Wednesday, August 10, 2016


We've all seen it by now.  The Michael Phelps game face like I've never seen before, except maybe in football or when Derek Jeter stepped into Fenway Park for each series he played against his nemesis the Red Sox.  The eye of tiger, the resting bitch face, the stare down, the glare, the clear the mechanism face that shows you are focused on one thing...winning.

But not just winning, crushing the opponent with one bold look.  You know the look.  If looks could kill, that South African swimmer would be in the grave.  Since Phelps started it, let's take a look at game faces across sports.

Here's Jeter giving that look to the Red Sox team as he passed Carl Yastzemski on the all time hit list with his 3,420th.  That stared down says, yes, don't mess with me, I'm a champion.

Game faced champion Peyton Manning stretching before the Super Bowl.  Known more for his smiles than jeers, Manning shows focus and intention with his look to kill.

Not to be out done, former NFL and NY Giants kicker, Steve Weatherford, is always up for a challenge whether it is in the gym or on the field.  His look says he is ready to kill it, whether it is the ball or the punching bag.

"Twenty-five years ago, one of the most famous commercials of all time debuted: Gatorade's "Be Like Mike." It debuted on August 8, 1991 and it featured iconic NBA star Michael Jordan who always had that look.  He exemplifies champion like no other, even being present to support the retirement of the great Derek Jeter at Yankee Stadium.

Not to be out done, LeBron James got it done with this look followed by an unbelievable performance to bring home the NBA Championship to his home state of Ohio.  That determined look earned James 82 points in Games four and five and 27 points in the final against Golden State.

Sharing his motivation with youth across the world with his Rock Clock App,  Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, stares down his opponents like they are meaningless.  He defeats them mentally with a look that could turn a challenger to stone.  

Champions like USA gymnast Gabby Douglas are focused and they stay focused despite the fame, despite the nerves and despite distractions that surround them in their field of competition.  No matter the outcome, champions thrive, they comeback and they win.  

Perhaps the Phelps' look will go down as the all time best game face.  His gritty determination is paramount to his successful comeback as a premier athlete who craves gold.  His motivation bleeds into the hearts of young people across the world and on his USA Olympic Team.  This is an important look for our Yankee youth to learn as they focus their competitive spirit on winning ball games now in our farm system as they prepare for baseball's infamous stage in 2017.

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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