Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Vogue is racist?

Above is the latest issue of Vogue. And if you allow some of the talking heads on tv to explain it, it's more like this:
Now I as a black man in his 20s and having grown up in the south I have heard all of the negative stereotypes associated with black men and white women. The brutish almost animal like man ravaging a helpless white woman was and still remains one of the most prominent stereotypes in American culture, but this magazine cover is not it. You want to know what this magazine cover's a basketball player with his arm around an attractive woman. The end. This whole Lebron should be more careful with how he is portrayed in the media nonsense should stop right now. The only reason we know who Lebron is because he plays basketball and to say that he needs to be in every publication dressed as though he was a preppy suburbanite so he doesn't fall into the stereotype of a "dangerous thug" is just ridiculous. Would this be a big deal if say Dirk Nowitzki was on the cover? No. This is another example of our "black leaders" choosing to take the simplest thing and blow it out of proportion. How about this, we try and find out who killed Jamiel Shaw II, an intelligent young man who was killed in Los Angeles simply so some young punk could prove he was "a man." This kind of crap is what should outrage our leaders, not when Lebron is portrayed as a big angry basketball player. The man is 6'8 and weighs damn near 270 pounds, it's kind of hard to look any other way.

There you have it, my two cents. This is the biggest non story of the year. Go read a book.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Is Jeremiah Wright really that bad?

I'm sure you people have all heard about the controversy surrounding Jeremiah Wright and his comments following September 11th. If not, here are just a few brief quotes from his infamous sermon:

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye...and now we are indignant, because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

"Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that y’all, not a black militant. Not a reverend who preaches about racism. An ambassador whose eyes are wide open and who is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised. The ambassador said the people we have wounded don’t have the military capability we have. But they do have individuals who are willing to die and take thousands with them. And we need to come to grips with that."

Now the shocking thing to me has been the uproar caused by these statements, or more accurately how this has been negatively attributed to Barack Obama.

My first point is that we all know people and have been associated with people who have said and believe things that we do not agree with. I have family who are openly against gay marriage although I am for it, I have friends who believe things about other races that just are not true. While I have voiced my displeasure and given my opinion, it should not negatively reflect on me simply because I know these people.

Secondly, John McCain had the support of people like Jerry Falwell and has the support of Pat Robertson. How in the hell is this guy not catching any flack for it? Remember this lil' diddy from the great and moral Pat Robertson?
"You're supposed to be nice to Episcopalians, and the Presbyterians, and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Anti-Christ."

So how is that better than what Rev. Wright said?

Monday, March 17, 2008


"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

We all know the story, a skinny and awkward 16 year old tries out for the varsity basketball team and is cut on the first day. He comes back the next year and not only does he make the team, but he is the leading scorer for the team his junior and senior seasons. In fact he not only led them in scoring, but he also led them to two state titles. He goes on to University of North Carolina and wins a NCAA national championship. After that he goes on to destroy the NBA scoring records and defies the laws of gravity on a nightly basis. But the most dramatic moment night of the illustrious career of number 23 came on June 14, 1998.

It was a warm night in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Chicago Bulls are preparing to defeat the Utah Jazz for the second year in a row, and earn their third title in a row. The Jazz were indeed a strange bunch. They all seemed to have bad haircuts, wore shorts that were a little too far north of the knee, and their nickname made no sense seeing how you were more likely to see a polar bear ride a tricycle with a Hitler helmet on down State Street before you found a decent jazz club in the land of Mormons. But on the court, if anyone was going to end the Bulls dynasty, it would be this fundamentally sound squad from the land of polygamy.

The game began a little after 8:30 eastern time, 7:30 central time, and from the start you could tell it was going to come down to the wire. The Bulls came out of the gates quickly, with long armed defensive wizard and small forward Scottie Pippen had the hot hand in the first quarter. The Jazz answered right back with the back and forth passing of Jeff Hornaceck and John Stockton. Shandon Anderson’s solid play also energized the experienced Jazz squad.

The second quarter got underway pretty much the same way the game began, just insert number 23’s name where Pippen’s had been as the leading scorer. The Bulls built up a little lead, but unfortunately for me and the rest of Chicago, the Jazz came back again and this time they took the lead. Things were really looking down as the second quarter came to a close. It was going to take some good coaching or better yet another superhero like performance from the man whom Larry Bird called Jesus in sneakers after a younger version of 23 raped the Celtics defense for 69 points.

The third quarter came, and the back and forth struggle between the team that would be kings and my beloved Bulls. Ron Harper steeped his streaky play up, Dennis Rodman kept rebounding and playing tight defense deep into the fourth quarter. The Jazz began to attempt to pull away at the five minute mark of the fourth, and then number 23 had enough. He pulled up for a pair of three pointers and had a crucial block on Jazz forward Chris Morris. The game came down to 25 seconds and the ball was in the hands of future Hall of Famer John Stockton and he did what everyone knew he would…he passed it to their superhero number 32.

Future Hall of Fame forward Karl Malone caught the ball on the left block and posts up Dennis Rodman. All of a sudden a red streak slaps the ball and takes it away. The clock is at 15 seconds, and Michael Jeffrey Jordan, born in Brooklyn, but raised in Charlotte, North Carolina brings the ball up the court. Apparently the Jazz thought that Jordan had used up all his magic against them last year as they did not double team him as soon as crossed the half court line. The Utah Jazz small forward Byron Russell slid over in anticipation, hoping to stop Jordan from doing to the Jazz what he had done to the Knicks, Pacers, and Cavaliers. Jordan drives to his right, and Russell is with him every step of the way. All of a sudden…bam. Jordan stops on a dime and crosses over to his left and pulls up for a jumper. Silence as the ball gracefully floats through the air. It is too late for Russell to jump as Jordan has just put him in the same class as John Starks, Patrick Ewing, Craig Ehlo, and Reggie Miller. Grown men who have been reduced to tears and had their dreams taken away by his greatness.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Barack Obama I'm all for it.

When people ask me who I plan to vote for in the upcoming presidential election, there is no hesitation in my reply. Barack Obama has always been my answer. There is much talk of his inexperience versus that of John McCain or Hillary Clinton, but I pose this question, what kind of experience does Hillary Clinton have? You can't deny all the experience he has gained both from his military experience and his time as a senator from Arizona, but what has Hillary Clinton done? Let's look at the facts:
*She was a lawyer for the Rose Law Firm during the majority of the 80s.
* She was also first lady of Arkansas.
* She was the first lady of the United States.
* US Senator from 2000 until now.

So from what I can see is, she only has 8 years of experience in an official role. Now let's look at Barack Obama:
* Obama in 1983 moved to Chicago to become a community organizer.
* He worked with low income families in the Roseland and Altgeldt Gardens communities as Director of the Developing Communities Project.
* He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1991 Magna Cum Laude, and was the first black president of the Harvard Review.
* He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996.
* He was elected to the US Senate in 2004.
* Gave the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Wow, that sounds like the kind of person I want to be president, not someone who threw parties for dignitaries for 8 years as the first lady of the United States. I want someone who knows what the people...the people who need the most help.

And while on the topic of Obama, I unfortunately have to bring up race again due to the horribly inaccurate comments by Geraldine Ferraro. Ferraro in an interview stated:
"[i]f Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is." To say that a man with his qualifications is only where he is because of his race is disgusting to me. A Harvard grad who happens to have worked a successful career as a community organizer and state senator is only where he is because he is black? This from the same woman who once said that she only was nominated to be vice-president because of her gender. This from a woman who constantly throws out divisive statements such as how much harder it is to be a woman, than it is to be black. I can't take her seriously. I leave you with this:

Hillary and Bill Clinton with Tony Rezko.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The first annual Chocolate Puma Awards

Ladies and gentleman let me be the first to welcome you all to the first annual Chocolate Puma Awards for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence: college basketball edition. Let's not waste any time here and get to our first award, the freshman of the year. The nominees are:

Kevin Love, C, UCLA: 17.3 points per game, 11.1 rebounds per game.
Coming into this season I had K. Love as probably the most overrated player in this deep freshman class. Boy was I wrong. Not only does he lead the Pac-10 champs in scoring and rebounding, he may be the best passing big man to come through in quite a while.

Derrick Rose, PG, Memphis: 14.4 Points per game, 4.5 assists per game, 4.4 rebounds per game.
I think that Rose is the best guard prospect in the last decade. Given his skill set you would think he would jack shots up at an alarming rate...not this guy. The epitome of a pass first point guard, Rose's ability to penetrate through defenses allows shooters such as Chris Douglas-Roberts and Willie Kemp open looks at the basket.

Eric Gordon, SG, Indiana: 21.3 points per game, 3.3 rebounds per game.
A truly dynamic scorer who has the ability to either shoot the three or he can drive and dunk all over your interior defenders. He at times settles into this me-first mentality often taking bad shots and complaining too often about a perceived lack of a non-call.

Michael Beasley, PF/SF, Kansas State: 27.0 points per game, 12.6 rebounds per game
Beasley is without question the most talented freshman that I have ever had the pleasure of watching. He has prototypical power forward size and skill sets, but he can also step back and shoot the three as evidence by his almost 40 percent average from behind the three point line.

And the winner is....Michael Beasley.

Now on to the coach of the year. The nominees are:
Matt Painter, Purdue.
Mike Brey, Notre Dame
Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke

And the winner is... Coach K. As much as it pains me as a Carolina fan to say this, Coach K has done a phenomenal job with this Duke team which has no real inside threat yet it has found a way to win 25 games and lose only 3. All this while changing offensive philosophies. Astonishing.

Now on to the conference players of the year. Given the number of conferences, I will stick with only the major conferences.
ACC: Tyler Hansborough, C
Big East: Luke Harangody, C/F
Big Ten: D.J. White, PF
Big 12: Michael Beasley, F
Pac-10: Darren Collison, PG
Conference USA: Chris Douglas-Roberts, SG

Now kids, the Puma will give you his All-Chocolatey team. These are the guys that most embody everything that I love about the game of college basketball. The lucky members are:
PG: DJ Augustin, Texas
SG: Stephen Curry, Davidson
SF: Danny Green, UNC
PF: Michael Beasley, Kansas State
C: Tyler Hansborough, UNC
Coach: Matt Painter, Purdue

And now, the moment we have all been waiting for, the Chocolate Puma's award for player of the year. The nominees are:

Michael Beasley,F, Kansas State
Tyler Hansborough, C, UNC
D.J. Augustin, PG, Texas
Luke Harangody, C/F, Notre Dame

And the winner is....Tyler Hansborough of UNC. While there is no question that Beasley is the most talented player on the college planet, no one held his team together more through injury and has helped them possibly secure the number one seed in the NCAA tourney. Congratulations to all the winners.