Sunday, January 21, 2007

Go Bears! The Super Bowl of Life.

I've got to admit I've been a Chicago Bears fan for over 40 years. So I'm excited that they are going to the Super Bowl.

But as I watched this game, I saw men who would be great spokespersons for tutoring/mentoring. For many years I've wanted to get sports groups involved with the Tutor/Mentor Connection. Many athletes come out of poverty neighborhoods, and most have befitted from having many mentors and coaches in their lives.

While many athletes have foundations and do great things to help their communities, there's no strategy that I know of that enlists athletes and coaches in an effort to use their celebrity visibility to draw attention to a social cause, and to draw volunteers and donors to specific neighborhoods throughout a city.

For instance, on the Super Bowl broadcast Terry Bradshaw, a former star quarterback, and current TV broadcaster, made an appeal for viewers to stay involved in helping survivors of Hurricane Katrina. The TV footage focused at New Orleans and the Lower 9th Ward, but I heard him end a phrase with "and the other areas".

If someone created a map of the area that had been destroyed by the Hurricane, it would be possible to enlist athletes from many sports to adopt different communities, or zip codes, in the entire area. Then, whenever that athlete were to have a TV opportunity, he/she could draw attention to his zip code, as part of an effort to keep attention on the entire area of destruction. As the season moves from Basketball to baseball to football and back to hockey and basketball, different
stars, in different cities, would have many opportunities to focus attention, and draw resources to the various parts of the entire geographic area where volunteers, donors, and all sorts of help will be needed for many years.

In the same way, I want to enlist athletes to focus attention on the high poverty neighborhoods of big cities. Instead of just talking about the Boys and Girls Clubs, or Big Brothers, Big Sisters, or other highly visible charities, we need to focus attention regularly on every neighborhood where kids need help, and the organizations in those neighborhoods who are providing help.

This is a strategy I hope athletes will adopt. If you read this, and you know a Bear, or a Bull, or a college coach, or even a high school coach, who might want to be a champion of this idea, please pass this on.

This is a team game too, just like football. We'll get to the Super Bowl of life if we can get more people to help us.


makingsofu said...

Hi my name is Ron Selvage and I am very interested in contacting you in order to find out more about mentoring in Chicago. My Partners and I make up the Creative RE: Source Studio and are competing for the Echoing Green Fellowship Award. This is an international competition and we have advanced to the second phase.Our program and organization falls under the umbrella of mentoring. We need to do a sort of comparable market analysis if you will on like programs in our target area. and information that you may have would really help us in this query. Please email me or contact at or at 773 330-7138

Tutor Mentor Connections said...

I'd be happy to talk with you. Just give me a call at 312-492-9614, or email

Dan Bassill