BRIAN COOK IS AN EMMY-NOMINATED INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST WHO HAS BEEN COVERING THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SINCE 2005. HE CAN BE REACHED AT BCOOK@GOLDENSKYMEDIA.COM.
PITTSBURGH (Game Changers) – The true essence of football goes beyond X’s and O’s on a chalk board or the over abundance of brute force of playing a game. It takes intelligence and awareness mixed with the uncanny heart one must possess before players take the field. The physical ability to perform on game day just enhances what takes place in preparation in practice and team meetings.
I have the pleasure of being in the media, although time consuming and stressful, it has tremendous rewards. Mike Logan is a former NFL player that started his playing days in McKeesport, PA and told me he always had a love for the sport. However it was the camaraderie of his teammates and coaches that motivated him to pour out his heart week in and week out. He was a standout in high school, so much so that he was recruited to play on the collegiate level at West Virginia (Mountaineers). After playing with great intensity, he was drafted to the NFL by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He landed back in Pittsburgh with the Steelers and finished his career with the team he grew up watching. Before retirement, he won a championship with the Steelers in Super Bowl XL (40) over the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Detroit.
Now that his playing days are over, he is giving back, this time as a coach. He currently serves as the special teams coach for USO Football in Pittsburgh, PA. USO stands for three schools, University Preparatory, Sci-Tech and Obama Academy. He told me that he loves being instrumental in molding the minds of young people by teaching the game of football and applying that to life. For instance, he says it is imperative for the players to embrace proper attire on the field that will translate to real world situations like job interviews. Speaking in general about today’s youth, “I see so many young guys with their pants hanging down” he says, “we use football as a venue to teach life’s lessons”.
Logan also believes that coaching is a great tool to help with school work due to the complexity of the sport.
Head coach Lou Berry told me that the players embrace Logan’s knowledge of the game and look up to him having played for the NFL. Berry, visually elated about having a Super Bowl champion on his coaching staff “not too many people can say that”.
Players Abner Roberts V and Curtis Williams were excited to do interviews with Game Changers about how Logan has helped them both in football and in life. Williams told me that he was helped significantly with school work, while Roberts stressed how the lesson of refraining from misusing social media and treating women stood out most to him.
I shot video over a course of three days to see Logan’s interaction with the team and I must say, it was magical. In my media career I have covered 7 Super Bowls an Super Bowl XL was my first. As a native of Pittsburgh, it was a pleasure for it to be my first big assignment. After the game, I was able to interview Mike Logan on how it felt to be from the Pittsburgh area and win a Super Bowl. In his remarks, he didn’t focus on the personal gratification of winning, yet he paid homage to those who got him to this point in his life.
A true class act and a true Game Changer.
SOURCE: Game Changers Project
DIRECTED, WRITTEN, SHOT, EDITED AND VOICED BY:
Brian A. Cook, Sr., National Award Winning Journalist
Owner of Golden Sky Media Company, LLC (GoldenSkyMedia.com)
Cheo Tyehimba Taylor
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The “Whatever it Takes” exhibit is a comunation of donated items to the university and curators Jon Rubin and Astria Supara spoke with Golden Sky Media about what fans can expect when they visit.
From Carnegie Mellon University: Whatever It Takes: Steelers Fan Collections, Rituals, and Obsessions looks at the particular and ingenious methods Steelers fans use to construct their own personal and social identities in relation to the team, and in the process, create an active community of cultural producers.
Link: Whatever it Takes
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Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco connected with receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh for 18 yards to seal the deal leaving the Steelers attempting to make a final, yet unsuccessful comeback.