Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shaq Attack

You ever been asked to play the "If you had five people you could have dinner with, who would they be?" game?

Me too, as recent as last week.

Weird though, only one name had a definite seat at the table ... Shaquille O'Neal. Not exactly President Bush, or Ghandi, or the Pope, or even Michael Jordan (although he would probably be there though). The folks in the car kind of laughed, but I sincerely would enjoy spending time with Shaq.

Yes, a big part of it is his humor. I think he is the funniest cat out there. He would certainly have me in stitches before the night was over. But he is more.

I have heard numerous stories that paint the picture of him being the perfect star athlete. From him being Shaq-a Claus, to Shaqs-giving, to his life long passion to be a police officer after his NBA career is over he just genuinely wants to help. He is leveraging his star status to make a difference in this world. And I appreciate that.

The most recent illustration of him using his stature for common good is his newest TV show on ABC called Shaq's Big Challenge. He takes 6 obese children and will teach and train them on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

But he does it only as Shaq can. He is simply hilarious. His show is great ... so far. Hopefully, with the humor woven into the reality show, maybe parents and children can learn something. We as Americans are getting ridiculously fat. No, not heavy, not overweight, but FAT. If calling our children fat is going to motivate them into a healthy lifestyle, then by all means.

We have a program at Vanderbilt called Building Dores where we challenge elementary aged kids to keep an activity log for 2 weeks in exchange for a free ticket. I am very proud of this program and it has proven to be a great success as it relates to selling tickets. However, this show has me rethinking how we can make a real difference in these kids' lives.

Check out the show. If you have children, TiVO the show and watch them all.

I have used the following label for Shaq in the past and I feel even more strongly that he is my generation's Ali.

Take care.

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