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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.

Islanders Takes First Game of Double-Header 3-0

By Cheval John

Sam Houston State softball team dropped the first game of their double-header against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi by the score of 3-0.

Islanders struck for two runs in the top of the third for a 2-0 lead on a two run single by catcher Brittney Morse.

Both runners advanced to second and third on a ground out by left fielder, Dani Tefft, that allowed them to score on Morse single.

A&M-Corpus Christi added another run in the top of the fourth inning with two outs to make it 3-0 on an error by second baseman Dani Allen.

Sam Houston had plenty of chances to put a run on the board and even take the lead.

However, they squandered those opportunities and left 8 runners on base.

One of those opportunities came in the bottom of the 6th inning.

Hilary Adams led off the inning with a walk.

Catcher Tiffany Castillo followed with a single that advanced pitcher Taylor Atkinson, who pinched ran for Adams to second.

A one out single by Sarah Allison loaded the bases.

However, they couldn’t capitalized as Jennie Kieval struck out and Allen flied out to end the inning.

Liz Carter secured her 8th win of the season after going the distance while Meme Quinn suffered the loss.

Every Four Years Isn’t Bad For Michigan State

By Cheval John

The majority of everyone’s bracket has been busted by now.

This year’s March Madness has been excited to some degree because of the fact that the only captivating thing is whether anyone can beat Kentucky.

Notre Dame came close when they went toe to toe with the Wildcats.

However, the Wildcats found a way to stay undefeated and make it back to the Final Four.

For anyone who had chosen Kentucky to win it all had a little scare from that matchup.

Now if anyone chosen Michigan State to make it to the Final Four this year were really smart.

The Spartans beat Louisville yesterday 76-70 in overtime.

The reason why they were smart is that Michigan State were destined to make it back.

Under head coach Tom Izzo, who is in his 20th year at Michigan State, they have made it to the Final Four every four years, which one of them led to the National Championship (2000).

Do not know why that is, but it is really impressive.

Maybe we should not have write them off of making it back after losing in the Big Ten Tournament final to Wisconsin, who are in the Final Four for the second straight year.

What we should have done is look at history and see the pattern of Michigan State’s final four appearances.

Whether they make the national championship game or not, you can’t take away the accomplishments that Michigan State has experienced under coach Izzo.

If Kentucky was not this dominant, Michigan State would have had a much better chance to win the national championship.

So if the pattern continues and coach Izzo is still at Michigan State, then I will say that they will make it back to the Final Four in 2019.

Video courtesy of NCAA On Demand