If Sports Were Like Corporations

If Sports Were Like Corporations

Tom Brady, one of the top 3 quarterbacks of all time, was called into his coach’s office Bill Belichick. Bill brought Tom in to ask about what he was doing on the field. He had no clue what plays were being called, and couldn’t articulate what exactly Brady’s value was to the team since he didn’t know what Tom did. Bill questioned his value despite the Patriot’s receivers having record breaking seasons.

“Tom”, Bill said “There are some things that I haven’t seen in your performance that you need to work on. For one, I really want you to design the plays in a way that gets everyone involved. You’re an excellent passer, but your play communication and design skills are lacking.”

Tom looked at Bill confused.

“Tom, I need you to take a proactive approach in communicating the play calling to me. I need to know what you’re doing. Your poor performance in communicating the plays to me needs improvement. Also, I’m going to need you to play middle linebacker since you’re such an excellent passer.” Bill’s rationale, if Tom is great at quarterback he will be exceptional as a middle linebacker.

“OK coach, whatever you need. Whatever makes the team better I’m in favor of it”, Tom said in fear of correcting his coach and losing his job.

The next Sunday, Tom Brady started at quarterback and played middle linebacker. Tom let Bill know every play he was about to run. This resulted in constant delay of game penalties, and New England was forced to punt on every series. When the defense took the field, to everyone’s amazement, Tom was at middle linebacker on the defense. The defense gave up a record number of yards and points, and the Patriots lost the game. However, Bill knew everything that was going on the field on offense, and since he ran the defense, was mystified as to why the Patriots lost. Every attempt he tried to manage and rectify the delay of game penalties failed. This troubled Bill.

Fans in the stadium, the media and Tom’s teammates were mystified as to why Bill had Tom playing middle linebacker, when his skill was quarterback. The team also wondered why Tom had to tell Bill every play he was running and why Tom all of a sudden was designing plays, wasn’t that the role of an offensive coordinator.

Untitled Fiction – Chapter 4

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Sharon was excited at the prospect of maybe he was the one, and for now that would be enough. She left the salon, walked around to the back parking lot, pressed her code into the keypad on the car door. She opened the door and soon was on her way home to find something to wear. Sharon wanted to look a lot better than she did in the salon and hoped he would forget about her first impression. Without enough time to buy something new, she did not remember if an appropriate outfit was clean in her closet because she stopped at the cleaners before the hair salon to drop off a huge laundry bag.

 

Entering the freeway lane, Sharon pressed the radio button and heard…”We goin’ ridin’ on the freeway of love in a pink Cadillac.” Aretha Franklin. Perhaps this song was a good sign. She laughed aloud and pressed the automatic button lowering the window to feel the spring breeze on her face, but not enough to muss her freshly, coiffed hairdo.

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The Café Noir was on Woodward Avenue, and to the north, so he walked home to get ready. Noir was the kind of place you didn’t want to go without looking crisp. William would never be mistaken for having a fashion conscience, but he was always halfway decently dressed. He hoped Sharon didn’t spend her 3 hours getting made up, a definite deal breaker. After selecting a playlist entitled “Getting Ready,” he decided on a soothing bath instead of a shower, and filled the tub with just before scalding hot water. So get ready, cause here I come.

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Lying in the tub with the good hot water up to his neck, William thought about the possibility of this woman not showing up. That would be wrong.

She said she would be there. I believe you should do what you say you’re going to do, or shut the fuck up! He decided she would show up to know more about a guy who could walk into a beauty shop and call a woman out as he did. The hot water that drifted him off to sleep was now barely tepid, and William was shocked to see the time. He had fifteen minutes to get to Café Noir.

 

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Untitled Fiction – Chapter 3

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“Thing is, I don’t usually give out my number to…strangers.” “I hear that, but go over the last five minutes in your own mind. Has any of it been usual?” “Quite unusual really, you know how to get a lady’s attention. I tell you what. In three

hours, I’ll meet you at Cafe Noir for a glass of wine, that’s if you drink wine.” “If you don’t, I’m sure you’ll be able to choose a beverage that will satisfy your thirst. Assuming you will be thirsty.” “They also have a pretty nice menu and by the time I get

out of here, I’m going to be very hungry.” “You do eat don’t you?” Besides being very easy on the eyes, she’s got a sharp sense of humor and good posture. Damn. What the hell did I just do? After agreeing to meet her, he left the salon. A flash of nervousness crashed into his body, and made him find a seat on a park bench.

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He sat there, thinking about all he has gone through trying to find a life mate. It was not long before he talked himself into her not even showing up at this Café Noir. He figured 3 hours is enough time for anybody to come to their senses. Is that all it took? Walking into a beauty shop and calling his woman out? His smile progressed from a sly grin to audible giggling. The bus came and went with him sitting there full on laughing and it only made him laugh louder when he thought about the bus folks wondering why this man sat laughing aloud on a bench. Maybe all it took was a gathering of the balls to go after what he wanted. As his laughing fit wound down, an attractive woman walked past. “Yesterday, I would have said nice things to you.”

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Finally, her hair was done. Perfection. She felt normal. Nothing worse than a Black woman without her hair done. It’s like wearing shoes that need laces, they are on but the fit is wrong. She paid the receptionist, bid her so-longs to the remaining ladies, and kissed her stylist Anthony on the cheek. She chuckled to herself at the realization that she asked a stranger to meet her at one of her favorite places. Suppose they didn’t hit it off and then she bumped into him there afterwards, he could be a stalker in the making. Then again, he could be the man of her dreams. Glad no one knows what a romantic I am.

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Untitled Fiction – Chapter 2

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She peered out from the hair dryer to see what this man was saying standing in the middle of the beauty shop floor. At first, she thought he was one of the religious crazies that would sometimes pop in, spouting dogma she didn’t want to hear. But this time, this man looked different. There was something about him that piqued her interest. Something in his eyes. She closed her magazine and placed it on the table beside her. Then, she lifted the hood of the dryer; an action Black women don’t dare do before the bell rings signaling the 4-hour wait is over.

Going against the hair dryer rules she sat there, hair still damp, wrapped tightly around her head covered by a plastic pink cap and cotton pieces covering one ear to protect it from the dryer heat. She had removed the other piece of cotton while still under the dryer trying to hear what the man was saying. Of course, this man couldn’t be real…

“All I need is one good woman that still has the capacity to trust.”

He can’t be serious? Hell, all I need is one good man. What’s new?

She continued to listen. Suddenly, an uncontrollable feeling rushed through her body and she found herself walking towards this man. The other women’s whispered questions darted the air around her. They were puzzled by what she was doing.

Now what? A woman was actually walking toward him, still draped in the protective cape. Her face was curious, and her step tentative, but she definitely was walking over to him.

“Hello, my name is Sharon.” The hand he took was on its way to shake his and he guided it into his sweating palm.

“Hi, I am William. I have a feeling it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Her smile turned into a grin then a chuckle. Sharon knew she looked a mess, but didn’t care one bit. “How about I come back when you’re done so we can continue this conversation?”

As they stood there, they could feel the eyes trying to pierce the protective covering of this new friendship. William felt his mission had been accomplished; he did what he set out to do. Whatever happens after that, he couldn’t control.

“I’m not sure when I’ll be out of here…but give me your number and I’ll call you when they are finished with me.” Oh hell no. He had been there and done that. “How about we exchange numbers?”

 

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Detroit

Untitled Fiction

Sharon, a former environmental health and safety army officer, was an E-6 Staff Sergeant stationed in Afghanistan. She worked on processing and transporting safe water to units in the field. Her job entailed analyzing air, ground and water quality to identify sources of pollution,anticipate potentially hazardous effects and develop solutions. After serving, she returned home to Detroit and obtained a similar position in operation and maintenance to control safety and prevent health hazards in the City’s water supply system unaware of the brewing battle for control of the Detroit water system between the City and neighboring suburbs.

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Sharon accompanies the transport of reverse-osmosis water purification units to a remote military company. The truck cargo is in a caravan between two armored assault vehicles. Along the bumpy road, the first assault vehicle is destroyed by a roadside, improvised explosive device (IED). An unknown assailant pops up from the bushes and shoots a rocket propelled grenade that destroys the rear assault vehicle.

The cargo truck is trapped between two flaming vehicles. Groups of attackers with small arms open fire on the cargo truck. A bullet flies in and kills Sharon’s commanding officer. She automatically takes control of the situation. Four army personnel in the truck are armed with M16s. Sharon orders them to exit the truck and return fire. As her comrades drop all around her; she commandeers the M60 machine gun mounted on the truck and holds off the enemy forces single handedly until reinforcements arrive as a result of the mayday call she manages to make in the midst of firing. The last thing she remembers is a grenade going off near her. A piece of shrapnel enters her left arm. Laying on the ground bleeding, Sharon passes out, unaware that reinforcements have arrived.

5 months later…

Lying in the VA hospital bed, Sharon receives a Purple Heart from a Superior Officer for being wounded and a Distinguished Service honor for going above and beyond the call of duty.

A New Day…

The decision to confront had been made. He took the longest route possible to the beauty parlor and didn’t have much pep in his step. He wished he was walking around the world. Then he’d have enough time to figure out what he was going to say. He had no reason to believe she was in there, but felt an unexplained certainty that she was.
“Your attention please. At least one of you women is getting her hair done for a man who is cheating on you. You probably already suspect it and may even be resigned to the notion that all men cheat. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way. I don’t need to exploit the men vs. women numbers situation. All I need is one good woman that still has the capacity to trust. That rare ability is more important than looks so get up out of that chair and take a walk with me. I drive 5 Cadillacs, 4 Fords, no wait, that’s a song…

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