Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hip-Hop Don't Stop

I recently just finished reading a book by Jay-Z called Decoded. In it he breaks down the lyrics of many of his hit songs and his motivations for writing the rhymes he does. I absolutely flew through this book and it made me realize something. For as much as hip-hop music and culture is infused throughout American culture, it generally is ignored as an art form. The artists who perform are looked at as thugs who just throw words together that rhyme and typically are disrespectful to women. While there are some artists who use it irresponsibly, there are artists who are socially conscious and take great pride and painstaking detail to their craft.

I think what bothers me most with those who bash the entire culture is that other artistic expressions are given the benefit of doubt to use their art to maybe exaggerate to get a point across. In Robert Rodriguez films the protagonist usually lays a swath of destruction from here to Tijuana yet if one rapper makes an exaggerated claim it’s taken as one hundred percent truth. If Eminem says he’s going to kill someone he must be telling the truth, he can’t possibly be trying to convey a sense of anger that we all have had at one point in our lives right?

Classic literary figures have used profanity to get points across for years, yet once again rappers are held to such a high standard for some reason that they aren’t given the same luxury. It seems to me that people are so busy listening FOR words that they miss the point the overall piece is trying to make. For instance, I once played a song called ‘This can’t be life’ by Jay-Z and there is the use of violent imagery in the song. They used that to mean there can be no depth to the song at all. What they missed was it was the story of a young hustler looking at his options if he failed to make it in the music industry. As Jay-Z said: “It’s all white noise to them till they hear a ‘bitch’ or a ‘nigga’ and then they run off yelling ‘See!’ and feel vindicated in their narrow conception of what the music is all about. But that would be like listening to Maya Angelou and ignoring everything until you heard her drop a line about drinking or sleeping with someone’s husband and then dismissing her as an alcoholic adulterer.”

I’m not saying you have to love hip-hop, you have the right to dislike it as just not your taste. But to paint such a rich and ever changing culture as just pimping, thugging, and profanity is downright criminal. Do your homework, respect the culture. That’s all this hip-hop head is asking.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Randy Shannon...A real winner

I hear people say all the time that sports is devoid of heroes. And with the news being filled with spoiled basketball players spurning hometown, football players accused of domestic assault and countless examples of steroid use in both baseball and track I can see where people are coming from when they draw these conclusions. But maybe the problem is we’re looking in the wrong places. Humor me for a moment, instead of looking on the playing fields perhaps we should be looking at the sidelines for someone who we consider a hero.

Up until Saturday evening Miami or “The U” as it has been called had a man of integrity, honor, and most importantly a man who taught boys how to become men. This man was Randy Shannon. To understand how remarkable the turnaround was at Miami you need to know what the U was like before his arrival. There were numerous reports of a pay for play scheme with the esteemed lyricist Luther Campbell of the 2 Live Crew, (seriously look up some of his lyrics, it may not be safe for work though,) rampant drug use, and countless arrests. This team based its image on having a team full of young thugs who were brash and tougher than anyone you could throw on the field.
But being tough has nothing to do with being a thug or a criminal.

Shannon is as tough as they come and has never been arrested. You see here’s a guy who’s father was murdered when he was three. Here’s a guy who saw his older twin brothers become addicted to crack cocaine when he was ten. Here’s a guy who saw AIDS ravage and take away his sister but also his brothers. Yet he forged on. He steered clear of the negative effects of his environment and graduated from high school and went on to the University of Miami where he not only excelled on the field, he excelled in the classroom. After all of the roadblocks that would cause a normal person to break down and give up not only did he not relent he used it as fuel to become a National Champion and a college graduate.

But Randy Shannon didn’t stop there; he began his coaching career as a graduate assistant. Literally the lowest level outside of volunteering to coach pee-wee athletics a coach can get and a mere 7 years later he worked himself to be an assistant coach for the Miami Dolphins. But his heart remained at the University of Miami. After returning there as defensive coordinator he began the great turnaround.
You see Shannon broke rule number one of college athletics that they don’t want you to know about. You see he valued his kids education and character more than he valued wins. In his time as head coach his team finished third in graduation rate behind the Army and Naval academies. Not too shabby. Arrests under Shannon were virtually non existent with only one player getting arrested. He taught his players the value of getting an education and acting like men. Unfortunately for Shannon the NCAA doesn’t care about creating a culture of scholars and gentlemen, it prefers its culture of ex-cons with multiple championships.

Damn shame.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

As if I needed another reason to root for the Lakers on Christmas day. Kobe will be rocking these Grinch inspired kicks against the Heat.

Also Timofey Mozgov are you the new Frederic Weis?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nike 6.0 ‘DeLorean’ Dunk

Dunks inspired by the Delorean? If we ever cross paths you will be mine.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stop reading this and go get this album. That is all.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Just Sayin'

Dear Eva Longoria,
I won't cheat on you with a teammate's wife. Just throwing it out there.
The Chocolate Puma

Birthday gift to myself?

Canvas dunks? Me likes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I need this watch in my life

Is the IWC Pilot Double Chrono a dope watch? Yes. Do I deserve it? Probably not but I want it anyway.

I love music.

If you are not listening to any of these your music collection is severely lacking. This should hold me over until the new 'Ye next week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

R.I.P. Sparky Anderson

Baseball has lost a true original, thanks for all the memories Sparky. I'll never forgive you for beating on the White Sox all those years.

Monday, November 1, 2010

B.O.B. fills me with hope

As I sit at my desk listening to music I find I can't stop listening to the debut album The Adventures of Bobby Ray by B.O.B. I can't help be but be filled with hope for hip-hop's younger generation. A young guy who is the anti-Soulja Boy or Wacka Flocka. I thoroughly suggest you pick this album up if you haven't already. That's all I got right now. More later I am sure.

Friday, October 29, 2010

A shout out to the Gremlin

Upon reading the latest adventures of Tiny Tapioca (http://adj-thegremlin.blogspot.com/2010/10/happy-belated-birthday-and-belated.html) I have decided to share a little video sent to me by the child know as the Gremlin. Enjoy! And a belated happy birthday to my little buddy:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Girl You Trippin'

Today's edition of Girl you trippin' presents to you Virginia Thomas. This is the wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas who in 1991 during his confirmation hearings had an FBI leaked interview from one of his subordinates leaked to the press. Anita Hill had allegations against the judge claiming sexual harassment. Ms. Hill is quoted as saying: "He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes....On several occasions, Thomas told me graphically of his own sexual prowess." Also he asked: "Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?" Now with all of this being stated recently, twenty years after the incident, Mrs. Thomas decides to call up and demand an apology. Now, if the allegations are true, and Ms. Hill hasn't not backed down from them, then why in the crap would she apologize to her tormentor? So to you Virginia Thomas I say this to you:

Girl...you trippin'

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Ten Hottest MC's

While I don’t go to MTV for my definitive lists on music since they stopped playing music around the time Bill Clinton was busy in the Oval Office with his cigars. Earlier today while checking my random form of social media in which I am pretty much addicted to I stumbled across both the lists from MTV and BET declaring who are the ten hottest rappers in the hip hop game right now and uh…wow. I’ll say this, the words Waka Flocka, hot, and top ten should never be mentioned together. MTV pleads their case saying that you can’t deny his popularity. No you can’t. You know what else is popular? Heroin, doesn’t make it good. So in response I have decided to give you my top ten (in no particular order) as of right now excluding Jay-Z because everyone knows how big a fan of the Jigga Man I am.

10. Mos Def, 9. Eminem, 8. Black Thought:
Mos’ album the Eclectic was a return to form for the fans of Mos since the Rawkus all-Stars mixtape days. Eminem’s Recovery gave us two of the most infectious singles of the year in Not Afraid and Love the way you lie, and Black Thought? He’s just a lyrical monster who is constantly underrated.

7. Drake:
Say what you will about Drizzy, but he had the hip-hop world on his head since his decision to keep putting out mixtapes rather than signing a label deal and even realing a top ten hit off his mixtape. What I love most is that he remains who he is, somewhat of a ladies man and rapping about something believable.

6. Wale:
Disgustingly underrated, while Waka mocks those who take time with their lyrics, Wale makes numerous sports references and raps about what he loves such as women and sneakers. His metaphors are on point and beats are sick and catchy.

5. Kid Cudi:
The most ambitious debut album I have seen in a while. If all you know is Day and Night I suggest giving the album a listen from the first track to the end you hear a story which I believe is his intention. Very few people do that now a days so hopefully his next album keeps the content and tweaks the concept.

4. Common:
Do I even need to explain why Common Sense is on this list?

3. Fabolous:
Fab is a lyrical monster on mixtapes, freestyles and his albums have commercial success to a certain extent.

2. Jay Electronica:
Listen to Exhibit C. Now. Go do it.

1a. Andre 3000
1b. Big Boi
Not Outkast, I am including these guys as solo artists for the purpose of this list. Big Boi is so unappreciated due partly because of his preference to stick to a more traditional hip-hop style where as 3 Stacks explores all musical genres. Not an insult as Big Boi is consistently stealing scenes on guest appearances and his solo debut ‘Sir Lucious Leftfoot: The son of Chico Dusty.’ Andre 3000 hasn’t released a solo album but it doesn’t mean he has been idle. I point to his opening verse on the amazing International Player’s Anthem by UGK. Case closed as to why he is on the list.

Hip Hop don't get old

Ice Cube and Rev. Run kill this cypher:

And just for fun I loved the G.O.O.D. music cypher:

Got me!

It appears that these people have spilled my secret. I'm a happy old woman.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Post Dedicated to the Woman I Freaked Out

A popular theme of this blog has been my inability to meet and successfully date a woman who is of the sane persuasion. From a girl who brought her mother along on the date to the one where her child showed up in the middle of the date (According to my good friend Cooper if I date a grandmother next I get a generations badge,) each date has been crazier than the one that preceded it. A week ago however I got to see how the other side lives, as I was the crazy one. Yes somewhere in the interwebs there is a veiled tweet or blog post about a woman’s interaction with me.

Now let me clarify, I didn’t go on a date with this girl but we had quite the el ride home together. Let me paint a picture for you. Usually during my hour or so train ride home I am usually lost in whatever music I have newly added to the ipod or have my head stuck in a book. This day happened to be a delightful combination of the two. As I listened to the soothing music of John Coltrane and poured over a book about the infamous Black Dahlia case I happened to look up and notice the train had stopped moving and sat between two stations. I pulled my headphones off and tried to see if there was an announcement being made but alas there was nothing being announced.

I looked to my left and beside me sat a very attractive young lady. She appeared to be about 25 or so, wore a very professional blouse and skirt combo and had her hair pulled up in a manner that says “Hey! I’m professional.” We began to chat about the crappy service of the CTA and shared a laugh when we happened to see the conductor walk along the side of the train past our car. She looked down and with a inquisitive look asked what I was reading.

Here is where the story begins to take a turn toward creepy town. I have long been a fan of the history of crimes such as assassination theories etc. Ask me to see Avatar I may slap you, but tell me there’s a cold case files marathon on, sign me up. A marathon of snapped? Son of a bitch I’m on it. So given my perverse fascination I get a little too into books on the topic. Below is a word for word transcript:
Pretty Lady: What are you reading?
Me: A book on the Black Dahlia case, it's really interesting.
Pretty Lady: The Black Dahlia? I'm not familiar.
Me: Well, it's about a young woman who moved to a LA and is murdered (insert me going into nerd mode and giving details)
Pretty Lady: ....
Me: Too much? Damn it.

So to the young woman who I freaked out I am sorry. Just understand, I really was into that book and my exuberance was just a bit too much given the subject matter. I promise I’ll be normal next time you see me.

Unless you mention clowns…I fucking hate clowns.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An Important Announcement

I know most of my posts on here are of a satirical, angry or sports related subject but today I am being completely serious. To any women whose eye should come across this please recognize that it is Breast Cancer Awareness month and please get yourself checked. In fact don't even wait until October do it earlier in the year, I don't care just do it. I have lost a very important family member and an aunt who is very close to my heart is currently battling another bout of breast cancer. If you are looking for more information please go to cancer.org or komen.org. I promise the next post will be completely unimportant, but this is something I had to say. Puma out!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A friendly rant

•Lebron just doesn’t know when to stop. Recently when asked if he felt race was a factor in his sudden fall from grace, and he said he believed it was definitely a factor. I agree that maybe some people used race as a reason to dislike him, I say it was because he handled it in the worst possible manner . I mean having a 30 minute special to say what he could have said in 1 minute? How did you think people were going to react.

•Also on the sports side I must comment on the state of affairs with the Bears. I bragged during a 3-0 start so I must comment after a loss. The defense and special teams play give me hope going forward. Urlacher, Briggs, and Tinoisamoa were quick to the ball, And Tim Jennings has has been a revelation as he has usurped Zachary Bowman’s starting corner spot. That said though, the offensive line play was atrocious. Cutler has to get rid of the ball quicker when he gets the time, but those plays were few and far between . Martz has to adjust at the half for that pass rush, 9 sacks and still calling 7 step drops is not gonna work. That said 3-1 at this point is amazing. We have a weak schedule ahead of us until we get back to division play. I’m optimistic for the rest of the season.

•I’m not the biggest fan of the NCAA right now. A few weeks ago AJ Green, a receiver for the Georgia Bulldogs was suspended for selling his jersey. A jersey that wasn’t going to get worn again. Yet the university is allowed to sell the jersey in an array of colors and sizes for up to 80 bucks a pop. Anybody else see the unfairness? These young men are the reason the sport is successful, have no time to get a job due to the competitive nature of high level athletics, yet the tired argument of “an education is their payment” reigns supreme. If you think that a at the most 30k a year education is equal compensation for an industry worth billions, you are insane.

•So Lil’ Wayne gets solitary confinement for having an mp3 player but Lindsay Lohan drives drunk and then violates parole and they can’t keep her in prison. Does this seem unfair to anyone else?

•Rick Sanchez….really?

•The John Legend and the Roots collaboration “Wake Up” is just another jewel in this crown that has been R&B and Hip Hop albums this year. Much better year than last year.

•I’ll end another rant by saying this, Brett Favre can still go suck it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Powerful Television

I have been a little occupied with work recently but today I had a conversation about the most powerful scene in television history. Some said the final scene in Lost, some said the series finale of M*A*S*H, I countered with the carousel scene in the season finale of the first season of Mad Men. I defy you to watch this scene and not at least on some level get a little emotional. Be it from the superb acting in this scene or from some memory long seemed lost that is evoked by the brilliant writing and Jon Hamm's masterful performance.


"This device isn’t a spaceship, it’s a time machine. It goes backwards, forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel, it’s called the carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Round and around and back home again to a place where we know we are loved."

Truly powerful.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Enough is Enough

America is said to be the home of the free, the land of the brave, a place where all people are accepted regardless of their sex, race, or religion. Oh, I’m sorry I think I am wrong on that last part. That’s the message that you receive if you listen to the maniacal and downright disgusting teachings of one Reverend Terry Jones of Gainesville, Florida. If you’re not caught up on what this idiot is trying to accomplish, he has planned a burning of the Quran on the ninth anniversary of September 11th. His reasoning? An idiotic cry of “Islam is of the Devil.” No backing up his claims other than the attacks of the September 11th.

First of all people of all races, religions and genders died when the cowardly attacks were launched. So to proclaim it as a crime against Christianity is just plain stupid. This was an act of aggression against America. To proclaim something like that disrespects the memory of the diverse array of people who unfairly lost their life the day the towers fell, the pentagon was hit, and flight which fell in Pennsylvania. People like “good” reverend don’t understand is everything wrong with the world is not the fault of Muslims. We Christians do more than our fair share of messed and frankly downright sadistic things. But he does not lump us all together, nor should he. Don’t our Islam following brothers and sisters deserve the same respect? I think Stanley Fish of the New York Times said it best.

“The formula is simple and foolproof: If the bad act is committed by a member of a group you wish to demonize, attribute it to a community or a religion and not to the individual. if the bad act is committed by someone whose profile, interests and agendas are uncomfortably close to your own, detach the malefactor from everything that is going and characterize him as a one-off, non-generalizable phenomenon.”

I think what upsets me most is that this is just the latest in long line of examples of an anti Islamic sentiment in this country. From mosques being criticized and labeled as terrorist training camps to stabbing of cab drivers it has reached a boiling point. The sad part is these are the people who proclaim themselves to be most American, choosing to forget that this country was founded as a refuge from religious persecution. That whether you agree or not, man has the right to choose what brings him peace. Muslims could judge us for the actions of Adolf Hitler or Timothy McVeigh, but we aren’t.

Every group, no matter who you are has an insane person in it. Usually it leads to a lot of talk, but every so often a tragedy occurs because of that person’s insanity. You can’t blame an entire culture for the actions of one disturbed person.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My opinion on the subject everyone has been talking about

Over the past few weeks there has been a downright disgusting turn in the American discourse regarding a certain hot topic and regarding a certain person in our American family. The person I am referring to is Michael Jordan and the topic is of course mustaches. That’s right mustaches.

Recently my favorite basketball player has come under a little bit of scrutiny for his stache. Why you may be asking. Because his mustache is of the Charlie Chaplin variety. That’s right the Charlie Chaplin mustache. I am taking it back from those have chosen to give that facial hair style a negative stigma just because a certain murderous dictator decided to rock the same style. Why should one hair choice be demonized because one homicidal douchebag decided to make some reprehensible decisions that affected so many people.

The bald white guy look isn’t referred to as the Mussolini, if so we never would have had the delightful career of one Bruce Willis, Jason Statham or the most critically acclaimed actor of them all Stone Cold Steve Austin. The chubby Asian man isn’t demonized because of Pol Pot. Had it been would we be enjoying the enchanting performance by Ken Jeong every week on Community? (NBC, Thursdays this fall!) I think not.

So due to this I have decided to call this glorious piece of facial hair the “Charlie Chaplin” from the delightful silent film star. That’s right, Chaplin came to national prominence before the Austrian ass clown and unfairly has had his mustache choice du jour demonized ever since his rise to power. And in memory of the actor I am taking back the facial hair that he so resplendently made famous and not some dick who was a coward and flunked out of art school.

I’ll end by saying this, Brett Favre you can go and suck it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Proud Uncle

HT: 6'0

The massive child whose stats are listed above is my young nephew. Yes, the same nephew who I used to sling around and changed his pamper as a baby is now a massive man-child. He plays his first game tomorrow and I gotta say I am as nervous and as happy as can be. I only wish I was there but you better believe I will be making my way down there to see my big homie play against the best Mississippi has to offer. Jeez, looking at the photo is not making me feel good about my chances if I get challenged to a physical feat.

There. Much better. Good luck nephew!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happiness is food.

My good friend Sterling already wrote about the Publican, but I'd be insulting the fantastic food if I too didn't make an attempt to convey the glorious deliciousness that was placed before me at the Publican.

The best tasting pork belly ever with a maple glaze...just mmmm.

F'in delicious.

That's the look of happiness right there.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Edward Kennedy Eulogy for RFK

After reading the Last Lion, a fantastic book on Ted Kennedy, I felt I had to post this beautiful eulogy for his fallen brother. It still after all these years is remarkable powerful.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My take on the Dr. Laura controversy

Before last week I had no idea what Dr. Laura Schlessinger was actually a doctor of, I just assumed she was a doctor in the same way Dr. Phil or Dr. Pepper was. Now I know she is a doctor af asinine logic and fake martyrdom. If you haven’t heard, the esteemed Dr. Laura was asked a question by a caller to her show and instead of using her platform to help as her call in line supposedly does, she uses it to open a pandora’s box that she can’t close. Here is the conversation in it’s entirety.

CALLER: Is it OK to say that word? Is it ever OK to say that word?
DR. LAURA: It depends how it's said. Black guys talking to each other seem to think it's ok.
CALLER: But you're not black, they're not black, my husband is white.
DR. LAURA: Oh, I see, so a word is restricted to race. Got it. Can't do much about that.
CALLER: I can't believe someone like you is on the radio spewing out the n***** word, and I hope everybody heard it.
DR. LAURA: I didn't spew out the n***** word!
CALLER: You said "n*****, n*****, n*****" and I hope everybody heard it.
DR. LAURA: Yes they did, and I'll say it again: n*****, n*****, n***** is what you hear on HBO.
DR. LAURA: Why don't you let me finish a sentence? Don't take things out of context. Don't NAACP me, leave them in context.

The question the caller had was how should she convey to her white husband it offends her when he and his friends us the word nigger. What Dr. Laura did was use her platform to in my opinion maybe justify her own previously unaired use of the word. And when the caller who is clearly offended by the word from the get go is offended once more, she besmirches the name of an organization that has done a lot of good for the African American community and uses the flawed logic of “well if they can do it, I can do it.”

The debate over whether or not to use the word is a complicated one. I have been called out of my name before using the epithet in question and it Is downright dehumanizing. But I can see the point of those who say if you are going to try and degrade us, we will take the power out of the word by making it our own. But to go off on a tangent such as the one she did shows there was some residual bubbling under the surface for her. I’m not saying she’s a racist but perhaps an internal battle brewed inside her as to whether or not she should be allowed to say the word.
I also took offense to her just assuming all black guys refer to each with that same greeting. I tend to use the name of black friends instead of the Boyz in the the Hood era greetings in which she has unfairly put on all young men of color. Yes the statistics are sad regarding my demographic but the assumption we are all the same is unfair and cheapens the hard work we have done to become functioning members of society.

If her intent was to bring attention to the n-word debate, mission accomplished. But then she made an appearance on Larry King Live and one comment in particular after her announcement to leave her show at the end of her contract rubbed me the wrong way.

"The reason is I want to regain my First Amendment rights. I want to be able to say what's on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I'm sort of done with that."

Oh I get it! You are being denied your right to free speech. Wait…you were allowed to go on your rant. The first amendment does not mean you are exempt from any backlash that your statements may cause. My right as an American is to voice my disapproval with how you got your point across. It is anyone whose eyes may come across this to disagree with me on any forum the choose. That is the beauty of America. You can’t have your right to free speech and deny the people who disagree with you their right. That’s not how it works.

If I had my way the word would not be banished as if it were some leper, it would be learned about. The pain the word has caused must be remembered because if we don’t learn from our mistakes, we are doomed to repeat them.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pippen > Bayless

Anyone who knows me knows that one of the things that I am downright fanatical about is basketball. especially for my adopted hometown's team the Chicago Bulls. So imagine the great pride of seeing one of my favorite Bulls and one of the best all around players Scottie Pippen get elected to the basketball hall of fame. And for the most part anyone who knows anything about the game has said it is deserved and spoke of the versatility of the consummate team player. That is except for the king of the haters Skip Bayless.

Bayless on ESPN made the ridiculous claim that because Pippen played with the greatest player of all time he was just a product of the system and had nothing but open looks. Nevermind the fact Brad Sellers and Orlando Woolridge both failed in the role to an extent, never mind that his all around game has been praised from John Wooden to Chuck Daly, two guys who know a thing or two about the game, no it was all because of Jordan. I can't make a case just by being loud like Mr. Bayless, but what I can do is use the statistics to prove it.

Bayless claims because Pip didn't even score 20,000 in his career he was just a good player. A list of players who need their status revoked from the Hall would include Isaiah Thomas, Bob Mcadoo, Dolph Shayes,Rick Barry, and Dave Bing. Oh yeah those guys were bums. He didn't win whenJ ordan left. Uh, how about 28 other teams didn't win either.Also the Bulls made it to the Eastern Conference Finals and were a Hue Hollins blown call away from making the finals without MJ. He brings up when Pippen didn't go back in the game when Phil drew up a play for Toni Kukoc to take the last shot, I can't defend it because I don't know what happened. Scottie saidhe had a migraine and I have to say I have had migraines that almost brought tears to my eyes, I would prefer to think of the moment as a temporary moment of selfishness from an otherwise selfless player.

The title Hall of famer doesn't mean one's game is without fault. Each and every member has a hole in their game that can be picked apart and made to seem like they were not an all time great. Bill Russell was limited offensively, Wilt Chamberlain was a selfish player with mediocre defense, Magic Johnson's defense was never anything to write home about. Does it take away from their greatness? Not at all.

But hey, no one can be as perfect as Skip Bayless I guess.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So long George.

When the legacy of George Steinbrenner is decided many will credit him with the exorbatent spending of many ball clubs that has led to the current state of affairs that has his infield making more than the entire Kansas City Royals. Maybe you're right. What he should be remembered for is returning the Yankees to the mystique of being America's most hated team. After the legendary runs by teams from well the beginning of the MLB which ended after the heyday of players such as Mantle, Gehrig, Maris and Berra the Yankees were a team in limbo and subsequently baseball suffered. Don't get me wrong, teams were great but there was no Goliath to slay anymore. When he purchased the team in the 70's for a scant ten million dollars no one had any idea he would turn the team into the 1.5 billion dollar juggernaut it is today. So while you hear people yell it's no good for the Yankees to conduct business as they do just remember without them teams like the Marlins, Royals, and Pirates among others are possibly contracted. I'll end by saying that baseball will miss George, he was a true original and the last of the baseball men of yore.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My take on the whole Lebron decision

This isn’t going to be one of those rambling “Oh Lebron, where’s your loyalty?” posts. I am going to be up front about being biased as a Bulls fan and wanting him to join my team. Now with that said last night’s announcement by Lebron James that he was going to play for the Miami Heat disappointed me.

It disappointed me first of all because as I said before I am a Bulls fan and look forward to the day we hold the Larry O’Brien trophy once more and he would definitely be a good fit. But I think what disappoints me the most is that this generation of players have no assassins, no cut throat guys willing to win. Everyone now wants to be friends and sing Kumbaya around a campfire. Would Jordan or Bird or Magic tried to set up a super team? No. They took pleasure in beating the best of the best.

“But Brian, didn’t those guys have great players as well?” You bet they did. But they were built through the draft. Magic was brought in to be the 2nd fiddle to Kareem, Bird was the centerpiece and aging former stars who became role players such as Bill Walton, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish became his cast. Jordan did it alone until management drafted Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc, and traded for Bill Cartwright.

I’m not knocking Lebron as cowardly, pathetic, or a quitter ala Dan Gilbert, but a lack of history of the NBA. If he is as concerned with his legacy as he claims he is does he wants to be remembered as an ancillary piece on D-Wade’s team? I get it that a ring is a ring, but for a player who based his entire persona on personally leading a team to a title this appears to be a curious choice.

As a Bulls fan though allow me to say this, I’m not worried. We’re a young team with a core of players all under contract. While the number of players under contract for the Miami Heat return include such all stars as Mario Chalmers, deadeye shooter Mario Chalmers, and fantastic bench player Mario Chalmers.

Did he do it for money? Did he do it because he believes it gives him the best chance to win? I can’t answer that. What I can say is that he’ll never be able to compare himself to Michael Jordan or any of his heroes. They didn’t need help from their boys, they took pride in beating them.

Check it out!

Back when the Chocolate Puma was a mere Chocolate Cub he attended Kenwood Academy. While there I met a great young writer who I am proud to say is still my friend today and has just published his first book "Lincoln Stone-The Return Of The Grim Reaper."

"Hidden away by father for his own protection, Lincoln Stone was raised in a orphanage since an infant but for years he has been hiding a secret from everyone that he knows, he has developed super human abilities. Now he is embarking on a quest to find out where he comes from, but the answers he wanted soon come to find he in ways he never expected as he is thrown into the battle of good and evil to stop a being of incredible evil...his own mother."

An interesting read, so if the mood strikes you, you can purchase a copy of this soon to be runaway hit at: http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/lincoln-stone--the-return-of-the-grim-reaper/11594019

Friday, June 18, 2010

For real basketball fans only

After watching the Lakers repeat as NBA champions the talk immediately turned to talks of Kobe Bryant’s legacy. More to the point, the innevitable comparisons to Michael Jordan began anew. The biggest knick on Kobe right now appears to be that he is not as good as Michael Jordan. Well, who is? Jordan is the greatest player in the history of the league, and to use it as a negative when comparing the two is to diminish the impact that Jordan had on the league.

While there have been athletes who made more of a social impact such as Ali, Jim Brown or Jackie Robinson, Jordan was the first commercial athlete. A crossover star that had fans who didn't even follow basketball. Before Jordan the league was star driven, but those stars had to have a nemesis. The biggest stars of course being Magic and Bird. They saved the NBA from tape delay hell and put it back on primetime. But it was Jordan who’s style of play and his marketing of himself off the court is what took the game global. We all grew up wanting to be like Mike, and Kobe is no different. He grew up emulating the man, and honestly why hate him for that? He’s the closest facsmilie to Jordan the league has ever seen, but he is not the original. And that’s not a negative.

After a game 6 loss it was rumored Bryant went on a tirade against his teammates. It was said Jordan would never do that. Wrong, Jordan went off on teammates all the time. Remember when he punched Steve Kerr in the eye for beating him a game of 21 in practice? Constantly referring to Toni Kukoc as soft? Even forcing guys to play poker with him until he won. The two are wired the same. Jordan is just better. Period.

The question I pose to the Kobe haters is this, your life is on the line. Who would you rather have with the ball in their hand? If he’s not the one, he’s definitely in the conversation. Skp Bayless has gone on haraungs recently stating Jordan never needed a game 6. True. But we’re not talking about Jordan, were talking about Kobe.
The talk of his 5 titles aren’t as impressive as Jordan’s six, it’s more like two. No, it’s five and guess what he was one of the main reasons they won five.

You can’t measure a player’s greatness by the amount of rings he has. If that’s the case Rusty Larue is a better player than Jerry West. And no disrespect to Mr. larue but Jerry West is the logo, the fact he won no rings does not diminish his greatness it just shows how hard it is to win a title.

I guess the point of this whole rant is, if you hate Kobe, fine. But to knock him because he’s not Michael Jordan is ridiculous and it shows a lack of knowledge of the greats of the game. He’s the best player right now, not all-time. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hip-Hop/ R&B Videos

Recently with the installation of cable tv into my home I decided to do something I haven't done since I was a teenager. That's right folks, I watched some music videos. And I gotta say...not impressed with today's artists (for the purpose of arguing "today" refers to somone who debuted since 2006). Here are my favorite five videos by some people I think with some fantastic artistic value.

5. Make Her Say- Kid Cudi (Man On The Moon: The End Of Day)
I realize his debut is fairly recent, but this video just makes me smile.

4. The Blast- Reflection Eternal (Train of Thought)
My introduction to one of may favorite and one of the best in the game. The simplicity is what I love about it.

3. Still Ray- Raphael Saadiq (Instant Vintage)
Speaking of simplicity, Saadiq and a tuba player is all takes for this simple song of a man pining for his lady.

2. Lauryn Hill- Doo Wop (That Thing), (The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill)
Bringing the old school vibe in the middle of the bling era of hip-hop, Ms. Hill's block party where she has a Supreme's look and a newer urban look as well introduced the mainstream to the one Fugees fan knew as L-Boogie.

1. Kanye West- All Falls Down, Jesus Walks (College Dropout)
I couldn't choose between the two so sue me. All Falls Down is just revolutionary as probably the first video shot from the rapper's point of view. And Jesus Walks...just wow. The message, the visuals, it all ties in so well together, something that artists these days seem to ignore.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment."

You would think that anything ever written about John Wooden would have to be about sports. You would think that the biggest impact a man who was responsible for the longest winning streak in college sports history, a man who won 8 consecutive national championships as a coach and was even enshrined as a Hall of famer as a player and a coach surely the only thing we can talk about is basketball right? Wrong. While all that I said about the man as a coach and as a player is true, what should be remembered about Coach Wooden is that he was a man of principle.

Anyone who is an avid follower of basketball has their own favorite John Wooden story. Be it Rick Reilly who told the story of how he never was paid more than 35,000 dollars a season and numerous times resisted the overtures to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and be paid ten times as much as he was being paid at UCLA. To Wooden education was one of the most important things one can acquire and he relished the opportunity to inspire young men for over forty years.

I think that while he instilled lessons through basketball, anyone who has read any of his maxims can attest to being able to take them and apply it to everyday life. While sports may not be important in the long run, Coach Wooden believed that the lessons learned from a game can be used to make you a better person. The seven point creed that he taught all of his players, given to him by his father, have affected millions in a ways some never thought possible by a sports figure. His pyramid of success has been used for years as a motivating tool and a template for succesful living. Pretty impressive for just a sports figure?

Would I say I am sad to see such a distinguished man pass away? No. He lived a full life, with no regrets in an honorable manner that is far too rare these days. I think I’ll end this with a few of my favorite quotes from the Wizard of Westwood.
"Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming."
"Be quick, but don't hurry."
"Talent is God – given. Be humble. Fame is man - given. Be grateful. Conceit is self - given. Be careful."
"A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, that’s teamwork."
"Sports don't build character, they reveal it."
And probably my favorite, his world famous seven point creed:
1. Be true to yourself.
2. Make each day your masterpiece.
3. Help others.
4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
5. Make friendship a fine art.
6. Build a shelter against a rainy day.
7. Pray for guidance and give thanks for your blessings every day.

A Template for success

Thursday, June 3, 2010

So long Kid, thanks for the memories.

I understand that all that is going on in the world, the rettirement of a baseball player who has earned millions ranks very low on the importance scale. I get that. So if you are one of those who love depressing, serious, and or social concious commentary let me stop you now as I wax poetic on the career of Ken Griffey, Jr.

You have to look at the time of the emergence of the Kid. The big stars of the time were solid character guys who were great players in their own right. Guys such as Tony Gwynn, Will Clark, and Joe Carter. Never before had baseball seen a kid like Griffey who came to the majors at the ripe age of 19 and turned the baseball world on its head. From wearing his cap backwards to the gold chains and flashy catches which were somehow still fundamentally sound, there hadn't been a player like him since Willie Mays.

But in my opinion his biggest contribution to was that he single handedly was responsible for the rejuvination of baseball in Seattle with his thrilling run around the bases and safely scoring the game winning run in the first wild card playoff series versus the Yankees. Griffey played the game with a child like enthusiasm until he could no longer play the game. A man who played the game so as hard as he possibly could, sometimes resulting in injury, never lacking in dramatic flair.

What I hope most remember about Griffey is that his career, like that of Frank Thomas the other slugger of his time, has been done without a single accusation of steroird use. 630 home runs, and the man missed 2 seasons or more due to injury. I hope we don't ask "what if?" when the topic of his legacy comes up. Instead I hope we'll remember that the man had the sweetest left handed swing in the buisness and we won't see aplayer like The Kid for a long time.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When is enough, enough?

I am a sports fan. There I said it. I could care less about what those who don’t like sports say about my and my fellow brethren of the sports watchers alliance. We realize that we will never hit a home run in the world series, make a tackle in the Super Bowl or dunk in the NBA finals. But by being able to lose ourselves in two to three hour increments we recapture however briefly that moment when we all believed that we could reach the highest sports summit of our dreams. But sometimes in our attempts to get closer to that moment when we could run as fast as Usain Bolt or jump like Dwight Howard we crossed a line. Now in our fervent attempts to be an insider with the breaking news, things that shouldn’t be reported are all of a sudden front page news.

I think the problem comes from our sports heroes being treated as life role models. We oftentimes forget that although they make millions of dollars for their athletic prowess, they are also flawed human beings and would react to stories much like you or I would. Recently a story has come to light that honestly has no business coming to light. Rumors have begun to swirl that Lebron James teammate slept with his mother. Can someone explain how this pertains to anything sports related? Not only that but there is absolutely no proof to prove that this indeed rumor and not just a flat out lie. Oh wait a man who has been accused of molesting 5 of his 12 children has weighed in and said it definitely happened. I guess the word of Calvin Murphy makes it true.

Sometimes the things that are reported are fact, but just don’t need to be reported. A few summers ago Josh Hamilton made a great return from drug and alcohol addiction to become an all star for the Texas Rangers. Anyone who knows anything about the nature of addiction knows that it is an ongoing and personal battle. One night during a long road trip Hamilton relapsed and was photographed in a bar wasted. As open has Hamilton has been with his story, actively using himself as a cautionary tale for the youth of America and those that follow him I believe that he should have the right that any of us have to work on our problem privately.

I guess the question is where do we live draw the line? Because he can hit a curve ball 435 feet does that mean he has lost any and all right to privacy. Is Lebron’s 47 inch vertical mean his mother is fair game to begin rumors about? I for one have a belief, if it doesn’t affect a fantasy team, don’t report it. Because when you report on the salacious and unfounded, you don’t just hurt the athlete, you hurt all those surrounding him. And that’s definitely not fair to them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fantastic Commercial

Whenever I see this commercial I get so amped up I am tempted to attempt a bicycle kick.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ya'll Must Have Forgot

It would appear rumors of Kobe Bryant's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hip Hop Culture ruining African American Culture? Not so fast.

I have always been an ardent supporter of hip-hop and the culture of hip-hop. And guess what, that stance is not about to change anytime soon. I recently read an article about Thomas Chatterton Williams who has written a book called “Losing My Cool: How a Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture." In it he derides the entire culture of hip-hop, claiming that it actually holds back African Americans. I respectfully disagree. Hip-hop was started as a way to give a voice to disgruntled youths, and now while the commercialized music aspect may have gone somewhat astray, you can not deride the entire culture. Hip hop is much more than just rapping. As outlined by one of the pioneers of the art form Afrika Bambaataa there are four pillars to hip hop.
1. Mcing
2. DJing
3. B-boying or breakdancing
4. Grafitti

What he has done in essence is taken an entire subculture that is as complex as any other and dumbed it down to just the street raps which became popular with the rise of Biggie Small, Tupac, and Jay-Z. That would be like me judging who he was by one article of clothing he wore. It wouldn’t tell the entire story. He specifically takes aim at Jay-Z.

He specifically quotes a line from ‘Moment of Clarity’ where he tell the story of feeling no love for a father who was not there, yet forgiving him for his absence. “I dumbed down my lyrics and doubled my dollars.” He fails to follow up with what he said shortly afterward. “I can’t help the poor if I’m one of them, so I got rich and gave back, to me that’s a win-win.” If you follow the arch of Jay-Z’s career as he has grown so has his music. On ‘Reasonable Doubt’ of course he talked about hustling, that was still fresh in his mind. He now raps about the lifestyle he leads now. And even some of his earlier works there were songs that no matter the genre, are powerful songs. On Volume One: In My Lifetime, he tells on ‘You Must Love Me’ of the bad choices he has made and his family’s undying love for him and forgiveness.

It appears he has made a few assumptions about hip-hop. First being that if some rap of violence and commercialism, they all must rap of violence and commercialism. The second and most damning example is that what we listen to and what we watch shape the decisions that we make. I used to watch the Incredible Hulk as a kid, doesn’t mean I exposed myself to Gamma radiation. Did some make a decision based on rap? Sure. People have also made decisions based on Catcher in Rye. No need to blame all of society’s ills on Sallinger.

I have listened to hip-hop my entire life and as I looked at the music as I would poetry or a short story. Artistic expression that can’t be taken as fact, just a brief escape from the day to day stress that we all endure. "Black never looked like my father sitting in a study underlining a book," Williams said. "It looked like a kid who could be walking in the South Bronx." Is his perception of black culture hip hop’s fault?

Maybe it’s just me, but growing up and to this day I feel that just like hip-hop culture one’s “blackness” is not defined by the music he listens to, the books read, or movies watched.

Rambling Post # 3,475

•Well elephant in the room, Lebron and the Cavs are going home. I think I’d first like to say where the hell are all the Bulls “fans” I saw rooting for the Cavs? The same ones who rooted for the Lakers last year….and the Celtics the year before that? Who’s the next bandwagon to hop on?

•That said, this loss is not all on Lebron. He had a damn triple double. His supporting cast played terrible. Period. Now with that said, Lebron can’t have 9 turnovers in an elimination game. Not if he is the heir to the best player alive throne. Great job by the Celtics defense.

•What the hell is going on with Arizona? A ban on ethnic studies? How is teaching about the culture of others a bad thing? I understand if it teaches that one race or culture is better but personally that’s not an indictment against ethnic studies but the curriculum of that course. Revise it, let students learn about those we share the world with and stop trying to avoid talking about uncomfortable topics.

•So long Law & Order. You filled my need for formulaic justice doled out in just under an hour until CSI or Criminal Minds came along. I especially thank you for the “dun dun” between scenes.

•So Obama was picking up some buffalo wings during a trip to Buffalo. A woman referred to him as “a hottie with a smoking little body.” This woman has had her name drug through the mud and called a tramp. I call her an opportunist. She saw an opening for a funny statement and she took it. I applaud you lady.

•I had a conversation with someone the other day and she said that Treme, the new series from David Simon, was boring. She much prefers the “realness of Basketball wives.” Uh, if you prefer Basketball Wives or Ex-Cheerleaders, Strippers and Jump-offs as I like to call it over well any show really, you should have your tv privledges revokes.

I'll leave you with a hillarious poem by one Dave Chappelle that I think sums up my feelings on the TV show Punk'd.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jamie Foxx is a funny dude

A friend of mine posted this earlier and I thought I would do the same.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's Day JD

After seeing a few pieces by friends on their mothers and realizing that Mother’s day is indeed this weekend I decided to hop on the bandwagon and write something about my mom (real original I know). I sat for a while and thought about what story I could tell to demonstrate the overall kick assness of my mother and then it hit me; there are just far too many examples (hold for awwwws).

Throughout my life there has been no bigger fan of mine. I remember being a small kid walking up to my mom and uttering the very humble phrase “short of walking on water I think I can do anything.” Rather than question her young, oddly proportioned only son, she looked at me and said only “well alright, I know you’ll do it then.” See, my childhood was loaded with confidence enhancing moments such as these which have led me to become the highly confident and magnificent mocha marvel you all know today.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the greatness of my mother. Growing up my mom was one of many across this nation who played the role of both mother and father and unlike some I know who complain of their mother in that situation as being a bit cynical or bitter my mom did it all while cracking a joke or some sarcastic comment. It showed me from a young age that while life may not always be fair, there is no need for it to crush us into a state of depression.

What other mother would let her son joke about putting her in a nursing home, or laughing at her ridiculous road rage which most of the times has her yelling at young men who are younger than her youngest children. So on this day I salute you my mother, with your irrational fear of lizards, Napoleon complex that causes people to fear you even though you’re only 5’4 (in heels), and your ability to diagnose yourself with any and every disease and illness that you see on TV. For all of the fantastic meals that you have cooked for me over the years, all of the odd phases of my youth, and all the unsolicited and at the time unwanted advice that I eventually fell back on, I am truly thankful for the mother that I was blessed with on this journey of life.

Well with all that said, all that’s left to say is thank you, I love you, and I think I’ve earned a sweet potato pie when you visit.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dear Jennifer Harper

Dear Jennifer Harper,

Hi, Brian Thompson here. I can’t say I was very aware of your work until today and unfortunately madam I gotta say, you missed the mark completely. I even think you missed the paper that the mark is on sweet lady.

In your “Inside the beltway” column I read the most astonishing article I had ever read. And I’ve read things written by drunken frat boys. You begin your column n with the line “The term "tea-bagger" is like uttering the "n" word, some say.” Now I am not here to debate the politics of the tea party movement. Anyone who knows me knows where I stand politically and respect my opinion even though we may not all agree. No, I am here to alert you that while you may not be stupid, moronic, or ridiculous, the insinuation that the term tea bagger is as offensive as the “n” bomb is all of those things.

Here’s a brief history lesson. You see the term “nigger” was used to describe and later insult and degrade people of African descent. You know, the people brought here as slaves and were treated as second class citizens until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (legally speaking.) The term usually involved a mental and oftentimes physical abuse upon the person the epithet was directed at. A horrible and sordid past this word has indeed.

Now the term tea bagger in this context refers to member of a political movement. They are tea party members, and have been known to wear tea bags on their clothing. In fact I remember many members of this party referring to themselves as tea baggers during the early phases of the tea party movement in 2009 and many were embarrassed once they learned that the term has sexual connotations. That’s it. No long sordid history of discrimination, no physical violence, nothing hindering them from living the American dream, just an unfortunate choice of labeling.

I’ll agree the term is crude, and in the context of an intelligent political debate this should not be used. But if someone does use it it’s not the same deal as if one dropped the “n” bomb. I have been called that and let me tell you, at that moment I would have killed to be called a tea bagger instead of a term that degrading.

RIP Ernie Harwell

So long Ernie Harwell, baseball will miss you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Return of my ramblings

Been a while so I figured I would hit you all with some more of my insane and oftentimes meandering rants.

•Yes the Bulls lost to the Cavs, I knew that was going to happen but the slurping of the Lebron has reached Tom Brady/ Brett Favre like proportions. He’s the best player going now, I get that. But I feel the reporting on that series missed a prime opportunity to showcase Joakim Noah a little more. All anyone wanted to report on was his Cleveland sucks opinion, they failed to mention his average over the series of 14.6 points, 13 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 2.5 assists per night. One of a few big man with a personality in who knows how long and he’s relegated to having beef with the Cleveland board of tourism.

•I saw a guy on the train today with a shirt that had a picture of Obama and Hitler and it read “Hitler gave great speeches too and he had a logo too.” Sigh. Agree or disagree, Hitler was responsible for the deaths of millions, you just don’t agree with Obama. Not the same thing. I know people who believe Reagan was a great orator, doesn’t make him Hitler. And the logo thing? You know who else has a logo? Tom Brady, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, Lebron James. Not exactly the Legion of Doom. My point is calm down and take the man for what he is, a politician. If you disagree fine, but this kind of rhetoric is damaging and no work will ever get accomplished as long as it’s accepted.

•America’s favorite super skeezer Michelle Bombshell McGee has said that she never would have slept with Jesse James had she known that he and wife were planning an adoption. How righteous of her. Sleeping with a married man with children already is cool, but if there’s a kid on the way via adoption? Aw hell no!

•Katie Holmes as Jackie O? Casting fail.

•Roman Polanski has broken his silence. He claims he is being treated unfairly and the US just wants to make an example of him to gain more attention and “serve him up on a platter to the media.” Well excuse me if I don’t shed any tears over this “injustice.” This guy admits to drugging and raping a 13 year old, gets mad that he has to do jail time and flees to Paris. I could care less if you’re a visionary director, you’re a pedophile. End of story.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Maybe I will pick up "Recovery"

I have a very special announcement, Slim Shady is back ladies and gentlemen I repeat Slim Shady is back.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Arrogance pure and simple

Mike Wilbon said the other day that the NFL is the most arrogant of the four major sports in America. I didn’t understand what he meant when he said until this morning when I awoke to hear the news of the degrading and downright insulting line of questioning that former Oklahoma State and current Dallas Cowboys draft pick Dez Bryant. If you haven’t heard the Miami Dolphins and their general manager Jeff Ireland thought it would be a great idea to ask the potential draft choice if his mother was a prostitute. His lame excuse was:

"My job is to find out as much information as possible about a player that I’m considering drafting," Ireland said in a statement. "Sometimes that leads to asking in-depth questions. Having said that, I talked to Dez Bryant and told him I used poor judgment in one of the questions I asked him. I certainly meant no disrespect and apologized to him."

Guess what Ireland? That is so disrespectful that the words to properly convey the level of disrespect has yet to be invented. I get that you only want to have players who are morally above reproach and classy guys. In that respect does the mistakes of the parents reflect poorly on the child? Remember the case of Ray Ray McElrathbey? He was the kid who gained custody of his younger brother while still at Clemson University because of his mother’s drug addiction. Seems like a kid who got it together even though he came from an awful background and is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Howard University. Ryan Leaf on the other hand, a kid who came from a relatively normal background yet turned out to be a massive bust and was eventually was arrested for drug possesion.

I think what makes this whole situation even more unacceptable is that if Bryant retaliated against this guy and say smacked the ever loving dumbassness out of him Bryant undoubtedly would have been vilified as a headcase. Or how about if he asked Ireland is he ever paid for sex, the point is Bryant’s job is to catch a football. He’s not a spiritual leader, not a teacher, just a football player.
There are a lot of people who claim that this is being blown out of proportion, stating people go through background and credit checks all the time for jobs. True, I have, if you’re reading this you probably have but here is the key difference. These checks are based on what the applicant have done, not what his family may have done.

You have all the right in the world to check and see what type of person you may be paying millions of dollars to, but at the same time you have to respect the player, because without them you may find yourself interviewing for a job and maybe mom’s alcoholism or dad’s adultery is on the table. Then let’s see if you think that employer is just doing his due diligence.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Legendary Oak

When the pantheon of Chicago sports greats are mentioned there is a name that is consistently and unfairly absent from all these lists. A mountain of a man from the blue collar city of Cleveland but has made a mark on Chicago that very few athletes in this city have yet to attain. The legendary figure to which I am referring to is the man simply known as The Oak.

Confused? You shouldn't’t be. The exploits of former NBA power forward Charles Oakley should be recited to every man, woman and child. Stories that remind us that if you are blessed with one super power it should be the ability to be as bad ass as anyone on the planet, which coincidentally the Oak does possess. I know what you’re thinking, “how can the starting power forward from the Chicago Bulls during the late 80’s be so important?” While his impact on the court as Michael Jordan’s enforcer was fairly important it is not the crux of my argument. No, it is his role as Michael Jordan’s chief club cavorting comrade that is the foundation on which the legend of the Oak has firmly been built. In fact the rumor for years was that he was traded to the Knicks for 7’1 center Bill Cartwright not because the Bulls were in desperate need of a tough big man, I mean it doesn’t get tougher than the Oak. No he was traded away because of management’s concerns on how he would affect Michael Jordan the league’s burgeoning superstar.

One of my favorite alleged stories involving Oakley occurred where the majority of his misadventures occurred, a Chicago nightclub. You see he had quite reputation as being a ladies man and this night was no exception. He saw a particularly ravishing young lady and sauntered over to introduce himself as the dashing lothario that he was but he ran into a roadblock. The roadblock? This vixen had a boyfriend. This did not deter the Oak. The boyfriend eventually mustered up the strength to stand up to the 6’9, 245 pound power forward with an affinity for fighting. It appeared for a second that Oakley’s heart had softened as he saw this man stand up for his love so he walked away.In actuality he walked over to the coach check, laid down a heap of 100 dollar bills and took the young man’s coat. He then walked outside, set the coat on fire, and calmly reentered the establishment and alerted the young man the situation he now found himself in and it prompted his immediate exit to retrieve his seared garment. The rumor continues with Oak walking over to the girl and neither one of them going home alone.

Did this story happen exactly as the rumor tells? I’m not sure, but for a legend of his magnitude I really wouldn’t doubt it.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

NFL Draft

The NFL draft is one of my favorite sporting events of the year, but the one thing I will never understand is how "high character guys" get penalized for being people of substance over some people who have a questionable past. Here is what some sources stated about my favorite player in the draft, Myron Rolle:

"You look at the opportunities away from football that Myron Rolle has; you wonder about the dedication to football. These teams want the guy to be a 24-hour, 365-days-a-year football player."
-- Mel Kiper Jr.

"To some in NFL circles, the former Florida State star's decision to put football on hold for a year while studying at one of the world's foremost academic institutions [Oxford] -- not to mention his plans to become a neurosurgeon -- indicates a lack of commitment to the game."
-- USA Today

"It's a character issue … if you want to create hesitation on a guy, make him think. [Rolle] can't help but think."
-- Brian Billick

Meanwhile a guy such as Carlos Dunlap is still projected to go first round despite being picked up on a dui where he was actually passed out behind the wheel of a car. Rolle's big discretion? BEING NAMED A RHODES SCHOLAR! He's now projected to go in the 5th round due to that decision. And people wonder what's wrong with our society.

Good to know

Turns out I'm pretty trustworthy...good to know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good Music Baby

Not much to write about today other than if you have yet to get this album, get it right now. Like RIGHT NOW.

Raphael Saadiq- The Way I See It

Also the best single:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010


Aziz Ansari is hosting the MTV Movie Awards. Looks like the impossible has happened, I may have to watch something on MTV.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The First Annual Chocolate Puma Awards

With the NBA season wrapping up and the Bulls not causing me to enter a state of depression not seen since the Bears last flop of a season I submit to you, the first annual Chocoalte Puma Awards for the NBA.

Coach of the Year:
Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City Thunder
I was very close to giving this to the coach of the Memphis Grizzlies Lionel Hollins for his job in making that team competitive, but no team made a leap like the Thunder. Not only are they young, but they are in the stacked Western conference. The Thunder under Brook's tuteledge and the explosive play of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and co have the young kids from Oklahoma City ready to make some noise in the playoffs.

Rookie of the year:
Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans (tie)
Evans is a stud. This kid has the ability to flat out take over a game with his physical tools and was possibly the most talented prospect in last year's draft. That said he was the only option on a weak sacramento team, gambled too much defensively, and faded towards the end of the season. Curry, what can I say about him outside of he was the unquestioned smartest player in the draft. While his defense leaves much to be desired, Curry gives you all you want in a player, intelligence, speed, and a dead eye for shooting. I expect many things from this kid in the future.

Nickname of the Year:
Kevin "The Durantula" Durant, SF, Oklahoma City

All Puma Team
G- Dwayne Wade: 26.6 ppg, 6.5 apg, 4.8 rpg
G- Kobe Bryant: 27.0 Ppg, 5.4 rpg, 5 apg
F- Lebron James: 29.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 8.6 apg
F- Kevin Durant: 30.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.8 apg
C- Dwight Howard: 18.4 ppg, 13.2 rpg, 2.8 bpg

And now drum roll please...I present to you the Chococlate Puma's Award for Outstanding Achievement in the field of excellence to...

Lebron James, seen here celebrating being awarded this prestigious honor.

The Chocolate Puma's Dunk of the year

This is what happens when a slow footed Croatian basketball player attempts to be a hero to someone with a 40 inch vertical.