Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #48

Feb. 24 – March 2, 2013

Welcome to week forty-eight of the Sports Doing Good newsletter.

Many of the stories we highlight deal with individuals and groups doing good works for other people. (We have some of those this week as well). However, we wanted to point out here two stories of athletes doing for themselves and emphasize those types of efforts are also great for them and society. Both stories deal with players from the National Football League (NFL).

One group of current and former NFL players is participating in the 2nd Annual NFL Hollywood Bootcamp. As the name suggests, these players are getting an intensive lesson in the ins-and-outs of the entertainment industry. The NFL runs various programs like this to expose their current players and alumni to post-career options. Secondly, we have a group of players who are working extremely hard to earn a graduate degree in business. These athletes are spending time at George Washington University contemplating the ins-and-outs of business strategy, marketing, finance, and operations. Whether focused on a particular industry (Hollywood) or pursuing a valuable degree (MBA), these athletes are applying things they are known for – discipline, hard work, focus, teamwork – in the game of life. We applaud them and everyone who is supporting their efforts.

Please continue to send along your stories. You are both our audience and our best source of stories. Our Twitter handle is @sportsdoinggood, and you can find us at

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Ken Griffey Jr. calls fan in Kansas who had items stolen from extensive baseball card collection
But that’s what can happen when people band together to perform acts of kindness for a stranger who had lost something special. Ever since burglars in January stole a significant part of Fevurly’s collection of Ken Griffey Jr. baseball cards (not to mention a big-screen TV), others have responded to make up for what was lost.–mlb.html

After fleeing from war-torn Sudan, Dau Jok becomes a leader at Penn
Now the boy who learned to write by scraping dirt with sticks is taking Linguistics, Logic and Global Justice. Now the visionary whose goal is “to be the most influential person in South Sudan” is receiving the education and developing the connections to inch toward it. And instead of tribesmen, he has teammates to do battle with, to rally and protect.

Penn’s Dau Jok escaped from war-torn Sudan and fled to Iowa when he was just 11 years old. (Yong Kim/Philadelphia Daily News/MCT)

With “Free Throw” Allen Guei made sure that everybody won
Two years ago, Guei walked into the gym at inner-city Compton High School (near Los Angeles) and sunk a single free throw to win a $40,000 college scholarship. But what he did a month later was even more breathtaking…He gave the money away.

NFL players take back-to-school to the extreme
More than 40 current and former players — including Shawne Merriman, Will Witherspoon, Marques Colston, Antwaan Randle El, Samari Rolle and Stephen Bowen — are doing the extreme cram degree, attempting to earn a full MBA from GW by taking a series of two-week courses over two offseasons.

In this photo taken Feb. 15, 2013, football player Will Witherspoon, center, asks a question of Danny M. Leipziger during a macro economics class at George Washington University in Washington. Witherspoon is working toward a Masters of Business Administration degree at George Washington as part of an NFL back-to-school program. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR Derek Hagan and former Raiders RB Justin Fargas and CB Phillip Buchanon, along with 18 other current and former NFL players, will take part in the second annual NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp at Universal Studios in Universal City, California. The four-day boot camp will offer a comprehensive overview of creative disciplines in the film industry including screen writing, directing, producing and film financing.

What to make of recent women’s sports milestones
At first glance, the following female athletes wouldn’t seem to have a whole lot in common beyond the on-field milestones they’ve recently set. But if you look a little closer, what they’ve all done is provide glimpses — however long or dramatic or brief — into just how women’s sports might finally reach its most stubbornly unconquered frontier.

The “Signal Hill Speed Run” doc explores the history of downhill skateboard racing in the late ‘70s
In its purest form, skateboarding is a simple act of gravity. Point your board downhill, step on, and let Newtonian physics dictate what happens next. Pretty basic stuff, really. Unless, of course, you were standing on your skateboard during the mid-1970s at the top of Southern California’s infamous Signal Hill.
Video –

Wrestling Bridges Iran-US Gap Days Before Nations Meet Over Nuclear Talks
Jordan Burroughs, who trained in Nebraska for the Olympics, defeated an Iranian for the gold medal in London. The cheers for him were deafening — “Jordan! Jordan! Jordan!” — and he won. He told ABC News that his parents had reservations about him coming to Iran.

Meet the world’s first smart basketball
The 94Fifty Sensor Basketball, which many Division I college teams use a version of, looks like any other regulation-sized ball. That’s to say all of its tech is hidden inside, so don’t expect to spot any of its sensors, which capture 6,000 points of data per second, embedded in the exterior.

Football Association (FA) makes £150m pledge to improve run-down urban facilities
The Football Association is committing to the improvement of thousands of run-down and dilapidated playing fields nationwide after 84% of those involved in the game’s grassroots cited “poor facilities” as their most pressing concern.

A non-league match is played on a pitch next to Oldham Athletic’s Boundary Park. (Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)


The 10th Annual Sports Events Marketing Experience (SEME 2013) hosted by the Georgetown University SIM Program
This innovative and interactive experience for college students and recent graduates builds upon an exceptional track record formed over the past eight years with a cast of over 400+ keynotes, panelists and speakers from its previous three locations – SEME East (D.C.), SEME Central (Chicago/Northwestern) and SEME West (Los Angeles/ U.S.C.) – which SEME now has combined the reach of those three exceptional conferences into one.

First lady announces effort to help kids exercise
Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks?  Some schools are using both methods of instruction and Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise.

Muscle Milk Provides $250,000 in Grants to 22 High School Athletic Programs Across the Country
“We have been amazed by the tremendous stories that have been told through the grant applications,” said CytoSport Chief Marketing Officer Nikki Brown.  “Whether the recipient school needs updated uniforms, safe workout equipment or upgraded facilities, one of the major themes within every application is the sense of pride that will be instilled with each grant.

N.F.L. Will Expand Concussion Efforts During Games
“Where are we?” “Who did we play in the last game?” “What is the date today?”  Those are some of the questions N.F.L. players are asked after they are hit in the head during a game. Next season, they are coming to an iPad.

Addressing racism in elite football through reconciliation
Post-conflict resolution approaches used in S&D programmes can complement existing campaigns in rebuilding relationships and countering a culture of racial intolerance in elite football.

Coaches and facilitators who participated in Sports4HOPE’s 5-day coaching training event in Eastern DRC

Smithtown bowlers rolling again after alley collapse
Bowlers referred to AMF Smithtown Lanes as a “house,” filled with quirks and family. When a swath of the alley’s roof collapsed on Feb. 10 — a day after a blizzard dropped 30 inches of snow on some areas — the news stunned the local bowling community.

Council For Responsible Sport Awards Gold Certification To 2013 Chevron Houston Marathon
People often think of our certification as being all about environmental responsibility, but over half of the credits pertain to socially responsible things like community involvement, promoting healthy lifestyles and inclusion. The Chevron Houston Marathon scores well in every category.”

Hospital For Special Surgery And New York Knicks Invite Fans To “Train Like A Knick!”
“On behalf of HSS, we are proud to support the New York Knicks and are excited to bring this program to fans a second time,” said Lou Shapiro, President and CEO of Hospital for Special Surgery. “Together we strive to help the professional athlete and the ‘weekend warrior’ keep moving and stay injury-free.”