Archive | Sports RSS for this section

College Is Not Worth Your Time

By Cheval John

Everyone grew up hearing that college was the best investment of our lives.

Parents would gear their offspring towards studying hard in school, get good grades and make the honor roll in order to impress the decision makers at major universities.

Major universities would blast their message on television about the benefits of their university programs if you are watching their college football teams or basketball teams playing.

We all believe that if we gain a college degree, we were on the road to job security and not have to worry about the so-call instability of the part-time work.

And who would blame them for believing the hype of going to universities.

Statistics would show that a person who have an bachelor degree or higher will be more likely to remain employable according to the National Center For Educational Statistics (NCES).

Those same statistics shows that a person who only have a high school diploma are less likely to remain employable at a stable workplace.

Everyone believe this message and the number of college attendees are increasing.

The same statistics by the now enrolled in college.

The NCES shows that they are 20.4 million people attending both 2-year and 4-year colleges/universities.

That should be encouraging for everyone because they are taking their education to the next level.

They are enhancing their level of knowledge because of the quality that the professors bring to the classroom.

The professors are recognized for their academic knowledge of their fields and are getting invited to teach or share their knowledge with other universities/conferences around the country and especially around the world.

These qualities alone should make the students more knowledgable and prepared for the real world.

They are paying (I mean their parents) are paying an average of $9,000 dollars a semester which includes books, student fees, etc. if they are at a public universities.

That is just in-state tuition.

It is much higher if you are out-of-state and worse if you are attending a private university or the elite universities like Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

Community colleges (2-yr colleges) are much cheaper.

So that is a bargain to cut the expenses in half if a person is transferring to a university after completing the first two years.

So when the person/s graduates from university, they should have proven that they are ready for the real world and the workforce.

They are aiming to gain great work that will allow them to make great salary in order to pay off the loans that they acquired while gaining their degrees.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

It is true that the economy has rebounded since the “Great Recession of 2008-09.”

Many college graduates are struggling to find work with the fancy degrees that they earned.

They are wondering how they are going to pay off their student loan debts, which is an average of $28,400 according to the U.S. News and World Report in 2014.

My guess is that number has risen tremendously.

And the masses who have graduated from high school this year, are looking forward to entering the next four years of university life.

Don’t get me wrong, college is a unique experience.

I know.

I gained an associate degree in liberal arts and a bachelor’s degree in spanish.

Plus I had years of experience in public relations, journalism, television, and radio at my alma mater while I was a graduate student for most of those.

However, you should look at the alternatives to college.

We are in the age of the internet where anyone can learn about business, science, history, etc. thanks to YouTube, podcasts, and webinars.

A person can form their own business at a less expensive price because they don’t have to worry about setting up a brick and mortar store.

They don’t have to worry about having a hefty marketing budget because they can market themselves by building an online presence through social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.

The main thing is if you interact with your potential customers through these social media channels on a daily basis, you will gain new fans.

So if you still feel that you need to go to college to gain knowledge in the arts, business, languages, history, etc., go for it.

Only if you are studying for a degree that you need to be certified in order to practice like a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc.

As for the rest, you can learn about history, business, languages, etc. outside of college and save yourself the agony of dealing with debt after gaining a piece of paper that says your are educated.

Lack Of Resources Creates Innovation

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles

We often think that it is important to have all the resources to be successful.

It is true that resources like money is what makes things go.

Whether it is running a business, an organization, a university, etc., we believe that having more resources will make everything easier.

We think that if we have more money, we can make a great impact on the world.

Sometimes it is better to have less money/resources because it will make you think of creative ways to get work done.

You will have innovative ideas on making something better and in the process disrupt an entire industry.

Here are two examples of people/organizations who were innovative with their ideas and showed everyone that you can make something out of nothing.

Next week Thursday, I will share two more examples of people/organizations who are making something out of nothing.

1. London Heathrow Airport.

When travelers pass through London Heathrow Airport, they get a chance to see a glimpse of the innovative culture of the British people.

In a sense, Heathrow represents the ingenuity of the United Kingdom.

What I mean is that Heathrow only has two runways.

Yet, they have found a way to keep themselves relevant with the rest of the world.

Heathrow has served over 73.4 million passengers in 2014, making it one of the busiest airports in the world and the busiest in Europe.

The second busiest airport in Europe, Paris Charles De Gaulle, handled over 63 million passengers despite having four runways.

You might think that an airport that has a lot of space and a lot more runways should be able to handle more traffic.

To a large degree, it is the case.

However, Heathrow has proven that they are capable of handling more with less.

They basically went with the build as you go approach.

When they saw the wave of the jet age in the 50s and 60s, they modified their runways and build the terminals large enough to handle the large jets.

They kept at it when the bigger jets like the 747s came into existence in the late 60s/early 70s and added more terminals to accomodate them.

With four terminals already in operations, they saw that the airport was facing overcapacity.

So they added the fifth terminal, which allowed them to handle more passengers even with two runways.

You might still wonder how they get all of the jets in and out safely without any delays.

If you ever flew into Heathrow, you might have noticed that the plane was circling around before they landed.

You might wonder why they do that?

That is where it gets interesting.

Your plane was circle around because they were in a “holding pattern”

While the plane was in a holding pattern, air traffic controllers were trying to put the smaller planes behind each other in one taxi-way and the bigger jets behind each other because they wanted to gain them more space.

If a smaller jet is behind the bigger jet and it takes off, the smaller jet will probably have to wait for about a minute or two before they can take off.

Once they get the planes in the right spot, then the air traffic controllers gives the pilots permission to land.

That is how Heathrow has managed to remain relevant and be the airport that connects the world one flight at a time.

Billy Bean and the Oakland Athletics

Major League Baseball has grown into a 9 billion dollar industry.

With that type of money, baseball players will want a piece of the pie.

The really good players will be able to command the high multi-million dollar contracts.

With that being said, a team would have to be able to afford the really great players if they want to compete.

And the teams with the highest payrolls, mainly the large market teams (New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs) are the ones who get those types of “elite” players.

The ones who are in the bottom don’t have that chance to gain the “elite” players.

Most of the time, it does not put the smaller market teams in a disadvantage because they develop the players in their farm system to get them ready for the big leagues.

And most of the time, the small market teams moves further in the playoffs.

Example of this was the Kansas City Royals, who went to the World Series last year and lost in seven games to the San Francisco Giants.

But I want to focus on the Oakland Athletics, who made the playoffs from 2000-2003 under general manager Billy Beane.

The Athletics are consistently ranked in the bottom half of the MLB payroll.

However, Beane was very innovative in finding the right players for the team that fit the system of the Athletics.

As a result, the Athletics were able to make four consecutive playoffs in the early 2000s.

Amidst that run, Oakland became the first American League team in a century to win 20 consecutive games in 2002 and eventually won their division.

Beane’s innovation as a general manager caught the attention of national media and Hollywood with the movie, “Moneyball.”

One can guess that many small market teams like the Royals are following Beane’s approach to running a franchise with a much lower payroll.

So if you have the not-enough blues, do not complain because the lack of resources is an opportunity for you to be creative in getting your work finished effectively.

Videos courtesy of Rachel Matt and Major League Baseball, respectively

The Stars Do Not Always Shine

By Cheval John

Photo courtesy of Victor Habbick

Photo courtesy of Victor Habbick

Many sports teams around the world have developed their brands due to the championships that they won.

The New York Yankees is one team that most of the world recognize because of their 27 Major League Baseball championships they have won in baseball.

Notice I did not say “World Series Championships.”

In the National Football League (NFL), the most recognizable brand whether you love them or hate them, is the Dallas Cowboys.

They have always found a way to remain relevant despite being mediocre for about two decades before they won their division and a playoff game last year.

And in the world of soccer (football in the rest of the planet), everyone recognize teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich.

Each of these clubs have a rich history of winning championships in their respective leagues and the UEFA Champions League.

They are also among the richest clubs in the world according to the 2014 Forbes rankings.

And guess where Real Madrid was at?

No.1. with a value of 3.44 billion dollars.

It is not an accident that Real Madrid is No.1.

Even though they were dominant in Spain’s La Liga for most of their existence, they figured out that “star power” was what brought their fans to the matches.

The club was facing a huge debt at the time when they brought in Florentino Perez as the “president” in 2000.

Perez implemented the “Galacticos” policy in which put the focus on signing world class players that will allow Real Madrid to market their brand to their fans.

As a result, he signed recognizable football players like Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo. etc.

It took a special coach to manage these world class players and Vicente del Bosque was the right person for the work.

He led Real Madrid to an Intercontinental Crown and UEFA Champions League crown in 2002 and a La Liga title in 2003.

Unfortunately, del Bosque was relieved of his duties after the 2003 season.

My guess was that they were some football players on the team that was not happy with their playing time.

Real Madrid signed Manchester United’s David Beckham that same year.

It was a smart strategy on their part and has allowed them to be one of the most recognizable brands in the world.

This policy has continued as they signed more star players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale

During the 2013-14, Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey tournament against arch-rival Barcelona and the UEFA Champions League crown after defeating cross-town Atletico Madrid 4-1 in extra time.

Real Madrid added more star players like Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez during the summer of 2014.

Rodriguez got on Real Madrid and many other’s radar after he scored 6 goals in five matches during his first World Cup appearance last year.

Despite the additions, Real Madrid was not able to duplicate last year’s success though they were favored to repeat.

The Galacticos was trailing Juventus 2-1 entering the second leg of their semifinal matchup.

Real Madrid had an away goal in their favor due to the UEFA rules of which an away goal is the decider.

If X, which is the visiting team, scores two goals and Y, which is the home team, score one goal in the first leg of the knock out stages, then Y will have to score two away goals in the second leg and prevent X from scoring a goal in order to move on to the next round.

Real Madrid, who was the home team in the second leg, had to score one or more goals and prevent Juventus from scoring an away if they wanted to make it back to the finals.

Real Madrid had gotten their home goal thanks to a penalty shot by Cristiano Ronaldo that tied the aggregate at 2 and put them in position to move on to final due to the away goal.

However, they could not hang on as Juventus’ Alvaro Morata scored the much needed away goal in the second half and was able to hang on for the 3-2 aggregate win to move on to the finals and knock out the star-studded Galacticos.

The most interesting part of this narrative is that Morata is a Real Madrid “reject.”

Morata, the Madrid, Spain native, did not have much playing time while he was on the Real Madrid squad.

As a result, he was dealt to Juventus last year.

Real Madrid believed that the star power was going to get them back to the final.

They did not realized that sending Morata to Juventus would come back to haunt them.

Morata was the person who scored one of the two home goals for Juventus in the first leg and then put the nail in the coffin of Real Madrid with the crucial away goal.

And the fact that Morata did not “celebrate” those two goals showed his deep respect for the club because it allowed him to be where he is at in his football career.

There is also a possibility that Real Madrid might not win the La Liga crown as they are four points behind Barcelona with two games to play.

So if they fail to win La Liga in addition to their UEFA Champions League failure, there is a possibility that they could break up the squad and let go of current head coach Carlo Ancelloti because of their failure and their “infighting.”

So the lesson business owners can learn from “Real Madrid” is that:

You should not focus on hiring “rock stars” for your company because you will have to do everything you can to satisfy their egos.

The “rock stars” will let you down most of the time.

A person who you think is not a great fit for your company, might turn out to be the best person for your company because they could end up helping your competitor to be more successful and knock you out of business.

You cannot panic and let go of people when things are not going your way.

Lastly, you can’t expect to win them all because if you do, you get so spoiled by the victories that you will miss out on opportunities to teach your employees on becoming great leaders through the ups and downs.

To close out, here are some of the lyrics from the Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” that shows why no one including Real Madrid can’t always get what they want.

“No, you can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what you need”

What are you thoughts on having only a star-recognized team if you run a business? Should you follow the foot steps of Real Madrid? You can leave your comments below.

NCAA Had Their “One Shining Moment”

By Cheval John

The one shining moment has happened.

Duke Blue Devils won the national championship after defeating Wisconsin 68-63.

Many have called this national championship epic.

Others might called it one of the worst officiating games in NCAA Tournament history.

No matter what, we were left with another great tournament and lasting memories from this year’s “March Madness.”

Which leads me to this.

The NCAA made their money this year thanks to high level basketball and the ratings from the three-weeks of the tournament.

They are still in the middle of their 14 year, about 11 billion deal with CBS/Turner Sports to broadcast the basketball tournament.

With that kind of money, you would think that the collegiate athletes would see a dime of that money.

That is not the case.

I will be honest.

At first, I was on the side of those who believes that college athletes gets a full ride scholarship to play sports at their respective universities.

I have seen how “well” they have it to a large degree because I have spent the last four years covering collegiate athletics as a freelance writer and as a blogger for my website/media company.

However, I am starting to have a change of heart on this.

It seems to me that these byzantine of rules that the NCAA has in place are designed to keep the collegiate athletes poor while they are making the money.

For example, a family friend can’t take out the college athlete to lunch or dinner because that is against the rules.

What is really interesting is that while I was buying my lunch a few years ago on campus, I had notice that a couple of basketball players that I had recognized were there buying lunch.

I saw that they could not pay for their lunch.

I was thinking about helping them out.

However, it struck me quickly that if I had done that, I would have broken one of the NCAA rules.

What these people want us to believe is that they are looking out for the student athletes.

“In reality,” they are looking out for themselves.

With all this talk about college athletes, mainly basketball players spending a year at college and then bouncing for the NBA, many are wondering why they are not staying.

I am normally of the mindset that people should spend four years in college and earn their degrees.

However, I don’t blame them one bit if they go for the NBA after one year of college because they will have a chance to make money for their talents.

If they are not able to make money during their time in college, then why should they stay for an entire four years.

When higher ups in the NCAA can make money off of student-athletes and then penalize them for trying to at least gain some cash from their own likeness, then something is wrong.

I am not encouraging any student athlete to break the rules of the NCAA.

What I am saying is that the NCAA should fix their byzantine rules.

One thing I wish would have happened was that one of the teams would have refused to play in the national tournament just to show their disgust with the NCAA.

In closing, I want to say congratulations to everyone for a great tournament and also the NCAA for making more money this year.

I just hope one day that student-athletes will have a chance to make some money from the success of the basketball tournament.

To finish this post, the NCAA has one of the best “passive income models” of any organization.

Video courtesy of T3SportsNCAA

Islanders Takes Series With Double-Header Sweep

By Cheval John

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi took the series from Sam Houston State after a 6-0 win in the second game of the double-header yesterday at the Bearkat Softball Complex in Huntsville, Texas.

The Islanders are now 6-8 in the Southland Conference while the Bearkats drops to 2-11 in league play.

The Islanders struck for two runs in the top of the second inning for a 2-0 lead on a two out, two run single by Jessica Mendez.

The theme of the double-header meeting has been the inability of the Bearkat offense to produce any runs.

They were shutout for 14 consecutive innings.

And when they had a chance to score, they squandered it as they left 9 runners on base.

Sam Houston’s best opportunity came in the bottom of the third inning.

Ashley Kopps led off the inning by reaching first on a error.

She advanced to second on a single by Dani Allen.

The bases was loaded after a one out infield single by Peyton Webb.

The Bearkats could not capitalize on their opportunity as Angelica Gonzales struck out and Hilary Adams flied out to end the threat.

“When the offense is not clicking, lot of things aren’t clicking,” Sam Houston softball coach Bob Brock said.

A&M-Corpus Christi added another run in the top of the fifth inning to increase the lead to 3-0 on a RBI ground out by Cosette Hernandez and added three more runs in the top of the 6th inning to increase the lead to 6-0.

Stephanie Flores went the distance and got her second win of the season.

Flores had eight strike outs.

The Bearkats will try and get a win in today’s final game of the series which starts at 3 p.m. central.