back to Coaching
I'm back in my 6th year of volunteer coaching and I'm ready to inspire and be inspired.
Justin Forsett: The Increase
Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett shares his personal testimony and how it helps him explain his faith in God.
Deena Kastor: Running the NYC Marathon
What does it take to run a marathon?
C.J. Burford Fights Cancer with a Bike Ride
C.J. is taking on an old battle at a young age.
Lending a Helping Hand
What Bible character does Melanie Bailey remind you of?
Monica Wright Ends Engagement to Kevin Durant
Why did Monica break with "Mr. Nice Guy" Kevin Durant?
Clayton Kershaw's - My Story
Sometimes God places you in a certain place for such a time as this.
Bible Verses
Read the picture.
Character Revealed
Quote of the week!
Games
This is a really bad time for sports.
Devon Still's Daughter, Leah
This situation could have gone several different ways, but the end result is something special.
Coach David Belisle Gives an Awesome Little League World Series Speech
What a week in sports! It was hard picking just one thing to talk about this week, but I found a gem.
Ernie Andrus Runs America
He's 94 years old and he's trying to do what?!?
Pitching for Awareness
How do you pitch a baseball without arms?
FIFA World Cup 2014 Fans
FIFA's 2014 World Cup is long over (congrats Germany), but for Japanese fans, the journey ended much earlier. So how'd they exit the tourney?
Damian Lillard Responds to Bully
What happens when you bully one of Damian Lillard's friends?
LeBron James is Coming Home
What's it feel like to be a Cavaliers' fan right now?
Tim Howard - The Best Goalkeeper
What do all of Tim Howard's record-setting 16 saves look like at once?
#IBelieve
Are you a part of the #IBelieve movement?
Happy Father's Day
What's so special about Father's Day?
Novak Djokovic Makes a Ball Boy's Day
Did any of you see what Novak Djokovic did at the French Open this week?
FIFA World Cup 2014; It's Almost Time
Many people are excited for the World Cup in Brazil, but there's something else that we should more excited for.
Roger Federer's Google Glass
Ever wonder what a tennis match looks like through Roger Federer's eyes? Now we can.
Million Dollar Arm
The incredible story of Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel is now a movie!
Kevin Durant's MVP
Kevin Durant was just named the MVP of the NBA regular season, but who is his  MVP? 
#WeAreAllMonkeys
No, this isn't about evolution because that's just bananas. So what am I talking about?
Looking at Soccer a Different Way
What happens when we start getting creative in sports? Let's find out!
Dedicated Surfer GIrl
My question is, how dedicated are YOU?
Thank You, Princess Lacey
What happens when sports and real life combine?
Some 15-year-old Kid
The best way to succeed is to set goals early.
To Aaron with Love
This week we have a guest author with some key insight on sports and spirituality.
March Sadness 2k14
It's that time of year again :)
X-Box Controller Disconnected
Are you giving 100%?
Misty Copeland and the Power of Words
I think Misty is sooooo cool!
Jackie Robinson & Legacy
Besides being the first African-American to play Major League Baseball, Jackie Robinson's legacy extends much further.
Tracy McGrady: Protect Your Dreams
Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady gives back to his community.
Bobsled Bonus! Jazmine Fenalator
Here's a bonus video on bobsledding. Listen as Jazmine Fenlator shares her story.
Cool Runnings, Sochi 2014
Hey! Jamaica has a bobsled team.
Sara Tucholsky
It was the first and last homerun of her career.
Seattle Seahawks' Derrick Coleman; Trust Your Power
Watch this.
Running the Race
How do you run the race?
Resolutions
The new year is here! What do you want to accomplish this year?
Less Sports/More God
I got an awesome video for the end of 2013.
Tom Izzo Says Thank You
It's awesome how just two small words can have such a big impact on people.
A Tale of Two Rivals
It's like I say all the time; use sports to be a witness
Nelson Mandela and the Power of Sport
Nelson Mandela was part of one of the biggest moments in sports history.
Nike's "Lazy But Talented" Shirt
Really?
Chiefs James-Michael Johnson Helps Replace Stolen Turkeys
This Thanksgiving, I can think of at least 300 people who have something to be thankful for.
Adventist from Kenya Wins NYC Marathon
Congratulations Priscah Jeptoo!
Olivet Middle School Football Team's Amazing Play
This is why we play.
Life is a Sport
Every week I get to bring you content that is both athletically and spiritually centered. This week, the message is very simple.
Accomplishing Your Goals
I just have one question for you all this week.

Mike Tomlin's 0-4 Steelers Look to Make Changes
Sometimes success can bring a lack of focus, so how is Steelers coach, Mike Tomlin helping his team regain their focus? Read on to find out.
3-year old, Kalee Buetow loves her Seattle Seahawks
Kalee Buetow has a beautiful mind, but is it being used to its fullest potential?
Troy Polamalu is Cutting His Hair for Charity
Troy Polamalu hasn't cut his hair in 10 years, but now, he's finally found a reason.
Motivation


If something is giving you trouble, give it to God. 
Tornado & Hurricane Black
Meet two sisters who are serious about winning.
Jeremy Lin: The Movie
This movie is more than just a simple sports story about Jeremy Lin. It's about his faith.
Tim Tebow meets Adam Hubbs
Adam Hubbs struggle with microbacteria infection was made a little bit easier the day he met Tim Tebow.
One-Armed Basketball Player to Join Florida Gators
Zach Hodskins; No arm, no problem.
Meghan Rutledge Celebrates too Early
The famous saying goes, "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched." Meghan Rutledge found that out the hard way.
Have No Fear
I just have one question this week...
Wacky Summer Sports
Before summer is over and you have to go back to school, try your hand at these sports!
2013 ESPY Moment of the Year Winner: Jack Hoffman
A while back I showed you all a video of 7-year-old cancer survivor; Jack Hoffman. Here's the detailed back story:
Bull Run Gores 3 People
Although it's a tradition, it's not a very safe one.
Ray Lewis Rethinks Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro
Retired NFL player Ray Lewis uses his fame to do some good. 
Fleeing from Sports: Steve Bartman
For many people, watching a baseball game is a way to relax. However for Steve Bartman, it's a much more haunting experience.
Spurs Accept Loss Like Champs
Take a look at how the Spurs handled their loss this past Thursday.
The $100 Bill
NBA player JaVale McGee did something nice for someone, but let's take a closer look at what he did.
Let the Little Children Come
Internet sensation, Titus Ashby who is 2 years old, has over 11 million views on his Youtube page for making incredible trick shots. But what happens when he has to do it against real NBA talent?
Rise & Shine
School is out for the summer. What are you going to do with your time?
The Craziest Game on Earth
Answer; Shrovetide. 
Sister! Sister!
Can you imagine living in the same city as your sibling for 17 years and never crossing paths? These sisters did.
Doing the Dirty Work
Brandon Williams was stuck in a stinky situation.
Sports are Awesome
Don't believe me? Just watch:
All You Need Is Love
Recently, I read about a baseball manager who tried to force his ways onto his team. It kind of made me think...
#BostonStrong
We fall down, but we get up.
You Are Not Alone
Another great video...
A Big Mistake
On this day in 1993, Chris Webber made one of the biggest and most memorable mistakes in NCAA history.
Love & Basketball
Sometimes love can find its way into the sports world.
The Biggest Upset
As March Madness is happening simultaneously all over America right now, the results of some games may been seen as an upset. However after one game in New Mexico, I found the biggest upset.
Doing it My Way
This week I learned that doing things my way in baseball is painful. Very painful.
Timeout!
This week I read a sad story about an Athletic Director.
Everybody Wins
This story almost made me cry.
What's in a Name?
"On this day in sports history, Richard Jacobs, then-owner of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, announced that he would pay $10 million to name the Indians' baseball field 'Jacob's Field.'" 
The 3 Sides to a Person
Yesterday I learned some very sad news that helped me to remember that everyone is human.
Stop & Stare
Look at this...
A Plus for Sports Video Games
Amidst the hype surrounding the Superbowl, someone took the time to interview players about different strategies for the game. 
A Lie is a Lie is a Lie
What happens when people found out you lied?
Welcome to the Future
Light 'em up!
No Excuses
A couple of weeks ago, New York Knicks player Amar'e Stoudemire admitted something to the entire league.
Row w/Purpose
This week I spoke about rowing with purpose. Here are two videos that inspired it all.
2012 Sports Year in Review
What a year!
Tragedy & Sports
How were the Newton sports teams affected by the tragic event? 
Why Do You Run?
One of my friends who runs showed me this. I thought it'd be nice to share it with you all.
The Big(ger) Picture
It all started when...
Running Blind
Inspirational story of the week.
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
The end of Thanksgiving always reminds me that the holidays have officially started.
The Domino Effect
This video was sent to me this week.
Stand Up for What You Believe In
Today I read a cool article on the guy in the picture. His name Mark Richt. Hes a football coach who has an awesome perspective on Christianity. After winning a championship game, he looked around the room at his team and asked, "Who feels different?" All of them replied that they didn't feel any different. Richt replied by saying that this championship wasn't the big game. The big game was accepting Jesus. 
It Ain't Over...
Someone showed this clip to me this week:
Tough Season
Yesterday was a day of "mourning" at Spencerville.
Teamwork for Good
The purpose of a team is to group different people together so that they can accomplish one goal. Often times, teams come together to work for good, but what happens when teams go bad?
No Cheating in the Sanctuary
The Olympic games are considered to be a time-honored tradition where the greatest athletes in the world come together to compete against each other for their respective countries. In the most perfect of scenarios, it's supposed to be natural talent against natural talent, but sometimes, competition gets the better of people.
Bigger Than the Game
How far would you go to win?
Your Spiritual Journey
This week, I volunteered to speak to the 8th grade English class at Spencerville Academy. 
Let's Move!
On September 23, 2012, within the Adventist church, they're having Let's Move! Day. It's a day devoted entirely to getting people to move. To gear up for this event, at Spencerville Academy, we had a pre-Let's Move! Day. 
True Rewards
Ok, watch this video. I thought it was awesome. It's a sneak peak at Ohio State's secrets to success. 
Myths
True or False: You should keep your eye on the ball. You may think you know the answer, but do you really? Read on for some of the biggest sports myths, and check yourself against the facts.
#FindYourGreatness
Have you seen this commercial?
God & Gabby
Just in case any of you missed it, Gabby Douglas is a pretty good gymnast. At the young age of 16, she's already won 6 Gold medals! But how does this help her in her faith?
Lose Yourself (Bonus Content)
So this month in my column in Guide magazine, I spoke about giving your all aka losing yourself. 
Let's look at a motivational poster that I love:
Will You Be Watching?
I used to have a hard time turning off the tv before sunset. 
Zombie Runs


This past month, I was presented with the opportunity to run a zombie 5k. Not knowing what that was, I looked it up online. It's basically a regular 5k with zombie actors spread throughout the race chasing you. You will have these "capture the flag type" flags around your waist. If the "zombies" take all of your flags, then you must quit the race. After researching all of this, I quickly declined to run in a race like this.
Thank You, Mom
The Olympics are fast approaching. I've already had fun watching the swimming, track & field, and basketball events. However, the athletes that are competing didn't grow up by themselves, they had parents. Today, I want to take some time to thank all the moms.
Lessons in Defeat
The glorious side of sports is hoisting up that trophy at the end of the championship game, it's hugs all around and maybe even some tears of joy. However, for every team that wins there has to be a team that loses. 
Measuring Your Growth
This is a must watch video:
A Good Day


This may be a random picture of some spare change and a letter, but this story is way bigger than that.
More Fruits, Please!


When I see more stuff like this ^^ it makes me want to :)
The Cupcake Conundrum


This is Cleveland Browns' player Greg Little. He is known for having a sweet tooth. In fact, his teammates tease him about it a lot. But Little recently made a change in his diet. He stopped eating so many sweets and started eating more healthily. His new diet that he adopted made sure that he lost 11 pounds! 
A Book and Its Cover
The old saying goes that you should never judge a book by it's cover. I found the perfect video to illustrate this. Watch:
The Man with the Gun


Florida Marlins catcher Brett Hayes has at least one thing to be thankful for this Sabbath. A couple nights ago he and his family were sitting in traffic when he tweeted this:
"Sitting in traffic on the turnpike and a man with a gun just walked by our car...Not good"
Greed

I recently read an article about horse racing in the New York Times and it made me sad.  
Maturity
I've been waiting to talk about this all week! 
After the New York Knicks lost Game 2 to the Miami Heat, Amare Stoudemire was very frustrated. In fact, he got so angry that he punched his hand through the glass case of a fire extinguisher. While this may have seemed like a very macho/cool thing to do, Stoudemire ended up with severe lacerations (cuts) to that hand and wasn't going to be able to play in the next game or possibly the rest of the season. 
The War Room


Last night was the first round of the NFL Draft, were any of you watching? Here's a basic synopsis of what happens: The 32 teams have a short amount of time to pick from a pool of players that just came out of college. This year, the Indianapolis Colts had the first overall pick. They ended up picking Andrew Luck. He's supposed to be one of the best QB prospects in a long time. 
One Last Thing...
After coming off the Daniel Diet this week, I realized just how bad I had been eating. Some of the foods I used to eat makes me so sluggish. But now that I'm eating healthier, I feel much more energized. Hopefully, with all this extra energy, I'll be able to live a lot longer. 
Introducing Johanna Quass (What a name!) She's 86 years old, but that's not the cool part. She recently tried out for the London 2012 Olympics. She did a gymnastics routine that has to be seen to be believed. Check it out:

Daniel Update 5

I must say, it was A LOT of fun doing this diet. The one thing that stood out the most was when I came off of it. I tried eating some pasta and I felt soooo sluggish afterwards. I almost took a vow never to eat pasta again lol However, I will continue eating healthier because my body just feel so much better from doing so. Now I have a little taste of how Daniel and his friends must've felt.
I know some of you are trying to do this diet too, keep me updated! 
Daniel Diet Update 4


I didn't make this but it sure would look good right about now :)
I'm currently drinking a pineapple/banana smoothie. Yum! I've eaten some cashews for protein today and you know what? I HAVE lost weight lol a total of 7 pounds actually. I finally started seeing the results today. I actually FEEL lighter today. This diet has been a cool experience. Only one day left!
Daniel Diet Update 3


Doesn't this carrot look like it ate another carrot? lol Anyway, I have granola for breakfast again and I had some carrots for lunch. Then I made another smoothie blend, this time with pineapples and strawberries. Doesn't it have a nice color?


I don't really get the hunger pangs anymore, but I do have an intense craving for something other than fruits & vegetables. Only 3 more days left!!
Daniel Diet Update 2


This was my lunch yesterday and today...believe it or not, I was full! Those table grapes are really filling. I didn't eat my oranges though. For dinner I ended up eating a smoothie that had pineapples, blueberries, and strawberries in it, and a bowlful of baby carrots. I haven't felt more energized yet but I notice that my skin is a lot more radiant and my teeth are a little bit whiter :) That's always a good thing, right?
Daniel Diet Update


^^ I don't know if I'll be eating this one. It seems to be growing another strawberry on top of it lol 
The hunger pangs have hit but I'm still holding strong. I keep having to remind myself that I'm on this fast. I keep drinking water and eating more fruits. It's kind of tough and I know the week is going to be super long, but I know that I'm going to be better for it in the long run :)
Meal 1


^^ $120 worth of fruits 0_oIt consists of strawberries, blueberries, pineapples, dried mango, bananas, cashews, oranges, apples, grapes, granola, and Naked juice. Whew!
This was my breakfast this morning. My jaws hurt after chewing so much.
The Daniel Challenge
Hear ye, hear ye!


A challenge has been issued and the gauntlet has been set! In this week's Sports Zone, the challenge is to eat like Daniel for a week. That means nothing but fruits, grains, and vegetables! Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting pics and short journal entries on how I'm doing. It's going to be tough giving up candy and the other things I like for the next 168 hours, but I'm up for the challenge. How about you?
Very Superstitious
Meet 8-year-old Palmer Keifer.

As you can probably tell, he's a Kansas University Jayhawks fan. In case you've been out of the country for the last month, March Madness is nearly over. The term March Madness is derived from the crazy upsets that happen during tournament time. It is the ultimate time for David vs. Goliath stories of smaller schools defeating bigger school in the NCAA Basketball tournament. 
Fantasy Island
Way back when our parents were young, there was this show on tv called, "Fantasy Island." In the show, if you paid the right amount of money, you could go to this island and have your wildest dreams come true. Presently, the Real Madrid soccer club is trying to duplicate the process.
Cowboys Don't Haze
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is known for his hard-knock leadership. So it's no surprise that he instituted a "no-hazing" rule in his camp. If you remember, a couple of months ago Dez Bryant was the subject of hazing and he didn't like it at all. Garrett doesn't want rookies on his team to feel un-welcomed. He wants his veterans to make sure that the rookies feel right at home when they come to camp because that's what being a part of a team means. Garrett isn't the only coach to institute this policy though, the Jaguars and Patriots are among some other teams that also discourage hazing. I just think it's pretty cool that there are still people who stand up for the right thing. Hazing is stupid and senseless. If you feel like you're being hazed, stand up for yourself. If people try to make fun of you or say that you're not being a good sport, just point out this example.
***UPDATE*** Do you guys remember those twin brothers who were in that in that $50,000 hockey shot? Some of you voted in the poll and let's recap the results: So 24% of you thought that Nate should get to keep the money even though it wasn't his ticket, and 29& of you thought that Nate's brother, Nick, should get to take the shot. But 41% of you think that Nate should at least get to keep half the money. In the end, the company who was sponsoring the contest decided that they would donate $20,000 to  youth hockey in Minnesota in Nate's and Nick's name. Basically, the boys don't get to keep the money. I don't think that's fair but this wouldn't have happened if Nate would've been honest before he took the shot. That's a tough lesson to learn, but hey, I bet they'll never make that mistake again.
Male Cheerleader
When you think of the word cheerleader, you don't necessarily think of a boy, do you? Well, did you know that there are about 90,000 male college cheerleaders today? Did you know that George Bush was a cheerleader too? Yup, it's all true!   It's crazy to think that Tyler Wilson had his arm broken because he wanted to do something that made him happy. However, I AM glad that Tyler didn't let those bullies break his spirit!    Has anyone ever teased you for doing something that you love?
Fighting
 Is it ever okay to fight in a game? You all should know the answer to that; No, it isn't. But what about those times when someone is really getting on your nerves? Is it okay then? Shouldn't you be allowed to stand up for yourself?  By all means, stand up for yourself, but don't get into trouble at the same time. It's best to just walk away or if you have to, RUN! Don't let other people control your emotions. Try your best to ignore them, and keep it moving. Let me hear from you guys though! Send me some of your questions in the Discussion Board about fighting.
Keeping A Good Spirit
What happens when you try your hardest at something, but just can't seem to win? It may be hard to deal with failure, but as long as you keep a positive attitude, you can make it through anything!   So when you feel like you're the only one that isn't succeeding, just remember that there is ALWAYS someone out there who has had it worse than you. Keep your head up!   How do you deal with failure?
This is your moment
 One of the best feelings in sports is winning! Whether it's a regular game or the championship, take the time to celebrate, you've earned it! The video below is funny, but what do you think about too much celebration. Like in football, when teams and players get punished for celebrating in the end zone? Is it fair to punish them for their success?
Kids Making a Difference
  Carissa Moore is a 17 year-old rookie surfer who won her second event sponsored by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) in April. So for winning the competition, she received a check for $15,000! WOW! Cool, huh? But what's even MORE cool is that she donated her entire check to the Waitara Bar Boardriders Club. It's kind of like a YMCA except everything has to do with the ocean. You can read more about this story by clicking Carissa's name above.
The Sum of the Parts...
Every good coach will tell you that the sum of the parts isn't greater than the whole. What does that mean? It means that it takes a team to win, not just an individual. Have you ever heard that saying before? Well I have, and it helped me learn that you can't win by yourself. A good team can beat any single player that is trying to be a one man show. This year, the Los Angeles Lakers won their second championship in a row and are poised to make it three in a row. I found this video online of how they made their championship ring. It was interesting to me that, just like the team on the court, it takes a team to make this ring. Plus, I've never really seen a championship ring up close and I thought it was cool. Enjoy!
Tickled Pink: Coy Sheppard
Coy Sheppard simply wanted to wear his pink shoes, but he wasn't allowed. He wanted to do something special in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so he decided to wear his pink cleats. However, all that glitters isn't...erm...pink.  When Sheppard showed up to a practice with his custom cleats, his coaches made the decision to kick him off of the team. It's a sad outcome but it gets even worse. Sheppard is suing his school because he believes he was kicked off of the team because of the color of his shoes. The school board and his coaches insist that he was kicked off because he (Sheppard) disobeyed his coaches. Watch the video below and let me know what you think is the right thing to do.
High School Player Suspended for Pink Cleats @ Yahoo! Video
Being Prepared
Thanksgiving is almost here and you know what that means, right? Exactly! Food! But one thing us athletes have to worry about is eating too much over the holidays. That week off of school tends to attract some lazy habits like sitting in front of a computer or tv all day and NOT getting out to exercise. Trust me, it's a killer to go back to a routine (such as basketball practice) after you stop doing it.
So do yourself a favor this week and make sure to get out and exercise! Pump some fresh air into those lungs! Staying in shape over this break will help you be prepared when the vacation is over.
A Little Reminder
 Happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful for sports and all of you readers! :) What are you thankful for?
Who's to Blame?
Last Sunday the Buffalo Bills lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 19-16. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, but receiver Steve Johnson dropped a perfectly thrown pass that would've resulted in a touchdown. It's a big flub indeed, but then the situation escalated. Johnson then went to his Twitter account and seemingly blamed God for him dropping the pass. Sometimes people do love to praise God for their success in any sport, but is it fair to blame God for the bad things as well?  I, for one, don't think so. To blame God for the bad things is silly. God is the creator of everything good and holy. While He does care about everything in our lives, God would never purposely make us do something. He may allow something to happen to us, but never purposely trip us up (so to speak).  What do you guys think?
Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
Have you ever done something really cool in sports and had someone from the other team give your props? I have, and it is one of the most humbling experiences I've ever felt. I'm sure many of you have clapped or cheered for an opposing player just because that player was good. If you haven't had the chance yet, do so. Don't hold it in. Next time a player on your team, or even a player on the opposing team does something that makes you go, "Wow", let them know. You don't have to do it in the game, but tell them afterwards. Trust me, everybody loves encouragement. If we all tried a little harder to be nice to our opponents, we could slowly embrace the idea of "friendly competition." What do you think? Watch as A'mare gives props to rookie Blake Griffin. Pretty cool, huh?
Winning Isn't Everything
  In a game that seemed out of reach from the beginning, Chevez High (Texas) had a different way to beat Yates High. Since they couldn't beat Yates for a win, they decided to try to hold them under 100 points. "We've never had a team score 100 on us," Chavez coach Kevin Pullum told the Chronicle. "We knew that if we couldn't beat Yates we could beat them a second way, and that is to not let them score 100 points. Now although Chevez High did reach their goal by not letting Yates score 100 (The score was 97-65), Yates High's coach doesn't see this as a good goal. "I don't understand what that was accomplishing or what the celebration was about because if we wanted to score 100 we would have put the first five back out there." Yates High rested their starters in the fourth and as a result, only scored 10 points. 
Have you ever faced a team whereby you KNOW you're going to lose? Well first of all, you should never have that attitude. Every game starts off 0-0 so you never know. Second of all, if the game starts going sour, look to get moral victories. Maybe it's a goal of only letting them score a certain amount of points, or letting them grab a certain amount of rebounds...or whatever! I just think it's cool that even though Chevez High was getting blown out, they still found a way to keep themselves in the game and learn from a loss. If you want to read the full story, click here
Does the NBA Care About Christians?
 This week I read a comment that made me think for a bit.  The quote came from Los Angeles Lakers' head coach Phil Jackson. A reporter asked Jackson what he thought about playing on Christmas day. Jackson then said that he didn't how the NBA has turned into the big money making machine but then he mentioned the Christians (That's us!). He said; "It's like Christian holidays don't mean anything to (the NBA) anymore. You just go out and play and entertain (on) TV. It's really weird." Now I KNOW you guys have dealt with the issue of whether or not to watch sports on the Sabbath. You know, the game comes on at 5pm, but the Sabbath starts at 5:10pm. With the invention of DVR and Tivo, do you tape games that come on during the Sabbath? Whether you do or not, you need to decide what helps you grow closer to God. The Sabbath is supposed to be a time when we can forget about the cares of the world (like sports scores and highlights) and just focus on our relationship with God.  The next time you're faced with watching/recording a game on Sabbath; ask yourself if it helps you become a better Christian. If you feel it does, feel free to watch all the games you want, but most likely, the answer is "no."
Starting Over
A new year often means starting over again. It's a chance to hit the reset button on your life. The big redemption story of the year is obviously Michael Vick and everything he's going through, but a lesser known story is of Terrence Williams in the NBA.  I could bore you with the details, but the video below is much better. Just remember that you don't have to wait until New Year's day to start over. Anytime you want your life to take a new direction, don't wait, just do it. I love you all! Thanks for reading and have a happy New Year!  
Playing on the Sabbath
 Happy New Year Sports Zone Readers! First of all, I want to thank all of you who took the time to do the survey. It really helped me determine what type of sports stuff to put up here. And now for our feature presentation: There's three things you need to know about Jermaine Lawrence: 1. He is a 6'8" high school sophomore that plays basketball. 2. He is considered to be the creme de la creme in New York City.  3. His whole family is Seventh-Day Adventist. Jermaine attends Cardozo High School in Queens, New York and his coach thinks he can be great in the NBA.He averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game in his freshman year. The only thing that could possibly hold Jermaine back from NBA stardom is the fact that his mother doesn't want him playing on the Sabbath. Marcia Lawrence (his mom)  said she wants him to focus on his academics rather than his basketball skills. (Sound familiar?) She feels torn about letting him play on the Sabbath. "It's very weird an uncomfortable," said Marcia. "There's times I have to leave church to get him to a game. It's very uncomfortable and uneasy. But there's no going around it. I'm either going to break it or I'm not going to break it. I'll find ways of working it out, though. It will work out. Jermaine's dad, Christopher Lawrence, doesn't think it's that big of a deal to play on the Sabbath. When asked about how he feels about playing on Sabbath, Jermaine responded, "It's tough." However, Jermaine thinks he can get his mom to change her mind. "Right now, it's an argument every week," he said. "But down the road, I think she'll understand.


My opinion: This is a really tough situation to be in, but this is where you have to ask yourself what's more important; your faith or your personal goals.
Obviously Jermaine is very talented, but his faith isn't that strong yet. God only asks us for ONE DAY out of the seven that he's given to us. So for Jermaine to blatantly ignore the request of the One who gave him his talents is very selfish. As Joshua said in Joshua 24:15, "Choose ye this day whom you will serve."
Understand something guys, God has given you athletic abilities for a reason. What that reason is exactly, is up to you to figure out. But remember one thing; people are always watching. Trust me, Jermaine's decision on whether or not a Seventh-Day Adventist will play on the Sabbath will be watched and noted by the world. What would you do? Remember to pray for Jermaine and his family as they struggle to make their decision.   PDRTJS_settings_2913173 = { "id" : "2913173", "unique_id" : "default", "title" : "", "permalink" : "" };
Staying Focused
The worst part about doing anything in sports (and in life for that matter) is losing focus. Can you imagine what it would be like if people suddenly lost their focus? Like what if  football player was running for a touchdown and then stopped? Or what if a goalie in soccer decided to go to the bathroom in the middle of the match? Wouldn't make sense, would it? Always remember to keep your eyes on the goal. Don't lose focus! Whatever it may be. Here's what happens when you lose focus:  
SWAU Basketball Tournament
Hey Readers! This week I'll be going to a basketball tournament at Southwestern Adventist University. I'm traveling with Spencerville Adventist Academy, so if you see me, come say hi! I'll be taking lots of pictures so I can share them with you when I get back on Sunday afternoon. But what kind of writer would I be if I left you without an article?  At a tournament, there are bound to be super cool moments when there will be overtime games, buzzer-beaters, and great performances all around! Here's the story of Mike James of Lamar University. This guy was a little-known bench player on his basketball team until he subbed in one night. Mike exploded for 52 points in a 114-62 win! You can read more about it by clicking here. "Breaking a record is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so that's what I'm going to remember," Mike said. "I think coming off the bench is what my team needs me to do," James said. "We have two veteran guards that start in Anthony Miles and Kendrick Harris. They start off the game well. I just watch what we do when I'm sitting on the bench and when I come in, I try to do what we were missing." 
This is just a great example of how you can play your part and still make a difference. There's a Sports Zone article in Guide magazine coming out soon that talks about finding our part on a team and playing it well. God wants us to be a part of His team that He calls the Body. The Body represents our church and we all have our place in it, but it's up to us to find it. I hope that one day all of you find your parts! 
Wish me luck at the tournament! 
Stories From SWAU
 First of all I want to give a BIG congratulations to HVA for winning both the small school boys and girls championship! Well done guys! Well it was a wild week down in Texas! I would give you a play-by-play but that sounds super boring! I just want to say that the tournament that Southwestern puts on is something that everyone should experience. It's super fun. Over 50 men's and women's teams from Seventh-day Adventist schools across America participated this year. As you guys may or may not know, I'm an assistant coach over at Spencerville Academy. Our Varsity boys didn't do that well this year, but we had a lot of fun and we learned a lot of valuable lessons. Congrats to Forest Lake Academy for winning the big school boys bracket.  Our Lady Hornets had a really squad again this year. Last year we came in second place and so this year, they were even more focused on winning. We had a really good tournament this year lead by our front court guards Amber Michelle Kelchner and JoJo Brown. They made it all the way back to the championship game and they wanted ME to do the roster announcements. I was super nervous about that because the gym is HUMONGOUS! Here's a pic of it: Yeah...now imagine about 1,000 people packed into that gym and me on the stage. The good thing is that I had the right voice, but the bad thing is that I forgot Katelyn Juneau's name AND the sound system kept messing up on me so nobody really heard me.  FAIL!
But that would be the least of our troubles that night. Spring Valley's Andrea Hoover looked like LeBron James in high school out there. We tried to shut her down but she was just too much to handle. She ended up with 49 points and 13 rebounds! The final score was SVA 57 - SAA 44.  So congrats to Spring Valley Academy for winning the big school girl's championship! And I'm SUPER proud of our Lady Hornets even though we came in second again. We'll get 'em next year girls! A special shout-out goes to our seniors Dani Anderson, Kaitlyn Calhoun, and Kayla Dehm. And on our boys side; Adam Jencks, Cedric Schaebe, and Ryan Johnson. I'm gonna miss you all! :)
Here are some other pics from the weekend: See you guys next year!
Cutler Cried
Okay so I know that "Da Bears" lost last week in the NFC Championship game (Sorry Bears fans) but did any of you guys happen to catch the story about QB Jay Cutler? Apparently it was a tough week for him. Many sports reporters were wondering about Cutler's toughness. Cutler hadn't exactly been playing well in the games leading up to the NFC championship, so when Cutler had to leave the game early, that's when the criticism came.
After the game, reporters told Cutler that some people didn't think that he was tough enough to play the game of football.  That's when Cutler turned his head and let out some tears. By now you all should know that words can affect people positively and negatively. In this case, even a professional football player like Jay Cutler can be hurt. He was genuinely hurt by the critics. Let's try to remember to only say positive things to our peers. Also, constructive criticism is a great tool to correct something or someone while still caring for them.
Where is the Love? (Or the Kidney)
Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter is a good coach by anyone's standard, but this week, he went above and beyond the call of duty. Enter freshman outfielder Kevin Jordan. He suffers from ANCA vasculitis; a condition that causes his white blood cells to attack the healthy tissues in his body. The only way to fix this is to get a new kidney. Unfortunately, none of his family members were a match for his kidney transplant. For those of you who don't know, you have to have the correct match for a kidney transplant or else the body will reject the new kidney. So out of the kindness of his heart, coach Walter decided to see if his kidney was a match. It was! So they went ahead and did the kidney transplant and both are recovering nicely. Check out the video below:     Cool story, right? But it doesn't end there. Because Wake Forest is a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), players are not allowed to accept gifts from coaches. Apparently a kidney counts as a gift and the NCAA has already suspended Kevin from playing indefinitely. Kevin said that he understood the rules but he went against them anyway.  I'm sure we can all understand why he broke the rules. The question is; as a Christian, what would you do? P.S. If Kevin still wants to be a part of the NCAA, he could possibly have to give his kidney back!   What would you do if you were Kevin Jordan?online survey
The Good Samaritan
Last week, Paul Long and his family were stranded on the side of the road in the small town of Ware, England. Apparently his car broke down on the way to taking his children to school. Many motorists had passed them by but guess who stopped to help? None other than Major League Soccer (MLS) player David Beckham! Beckham asked them if they were okay and then helped them push their car to the other side of the road. As soon as they were okay, Beckham went on his merry way to training.
This is a pretty cool story that illustrates that no one is above a little servanthood; not even a superstar.
Turning the Other Cheek
Two weeks ago, the top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes lost 71-67 to the Wisconsin Baders. Unfortunately after the game, Buckeye freshman star Jared Sullinger tweeted this:   Apparently the Badgers beating the Buckeyes was a big deal. The Wisconsin fans rushed the court and some less than Christ-like behavior took place. Instead of spitting back though, Sullinger decided to ignore it. He decided to express his disappointment in a different way. That's really cool of him.
Have you ever had to turn the other cheek when you didn't want to? At times it may be really hard but it's always better to walk away than to complicate a hostile situation. Good job Jared Sullinger!  
Dead Spots
During the Australia Open, tennis pro Maria Sharapova noticed that one section of the court was a little bouncy. She knew that something was wrong so she decided to investigate. She dropped a tennis ball on the spot that felt bouncy and the ball didn't bounce. It didn't even move a little bit.
(To check out the full video and the explanation behind it, click on the video section of the blog.) Where was I? Oh yeah, the ball didn't bounce at all! That's crazy! I've never seen anything like that before. I know they have dead spots in basketball and the ball will bounce a little bit lower, but no bounce at all? It's something you have to see to believe.  Seeing that dead spot on the court reminded me that sometimes people have dead spots in their lives. Whenever we knowingly do something wrong or hurtful, it's kind of like a dead spot. You're Christianity just doesn't respond, or bounce, the way it's supposed to. For instance, let's say that I'm a pretty good person but I like to tease some of the less popular kids. The kids who I'm being mean to won't respond nicely to me because they will have negative feelings towards me and the Holy Spirit can't do its work properly; kind of like that dead spot. The ball will bounce fine on other parts of the court, but once it hits the dead spot, it stops bouncing. Are there any dead spots on your court? If so, then I guess it's time to try your hardes to fix them before it's too late. 
Dealing with Death
It's been a tough week in basketball. It saddens me that there are two stories about death this week. One story features Wes Leonard and the other showcases Brad Rhoades. (Click on the their names to see the full story.)
In a nutshell, Wes Leonard helped his team complete a perfect season by hitting a game-winning shot in overtime. His team was now officially a perfect 20-0! Sadly, minutes after the crowd rushed the floor, Wes collapsed onto the floor. On his way to the hospital, the paramedics tried to do all they could to save him, but by the time he got to the hospital, he died.   The other sad story was Brad Rhoades. Sadly, his mother died in a snowmobile accident earlier this week. So to pay tribute to her, he decided to score one point for every year of his mother's life, which was 46. Brad made true on his promise and he scored 46 with two minutes left in the game. As he leapt into his father's arms, the entire gym erupted in a standing ovation.   It's sad to think that death is a part of life. It wasn't in God's original plan, but unfortunately, it's a consequence of sin. Have you ever lost someone close to you? Although it's nice to think that those who have passed on are up in Heaven smiling down on us, it isn't true. The dead are in their graves waiting for Jesus' return to this sad world.  It's comforting to think that the loved ones we lost are here with us, but they are not. Whenever you need the strength to push on, pray to Jesus for help and He'll send the Holy Spirit to comfort you.
The Wide World of Sports
There are so many topics to talk about in sports nowadays! The NFL is going through a lockout phase. Basically, this means that the players and owners of the teams can't agree about money, so the players are refusing to play. Why should you care? If the NFL is in a lockout, that means no football games for the public. I'd wish they'd hurry up and come to an agreement. Then there's March Madness, which begun at noon on Thursday. This year 64 tcollegiate eams get the chance to go to the Final Four and ultimately a championship! Do you think you know who's going to win the whole thing? Then besides that, the NBA is drawing ever closer to the Playoffs. Are you keeping up with your favorite team? I am. The Lakers are starting to look like real champions now, although, Derrick Rose and the Bulls are a pretty good team as well. Time will only tell who will win it all in the end. With so many sports to keep track off right now, sometimes we can lose focus on what's really important; our relationship with God. It's easy to remember how many points LeBron James had, or what the #1 play was on SportsCenter, but always remember to keep God first. Your relationship with Him makes you the true champion.  
A Season of Giving
I'm sure most of you have heard about the tsunami and the earthquake that hit Japan. Those are two very tragic events and many lives were lost. It's really sad to think about but it should serve as a constant reminder that this world is not our permanent home. One day we'll go to Heaven and we'll never have to worry about any natural disaster happening again. Although nothing can be done to replace what the survivors have lost, many sports organizations try to pitch in and ease the pain. Even Michael Jordan gave $1,000,000 to the Sept. 11 victims. This time around, Seattle Mariners player Ichiro Suzuki chose to donate 100 million yen! For those of you who don't know international conversion rates, that's about $1.23 million! Either way you look at it; that's still a lot of money. What a great gesture! Oh and by the way, Ichiro also donated 10 million yen last month to some volcano victims. Wow!   In efforts to match Ichiro's genorosity, the Seattle Mariners have decided to match anything donated by the front office and fans with a minimum of $100,000! There's so much giving going on! It just goes to show that when God blesses you with a lot, it's good to give just as much back. Oh yeah, the NBA also wanted to get in on the donating process as well. Here's Los Angeles Laker player Kobe Bryant with a message:  
Girl Power! (For you "chipmunk")
Last week on the discussion board, "chipmunk" asked if I thoght it was a good idea to seperate boys from girls in sports. I said I think it was a good idea because it made things more even. However, this week I found a bunch of sports articles with girls in them. I don't think it's a coincidence. I don't think professional women athletes often get the proper credit they deserve. So today, I just want to highlight two women athletes. Zoya DeNure was a model, but then she decided to modeling was boring and she wanted to switch to dog sledding. She runs a abandoned dog shelter and teaches compassion by caring for her dogs. When she was racing in the Iditarod, one of her dogs was having trouble breathing. She wasn't sure she'd be able to finish the race, and she might have to give up. Would she finish the race? You can read about her by clicking right here.
Making the Best of Your Situation
Have you ever thought to yourself that life isn't fair? I know I have. Many times. However, in those situations, wiser people have told me to count my blessings because someone out there has it worse than me. I can honestly say that this is always true. Check out the story of Bethany Hamilton. Bethany was only 13 years old when a tiger shark bit her arm off. She was immediately rushed to the hospital and the doctors were able to save her. Unfortunately, it's very hard to surf with only one arm. (Just try doing things with only one arm.)  But do you want to know the cool thing? It was Bethany's faith that pushed her to get back out on her board. "Being able to turn to Jesus after the shark attack kept me alive." Bethany said.  Bethany trained and got right back into the ocean. She entered many competitions and still competes at a high level even now! The even cooler thing is that her story was so inspiring that a movie is made about her! It's called Soul Surfer. 
To learn more about Bethany's story and see more pictures; check out her site: http://bethanyhamilton.com/
Honor
This week former baseball player, Barry Bonds, has been on trial. If you haven't heard, Bonds is being accused of lying to a grand jury about knowingly taking steroids. However, the jury can't seem to decide whether that's true or not, so they're pushing the trial all the way to May 20, 2011.  It has been such a hassle for Bonds. Even though he is the home run king at 762 hits, it comes with a heavy crown. Many people believe that he was using steroids to enhance or boost his performance. Basically, they think he cheated and baseball purists hate cheaters. They say that it isn't honorable. Honor means doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. This is known as your integrity. Whether Bonds has any honor or not is still being decided, but I can tell you that he doesn't like all the negative attention he is getting now.  One person who is being celebrated for his honor is 10-year-old Cliff Forrest Jr.  Last week, Cliff spent a whopping $8,500 out of his college savings to buy a ring. However, this wasn't a wedding ring or a ring pop candy, this was a Super Bowl ring. It belonged to William "The Refrigerator" Perry. He was a part of the Chicago Bears during Super Bowl XX. Cliff heard that Perry was getting really sick decided to do an honorable thing; buy back his ring. "He only played in one Super Bowl," Cliff said. "I thought he would want it more than I did." They both met on the set of ESPN's SportsCenter, where Perry gave Cliff two signed jerseys and five football cards as a thank you! Sometimes it pays to be honorable but either way; it's always best to do the right thing :)
Watch Your Mouth
This week, NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant got into trouble for saying mean things against homosexual people. Now although as SDAs don't believe in homosexuality, we also don't accept making fun of or being mean to them. For his actions, Bryant was fined $100,000 for his comment and he had this to say in his apology: "What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone." But let's not all gang up on Bryant. A lot of sports figures have said things that they wern't supposed to say. That's why it's so important not to hold them too high on our "important people" list. That's why God needs to be at the top of all of our lists. He is the only one to never sin, and He's the best example we have!
Cheating
Two weeks ago, I talked about how Barry Bonds had no honor because he was a cheater. Well, it seems as if yet another person was caught lying.  Ohio State College Football Coach, Jim Tressel is in trouble for lying to the NCAA about some of his players. Apparently, some of Coach Tressel's players were breaking some NCAA rules outside of playing football. Once Coach Tressel found out, he was supposed to report his players, but he didn't. Instead, he tried to cover up for them by not telling anyone what they had done. This is a no-no.  Unfortunately, Coach Tressel was caught and now he's in major trouble. At the very least, he's going to lose his job. All because he decided to cover up someone else's lies. See, even though Coach Tressel didn't say anything that was a lie, by NOT saying anything, he was also telling a lie. Those are all forms of deception. When we twist our words to deceive people, it is still a lie, no matter what.
Out with the Old...
Bill Burke, who is 69 years old, wants to do something spectacular. He wants to climb Mt. Everest, you know the tallest mountain in the world that's 29, 305 feet? But not only does he want to climb it, he wants to do it twice! "It's going to be quite an epic journey," says Burke."It's going to be a little bit like threading a needle, though, because everything has to fall into place just right. But that's part of the fun -- setting a goal and trying to achieve it, and at the same time being safe and smart, because I'm not out to get myself killed." One time while Burke was climbing Mt. Everest, he stopped 300 feet short of the top because he heard that bad weather was coming in. He felt bad about having to stop climbing but it turned out to be one of his best decisions because two other climbers who didn't turn back ended up dying two days later. The bad weather consumed the climbers. I think it's awesome that even though this guy is closer to 100, he still wants to accomplish this amazing feat! It just goes to show you that no matter how old you are, it's never too late to do something you love. 
Costly Mistakes
  Last week, 11 students at Melrose High School posted some incriminating photos to Facebook for fun. Well it turns out that it's not so fun. The principal of the school, Joseph F. Casey, suspended all of the kids. As further punishment, the students have to miss at least 60% of ther season! Wow!  Principal Casey said something very important though. 
"Being an athlete is a priveledge, not a right."   This means that just because you might be a student athlete doesn't mean you can say or do anything you want. You've got to respect the position your in because you're under an even bigger spotlight that everyone else. So if you're lucky enough to be a student athlete, don't abuse your power! 
All the Difference in the World
Bryce Harper (above) is only 18 years old and lives in Hagerstown, MD. (That's where Guide headquarters are located btw.) Many magazines and scouts say that he's going to be the next big thing in baseball, so everything he does is closely watched by reporters; even getting his eyes tested. No big deal, right? Wrong. This was no routine checkup. The opthamologist determined that he needed to wear contacts. Reluctantly, Bryce agreed and now his batting averages are off the charts!  “It was like I was seeing in HD,” Bryce said. What amazes people is that before he wore contacts, Bryce was considered the best in the country. So now that he's hitting even better with proper vision, the sky is the limit for his success! In some ways, this is just like knowing Jesus. Without Him, we may be successful in this world, but with Jesus on our side, we have no limits to what we can become.
Naughty, Naughty
This week, Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls was fined $50,000 for an anit-gay slur, or insult. When reporters asked him about the incident, Joakim said, "I made a mistake. I'll learn from it and move on." I think it's pretty cool that Joakim admitted that he was wrong immediately and tried to correct it, especially since Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 almost two weeks ago. I understand that it's very hard to control your emotions when you're being competitive, but you have to stay calm. You can't let it, your comepetitive nature, get the best of you. Luckily, there isn't anyone to to fine you large amounts of money when you do make a mistake, but remember, people are always watching what you do and how you react in certain situations.  
Meet Jacob Raleigh
Jacob Raleigh was born with both arms, but his dominant one was his left. Unfortunately, he contracted a rare form of cancer called Epithelioid Sarcoma. Doctors had no other options than to amputate his entire left arm.  Jacob had to completely learn how to re-play tennis with his right hand. In his senior year, he made it all the way to the state finals...but lost. Although he lost, Jacob was still proud of what he accomplished. His partner, Tyler Smith, had this to say about him: "To have to go through cancer, first of all. Then you have your dominant arm taken away and still to be able to come back and play like he has, it's crazy. I don't know if I could have done that." I commend Jacob for pushing through what seemed like an impossible situation. His story reminds me of the some of the problems that all of us face sometime. Any game you play in sports will always have its problems to figure out; cheers to those who figure them out.
Breaking Records
  Derek Jeter is fast approaching 3,000 hits and that's a really big deal! Out of all the people who have ever played baseball, only 27 other people have had 3,000 hits. Only 11 more Derek, keep going! In sports, breaking records are a big deal. You can pay tribute to the past while making new records for the future!  Have you ever broken any records? Tell me about it in the discussion session.
Becoming Part of the Body
The video in the other section shows a report on how some people noticed that a lot of baseball bats were shattering. Sure, it looks cool but it is definitely dangerous. So what did these guys do? They started studying how the bats were breaking and some other technical information and voila! The bats didn't shatter as easily anymore. While this may sound boring to you but this report reminded me of the body of the church. These guys that fixed the bat issue probably couldn't play baseball very well, but they still found a way to contribute to the sport and made it safer. The point is that they made a difference by contributing How do you contribute to your church body? There are a multitude of ways! If you can't think of any, ask your parents of Sabbath School teacher how you can contribute.
The Try and Fail
  I don't know how many of you saw this but last week, John Wall, of the NBA's Washington Wizards, threw out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals' game. Throwing the first pitch in a game is considered an honor, so it's usually a celebrity or another sports figure that gets to do it. What usually ends up happening is that the the pitch is always thrown short. Basically; the celebrity throwing the first pitch fails miserably. Everybody then laughs at how bad the pitch was and then the game moves on. How do you think John Wall did?
  That was really hard to watch lol But then I remembered that John Wall plays basketball, not baseball, for a living. Of course he's going to mess up. But I'm sure that if he practiced a little bit more, he would be able to throw a really good pitch. Have you ever witnessed a new Christian trying to be...well...a Christian? It's a little hard for them. They were so used to doing things one way that the transition is a bit odd. That's where you come in! If you ever see this, feel free to let them know that EVERYONE makes mistakes and Jesus will forgive us if we ask Him too. Don't let them get discouraged!  
No Graven Images
Dirk Nowitzki of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks is having an awesome summer! After the many years of trying, he finally led his team to victory in the championship game! He was awarded the MVP of the game and he is getting some much deserved recognition.  He got to throw the first pitch at a Texas Rangers game earlier this week. (He did MUCH better than John Wall did lol) Then he traveled back to his hometown in Germany and he was welcomed with open arms. The picture below is him signing a young lady's arm. Wow!  I think that Dirk deserves all the praise that he is getting because he worked hard and now it is paying off. However I saw this picture today: Now, I don't think that there's anything wrong with this picture. Someone at Legoland took the time to make this 7ft statue! I don't know how long it took but "Dirk" is made up of 35,000 Lego bricks and the trophy is made up of 4,000. This is cool, but for some reason it reminded me of the children of Israel when they made that statue of the golden calf.  Again, I don't think anything is wrong with this Lego statue because I don't think people will bow down and worship lol But all the same, we have be careful what we give our praises to because it may interefere with our relationship with God. Do you have anything like that now?
Composure
Evan Barr is a student-athlete at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, California. He was trying to qualify for a state competition but he missed it. In frustration, he let out a curse word. Now normally, a supervisor may have told him to watch his mouth, but this time it was different. The judges from the competition heard him and disqualified him entirely. Talk about disappointing! All that hard work down the drain because Evan lost composure. Let that be a lesson to those who lose composure. Oh be careful little mouth what you say :)
Just jk
So some kids at Bishop Gorman High defaced some property at Palo Verde HS as a prank. As pictured above, the kids from Bishop Gorman High graffit'd most of the school property and also spray painted the school's mascot. But the catch is that this isn't just a joke. The police were called and now they are investigating the situation. They intend to punish the people who did this to the fullest extent of the law. They're going to treat them as criminals. Ouch! It seems like a really big deal for something that was just supposed to be a prank, doesn't it? Sometimes, we may think that something is a joke because we're laughing, but we should always think about the person or people who we're joking about. Do they think that it's funny too?
The Decision
Earlier this year, LeBron James held a press confernce for the media. He entitled it "The Decision." In it, he would announce to the world what team he was going to play for that season.  This year another decision was made, but this was more important than anything LeBron had to say. The girl in the picture (above) is Alyssa Crook.  She suffers from a rare disease called Multiple Pterygium Syndrome, which affected her speech and caused her to have a problem in her leg. The problem got so bad that Alyssa decided to make a serious decision; she decided to amputate her leg. It was a tough decision, but she firmly believes that God helped her make her tough decision. Two months later, she came back stronger than ever! Today, Alyssa wears her prosthetic leg proudly! Could your faith allow you to make such an important and critical decision? 
Do Unto Others
So as I was browsing the web this week I stumbled upon a cool baseball story. The kid on the right, Ian, is the main character of the story. The video is really cool and it practically tells the whole story but the short version of it is: A player from the game tosses a game ball to the boy in blue. The boy drops it and someone else mistakingly tosses it to boy in red. Boy in red celebrates and boy in blue is sad. Boy in red sees boy in blue is sad and gives the ball back to him.  Is that short enough? lol Anyway, the reason why I'm showing you this is because I LOVE random acts of kindness! I think it's the coolest thing in the world! When's the last time you randomly did something kind for someone else "just cuz"?   Here's the video of it happening. Most of it happens in the first 30 seconds, but listen to the way the announcers rave about cool Ian is for doing something like this. Also, check out what Ian got in return!  
The Strongest 10-yr old in the World!
  C.J. Senter is marvel to the workout community. It may be really hard to believe, but C.J. really is only 10 years old. What's crazier is that this whole fitness craze started when he was only 5! His football coach told his team to get some exercise over the weekend. He didn't take this lightly. He did a couple of push-ups, sit-ups, and crunches, etc., and he loved it! Then he started making up his own exercises with names like "the shredder" and "burpee." C.J. even has his own workout DVD! Check it out:   I guess that goes to show you that you're never to young to make a difference! 
A 61 year-old Woman Tries Swimming from FL to Cuba
That's right, you read it correctly. Diana Nyad is 61 years-old and she is trying to set a long distance swimming record. There are approximately 103 miles between Florida and Cuba and Diana tried to swim all of them.    Unfortunately, Diana didn't make it all the way. After swimming for 30 hours, she suffered an asthma  attack, shoulder pains, and the waves were too choppy for her to continue. The good thing to takeaway from this is that there is nothing wrong with trying something and not succeeding. It's important to look at the small victories. For instance; how many 61 year-old women do you know that still do crunches? She probably has a flatter stomach than me lol   Although Diana has officially given up trying to swim that route, I'm sure she'll still find other things to do to keep herself active. And in the end, isn't that the whole point? Stay active people :)  
Double, Double, Toil & Trouble
Nate and Nick Smith are twin boys who live in Minnesota and love hockey. Both boys were at a game with their dad when a once in a lifetime opportunity presented itself. Nick had a winning ticket to take a shot at $50,000! Unfortunately, Nick went to the bathroom and Nate took his place. See what happened next:   So what do you think? Do you think that Nate should be able to keep the money? Take a vote!   What should happen in this situation?
Bullyproof
    Have you ever been bullied? Did you know that more than 150,000 children miss school every day because of bullying? I didn't know that it was such a big deal, but apparently it is. Reno and Helio Gracie have decided to help out students have suffered from bullying. You can read the full story here.    The main part of their teaching is the 3T's; Talk, Tell, and Tackle. Talk the situation out and try to resolve it. Then tell a teacher. If all else fails, tackle! Now this seems to be a fair way to do things, but as Christians, do you think this is something Jesus would do?       What Would Jesus Do?
Cowboys Don't Haze
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is known for his hard-knock leadership. So it's no surprise that he instituted a "no-hazing" rule in his camp. If you remember, a couple of months ago Dez Bryant was the subject of hazing and he didn't like it at all.  Garrett doesn't want rookies on his team to feel un-welcomed. He wants his veterans to make sure that the rookies feel right at home when they come to camp because that's what being a part of a team means. Garrett isn't the only coach to institute this policy though, the Jaguars and Patriots are among some other teams that also discourage hazing.  I just think it's pretty cool that there are still people who stand up for the right thing. Hazing is stupid and senseless. If you feel like you're being hazed, stand up for yourself. If people try to make fun of you or say that you're not being a good sport, just point out this example.   ***UPDATE*** Do you guys remember those twin brothers who were in that in that $50,000 hockey shot? Some of you voted in the poll and let's recap the results:  So 24% of you thought that Nate should get to keep the money even though it wasn't his ticket, and 29& of you thought that Nate's brother, Nick, should get to take the shot. But 41% of you think that Nate should at least get to keep half the money.  In the end, the company who was sponsoring the contest decided that they would donate $20,000 to  youth hockey in Minnesota in Nate's and Nick's name. Basically, the boys don't get to keep the money. I don't think that's fair but this wouldn't have happened if Nate would've been honest before he took the shot. That's a tough lesson to learn, but hey, I bet they'll never make that mistake again.
Don't Drop the Ball
The NFL season kicked off this Thursday (Green Bay won 42-35 for those of you who didn't get to stay up for it). So in the spirit of football, I thought it'd be cool to have a football article. I searched around for a good one, and it took forever, but I finally caught the hail mary. Sports writer Matt Maiocco wrote an article about the importance of NFL Draft picks. First of all, the Draft has 7 rounds! 7! That's 6 more than I care to watch. Obviously, some coaches and general managers (GMs) feel the same way I do. They treat their picks with disdain, meaning they don't really care about them. Well Maiocco conducted a 5-year study about the teams that draft well versus the teams that don't.  Guess who the top 3 teams were? 1. Green Bay Packers
2. New Orleans Saints
3. Indianapolis Colts Wanna know the worst 3? 1. Buffalo Bills
2. Washington Redskins
3. Cincinnati Bengals It's no coincidence. The teams that draft well win more games. The teams that don't draft well...well...you get the idea. I think drafting in the NFL is a lot like making choices in real life. Those who make the better choices in life often end having better lives. Duh!  So don't be like the bad teams, make the right decisions and your life will be soooooooo much better.
Did I Do That???
I have, not one, but TWO stories for to share today! The first one is about the "Golden Boy" Tom Brady.  Brady was being interviewed for his upcoming game on Sunday. The reporters asked him about how the fans should prepare for the game and he basically told them to get drunk.  Crazy, huh? Now we as Christians don't believe in drinking but in any case, you never want to encourage your fans to get drunk! Smh...The Patriots Public Relations (PR) team came out later with a statement trying to clarify what their QB meant. They tried to say that he meant for fans to drink lots of water. Do you think it worked? We'll see on Sunday. The other story also has to do with football. At the San Diego Qualcomm Stadium where the Chargers play, a server by the name of Heather Allison accidentally tripped on the stairs and fell. To add insult to injury, she also dropped all the money she was carrying, which totaled about $1,000. Thankfully, the fans around her immediately helped her gather all her money and guess what? She got all $1,000 back plus a $170 tip! Mistakes can happen, but it's all about the clean up ;)
Red Sox Player Regrets Year
Carl Crawford of the Boston Red Sox did something that most professional athletes don't do; admitting he had a bad year. In a blog post for ESPN Boston, Crawford wrote this: I want to end the diary saying something to the fans of Boston. I just want to say I'm sorry for the year I've had. You guys have been really supportive and I appreciate that. Hopefully when we get into these playoffs, I can be the real Carl Crawford that I know I am. We'll see. It's really hard to acknowledge to yourself when you're doing bad let alone the rest of your fans. I think Crawford did a pretty cool thing. It's not often that we get an inside look at a professional athlete's life. The Red Sox have been slipping as a team on this home stretch and they've almost lost their division lead. Let's hope that Crawford's hopes come true and he can help his team out...or maybe not, I'm a Yankees fan :)
Walking the Walk
Apparently these shoes are a lie. These are Reebok's EasyTone tennis shoes. They claim that you can tone different parts of your body just by walking! Initially, many people bought these shoes believing that they would no longer have to do strenuous workouts to achieve the perfect figure, but when people weren't seeing the proper results, they began complaining. The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Consumer Protection Bureau, David Vladeck came out with the quote: "We did get consumer complaints. We watch TV. We read the newspapers," said Vladeck. "There is no such thing as a no-work, no-sweat way to a fit and healthy body."  Adidas, which owns Reebok, stated that they will settle with the FTC for $25 million. This money will go to all the people who bought the shoes and didn't see results. Reebok claims that they are only settling because they don't want to go to court. This just goes to show you that there's no escaping hard work if you want real results.
God, Grades, & Touchdowns
Take a good look at this guy; this is 11-year old Demias Jimerson and right now he's forbidden to score more than three touchdowns per game.  Why? There's this rule called the Madre Hill Rule. It's a rule instituted so that if a team has a really good football player, like Demias, and they're winning, then that player can only score three touchdowns. It's a rule that keeps things fair  and gives everyone an opportunity to play.    I've never heard of this rule but I think it's fine. And, it doesn't seem like Demias doesn't seem to have too much of problem with it. He says, "God, grades, and touchdowns." Demias has his priorities straight, I hope all of you you out there do too :)
The Painful Handshake
After a football game in Wilmington, Ohio, the players lined up for the traditional shaking of hands. But after the players were done shaking hands, one side noticed that their hands were hurting. Some of the players even noticed that their hands were bleeding! Ouch! Upon further investigation, the coaches found out that one of the players on the losing team hid a tack in one of his gloves and was pricking everyone who shook his hands. Now I'm all for pratical jokes but this is beyond a terrible idea. If someone can get hurt from your joke then it probably isn't that funny. The players who were hurt had to go to the hostpital to get shots and the player who did it has to go court.  Let's learn from this situation and not be a bad sport.
The Importance of Mud
So I watched this video yesterday about the importance of mud in baseball. Basically, the the baseballs that come from the factory are too slick. MLB players all complain about the sickness, pitchers can't grip the ball and hitters can't hit properly, so they have to mud every baseball. Watch the boring video and learn something lol:   I find it intersting that MLB players can't really use the new baseballs. They have to have a little mud on them before they're usable. Now, the baseballs can't have too much mud, because then they would be too hard to see or use.  There's a spiritual application somewhere, but I can't figure it out. Can you help me out?
A Strange Goal
Lexi Smith, of Florence High School (NJ), did something peculiar in a regular season game; she stopped scoring goals. Apparently Lexi was on the verge of breaking a record of 46 goals in a season but she didn't want to break it because the previous record holder was set by her aunt. That's right! In 1992, Lexi's aunt, Dianne Carey-Stranko, set the record and now serves as an assistant coach at Florence High.  "This is something so special that I will never do it again and I wanted her to be prepared for it," Lexi said. "The only record I was really looking at was my aunt's." That's pretty impressive and touching that Lexi would do that to honor her coach. I don't know if I would've done the same thing. If anything, I would've scored as many goals as possible and honored my family member by doing the best that I could. It's just a really interesting way to show respect to someone. What do you guys think? What would you have done?   If I was Lexi Smith, I would've...
Wrestling with the Past
I always throught it was pretty cool that Jacob wrestled with an angel because it's one of the few times that sports are mentioned in the Bible. The above picture dates that this was a manual for wrestling that dates way back to 200 AD. In fact, this is considered to be the oldest sports manual in the world! Kerry McCoy is the two-time olympian responsible for finding this.  Boring? Absolutely, but I think this is for the scavengers and history buffs. Can anyone tell me what language this is written in?
A Sad Mistake
  So this week I was going to talk about how great the St. Louis Cardinals management is but then a story of greater importance eclipsed it.  Joe Paterno, affectionately known as "Jo Pa" to the sports world, was the football coach of Penn State for over 45 years! He was highly decorated and currently holds the record for most wins in the NCAA at 409 wins. Plus, he's the only football coach to have over 400 wins. However, all those accolades couldn't save him from being fired. In case you haven't heard, one of the staff members under Paterno was accused of molestation. What's even more disturbing is the fact that Paterno most likely knew about this and DIDN'T speak up. When the Penn State University found out about the situation, they had no choice but to fire him. I think this is an important lesson. Just because you didn't do something doesn't mean you can't be held accountable. If you witness or know about something that is wrong; REPORT IT! Find an adult to tell, do something! In situations like this, any action is better than inaction.  
No Prayers Allowed

A high school football game in Alabama was stopped by an atheist group for praying. "It is coercive and inappropriate to ask students to listen while a prayer is delivered at athletic events," said foundation attorney Stephanie Schmitt. "This is especially disturbing given the young age of these students." The atheist group has filed a complaint and they want to remove the prayers from the game. I think it's so sad that we all can't get along. What would you do if someone wanted to stop a prayer at your game?
Happy Thanksgiving!!!
I hope all you readers had a great Thanksgiving like me! One of the many things I'm thankful for is the opportunity to present sports from a different perspective, kind of like the picture above. I hope all of you didn't eat too much because basketball season is still in session and we all need to stay in shape for that! All jokes aside though, every day is an opportunity to be thankful for something, so don't save it all for Thanksgiving, be thankful every day!
Staying F.I.T.
F.I.T. stands for Frequency, Intensity, and Time. What is this? This basically means how active you are. Being fit allows you to stay in shape and have a healthier lifestyle. Let's break down F.I.T. in three different sections: Frequency: 
How often do you play outside? If you want to stay fit, F.I.T. says that you have to get some sort of exercise at least three times a week. I'm sure that shouldn't be a problem for most of you. Intensity:
How intense is your exercise? Even though taking the stairs is better than using the elevator, it's not very intense. High intensity things include running, biking, hiking, etc. Low intensity things include walking, standing, thinking, etc. ;) Time:
Finally, how long are you doing these high intensity activities? Running is great, but if you only do it for two minutes, then it's not really doing anything for your body. F.I.T. suggests that you do high intensity activities for at least 45-60 minutes. With this newfound knowledge, go forth and exercise!
Player Celebrations
Last week, NFL commentator Bob Costas called out NFL players who celebrated too much after a touchdown. Here are his thoughts:   Sorry, this video is no longer available. I agree with Costas. Initially, player celebrations were funny and spontaneous. However nowadays they've become rehearsed and un-entertaining.  In Matthew 6:5-6, Jesus tells people not to be like the hypocrites who pray out loud on the street corners so everyone can hear them. Instead we should find a quiet room and pray in secret, that way, God can bless us with a true reward.  The next time you see an extensive celebration on television, don't immitate them or think they're cool. They should only remind you of the hypocrites who pray out loud.
No More Racist Chants
This is Tyra Batts and she attends Kenmore East High School in the Buffalo, New York-area. Unfortunately for her, her basketball team has an unsettling chant before every game.  "The whole team before our game has a ritual of saying 1-2-4 and then the N word," says Batts. Long story short, her team was suspended for 2 days. This was only after her family filed a public complaint. Batts said she tried to talk to her teammates about it, but they brushed her off. Pretty soon, talks turned into frustrated words, and frustrated words turned into a fight. Batts was suspended for 3 days. I was shocked when I read this story but then it was just a grim reminder that while there are some good things to this life, there are some really bad things as well. Batts says she is considering not playing for her team anymore and that saddens me. It stinks that we all can't treat each other the way Jesus would. 
Faith & Football
Tim Tebow is everywhere nowadays! The one thing that he is being touted for is his belief in God. Many people would like credit his success to divine intervention, but we know better than that, right? God doesn't decide football games lol While we're on the subject though, Tebow isn't the first NFL player to publicly announce his faith. Pittsburgh Steelers player Troy Polamalu is a Christian as well. Check out the video below: Sorry, this video is no longer available. 
How to Save a Life
Oregon Ducks football player Mark Asper is somewhat of a hero. After being out at a dinner, he noticed that a gentleman close to his table was choking. The chef had already come out to give the Heimlich Maneuver but didn't have enough force to dislodge the trapped food. So, standing at 6-foot-7 and 325 pounds, Asper decided to lend a helping hand.  When asked how he knew what to do in that situation, Asper credited it to being an Eagle Scout. Imagine that! Being part of the Eagle Scouts helped save someone's life! As Adventists, we don't have the Eagle Scouts, but we do have Pathfinders and Adventurers. In each of these groups you learn valuable life lessons and skills, and to top it off, you get these really neat badges to prove it! I never got the chance to be a part of Pathfinders or Adventurers, but I have to believe that whatever you guys and girls are learning WILL be useful someday. And who knows, you could save someone's life :) Have a happy New Year everyone!
The Dark Side of Sports
This actually saddens me. Pictured above is an off-duty police officer and former marine. His name is unreleased at this time because of the situation surrounding him.  This guy was watching a hockey game between New York and Philadelphia and happened to be a New York Rangers fan. Before anyone could react, three Philadelphia Flyers fans began punching and pummeling this guy and another man as they layed on the ground. What a way to start of the new year. It stinks that competitive rivalries are now known to result in violence. I'm sure God dislikes when people act like this, especially over sports. While I love to compete, I always realize that at the end of the day, it's just a game. It should never amount in violent acts against one another.
Whistle Blower

This is Greg McElroy of the New York Jets. He is a thrid-string QB. Normally, reporters wouldn't talk to him, but for some reason, they got to him this time. When asked about the state of the locker room, McElroy said, "It's definitely not a fun place to be...It's the first time I've ever been around extremely selfish inidividuals." Whoa. Now while I praise him for his honesty, some people are saying that McElroy was out of line for saying negative things about his team. They think that he should've discussed his complaints with the team instead of talking to reporters. Here's where I think they're wrong though. McEroy didn't name any names, he was talking about the team in general. Now sure, he gave us a tiny peek into the atmosphere in the locker room, but we could deduce that this team was selfish by the way they play.  Anyway, my point is that if you're ever a part of a team and you see something negative, speak up! If you sit there and say nothing, you're just as bad as everyone else. Also, when you speak up, have a solution to fix the problem. Being able to do this will make you a much wiser person in the long run. So kudos to Greg McElroy for having the courage to speak up.
Who Are You?
I was reading a story about Rob Gronkowski this week. Apparently his father used to line him and his four brothers up and throw tennis balls at them! What's even crazier is that he started doing this at 4 years old! His father knew that if the boys wanted to play sports, they couldn't be afraid of the ball. He wanted to teach them to be ready for anything. Eventually his father couldn't throw them fast enough so he started using a tennis racket to obtain more velocity lol His boys had tough skin and soft hands. They could catch anything! I can't help but think of that verse that begins with, "Train up a child in the way he should go..." Obviously Rob's father trained him well. Rob now catches bullets every Sunday from his New England Patriot teammate Tom Brady. So let's take a look at your life. Are you living in a way that your parents trained you?
Dealing with Disappointment
First of all, I apologize for writing this so late. I'm down here in Texas for the SWAU basketball tournament. It's 3:11 am and boy am I tired. We've had a slew of games and just as many losses for our boys team. I'm a tough competitor and it burns me to lose the way we've been losing. However, it does remind me that 10 years from now, not many people will remember a silly basketball game, right? Easier said than done, huh? If you're down here at the tournament or if you've recently played a bad game, the quote in the quote section lifted my spirits. The best advice I can give you is to just keep playing hard and try not to think about the negatives. Focus on the positives.
More Than a Game
So thankfully, Spencerville girls won the championship down at the SWAU basketball tournament. That more than made up for the guys team, which placed last. I don't think I've ever been a part of a team that lost that badly. It was very hard to deal with at first but I was able to take a step back from the whole situation. Yes, I would've liked to place higher but at the end of the day, what are we really here for? In the midst of losing, I was still able to have a good time interacting with the players on the guys team. I can honestly say that I had a blast because the memories I gained on that trip are more valuable than any silly trophy that will eventually gather dust. (Not that I wouldn't have like to take one home #jussaying) Below is a video illustrating my point. Five-time champion Kobe Bryant takes some time out from playing basketball to help in an issue that really matters. Watch:
Tweet of a Lifetime
I don't have a Twitter, but with some of these sports dreams coming true, I'm starting to reconsider. Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers tweeted that he was in Indianapolis. Ten minutes later, Seth Paladin, a die-hard Steelers fan, tweeted him back sayiing, "I live in Indy! Let's get lunch! How's 12:30?" And just like that, the dream came true. You can read about the story on Yahoo. Long story short, Antonio and Seth hung out all weekend! The details are incredible!  Wouldn't it be cool if God had a twitter and we could meet up with Him face-to-face? I wonder what we would talk about? Of course, some may say that, "Prayer is like talking to God and you can do that anytime!" But c'mon, nothing beats seeing someone in person.  I can't wait to get to Heaven :) Happy Sabbath people!
Va-LIN-dation
I knew about Jeremy Lin before he became an overnight sensation. I remember when he was playing against the Lakers in preseason last year. I thought to myself, "Man, that kid is nice." Unfortunately, Lin bounced around from team to team until he landed with the New York Knicks. From there, hard work paid off.  He's helped his Knicks win their last seven games including a BIG win against the Lakers where he scored 38 points! After all of this fame, you'd think Lin would've gotten a big head by now. However, Lin has a different response: "I'm thinking about how I can trust God more," the 23-year-old New York Knicks guard told San Jose Mercury News. "How can I surrender more? How can I bring Him more glory?" That's awesome! His first thought was how he could serve God better through his popularity. What are YOU doing with the talents God gave you?
The End of February
I was trying to find something, anything interesting to post for you all today but there was nothing out there. In the NBA, there was Jeremy Lin not doing too well against the Miami Heat. In NASCAR, Danica Patrick walking away from a pretty bad wreck. In soccer, Theirre Henri is building a new mansion with a 40 ft. fish tank it, and that's cool, I guess. But nothing really jumped out at me.  Then I realized that I haven't done anything for Black History Month yet. In case no one has ever taken the time to explain why this is important, here's the short version: "This month allows people to see the struggles that African-Americans had to overcome in America, especially in sports." So without further ado, below I've listed a site that has 16 videos on black athletes in sports. These athletes include, LeBron James, Serena Williams, Jesse Owens, and even Jackie Robinson. Check them out, it's pretty interesting. AND the best part is that if your parents think you're just watching sports videos, tell them it's educational ;)  http://www.biography.com/people/groups/athletes/african-american/videos
Identity Theft
For years, the Los Angeles Clippers have been bad at basketball, but through all those years, one fan has stood above them all. Enter Darrell Bailey, aka Clipper Darrell. He has dedicated his nights to basically be the mascot for an NBA team.  Up until recently, it seemed like his years of loyalty were finally going to be worth it. However, there were some problems between Mr. Bailey and now the Clippers don't want Darrell representing them if he can't follow their guidelines. Mr. Bailey thinks the Clippers' organization is being unfair and blah blah blah. The real issue is that who is Darrell Bailey, really? Why would a grown man choose to represent an NBA team? I mean, this guy even has a BMW with the Clipper's colors and logo on it. It's a bit excessive in my opinion and then to add injury to insult, now the team doesn't want him to represent them anymore. Trust me, the same thing will happen to everyone who doesn't give their loyalty to God. When you invest all your time into things like, making the most money, being the best at your sport, etc., without investing time with God; the world will betray you. By following God, He will NEVER turn his back on you. A sort of, "Never leave you, nor forsake you" type of promise, ya know? :) I think Joshua said it best; "Choose ye this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
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