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Goals and Results!

I remember reading a long time ago the advice of “don’t be afraid to try and fail. Just don’t fail to try“.  Watching baseball and football yesterday reminded me that goals are well defined. At the end of the game, the scoreboard tells you if you reached your goal.

Bill Gates (wikipedia) attributes his success to how his family established goals. Everything was a competition.

One family friend reports that  “it didn’t matter whether it was hearts or pickleball or swimming on the dock, there was always a reward for winnning and there was always a penalty for losing.

His first business was a partnership between he and Paul Allen. It was Traff-O-Data, a company that created machines which recorded the number of cars passing a given point on a road. It wasn’t considered a “roaring success” but it helped forge the bond between he and Allen and served to encourage the partnership to later create Microsoft. Their chasing of one goal led them to the ultimate prize of a greater goal.

I wanted this blog to be a reminder of goals. Sometimes it’s OK not to worry about tomorrow… except to know that tomorrow will be better than yesterday. That’s a good goal too!

That’s some thinking on goals. Now, I’d like to post a list of goals that I recently saw posted on Facebook. These made me laugh!






And for pic o’ day, some more entrepreneurship.



Some Football Safety

Is it hard to come back to work after a long weekend? Here’s a good starter!







It’s football season, so here’s a picture from a this past Friday night’s high school football in Pickens, South Carolina. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line?



Which brings us to our next football story. Sept 5 is an important football anniversary day. On this day in 1906  the first college legal forward pass was thrown by Bradbury Robinson of St. Louis University.( Before that time, throwing a football beyond the line of scrimmage was against the rules and the idea of throwing a forward pass was even frowned upon. Not real football!

But in 1905,  football was growing more popular, even with pro football still more than a decade away. But it was also recognized as becoming increasingly violent. That year alone, there were 18 football related deaths nationwide, including three college players. The others were high-school players.

Then President Theodore Roosevelt, whose son was on the Harvard University freshmen football, made it clear he wanted safety reforms in the face of a possibility that college football was going to be abolished. In a commencement address that he gave at Harvard earlier in the year, Roosevelt mentioned the violence of football by saying that, “Brutality in playing a game should awaken the heartiest and most plainly shown contempt for the player guilty of it.

So, despite the fact that initially the forward pass was frowned upon as not being real football… safety was the guiding factor in offering this innovative concept of throwing the ball down the field. Historians argue a bit on who was the first to throw a football past the line of scrimmage in any organized game of football, but no one argues that safety is fun!!!!

And how about some beaver humor for pic o’ day?



Bark at the Dog

If you are an NFL football fan, you might have been watching on the third day of last week’s draft.

The fourth-round pick of the  Indianapolis Colts, was Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison.  There was some question about his past conduct, because he had been arrested on July 2013 for barking at a police dog.

Charges were dropped three days later, with officers stating that they had determined that Morrison didn’t bark at the dog out of malice. On the Florida police report it was noted that Morrison’s defense was that he barked because the dog barked first.

Now that’s a defense. Of course, best not roar at a lion…if they roar at you first!

And this pic o’ day reminded me of how good it makes me feel to be told, “you’re having a bad hair day”. That’s a compliment when you are follically challenged! (Of course, I promise you will never say I look good in a tank top. Not part of the wardrobe! Some things I can control)



Sparky’s Leap

Hollywood has captured our imagination with movie ideas about people who are so smart, that they can bend spoons with their minds. As my Director of Operations likes to say during job interviews… “you can’t teach smarts”!

This is a news story from Arizona State sports department that combines injury with… someone who is clearly not bending spoons with their mind. (ESPN) First, is the visual description from Tempe City Councilman David Schapira’s posting to describe his injury:



Shapira was on the sideline of the ASU-New Mexico game when the Arizona State mascot inexplicably ran up behind him and jumped on his back. Mascot Sparky was only about 5′-6″ and didn’t know that Shapira was still recovering from back surgery.

Shapira reported immediately feeling a pop. He rested on the sidelines a bit before being transported to the hospital. It turned out to be a pretty serious injury including torn muscle in his back. So far, Shapira has incurred $96,146 in medical bills.

At this point, there is no indication of any lawsuit, but the councilman is asking that his bills be paid. When I saw this story, it caused me to remember a few client’s who were in a car crash right after having surgery.

In those instances, I usually hear a defense or a comment from the insurance adjuster that the at-fault party should not be fully responsible for all the medical bills, because of the preexisting condition. Fortunately, the law recognizes that you take a person as you find them. Sometimes called an “egg shell head” plaintiff because they are not punished for not being able to withstand what others might be able to walk away from without injury.

And for our Monday “pic o’ day”:


Brain Injury in Football

Yesterday while watching an NFL game, I saw a referee stop play and make a offensive lineman leave the game. The official believed that the lineman had taken a hit to the head; so he was escorted to the sideline for a concussion screening.

Last week in another game, I saw a player get hit in the head during a tackle. He got up slowly and the game announcers noted that doctors were escorting him to the sideline. They went on to explain that an independent doctor unrelated to the team would assess the player for concussion symptoms, and make a determination whether he could go back in the game.

Both of these events are new to the NFL. With attention being given to head injuries, a blow to the head is no longer just “getting your bell rung”.

A Hollywood film titled Concussion starring Will Smith, follows the true story of Bennet Omalu. In 2005 he  shocked the football world and especially the NFL by reporting his study in the journal Neurosurgery that detailed his discovery of the disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). He based his findings on what he had found while reviewing a scan of the brain of former Pittsburgh Steeler center Mike Webster. The article is aptly title “The Autopsy That Changed Football”  

This clinical pathologist thought that the NFL would be receptive to his findings. Instead, he says that he was made to feel “like he was practicing Voodoo”.

A recent study of 87 of the 91 brains of former NFL players tested by researchers with the Department of Veteran Affairs and Boston University, showed that they tested positive for that same disease that had been found in Mike Webster’s brain: chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE),  In other words, 95.6 percent of former NFL players who had passed away had brains damage that proved that they had been suffering from a disease that has been linked to dementia, depression and even the suicides of several Hall of Fame players.

For years, the NFL fought to disassociate itself from accepting that there is a relationship of football trauma to brain injuries. In fact, the NFL formed a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee  to issue an opinion that no NFL player had experienced chronic brain damage from repeat concussions. And in that same Frontline documentary mentioned above, the committee stated that “Professional Players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis”.

That committee was disbanded in 2008. Fortunately, even the general public knows better. Now, the focus is on safety and recovery. However, I still think that the NFL does not necessarily accept responsibility.


And for pic o’ day, a bit of customer service:


Insurance in Sports

This picture with chopstick instructions made me laugh.


It’s why the Preakness horse race on Saturday would cause people to bet on the horses. Different odds for different beliefs in their possibility of winning. Although, the result would cause me to believe that only American Pharoah had a chance.

While many of us don’t believe that life is just about luck or chance, insurance companies look at it as risk measurement. A belief that life is a bit of chance is what insurance companies count on in selling their product. They collect premiums with the hope that you will never need payment of insurance. We make payment for insurance premiums… with the hope that we will never need to collect!

That brings me to Ekpre-Olomu. The fact that you probably don’t know the name is part of the story. He used to play cornerback for the University of Oregon and was expected to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft.

He was a concensus All American who tore his ACL in December practice. Because of that knee injury, he was unable to perform at the NFL combine nor at pro day at his school. Those are the times when NFL scouts make their recommendations.

Because of his injury and subsequent fall in the recent draft, Ekpre-Olomu is now in line to collect on a 3 million dollar insurance policy. Last year, to encourage him to stay and play at the school, Oregon took out an insurance policy against such an injury that would effect his pro career.

When he wasn’t selected in the first round, he was eligible to collect on a portion of the policy. When he fell out of the second round, he was in line to collect the full 3 million. It won’t make up for his full loss because if he had been drafted around the 12th pick, he would have collected somewhere around 10.5 million in guaranteed money in that slotted spot. Still, that insurance policy will be a helpful offset as he works to get better from his injury.

That’s a form of disability insurance that is now becoming more popular among athletes. When I first started practicing law, I purchased a disability policy that would  pay if I am unable to physically try cases in a courtroom. I am thankful to be paying those small premiums… without ever collecting.


And for our Monday pic o’ day, a lack of confidence…


Michaels for the Rabbit

It was really a contract deal. A football announcer for a cartoon. It’s described in a book written by George Bodenheimer titled Every Town is a Sports Town.

ESPN had acquired the rights to Monday Night Football and wanted to assemble an announcing team. At the time, John Madden and Al Michaels were the announcers. Madden’s contract was up and he decided to join NBC to call Sunday Night Football. Al Michaels wanted to join him and get out of his contract for Monday Night.

ESPN tells it this way: Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was created in 1927 by Walt Disney for Charles B. Mintz, and distributed by Universal Studios. Disney directed 26 Oswald cartoons before a budget dispute with Mintz forced Disney to leave and create his own studio. Mintz, however, owned the rights to Oswald, and kept the character.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was Walt Disney’s initial character that ultimately led to the idea of Mickey Mouse. He had lost the rights to the character when he formed his own studio. Oswald does look a bit like Mickey Mouse, who Disney used as his primary character for his new studio.  As a side note, Mintz was the creator of another character … Woody Woodpecker.


That’s why Disney, who owned ABC, still put a value on Oswald as a precursor to Mickey Mouse even though  “he” had no commercial value. It was Disney’s and ABC’s pure historical sentimental value.

Without getting into too many crazy details, when Michaels wanted out of his ABC contract to go work with Madden; on February 9, 2006, NBC confirmed that Michaels would be joining Madden at the network to broadcast football on Sunday nights.

In return, Disney received  the rights to Owald. So, for some other programming considerations and a cartoon, Michaels was allowed out of his Monday Night broadcasting contract with ABC. To this day, he remains  a broadcaster on Sunday… and none of us still know about Oswald the Rabbit except for this trade. A cartoon character for an announcer.

And for pic o’ day, here’s another character!



Deciding the Value

We start the Monday blog with a picture that Mom sent that needs no real introduction… if you have been living with snow:


And now a sweater story from ESPN. A reminder that something is worth what someone will pay for it.

A man walked into a Goodwill store and found an old West Point sweater that caught his attention.

lombardi 1

He took it to the front to be weighed because that’s how they determine the price. The price of the sweater was 58 cents… so the man got change from his dollar plus a sweater.  No one had looked on the inside of the sweater. Inconspicuously written on the tag at the neck area was Lombardi 46.


The man took the sweater home and didn’t think much about it until he was watching a documentary on the legendary football coach Vince Lombardi. On the documentary, he noticed that Lombardi was wearing the sweater that the man had bought. That’s when he pulled the sweater out and noticed the name written on the tag. It was the sweater that Lombardi wore at West Point while coaching there from 1949-1953.

He eventually decided to turn it over to Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas. This past Saturday it was auctioned and ultimately sold for a bid amount of $43,020. A sweater that had a value of what it weighed until it was determined that it had been owned by the most famous football coach of all time.

One final note. When I ask a jury to consider the damage of pain and suffering in a personal injury case, sometimes it’s difficult to put a value on pain and suffering. However, an old sweater reminds that whoever gave that sweater to Goodwill… is probably feeling a bit of pain and suffering and maybe even some mental anguish in an amount of at least $43,020

And finally, a password idea:

password pic

Powerful Optimism Response

Headed into the weekend, I have several things on my mind. I am headed to West Virginia for a case.  Clearly on my mind. I also have the NFL in my mind because the Indianapolis Colts are playing on Sunday night.

I have to admit that as a fan,  the positive part of me wants to believe that the Colts can beat the New England Patriots. The other part of me believes that the Colts will lose by at least two touchdowns. As a fan, I guess I fear having too much hope.

That leads me to the funny story that I see occur, when I watch the Colts. It’s what the Colts Quarterback does after he gets hit by a defensive player and knocked to the ground. These players claim that they have never seen anything like it and can’t figure it out.

In an article from the Associated Press titled Andrew Luck: The NFL’s Most Perplexing Trash Talker, the reporter has interviewed players who say that quarterback Andrew Luck drives defenders crazy by complimenting them after they hit him or tackle him. They question whether its kindness or is he playing head games with them.

Luck will say things like, “great job” or “what a hit”. Patriots defender Bob Ninkovich said that one time after he pulverized Luck with a hit, Luck congratulated on the hit. Ninkovich said that he found himself not sure how to respond so he said something like “Thanks for accepting the hit?”

The Wall Street Journal contacted 12 NFL players who had hit or sacked Andrew Luck. All of them  said that he congratulated them after the hit.  Despite questioning his motive, those who know him best say that he is truly just a nice guy.

Luck is only in his third NFL season. I suppose that there will be more stories about him as he continues playing. So, if you happen to watch him on Sunday night and you see him get hit by an opposing player, you might just notice him congratulating that player. The power of a positive attitude. As a fan, I hope it’s contagious enough to carry them to a win over the Patriots!

Have a great weekend!

And for pic o’ day:


The Kobe Lesson

The Sunday night NFL football game has the New England Patriots traveling to Indianapolis to play the Colts. It’s popular to pick the Patriots to win because people  (and I mean “people” as in ESPN  “every second Patriots Network”) say that Tom Brady with his three Super Bowl rings, is the golden boy and will lead the Patriots to victory.

If you are a Patriots fan, you recall the glory days of their three Super Bowl victories. You realize that they have won 5 straight games.

If you aren’t a Patriots fan, then you recall that they got caught cheating for all three of those Super Bowl win years; that the NFL destroyed the cheating tapes before the public could see how much they cheated, and that you notice that no one ever talks about the cheating or that the Patriots have not won a Super Bowl without cheating.

In fact, you also pick the Colts to win on Sunday night because, since 2009 Brady is 3-11 on the road against teams with a winning record. What do you think? Do I sound like a Patriots fan? It’s how you look at it.

I admit it, I just enjoyed writing those last paragraphs. But, I realize that this is not a football pick em column. Instead, I want to segue from the Patriot success/failure thinking to NBA basketball and Kobe Bryant .

This past week, Kobe Bryant just set the NBA record for most missed field goals (shots) in a career. He passed former Boston Celtic great John Havlicek.

Now, it’s real easy to focus on all those misses. Or, to focus on what it also might mean. To focus on the negative would be to think that he just shoots too much or that he sure did miss a lot.

If you are looking for the positive for Kobe, then it means that he is not afraid of failure. It also means that he has been able to play a long time. Just staying at it! And that his team has always counted on him to shoot. And you might also think that Kobe’s Los Angeles teams have won five NBA championships.

Have you ever heard someone say, “he is so lucky” or “I wish I could get those breaks”. Yes, it’s either thinking like that or thinking that life is a moveable feast.

And for pic o’ day, it’s real easy to feel like this by the end of the week!

I am done

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