Every NFL Player Needs One Smart (Soul Sherpa) Mother

Lisa and I watched the inspirational footage from last year’s NFL Rookie Symposium.  We did so to see what it is you elite guys are exposed to in preparation for your extraordinary lives.  Lives that thrill millions of us.  We watched to see if perhaps something is missing.  We feel something is seriously amiss because neither of us (even me, a man who has lived in every sense of the word) can understand why Michael Crabtree (of the San Francisco 49ers) would, knowing he’s on his way to the Super Bowl, end up in a hotel room with three women, at least one who he didn’t know very well.  Every lawyer’s dream, Michael.  And your expensive nightmare.

Michael, I understand what is is to be a young man.  But what, may I ask, were you thinking?  You have a body, but you also have a mind.  And it’s to your mind I’d like to appeal.  You are a high-profile person.  To you and your NFL brothers, here are some things this centenarian would like to throw out for your consideration.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is concerned about player health and safety as the league’s number one priority.  Michael, your health and safety were compromised the night of your hotel escapade.  Small (especially exciting) compromises off the field can easily lead to others.  They can begin to define who you are.  Things can get out of control and derail everything you’ve worked so hard for.  You guys want the commissioner off of your backs, but you only invite his intrusion when things like this happen.  Think of what you could have done with the money you paid your lawyer to deal with your foursome situation.  Given it to charity.  Or made a great investment.  Funded a scholarship.  Taken yourself and ONE girl (whose character you know well) on a vacation.  Think of your reputation and your personal and NFL legacy.

Lisa wonders if having all of the NFL draft picks listen to only men during the Rookie Symposium is best for the new players.  She’s not one for big groups.  It’s easy for people to get lost in the audience.  Sure, the symposium is great.  Nothing can replace it.  But maybe something can be added to it.  Not just for rookies, but to all players on an open door basis.  Enhance life in the NFL by consulting a woman who loves football and understands how it’s played.  She’s a successful entreprenuer, old enough to be your mother.  Lisa thinks she can reach you guys on a level you can’t be reached when all together.  Male bonding over your eliteness, hormones, and good fortunes can serve as a distraction.  Lisa’s been around fortune and fame for over two decades.  Familiar with its privileges and challenges, she’s chosen to live another kind of life.  Her perspective is unusual because she almost died from a nervous system disease in her brain, trigeminal neuralgia, and is keenly aware of her mortality.  The way Lisa views things, fame and fortune are not the best things one can be fortunate enough to attain.  It’s life for her.  That simple.

Now I want you to consider taking a hike.  A major workout. With a real woman who has worked professionally with men and women over 22 years, whose privileges and challenges she’s familiar with and not the least bit envious of.   She likes her privacy, respects yours, and despises intrusive media practices. She’s experienced her own trials (brain trauma and surgery in 2007, depression and anxiety when her father (a sober alcoholic for the last 27 years of his life) died at 62 from lung cancer in 2002, and has learned to comfort the terminally ill and their loved ones in her father’s memory.)  Now that she’s survived all this, she is one strong person.  Her desire is to help people believe in the best of themselves and excel.  She assists all of her clients with the same expertise and precision, high-profile or not.  She is a professional healthcare advocate, skilled examiner of strategies recommended by lawyers, doctors, and financial advisers.  A believer in protecting those who trust her, she’d never allow a client’s vulnerability to be exploited.  (Manti Te’o, what crisis manager/image consultant ever thought the Katie Couric interview was a good idea?)

Provided your body is strong enough, Lisa likes to work on a hiking trail.  At altitude you’ll be sucking as much oxygen into your lungs as fast as you can.  Your athletic body will ache.  You’ll sweat.  Big time.  And you won’t feel so elite.  You will just be you.  When you’re away from your adoring crowd, you will be just a man, albeit with a great job and the perks that go with it. But you’ll be a man without any pretenses.  Lisa won’t ask for your autograph or game tickets.  Not ever.  What she will ask is what’s really going on with you, and how can you hone your strengths and realistically access your weaknesses.  She’ll only go into those areas where you invite her input.  She doesn’t like control.  Lisa believes people should decide themselves what he/she wants to reveal and when that person decides the time is right.  But be warned in advance:  She likes the truth, no matter what imperfections it may reveal.  She won’t deal with egomaniacs and play along with their game.  She believes it’s unhealthy and doesn’t help her clients in any meaningful way.

You’ll never meet Lisa in her office because she likes her work with athletic clients in the outdoors. A safe, private place where you don’t have to worry about the press or getting a lawyer.  Lisa is a Soul Sherpa and understands the challenges of life in a unique way.  She wants you in a place where intention is good and it’s all about helping you.  Lisa’s been surrounded by the best and worst life holds:  awarded a scholarship to attend Stanford (class of 1982) and finding her life’s partner (1988) but falling into a deep depression when her father unsuccessfully battled lung cancer (2001/2002) and enduring chronic pain from a nerve disease in her brain, trigeminal neuralgia, which required corrective (and successful) brain surgery (2007.)  She’s been exposed to addictions, violence, mental illness and doesn’t scare easily.

Lisa’s climbed in the Santa Monica and San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California, as well as throughout the Sierra Nevada range throughout California up through Nevada.  Few journalists could keep up, assuming they could find out the trailhead you’d be climbing with her.

Things to think about, Michael.  You and your fellow brothers in the NFL.  Don’t think you have to wait for Roger Goodell to endorse this idea (who knows if he will) before you take Lisa up on her offer.  It’s waiting.  We fans are tired of NFL player mishaps and tragedies.  You guys need to assume complete responsibility for each of your precious and incredible lives.  Let’s get the focus off the media circus and back to the game and you guys in the NFL who make it the amazing experience it is for your fans.

Good luck in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Michael.  It will be the 49ers by three points.  At least.

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