Recognizing the Achievements of Our Youth


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Football season may be over for now, but the support of the community by LOTE goes on all year round. Our mission to support underserved youth has helped to bring scholarships to local students attending college. But, we recognize that encouraging children to do well in school begins with elementary school, and with the support of their families.

In January, LOTE recognized the achievements 20 elementary school students, as selected by their teacher. We provided each student, along with a parent, tickets to the January 13th San Jose Barracuda game at SAP Center.
And, we appreciate their heartfelt thank you poster! Congratulations to the students on their academic excellence !

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What is the NFL Combine?

Each February, hundreds of the very best college football players are invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind., where executives, coaches, scouts and doctors from all 32 NFL teams conduct an intense, four-day job interview in advance of the NFL Draft. Below are a list of the measurable drills that these players run through.

40-yard Dash

The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It’s kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It’s all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.

Bench Press

The bench press is a test of strength — 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.

Vertical Jump

The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.

Broad Jump

The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete’s lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.

3 Cone Drill

The 3 cone drill tests an athlete’s ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.

Shuttle Run

The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete’s lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodes out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.

For more information on how to watch as well as the actual schedules of events, visit or

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On January 26, 2018 our coaching staff along with the Raider coaching staff were picked to coach the Senior College Bowl.  This is a HUGE benefit to both teams because they get to see first hand how the players who will be up for the draft in 2019 perform.  The 49er staff will choose 2nd in the draft.  Some of the former stars coming out of the Senior Super Bowl are Joe Staley and Patrick Willis.

Shanahan came away saying it was a highly successful endeavor to be a part of this coaching staff.

For more info, visit

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After last week’s game, Brady is now the undisputed player with the most rings at 6. However prior to Brady, Charles Haley was the first ever five-time Super Bowl Champion, two with the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowls XXIII and XXIV and three more with the Dallas Cowboys.  He beat Brady to the punch in number of winning Super Bowl rings since he won his first.  To learn more on Haley’s football history, click here.

Speaking of the Super Bowl in my opinion it was a non-event except for the fact that Brady’s first pass thrown was an interception!!! Next year WATCH OUT here come the NINERS!!!  GO NINERS!!!

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We would like to honor great African-Americans who have played a role in shaping American history.  Today, the NFL is comprised of teams with players of all nationalities, races and ethnicities.  However, it wasn’t always an inclusive organization.  Despite being founded in 1920, Black players were not permitted to join the NFL until 1946.  That year, one year before Jackie Robinson made history in baseball, four men broke the color barrier, opening the door for all that have followed.  Thank you Woody Strode, Kenny Washington, Marion Motley, and Bill Willis for your bravery; not buckling to the pressure to quit that must’ve felt insurmountable at times.

Ladies of the Empire believes that we are more creative, collaborative and successful by being part of a large diverse community.  We are members and allies of the Black community and are inspired by the resilience and courageousness that African-Americans have consistently shown.  There is more work to be done to achieve racial equality.  We pledge to be mindful, unbiassed and listen to each other to be the change in the world we want to be.  We mean it so much, it is in our mission statement:

“LOTE’s mission is to make a positive impact through education, support and hard work on underserved communities and for those of any gender overcoming adversity.  We want to be the change in the world that we want to see. 

Thank you for playing a role in achieving our mission!

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Survey Results

Last month, we sent out a fun survey to see what some of our members are interested in. Check out some of the results.

Question 1: I would be interested in attending:

  1. 81.82% – Ladies of the Empire summer picnic
  2. 81.82% – Happy Hours with the Ladies at a bar by the stadium
  3. 45.45% – Charity poker tournament
  4. 18.18% – Family day at a San Jose Barracudas Hockey game

Question 2: Best Football Team Ever!

  1. 100% – San Francisco 49ers
  2. 0% – Other

Question 3: Best Song to Workout to:

  • “Superfreak” – Rick James
  • “Anything” – Paul Oakenfold
  • Any classic Rock n Roll
  • “Crazy In Love” – Beyonce
  • “It’s Raining Men” – The Weather Girls
  • “Pretty Girl Rock” – Keri Hilson
  • “All My Life” – Foo Fighters
  • “Anything” – Calvin Harris
  • “Yeah!” Usher

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Leading up to the game, I heard it called the “Toilet Bowl”  and the “Someone’s got to Win Bowl.”  I admit, I got a little demoralized before the game, expecting to watch terrible football with a bunch of silver and black fans with painted faces screaming profanity and being belligerent.  I was so wrong on both counts.  The game was epic!  First of all, Nick Mullens, our 3rdstring QB shined. Of course, we had an advantage that the Raiders didn’t have tape to study.  But he came out strong, showing the hard work he had put in during practice had paid off.  Did you know he literally got verified on Twitter during the game?  Hilarious.  Then we had Raheem Mostert, who is a LOTE supporter, always happy to sign items for us at the 49ers Academy Cocktails and Couture.  He’s a running back – had three huge plays, including a 53 yard run and a touchdown.  Yay!! These two players, once underdogs, had a great game, which reconnected many of us to the team.

I can’t say much for the Raiders, especially their defense (ugh!), but I have high praise for their fans. I think fans of both sides were feeling a bit disenfranchised from our teams before the game.  My husband and I did some tailgate hopping and were frequently welcomed with “Good luck Bay Area” by Raiders fans.  We spread that through the parking lot and to the fans visiting our beautiful stadium.  All were courteous and kind.  Considering both of our records this season, I think we were there for the love of football and not the rivalry.

So, in conclusion, we saw the 49ers dominate, winning 34-3, we cheered for players that we don’t usually hear on the loud speaker who played great and we didn’t lament about our star QB or star RB going out early in the season.  I believe the Raiders were a good comparator to help us define what bad football looks like.  With respect to the Raider nation, your team didn’t look good.  But for that I thank you, because I left that game with new hope for our beloved 49ers.

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This time of year, we typically focus on being thankful for our friends and family. Equally as important, we need to take time to care for ourselves.  Although we had some rain, the wildfires in Northern and Southern California degraded our air quality severely.  The Golden Heart Fund 4.9k and half marathon at Levis Stadium was cancelled due to the heavy smoke.

The effects on our skin and lungs can be drastic.  Our breathing became shallow during that time, out of instinct.  Please take time out of your day to breathe deeply, allowing your lymph to move.  Shallow breathing stagnates our lymph which can lead to other health problems.  For your skin, please read this article on how to care for yourself after breathing in and being exposed to all that congested air: A HOLISTIC GUIDE TO YOUR HEALTH AFTER THE CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

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Meet Trent Taylor, one of our most talented players. Trent is a wide receiver, who was drafted by the Niners in the 5thround of the 2017 draft.  Trent’s high school and college years were spent in Louisiana where he played football at Evangel Christian Academy and Louisiana Tech, respectively.  Being coached by LOTE supporter, Katie Sowers, Trent has shown he not only has speed and good hands, but has developed agility and grit on the field.  He plays both offense and special teams, but we notice his time playing on special teams has greatly reduced this season compared to the 2017 season.  We suspect this is to protect him from injury, because if you’ve seen his highlight reel of punt returns, you know he’s a beast.

Trent shows his fun side, starring in videos called “Quality Time with Trent and George” (George is George Kittle, Trent’s best friend on the team), a 1-on-1 (although George is there too) with Joe Fann playing Carpool Karaoke, and, of course, doing the Keke challenge.  I found his interpretation to be inspirational, but others on Reddit found it to be “Toomuchsauce”.  Obviously not Niners fans.

Ladies of the Empire got to experience Trent’s fun side at our 2017 LOTE mixer!  By far, he’s one of our most favorite guests.  Arriving with a broken rib, again he’s a beast, Trent entertained his table talking about his love for hockey’s Nashville Predators and golf. We hear he plays poker as a hobby. Maybe someday we’ll see him on ESPN crushing the final table of the World Series of Poker.

His professional career began with the Niners and we hope he spends his entire career with us.  He’s in year 2 of a 4 year contract.  My prediction is that he’ll take us to some Super Bowls where we’ll celebrate our victories and then, a few years later, we all take a trip to Canton, Ohio to see him be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Mark your calendars ladies, Canton 2030 for Trent Taylor, HOF!

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Who has inspired you the most on your path to the NFL and who has inspired you the most in life?

My mentor Bob Sperling taught me how to be a man and how to handle my business at a crucial age, when I was living in Chicago. He helped keep me out of trouble. So he definitely inspires me.

What is your proudest accomplishment on the field and off the field?

My proudest accomplishment so far has to be earning a contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers. I’m very excited to have a chance to extend my career in a great place.

What was one of the greatest adversities or barriers you had to overcome to get where you are now?

Moving to Chicago from Jamaica was one of the biggest transitions in my life. I definitely experienced some culture shock! It was very hard to adjust to the American school system and my neighborhood in Chicago. I’m glad that I found football, which set me on the path to go to a great school and start a great career.
In your opinion, who is the greatest NFL player of all time? Why? Which play stands out vividly in your memory?
I didn’t watch football as a child, unless you’re talking about soccer! However, I did watch the Bears when I was in high school, and I think Robbie Gould is one of the greats. I’ll never forget his game-winning field goal for the 49ers last season at Soldier Field — it was pretty special to be a part of that.
Off the field, you and Rachel serve the community and have formed your own non-profit Foundation. Could you tell us the name of your organization and describe your mission and vision.
Shortly after I got drafted, I started the Laken Tomlinson Foundation with a goal of increasing access to mental health care services for families in Detroit.

Why is supporting mental health important to you?

I graduated from Duke with majors in Psychology and Evolutionary Anthropology, and my wife is a clinical psychology graduate student. As you might expect, we think a lot about mental health and related issues. Unfortunately, between difficulties with insurance and availability of providers, it can be hard for people in the community to access the care they need. I hope to one day make a difference in this area.
How can LOTE members support your non-profit Foundation?
Look out for us in the future! Hopefully through LOTE we can make connections that help get us closer to our goal.
Name one thing that makes you roll on the floor with laughter.
My dogs always make me laugh. I have two golden retrievers, Douglas and Daisy, and they are both total goofs. Douglas is so sweet but never has any idea what’s going on, and Daisy will absolutely wipe out in pursuit of food. They’re pretty great!
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