Monday, May 22, 2017

The Chocolate Cub Interview

Well as the great wrestling announcer Jim Ross would say, business has certainly picked up since the last time I posted here. In that time, I went from being the confused parent to an infant to the confused parent of a one month old dynamo and let me tell you the ride has been great.
Very cautiously agreeing to be interviewed.
It is in this spirit that I had a sit-down conversation with the Chocolate Cub to see how month one has been treating him. 

Chocolate Puma: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with me on the record.

Chocolate Cub: Anytime, I’ve just become aware of your works, also just became aware I can shove all my fingers in my mouth. How crazy is that?

CP: I’m gonna ask that you not do that, you just ate son.

CC:  Deal with it old man. 

CP: I like your attitude.

CC: Where do you think I get it from? (Finger points at me)

CP: You’re gonna make a brown man blush. First question, how you enjoying your set up.

CC: Much more room than I’m accustomed to!
(We both laugh intensely)

Here he is practicing his falsetto.
 CC: In all seriousness, it’s great, sweet bed, sweet room, and I’m a big fan of that thing in the corner.

CP: The rocking chair?

CC: Don’t judge me, I’ve been here a month. 

CP: Won’t happen again.

CC: Overall though the time spent here as been amazing. Slobbering on your face, dancing to some Stevie Wonder have all been just amazing. I'm particularly a fan of the diaper time playlist.
"Captain America is Hydra? Whoa."
CP: What can I say kid, I love music? Well son I say we read this Captain America Secret Empire and then head to bed. 

CC: Splendid. What are we drinking tonight?

CP: Whiskey for me, formula for you. 

CC: Oh. Snap. Son.

Well there you have it. Just a brief sit down with the mini gentleman of leisure who currently runs our household. This is possibly the first of many interviews with the Cub. Hopefully he refrains from profanity laced tirades but no guarantees.

Monday, May 15, 2017

In Which I Begrudgingly Defend Lebron James

2017 is weird. We have a reality show host as president, the Chocolate Puma is a father, and most improbable of all I am going to defend Lebron James. I know, I’m just as shocked as you are. For the record, no one has been as petty and a hater to Lebron as much as I have.
When he spurned the Bulls I reveled in every loss the “Heatles” experienced. But during his time in Miami something happened…I began to actually see his greatness. Like I knew he was an amazing player, but I began to truly appreciate what we were living through. Now this isn’t to say that I think he is the greatest to ever do it, but I will say he is the greatest of his era. 

But Puma, you may say, back in my day guys didn’t take breaks, they played every game. Well even with LeBron taking a game off here and there over the last two seasons, over his 13 seasons he has played 1,061 games. Michael Jordan by comparison in 13 seasons with the Bulls played in 930 games. Not to mention he has played in 6 consecutive NBA finals and participated in the Olympics essentially giving him a year round schedule. 

“Puma, back in my day, guys didn’t form super teams!” Not so fast on that on champ. That ignores the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets, and Philadelphia 76ers…and that’s just from the 80s! The best players always have a way of ending up on the same team.
Pat Riley leads a scrappy group of under dogs.
The only difference is now the players are deciding where and who they want to play with and not the teams making that decision. 

Alright fine, he's good you may be thinking, but the league was more competitive back in the day you may counter with proudly. Good retort but a common misconception. The majority of all NBA championships since it's inception in 1947 have gone to 4 franchises, the Boston Celtics, LA Lakers, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs. In fact there has only been one decade in which there was true parity, the 1970s, where 8 different teams hoisted the championship. 

And I already know what's coming next, but he lost in the finals, Jordan never lost in the finals! That is true. But that in itself is the anomaly. Every other hall of fame champion has losses in the Finals. Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan, Bill Russell, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, all of them lost a championship. That fact doesn't diminish their greatness, so we shouldn't hold LeBron to a higher standard. 

So I'm sure I'll get called all kinds of a stan for recognizing statistically something very special and so be it. I'm not ready to call him the GOAT, not sure I'll ever get there, but I have no problem firmly placing him in the top 3 of all time. If for nothing else this damn chase down block. I mean...come on. This is like a damn video game play. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April's If You Don't Sit Your Ass Down Award

I had already sat down and typed out a very long and hilarious if I may say so presentation telling one Tomato Lasagna how she needed to grab a few seats.
Tomato Lasagna seen above
Then down came word that Papa Bear himself Bill O'Reilly who has been getting hit with sexual harassment since Drake was still in a wheelchair and not a faux dance-hall star would be parting ways with Fox News. So since Billy is gonna have a lot of time on his hands allow me to be the first to tell Bill get your grabby ass up here so you can sit your ass down!
For years this self righteous jack wagon has gotten on television, radio, betamax and any other medium that will have him and presented himself as a paragon of moral value. Little problem with that though...Uncle Billy was out here in these Fox News streets doing quite a bit of dirt. Over his time at the network over 15 million dollars were paid out in hush money to accusers and there were some extremely disturbing details to emerge in his divorce including instances of physical violence. Now I'm not one to revel in the joy of someone's downfall but for this sentient blob of mayonnaise I'll make an exception.

For years he's bloviated about how he has the answer on everything from United States foreign relations to how to fix the ills of the black community. Even though he was seemingly shocked that when eating dinner we generally don't curse and demand "m-fer I want more iced tea." Yes he even took it to himself to torpedo an endorsement deal for one of the finest actors of this or any other generation, Sir Christopher Bridges, you lay-people may know him as Ludacris.Who hit him with one of my favorite rap lines ever: "Respected highly, hi, Mr. O'Reilly/Hope all is well, kiss the plaintiff and the wifey."

But he will most be remembered for his classic "L" he received handed to him by the Prince of Harlem himself who knew years ago as he so eloquently put it, "I got dirt on you doggy." So it is in honor of this doggy's dirt coming back to bite him in the ass I must post this:

So while you still mad Billy, I say to you...SIT YO ASS DOWN! 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Few Lessons to The Chocolate Cub

As I sit down to write this I am in the waning days of life without a child. And as a self professed know it all at times it pains me to admit this to you all but I have no idea what I'm doing.

And while this is true for all first time parents this blog is about me so deal with it.  So in an attempt to ease the nerves that come with the next great step in my life, I have decided to write a few of the lessons I am most eager to share with my little upgrade.
1.Steak preparation and ordering.
This is crucial my child, never in your life order a steak well done. If you order a steak well done I'm not saying I will disown you but I am also not not saying I won't disown you.

2. The art of trash talk.
This may be my favorite lesson to you my child. While your father is an unabashed sports fanatic, seriously your mother can confirm this, I am not what one would refer to as a premiere athlete. I do ok for a rec league giant though so please believe I'll take you on the court and at the first sign the gap is closing retire and never play again. That being said, one of my gifts has always been trash talking. In fact on more than one occasion I was threatened by opponents of our soccer team in college. That kid from Elmhurst was maaaaaad. You are going to be a verbal monster kid.

3. I'm going to let you choose your own sports teams.
No pressure, but it would be nice if there was another Sox fan here.
This is a tough one but if I raise you the right way you'll make your way to the right side of things. So while I will suggest the Chicago Bulls or UNC Tarheels, if you decide to go another route please believe you are not exempt from the above lesson.

4. I'll be introducing you to a ton of movies.
One of the running jokes and truths in my relationship with you r mother is she has not seen about 98.75% of any movie that I mention. And there are a few omissions that may make you even shake you head, but respect your mother kid. It is in this spirit that I will take the reigns in introducing you to the wonderful world of film. I would consider it a personal failing if you grew up without seeing so many of these classic films.

5. Your mother is a superhero.
I know you'll grow sick of, and then won't be able to contain your joy when I talk comic and superhero stuff with you but in all seriousness your mom is the greatest superhero.
When you're older you'll learn what the human body does to accommodate such a young dependent. Now imagine all those changes and still getting up every morning and going to downtown Chicago, most of the time even walking a mile or so from the train station to her office. Always put some respeck on her name.

Well that's all I got for now, any time you'd like to make your arrival it would be greatly appreciated. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In Which I Stan For Russell Westbrook

There are certain records that as a fan of sports and statistics that I was pretty confident in saying that we would never see broken. Cal Ripken's consecutive games streak, Wilt chamberlain's 100 point game and one of the top if not top records I never thought I'd see fall was Oscar Robertson's record of most triple doubles in a season and subsequently average a triple double for an entire season.
For all the flaws of Russell Westbrook's game what he has done is something so remarkable I don't think I have fully fathomed the sheer awesomeness of over 82 games not only averaging a triple double but also in more than half the games you played doing so. I believe the savant Dragonfly Jonez said it best.

Now comes the argument over whether or not he is the league's most valuable player. To me the idea of a guy averaging a triple double and willing his team to the playoffs in the more difficult conference is just astonishing. But because this is a written forum ol' Uncle Puma will give you his top three reasons that Westbrook is the unquestioned MVP of the NBA season.

3. His team would be a lottery team if he was taken from them.

Without Russell Westbrook the Oklahoma City Thunder are a mess. The other contenders for MVP have a much more effective supporting cast but for argument's sake let's use the other top bet to win MVP James Harden.  Harden is surrounded by Lou Williams, Eric Gordon, Trevor Ariza, and Patrick Beverly. Not exactly a murderers row of talent but definitely good enough to compete for a playoff spot. Westbrook has Taj Gibson, Steven Adams, and Victor Oladipo. No disrespect intended but one roster is clearly better than the other.

2. A statistician dream come true.
 The numbers that he puts up are just mind boggling. I'm going to dive a little deeper than traditional points, rebounds and assists here. Westbrook is number one in offensive rpm, which estimates on-court impact on team offensive performance, measured in points scored per 100 offensive possessions. He ranks 8th in defensive rpm which estimates on-court impact on team defensive performance, measured in points allowed per 100 defensive possessions. And he ranks 4th in win shares statistically responsible for 16.6 wins.

Not to beat a dead horse but GOD DAMN 42 TRIPLE DOUBLES?!?! That's not even possible in video games. There were 9 games where he came within an assist or a rebound shy of a triple double. And you can blow off his torrid pace as just stat chasing but the fact is this, in games where he got a triple double the Thunder were 33-9. In games he didn't they were 14-25 in games he didn't.  He literally did everything in pursuit not of stats but an almost obsession with getting this team to the playoffs.

So congrats Russy, even if some way you don''t get NBA MVP you'll always be able to fall back on being the MVP to the Chocolate Puma.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Not So Curious Case of Colin Kaepernick

So this free agency period of the NFL has been quite interesting. The most interesting part for me as I write this, isn't who signed for what, but why hasn't Colin Kaepernick been signed yet?
Here you have a guy who has gone to a super bowl, a conference championship and last year while coming off an injury in 12 games threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions and a 90.4 QB rating while also rushing for 468 yards and 2 additional touchdowns; yet he can't even get brought in for visit. In a quarterback starved league you'd think teams would be salivating, yet they are not.

First and foremost in the NFL, black quarterbacks rarely are given second chances. Don't believe me?
Warren Moon had to spend 6 years in the CFL for his FIRST chance.
Greg Howard of Deadspin did an amazing job detailing this, it's a bit of a read but you'll get the point. Hell one of the 3 greatest quarterbacks of all time, Warren Moon (fight me if you disagree) had to play 6 seasons in the CFL before even getting a sniff  with the Oilers. And he STILL went on to have a Hall of Fame career in the NFL. In that time quarterbacking luminaries such as Jeff Komlo, Joe Pisarcik, and Marc Wilson all got MULTIPLE chances. Who are they? Exactly.

I bring that up to say that we very well may have seen the last of Colin Kaepernick in the NFL.
Josh McCown just signed to his 7th NFL team. SEVEN
You see quarterbacks such Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown and Brock Osweiler will get multiple chances but the fact Kaep is a black quarterback teamed with him using his platform to to bring attention to social problems has made him weirdly untouchable. The great irony of it all is Kaepernick is essentially everything that you ask an athlete to be. Someone who uses his platform to help those less fortunate, his protest was literally taking a knee, he didn't boast about it, it only came up when he was asked about it but somehow that's worst the drunk drivers, domestic abusers, etc.

If this is based purely on talent and on the field play, there is absolutely no way you can give me a logical reason why Kaep is not on an NFL roster. Each team carries at least 2 quarterbacks, most carry 3, so for the sake of argument there are at least 64 spots available.
68.3 Rating? Get your ass over here and sign!
You mean to tell me you'd rather have Josh McCown, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, or Landry Jones? If you tell me that then you're telling me one of three things, you're a liar, you don't watch football, or it's not about on the field play.

I can admit that he may not be a top level starter but you have to admit that he definitely is talented enough to be in the league. If you don't believe that he belongs in the league then at least be honest enough to admit that it has nothing to do with on the field play and examine yourself.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March's If You Don't Sit Your Ass Down Award

So it would appear that the moment is finally upon us to present the Golden Ethan Allen to someone. Boy we have some highly qualified candidates who can rightfully be given a royal side eye and told to check themselves, lest they wreck themselves. Well folks I think you'll agree with this month's choice. I wasn't going to choose this person but a few days ago he said something so remarkably stupid it knocked the person I had chosen clear off the list. You got lucky this time Lena Dunham.

The man who is this month's recipient is.... Dr. Ben Carson! Ben, get your slow mumbling ass up here so you can sit your ass down!

Boy I don't even know where to begin with this guy. First of all I hadn't forgotten that he called the glorious institution and amazing beacon of poultry perfection "Popeyes" a Popeyes organization.
 Sir I will not stand idly by as you refuse to put some respect on this fine chain's name. And to make it worse he was bragging about sending some poor cashier a one way ticket to Armed Robbery Station. That's not a good thing you sentient sloth!

And then this week, the dear doctor said one of the most idiotic and downright stupid things I've ever heard in my entire life. While speaking to HUD employees he said...ahem, and I quote: "There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less."

Pretty damn stupid right? When I heard these comments I wanted to use my gifted hands to give the good doctor a gift of my own. Eyore inspired ding bat. An immigrant is not a person forcibly brought over and forced to work. And no matter how hard or how long they worked they weren't doing it for less because of some form of work ethic, they were doing it because they'd die if they didn't work.What you're doing with comments like this is downplaying the brutality of slavery and comes off as trying to whitewash the past sins of this country.

So for your remarkably tone deaf and historically inaccurate comments (not to mention the passive disrespect of Popeyes) I present you with this...

Ben...Sit your ass down!