Not that we have any historical basis to fall back

first_imgNot that we have any historical basis to fall back on, but you’d think an NFL team that won its first four games and then proceeded to lose their next seven would have an unbelievable shift in statistics.In the case of the 2012 Arizona Cardinals, the only team ever to fall into this category, that is not true.When comparing the numbers between Arizona’s four-game winning streak and their current seven-game skid, the numbers, strangely enough, look very similar in most categories. Paul Calvisi suggested as much in a column he penned for ArizonaSports.com, and he’s absolutely right. The difference for the Arizona Cardinals in wins and losses comes down to quarterback play.Kevin Kolb is by no means a franchise quarterback, but his rib injury has absolutely crippled the Cardinals’ chances of winning football games. Kolb did just enough in four contests to help Arizona win football games, including his stint in relief of John Skelton in the season opener against Seattle in which he completed six passes for 66 yards and a touchdown in the 20-16 win.His passer rating of 86.1 won’t wow anybody, but it still ranks eighth in the NFC and is ahead of the likes of Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford, and Jay Cutler. Oh, and it’s much better than the figures of Skelton (64.4) and rookie Ryan Lindley (47.0), who have yet to lead the Cardinals to a win in Kolb’s absence.Over 26% of the possessions Kolb engineered ended in points, while only 24.8% of Skelton’s and 16.7% of Lindley’s have. It’s hard to believe, especially considering how a lot of fans thought of him after training camp, but Kevin Kolb is the most important player for the Arizona Cardinals this season. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling In fact, in their last seven contests, the Cardinals are averaging more rushing yards and more passing yard per game on offense. On defense, they’re allowing fewer passing yards and total yards per game.Their turnover margin is even during the losing streak.The overall stat sheet shows opponents are scoring more points against the Cardinals during the losing streak, but let’s keep in mind that Arizona’s last seven opponents have combined for four defensive touchdowns and a safety.The Cardinals’ inability to get the ball to All-Pro receiver Larry Fitzgerald more has been magnified because of their recent losing. But in actuality, Fitzgerald’s production is only down less than a catch and seven yards per game in losses. Sacks? Opponents sacked Arizona quarterbacks 3.5 times per game in wins, and 4.5 times in losses, so the difference is negligible.The Cardinals have been abysmal at both times in converting third downs — 30.9% in wins and 27.1% in losses. So what is the big difference? Why has a seemingly promising season been derailed in a fashion that has many bellowing “ah, it’s the same ol’ Cardinals.”The answer is simple. Quarterback play. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img 0 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Unfortunately, for the last seven weeks, he’s been wearing a ball cap and a gray hoodie and hasn’t been able to help his team on the field.You want to know the difference between a 4-0 start and an 0-7 stretch? There’s your answer right there.last_img read more

The Six Assets of Aging

first_imgby, Jeanette Leardi, ChangingAging ContributorTweet63Share264Share42Email369 SharesI have to admit that as I get older, I get more tired. Not so much physically or mentally, although I do have my moments of fatigue (doesn’t everyone at every age?). No –– what I’m tired of is the ubiquitous, insidious, and rather stupid meme that considers aging to be a process of nothing but deterioration and decline. It’s a handy propaganda tool for feeding the coffers of the anti-aging cosmetics, supplements, and plastic surgery industries and pressuring us older adults to remain moored to the dock of middle age rather than to cast off and sail in whatever new directions we choose.The deterioration-decline meme originates in a narrow perception of the lifespan that is blind to the priceless assets we accrue as we add years to our lives. And this blindness stimulates the deep-seated societal fear known as ageism, which further limits that perception. Breaking this cycle of prejudice isn’t easy, but it’s possible, once we understand exactly what we gain because of, rather than despite, aging. Here are those great assets. Broader experience, sharper skills, and greater wisdom. It doesn’t take sophisticated logic to understand that the longer we live, the more things we learn and experience. We add skills to our repertoire and get better at the ones we continue to apply. We also develop greater wisdom about the world as we are exposed to more people, places, things, and ideas –– provided that we recognize and integrate the lessons they teach us. Greater individuation. The longer we live, the more choices we make and directions we take, which in turn lead to other ones. Each of our lives evolves as a tree that continues to grow branches, twigs, shoots, and leaves. As a result we become more dissimilar than alike as members of a generation. And that’s a good thing, because we add to the diversity of humankind and to what we can share with younger generations. Closer proximity to mortality. Yes, it’s true that no matter our age, any of us can die from a terrible accident, traumatic illness, natural disaster, or cruel human act. But in the course of a life otherwise undisturbed by these events, our consciousness of mortality grows, and this increased ability gives us elders the advantage of savoring moments as the precious gifts they are. Different motives and life purpose. According to developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, aging involves the evolution of individual personality. In the late 1950s, he posited the now-well-accepted paradigm of eight stages of personality development from birth through old age. The last stage (past age 65) is characterized by a person’s need and desire to reflect back on the life he or she has lived and to make sense of it. It’s a process equivalent to what is known as “spiritual eldering.” No longer is it important to struggle for recognition or success according to society’s terms. The motives of old age are to “put all the pieces together” and to find a personal sense of fulfillment. This awareness is an asset not acquired without first having faced and overcome other emotional challenges over a six-decades-plus lifetime.      A different brain. All of the above assets can be attributed to an additional asset: the experience of age-related changes that occur in the human brain. For example, a healthy human brain keeps growing new cells and new connections between existing cells throughout life. In addition, the bridge of tissue known as the corpus callosum, which connects the left and right hemispheres, doesn’t fully mature until a person reaches about 50 years old, and this helps explain why older adults are able to solve problems from a greater number of perspectives: Their hemispheres operate in greater sync. Also, the ability known as crystallized intelligence grows with age and allows for better application of past experiences to help discriminate relevant from irrelevant information when problem-solving. While there are some declines in cognition that can occur with age, the fact that some major benefits also can be accrued should tell us that aging isn’t the downhill trajectory we are led to believe it is. Strength in numbers. This is probably the most significant asset of all, because there are so many more of us adding to the older population each day. Aside from climate change, the global aging of the population is the most significant force affecting our planet now and in years to come. How societies respond to this force will determine whether and how we will survive. With our five other assets displaying themselves in a myriad of ways, we older adults can demonstrate clearly that what many people believe is a “silver tsunami” beginning to threaten society is actually a “silver reservoir” full of promise, purpose, and yes, assets, waiting to be tapped and shared with future generations.The next time you encounter someone pushing the deterioration-decline meme, feel free to explain any or all of these six great assets. Better yet, don’t wait until the occasion arises. Proudly embody them every day in your words and actions. In time, the people who rely on that meme will get very tired of using it.Related PostsThe Fixes for AgeismAge discrimination affects our country’s business, economy, values, and human dignity. It’s time we transform our perceptions of aging, from dependency and weakness to one of proficiency and resourcefulness.My Evening With Aubrey de GreyInternational anti-aging crusader Aubrey de Grey, who hopes to “cure aging” within our lifetime, spoke in Baltimore this week and even took time to share a few beers with the locals, including yours truly. I’d like to think of ChangingAging.org as the preeminent pro-aging blog so it was a great…Wise Up: Study AgingI am certainly not blind to how fortuitously my interest in aging aligns with the needs of an aging world—and I certainly don’t need additional convincing that my decision to forgo law school was in equal measure, wise and slightly prescient. But maybe you do.Tweet63Share264Share42Email369 SharesTags: Ageism growth wisdomlast_img read more