• 31

    Dec

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Thank You For Your Support

Ron Carter
Ron Carter

As 2013 comes to an end, I would like to thank all of the individuals who supported my blog, Curbing Bad Behavior. Many of you have remarked to me – in person – that you read the blog, like it and don’t comment. I appreciate the time you spent perusing the blog. Many of you have commented on the blogs from time to time. I appreciate your remarks. Sometimes, your comments gave me another perspective to ponder. And, I welcome the engagement. When I started writing Curbing Bad Behavior, I had no idea that I would enjoy it. It has been one of my dearest achievements.

I have no idea what 2014 will bring to me. I trust it will be as good or better than 2013, because 2013 was a good year for me. My hope is that 2014 will be good for each of you, my readers, and your families.

Here’s to a prosperous New Year!

Enhanced by Zemanta
  • 24

    Dec

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/NFL Players’ Injuries

Project logo for the National Football League ...
Project logo for the National Football League wikiproject. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year, 2013, I have been conflicted watching profession football. I am a fan of the National Football League (NFL) and thus I have some angst writing about the enormous amount of players’ injuries taking place in the sport today. Every week several star NFL players are being injured. Players’ injuries place a huge obstacle – Aaron Rogers of the Green Bay Packers injury comes to mind – on their team to win a NFL Championship.  NFL officials in trying to limit the effects of players’ injuries are instituting more rules to protect the physically conditioned NFL athletes.

Today’s NFL players are tackling each other in a more ferocious manner than in years gone by. Seems to me, players on NFL defensive teams are trying their best to first win the battle against their offensive opponents. Sometimes, their aggressive tackling/hitting the offensive opponents result in a highlight clip on television – a celebration for the act. Unfortunately, some of those acts result in serious players’ injuries.  This 2013 NFL season I took note of the amount of star NFL players who were injured sometime during the season; the list is large and growing.

I don’t have an answer for NFL players’ injuries. But, I do believe more has to be done to protect the players. I am conflicted, because as much as I enjoy watching professional football (NFL), I also read about many young and older former NFL players who are suffering from major health issues. And, many of them cannot afford the expensive medical bills which are required to get themselves well.

Enhanced by Zemanta
  • 18

    Dec

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/America’s Pasttime In Focus

My good friend and colleague, Dr. Wayne Edwards, is the guest blogger for this week’s “Curbing Bad Behavior.” My current interest in sports related stories and an insightful conversation with Dr. Edwards prompted me to share this week’s post with “Curbing Bad Behavior” readers.
Dr. Edwards served as Dean of Student Services at John Jay College. He was also a Vice President at several entertainment companies. He is currently writing his first book, “Can’t Touch This: Memoir Of A Disillusioned Music Executive.”

 

Don’t Hate The Players, Question The Owners Instead

by Wayne Edwards, Ph.D.

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably told your athletic son or daughter the age-old cliche, “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”  Wisdom aside, you might want to reconsider that position.  With another round of major league baseball’s winter meetings, team owners discuss the use of banned and/or illegal performance enhancing drugs. Generally omitted in the storyline, however, is the complicity of these wealthy owners — the folks who sign the checks — in the rampant cheating going on amongst professional athletes.

Symbolic of America’s major sports (with the exception of basketball, thus far), baseball once again had to deal with its players being linked to banned and/or illegal PED’s. And while Alex Rodriguez and other high profile admitted or suspected cheats make themselves easy targets for public ridicule, accountability for the abundance of PED’s falls on shoulders much broader than theirs. The athletes are, after all, paid employees. The day their employers decide tolerating drugged up workers is no longer acceptable, regardless of one’s impact on the team’s success, will be the day PED use has any hope of getting knocked out the park. Until then, with only minimal threats to lifestyles exceeding their wildest dreams, athletes will continue to do anything they can to gain a competitive edge. And who can blame them?

In 2009 Rodriguez admitted to using steroids, but only from 2001 to 2003 when, as a member of the Texas Rangers, he felt “an enormous amount of pressure” to live up to his contract. This after denying PED use numerous times, including his now infamous denial in a nationally televised interview with Katie Couric on 60 Minutes. Sure he looked foolish when the truth finally surfaced, but his steroid use has been well rewarded.  In 2007, the same year his Couric interview aired, Rodriguez signed a 10 year contract worth $275 million to continue playing baseball for the New York Yankees.

Six years later that contract remains the richest in baseball history, breaking the previous record of $252 million for ten years signed in 2000 by — you guessed it — Alex Rodriguez when he joined the Rangers. Since both contracts were executed prior to his PED confession, let’s play along and give both Rangers and Yankees management a pass on their feigned ignorance. But if you believe nothing else, please believe this: if the powers-that-be in baseball were naive to widespread PED use, it was selective naiveté because of all the money the sport was making off the suspected juiced up exploits of Rodriguez (above left), Roger Clemens, Ryan Braun, Barry Bonds (above right), Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and so many others.

I spent twelve years as a senior level corporate executive in the recording industry, and one thing I know is this — getting the inside dirt on an artist was simple. If it hadn’t already found its way to the behind-the-scenes rumor mill, a few well-placed phone calls usually did the trick. We knew which clean cut performer left a cocaine trail wherever she went, which lover boy crooner was fronting about his sexual orientation, which gambling addict songstress needed a six-figure advance from the record company to pay off her Vegas debts, which macho sex symbol was involved in an ongoing affair with a transvestite. And so on. The point is, if we could easily gain access to inside information on the artists, don’t think for one moment that sports team owners wouldn’t instruct management to rake an athlete’s history over the coals before agreeing to commit millions upon millions in salary.

If you’re gullible enough to think otherwise, look no further than the case of Melky Cabrera. In the 2012 season the San Francisco Giants outfielder was suspended fifty games after testing positive for high levels of testosterone. He was his team’s best hitter so his suspension jeopardized the Giants chances to make the World Series. To make matters worse, when major league baseball began investigating Cabrera, one of his associates went so far as to create a fake website and an absurd claim that Cabrera’s positive test was caused by a substance sold by the site.

After such a sordid episode, you’d think teams would avoid Cabrera like the plague. But that didn’t happen. Cabrera, who at the time of his suspension led the majors with 159 hits, was second in the National League with a .346 batting average and was a legitimate contender for Most Valuable Player honors, signed a two year, $16 million dollar contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. To hear major league baseball tell it, the new contract is Cabrera’s punishment for using a banned substance and insulting the intelligence of the commissioner’s office. The storyline we’re supposed to buy into is that being exposed as a cheat and a con artist killed any chance Cabrera had of securing the mega-contract he was hoping to score.

Even ignoring the fact that almost everyone on the planet would consider $16 million mega-enough for a lifetime, baseball’s logic doesn’t add up. According to espn.go.com, the average baseball salary in 2012 was $3.2 million. Not exactly chump change by any standard, but the message baseball sent with its handling of the Cabrera fiasco (and more recently, Jhonny Peralta and Bartolo Colon) is that the average ball player could more than double his income with a good PED-fueled season. Even if he gets busted. As for Cabrera’s old Giants teammates, not only did they make it to the World Series, they won. And they agreed Cabrera deserved a ring despite being suspended for almost a third of the season, suggesting PED use is a non-issue for them.

This would be the perfect time to rant about athletes making millions while teachers, nurses, sanitation workers and other essential service providers barely earn enough to pay the bills, but the argument about society’s misplaced values is as old as society itself. Besides, when a professor figures out how to turn Math 101 into fannies in stadium seats and television ratings, Hollywood will be bombarded with treatments from educators hoping to secure the million dollar contracts big time advertising dollars guarantee. And, as human nature sadly dictates, some unscrupulous souls would utilize dishonest tactics to secure several more millions than their competitors. That’s not to say we should accept the use of PED’s in professional sports, but we do need to acknowledge that no PED-free athlete has ever signed a $275 million contract.

So the issue shouldn’t be Alex Rodriguez having more money than some countries or Melky Cabrera having sixteen million reasons to celebrate being a cheat. Or, for that matter, Lance Armstrong making millions while lying his way to a record seven Tour de France titles. Or Marion Jones risking it all because two one-hundredths of a second can make all the difference between million dollar Olympic gold endorsements and silver medal obscurity.

In a free market economy the goal is to make whatever you can, whenever you can, for as long as you can. It’s the American way. So don’t begrudge athletes for faking their way to whatever riches the market will bear. If anything, begrudge the owners who have made cheating such a rewarding enterprise.

Wayne Edwards, Ph.D., served as Dean of Students at John Jay College and the College at Old Westbury where he also taught Media Studies.  As Vice-President of A&R for Capitol Records he signed M.C. Hammer and BeBe & CeCe Winans.  Edwards also served as personal publicist for Michael Jackson.  His first book, Can’t Touch This: Memoir Of A Disillusioned Music Executive, is scheduled for publication in summer 2014.  Edwards, who holds a doctorate degree in sociology, lives in New York City with his wife Jeanne.  Visit him at www.wordsbyedwards.com.     

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
  • 10

    Dec

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Nelson Mandela Lived

The statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Squ...
The statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square, London. Sculptor: Ian Walters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am elated to have lived in this world while Mr. Nelson Mandela lived. There are not too many individuals living on this earth who are revered as Mr. Mandela. I will not attempt to speak of Mr. Mandela’s amazing, brilliant and courageous accomplishments. Much has already been said about those accomplishments. I will, however, remarked whenever I would observed Mr. Mandela, I saw a husband, a father, a brother and a son. Mr. Mandela, in spite of his human frailties, strived to “walk the walk and talk the talk” honestly and with dignity. Last week, Mr. Mandela passed away. He died quietly with his family present at his bedside.

Mr. Mandela lived an inspirational life. Hopefully, those of us who admired his extraordinary deeds will use his life as an example of what is possible in our own lives. May his soul Rest In Peace.

Regardless of what his detractors said, it is appropriate for the world to celebrate the life and legacy of Mr. Nelson Mandela.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
  • 03

    Dec

  • 0

By Ron Carter Blog Post Updates

Curbing Bad Behavior/Soul Train Awards Returns

CBB Practice To Be PerfectI had the pleasure of watching the 2013 Soul Train Awards on BETTV this past Sunday. I enjoyed some of the artists presentation of their art. Others, who will remain nameless, were awful. I remembered when artists used to be skilled at lip-syncing (anyone remember Milli Vanilli?), especially while taping the original weekly Don Cornelius Soul Train Show. Those of us who had the opportunity to work in the entertainment business during Don Cornelius’ reign as Executive Producer and Founder of the number one dance show, Soul Train, for music artists were blessed to witness Don produced a QUALITY SHOW week after week. The Soul Train Show taping was also a meeting place for colleagues, who worked for different music companies. Soul Train was one of the main places where we, “industry folks,”‘met to swap “war stories” and hoped Don “liked” our artists. Those days were fun.
I am happy to see Soul Train Awards back in production. I hope the new artists will cherish the legacy of Don Cornelius Soul Train Awards. I also hope Katie Jones, original Soul Train producer, is a part of the new Soul Train Awards. She would make sure the production runs smoothly.

I also enjoyed the 2013 Soul Train Awards, because my new favorite artist, Janelle Monae, won the “Video of the Year” award for her song, “Q.U.E.E.N,” which features Erykah Badu. She bested the top artists currently on the music scene to win her award. Her acceptance speech was remarkable. Here is my prognostication: Janelle Monae will be the “biggest female” artist in the music business next year. There is a reason why all the top artists, including Prince, are working with her. She is all that!

If you don’t believe me, purchase her new CD, “Electric Lady.” You wouldn’t be disappointed.

Enhanced by Zemanta