Leland Stein III

Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Coach English: Love conquers all. Pamela gives the gift of life to her husband, a kidney.

In sports column, Uncategorized on September 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Coach English: Love conquers all

 Pamela gives the gift of life to her husband, a kidney.

 By Leland Stein III

 Life is strange. For most people they sleep, wake up and eat and sleep and wake up and eat. It is a gift that too many take for granted. As long as things are moving along most of us never think about how and why that happens.

 For one family, Donshell and Pamela English, they have come face-to-face with the reality of the everyday function of the body. Not that every organ in the body is not important; however, the English family has had to come to a hallelujah meeting with their kidneys.

 The kidneys play a vital role in our health. As the renal organs, kidneys job is like a chemist which is to constantly monitor the quality of the blood. Its main job is to ensure that the blood circulating around our body is pure and are free from harmful organisms like bacteria, viruses, waste products, excess water and many more.

 The bean-shaped organs that act like the waste disposal of the body, became the focal point in the lives of Donshell and Pamela. They are both teachers and have been married for 18 years, and, have two children Kaylen and Kendall.

 Donshell was an exceptional athlete at Cass Technical High School graduating in 1986. He attended Eastern Michigan University, where he was instrumental in helping the team win the MAC Conference Championship and the California Bowl in 1987. He played defensive end and served as team captain.

 Strong and athletic, Donshell appeared to have everything a person could want sitting right in front of him. Taking over the Southeastern football program in 2002, in two years he took the Jungleers to its first Public School League (PSL) Division IV Championship, and was runners-up for the City Championship.

Donshell and Pamela English

It did not stop there as he guided Southeastern to a two year record of 22-3 (2008 and 2009). English and the Jungleers won a city title in 2008 and took all on an unforgettable ride to the state semifinals and played in one of the most memorable and talked about games in PSL history – a close loss to Sterling Heights Stevenson.

 At the peak of his success life and his kidneys took control forcing him to resign from the game he loves to focus on getting his health in order.

“Fourteen or fifteen years ago I was told my numbers were not right,” Donshell recalled. “I did everything the doctors told me to do as far as medicine and other stuff. It all worked out okay until 2007 when I started feeling bad and having pain. Eventually they diagnosed me with diverticulitis. I had to have surgery where they removed part of my colon and I had to wear a colostomy bag for a year. Man my life changed unbelievably.”

 Through coaching, teaching, and the kids, he managed to find a deterrent that helped him not dwell of focus too much on the health issues that took over his life.

 “Being a coach in the inner city is a full time job,” he explained. “There is so much more than just coaching needed if you want to do the job right. I had to make sure they were going to class, I had to clothe some of them, feed some of them and be a father or big brother when needed. Football became a safe haven for many of my kids.”

Donshell was one of the PSL’s best coaches and mentors, plus coaching was also a safe haven for him until January of ’09. Not feeling too good for a while he finally went to the doctor and his test results showed creatinine level had climbed to 15. The next morning he had his first kidney dialysis and stayed on a schedule of dialysis three times a week until this past June.

 “We were at a meeting and the question came up about a donor kidney, so I raised my hand and said I’d try,” Pamela recalled. “After some test I found we were a match and it was a no-brainer from there. It was life and death and the quality of life possible for my husband and the father of my kids.

 “We never had any doubt that my kidney would take, because we have a strong faith in God. After the surgery recovery went good for both of us. We have had great support from our church and family. We are trying to live life to the fullest. We are happy!”

 Said Donshell: “Everything is working fantastic. It is a true blessings I’m done with dialysis! I hope to be back coaching next year.”

 Leland Stein can be reached at lelstein3@aol.com or Twitter @LelandSteinIII

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How can Goodell suspend Pryor?

In sports column on September 8, 2011 at 6:16 pm

How can Goodell suspend Pryor?

 By Leland Stein III

Although the Oakland Raiders selected Pryor in the third round of the 2011 Supplemental Draft on August 22, 2011. And three days later, Pryor and the Raiders agreed to a 4-year contract. Pryor will still be required to serve a 5-game suspension at the beginning of the 2011 NFL season, but will still be able to work out at the club facilities and attend all team meetings.

 I’m glad he got draft, but I’m still confused as to how the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell can suspend Pryor.

 I guess Goodell has (un)officially acknowledged that the NCAA is their minor league. The difference is the NHL, NBA and MLB has tossed the amateur façade out the window, but NCAA football is clinging to it like a man hanging out a fifty story building.

 And why not? They get a ready-made, chiseled athlete with name recognition for free. All they have to do is stay in bed with the NCAA and not let any players turn professional until they have been three years out of high school. Wow!! What a racket!!

 I’m no Ohio State or Terrelle Pryor slappy, but right is right and wrong is wrong. I love college and NFL football, but I just do not agree with the kids always taking the fall for an unjust system.

 I just do not understand how . . . nor is it clear legally how Goodell has the ability to suspend quarterback Pryor for five games based on trumped up, so-called “decisions that undermine the integrity of the eligibility rules for the NFL Draft.”

 I’m confused, what NFL rules did he break to be suspended? None!! Pryor did not do anything wrong by society’s standards. He was offered money for merchandise he owned – be mindful that he did not steal anything. He capitalized on his fame, is that really so bad? It seems like the America way too me.

 Surely the NCAA and Ohio State have capitalized on Pryor, as evident by selling his jersey, selling VIP luxury suites, letting him play in the mega-BCS Sugar Bowl, packing in 100’s of thousands in their stadium, putting his “unofficial” likeness in video games, selling, taking booster money, TV money, radio money, merchandise money, cable money . . . just like the NFL. However, the NFL with the same constraints pays its players millions?

 The NCAA and college programs implement creative financial bookkeeping, hiding money in different funds.

 If the colleges make very little money off football then how can they pay coaches 5 or 7 million to mentor amateurs?

 It takes me aback how so many kick the kids to the curb and not see the real picture that is taking place. The schools, administration, talking heads everywhere (ESPN, ABC, NBA, ESPNU, etc. al.) are making millions off these young men. This is America and capitalism – one should benefit from their gifts. Could you imagine Bill Gates not getting paid for what he does? It is crazy that so many dismiss the young people that make the media what it is.

 So here we are, another young man is character assassinated because he got a free car in college. Where else in this country would a person be labeled a cheater and bad person for driving a car? What if a student who was at OSU on an academic scholarship got a free car in exchange for an autograph, would he get suspended from the Lab in his physics class?

 For selling items he owned and driving in a car, people want to destroy this young man’s life and opportunity to earn a living. The NFL did make him eligible for the 2011 NFL supplemental draft, but he has to sit out the first five games of the regular season if and when he signs a contract.

 The NFL is walking on a slippery slope by upholding a college suspension for a player who will be coming to their league. This is a dangerous precedent, especially if the league doesn’t keep doing it for future players who are implicated in college scandals. Do they go back and suspend everyone who played for Miami or North Carolina or USC. Then what about Pete Carroll who left USC amid scandal and took a multi-million dollar deal to be head coach at Seattle? Should he be suspended too?

 The idea that Pryor “undermined” the process of the supplemental draft is ludicrous. He did nothing wrong, he was eligible for the draft but decided that he wanted to stay in college. His head coach got fired and he had another opportunity to get in the NFL via this draft, and he took it.

 The tie between NCAA and NFL is un-American. I don’t see why the NFL cares what the NCAA does or says. How can the NFL enforce a NCAA ruling on a player that wasn’t in their employment?

 Well, on second thought, the reason is obvious.

Leland Stein can be reached at lelstein3@aol.com or Twitter @LelandSteinIII

 

King Monument: WE are being distracted by nonsense

In politics on September 8, 2011 at 5:40 pm

 Maybe the shakedown is us

 By Leland Stein III

Why shouldn’t the King family receive some kind of monetary gift? Should we really let that distract us from the beauty that has recently happened on the National Mall? No!

 We are bickering over something that has nothing to do with any of us. Have we walked a mile in the King children’s shoes? No! Do we really know their intrinsic pain? No!

 We have just experienced one of the great triumphs in our history, getting the first African-American icon memorialized in Washington D.C. on the National Mall with our country’s so-called greatest leaders . . . yet, here we are bickering – again.

 I defer to former Alpha president Harry E. Johnson Sr., now president and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation: “Although the National Park Service said that, to its knowledge, no one had ever before charged such a fee, the said fees ($800,000) were not a burden (out of $120 million raised) and that the foundation has a good relationship with the King family.”

 Why isn’t Johnson’s retort good enough for everyone? It is for me.

 Yet here we are bickering and many critics are tossing out words and phrases to describe the king children for taking a small copyright fee like “absolutely scandalized,” “considered extortion,” “I’m ticked off,” and “making a buck off their martyred dad.”

As far as historian David Garrow telling the AP, “I don’t think the Jefferson family, the Lincoln family [or] any other group of family ancestors has been paid a licensing fee for a memorial in Washington.”

 Wow! That is so irrelevant and immaterial to 2011 realities. Plus all those men quoted by Garrow were presidents and with that stature come mo money, mo money. I think it is safe to postulate that Dr. King did not get rich from his efforts. I wonder at his death if he even had a pension.

 The facts of the matter is the King family has never seen the wealth that Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln enjoyed. I’m sure while African-Americans were wallowing in the mucky mire of racism and segregation, those three families were well taken care of by our Anglo brothers and sisters, and, therefore have had generation after generation of earning power and unimpeded access to America’s economic enhancements.

 One report notes that the King Center in Atlanta is in need of $11 million in repairs. I’ve been there and it is a massive Center and I can see how the maintenance would be problematic.

 And why shouldn’t . . . one of the greatest orators in history have all his speeches copyrighted? One critic noted that he agrees “King’s books or published essays, should have ownership rights of his descendants. But public speeches? His image? His name?”

Why shouldn’t his public speeches, image and name not have ownership rights. Hey, former Lakers coach Pat Riley copyrighted “Three Peat.”

Before the King family tried to harness all their father material, America and others were using all his writing in books and curriculum (I have a couple of his books and one is on quotes alone). Other writers get paid for that same right. I really believe if King would have lived at some point he would have copyrighted his works . . . he would be foolish to not do that.

The thing that eats at me though is the King children’s apparent inability to get along and settle family differences (don’t we all have them) in private. That is the strangest thing to me.

lelstein3@aol.com