Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #84

Nov. 3 – Nov. 9, 2013

Welcome to week eighty-four of the Sports Doing Good newsletter. This week’s first 10 stories include:

  1. Darren Meenan: The making of a T-shirt mogul and leader of Mets fans
  2. Jason Whitlock Teams Up With Brady Hoke, Sends Ball State Students To Big Game
  3. An American Boy Wonder in Barcelona
  4. First Runner With Down Syndrome Completes NY Marathon, Redefines Word ‘Champion’
  5. Dikembe Mutombo on Life After the NBA, His Charitable Work in Africa and How He Still Connects With Former Teammate Yao Ming
  6. 8th Annual Ivy Sports Symposium @ Harvard Law School
  7. ASICS America Revs Up Battle Against Cancer With Prostate Cancer Awareness Collection Benefitting The Prostate Cancer Foundation
  8. D-III Gallaudet University is on the cusp of history
  9. Long Island’s Children’s Sport Connection keeps kids in the game
  10. Why The Sacramento Kings Are Courting India

We had a great guest speaker at the school at which I teach, Farmingdale State College. Darren Meenan is the founder of “The 7 Line” an apparel company he started out of the basement in his parents’ house in Queens, NY. During his 1-hour talk Darren talked about the his long-time love for the New York Mets, his desire for a life in which he was having fun, and how he put the two of those things together to come up with a company that when it comes down to it, really sells more than shirts. It sells community.

“The 7 Line Army” is the name given to the increasingly large groups of fans who come to Mets games and sit together. Those aren’t just Mets games at Citi Field, they are at other parks around the country. This band of dedicated fans reminds me of those groups we often see at soccer games around the world. This sense of common purpose and passion is part of what makes sports so special. We thank Darren for his time at Farmingdale State and which his and his team continued success.

In addition to Darren’s story, we are proud to includes ones featuring: Ball State University football; young soccer player Ben Lederman; NYC marathon finisher Jimmy Jenson; Gallaudet University football; basketball legend and humanitarian Dikembe Mutombo; non-profit Children’s Sport Connection; and HOFer Julius “Dr. J” Erving; amongst others.

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So enjoy. And have a good week.

Darren Meenan: The making of a T-shirt mogul and leader of Mets fans
Now, Meenan has fans of his own. A faction of the Mets faithful that considers his brand—steadily evolving into his life’s work—the heartbeat of the fan base. “Even when the first shirt came out, it wasn’t my intention to try and change the culture of the Mets fan base,” he said. “It wasn’t the idea. But as it grew, you’re just given certain responsibilities. People look to you for certain things.”

Lizy Sayoran and Darren Meenan at work. Jefferson Mok

Jason Whitlock Teams Up With Brady Hoke, Sends Ball State Students To Big Game
Whitlock contributed $5,000 and the Hokes matched the amount. Ball State will add another $7,000 and the total will allow 240 Ball State students to be bused to the game in DeKalb, Ill. The trip includes meals and game tickets, and five buses will transport the students. “This is going to be a huge game, and I want us to have some extra support there,” said Whitlock, a columnist for ESPN and Ball State football letterman in 1987 and ’88.

An American Boy Wonder in Barcelona
Ben is the first United States-born player invited to train at La Masia, and that distinction, while significant, means little to his overall quest: to work his way up through the Barcelona youth teams and someday, maybe, become the first American to play for Barcelona’s first team.

Barcelona scouts praise the field vision of Ben Lederman, center right, and his seemingly advanced ability to see passing lanes and openings during the run of play.

First Runner With Down Syndrome Completes NY Marathon, Redefines Word ‘Champion’
Jenson partnered up with Jennifer Davis who coordinates day programming for people with disabilities at the Anthony R. Abraham Foundation, and the two began training for short-distance runs. They gradually worked up to completing the Los Angeles Marathon. The pair then decided to try and make history by participating in the New York City Marathon, in honor of the Best Buddies mission.

Dikembe Mutombo on Life After the NBA, His Charitable Work in Africa and How He Still Connects With Former Teammate Yao Ming
His legacy on the court is that of one of the NBA’s greatest defensive players, and he will be remembered for his signature celebratory finger-wag after every block. Off the court, Mr. Mutombo is known for humanitarian efforts by setting up his own foundation, which builds hospitals and provides health care.

8th Annual Ivy Sports Symposium @ Harvard Law School
The Ivy Sports Symposium is an annual student-run conference that is considered one of the global sports industry’s premier events. The Symposium enables the industry’s leaders and most successful executives to share invaluable knowledge with their peers and potential successors.

ASICS America Revs Up Battle Against Cancer With Prostate Cancer Awareness Collection Benefitting The Prostate Cancer Foundation
The ASICS Prostate Cancer Awareness Collection is the third and final collection in the brand’s 2013 Accelerate Hope Collection. For the month of September, ASICS launched its Pediatric Cancer Awareness collection benefitting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. In October, ASICS released its Breast Cancer Awareness Collection to benefit Right Action for Women.

D-III Gallaudet University is on the cusp of history
The nation’s premier university for deaf- and hard-of-hearing students is currently 8-0 and with a win against Anna Maria this weekend, will secure its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference title and the first postseason berth for any men’s program at the university.–ncaaf.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory

Long Island’s Children’s Sport Connection keeps kids in the game
‘No child left behind” takes on a different meaning in the world of Patricia D’Accolti. “My heart bleeds when I know that there is a kid who has been left out,” said the founder and executive director of Children’s Sport Connection, a Garden City-based nonprofit organization that works to ensure that lack of money doesn’t keep children from participating in organized sports.

Robin Dahlberg | From left, Children’s Sports Connection board chairman Marc Field, 68, of East Rockaway, Terrence Young, 14, of East Meadow, and CSC founder Patricia D’Accolti, of Seaford, at a CSC sports equipment give-away at New Life Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ in Long Beach.

Why The Sacramento Kings Are Courting India
The not-so-subtle nods to the world’s second-most-populous country are part of a strategy launched by the Kings’ owner, Mumbai-born Vivek Ranadive, who’s determined to make his team a household name in India.

Kings fan Ronnie Garcia is on-board with the team’s new strategy (Scott Detrow / KQED)


Red Sox World Series trophy at Boston Marathon finish line
A bittersweet moment during the parade took place near the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street where three spectators died and more than 200 were injured in the bombings during the April race. There, Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, along with the staff of Marathon Sports, placed the World Series trophy on the finish line. The trophy was draped in a ’617 Boston Strong’ Red Sox jersey. Singer Ronan Tynan performed God Bless America, as a crowd of thousands sang along.

Celtics Star Rajon Rondo, Co-owner Steve Pagliuca and Sun Life Financial Present $110,000 in Grants and Scholarships to Boston Nonprofits and Rising Star Students at Celtics Pre-game Ceremony.
The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program provides financial resources to highly-motivated students and nonprofit organizations in large urban school districts committed to encouraging under-served youth to stay in school. The program also promotes the importance of higher education as a means to achieve life-long financial wellness.

NBC’s “Today” Show Examines Drew Brees’ Charitable Efforts
The “Extra Yard” segment on NBC’s “Today” Friday morning profiled the efforts Saints QB Drew Brees and his Brees Dream Foundation to raise more than $20M for the city of New Orleans and various charities. NBC’s Al Roker said Brees and his wife “are looking ahead … to the Crescent City’s future, teaming up with high school students” with the “Trust Your Crazy Ideas” challenge.

How a BYU student’s ‘smart helmet’ might save football players from brain damage
Now one of Williams’ fellow BYU students is working on a prototype for a smart helmet that promises to provide NFL and college football trainers on the sidelines with instant feedback about the force of an impact on a player’s head.

BYU mechanical engineering master’s student Jake Merrell demonstrates a smart foam he created called xonano (exo-nano) that can detect force. He is testing the foam in the padding of a football helmet with hopes that it can aid football teams in preventing the long-term effects of concussions. Jaren Wilkey, BYU

NFL star Troy Polamalu to trim famous locks for a good cause
November has recently transformed into “Movember,” the month for growing beards and mustaches to raise money for fighting prostate cancer. Now, for those who aren’t interested in the shaggy look — or who might be “follicly” challenged — there’s another way to help another good cause: by cutting your locks.

The Steelers’ Troy Polamalu is cutting his hair this Veterans Day for charity, although it’s unclear how much he’ll actually cut.

Chargers Champions Donates 75k High School Weight Room
“This room has not been touched in over 35 years, it was really sad to see our weight room in that kind of shape. We had machines that where broken and with the schools budget cuts they didn’t have the funds to repair them. This remodel is physically and mentally allowing the guys to work together and sweat together,” Coach Matson said.

Tokyo 2020: The Olympics of the Future
NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s largest cellphone carrier, has introduced “instant translation” glasses that use cameras, text recognition technology and translation software to render Japanese signs, menus and whatever else its wearers see into the visitors’ language. The company also plans to have its cellphone service ready to process data 100 times faster than current networks.

A rendering of the 2020 Olympic stadium in Tokyo.

Dr. J Sees His Vision of a Proper Rivalry in New York Finally Taking Shape
“Nothing is going to replace the Knicks as Manhattan’s team,” Erving said in an interview with Bleacher Report. “But in terms of New York City, Brooklyn is formidable. There’s more people in Brooklyn than Manhattan. It’s the biggest borough. …  So if they have a championship team there, they are definitely a threat to the popularity of the Knicks.”

Walter Iooss Jr./Getty Images

NEXT STEP 2014: Using sport for good
The conference is a commitment to achieving strategic outcomes as well as a celebration of diversity – of culture, sport and people. It therefore has a balance of sessions that allow experts, practitioners and students to interact and hear each other, as well as events and spaces that enable sharing on a more cultural level. The conference will focus on practices around sport for development on themes relating to safeguarding, peace and inclusion, social development and mitigating the threat of non- communicable diseases.

Olympic Torch Arrives at International Space Station
The Sochi Olympic torch is onboard the International Space Station, before being taken on an unprecedented spacewalk. Accompanying the torch were three crew members: a Russian, an American, and a Japanese citizen, who blasted off on a Soyuz-FG rocket early Thursday from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

(AP Photo/NASA)

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Our goal is to have Sports Doing Good be a portal housing original content and excerpts from and links to the increasing number of articles, websites, video, and other media that showcase the good in sports and society. We aim to celebrate those concepts, activities, events, and individuals by highlighting them for a wider audience. Much of the news today, whether sports- related or not, is incredibly negative and increasingly polarizing, biased, and quite annoying. We are trying to refocus some of the discussion on the good, with a focus on sports.Our mission is to have Sport Doing Good be a consistent, and significant, contributor to the areas of sports, social responsibility and development. We look forwarding to partnering with other stakeholders in producing content, in creating and/or sponsoring athletic and service events, knowledge sharing, and conferences/seminars, and even having a commercial arm that could be the source of innovative social businesses.We invite you to send in news, press releases, and guest pieces for possible publication, and email us with suggestions about the content and format of the newsletter and Sports Doing Good website.
Contact InformationSarbjit “Sab” Singh