Tuesday, August 29, 2017

My Latest Obsession: The Players' Tribune

My latest obsession is "The Players' Tribune." I think I could write a blog about this blog. I am fairly surprised I leave my desk in the morning as my daily e-mail from this website offers me no fewer than three stories I am hungry to read. I'm not joking—salivating might be more like it. Believe you me, I have looked at their website re: careers. If I see you walking down the hallway, you might want to walk the other way. Why? Odds are, I want to talk about what I've read in TPT.
For those unfamiliar with The Players' Tribune, their website states the following: 
Welcome to The Players’ Tribune, a new media company that provides athletes with a platform to connect directly with their fans, in their own words. Founded by Derek Jeter, The Players’ Tribune publishes first-person stories from athletes, providing unique insight into the daily sports conversation. Through impactful and powerful long- and short-form stories, video series and podcasts, The Players’ Tribune brings fans closer than ever to the games they love.
TPT: Mission accomplished. You achieve your goal. If I had to find a criticism, it would only be in the form of disclosing the names of the ghostwriters for each article. I won't complain; I'm too obsessed right now to have a more objective point of view; I may get there...at some point...but what happened as I read today's posting leads me to believe it will be quite some time before that happens.

I have been reading here and there about Frances Tiafoe for the past year or so. His post "Something Bigger" was so moving to me, I had to tell my students in Sports and Spirituality about him. As I started to share his story, I realized they too were taken by it. They looked at me incredulously; they wanted to know more. I linked the article to our website and said: Read this and after you do, you can watch him play at the US Open tonight. This young America tennis player, the son of immigrants from Sierra Leone, fought the King, Roger Federer in the first round of the US Open. Under the lights and the roof due to rain, he played the match of his life and one for all fans to savor. I think I enjoyed it that much more because I have read the words, know the dreams, and understand the struggles of the 20-year-old from College Park, MD. He went down in five. Federer is not unlike Steve Kerr; he has no enemies...but it wouldn't be a stretch to say that tonight, hearts were broken when Tiafoe lost (4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4).

The Players' Tribune brings me closer to much more than the games I love, it connects me to people I care about. For example, how could I not read "I Have to Tell You a Story About the Big Nude Cactus" when I saw the author was Leonardo Barbosa. A friend and former coworker loves this basketball player; it's posted on his Facebook page for all to read. And today, two days into Sports and Spirituality, I couldn't wait to share "A Letter to My Younger Self" with my student who told me she hopes we discuss the Brazilian forward in our class this semester. Done. And, I already know I will be reading My Way by Coco. She's my friend Haley's cousin.

Plato has said, "Those who tell stories, rule the world." TPT: right now, you rule mine. Thank you.

Photo Credits
US Open

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