As "Winter Sports" playoff season begins, attention once again this year has turned to LeBron James' "Zero Dark Thirty-23" pledge to end his social media involvement during the playoffs. Steph Curry has joined him this year as he says he has done in the past because they both want to keep their focus on the task at hand — winning another NBA championship.

Although Curry says that he will send out an occasional tweet update, his fans should no longer expect him to send out his daily tweet that they enjoyed before every regular season game. James on the other hand has a zero tolerance policy, thus the fancy name he gives to his pledge.


During the 2015 NBA playoffs, James said, "I don't care about nonsense. There's too much nonsense out there. Not during this time, this is when I lock in right now and I don't need nothing creeping into my mind that don't need to be there."

"When you're really trying to zone in and keep your focus, you don't want to have any unnecessary distractions during this point of the season," Curry said. "We have goals to accomplish, and you want to make sure you're giving your all."

What a refreshing change.

Compare that to only a few months ago when members of the New York Giants thought it was appropriate to jet down to Miami and take shirtless selfies on the front end of a boat and videos of them partying with celebrities like Justin Bieber only days before the biggest game of the year, their first-round playoff matchup with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The players said they headed down to Miami as a way to "clear their minds."

I've been to Miami. Probably the only thing that wasn't clear, including the skies and the drinks, was my mind.

If the Giants had come home from their winter soiree and defeated their playoff rivals, it wouldn't have mattered where they were before the game and who they were hanging with. But they didn't. They lost and they lost big. The host Packers thrashed the Giants 38-13 in one of the biggest blowouts of this year's playoffs.

On the night before Super Bowl XXXIII, get this, in MIAMI, Atlanta Falcons safety Eugene Robinson was arrested on charges of soliciting a prostitute. The fact that one of the players in the next day's Super Bowl was able to be out on the town looking to pay for sex is bad enough, but the fact that it was team leader and only hours before he had been awarded the Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award for "the player who exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home and community" makes it that much more disturbing.

According to his teammates, Robinson wasn't the only one that made a trip to the same location during Super Bowl week with the same intentions, he was just the one that got caught. Again, had he not been arrested and they went on to win the Super Bowl the next day, it would have been a non-story. But he did get arrested, and although many players say it wasn't a distraction, they too got spanked by a John Elway-led Broncos team 34-19, including an 80-yard touchdown pass over Robinson's head from Elway to Rod Smith.

I scratch my head at the decision making of some of these professional athletes. Do they lose track of the hard work and dedication it took to reach the precipice of their careers? Do they not remember the dedication of their parents driving them to every practice, sacrificing so they could have chances their parents never dreamed of? Are they so enamored with themselves that they feel invincible and untouchable? And how do they not understand the number of people — in their own professional level, not even counting the millions of kids that dream every day of being in that position — that would give their first born kid to get the opportunity to play in the playoffs and eventually the championship game.

Being around young high school boys, I understand decision-making can be challenging and most of them have the focusing skills of a kitten on catnip, but you should expect more from the athletes that are at the top of their profession and supposedly have reached maturity.

It is a refreshing change when two of the most recognizable players in their industry, with six Most Valuable Player awards and four NBA championships between them no less, take a public stance and decide to turn their focus to the task at hand.

We could all take a page from Alexander Graham Bell's thoughts when he said, "Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus."