Hooked On The NinersBianchini's Market

On the Tunney Side of the Street 4

by Jim Tunney

After Further Review ...Two prominent sports stars are in the spotlight as I write this: Santonio Holmes and Michael Phelps - both for the wrong reasons. Holmes caught the winning touchdown pass with 35 seconds left in Super Bow XLIII that sealed the Pittsburgh Steelers sixth Super Bowl title as they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23.

Holmes' catch was certainly a sensational 'feet' of athleticism and he was rewarded by being named Super Bowl XLIII MVP. Holmes has had his share of off-field problems, and during the 2008 season Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin deactivated him for one game. Holmes was arrested and charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana. Small amount? Sorta like being "a little bit pregnant."

Where was his focus and sense of loyalty to his T.E.A.M. during the season? BTW, that game for which Holmes was suspended, the Steelers lost to the New York Giants. The Giants, of course, had their own issues during the 2008 season with WR Plaxico Burress, who was arrested - and suspended - for shooting himself in the leg with a gun he was not licensed to carry. What happened to "just do the right thing" as we say in my book, "It's the Will, Not the Skill."

Holmes says he's "learned his lesson" and was given cogitative advice from teammate Hines Ward, who told Holmes (when he won the MVP) to "stay humble." Holmes spent his time after the Super Bowl game with his 3 young kids watching a movie. Good for him!

Phelps, winner of 8 gold medals for the USA in the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, was photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe (bong) in November 2008 at a party. Phelps, who attributes his swimming prowess to his superior training and conditioning, obviously lost his focus on what got him to the pinnacle of success.

Phelps appeared almost daily in the news apologizing for his "regrettable behavior," which has now cost him the loss of sponsorships, as well as esteem. Further, the USA Swimming Committee suspended him for 3 months. While it is admirable that Phelps is remorseful, the "role model" tag, as envisioned here, is the athlete who says "no way" and thus avoids situations like these in the first place.

Some have proclaimed both Holmes and Phelps as heroes for their athletic accomplishments. Heroes? Not in my book. Role models? Hopefully, only if their future behavior is unequivocal, and casts a positive influence on others.

Will your behavior reflect yourself as a role model, rather than focusing on sports "heroes"?

For more information about Jim Tunney, please visit his website: www.JimTunney.com, or if you would like to respond to this message, please send your email to im@JimTunney.com