Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul Won Our R.E.S.P.E.C.T.


Aretha Franklin won our respect. Not only did she win it, but she earned it, and she deserved it. She sang gospel and jazz and just about everything else in between. Her singing brought her to sports as she sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XL, the 1993 World Series, the 2004 NBA Finals, the 2011 ALCS in Detroit and an unforgettable rendition at the traditional 2016 Thanksgiving Day NFL Game in Detroit.

Aretha’s “been called a musical genius who seemed lost whenever she was not in front of a microphone or piano.

Not content with becoming the Queen of Soul in the late ’60s, Aretha Franklin became the greatest popular singer in American history, an artist whose electrifying voice combined the purest elements of gospel, jazz and blues, leaving fans breathless and critics tripping over their words trying to describe it.”

Unfortunately, in sports and in life, with fame invariably comes some shame. Aretha became pregnant at the tender young age of 12 and “gave birth to her first child, named Clarence after her father, on January 28, 1955. According to the news site inquisitor, the father of the child was Donald Burk, a boy she knew from school.” On January 22, 1957, then aged 14, Franklin had a second child, named Edward after his father Edward Jordan. Franklin did not like to discuss her early pregnancies with interviewers.

Franklin dealt with weight issues for years. In 1974, she dropped 40 pounds (18 kg) during a crash diet and maintained her new weight until the end of the decade. She again lost weight in the early 1990s, before gaining some back. And she was a former chain smoker who struggled with alcoholism.” And then of course she battled pancreatic cancer, that demon that destroyed her body, but could not touch her indomnimble soul.

Yet through it all, she sang. Aretha sang with her heart and with her soul. She sang till you felt the words and the meaning of those words way down on the inside. She didn’t just scratch the surface; she cut to the core and hit home. We rocked and rolled with her as she sang because her vocals touched us just like the rubber meets the road. This is why we loved her so.

This is why Aretha won and earned our respect. Just like she sang, Aretha earned our respect. Just like she sang,


Find out what it means to me

“Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career, including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming the first female performer to be inducted, National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In 2012, she was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In Rolling Stone Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists by Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She was ranked by Rolling Stone as the No. 1 greatest singer of all time.”

Rest in peace, Aretha. We will miss you.

Game Face


Look at Larry Bird’s face. We call it a “game face.”

The Boston Celtics always had veterans, most notably the famed Larry Bird. This battle tested look of this savvy basketball warrior is legendary.  The tough, young Pistons met the aging champions in the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals, and late in Game 5 of a 2-2 series, Detroit was set to inbound the ball in the backcourt with a one-point lead.  That’s when Larry Bird put on his game face.

With less than five ticks on the clock, Celtics great Larry Bird read the eyes of Pistons guard Isaiah Thomas and cut in front of the inbounds pass intended for Bill Laimbeer. Bird somehow kept his balance while tip-toeing the sideline and found a cutting teammate — guard Dennis Johnson — who laid the ball off the glass and into the hoop. The Celtics won 108-107 and went on to take the series in seven games.

Jesus put his game face on.  With the “game of life” on the line for all humanity, he set his face like a flint and determined to go to Jerusalem to give his life a ransom for many – for you and for me. 

“For the Lord God will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced: therefore have I set My face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” Isaiah 50:7.

Charles Spurgeon penned these words, which are well worth repeating here:

“Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I speak especially to you. We serve a Master who steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem in order that He might accomplish the one great purpose for which He came to earth, and from which He could not be turned.

Therefore it behooves us to be faithful to Him and to partake as far as we can of His spirit. Does He not seem to accuse us, without saying a word, for His face was set like a flint—while our faces are often made to blush with shame when we are called upon to speak up for Him, or perhaps when we are ashamed to do so?

O you fickle Christians, hot in a revival service and lukewarm afterwards, you who sing— “Here, Lord, I give myself away”— and yet do nothing of the kind! O you who say that you love the Lord with all your hearts and declare that you are willing to die for Him, yet go into the world to put Him to an open shame by your inconsistencies, look at your Lord and then blush to such a crimson hue as no one can take out of your face again!

If we truly follow such a Lord as Christ is, we also ought to be flinty-faced for all holy purposes—and I ask you, dear Friends, to pray to God the Holy Spirit to make you so.’

So put on your game face. Determine to live for him, and if necessary prepare to die for him. Yes, determine to die to yourself daily so that you can live for him.

Put your game face on.