“Stick to sports.”
“Stay in your lane.”
“That’s not for you to comment on.”
Throughout the career of many collegiate athletes, it is understood that there are some things you can talk about… and some that you can’t.
When articulating your viewpoint, whether it be from the podium or the Twitter keyboard, it is stressed that you represent your team and your university, and your commentary should reflect this fact. With that in mind, it is prudent for all athletes to creatively express their opinions within the confines of the official stance of the head coach and the university. If you don’t agree with the “official” statement, then you have two options: Deflect the question with a whirring waltz of words, or expertly employ the Fifth Amendment in your response.
And then there are the topics that are thought to be well-beyond your purview, deemed to be either too weighty or too whimsical to even be spoken of aloud by a witless, mindless brute of an athlete.
In a way, your degree of self-expression is chained by the status of your employment unsolicited amateur participation in college athletics (sorry for the typo).
While this restriction is self-imposed and necessary in my opinion, it can still be frustrating at times, particularly for those athletes that feel that they have more to offer the world in the expression of complex thought than they do in the demonstration of athletic ability.
For such athletes, their dreaded departure from the playing field doubles as their anticipated arrival in society.
For those athletes, the fear of marginalization in the “next stage of life” is quickly surpassed by an overwhelming sense of liberation when it is discovered that their minds and hearts can take them farther than their bodies ever could.
For them, to be removed from the playing field is not to be unvalued or undesirable, but to be unmuted, unleashed, and unchained.
A New Frontier
I know countless such athletes, but I write to you today because I am partnering with two of them that need no introduction: Lauren Chamberlain and Eric Striker.
The three of us are working together to start a podcast that tackles all the topics we’ve been told to avoid for the duration of our careers. Of course, we will still talk sports a bit, but we will also talk faith, politics, pop culture, community service, social issues, health, and anything else that piques our interest.
What makes this partnership so special is that we are so different. Each of the three of us have profoundly different beliefs, backgrounds, and opinions. But we love each other, and we respect each other. Not in spite of our differences, but BECAUSE of them!
This is what I can promise you from our show:
- Uproarious Laughter
I am BY FAR the least outgoing of the group. These are three incredibly unique personalities, and whether we are talking about the most trivial of issues or the most consequential, I pledge that you will be entertained.
- Challenging Debate
We have been having fight-to-the-death, winner-take-all yelling matches for five plus years. Now, for the first time, you get to hear them. I promise that we will do our homework and articulately state our views. If nothing else, you will be forced to think.
Note to the listener* Remember… I am ALWAYS right
- Moving Commentary
We are intense, passionate individuals that see sports as a platform to make a positive impact on the world around us. We are dreamers that perceive no ambition to be beyond our reach. Our hope is that something we say can slightly alter your perspective and inspire you to be a force for change in your environment.
I hope that you will join us as we start out on this journey together. Follow us on social media for updates, and tune-in to our Facebook Live segments to interact with us weekly!
Without further ado, I am pleased to introduce the one to the other.
Front & Center, please meet Off The Chain!
Let’s have some fun!