Last week: This week we remember the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and we do our best to honor the victims of that horrible day and all the people and families that were affected. It will also be interesting to look at how different media cover the story and how different organizations mark the anniversary, as we are 12 years on and yet some of the challenges that faced our nation in the direct aftermath of 9/11 are still top of mind today.
Looking ahead: Last week the talk of the sports world was Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Florida, the inspirational nature of the accomplishment, etc. But this week the story is about the critics who have questioned the legitimacy of the swim. and, as someone who works in professional sports, it is a stark reminder that we live in an era where everything is questioned and all great athletic accomplishments bring with them the potential for an asterisk.
Last week: Florida A&M University’s Marching 100 is returning to the field almost two years after it was suspended by the school due to a hazing-related death. Their return will be watched closely by new media, the higher education community, and others. Some are calling it a new beginning for the band, but it is also wise to consider that past is prologue, and FAMU now has an opportunity to be a positive example against the dangers of hazing and the culture that creates it.
Next week: With the recent baseball suspensions and subsequent appeal by Alex Rodriguez, there is a lot of talk about performance enhancing drugs in sports. Personally, I’d like to see in-depth reporting and discussion on exactly how specific PEDs help an athlete perform in their chosen sport, and also what other sports are at risk for a rise in PED use. I believe the general public’s understanding of PEDs is that when athletes use them, they are cheating. I’d like to see more about the “how?” and the “why?” involved in PED use.
This week: I've been following the turmoil that has engulfed Egypt, particularly surrounding deposed President Mohamed Mursi, and all I can think of is how the Egyptian people are being deprived of the democratic government and basic civil liberties that we sometimes take for granted. The issue continues to raise the debate about America's place in the world, and our role in creating a better life for all people, domestic and foreign.
Last week: With Detroit in bankruptcy, the city’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr said in a recent article that, “hope is not a strategy.” Following federal government bailouts of the automotive industry and the financial industry, I think the strategy of the American people needs to be an honest debate about the situation in the Motor City and what steps our government needs to take, if any, to help one of our biggest and most significant cities get back on its feet.
Last week: The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman trial was clearly top of mind for most people over the last few weeks and it did not fail in stirring opinions and emotions in nearly everyone. That said, I have been impressed with the nature of the dialogue and debate here in our community. I expected nothing less from an open-minded, forward-thinking community like South Florida. Nonetheless, it makes me proud to witness the passionate and civil ways in which South Floridians have discussed their opinions and beliefs on the case.
Looking ahead: I look at the 19 members of the Prescott Fire Department in Arizona that were killed heroically fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30 and I wonder if we, as a society, have a grasp on what constitutes true heroism. Like many words, “hero” is often used liberally as a label for sports stars, entertainers, or other people we admire. Personally, I would like to see a vigorous public conversation on the nature of heroism, and how true heroes can inspire us to accomplish things we never thought possible.
Last week: "I’ve never agreed with anyone who says athletes are not role models – they are role models whether they want to be or not. Some of these recent athlete legal issues, most notably the Aaron Hernandez murder case, raises even more concerns about the example being set for our youth. If you are in the public eye, you have an inherent responsibility to set an example for kids and those people that admire you.
On or by June 30
Looking ahead: The economics of sports is going to be interesting to follow in the short-term and long-term. I think most sports fans want to focus on what goes on on the field and in the arena. But then, we have luxury taxes, salary caps, max contracts and other issues affecting the way teams are built and kept together.
Last week: You can’t look past the Miami Heat when you’re talking about the top story. The impressive thing to me is how high they set the expectations for themselves, and how they are living up to those expectations. They’ve set the bar for the rest of the South Florida sports market.
Last Week: We continue to hear and read about horrible tragedies – from natural disasters to seemingly random acts of violence – that are impacting the citizens of this country and causing all of us to send our prayers and support to the victims and their families. As the President of a professional sports and entertainment organization like the Florida Panthers, it also highlights the importance of making our guests feel safe and secure each and every time they set foot inside the BB&T Center. We have thousands upon thousands of people visiting our arena on a regular basis, and we know how important it is to make them feel as comfortable as possible, not only so they can enjoy their experience, but also to help provide a small distraction from some of the horrible events that unfortunately continue to occur.
Looking Ahead: No response.