The Real Athlete Blog


Expert Contributor: Matthew Allinson



Matthew Allinson

As the Founder & CEO of Access Athletes, LLC and The Real Athlete Blog, Matthew Allinson's mission in life is to help athletes realize their full potential.

Matthew graduated from Penn State University first in his class with a double major in Labor Studies and Industrial Relations and Psychology. Following graduation, he spent a year in Kingston, Jamaica researching labor relations and political unionism as a Fulbright Scholar. Matthew then attended The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he obtained his J.D. with a concentration in labor law, intellectual property law, and sports and entertainment law.

He has worked for the NFL Players Association and several prominent sports professionals.

Matthew also works as a labor and entertainment attorney representing journalists.


Most Recent Articles

  1. LaVar Arrington Imparts His Wisdom on NFL Rookies: "Don't Lose Focus"

    by Matthew Allinson 07-27-2013 09:40 PM Athlete Career Development | Life After Sports

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    Former three-time Pro Bowl NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington should be a model for how pro athletes can excel in their post-athletic careers. He is a popular sports journalist, a family man with young kids, and an entrepreneur who is on a crusade to develop the next generation of football players with his cutting edge training system that focuses on safety and the fundamentals. We previously profiled Arrington’s burgeoning company, Xtreme Procision, on Access Athletes.
    Somehow, Arrington, the legendary Penn State All-American who was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, still finds the time to educate elite athletes. Last month he was a guest speaker at the NFL’s 16th annual Rookie Symposium in Aurora, Ohio, marking the second straight year he was invited to share his story and advice to the league’s newest draftees.  The four-day orientation introduces the rookies to life in the NFL by emphasizing the sport’s legacy, tradition of character and leadership, as well as social and professional responsibility. Whether he is speaking to incoming rookies or current college players, as a respected broadcaster who has fine-tuned his public speaking skills, Arrington is able to captivate younger athletes with his words of wisdom.
    As part of the NFL’s transition program, Arrington was recently certified as one of twelve “transition coaches” who will be working with former and current NFL players toward preventing some of the problems that frequently surface when it’s time to retire.  For 8 months, LaVar underwent extensive training on career transition, mental health, suicide intervention, conflict resolution, and relationship-management skills.
    Arrington spoke to Access Athletes about his advice for how rookies can make a successful transition to the NFL and maximize their careers, both on and off the field. 
    Matthew Allinson: What advice would you give to the incoming rookies on how to make a successful transition to the NFL?
    LaVar Arrington: I think that the advice that remains consistent and remains true is “Don’t lose focus.” You actually have to be more focused, someway, somehow. When you find yourself going into the NFL, it’s easy to lose focus on the game. Now, it’s cars, it’s a home, it’s women to a different capacity. It’s a whole lot of different things that can turn into your main focus. And I think that when a guy is humble enough to continue to be hungry, to be focused on being a better player than what they were when they played in college, that’s the biggest key. Learning and being open, and understanding that you’re playing against grown men now. It’s not college, where you may have an 18-year-old, a 19-year-old, or a couple of grown people who come back to play. It’s a league full of hard-nosed, prepared individuals who are making money to “whoop” your tail or vice versa, whatever it may be. 
    I think a lot of times, young guys get it; but, they don’t really really get it. I think that they understand that they’re going to have to work harder. I think that they understand it’s a different game with you being paid to play now and there’s a lot of glitz and glamour that goes with being an NFL player. I think they get that, but I don’t think they fully understand that what helped get them there are the things that they have to do even more. So, you got to work harder.
    Say you listen to me, and I helped you get there. You don’t just stop listening to me now that you’ve made it: “Oh, I made to the NFL. I don’t need to listen to LaVar anymore.” You have to continue to listen to those people. I think that guys kind of lose sight of that. I think that would be the biggest advice that I could give to a young guy without going into too many different places. I think that guys have got to remember what helped them and what molded them to get there. Now that chapter of college is closed. But this next chapter, it takes more work. It’s harder work. And if you don’t approach it that way, you stand a great chance of not being successful. It’s a very unforgiving league. It really is. Better that you believed it and go into it understanding that he may know what he’s talking about by telling you this than you finding out the hard way—because then it may be too late.
    Allinson: Looking back at it, was there a particular lesson you could really draw on from the temptation and adapting to the NFL lifestyle? 
    Arrington: I just lost focus on being the best player I could possibly be. You know, I was the #2 pick in the draft. A lot of people were giving me attention. You’re meeting people that you never met before—people that you’ve watched on television and seen singing or whatever it may be. And it’s difficult… It’s difficult when you don’t have someone in your ear that has been through it, telling you to do it differently than what you’re doing. I had to learn it—I was a crash-test dummy. 
    For me, my biggest challenge was the lifestyle. It’s almost impossible not to find yourself involved in it. You’re young and you get exposed. I could see for my children that that stuff won’t bother them. They’re already exposed to it. Their uncles are some of the most famous people in the world and their exposed to so much. But if you’re not exposed to it and you’re not prepared for it, you got to learn it. You got to figure it out. 
    For me, that was quite an experience—getting acclimated. And I did. I got reeled back in and really got focused. I started off really slow my rookie year—I wasn’t in shape like I should have been. I wasn’t prepared the way I should have been early on, and I paid the price for it. I didn’t start and didn’t have quite an impact the way I thought I’d come into the league and have an impact. And that was my wake-up call. It was like “Oh no, I’m not going to be a bust.” There were a lot of veterans around me that kind of took the mentality that “We’re not going to let this go down that way.” They kind of reeled me in and got me going, and got me on the right foot.
    By mid-way through my rookie season, I started to get it, started to understand it, and really started to apply it. And [I] really almost played well enough to make the Pro Bowl my rookie year. It didn’t happen because you have to unseat Pro Bowl players to make it into the Pro Bowl. But I came back that next year with the focus of being a “one-man-wrecking-crew” in my own right and contribute the way I needed to contribute to the team and actually step into a leadership role onto the team. Really work myself into being respected as a leader. That was the biggest challenge—was just coming in and maintaining the focus you had to get there. You got the eye of the tiger to get to the league.   
    Allinson: It’s like you made it and then you let your guard down.
    Arrington: Yeah, you take a deep breath, and during that deep breath, do you bring yourself back to the realization that I got to do this all over again, or do you just keep thinking, “I made it?”
    Allinson: Who were some of the older guys that kind of took you under their wing? 
    Arrington: Bruce Smith, Shawn Barber, Kevin Mitchell, Darrell Green was a vital part, Sam Shade, Marco Coleman was an awesome guy, and Derek Smith. There were a lot of guys that really took a very active interest in my development and I’m so thankful that they did. 
    Allinson: And you were receptive to it. There are some guys who don’t really want the feedback.
    Sports Illustrated estimated in 2009 that 78 percent of NFL players have gone bankrupt or are facing serious financial stress because of joblessness or divorce within two years of ending their playing careers. In light of the seemingly never-ending stories about NFL players going broke, could you talk about how you approached the business aspects of the game while you were in league and also what you think can be done to curb this systemic problem amongst NFL players? 
    Arrington: I think it’s the same thing that applies to the football aspect of it. You got to apply yourself and really be open to understanding that, you know, everything isn’t what it appears to be. I’m not one to tell someone that they can’t live life the way they want to live. If you worked hard enough to achieve high enough where you make the type of money to do some of the things that you do, who am I to tell you not to do it. But I would say that being responsible over yourself and how you do things… The one thing I would be wondering is how many of those individuals went broke based off of being unselfish. So many times people assume that guys go broke based off of spending habits and stuff like that. But it could have been…like for me, I know I took care of my family—took care of my mom and my dad, took care of my brothers, and at one point, took care of affairs with my in-laws just because I wanted to help. 
    Allinson: You were generous. 
    Arrington: Yeah, sometimes you have to make decisions that you might not necessarily want to make. Like for me, I’ve taken chances. I’ve taken risks doing business. A bad investment is an investment that goes bad in my book. Sometimes people make bad investments, where it’s like you buy jewelry and it didn’t make any sense for you to buy it, like a medallion or charm that covers your entire chest. That could be considered a bad investment.
    For me, the reason why I say a bad investment isn’t a bad investment until it turns out not to be a good investment is because I’ve done things like invested in groups that go in and invest in island projects and different things. I’m a part of an investment group that went over to Turks and Caicos and I still to this day don’t know if it’s a good investment or bad investment because it’s still out there. It’s pending. Did we do the studies? Did we look at it? I mean I got married in Turks and Caicos. I love Turks and Caicos. It all depends. 
    I would always say, “Look if you can make money one time, you can make money two, three, four times.” So if you’ve made so many mistakes with what you’ve done while you were making a check in the NFL, I would ultimately say you got to take a good look at yourself and the same way you applied yourself to be able to make that type of dollar playing ball, you got to apply yourself to do it in other ways. Now it’s easier said than done, but that’s the reality of it. And I think the reason why guys go broke is because they don’t apply that. 
    So now you’re living off of savings and you learn a lot about money. You learn a lot about how $60 million doesn’t really mean $60 million. You learn a lot about how maintaining an “upkeep” is a large part—it doesn’t go anywhere. Your paycheck went somewhere, but if you have a lot of things, that “bill” doesn’t go anywhere. You got to be watchful over those things and, if you’re not, you have to at least be able to figure out ways to supplement your income. And that would be my advice.


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  2. Access Athletes Launches The E-Guide For Professional Athletes: Unlock Your True Potential

    by Matthew Allinson 03-10-2013 11:57 PM Education | AA Site Updates

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    Silver Spring, Maryland – Access Athletes, the rapidly growing, trusted educational resource for elite athletes, announced the launch of its first digital publication entitled, The E-Guide For Professional Athletes: Unlock Your True Potential. This electronic guide (E-Guide) from the trusted athlete educators at Access Athletes is designed to provide professional athletes with the necessary tools to empower themselves and master their careers. In line with the mission of Access Athletes, this E-Guide also provides a road map for its readers to properly leverage their name recognition during and beyond their playing careers.

    The E-Guide For Professional Athletes: Unlock Your True Potential is a free, electronic publication that features expert advice and tips from some of the top pros in the business. Some of the subjects covered in the Inaugural Edition include finance, branding, public relations, philanthropy, and transitioning into your post-athletic career. The E-Guide will be available to download or view as a Flipbook for the next 12 months. Afterward, it will be available for purchase on AccessAthletes.com.

    Rich with content provided courtesy of some of the nation’s leading sports executives, the E-Guide is also the first in a series of publications, programs, and events associated with Access Athletes' Self-Actualized Athlete Program (SAAP). SAAP was created as a vehicle to provide athletes with resources and tools that will enable them to maximize their potential by conquering the art of sound decision making, especially when facing the complex issues involved with operating in the high-profile, high-income professional sports arena.

    “Access Athletes was established to provide elite athletes with key educational and informational resources they can put to use in sports, business, and life," said Matthew Allinson, Founder and CEO of Access Athletes, LLC. "We are fortunate to have a core group of sports professionals on board who are among some of the best and brightest talent in the business, and the advice they provide our constituency is invaluable.

    The E-Guide For Professional Athletes is a first of its kind," Allinson continued. "By applying the lessons offered in the E-Guide, elite athletes will have a chance to better leverage their celebrity status and tap into a world of opportunities that are essentially at their fingertips. Access is key, and here they will have access to some of the most vital information that will help them avoid the pitfalls that have damaged the careers of so many before them.”


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  3. Inside the Trainer with Monte Sanders: From the Brotherhood with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed to the Mind, Body, and Soul Approach

    by Matthew Allinson 01-10-2013 10:48 PM Sports Psychology | Training | Nutrition | Interview with a Sports Professional

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    Ray Lewis told his teammates during a team meeting on Jan. 2 that “this will be my last ride,” and he’s retiring following the end of the Ravens’ playoff run—which began Sunday with a win against the Indianapolis Colts—closing one of the greatest careers in NFL history.

    Following this announcement by the Ravens veteran middle linebacker, the media unleashed a torrent of articles chronicling Lewis’ legendary 17-year professional career and his larger-than-life legacy. Both fans and pundits alike debated where the 37-year-old, future Hall-of-Famer ranks amongst the greatest linebackers of all time, and whether he is the greatest defensive player ever to play the game. On the heels of Lewis’ revelation also came speculation as to whether this past Sunday marked the last time Ravens Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed will ever run out of the tunnel at M&T Bank Stadium again. Reed, 34, who is currently in his 11th season with the Ravens and has tried unsuccessfully to secure a deal with the team for the past two seasons, may join Lewis in not returning to Baltimore when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

    Ray Lewis and Ed Reed have always been inextricably linked throughout their storied football careers. So it’s unsurprising that whenever one is mentioned, so is the other. They have followed similar paths to greatness. They both flourished at the University of Miami, where they became All-Americans. They both were late first-round draft picks selected by the Baltimore Ravens, overlooked because they were said to be too small. They both have amassed gaudy stats and plenty of accolades during their NFL careers, as they have dominated the field of play from their respective positions. They both have been the centerpieces of the Ravens’ vaunted defense that has terrorized offenses around the NFL for more than a decade, standing together as the organization’s franchise players and two of league’s most respected stars. When the curtain drops, they both will be sure-fire first ballot Hall-of-Famers. 
    One common element that lies at the core of their success—and it’s one that you won’t read too much about—is the bond they both share with Monte Sanders, or “Mont”, as he is sometimes affectionately known.
    Sanders is the CEO and owner of Sanders Optimum Fitness, but he has been much more than just a fitness expert and the celebrity trainer of this legendary duo. He is a workout partner, a close personal friend, a big brother, a confidant, and a trusted advisor. He is one of the secret ingredients behind their ability to play at such a high level for so long—in a league that’s moniker is “Not For Long”—as well as a transformative influence in their lives.
    "The day I met Monte,” says the 13-time Pro Bowler and 7-time First-Team All Pro, Ray Lewis, “my life changed not for training perspective, but for a man. When I bumped into a man like that, the training part was easy [be]cause we had the same mindset."
    “Spiritually, physically, it’s everything that goes along with life,” Reed told me at the Anquan Boldin Foundation’s Annual Charity Dinner at M&T Bank Stadium, in describing the impact Sanders has had on him. “Mind, body, soul. That’s Monte’s training. He’s my brother. So, I mean his training is for life.  It’s motivating and it’s encouraging. It’s so much that it’s hard to sum it up. It’s still ongoing.”
    How the Brotherhood Began 
    He remembered me and I remembered him. And pretty much he was like, “What are you doing tomorrow man?” And I was like, “Well, I’m working out.” And then he said, “I’m working out with you.” So I met him the next day and that was 11 years ago.      –Monte Sanders on Ray Lewis 
    Sanders had been working as manager at a bank when he was laid off and his career came to a screeching halt after he had spent years working his way up the corporate ladder. “And one day, I just cried out to God and I was like, ‘Take over my life. I’m done with Monte. Just use me as you will,’” as Sanders recalled, in an extensive interview with Access Athletes, that he decided to rest it all on faith.
    In this time of uncertainty and upheaval, one thing remained constant in Sanders’ life—his love for working out. Sanders turned to the passion he had developed as a young teenager growing up in Savannah, Georgia for solace.
    One day when he was working out, one of Sanders’ friends told him he should go get certified. Sanders jumped at the idea, realizing that he could use it to make some money on the side until he figured out what God had in store for him.



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  4. Interview with a Sports Professional: John Stockstill, Baltimore Orioles’ Director of Player Personnel

    by Matthew Allinson 10-05-2012 08:01 PM Interview with a Sports Professional

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    The Baltimore Orioles (93-69) will be playing in its first postseason game in 15 years in the American League wild-card matchup against the Texas Rangers on Friday night. Amidst the Orioles’ magical run, we have the good fortune of sharing an interview with John Stockstill, who is the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Orioles. 
    In his current role with the Orioles, Stockstill oversees the day-to-day operation of the Minor League system and utilizes his scouting background to procure talent for the organization at the Major League level. In his seventh year with the team, Stockstill has also served as the club’s Director of Player Development and Director of International Scouting.
    Prior to joining the Orioles organization, Stockstill had spent his entire professional baseball career—as a Minor League player, scout, and front office executive—with the Chicago Cubs.
    Stockstill provided Access Athletes with a rare look into the inner workings of the MLB’s most resurgent franchise. In his candid responses, he openly discusses the challenges that professional baseball players face as they advance through the farm system and transition to the Majors. 
    Access Athletes: What kind of career assistance do you provide for your Minor League players while they’re still in the farm system?
    John Stockstill: Yeah, it’s difficult, the point you bring up. Different players are from different backgrounds, and then, different players have different financial situations. So baseball is kind of a rare sport because you have about, on average 40-45 new players [coming] into a system every year, of which a few make a lot of money, and most of them do not. In general, you’ll have people that have great off-season programs, which they set up themselves. They’ll pay strength and conditioning guys on their own. And then there are other guys who can’t afford to do that.
    So one thing baseball has evolved into for every club in the last several years is that most clubs have full-time trainers throughout their systems, and then strength and conditioning guys, nutritionists—all those kinds of things to help them while they’re with the club.
    In the off-season it’s a little different; you try to give them a plan. We have different coaches give them a plan, trainers, etc., but sometimes those will conflict with the outside sports training. It is very common in today’s game for a lot of players to have their own personal trainer, their own hitting coach, and their own specialty coaches throughout the off-season.
    AA: I don’t know if you’re familiar with the NFL’s off-field resources, but they have a multi-faceted player development/engagement program that includes player assistance services, continuing education, internships for career development, and education on the financial aspects, among other things. Does the MLB offer anything similar to that for its players?
    Stockstill: Well, nothing as advanced as that. Thirty years ago they would pay a bonus for your education, then it became “x” amount of dollars, and then it was maxed out at about $3,500 per semester. And then probably about 15 to 20 years ago, they started paying whatever educational costs for players. Most every club will provide some sort of educational opportunities for the players, especially those from Latin America and other countries. Teachers that help with language and things like that. But I would venture to say nothing as extensive as what you’re describing in the NFL.
    AA: So it’s more on an ad hoc basis at the club level?


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  5. Carole Beckford Q&A: Sports Ambassador for Jamaica and Publicist for Usain Bolt

    by Matthew Allinson 08-04-2012 01:38 AM Public Relations | Philanthropy | Interview with a Sports Professional

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    Carole Beckford is the CEO for Carole Beckford & Associates, a new company which specializes in image management, marketing, and media planning. She is an author, expert presenter on sport and sport tourism, and the founder of The Business of Sport, a concept and formula for building and enhancing the sports industry in Jamaica and the Caribbean. She has been a journalist for over 24 years working in the press and electronic media.
    Most notably, Beckford is the publicist for Usain Bolt, the defending three-time Olympic champion sprinter and world record holder from Jamaica. As the fastest man in the world gears up for the highly anticipated Men's 100m event this weekend in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics – where he will face stiff competition from his teammate and training partner, Yohan Blake – we caught up with Beckford to learn more about what it's like to work with one of the most sought-after athletes in the world.
    Q: What does the day in the life of Carole Beckford look like, from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed?
    1. Morning meditation to get me through the day
    2. Preparation to leave for work and drop my son at school
    3. Before that though I am up reading the papers from around the world and responding to requests from journalists in Europe
    4. Once I get to work, the phone goes on for at least two to three hours, then meetings
    5. By 4:30 though I am back on the email to talk to Australia and to say good night to Europe. I really do talk to the world most days.

    Q: With Usain Bolt being one of the most sought after athletes in the world, how have you assisted him with his off-the-track endeavors to put him in the best position to be successful in London? 

    Beckford: We have lots of conversations. Usain learns fast (pun intended) so he is a quick study. It is also important for him to give input. It has been hectic, but the evidence of his reach is clear. The hardest part is when I have to say no to a request. Otherwise we are good.
    Q: As we’ve watched Usain’s development in front of the camera since the 2008 Olympics, what would you attribute to his adeptness in the interview setting? Media training, experience, or is he just a natural?
    Beckford: Usain has learned and continues to learn his business. He puts himself into his work, so he catches on really fast. We do role playing sometimes, but we are always relaxed together, so it helps.


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  6. Interview with a Sports Professional: Chris Dingman, Athlete Relocation Expert

    by Matthew Allinson 02-25-2012 09:21 PM Athlete Services | Athlete Relocation | Interview with a Sports Professional

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    “I can’t believe that I’ve been doing this on my own or that I have never known about someone like you before. The process is extremely less difficult when you guys are in the picture.”

    This is almost a constant refrain that athlete relocation expert Chris Dingman hears from professional athletes and their families after they have hired his company for the first time to assist them with moving.

    It’s no secret that professional sports careers are often short-lived, and that a player’s status on a particular team can change suddenly. From being drafted, to being traded, to being released by one team and picked up by another, players can find themselves on a new roster in a different part of the country numerous times in one season.

    For fans, it’s easy to get caught up in imagining that an athlete makes a move magically—seemingly appearing in a new city with a new uniform overnight. But that’s not the reality. In fact, for an athlete without outside help, moving to an unfamiliar environment at a moment’s notice can be an extremely daunting—if not impossible—task.

    That’s why Chris Dingman jumped at the chance five years ago to literally provide a comfortable landing place for uprooted and transplanted players, and built a business that could help: The Dingman Group, an athlete relocation agency based in Newport Beach, California.


    After Dingman's college football career ended at Santa Monica College—where he was teammates with current NFL players Chad Ochocinco and Steve Smith—Dingman developed a penchant for following the revolving door of player transactions and trades in professional sports. It made him wonder how players were being taken care of as they were constantly being shuffled from team to team.

    In surveying many coaches, athletes, and other contacts he had in the sports business, Dingman discovered that players didn’t receive much assistance at all from teams and had to make their own arrangements under extreme time pressure. He learned that in some cases, these athletes never even unpacked their belongings when they moved and their kids’ toys would remain in boxes in the garage. Aside from the sheer inconvenience this created, he was alarmed by hearing that many athletes were also being taken advantage of.

    “I had to come in and put together a really ethical and sound business plan and marketing plan, and make sure that these guys knew they had a trusted resource to take care of these things,” Dingman told Access Athletes.

    He took a big leap of faith leaving the corporate world to pursue his vision of simplifying the relocation process and helping athletes maintain the balance in their daily lives throughout the move. Dingman was determined to fill the void for an essential service needed by many pro athletes and their families.

    “I am the type of individual who when I set my mind to do something, I always dream about it at night. I day dream about it during the day, about it being successful and being the best it can possibly be.”


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  7. Tony Gonzalez Q&A: His NFL Career, Family & Life After Sports

    by Matthew Allinson 02-12-2012 08:25 PM Sports Business | Family Life | Athlete Representation | Athlete Career Development | Life After Sports | Finance | Athlete Interviews

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    A few weeks ago 13-time Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez announced that the 2012 season will probably be his last. I have previously featured the 35-year-old future Hall of Famer here on Access Athletes in a piece entitled Tony Gonzalez is on a mission to spread his all-natural lifestyleIn this Q&A, we talked to Gonzalez about philanthropy, leaving school early for a pro career and adapting to the NFL, his belief that the NFL needs to create a job summit for former players, his experiences with sports agents and his publicist Denise White, balancing his family with being an athlete, becoming a businessman and running his company All-Pro Science, and much more.

    Q: Tell me about the Tony Gonzalez Foundation and some of its philanthropic initiatives like the Shadow Buddies Program

    Gonzalez: I’ve been involved with Shadow Buddies since my Rookie year, so 15 years now. Miles Postlethwait is the poster child for it. He’s the reason Shadow Buddies is around. He’s like a little brother of mine. I met him when he was 9 and now he’s 24. It’s crazy. It’s been fulfilling. I’ve been really lucky to be around some great organizations and a great charity spreading smiles. Shadow Buddies is not about finding a cure. It’s not about going out there and raising millions and millions of dollars. What we try to do is take a grassroots approach and we go out and hand deliver these buddies to sick children and senior citizens. It’s really about putting smiles on people's faces and sometimes I think that’s the best medicine, especially when someone’s circumstances are terminal, which is a lot of the cases.
    We’ll go to cancer wards and kids are in the later stages of cancer or leukemia or whatever it is and they haven’t smiled in a month-and-a-half, and then you go in there and give them a buddy and spend about 5 minutes with them. When you walk out they’re smiling, and then the nurse comes up to you and says, “hey, she hasn’t smiled in a month-and-a-half,” and she’s in tears. We’ve had those experiences. That’s what makes it all worth it for me and the people involved with Shadow Buddies. It’s great spreading that word and trying to make it as big as possible, and I’ll continue to do it.
    Shadow Buddies is close to my heart, but now I also want to get into health and childhood obesity and helping kids because they’re our future. We have a Type 2 [Diabetes] epidemic going on in our country, which really wasn’t seen 20 years ago in kids. And now you see it all the time. And you can’t tell me it’s not because of our nutrition and what we’re feeding these kids. So, I’m definitely getting involved with that. That’s definitely a way that I want to push—making sure kids are eating the right things and putting good stuff in their bodies.
    Q: What is one thing you now know about the NFL lifestyle that you wished you would have known when you entered the league that would serve as a helpful tip for current players or rookies coming into the league?
    Gonzalez: Making the most of your time. You’re going to have a lot of extra free time now, especially during the off-season. You go from this whole routine of practice and getting out of there late and playing games during the week to seven months of not doing anything. I mean you can work out and stuff like that, but I think that goes without saying. I always worked out, but that’s just two hours a day. After that, what are you going to do with the rest of your day? Don’t just play video games. Don’t just watch TV or go out there and get the latest car and go to the club at night for the single guys out there, which I was. You can make so much more out of your life. You have all this free time. You can do whatever you want. The world is at your fingertips and you need to just exercise that. Just make sure that you make good decisions!
    Q: What advice would you give to this year’s NFL rookies about how to put themselves in the best position to succeed in the NFL?  
    Gonzalez: Things aren’t what they used to be and we’re under a microscope now. Anything can get reported on because there are so many media outlets and they need to fill those time slots. I would definitely say just be smart. And when I say be smart, if you’re going to go out and you’re going to have a good time at night, there’s nothing wrong with that. I encourage you to do it, especially if you’re a young, single guy. There’s nothing wrong with that. Be smart about it. Be responsible. You take a taxi or hire a driver. That little hundred bucks that it’s going to cost—well if you take a taxi, it will be cheaper than that—it’s going to be so much cheaper than paying for a DUI or paying for a problem at a club or whatever. Along those lines, surround yourself with good people. Surround yourself with people that have your best interests at hand. Nothing wrong with keeping your old friends, but make sure they have your best interests and they want to see you be successful and they’ll tell you no. You need a couple of “no” people in your life, not a bunch of “yes” people. 
    Q: According to Sports Illustrated, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce by the time they have been retired for two years.  Why do you think the numbers are so high and what sort of things have you been doing to avoid becoming another statistic?
    Gonzalez: They’ve been playing football their whole career. They’re not prepared. They’re young kids. When we go to school, for better or for worse, the reality is that we’re playing football in school. It’s number one. I don’t care what anyone says. When you’re playing for the university, your coach wants it to be number one. I know they say student-athlete and student comes first. I think it’s a crock at times. And it doesn’t sound good. It is what it is. We are talking about university. You got a scholarship there. More than likely, I wouldn’t have gotten to Cal if I didn’t play sports, but I’m there because I play sports. It’s a great opportunity and I took advantage of it when I got there. But some guys just can’t recognize that.
    So, when you’re coming out of the NFL, you’ve been really trying to play football. That’s what you’ve really, really been focusing on because you’ve had to. We’re talking about this is your job. You haven’t really thought about what you’re going to do after your done playing because you’re trying to stay focused. Bang! Then you’re out of the league. You can’t make a team... It’s like now what are you going to do? You can try to go back to school, but we’ve been doing this our whole life. I think the only way they can really get that number to go the right direction is kind of what they’re doing right now. The NFL gives you access to programs during the off-season and they help guys. 
    There is a really good idea—and I heard this; this isn’t my original idea—for a program they should really install in the NFL, which would be really beneficial for all professional athletes. Currently they have a Rookie Symposium for all incoming rookies that is a 3-day summit. They need to make a mandatory 3-day summit for guys that retire and give them some leads, instead of saying you’re cut and “see ya later.” Now you can’t be a part of that program anymore because you’re not in the NFL and the team really has no one you can turn to, honestly. The NFL as a whole needs to have more concern for these guys and maybe create a summit or something similar where these guys can go and get job skills, or at least get some ideas for jobs and how they can deal with their relationships. Because that’s another big part of it too—a lot of guys get divorced when they retire. They need to go to some classes and learn. It’s like anything else—you have to educate yourself. I think that would really help a lot if they had a symposium for newly-retired guys. You can’t make it mandatory I guess, but I’m sure any guy with his right mind would go to it if the NFL is going to pay for it. Have another 3-day summit/symposium on skills and doing something to make that transition easier now that they’re not going to have football anymore. And maybe have people there that can give them jobs or at least point them in the right direction. 
    Q: Tell me about Tom Condon and how he’s helped you throughout your career, especially when you got traded to the Falcons in 2009 and how he assisted you with that whole transition. 
    Gonzalez: Tom wasn’t my agent my whole career. I started off with Leigh Steinberg. And then when he had his whatever—his problem—I left him and David Dunn. I left them both. They were both good for what it was worth. This is before David Dunn formed Athletes First. This is when they split up. They were going through their divorce, and I was one of the kids seeing the parents’ divorce. So, I was like I will see you guys both later. I don’t want anything to do with either one of you guys. So, I went ahead and sought new representation. That’s when I found Tom. He played in the league. First and foremost, he gets the best contracts in the NFL, or at least he’s one of the top guys, and I just got along with him. It’s like he knows how to communicate with people because he has that background and he’s played in the NFL. For 12 years, he played in the NFL. And he’s got the backing too, with CAA. And at that time, it was IMG, which is pretty much the same type of stuff. With CAA, if I did want to be an actor or if I want to be a commentator or some type of broadcaster when I get done playing football, I have access to that and they can hook me up with that. So, it’s kind of a one-stop shop.
    As far as my transition coming to Atlanta, he was there every step of the way, talking to me. He would say, “Okay, this is what we’re thinking… This is the team that is going to get you and all that stuff.”  I knew I was going to get traded, but I didn’t know it was going to be to the Falcons. 
    Q: How successful has Denise White of EAG Sports Management been in enhancing your brand and marketability?
    Gonzalez: She’s the wizard behind it all. I mean she’s the one pulling the strings behind it all, as far as what I’ve been able to do off the field. Obviously, I know that I got to do what’s on the field, but then she helps me translate that to off-the-field success, in terms of getting your brand out there and getting your face out there. She brings me good stuff and helps me make good decisions. It’s like helping me when to say yes and when to say no. We’re very, very close. Shoot, I think I was one of her first clients. We’ve been together a long, long time. I’ve seen her grow just as much as she’s seen me grow. Now, she’s built her business up to whatever it is now, 60 clients. I remember it was pretty much just me and maybe one other client. It’s been a fun process with her, watching each other grow and we help each other. It’s more like a brother-sister relationship. We fight like cats and dogs, and in the end, we get along great. She does a great job for me in pointing me in the right direction.


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  8. Ovie Mughelli Q&A: Advice on Transitioning to the NFL and Post-Athletic Career

    by Matthew Allinson 02-12-2012 05:27 PM Athlete Career Development | Life After Sports | Athlete Interviews

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    Over the summer, I published an in-depth profile on NFL Pro Bowl fullback Ovie Mughelli and his tremendous work as an eco-athlete and environmental activist who teaches underprivileged youth about the value of “going green.” Mughelli also had plenty of advice to share with Access Athletes regarding his experiences transitioning to the NFL and how to avoid the pitfalls that ultimately take down so many elite athletes.
    One piece of advice that really stood out from the rest was Mughelli’s insistence on preparing for your post-athletic career while you're still playing:  
    "The smart guys got to start the second career during their first career. Because it’s a lot harder to get into that after you finish football. Guys have to use their playing days to leverage their celebrity and to leverage their contacts so that when you finish football you already know what you’re going to do, as opposed to waiting until your done and trying to find yourself."  
    This bonus Q&A is packed full of exceptional insight from a professional athlete who has risen to the top of his game both on and off the field.  
    Q: When you first entered the NFL in 2003, what were some of the toughest aspects of adjusting to the NFL lifestyle?
    Mughelli: Some of the toughest aspects of adjusting to the NFL lifestyle were you have to fit into something so much bigger at the NFL. Of course, college was always big and particularly crazy because you had your college you had to be mindful of and your family. In the NFL, you kind of are property of your team, the Atlanta Falcons or Baltimore Ravens, or whoever, and you have eyes on you all the time. You really can’t mess up and you can’t make mistakes, and if you do, you will be on TV, you’ll disappoint your team, you’ll disappoint your family, you’ll disappoint everybody, and you could possibly lose your career. I’ve been in instances where as NFL teammates we’ll be out at a lounge or a club, and somebody will step on your shoe, spill a drink on you, or try to fight you, and all you can do really is just walk away. And sometimes run away, because if you choose to forget that you are a multi-million dollar athlete who represents a team who you can’t have bad press, you can really mess up your career. I’d say that getting used to the fame . . . I didn’t have this problem because I was a 4th round draft pick and my parents are from Nigeria and started with nothing and worked their way up to be a doctor and my mom as a business manager. She has a master’s in business and manages my dad’s office. I appreciated the dollar and understood the blessings that I had. It’s very easy for guys to let the money intoxicate them and spend too much, and buy a couple of cars and put rims on all of them and buy a house bigger than what they need. It’s hard to go from college, where you really don’t have a job, to the NFL where it is a job and you have to focus.


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  9. A Pro Athlete's Responsibility to Give Back from a Player's Perspective

    by Matthew Allinson 01-16-2012 04:08 PM Philanthropy | Athlete Interviews | Human Relations

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    We caught up with several Baltimore Ravens players at Anquan Boldin’s Inaugural Fundraiser Dinner at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, and had the opportunity to ask them about their responsibility to give back to the community as pro athletes as well as their advice for the younger players on how they can get involved with charity work and a find a cause that's meaningful to them. We spoke to Rice Rice, Michael Oher, Matt Birk, Joe Flacco, and Ed Reed. We also recently published Q&A’s with Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who provided invaluable insight about philanthropy and are role models off the field.

    Q: What does it mean to you to be a professional athlete in terms of leveraging your celebrity to give back to the community?
    Ray Rice: I think being a professional athlete is a big part of your job, but if you’re just being a football player you’re not filling a total fulfillment. Giving back to the community is one of them things you can’t take for granted because they're people that look up to you on and off the field. And being a community ambassador is something that, especially [with] all the things that I’ve been through in my life, it’s almost like my calling and duty to be part of the community.
    Q: What advice would you lend to aspiring athletes coming up in the ranks in terms of how they can give back to the community to prepare themselves to be in a position like you?
    Ray Rice: I think like you said, they got to position themselves. A lot of people think they have to donate money. But really if you donate your time to the community first, the money will follow because then people see you doing a good job and then they’ll want to help you. So, I just think follow your heart and desire, and just go out there and donate your time before you try to donate any money.


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  10. Haloti Ngata Q&A

    by Matthew Allinson 01-16-2012 01:33 AM Athlete Career Development | Philanthropy | Athlete Interviews | Human Relations

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    Haloti Ngata, 27, is widely considered one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. The six-year veteran of the Baltimore Ravens earned his third consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl this season after recording 64 tackles, a career high, and adding 5 sacks. At 6-foot-4, 330-pounds, the versatile and freakishly athletic one-man wrecking crew is one of the anchors of the Ravens’ long vaunted 3-4 hybrid defense. Ngata and his Ravens will head to Foxborough next weekend to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

    Ngata spoke to Access Athletes at Anquan Boldin’s Inaugural Fundraiser Dinner about his approach to being a pro athlete off the field.
    Q: Start off by telling me what it means to you to be a pro athlete and how you leverage your celebrity to give back to the community. 
    Ngata: It’s huge for me. I’ve always wanted to be an NFL football player. I’ve always dreamed it. I always have looked up to guys like I could kind of be like, guys like Reggie White. That kind of person where he was a great football player, but then off the field he was a great man, a great father, and a great god-fearing man.  So that’s the person I looked up to and hopefully I can be that same kind of person. So now that I’m here at Anquan’s charity dinner and doing things like this, hopefully the guys that are coming up seeing us doing these things understand that yeah you’re getting paid a lot and you got a lot of blessings and talent from God, but you definitely have to give back to your community to whatever things you want to do. It doesn’t have to be what somebody else wants; it’s whatever you want to have happen. So it’s great that Anquan can do some things like this and that all of us teammates that are here can be here to support him and help give back—and then we know Anquan would do the same thing for us.


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  11. Anquan Boldin Q&A: An exemplary role model off the field

    by Matthew Allinson 01-11-2012 01:44 AM Philanthropy | Athlete Interviews | Human Relations

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    With a tough matchup against the Houston Texans in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs at M&T Bank Stadium this Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens are eager to have their star wide receiver Anquan Boldin return to the lineup. Boldin, the team’s leading wide receiver with 887 yards on 57 catches, missed the final two regular-season games after he had surgery on Dec. 22 to repair a partial tear in his meniscus.
    Despite being sidelined while his team secured its third AFC North Division crown in franchise history and clinched a #2 seed and a first-round bye in the playoffs, Boldin remained active with his off-the-field charitable work through his foundation. 
    The Anquan Boldin Foundation (Q81 Foundation), which was founded in 2004 during Boldin’s second year in the league and is dedicated to expanding the educational and life opportunities of underprivileged children, participated in several events and initiatives over the winter holidays.
    Most recently, the Q81 Foundation hosted its 4th annual holiday shopping spree during Christmas week in which 200 kids in Baltimore and South Florida received $100 gift cards and a chance to shop with Boldin and his Q81 team at Wal-Mart. There was also a donation of toys in Phoenix, the city where Boldin began his NFL career.
    Boldin was equally as busy spreading the holiday cheer in November. The Q81 Foundation hosted the All-Star Thanksgiving Feast at the Sam’s Club in Lantana, Florida in partnership with Abram Elam (Cowboys), Brandon Flowers (Chiefs), WEDR 99 Jamz, and the Produce Connection. In an international initiative, he teamed up with his former Arizona Cardinals teammate Larry Fitzgerald in a public service announcement calling on football fans and others to support efforts to raise awareness about the ongoing drought in East Africa and bring critically needed food and water to famine-stricken people in the region.  More than 13 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya have been affected by the disaster.  Lastly, the Q81 Foundation’s Inaugural Fundraiser Dinner was held in Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium, a great cause which I had the privilege of attending along with around 200 other guests and several of Boldin’s teammates.
    We caught up with the 3-time Pro Bowler and the 2010 Ravens’ Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient to talk about philanthropy and get his advice for aspiring pro athletes interested in giving back to the community.


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  12. Ravens Anquan Boldin Hosts 1st Fundraiser Dinner in Baltimore

    by Matthew Allinson 11-13-2011 11:58 PM Special Event | Philanthropy

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    Access Athletes will be attending Anquan Boldin's Inaugural Fundraiser Dinner for the Anquan Boldin Foundation (Q81 Foundation) tomorrow evening at M&T Bank Stadium. Bridgett Coates of Exposure BBC invited me to cover the event and I'm thrilled for the opportunity to be able to provide my readers with a glimpse into Boldin's charitable work. 

    Boldin, who was awarded the 2010 Ravens’ Walter Payton Man of the Year award, has a strong record of community service with the many successful youth programs he has established. Other athletes can learn a great deal from Boldin's perspective on philanthropy and what it means to him to be a professional athlete, as reflected by his quote below.

    "I don't want to be just another guy who played in the NFL. We have a bigger purpose to touch lives and I'm trying to do that."

    I look forward to writing more about the Q81 Foundation event in the near future.

    (Press Release below)


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  13. Poetry in Motion: A Story of Hardship and Hope in Crow Country, Montana

    by Matthew Allinson 09-26-2011 02:29 PM Philanthropy

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    This is a guest article written by David Dean, Founder & Director of Unity Hoops Basketball.
    On the Crow Indian Reservation just south of Billings, Montana a way of life exists that flows with the sun and seasons, one not contingent on the constant tick of the stress-filled clock so characteristic of western society. What remains most deeply etched into my mind about my experience there is not the expansive sky or the beauty of the natural world, but rather the continuing hardship of a people whose struggle has been neglected and hidden through history. 
    I remember the solemn faces of children searching for ways to express their feelings about the substance abuse that had taken the lives of their parents. I think back to a man telling the story of his false hope for greater federal aid following the election of President Obama. 
    I recall two girls seven and thirteen, who, at different times, spoke to me without emotion, saying, “My mom died from drugs,” like it happened all the time. I cannot forget the shame so apparent in young teenagers after admitting that time and time again they went to bed hungry.
    And the ten-year-old who broke down, and wept about her home life, sobbing, “My dad just drinks and drinks. We can’t live with him. I’m scared he’ll hurt me when he gets mad again. He already did that to my mom. She took me to Pryor where we stayed in a tent last night—I was so cold… Tonight, I don’t know where she is—I can’t find her anywhere.” The girl then began to beg for a place to stay.
    I often recollect the worn but penetrating stare of a spiritual and community leader who spoke to me slowly and with a lucid tone about the racism, second-rate educational systems, and lack of representation from both federal and reservation governments that act as barriers keeping Native youth from their potential, saying, “Our children are so behind. And they are our future. We all must help them to catch up.”
    Or the wrinkled, scarred face of a high school basketball coach standing with his wife and daughter. He stared at his feet and softly murmured, “We lost everything we had in the flood.” His words were interrupted by the bounce of a rubber ball on concrete, that somehow, if only for a moment, made things better.
    I remember the look of helplessness and anger in the eyes of a young boy as he began to tear up, putting his hands over his face and whispering, “The men in my family are wicked.” Later I witnessed the same child dribbling through defenders with speed—running on the wind—finding peace of mind in the game that had almost become a part of culture itself—a game described to me by a Crow elder as “poetry in motion.”


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  14. Athlete Weekly Rundown: Aaron Rodgers & his zone experience, Rick Rypien's tragic death & Jerricho Cotchery moves on

    by Matthew Allinson 08-21-2011 11:57 PM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    Athlete Development

    • Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can reach the top. Aaron Rodgers' Super Bowl run is case in point. This article has excellent insight about an athlete having the allusive zone experience. After suffering his second concussion of the season and being forced to take some time off, Rodgers had this to say about last season: "So when I got an opportunity to get back to my preparation, get back to my football team, I just wanted to make the most of that and be a better leader, be more prepared, be a better practice player, so all that kicked in and I went on a run and the rest is history.” [Week off helped Rodgers see the light]
    • Free agent wideout Terrell Owens recently told ESPN.com that he is healing ahead of schedule while preparing for the start of this NFL season. Owens, who once played in Super Bowl XXXIX seven weeks after breaking his fibula, must be fully healthy for any teams to have an interest in signing him. While teams seem weary of signing the 15-year vet, Owens is confident in his abilities and focused on proving all the doubters wrong: "This is another challenge for me. Another opportunity to show people that age is nothing but a number. You can do anything you put your mind and body to. I don't allow naysayers to deter me from my goal." [T.O. 'way ahead of schedule' in surgery rehab]
    • Since NFL lockout rules prohibited contact between players and team personnel, many rookies and veteran players could not learn their new offensive and defensive assignments, especially on teams that had significant coaching changes. Yet, Browns starting QB Colt McCoy thought outside the box by spending the offseason learning about the West Coast offense from future Hall of Famer Brett Favre. It's always smart to find mentors who have tons of experience and success to guide you through your athletic development. [Brett Favre tutored Colt McCoy]



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  15. Hall of Fame Tight End and Union Pioneer John Mackey (1941-2011)

    by Matthew Allinson 07-08-2011 01:56 AM Special Event | Labor

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    "He was a great playerin my estimations, one of the greatest players ever at the tight end position. He was a leader on and off the field. Heading up the NFL Players Association, he was able to get benefits we didn't have and for future players. He had a wonderful family. His wife and children were his inspiration and took care of him later in life. Sylvia Mackey is one of the classiest individuals that I have ever met in my life and should be a spokesperson for all retired players' wives."

    --Tom Matte, former Baltimore Colts running back (1961-72), AccessAthletes.com

    Thursday was a sad day, as legendary Baltimore Colts tight end and Super Bowl champion John Mackey died at age 69 after an extended battle with frontotemporal dementia. The Hall of Fame tight end who played for the Colts from 1963-71 and finished his 10-year career with 331 catches for 5,236 yards and 38 TDs. Not only did Mackey revolutionize the tight end position, he championed players' rights as the first President of the NFL Players Association from 1969-73 following the 1970 NFL-AFL merger and paved the way for many of the benefits current NFL players enjoy today.

    During his historic tenure at the helm of the NFLPA, the first sports union recognized by the National Labor Relations Board, he organized the first NFL strike in 1970 that reportedly led to an additional $11 million in pension and benefits for the players, won an antitrust lawsuit that ended the "Rozelle Rule" and established a legal precedent that would ultimately lead to true free agency, and he fought to improve salaries, benefits, and player safety.

    "John Mackey is still our leader," NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said. "As the President of the NFL Players Association, he led the fight for fairness with a brilliance and ferocious drive. His passion continues to define our organization and inspire our players. His unwavering loyalty to our mission and his exemplary courage will never be forgotten."

    "He was the right man at the right time," former Colts teammate Ordell Braase told the Baltimore Sun. "We were a fractured group until John began putting permanence in [the union's] day-to-day operations. He hired administrators and a general counsel. He had a vision for that job, which was more than just putting in time and keeping the natives calm. You don't get anything unless you really rattle the cage."


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  16. Eco-athlete Ovie Mughelli empowers underprivileged youth through environmental activism

    by Matthew Allinson 06-01-2011 01:11 AM Philanthropy | Athlete Interviews

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    When it comes to protecting our environment, it’s easy for some people to turn their backs and simply caste this responsibility aside as someone else’s issue. To them, it’s just an afterthought. To Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, this cavalier mentality is at odds with his most fundamental beliefs regarding the environment.
    “If you’ve played any type of sport, especially football, you know you can never wait for the other man to make a play,” Mughelli told me. “You can’t sit on the sidelines and be like ‘I’m going down on the kickoff or punt team, and someone else will make the tackle. Or, it’s the 4th quarter of the game, and I don’t have to worry about making a play; somebody else will do it.’”
    Mughelli, a staunch environmental activist, points out that those who espouse this mentality will never win a game in their life. Unfortunately, he laments, this is the mentality that we’ve adopted as human beings to save our planet.
    “The tree huggers or the quote-unquote hippie[s], they’ll take care of it. Or, some ‘brainiac’ will solve it. That’s not going to happen. It’s all about doing our part. It’s not rocket science at all. It’s all simple stuff that can be done, just by taking an interest in your fellow human beings.”
    Mughelli isn’t the type of a person who is going to sit around idly and wait for others to step up. He’s not only doing his part, but he has been imparting on others the importance of them doing their part too.
    Through the Ovie Mughelli Foundation (OMF), Mughelli has put a masterful game plan in place to make his mark on the environment and in the community.



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  17. Introducing The KR Group Monthly Broadcast for Professional Athletes with Access Athletes

    by Matthew Allinson 06-01-2011 01:04 AM Sports Psychology | Human Relations | Education | Coaching | Athlete Career Development | Monthly Podcast | Finance

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    One of our goals for 2011 was to begin creating educational products for athletes. We set out to build on top of the strong foundation that we already have in place here at AccessAthletes.com by delving into other mediums, in an effort to give our athlete readers more options when it comes to being informed and maximizing their potential.

    I'm very happy to announce the launch The KR Group Monthly Podcast for Professional Athletes with Access Athletes. Each month, both Dr. Tim Thompson, our VP of Educational Programs and human relations expert, and yours truly, will be recording a podcast in Philadelphia together with Scott Kaminsky and Matt Ramer of the KR Group at Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS). It is produced by Digilog Sound & Image of Philadelphia.

    Before I get to the podcast's format and what's in store for you for you all this month, I wanted to give a little background about Scott and Matt and what led to us to collaborate with them on this project.

    Scott Kaminsky and Matt Ramer are Vice Presidents of the KR Group in Morgan Stanley's Philadelphia office. Scott is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) who received his B.S. in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1989, where he also played on the baseball team. His partner Matt, an Estate and Retirement Planning Specialist, received his Bachelor's Degree in Economics and American Studies from Brandeis University. Matt is an Auxiliary Captain in the U.S. Air Force, as well as an Angel Flight Pilot. They were both named to Philadelphia Magazine’s 2010 FIVE STAR: Best in Client Satisfaction Wealth Manager listing in 2009 and 2010.

    What impressed me the most about Scott and Matt is their commitment to educating athletes and helping them make informed financial decisions. In early November, Scott Kaminsky traveled down from Philadelphia to share a study, which both he and Matt commissioned, called the 5 Biggest Challenges Facing Professional Athletes. This well-researched study, produced by the Empire Research Group, provides a great deal of solid information and statistics in an easy-to-understand format.

    The study is broken down into 5 challenges: (1) Overindulgence, (2) Debt Control, (3) Misplaced Trust, (4) Family Issues, and (5) Wealth Preservation. Not only does it dissect the root causes behind many of the financial issues experienced by many professional athletes, it also lays out 5 action steps for success. These include (1) Build the Proper Team(2) Advisor Trust Guide, (3) Tax Planning, (4) Protect Your Assets, and (5) Create a Financial Plan. At the end, it instructs athletes that the choice is theirs - whether they want to "live large for a few years" or "live comfortably forever."  


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  18. Athlete Weekly Rundown: Tony Woods gets a second chance, the UFC Fighter Summit & Keith McCants and Lewis Brown struggle with their post-athletic careers

    by Matthew Allinson 05-20-2011 11:38 PM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    Athlete Development

    • Inspiring story about Michael Jasper, 7th round draftee for the Buffalo Bills. The 6-foot-5 nose tackle, who now weighs in the 370-pound range, has such a positive attitude and hunger to succeed. I really look forward to seeing him on the field soon (after the lockout ends of course). [Jasper overcomes enormous odds on journey to NFL]


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  19. Athletes, the Time to Invest in Real Estate is Now

    by Matthew Allinson 05-12-2011 09:45 PM Finance

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    This is a guest post from Ikem Chukumerije, CEO/President of SportsRelocation.com

    The stories have been flooding the news wires for months now. It seems you can’t pick up a newspaper or turn on the television without hearing about another foreclosure or another town struggling under the weight of the current recession. Job growth is weak at best, the stock market resembles a Yo-Yo with its up and down nature, and nobody is really sure when things will turn around for the economy.

    In other words, this is the perfect time for professional athletes to invest in real estate. That last sentence wasn’t a misprint! This really is a great time to look at long-term investing and there is no better long-term investment out there than real estate. 


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  20. Athletes, the Time to Understand Superbugs is Now!

    by Matthew Allinson 04-20-2011 02:04 AM Motivation | Injury & Rehabilitation | Education | Athlete Career Development

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    This is a guest post from Steve Brandon, Vice President of the IV7 Doctors Group

    Athletes are some of the most fit people in our society.  They train hard, pay attention to nutrition and seem to be less susceptible to illness.  So, it stands to reason, they should be less concerned than say, children, the elderly or people in hospitals about becoming ill, right?  Not so fast.

    While that may have been the case in the past, a new category of pathogens called “Superbugs” have arrived and they do not discriminate.  In other words, it’s time for athletes to understand what is happening.  They need to do all they can to keep from becoming infected at the least, or worst case, a casualty.


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  21. Athlete Weekly Rundown: The 10-day NBA contract, Luther Elliss is bankrupt & the journey of Jorge Gutierrez

    by Matthew Allinson 02-01-2011 10:40 PM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    Athlete Development

    • The adventures of former Va Tech standout Zabian Dowdell as he tries to survive the NBA's 10-day contract. [10 Days To Live


    • Ngum Suh is the director of operations for the Ndamukong Suh Family Foundation and is also responsible for handling her little brother's business ventures, appearances and nonfootball related activities. [Sister leads 'Team Suh']  


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  22. Xtreme Procision, LaVar Arrington's Movement to Create the Next Generation of Football Players

    by Matthew Allinson 01-28-2011 01:48 AM Sports Business | Athlete Career Development | Training | Athlete Interviews

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    Annapolis, Maryland – In the living room of LaVar Arrington’s waterfront estate, the former NFL linebacker and Penn State standout showed me the extensive scar on his right forearm that is a painful reminder of the near-fatal motorcycle accident that abruptly ended his career in 2007.

    That summer, Arrington was riding his brand new Kawasaki ZX-14 on a highway exit ramp when he was cut off by a dump truck, causing him to lose control of his bike and skid across the pavement. He was unconscious for two days in the intensive care unit before he came to, only to discover that he had sustained major injuries. He suffered massive nerve damage along with several broken bones in his back, a shattered right arm, and a massive gash in his right thigh. 


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  23. Athlete Weekly Rundown: Deer antlers are newest PED, Brad Friedel's academy is $8 million in debt & Bill Cosby gives Cam Newton advice

    by Matthew Allinson 01-25-2011 12:24 AM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    Athlete Development

    • Tramon Williams, a Louisiana Tech walk-on who went undrafted, has 15 interceptions in the past three seasons with Green Bay and is having a big post-season for his team. [A Packers Cornerback Is Overlooked No Longer


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  24. Athlete Weekly Rundown: Jim Boeheim & Social Media, Troy Polamalu's Spiritual Journey & the Matthews family = NFL factory

    by Matthew Allinson 01-18-2011 12:41 AM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    Athlete Development


    • The NFL's Outside Counsel gives a rundown of the status of negotiations with the NFLPA. Whether you agree with the League's positions or not, this is a fantastic read for those who are interested in labor law. [Transcript of Bob Batterman interview with AP]


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  25. Athlete Weekly Rundown: Amar'e & microfracture surgery, Len Elmore talks iHoops & Allen Iverson in Istanbul

    by Matthew Allinson 01-10-2011 05:21 PM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    It's been a busy start to the New Year with a lot of things in the works here at Access Athletes. It was a big weekend in Maryland with the Baltimore Ravens advancing in the playoffs after they blasted the Chiefs in the first round. Next weekend, they will face their heated rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in a showdown that will finally settle the debate about who is the best team in the AFC North and determine who will ultimately advance to the AFC Championship.

    Recently, we brought on another incredible contributor at Access Athletes. Master Certified Coach, Chrissy Carew, is the Founder of The Insightful Player™, a bold movement of hope committed to lifting the spirit of the human race by putting high integrity NFL players on the largest stage in the world to share their personal heartfelt stories to inspire all, especially kids. The NFL contains so many examples of these fine young men who happen to be sports heroes, but beyond their stats, live their lives in an exemplary fashion and devote themselves to helping individuals and society as a whole. Through this campaign, Chrissy has interviewed more than 30 NFL players and has assembled their stories in the "A Gift of Insights".  You can download a special PDF copy of all 30 Insightful Player™ stories for free and help Chrissy spread her powerful and uplifting message. 


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  26. Athlete Weekly Rundown: Terrelle Pryor & the crew, Junior Bridgeman owns 282 restaurants & Torrey Smith is a true inspiration

    by Matthew Allinson 12-31-2010 05:11 PM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    In my last official post for 2010, I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and thank you for your continued support of Access Athletes and our mission to educate athletes. It was a big year for us, as we published a number of high-profile interviews on this site and have had a tremendous amount of success forming invaluable relationships with many like-minded individuals in the sports industry. With the solid foundation we have built over the past year, I am extremely excited for what 2011 has in store for AA. 

    In 2011, we will officially relaunch the revamped Access Athletes website. We will be introducing several new expert contributors who will cover a wide-variety of new topics. We also expect to roll out an educational program for elite athletes that we have been working tirelessly on for the last few years. We will continue to serve as an unbiased resource of information for elite athletes and further solidify our role as Trusted Athlete Educators.

    I have included some great links from the last couple of weeks below.


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  27. Athlete Weekly Rundown: Renardo Sidney in shape?, the taxman will be looking for Cliff Lee & Kevin Durant's humble nature

    by Matthew Allinson 12-17-2010 08:21 PM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    It was an exciting week. I interviewed former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker LaVar Arrington over the weekend. He is one of few former athletes who has his own radio and tv show, as well as his own newspaper column. He is cerebral, articulate, and incredibly engaging. During the in-depth interview at his house, we talked about his new sports apparel company, XTREME PROCISION, as well as his experiences in the NFL. He talked very openly with me about some of the mistakes he made and also shared a lot of wisdom about how the younger players can best make the transition to the League. I will be working on the first segment of the interview this weekend and hope to publish it soon.

    I was also very pleased to bring on another new contributor this week. Sports attorney and adjunct professor Justin Sievert will be covering issues relating to NCAA student-athletes, in addition to providing commentary on general sports law issues. Check out his first column about Cam Newton and whether the NCAA got it right.

    I am eager to see the one-of-a-kind talent and fellow Baltimore native Josh Selby in uniform tomorrow as he makes his collegiate debut for Kansas.

    Athlete Development

    • I can't help but feel sad for Yao, as his career may be in jeopardy and he hasn't even had the opportunity to realize his full potential on the court. [Yao out for season with stress fracture


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  28. Athlete Weekly Rundown: Athletes filing trademarks, DJ Rony Seikaly & Kryie Irving's friendship

    by Matthew Allinson 12-10-2010 07:54 PM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    We brought on Former Major League baseball player Buddy Biancalana (starting shortstop on the 1985 World Series champion Kansas City Royals squad) and his business partner Steven Yellin of PMPM Sports to provide their insight about motion in sports and zone training on Access Athletes. Be sure to check out their first column. We will be adding several new expert contributors in the coming weeks.

    On Saturday, I had the pleasure of having lunch with legendary Baltimore Colts runningback Tom Matte. He was voted one of the top-10 most versatile players in NFL history. The guy did everything on the field, including filling in as an emergency quarterback when Johnny Unitas and Gary Cuozzo went down with season-ending injuries. In fact, Colts head coach Don Shula put a list of plays on a wristband that Matte wore during those games, which is now on display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was incredible hearing his stories about playing under Woody Hayes at The Ohio State University, as well as his tremendous feats during his 12-year NFL career and two Super Bowl appearances.

    Human Relations expert, Dr. Tim Thompson, had an excellent commentary this week about pro athletes and infidelity. We will also be posting a commentary about Cam Newton tomorrow prior to the Heisman Trophy Presentation.


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  29. Athlete Weekly Rundown: Cam Newton is free and clear, Keyon Dooling is quite the businessman & pro athletes and infidelity

    by Matthew Allinson 12-03-2010 10:42 PM Athlete Weekly Rundown

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    I decided to bring back the Athlete Weekly Rundown column, but this time around, it will be structured a little bit differently. Each week, we will bring you three categories of stories: (1) Athletic Development (2) Business and (3) Human Relations.

    What a wild week it has been with Cam Newton being declared eligible and LeBron James returning to Cleveland last night. I'm looking forward to the heated AFC North match-up between the Ravens and Steelers on Sunday Night Football. If you have an article that would be beneficial to athletes, please send it my way (matt at accessathletes dot com).

    Athletic Development


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  30. The Passing of a Legend: Mack Lewis

    by Matthew Allinson 12-02-2010 11:48 PM News | Human Relations | Coaching | Athlete Career Development

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    From the Editor's Father, Arthur Allinson.

    It would be right with the many other testimonials bestowed on the beloved and greatly respected Mack Lewis that I comment on the legendary boxing trainer and manager's recent passing. Mr. Lewis, who died at the age of 92 on November 12, spent his lifetime mentoring and tutoring at-risk youth in East Baltimore at The Mack Lewis Gym. He guided them successfully in their teenage years and through adulthood as they encountered the many temptations and challenges presented by inner-city life. Through boxing, he offered an alternative life that brought success to hundreds of deserving young men. Mr. Mack would often say "I don't care if you become a world champion, as long as you become a productive member of society."


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  31. Tony Gonzalez is on a mission to spread his all-natural lifestyle

    by Matthew Allinson 11-13-2010 06:17 PM Sports Business | Education | Nutrition | Life After Sports | Athlete Interviews

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    Tony Gonzalez never read when he was a kid. It wasn’t until he was going into his third year in the NFL that the All-Pro tight end for the Atlanta Falcons really started cracking open books, and he says it’s the best thing that ever happened to him.

    “You have so much free time on your hands and you got to make use of it,” said Gonzalez, who admitted to squandering his spare time during his first two years in the League. “You can look at it and go stale in the brain, which a lot of guys do, or you can do like a couple of the guys do, and make the most of your time here. You never know how long it’s going to last.”


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  32. Can an ex-NFL star achieve a balanced portfolio?

    by Matthew Allinson 10-20-2010 12:40 AM Athlete Career Development | Trusted Athlete Educator | Life After Sports | Finance

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    MSN Money recently rolled out a new online reality series called The Invested Life. Over the next 9 months, it will feature the stories of 7 real-life investors who will be working with financial coaches to transform their portfolios and lives. Among these investors is former NFL linebacker Winfred Tubbs who played in the League for 7 seasons (Saints and 49ers) and retired in 2000. Tubbs is paired with his long-time confidant and Financial Advisor Ed Butowsky, and is on a quest to manage his money properly and have a balanced portfolio now that he is entering the married life and preparing for his daughter's college education.


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  33. Tony Gonzalez Launches 1,000th Catch Twitter Contest

    by Matthew Allinson 09-01-2010 02:41 PM Public Relations | News | Social Media

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    All-Pro NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez, in conjunction with his all-natural sports nutrition company All-Pro Science, Inc, is running a neat social media campaign to celebrate his 1,000th career catch. The winner of the contest will receive an autographed glove used during the 1,000th catch game and a trip for two to Atlanta to reenact the catch with Gonzalez, along with tickets to a Falcons game.

    Gonzalez is only one reception shy of becoming the seventh player in NFL history, and the first tight end, to reach the 1,000 catch milestone. He is expected to make this catch in the Falcons' season opener on Sunday, September 12 at Pittsburgh.

    It's always nice to see a professional athlete thinking outside the box to reward his fans and create good will in the community. A clever and fun social media campaign like this will definitely enhance Gonzalez's brand and reputation. This underscores the importance for pro athletes to have a strong PR teamJen Campbell, All-Pro Science's PR Director, is doing a fantastic job and this campaign will no doubt be highly successful and create tons of positive publicity for her star client.

    For more details about the contest, check out the press release that Jen Campbell sent me.

  34. Zing Nutrition Bars: They are Deliciously Different

    by Matthew Allinson 08-18-2010 10:42 AM Sports Business Review | Nutrition

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    Zing Nutrition Bars are quietly becoming a hit in the athletic community. NFL Pro Bowl Tight End Tony Gonzalez recently recommended Zing bars in his new book, The All-Pro Diet, co-written by sports dietitian, Mitzi Dulan. Professional sports teams such as the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and the Seattle Mariners order Zing bars for their athletes. They also come highly recommended by Nancy Clark, a bestselling author and sports nutritionist formerly pictured on Wheaties cereal boxes.


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  35. Athlete Advice: Money management a difficult lesson for NFL's rookie class

    by Matthew Allinson 08-17-2010 11:19 PM Athlete Advice

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    We are introducing a new type of article on Access Athletes. The goal of this short column is to drop interesting tidbits of information and advice that will help athletes advance their careers. It may be a quote from an athlete, coach, journalist, or sports professional. At the end of the excerpt, I will pose a question or two for you to think about.

    In a recent USA Today article about NFL players having financial difficulties, former all-pro cornerback Deion Sanders had this to say:

    "My advice?...Find someone to mentor you who doesn't have their hands in your pocket."

    What steps should an athlete take to find a "neutral" mentor?

    Source: [Money management a difficult lesson for NFL's rookie class]

  36. Athlete Chat: Triple Jumper Samyr Laine

    by Matthew Allinson 07-30-2010 02:50 AM Athlete Interviews

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    Samyr Laine juggled law school and the triple jump simultaneously for the past 3 years as the ultimate student-athlete.


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  37. Education is Key for Pro Athletes

    by Matthew Allinson 07-07-2010 01:15 AM Education | Athlete Career Development | Finance

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    Education is a process that needs to be sustained over a period of time for elite athletes from the amateur ranks to the post-athletic career.


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  38. BAM Testing: Breaking Down the Numbers for Elite Athletes

    by Matthew Allinson 06-23-2010 06:11 PM Athlete Career Development

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    Standardized testing is now an integral part of your professional development as an elite athlete. BAM Testing provides all the resources you need to get reliable and valid testing.


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  39. Athlete Chat: Daryll Clark

    by Matthew Allinson 04-22-2010 01:17 AM Athlete Interviews

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    Former Penn State star quarterback and 2010 NFL Draft Prospect spoke to Access Athletes about his collegiate career, leadership, and the NFL.


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  40. Taking a look at GoSports Technology

    by Matthew Allinson 03-20-2010 02:31 PM Athlete Services | Training

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    GoSports Technology offers athletes a useful combination of strength and conditioning programs, along with sports measuring tools.


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  41. Athlete Chat: Boo Robinson

    by Matthew Allinson 03-17-2010 11:01 AM Athlete Interviews

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    2010 NFL Draft Prospect Boo Robinson is ready to show that he belongs in the NFL.


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  42. Ask The Expert: Joseph McAuliffe, Edge Sports Academy

    by Matthew Allinson 03-05-2010 10:32 AM Ask The Expert

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    For the 5th Edition of the Ask The Expert series, we spoke to Joseph McAuliffe of Edge Sports Academy about strength and conditioning, powerlifting, and being a drug-free athlete.


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  43. Tips for Athletes on Speaking to the Media & More

    by Matthew Allinson 03-02-2010 01:34 AM Public Relations | Image Branding | Trusted Athlete Educator

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    Sports broadcasting legend Roy Firestone gives athletes advice on interacting with the media and their careers.


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  44. Interview with a Sports Professional: Roy Firestone

    by Matthew Allinson 02-15-2010 01:08 AM Interview with a Sports Professional

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    Exclusive Interview with nationally acclaimed broadcaster and entertainer Roy Firestone.


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  45. Athlete Chat: Baltimore Ravens Center Matt Birk

    by Matthew Allinson 01-03-2010 08:08 PM Athlete Interviews

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    We were privileged to chat with 33-year old Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk to ask some questions about his NFL career and off-field activities, as well as to get some solid advice for the younger players out there.


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  46. Ask The Expert: Nick Brockmeyer, Platinum Sports & Entertainment Management, LLC

    by Matthew Allinson 12-21-2009 04:01 PM Ask The Expert

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    In the Fourth Edition of the Ask The Expert Series, we are pleased to have Nick Brockmeyer on the hot seat. Mr. Brockmeyer is an attorney, sports law professor, and the President of Platinum Sports & Entertainment Management, LLC.


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  47. Athlete Chat: Norman Nolan

    by Matthew Allinson 11-28-2009 07:24 PM Athlete Interviews

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    In his 12th season playing pro ball overseas, Norman Nolan has become an expert at living around the world to play the game he loves. We caught up to the former University of Virginia star, who is playing in Argentina, to talk about his career.


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  48. Attention Athletes: The Quarter-Inch Hole Is the Key to Success in Building Your Brand Online

    by Matthew Allinson 11-25-2009 12:48 AM Social Media | Image Branding | Athlete Services

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    Athletes, if you want to build a succesful brand online, hire a team of qualified professionals that will show you how to create that quarter-inch hole.


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  49. Athlete Chat: Boise State's Winston Venable

    by Matthew Allinson 11-14-2009 09:15 AM Athlete Interviews

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    An Exclusive AA Interview with Boise State Nickelbacker Winston Venable about his long journey to become one of college football's top defensive players.


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  50. Will Michael Crabtree live up to the hype?

    by Matthew Allinson 10-25-2009 11:03 PM Athlete Representation | Trusted Athlete Educator

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    A look at Michael Crabtree's decision to holdout for 71 days.


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  51. Ask The Expert: Alfred Ball, Lifemoves Health and Rehabilitation

    by Matthew Allinson 10-16-2009 02:00 AM Ask The Expert

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    In the third edition of the Ask The Expert Series, hosted in conjunction with SportsAgentBlog, we were pleased to get the perspective of Alfred Ball, Founder and President of Lifemoves® Health and Rehabilitation.


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  52. Ask The Expert: Stephen Rhodes, Strategic Partners Wealth Management

    by Matthew Allinson 09-28-2009 04:27 PM Ask The Expert

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    In the second edition of the Ask The Expert Series, hosted in conjunction with SportsAgentBlog, we were privileged to have Stephen Rhodes, Managing Partner of Strategic Partners Wealth Management on the “hot seat.”


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  53. Athlete Chat: Austin Hinton, The Time is Now for Penn State QB Daryll Clark

    by Matthew Allinson 09-12-2009 04:41 PM Athlete Interviews

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    Budding filmmaker and former Penn State football player is making a splash after his playing days with his upcoming documentary The Time is Now featuring Heisman hopeful and Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark.


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  54. Ask The Expert: Emery B. Sheer, Berenfeld LLP

    by Matthew Allinson 09-09-2009 01:26 AM Ask The Expert

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    In the first edition of the Ask The Expert Series, we were privileged to have Emery B. Sheer, CPA on the "hot seat." Sheer is the Managing Partner of the acclaimed South Florida-based accounting firm, Berenfeld LLP.


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  55. Ask The Expert Series

    by Matthew Allinson 08-17-2009 10:50 PM Ask The Expert | AA Site Updates

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    The Real Athlete Blog, a division of AccessAthletes.com, is launching the Ask The Expert series in conjunction with SportsAgentBlog (the leading resource for sports agent news) for the purpose of educating athletes.


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  56. YouTube Athlete Video of the Week: Dewayne Wise's Catch Saves Buehrle's Perfect Game

    by Matthew Allinson 07-27-2009 02:50 AM

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    Dewayne Wise made the ultimate play to save Mark Buehrle's perfect game.


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  57. Alan Stein’s Cutting Edge Reaction, Quickness, and Agility Basketball Camp

    by Matthew Allinson 07-20-2009 02:42 PM Camps | Athlete Career Development

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    Information about Alan Stein's Cutting Edge Reaction, Quickness, and Agility Basketball Camp, presented by One on One Basketball Training.


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  58. YouTube Athlete Video of the Week: Martellus Bennett's Black Olympics

    by Matthew Allinson 07-18-2009 07:09 PM

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    Martellus Bennett is at it again with this Black Olympics video on his YouTube Channel Marty B TV.


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  59. Sports Business Review: Athletes can use LinkedIn to build a powerful network

    by Matthew Allinson 07-12-2009 11:53 PM Athlete Career Development | Sports Business Review

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    As athletes are flocking to Twitter to open accounts and tweet with their fans, there is only a small contingent of them who have joined the professional networking website LinkedIn. In this review, we share the powerful principles of networking contained in the book LinkedWorking that will assist you in building a powerful network. Based on each principle, I also include Access Athlete's advice for how to better network as an athlete.


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  60. Athlete Chat: Alcorn State University Cornerback Roderick Williams

    by Matthew Allinson 06-12-2009 11:29 PM Athlete Career Development | Athlete Interviews

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    Alcorn State University cornerback, Roderick Williams, hopes to hear his name called in the 2010 NFL Draft. He talks about his big dreams and the mentoring he has received from NFL legend and Hall of Famer, Darrell Green, along his journey.


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  61. Martellus Bennett Likes Eating Pots of Cereal

    by Matthew Allinson 06-05-2009 11:53 AM Nutrition

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    You think professional athletes have top-notch nutritional habits? Think again.


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  62. Athlete Chat: Milwaukee Bucks Charlie Villanueva

    by Matthew Allinson 05-26-2009 01:03 AM Sports Business | Philanthropy | Education | Athlete Services | Athlete Representation | Athlete Career Development | Athlete Interviews

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    An exclusive Access Athletes interview with Milwaukee Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva about The Charlie Villanueva Foundation, NBA life, and the player-agent relationship and his bond with superagent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management.


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  63. Athlete Chat: Kelvin Amayo

    by Matthew Allinson 04-29-2009 01:22 AM Athlete Career Development | Athlete Interviews

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    Last season, Amayo was a key reserve for St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, NJ), averaging nearly 13 ppg, 5 apg, and 4 rpg. The 6-foot-4, 195-pound sophomore sensation is an explosive point guard out to prove that his name belongs with the nation's elite.


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  64. Athlete Chat: St. Patrick's Derrick Gordon

    by Matthew Allinson 04-15-2009 02:00 AM Recruiting | Human Relations | Athlete Career Development | Athlete Interviews

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    As the self-proclaimed “defensive playmaker,” basketball player Derrick Gordon has made his mark amidst the star-studded St. Patrick High School lineup and is going to be one of the top juniors in the nation next year.


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  65. The Celebrity Draft Classic - NFL 2009

    by Matthew Allinson 04-09-2009 02:00 AM Special Event

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    DSA Media Group, Destined For Success Management, MOVES Magazine announce, by invitation only, "The Celebrity Draft Classic", taking place on April 23, in celebration of the 2009 NFL Draft.


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  66. The Real Athlete Blog's One-Year Anniversary!!!

    by Matthew Allinson 03-21-2009 03:00 AM AA Site Updates | Trusted Athlete Educator | Athlete Career Development

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    The Real Athlete Blog celebrates its one-year anniversary.


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  67. Sports Industry Employment Opportunity: ESPN Is Seeking Talented Sports Journalists

    by Matthew Allinson 03-09-2009 02:00 AM

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    Passionate about professional team sports? Consider turning your passion into a CAREER! ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, is looking for people with diverse backgrounds, education, experience, and elite-level knowledge of professional team sports.


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  68. Sports Forum: New York County Lawyers Association Sports Law Forum

    by Matthew Allinson 03-08-2009 03:00 AM Legal | Image Branding | Education | Crisis Management | Athlete Representation | Special Event | Sports Business

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    The forum is about the representation of athletes in individualized (as opposed to team) sports in negotiations and the maintenance of endorsement and sponsorship deals.


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  69. Athlete Chat: Ex-NFL Player Tommy Polley

    by Matthew Allinson 01-29-2009 02:00 AM Athlete Interviews

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    Athlete Chat with Tommy Polley: High school prep all-american in football and top 60 basketball prospect at Dunbar; Star LB at FSU and National Champion; 6-year NFL career; and life as a businessman with Big Vision Films.


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  70. Tebow is coming back...Loyalty wins out.

    by Matthew Allinson 01-12-2009 02:00 AM Athlete Career Development | News

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    In today's world of college sports, it's rare to see a player of Tebow's stature return for his final year.


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  71. Athlete Chat: MLS Players Chris & Stephen Wondolowski

    by Matthew Allinson 01-07-2009 02:00 AM Athlete Interviews

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    MLS soccer players, Chris and Stephen Wondolowski are teammates on the Houston Dynamo and discuss how they selected their agent and the Major League Soccer Players Union.


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  72. Athlete Chat: Pro-Skater Darren Harper ("D-Streets")

    by Matthew Allinson 11-29-2008 02:00 AM Athlete Interviews

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    Athlete Chat with Pro-Skateboarder Darren Harper of DGK Skateboards, DC Shoe Company, and Famous Stars and Straps Clothing.


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  73. Baltimore Ravens Linebacker Terrell Suggs Workout

    by Matthew Allinson 11-16-2008 02:00 AM Training

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    Terrell Suggs reveals his workout in an interview with FHM Online Magazine.


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  74. Athlete Services: Arkansas Sports Performance Center Pro Football Combine/Pro-Day Training Programs

    by Matthew Allinson 10-19-2008 02:00 AM Athlete Services

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    The Real Athlete Blog features services available to athletes to help improve their athletic performances.


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  75. Athlete Press Release: Terrell Suggs Charity Event

    by Matthew Allinson 10-17-2008 02:00 AM Special Event

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    Celebs, Tigers and Ravens Oh My! Terrell Suggs Brings Las Vegas Nightlife Entertainment to Baltimore Charity Weekend


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  76. Athlete Chat: Marcus "Money" Crenshaw

    by Matthew Allinson 10-04-2008 02:00 AM Athlete Interviews | Athlete Representation | Education

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    The former California State University, Fullerton guard talks about pursuing a professional basketball career in Europe.


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  77. Vote for Austin Hair!

    by Matthew Allinson 08-27-2008 02:00 AM News

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    2008 Wakeworld.com Riders Choice Awards


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  78. Athlete Chat: Terry Threatt

    by Matthew Allinson 08-18-2008 02:00 AM Athlete Interviews | Recruiting

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    How to overcome the pitfalls of the college recruitment process.


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