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The 3rd Person

     Alonzo Mourning was on the ‘John Thompson Show’ this past Friday afternoon which aired on 980AM.  Mourning was a star Georgetown basketball player before turning pro and moving on to the National Basketball Association (NBA).  The bulk of the interview revolved around Mourning’s health issues and a contract buy-out from his current employer. 

     It was nice to hear a local star comeback and chat with the old coach about his career and what is best for Alonzo Mourning.  Although, I wish I had a clip of the interview when Alonzo went into a spiral of referring to himself in the third-person for what had to last at least a minute.  I was actually laughing because it was so over the top.  John Thompson was actually caught up in the third person tirade and was addressing Alonzo Mourning as Alonzo Mourning.  It will make a great ‘Count the Alzonsos Contest’ for callers to the talk show to guess how many third-person references were used in the clip.  I am going to have to say it was 15.  Even though I can understand how professional sport’s players start referring to

themselves in the 3rd person.  There must be some mental separation to help the player stay rational with the business side of the sport.  Of course some of it is just plain ego and it is used in a way to demonstrate superiority over someone or some idea.

     I can remember Bob Dole was giving a speech about some program years and years ago.  He was continually referring to himself in the third person.  It may have been back when he was running for President.  I found it very interesting and a very effective way of presenting an idea.  Here is something to try next time you are doing a presentation or you find yourself in some other important situation.  First, practice referring to yourself in the third person.  Start out with your friends and co-workers – Caution – do not over do it since it drives people crazy to spoken to this way.  However this is a skill just like any other talent.  It is very effective if used at the correct moment.  Sometimes it is good to highlight a point or support your own idea.  It is also good to make your audience wonder if they have been listening intently to your presentation.  I know, I know it feels awkward at first but practice.  A little bit more practice would be good if you plan on using at work.  Use it like crazy when it does not matter.

     The last question in the Alonzo Mourning interview from the Friday afternoon on the ‘John Thompson Show’ was a question about what Alonzo Mourning thought about Jose Canseco’s book and the allocations in regard to steroids.  Alonzo Mourning is a basketball player in the NBA.  Jose Canseco’s allocations only concern Major League Baseball (MLB).  Alonzo Morning’s answer had more to do with how steroid use would have been tolerated in the locker room.  His answer addresses how the players place themselves individually and collectively above the sport they play and represent. It was interesting to hear Alonzo Mourning say, he had seen and heard of a lot of things going on in the locker room.  Of course, we have no idea what he may have been talking.  These sweeping generalities do not really mean anything.  He could be speaking of someone missing the trashcan on the way out of the locker room.  However, when you hear this sort of speak it implies something illegal or immoral.  At the minimum it would be something to grace the tabloid magazine headlines. 

     Alonzo Mourning went on to talk about what he called the fraternity of ballplayers.  It was in this answer where I got the feeling that within this fraternity - rules do not apply.   Regardless of the nature of the offense a player should never speak or write about what happens.  A sort of what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room.  It is really a sad situation in professional sports today.  It makes you wonder how many people actually know what is going on.  In addition to the player, there is the coaching staff, there are the trainers, there is the team management, there are press reporters, there are cleaning crews and on and on. 

     Canseco’s book will slowly fade away.  Major League Baseball has already said they are not pursuing the allegations exposed in the book.  There is a fraternity going on with in the locker room.  Every person who enters the sports world does not have to check their morals at the door.  All that talk about the sanctuary of the sport was not intended to place the sport above all but was intended to place the player above us all.

     This will be an interesting season coming up, could it be the start of the incredible shrinking season.  Let me hear you comment at or email me at .