Sports Doing Good Newsletter, #93

Jan. 5 – Jan. 11. 2014

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

  1. ESPN Delivers World Cup Drama in Epic Promo (video)
  2. Special needs student manager drains buzzer-beating 3-pointer in first basketball appearance (video)
  3. Dee Ford: Auburn’s Virtuoso
  4. Ray Longo is the ultimate trainer
  5. Eddie Garcia: National Alliance for Youth Sports 2013 Coach of the Year
  6. Sasha DiGiulian – World-champion rock climber and Up2Us ambassador
  7. Magic, Indian American Chamber to host 2nd annual India Day
  8. Running Mates USA to Promote Civics, Leadership and Fitness
  9. Bayern Munich to subsidize fans’ tickets for Champions League match at Arsenal
  10. Portuguese Soccer Great Eusebio Passes Away at 71

At Sports Doing Good we have a soft spot for the “beautiful game.” (soccer/football) The passion of the fans, the skills and athleticism of the players, and the national fervor that is displayed at particular times in history, e.g. a World Cup year, all earn our attention. That is what we are blessed with in 2014. Yes, we will also be treated to the Winter Olympics in Sochi and we just finished seeing some amazing college football games this year but it is the World Cup, which truly gets the world’s attention.

We start off this week with a promo from ESPN touting the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The promo captures the passion and brilliance surrounding the game and the special flavor of each when it comes to the host country. We finish our first block of 10 stories with one remembering one of the world’s greatest players in history, Eusebio. The Mozambique-born, Portuguese national was a breathtaking player who sparkled as a goal scorer. A contemporary of Pele, Eusebio was an individual who contributed to the global allure of the game.

We are also happy to be able to have stories featuring: high schooler Jose Meraz; Auburn football player Dee Ford; youth coach Eddie Garcia; rock climbing champion Sasha DiGiulian; the NBA’s Orlando Magic; the non-profit Running Mates; German football club Bayern Munich; Northwestern University basketball player Aaron Liberman; and Little League baseball; amongst others.

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

Finally, if you think others would like to receive the newsletter, please feel free to forward it on or have them contact us directly at (If you do not want to receive the newsletter anymore you can use the Unsubscribe button at the end of the email)

So enjoy. And have a good week.

ESPN Delivers World Cup Drama in Epic Promo
Set to a sweeping soundtrack, the ad looks back on iconic players and teams from past World Cups. It juxtaposes that history with current Brazilian stars and street scenes from the soccer-obsessed South American country, which ESPN calls the event’s “spiritual home.” The ad captures so many reasons the World Cup captures the collective imagination of sports fans around the globe: the epic scale, the history, the drama, the human emotion, the undeniable sense of global importance.

Special needs student manager drains buzzer-beating 3-pointer in first basketball appearance
“He’s the most popular kid in school. About 12 cheerleaders were around him, hugging him and kissing him,” Deer Valley coach Jed Dunn told the Arizona Republic following his team’s 77-37 blowout victory. “He started doing a dance. In the locker room, the players were chanting, ‘Jose.’ He said he tried to be like LeBron James and Michael Jordan.”


Dee Ford: Auburn’s Virtuoso
“The key to playing ball at this level is calming down before you play, not getting too hyped up. In high school it was okay to get crazy, but in the SEC you can’t play that way — there is too much to pay attention to, too many mistakes that can be made…  It’s a fine line, and music teaches you to focus on the moment.”

Dee Ford (who may be a mid-round NFL draft pick) is a skilled pianist and has expressed a desire to pursue a music career. (Getty Images)

Ray Longo is the ultimate trainer
Those two monumental upsets in UFC history share a common thread: Longo. He trained Serra, the only man to knock out Georges St-Pierre. He trains Weidman, who knocked out Anderson Silva, considered the greatest fighter of all time…”He’s got a unique ability to, in the corner, to fire up guys and motivate guys,” said UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who also has a black belt and was a national champion in tae kwon do. “He’s also a guy that fighters love. They love and respect him, so when he’s in the corner telling you what to do, you want to make him happy.”

MMA trainer Ray Longo poses for a photo in Garden City. (Dec. 12, 2013). Photo credit: Mike Stobe |

Eddie Garcia: National Alliance for Youth Sports 2013 Coach of the Year
Eddie Garcia promises parents one thing at the start of every season: Each child on the team will develop and improve. And boy, does he deliver – in more ways than one. Kids lucky enough to play for the 38-year-old with the heart of gold not only learn and develop sports skills, they also gain valuable life skills that put them on the fast track to becoming successful adults.


Sasha DiGiulian – World-champion rock climber and Up2Us ambassador
Sasha strives to push herself to go above and beyond her limits—attempting some of the world’s most difficult rock climbs. Back in 2011, she did just that. Sasha traveled to the Red River Gorge of Kentucky where she was determined to ascend one of America’s most difficult rock climbs. Rated 9a, it would be the most difficult female ascent in American rock climbing history. Not much to our surprise, Sasha completed the ascent, being the first and only North American woman to achieve 9a.

Magic, Indian American Chamber to host 2nd annual India Day
The Indian American Chamber of Commerce will donate 1,000 tickets to nonprofit organizations throughout Central Florida. Last year’s event, which included a street festival and the Magic Dancers being trained to perform several popular Bollywood dances, was such a hit that the Magic were eager to continue the tradition on a yearly basis. The success in Orlando also caught the eye of the NBA and several other India Nights are being planned this season throughout teams in the league.

Orlando Magic celebrates India Day at the Jan. 27, 2013 Magic vs. Pistons game last season. (Photo credit: Gary Bassing).

Running Mates USA to Promote Civics, Leadership and Fitness
“This program is a great opportunity to provide students a foundation of civics, leadership development and fitness,” said Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL). “As a runner and a football coach, I know the benefits of athletics in building strong self-esteem. I look forward to teaching my upcoming team not only about the benefits of exercise, but about my experiences in public service and the importance of developing strong leadership qualities.”

Bayern Munich to subsidize fans’ tickets for Champions League match at Arsenal
“[…] a large number of Bayern fans not only go to the big occasions, but also attend every away game: and this loyalty means attending a high number of games a great deal of the time, which makes a big dent in supporters’ wallets. “Bayern have therefore decided to subsidise the tickets for the away game at Arsenal with nearly €90,000. Thus meaning every Bayern fan who buys a ticket for the game on 19/02/2014 in London, will pay only €45 [$61] (instead of the regular €75 [$103]). This is intended to represent a small thank you for the great support of the followers in the past calendar year 2013.”–sow.html

Portuguese Soccer Great Eusebio Passes Away at 71
Eusebio da Silva Ferreira became affectionately known as the Black Panther for his athletic prowess and clinical finishing, which made him one of the world’s top scorers during his heyday in the 1960s for Benfica and the Portuguese national team. Perhaps his biggest accomplishment was to lead Portugal to a third-place finish at the 1966 World Cup, but his agility and speed made him one of Europe’s most dangerous forwards for most of a career that lasted two decades.

Eusebio, left, playing for Benfica against AC Milan in a European Cup game in 1963. Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


BMW-Designed Bobsled Barreling Toward First Olympic Gold For U.S. In 78 Years
BMW of North America, a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team, designed the two-man sled at the request of the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Foundation, which sought the automaker’s help bridging a technology gap with stronger teams, primarily those in Europe. Though BMW knew little about bobsledding, it had plenty of expertise in motor racing, aerodynamics and advanced materials.

How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family
What we found was overwhelming support for a positive relationship between regular exercise and satisfying management of the work-home interface. It isn’t only that exercise supports better physical health. Through its direct impact on increased self-efficacy and reduced psychological strain, exercise leads to better integration of professional and personal lives.

Aaron Liberman makes Big Ten history by wearing yarmulke in Northwestern game versus Michigan
Liberman observes the sabbath. Part of doing so means he doesn’t use electricity from sundown Friday to sundown Saturdays. So on Fridays last season he sometimes walked 8 miles to practices. Liberman was invited to speak after a home game last month about what it’s like for him to be an Orthodox Jew playing major college hoops. The school handed approximately 200 purple yarmulkes with an N printed on them to people who attended.–ncaab.html

Life-changing decision: Jere Gunderman now impacting young lives through power of sports
But then one night 12 years ago, a television program changed his thinking—and his life. While watching an HBO Real Sports segment examining adult violence at youth sporting events, Gunderman was stunned by what he saw, and was inspired to do something about it. “This program was my wake-up call as to what was happening in youth sports,” Gunderman says. “I felt I needed to find out more, and eventually I was introduced to the Youth Sports Supervisor for the city of Clearwater (Fla.) Parks and Recreation, and discovered that we shared similar visions about the future of youth sports.”

Brandon Bass Helps Promote Healthy Living As Part of NBA Fit Live Healthy Week
NBA Fit promotes healthy living through three simple pillars: staying active, eating healthy, and playing together.  The NBA Fit website – – provides fitness guidelines and workouts, nutritional advice and facts, and videos that are designed to educate and promote what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

Little League Baseball® Celebrates 75th Anniversary
Little League Baseball®, the world’s largest youth sports organization, has officially launched its Diamond Anniversary year, announcing an exciting slate of programming that celebrates the fundamental values of the program – community, family, friendly competition and relationships that last a lifetime. Little League was founded in 1939, when the first Little League game was played in Williamsport on June 6 of that year.

Stanford’s Distinct Training Regimen Redefines Strength
And there was Shannon Turley, the architect of a training regimen among the most distinct in college sports. He is Stanford’s director of football sports performance, and for years, he felt it necessary to write letters to N.F.L. scouts to explain the Cardinal’s nontraditional approach. He stopped that practice this year in the wake of Stanford’s success.

Keeping Stanford Strong: The training program of Shannon Turley, Stanford’s director of football sports performance, emphasizes balance and flexibility over brute strength. Ariel Zambelich for The New York Times

Team Garmin-Sharp partners with World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
The groundwork for the WWF deal was laid in unusual circumstances, as the panda has become an unofficial mascot of sorts for Garmin-Sharp since rider Dan Martin was chased by a spectator wearing a panda suit before sprinting to win the 2013 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race. The incident became something of a social media phenomenon and the header photo on Garmin-Sharp’s official Twitter page features Martin flanked by a panda-suited fan.

Pegulas putting plans into motion in Buffalo
All in all, the project is as much about trying to rebrand a city as it is about sticks, pucks, and thinking outside the rink. Not unlike how Quincy Market played a vital role in bringing suburbanites back to Boston in the early 1970s, the Harborcenter with its retail stores and wholesale dreams could be a sizable step forward in gathering up Buffalo’s tired bones.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula wants to turn Buffalo’s new facility into the Mecca of hockey development.  Associated Press/File

This Year’s SBJ Champions Class Covers All Corners Of Sports Business Industry
Easily the most diverse group in the five years of the honor highlights this year’s class of The Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business. The award recognizes the architects and builders of sports, and the ’14 class brings together six honorees who have done that in all corners of the industry, and with very different roads in getting there. Honorees include: Joan Cronan, Wayne Embry, Rick Hendrick, Michael Ilitch, Verne Lundquist, and Bill Schmidt.

Quick Links…
Our WebsiteMore About Us
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 Information
Sarbjit “Sab” Singh