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CoachDP
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September 24, 2020 11:56 am  

https://www.mpa-apac.org/in_the_news/a-most-beautiful-thing-director-mary-mazzio-films-a-miracle-on-the-water/

--DP

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
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September 24, 2020 12:00 pm  

And since I couldn't get this other article to link, I've cut & pasted it here:

 

In the late 1990s on the West Side of Chicago, sirens, gunshots and screams were the soundtrack of the night. For a kid growing up there, nobody asked, “What college are you going to attend?” It was “what gang are you going to join?”

The documentary “A Most Beautiful Thing,” written and directed by Mary Mazzio (“I Am Jane Doe”), shares the unlikely story of a group of young men from those very streets who joined together to form the first all-African American high school rowing team.

When Arshay Cooper, Alvin Ross, Preston Grandberry, Malcolm Hawkins, Ray “Pookie G.” Hawkins and several classmates at Manley High School signed up to row — free pizza was the incentive — they had little idea what awaited them. Ken Alpart, a young white man who had rowed at Penn, recruited the group as a way of introducing the traditionally upper-class sport of crew to inner-city youths and provided training and equipment.

Other coaches joined the cause as the young men, a few of whom had never been on water, sweated in the gym and learned the finer points of rowing — sometimes painfully.

The group formed a tight brotherhood, bonding over the hard work and taking pride in their accomplishments. The activity proved a respite from the dangers in their daily lives, several of them going home to drug-addicted mothers and abusive — or absent — fathers.

The experiment ended after one long racing season in which the Manley crew competed three times — including the Chicago Sprints Regatta — with varying outcomes. At the time, Alpart thought the venture had failed, but the team members remember it differently and fondly.

They credit Alpart with introducing them to more than just a sport. They learned leadership, studied entrepreneurship and discovered the value of their efforts. They saw they had choices. Some would go on to own businesses, and Grandberry earned his barber’s license, but they still faced the challenges of now being adults in a tough neighborhood. They didn’t always make the right choices.

Twenty years later, one of their coaches, Michael O’Gorman, died of a heart attack. O’Gorman may have been insensitive — one of the rowers takes “the 5th” on the subject — but he was respected, and the team gathered for his funeral. Later, documentary crew in tow, Cooper convened them at Grandberry’s shop to ask about getting the band back together.

“I ain’t seen you guys in what, 80 pounds ago?” Cooper jokes as memories flow and the friends agree to get back out on the water. For some, it’s a chance to settle unfinished business, for others, it’s redemption. For all, it’s an opportunity to give back to the community and show their own kids what it’s like to do the unthinkable.

Thicker in the middle and thinner on top, the men settle back into the business of training, even traveling to the Bay Area to work with U.S. Olympic rower and coach Mike Teti, who good-naturedly wonders if they’ll all still fit in the boat.

A builder of bridges, Cooper ups the ante, inviting a group of white Chicago police officers to train with them as they prepare a return to the Chicago Sprints. Not all the Manley alumni are pleased at first, but they soon realize the symbolism as they strive to positively affect the community.

Mazzio, a 1992 Olympic rower herself, nicely captures the beauty of rowing, including the calming sense of peace the water gives team members when they first go out and then experience again two decades later. An evocative hip-hop score, poetic narration by Common and crisp graphics appropriately underline the timeliness of the film.

The documentary, based on Cooper’s self-published memoir (he connected with Mazzio on Twitter after she’d read it), illustrates the differences that can be made through the efforts of a few and draws attention to the high levels of trauma experienced by residents in our poorest neighborhoods. Imagine the systemic changes that can be wrought if the will of the many is used to achieve them.

———

‘A MOST BEAUTIFUL THING’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

 

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
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September 24, 2020 12:01 pm  

And an article from 1994:

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-1994-12-29-9412280208-story.html

--DP

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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ZACH
 ZACH
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September 24, 2020 1:38 pm  

Rower pleads the 5th. Michaels response "he was pussy anyway" lol

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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J. Potter (seabass)
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September 24, 2020 5:21 pm  
Posted by: @bucksweep58

Rower pleads the 5th. Michaels response "he was pussy anyway" lol

That's EXACTLY what Michael would have said!


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J. Potter (seabass)
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September 24, 2020 5:26 pm  

I really miss talking with Michael. I would LOVE to hear what he has to say about everything that's going on now. He had the most unique perspective on so many things. 


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Prodigy
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September 25, 2020 11:44 am  

I was away from the forum when word came out about Michael dying.  JRK5150 reached out to me to tell me and my heart sunk.  Michael came out and visited a few times.  He put on a little clinic for some coaches and kids.  It was raining and he was short on time but he wanted to run through some stuff and share what he had in his head.  We'd chat on the phone periodically.

Michael was one of the most unique and insightful people that I've had the pleasure of knowing.  His brain operated on another almost genius wavelength.  I'm not sure that anyone on this forum knew he was an olympic medalist or coached rowing at the highest levels.  He didn't talk about it.  He didn't brag or boast or try to build some credibility on his coaching experience with rowing and try to relate it to youth ball.  He was just Michael.

There are things that he and I discussed that apply to everyday life...Like when he shared his video-game theory of coaching kids with me. 

I remember him asking me "have you ever attended a meeting where you were bored?  fiddling on your phone?  not really paying attention?" 
"Yes, of course I've been in meetings like that."
 "Have you ever attended a meeting where you were engaged, interested in what was being said?  had things to say and share with everyone else at the meeting?"
"Yes, I've been in those sorts of meetings also."
 "Ok, what's the difference between those two meetings?" 
 "ummmm, one was boring and one wasn't?"
 "Right, but why? "

 "I have no idea...why?"

 

"One meeting you needed to be in...and the other one, you didn't need to be in."

 

This is everyday psychology stuff that applies to coaching.  The guy had a fantastic way of seeing things and I miss him dearly.

 

EDITED: because some dumb stuff I said turned the thread sideways.

 

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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CoachDP
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September 25, 2020 12:46 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

His brain operated on another almost genius wavelength.

--Not "almost."  He definitely was.

I'm not sure that anyone on this forum knew he was an olympic medalist or coached rowing at the highest levels.  He didn't talk about it.  He didn't brag or boast or try to build some credibility on his coaching experience with rowing and try to relate it to youth ball.  He was just Michael.

--I knew it.  But he NEVER went out of his way to make sure that people knew it.

The guy had a fantastic way of seeing things

--Exactly.  Could make even the most complex aspects of life/football/coaching seem ridiculously simple.  And funny as all get out.  Not sure why he became so indignant and reclusive towards the end of his run here.  On more than one occasion, I tried to get up with him when I was in Illinois.  Never could get a reply.

--Dave

 

 

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
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September 25, 2020 1:06 pm  

Michael and I were discussing a leadership program idea he had for me that we'd talked about implementing with my high school team.  (He had a way of finding something beneficial, that was unique for your way of doing things.)   Here's a text exchange Michael and I had, dated June 4, 2017:

 

Michael: "How's it going over?"

Me: "I haven't got home from church, yet. lol"

Michael: "Maybe put the minister on the same (leadership) plan for getting into heaven."

Me: "lol Yes, I need to see if I can work on that, too.  But football first."

Michael: "Exactly.  Priorities are important."

 

Typical Michael.  lol

--Dave

 

 

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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CoachDP
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September 25, 2020 2:34 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy
 
Generally, Michael was extremely efficient with his words and it wasn't unusual for him to write a response that people took as abrasive, obnoxious or aggressive.  Admittedly, when I first joined the forum, it took a fair amount of time before I began to understand the dynamic and personalities.  I can't think of any particular examples, but many of Michael's responses were short and I would liken them to holding up a mirror to the other persons face.  Someone might complain that their kids aren't blocking and he'd ask them why they never taught them to block...many coaches aren't yet at the level of understanding the power that they have which means they cannot harness it.  They also are not prepared to take responsibility for all of the failures, because that would mean owning that it is their fault.  I think that Michael almost always brought it back to this...just as you do @coachdp - truth told, when I first joined this forum and you replied to something I wrote, it didn't feel very kind, accepting or inclusive...I swallowed my pride and did my best to keep the dialogue open so that I could learn.  I believe within a few days we ended up having a phone call..and if memory serves, the original post pertained to the talent / players you were coaching, not in actual coaching - so your response was very valid, but people do not know what they do not know.

Michael's "abrasive, obnoxious or aggressive" personality has been well-noted, even when he was on the forum.  (As has mine.)  What I'm referring to was a snarkiness or abrasiveness for the sake of.   A dig for the sake of a dig.  (And even I was able to notice it. lol)

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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Prodigy
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September 25, 2020 2:45 pm  

I suppose we'll never know.  I wasn't really active when all of that was happening.  I popped in, said my piece about the big feud which I think boiled down to saying "I've got tremendous respect for you both...knock it off." and that was it.  It's a bit of a shame that nobody ever asked him what was going on.  You never really ever know what is going on in another mans mind or life and sometimes a little kindness can go a long way.  In some cases it can save lives.

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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CoachDP
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September 25, 2020 3:05 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

It's a bit of a shame that nobody ever asked him what was going on.  You never really ever know what is going on in another mans mind or life and sometimes a little kindness can go a long way.  In some cases it can save lives.

Brother, I reached out through text, email and phone-call.  Crickets....

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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mahonz
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September 25, 2020 3:06 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy
Posted by: @coachdp

Not sure why he became so indignant and reclusive towards the end of his run here.  

 

I was going to speak to this in my post but opted not to.  I remember seeing some of the exchange where Mahonz and Michael were having it out.  I don't remember the particulars at all...have a feeling that Cisar's name was thrown into the mix somewhere.  Regardless:

 

 

No clue what set him off really. Probably not one singe thing but a collection of things. 

When he first joined the Forum he PM'd me. We talked on the phone. He was apprehensive about posting because he was a rowing coach with one season of football under his belt. Took about 10 minutes for me to realize that he had more experience coaching than any of us and that he would fit right in.

And he did.  

We spoke on the phone for years. Exchanged a lot of film and ideas.  I did 3 Architectural Projects for him....one for his personal residence and 2 for his rowing projects. He did some data work for me so our friendship extended beyond football. 

When my son died I traveled to Wisconsin. He tole me if I needed anything he could be there in a matter of hours. 

The Forum needed another Administrator so I asked him since he had the time. I think that is when things began to turn. The Forum was VERY active and flare-ups were common. Michael didn't want to ban anyone for any reason but we had to do what we needed to do at times. Things got a little testy at times in the private Admin Section and then on the phone and then on the public Forum Sections. Then Michael became the target of complaints. I think he did that to test me and Clark. Just my assumption. 

A few weeks before he passed his last message me to me was to just fuck off. I can honestly say I have no clue what set him off. Had nothing to do with Cisar is my take....or others....he just made things personal with me. Maybe it was something I said or didn't say.  He would never tell me....just play fucked up Michael games with me constantly interrupting any Thread I participated in.

"If you dont know then you will never know" 

"You are an idiot if you cant comprehend how bad you are for this Forum" 

" I cant believe you coach kids" 

"You are a pussy" 

Stuff like that. 

Im not sure but if you go back far enough some of those conversations might still me on here. I have not looked. 

So...he basically died the pussy in my mind but I do miss the good old days. He was of great value to this Forum....and then he wasn't. We received more complaints about Michael than any other Member that I can think of. Most of it was newbies not understanding his style....others directly from veteran Members sick of his style. As an Administrator, Michael saw every complaint. 

I was thinking about emailing the Director of the Film Dave just posted up. Im curious how he died. Her contact info is available to include a phone number. 

Still...I hold no grudge and may he RIP. He was a good man, highly intelligent with a big heart. No debating that.

What is beautiful, lives forever.


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Prodigy
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September 25, 2020 3:46 pm  

Forgive me, I really didn't intend to take this post and turn it sideways.  I think whatever nonsense transpired in the past is best left there...I'd actually be grateful if we could roll back these posts and take back what was said, leaving only DP's original post referencing Michael.

I found some information online that said he had a heart attack.  There may be more to the story that could explain his behavior and help to make his last bit of time here less of a confusing thing that left people with bad memories of him.

 

If you show up for a fair fight, you are unprepared.


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CoachDP
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September 25, 2020 3:55 pm  
Posted by: @prodigy

Forgive me, I really didn't intend to take this post and turn it sideways. 

--You didn't turn it sideways and I am the OP.  

I think whatever nonsense transpired in the past is best left there...I'd actually be grateful if we could roll back these posts and take back what was said, leaving only DP's original post referencing Michael.

--While I far prefer to remember "the good times," I see nothing wrong with looking at Michael for who he was; an enigma.

I found some information online that said he had a heart attack. 

--Yes, the second article referenced that.

There may be more to the story that could explain his behavior and help to make his last bit of time here less of a confusing thing that left people with bad memories of him.

--Part of being an enigma is having a sense of mystery.  He surely had a far-reaching effect on those outside of football and this forum.  I doubt we'll ever know, or that it really matters.

--Dave

 

 

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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