Ball Slams, Mid-Season NFL Report…& Bow Ties

Ball Slams, Mid-Season NFL Report…& Bow Ties
One of the exercises that I did during my playing days and still now is a ball slam. Being a tight end, I had to be very strong, block with my shoulders and also take on tacklers after a reception. So this movement paid off dividends.

When I do them, I try to throw the ball through the floor. It becomes exhausting and I try to make the same sound (intensity of throw) with the 25th rep that I did with the first. And you’ll know if you’re doing them correctly because the next morning, you’ll be sore practically all over, especially your glutes, obliques, hamstrings and thighs. I need something to do overall – kill three, four or five birds with one stone!

The way that I do ball slams now is as part of a circuit and I usually do four rounds. So let’s say that I am doing 1,000 meters on the row machine (higher reps); I’ll start off the ball slams on the lower end, such as five reps. These two movements are just a part of the whole circuit, mind you.

Then my next round will be 750 meters and 10 ball slams. 500 – 15, 250 – 25…you get the picture.

I also do them at a high rate of speed. The best way that I found to do this is for time. How long does it take me to do 10, 15, 20, and 25? Then I have that number in my head and I know how hard I’m working. I can do 33 or 34 slams in one minute – that’s moving. And doing it fresh is one thing; after rowing almost 5,000 total meters, it’s a whole different ballgame.

The way that I train, I always go the limit. I don’t leave anything for the trip back. I’m not like Hansel and Gretel – leaving any crumbs. I strive for perfection and if I can’t hit ‘perfect,’ then I’ll land on ‘excellent,’ and that’s okay, too.


By the mid-way point in the NFL season, you have a great idea of who and what you are. The teams that can run, play defense and have great special teams.

One of the biggest surprises has been the 9-0 Kansas City Chiefs. They only won two games last year and quadrupled that through their first eight games. Everyone thought that they would be better, but not this good.

They changed two important spots – quarterback and head coach. Alex Smith won’t woo you – he’s not a guy who will throw for 30 touchdowns and 3,000 yards – but with him, you get minimal turnovers. And we all know what Andy Reid can do.

We’ll see what happens once the playoffs start. You need an explosive passing game to go far and can’t run your way to a championship. Can Smith do that? Their defense has kept them in games. But Denver, New England, Indianapolis and even San Diego can all score and you’ll need 28, 31 or 35 points to win. Can the Chiefs get there?


I’ve been wearing a bowtie a lot more this year. I resented them for the longest time and when it comes to fashion, you always do what you’re comfortable with. But Fashionistas say that you have to be willing to take chances, too. So if you put something on and are fidgeting with it, people will know that you’re uncomfortable.

Women are used to that. They wear high heels shoes that are a size too small; men aren’t like that. But you need to wear something to get used to it and become more comfortable. So for the rest of the season, I will be buying suits with the anticipation of paring it with a bowtie.

I’ll never dress over the top, but I may push the envelope to the edge. I’m just about at my limit right now. I can’t be like Dwayne Wade wearing capris and loafers.

Photos by Per Bernal.

Shannon Sharpe

Pro Football Hall-of-Famer
Three-Time Super Bowl champion
FitnessRX For Men columnist & spokesperson

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