Five Keys to the Game

In all my interaction over the years with students, whether it was during my time with the Portland Trail Blazers or events hosted by Sports Career Consulting (SCC), the question I get asked most frequently is focused on what steps are necessary for pursuing a career in sports. It is a great question to be sure, and obviously one that many students would like to see answered. It is not, however, one that is answered easily, nor is it one with any “correct” answer or a magical solution. The good news is that there are several key pieces of advice anyone interested in a career in sports should be aware of and we’ll share them in today’s blog post. Rest assured that this is not any complex formula by any stretch, but one that I can assure you is paramount to breaking into the industry. Here are our five keys to the game…

Five Keys to the Game

Key #1: Be Passionate

Regardless of which career path you choose (sports, entertainment or otherwise), find something you can be passionate about. Passion is one of the primary, underlying characteristics shared by the majority of people who find success in their chosen field. Take Kobe Bryant for example…one could argue that very few have played the game of basketball with more passion. It is that passion that drives Kobe to be one of the best (if not the best) basketball player in the world today.

Do not think for a second, however, that you need to be a professional athlete to be passionate about something. Consider Phil Knight, founder of Nike, who used his passion for running to fuel a passion for developing (and later selling) the perfect running shoe. His passion turned into a multi-billion dollar global brand. Knight’s passion was one of the key ingredients in the recipe for Nike’s success.  In fact, it was recently announced that Phil Knight will be inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame!

SCC has managed a number of events focused on careers in sports and entertainment which afforded me the luxury of hearing from many prominent industry professionals. One pearl of wisdom that was repeated over and over again is this: Find a job doing something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life! In other words, find a way to channel your passions and funnel them into an energy that will translate to success in whatever career path you choose.

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The Best Grilled Cheese In Sports

In honor of today’s celebration of #NationalGrilledCheeseDay, we thought it would be fun to look at which teams offer a grilled cheese item on their concessions menu.  The task was surprisingly challenging as grilled cheese apparently isn’t considered much of a ballpark staple, despite the current trend of creating eclectic food items at sports venues.  It should also be noted that we haven’t actually tried any of these, so the ranking is rather arbitrary.

That said, here are the top five best grilled cheese sandwiches in sports…

Honorable Mentions:

Montgomery Biscuits – “The Gump”

While the  Biscuits actually offer FOUR variations of grilled cheese sandwiches, our vote goes to “The Gump” which incorporates pork shoulder, BBQ sauce, coleslaw, “candied red onions” with pepper jack cheese to provide some zip on sourdough bread.

Chicago White Sox – “Avocado Bacon Grilled Cheese”

Thanks Night Train Veeck for the heads up…avocado and bacon added to a grilled cheese sandwich?  Sounds delicious!

Round Rock Express – “Grilled Cheese Dog”

What says baseball more than hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks?  While The Express’ unique spin on a grilled cheese might not contain the peanuts or cracker jacks, but it has successfully combined the hot dog with a traditional, down home comfort food.  According to Minor League Baseball’s website, the “Grilled Cheese Dog” is made with a quarter-pound of Nolan Ryan’s 100-percent hand-selected All Natural Grass Fed Beef wrapped in a grilled cheese sandwich then skewered.  A true Texas delight.

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For Comparison’s Sake

Obviously a lot has been made of Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe’s critical comments of the UConn Huskies women’s basketball program.  The suggestion that their dominance was actually “bad” for the women’s game stirred quite a bit of controversy.  Not that it bothered the UConn women as they steamrolled their way to a historic 4th consecutive championship.

While comparing Husky women’s program to some of the blue blood men’s programs like Duke, Kentucky or North Carolina may prove to be unfair, comparing their impact to a rising power in the men’s ranks might provide a little perspective as to how valuable the UConn brand is to the women’s game.

In a totally unscientific, random but fun exercise, let’s use the Oregon Ducks as an example.  The Ducks earned a #1 seed in the men’s tournament while the Huskies were awarded a #1 seed in the women’s tournament.  Seems like a good place to start, no?

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Everything is Bigger in Texas (Infographic)

Everything is bigger in Texas. Take for example Texas Motor Speedway, site of next weekend’s Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend.

How big is the venue? While Texas is home to a number of huge sports facilities (like AT&T Stadium with a capacity of over 100,000), Texas Motor Speedway is large enough to fit ALL of the “Big Four” (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) stadiums inside. And for good measure, it could still squeeze Texas A&M’s Kyle Field in (the state’s largest college football stadium).

Check out the infographic they just released for a visual.

Click here to see the news release or download the infographic in PDF form from texasmotorspeedway.com.