Friday, December 30, 2011

2011...We Had A Good Run

Oh boy I guess it’s come to this, the obligatory end of the year rundown and farewell to the departing year. I had to say top to bottom 2011 was a pretty good year. I got make new friends, see the Bulls return the NBA elite; hell even picked me up a lady friend. Looking back on the year I can say it was a pretty good year.

With the good also comes the bad however. The year got off to a really rough start for the Puma. A good friend of mine whom I had known since I was 14 passed away due to pneumonia. If this wasn’t bad enough my beloved aunt PJ passed away after a battle with cancer that lasted well over a decade. Through all this sadness I looked back over their lives and just remembered their zest for life and how much fun both of these important people were. As cliché as it sounds, remembering the good times got me through one of the worst stretches that I have ever gone through.
But enough of the sadness, time to get what all of you came here for, another best of 2011 list!

Best Movie: The Muppet Movie
Rizzo didn't get enough air time damn it!
Will it be on critic’s top ten lists? Probably not. But this movie took me back to my childhood and my borderline obsessive love of these creations of Jim Henson.

Best Album: Undun by The Roots

I was tempted to give this to Kanye West and Jay-Z for Watch the Throne but then ?uestlove and the legendary roots crew did it again. You have to listen to this album.

Athlete of the Year: Kevin Durant
First he leads the NBA in scoring, second he led the most exciting team of last season on a deep playoff run and to top it all off he is responsible for my favorite basketball commercial in years. Well done Durantula.

Crush of the year: Chrissy Teigen

Be still my beating heart
Now she is engaged to John Legend but it was her hilarious twitter feed and obvious stunning looks that drew me to her. You did good Johnny boy, you did good.

Well gang this has been some of my favorite people and things of the year 2011. What will 2012 bring? Who knows. I can only guarantee that somewhere an obscure third string running back is gearing up for his run at a Kardashian Wedding Special. Happy new year everybody!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Birthday Memories...

Photo from my 28th birthday party

With my hectic work schedule blog posts has been few and far between for the Puma. Since I last graced you all with my written presence a few good things have happened. The Chicago Bulls returned, the Bears season has all but ended, and most importantly to you all I turned 28. As I sat back and celebrated my 28 years on this earth with my friends this weekend I couldn’t help but think of past birthdays celebrated and how classy they were. Today my friends I tell you the legendary tale of my 27th birthday.

Now because my job has so much business during the holiday season if my birthday falls during the week I celebrate on the weekend. Last year was no different. After working for a few hours that Saturday I went home, napped, ate a quick meal and it was off to a low key evening at some of the classier establishments in all of Wrigleyville. After grabbing a few beers the evening shifted to Mad River, a spot where to be fair 95% percent of all my evenings on the town end up. This visit however would not be like any other visit I had ever experienced.

It all started as many nights do, a few drinks, a few boisterous claims of my own dominance in the realm of whatever topic I was ranting on and even cutting a little rug out there to some of the time’s most popular music. Upon chatting with a friend the decision to imbibe some of the devil’s nectar politely known as Jameson was made. As we navigated through the beer soaked dance floor we were graced with the presence of a demure and shy flower who sashayed saucily towards us. She slurred those words every guy wants to hear. “Wanna buy me a drank?!?!?!” Struck by her brazenness I offered to grab the aforementioned whiskey for my pal and I but get her free water. As I passed her a young gentleman yelled something at me.

I looked back incredulously. Who would have a problem with getting a drunk girl water? Well that would be a young man in a wheelchair. He rolls up to me and yells “oh you’re a rapist!” Thinking I had heard something wrong as we were in a loud setting I lower my eye level and lean in to hear what he said. He yells the same thing. Accusing me of trying to take advantage of the drunken girl who accosted me and my friend for booze? I could have taken the high road. I could have.

Because I am a class act I politely told him a few things he could do outside of getting in my business and proceeded to walk away. This guy rolls after the Puma! I attempted to avoid him but this mobile fucker had to have the final say. Finally it happens, the Puma snapped! I get down on one knee and am face to face with this bastard. We proceed to go back and forth until I am pulled away by one of my more level headed friend and he said the phrase that now that I look back and can see it was the brightest thing said that night. “If a black guy kicks a white guy in a wheelchair in the chest, you will go to jail.” I immediately calmed down enough to not continue the disagreement with the combative handicapable douche. We left the bar, we bought pizza and the incident has since never been repeated.

So just to recap, got into a skirmish with a kid in a wheelchair, threatened to kick him in the chest and had to be physically restrained. I think getting sick off whiskey on my 28th birthday was actually the mature thing. See ma! I’m growing up.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

KD + Sam Cooke = Awesome.

The dopeness of this video can't be understated.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2011 Chocolate Puma Awards (College Football Edition)

Ladies and gentleman the college football season has ended and it is now time for the first annual Chocolate Puma awards for outstanding achievement in the field of excellence.

Play of the year:

Nelson Rosario with the one handed grab that probably was the only good thing this whole season at UCLA.

Game of the year:

Was there a chance it was gonna be any other game? Sweet mercy.

Best RB:
Montee Ball: Wisconsin

38 touchdowns? That’ll do pig.

Best WR:
Justin Blackmon: Oklahoma St.

He played like a young Chocolate Puma this season. 113 receptions, over 1,300 receiving yards and 15 tds. Just an amazing season.

Defensive Player:

Come on dawg, you knew I was gonna say the Honey Badger. Don’t even trip.

Best QB and Player of the year:

I am combining the award because it’s the same damn person. All season I have been touting the awesomeness of RG3 and damn it if my faith hasn’t been rewarded with him winning the Heisman trophy although I think he’ll find the Chocolate Puma award for Player of the Year to be much more prestigious than the Heisman. Enjoy that $15 gift card to Home Depot that comes with my award. You’ve earned it!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh NBA, How I Missed You.

The tide is turning for the Puma over here. Why you may be asking, well my friend, the NBA season is fast approaching after months of being locked out by owners and I couldn’t be happier. So if you are one of those who reveled in the fact that there was no professional basketball you may want to stop reading now because the best basketball one can see is a mere 20 days from returning and I am at long last going to do my basketball super post.

Top 5 Teams heading into the season:
1.Dallas Mavericks: The defending champs always come in ranked number one so sayeth the Puma.

2.Chicago Bulls: Is this biased? You bet your sweet ass. But we don’t have all the ‘what ifs’ the Miami Heat do at this moment so I’ll put us at two. Don’t like it? Make your own list; I’m doing this for free.

3. Miami Heat: As much as I disliked these jackasses with Wade, James and Bosh they are automatically a top 5 team. Now if they can get some role players? The East may be theirs for the taking.

4.Oklahoma City Thunder: I feel this team after last year’s playoff loss will bounce back and could be the best team in the West. Durant, Westbrook, and Harden may be the best trio of young players together in the NBA.

This is a better shot than that of the team, I think the Durantula will forgive

5.Boston Celtics: The Celtics came a Rondo hyperextended elbow from pushing the Heat to 7 games in last year’s playoffs as he was doing what can politely be called reckless murdering to the defense of Mike Bibby. A healthy Rondo plus one last run of Garnett, Allen, and Pierce means we could see them late in the season.

Top 5 Contenders for the MVP:
1.LeBron James: Do I find him to be a whiner? Yup. Douche? You know it. But he is also the most talented player in the league and that is something that can’t be ignored.

2.Dwayne Wade: Flash is probably the best all around guard in the NBA. He and James may split votes so they could cancel each other out.

3.Derrick Rose: Can he get some help this season is the rallying cry this off season. No player did more for his team last year offensively than Rose and as of right now he may have to do more than he did last season as the Bulls don’t have a solid second option.

4.Kevin Durant: There is no purer scorer in the NBA than the Durantula. There I said it.

5.Carmelo Anthony: This is gonna surprise some people but I have always been a big fan of Melo. If he can play well any defense this season and the Knicks can get some steady guard play the Knicks can surprise some people.

Top 5 Rookies:
1.Kyrie Irving: Let me say I think this kid is very good but a can’t miss? Hardly. I think he can be a very good guard for the Cavs but the idea that he comes in and changes the losing ways of the Cavs is laughable.

2.Kawahi Leonard: Long athletic forward who is a monster defensively? Yeah I think Popovich and the Spurs will do just fine with this pick.

3.Kenneth Faried: Rebounding translates well to the NBA. There was no better rebounder than Faried in the NCAA the past few seasons. Simple as that.

4.Jan Vesely: Outside of a few clips on youtube I haven’t seen much of the kid. This is mostly for calling Blake Griffin the “American Jan Vesely” moments after being drafted.

5.Iman Shumpert: Big point guard with loads of unrealized potential. Speed, 42 inch vertical and the D’antoni offense could be just what the doctor ordered to become the player many thought he would be when he arrived at Georgia Tech.

Well gang that about does it for now. Free agency begins next week so expect a grading of where players sign next weekend. Which is coincidentally my birthday weekend; hey Chicago Bulls a shooting guard would be a great present. Just throwing it out there.

Herman Cain we hardly knew ye

This weekend was a particularly tough for me. The Bears lost in an embarrassing fashion, one of my many fantasy football teams didn’t perform very well and most damaging to my soul was the loss of my personal hero Herman “Herm-dawg” Cain from the GOP race to the White House. So if you’ll indulge me I will wax a little poetic on this magnificent marvel of a man.

You see what made Black Walnut so awesome was he didn’t let things like facts and having well any social tact whatsoever get in his way. He was a man on a mission. And if one of the objectives on his mission happened to be palm a few asses on the way well he wasn’t gonna let something as benign as her saying no get in the way. Crazy ladies, it would be an honor to be fondled by Black Walnut. As he said it’s not just the flavor of the week.

Little mundane details like who’s the leader of Ubecky-becky-beckystan mean nothing to a true leader like the Herm Dawg. Did it matter to him that he didn’t seem to know China already had nuclear capabilities? No, mostly because he was focused on other things…mainly helping out single moms with cash. And no he did not have sex with her, come on! He just didn’t tell his wife about her because, well you know women be tripping sometimes.

So Herman, I feel I can call you that, I will miss you on my TV everyday. Your penchant for breaking out into song like a bad Keenan Thompson character on SNL always brought a smile to my face. You being the all encompassing authority figure on who is blacker was refreshing. And what you did to pizza? Forget about it.

So Cornbread, I hope you take this time to stay awesome; we could have used you over that Harvard egghead Jihadist.

Oh well, we still have Newt I guess.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Favorite Wrestlers ever.

Growing up I had a few dreams. To play basketball for Georgetown University, to marry Hillary from the Fresh Prince and most prominent was to become a professional wrestler. So in honor of this I have decided that I will share with you my loyal fans my five favorite wrestlers of all time, note I said favorite not greatest so please don’t beat me up internet community.

5. Mr. Perfect
Most kids my age loved the Ultimate Warrior and don’t get me wrong I am a fan of the man from Parts Unknown but through those battles the arrogant heel who was as technically sound as they come always made my day when I could catch one of his matches.

4. The Legion Of Doom
If you are a wrestling fan I guarantee the hair stands up on the back of your neck when you hear the classic yell at the beginning of their theme song. Whaaaaaaaaaaat a ruuuuuuuuuuuuuush!

3. Randy Orton
The Viper, The Apex Predator, Arrogant ass. Sorry I added the last one. As much as I wanted to hate this kid I just found myself as a massive fan of his legend killing arrogance which has led to a sort of psychotic focused monster.

2. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Back in the day when he was Stunning Steve Austin and teamed with Brian Pillman I liked the guy. But after his classic rant against Jake the Snake at the 1996 King of the Ring where he proclaimed for everyone “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass,” I became a huge fan of his. In my eyes Austin from that point on could do no wrong.

1. Bret Hart
The Hitman is by his own admission the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. His technical style was so much more appealing to me than the high flying theatrics of others, something about seeing a sharpshooter applied made me happier than you run of the mill top rope finisher.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Weekly Heisman Rankings

Like sand through an hour glass these are the insane ramblings of the Chocolate Puma.

3. Andrew Luck: QB- Stanford

Season Stats: 241-of-343 passing for 2,937 yards, 31 TDs and eight INTs; 39 rushes for 133 yards and two TDs; one reception for 13 yards

My how the mighty have fallen, the presumptive winner has struggled in a thorough beat down by Oregon and a win against Cal. Hasn’t been awful by any means but has not been as dominant as you would expect from a Heisman winner.

2. Trent Richardson: RB- Alabama

Season Stats: 236 rushes for 1,380 yards and 20 TDs; 26 receptions for 322 yards and two TDs; three kick returns for 66 yards

Had a really good game but wasn’t exactly going against the Steel Curtain in Georgia Southern. He did what he had to do to stay in the second position, but we will see how he does this week in the Iron Bowl.

Drum roll please...

1.Robert Griffin III: QB- Baylor
Season Stats: 245-of-336 passing for 3,572 yards, 33 TDs and five INTs; 135 rushes for 550 yards and five TDs; one reception for 15 yards

Boy does it make me happy to put RG III back up top. With a Heisman worthy performance against Oklahoma the electric Griffin threw for 479 yards, rushed for 72 and had 4 touchdown passes including an amazing final drive to give Baylor the 45-38 victory. Amazing game from the most electric player in all of college football.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tebowmania: Dissected

Last night I heard one of the most idiotic things I have ever heard in my entire life. After the Denver Broncos pulled off a stunning upset against the New York Jets in which Tim Tebow capped off an impressive 95 yard drive with a 20 yard touchdown I heard from more than one person that this was “the Drive 2.0.” In case you don’t know, the Drive refers to the 1987 playoff game in which John Elway led the Broncos on a 98 yard drive to tie the game which they eventually won in overtime to advance to the Super Bowl. An impressive drive last night it was, but remember not the playoffs and it occurred mid season. Slow down.

The real point of this is to shed a little light on the perception that Tebow alone is responsible for the team’s turnaround. Nothing could be further from the truth. While he has contributed, the real reason for this turnaround has been the improved play of the defense. So let us do a game by game analysis shall we so this can be objective as possible.

Game 1: Versus the Miami Dolphins:
Stats by Tebow: 13-27, 161 yards, 2 touchdowns.
Actually this is the game he had the most impact on. It should be noted however that this came against a winless team starting their backup quarterback.

Game 2: Versus the Detroit Lions
Stats by Tebow: 18-39, 172 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 3 fumbles.
By far the worst game of his season completely overmatched when his draw play was taken away by Suh, Avril, Vanden Bosch and that ferocious d-line of Detroit. The offense left the defense in awful spots all game as they couldn’t advance the ball and gave great field position all day.

Game 3: Versus the Oakland Raiders
Stats by Tebow: 10-21, 124 yards, two touchdowns
Played ok, missed numerous receivers all game. The defense was the star of this though as they caused turnover after turnover against backup quarterback and Carson Palmer who the week before was having tea parties with his daughter. Overthrew Eddie Royal and Eric Decker by miles all game and the running by McGahee was the offensive star.

Game 4: Versus Kansas City
Stats by Tebow: 2-8, 69 yards, 1 touchdown
That’s not a misprint. He threw only 8 passes. The running game bailed them out as did the special teams with Eddie Royal consistently giving great returns and a short field for the offense.

Game 5: Versus the New York Jets
Stats by Tebow: 9-20, 104 yards
Tebow was awful for 55 minutes and made a great drive at the end of the game. Rushing game was held in check I have no idea how the Jets blew this game as they only gave up 10 points. The defense also scored on a pick 6 of Mark Sanchez.

Now some of you may be saying, “Well Brian you can’t measure intangibles!” This is true but allow me to give you the real reason behind the turnaround. That would be the defense. In games before the bye week the defense gave up 28 points per game. In games after the bye the defense has given up 15.5 points per game. Champ Bailey has locked down one side of the field and Von Miller is the young player who should be getting the majority of the hype. He has settled the linebacking corp and the return of Elvis Dumervil from injury have helped improve the pass rush.

As I have said on numerous occasions, this is not an indictment of him as a person, but sometimes you grow tired of hearing someone who has done so little garner all the praise. I even heard someone refer to him as "the spiritual defensive coordinator." Are you f'in serious? While this experiment has worked now it’s nothing more than a modified version of the wildcat and we all saw how well that ended. Make him a rushing fullback in the mold of Mike Alstott. That way you get his between the tackle running, but you also need a quarterback who can actually complete a pass.

Weekly Heisman Rankings

The time has arrived for the Puma to give his weekly Heisman rankings. Those of you who follow this will know that I have been quite supportive of a certain player, but unfortunately I had to drop him from my top 3. RG III, I know you can rebound and make your way back on this list.

3. Case Keenum: QB- Houston

Season Stats: 279-of-376 passing for 3,951 yards, 37 TDs and three INTS; 37 rushes for 104 yards and two TDs.
Fine, I have to give props where it’s due. Even though his level of competition isn’t exactly the highest you gotta give this kid his props. A 37-3 td to interception ratio? Sick.

2. Trent Richardson: RB- Alabama

Season Stats: 204 rushes for 1,205 yards and 18 TDs; 25 receptions for 318 yards and one TD; three kick returns for 66 yards.
Wasn’t amazing against LSU but then again who is? He bounced back with a good game against Mississippi State and looks to continue that against Georgia Southern.

1. Andrew Luck: QB- Stanford

Season Stats: 221-of-313 passing for 2,680 yards, 29 TDs and seven INTs; 34 rushes for 134 yards and two TDs; one reception for 13 yards.
Threw two picks in an ugly loss against Oregon, but no one played well in that game. He has to have a bounce back game against Cal or he could lose ground to Richardson or the fast rising Brandon Weeden could make his inaugural appearance on the Puma’s list.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Black Walnut, Racial Identity and Me

I wonder if I’m black? This might seem like a weird question to ask given my obvious abundance of melanin in my skin. But I guess that this may not enough to make one black according to one “conservative” commentator. Now when I say conservative, I don’t mean my Republican friends who differ with my political beliefs, I mean those who believe our president is a Kenyan national with hopes of planting anchor babies, I don’t really listen to them. Victor Davis Hanson wrote a piece for the National review which states why Herman Cain is a real black guy and Obama is not.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have known what constitutes authentic blackness. But thanks to people like Mr. Hanson and of course my favorite buddy in the world black walnut himself Herman Cain, the debate that seemed to be everywhere during the ’08 election is revving back up. Unfortunately people of Mr. Hanson’s ilk confuse me. You see way back in 2008 and shortly after the election of BHO the same people who are claiming that the current heat Cain is feeling is because he is black and the Democratic Party and their liberal agenda are racist wanted us to believe that because a black man was in office racism was no longer a problem. So if I understand their logic our President was black enough to end racism except for when our candidate has gotten himself into trouble?

The problem with this is as I have said on numerous occasions is it portrays being Black as one set list of things. If you don’t fit in somehow your blackness isn’t as authentic as someone else’s. Mr. Cain is a republican businessman who made his wealth peddling bad pizza, I am a democrat who like hip-hop. Am I blacker than Herman Cain? No, because it’s not something that can be measured. In his book, “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness” writer Toure states: "If there are forty million Black Americans then there are forty million ways to be black. There are billions of cultural artifacts of blackness... Not one of these things is more authentic than the other." And this is true. I listen to all forms of music (minus country) , love documentaries, and have no interest in becoming a rapper. Do these things mean I am not as black as Herman Cain?

I think what angers me most about these people is that while they argue over who’s blacker, they are missing the beauty and complexities of Black culture. It has infinite possibilities and a chance to learn from them all. When you box yourself into one narrow preconception of what Black is you’re still Black, but you become something else as well.

An idiot.

A Letter to the NBA

Dear NBA,
Hi, you may not know me so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Brian Thompson and whether you know it or not I love you. Yes it’s true. I love you as much as it is possible for a young man to love a sports association. That’s why it is with much pain that I write this letter to you. You see my first love is basketball, and when you love something you have to let them know when they are making mistakes just like you applaud them when they do so something amazing. This time you’re wrong.

You see I remember the moment I fell in love with this game. I was a wee child probably no older than 3 or 4 years old sitting on the floor of my grandmother’s living room watching these amazing athletes glide like gazelles up and down the court with the ability to soar through the air as if blessed with the gift of flight all the while displaying the toughness of a gladiator. From NERF battles against my sister who was a stand in for the Detroit Pistons to annoying older cousins and kids from church to let me join in their games, some of the happiest moments of my life came from the joy the NBA inspired. And now because of poor planning, disregard for the fans and a lack of perspective you’ve thrown away the opportunity to affect another generation as you have affected me.

I am not going to choose sides, I think both the owners and the players are wrong and we the NBA fans are left to suffer. I could bring up that the owners never intended to have a season with their unreasonable negotiating tactics. Refusing to budge and wanting to be saved from themselves for handing out years of ridiculous contracts. I could bring up the players who should realize that they will never win the battle of public opinion as people are hungry and jobless and don’t want to hear how many concessions you have given during these negotiations. In times such as this, just play. I understand it’s a business, but at the same time you are already the highest paid athletes. Perhaps within your own union teach rookies to be responsible with money instead of buying your entourage tattoos and a fleet of hummers.

You’re both wrong for not finding a way to give people what they want. And while I openly realize that in a world with so much injustice a game is not the most important thing in the world, seeing my favorite sport played by the greatest players in the world does give my mind the break from heavy issues of the day that it so sorely needs. So NBA I will watch you when you return, but until you get your act together I will have to get by with watching your little brother College Basketball. He’s not as good but hopefully he’ll always be there as a backup.
The Chocolate Puma

Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekly Heisman Rankings

In the wake of the Penn St. awful scandal I will just keep my list short and sweet without the normal banter you are used to. Maybe next week I will muster the energy to give an iota of interest to college football but I am too disgusted right now.

3. Robert Griffin III: QB- Baylor

Season Stats: 202-of-273 passing for 2,781 yards, 26 TDs and four INTs; 106 rushes for 386 yards and four TDs; one reception for 15 yards

2. Trent Richardson: RB- Alabama

Season Stats: 172 rushes for 1,078 yards and 17 TDs; 23 receptions for 292 yards and one TD; three kick returns for 66 yards.

1.Andrew Luck
Season Stats: 194-of-272 passing for 2,424 yards, 26 TDs and five INTs; 29 rushes for 147 yards and two TDs; one reception for 13 yards.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekly Heisman Rankings

Well folks it’s that time again, the Chocolate Puma’s weekly prognostication of this year’s Heisman race. Enjoy.

3. Robert Griffin III: QB- Baylor

Season Stats: 175-of-232 passing for 2,375 yards, 23 TDs and four INTs; 88 rushes for 322 yards and three TDs; one reception for 15 yards.
RG3 had a chance to impress a lot of voters against Oklahoma State and while he can’t be blamed for the loss as the defense gave up 59 points, there were stretches where he had no impact on the game whatsoever.

2. Trent Richardson: RB- Alabama

Season Stats: 149 rushes for 1,016 yards and 17 TDs; 18 receptions for 212 yards and one TD; two kick returns for 43 yards.
Richardson didn’t play, therefore didn’t hurt his chances. A game against LSU could make or break his Heisman hopes.

1. Andrew Luck: QB- Stanford

Season Stats: 174-of-242 passing for 2,218 yards, 23 TDs and four INTs; 25 rushes for 144 yards and two TDs; one reception for 13 yards
His pick 6 almost sent him spiraling in the rankings but the consensus future number one pick composed himself and eventually led his team to an overtime victory over rival USC.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Here we go again...

Before I begin this rant which will inevitably end with incoherence, anger, and allusions to rubber novelty poop I would like to say that this is not meant as an assault on Republicans or those with conservative values. We’re cool. No, this is an assault on the so called experts who call themselves conservatives and spout nonsensical, idiotic, and downright offensive rhetoric.

The first person I will wax poetic on is the human skeletor woman who calls herself Anne Coulter. Recently during her “I haven’t gotten any attention lately, let me say something incendiary” tour she made this remarkably offensive statement, even for her. “"Our blacks are so much better than their blacks. To become a black Republican, you don't just roll into it. You're not going with the flow. You have fought against probably your family members, probably your neighbors, you have thought everything out and that's why we have very impressive blacks in our party."

First and foremost, this statement implies that blacks are property. Secondly, this statement shows that she thinks it’s absolutely impossible for a black person to process information and then logically chooses an opinion that differs from hers. Then this beacon of hope for the black community declared “The only racism you hear in America is against conservative blacks." Well glad that’s over for me as a somewhat liberal black man. How can someone who is not black, who does not have to deal with day to day instances of institutional racism, declare who it affects? It would be like me declaring sexism is no longer a problem for anyone except black women. I don’t know the struggle of being a woman and am not qualified to speak on what affects them.

The second person I am going to look at is one of our leading candidates, black walnut himself Herman Cain.

A few weeks ago he proclaimed that racism doesn’t hold anyone back anymore. Well seems like as soon as people began bringing up a few claim of sexual harassment what does the man who would like his Secret Service codename to be “Cornbread” do? Why he cried racism. So let me get this straight, it’s not racist, just complaining when people talk about legit discrimination due to one’s race but when people bring up things you may or may not have done its racism? I don’t get it. And the idea of sex scandals isn't race or party specific. America loves a sex scandal. Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, Anthony Weiner, and the list goes on.

I fully recognize that my side of thinking doesn’t have all the answers. I know that you need the working ideas of all involved to come to a logical solution to problems. If this means I’m not one of “their” blacks I think I’ll be alright.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tebow and Cam: A Matter of Perception

“Off the field, Tebow is as solid as they come; a team leader, humanitarian, and just about everything else.”

“Reminds me of: A beefed up, less polished version of Steve Young”

“He’s just a winner.”

The above are some of the things said about Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow upon his entry in the NFL draft. Now turn your attention to some of the things said about a quarterback often compared to Tim Tebow, Cam Newton.
"You mad? HAHAHA"
“Does not spin a tight spiral. Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup.”

“Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example.”

“Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”

Notice something strange there? When referring to Tebow nothing of his mechanical shortcomings were brought to the light, just how great a person he is, and I don’t doubt that he is a great person. But great people aren’t always the greatest quarterbacks. Hell going off personality traits Joey Harrington should be the greatest quarterback of all time. Now when Newton came out not only was his unorthodox style for a quarterback dissected, but also his personal life. Due to some shady characters, including his own father; Newton was painted as a guy who was going to fail at quarterback simply because he had “character risks.” Now what’s the reason for this? I don’t want to say it’s only race, but this does has a racial aspect.

For years black quarterbacks have been said to be “not smart enough” to be a quarterback, which was one of the knocks against Newton. Tebow played in a similar spread offense in Florida and while it was suggested he change positions it wasn’t due to his intelligence. Tebow has been lauded for his ability to just win, meanwhile glossing over the fact that Newton went undefeated in every game he started from his senior year in high school until a season opening loss to the Cardinals. Seems like a winner to me.

Tebow is often shown as being a hard worker, which is true; Tebow busts his ass every week as he should. But that implies every other player in the NFL doesn’t. To make it that far you have to be a hard worker. It takes blood, sweat, and tears and years of dedication and Tebow is not special in that regard as all players in the NFL have worked hard to get there.

Legendary?!?!?! It was against a winless team starting their backup!

I think though what angers me most about Tebow is not even anything he has done in particular. His supporters take any criticism toward the guy as an assault on Christianity. First of all Tebow is not the first openly religious football player, see Deion Sanders, Randall Cunningham, Kurt Warner, Emmitt Smith and Reggie White. So the idea that athletes have never before openly shared their faith is a complete and utter lie.

I have no problem with Tim Tebow, but the idea that I have to love him as a quarterback because he is a good person is ridiculous. There has been no evidence to suggest that his skill set will ever revolutionize the position and he can at best be a poor man’s (a very poor man’s) Kordell Stewart. As Tebow’s ascension to the Hall of Fame is being covered ad nauseam, we’re missing a real revolution in Carolina and that’s a damn shame.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Weekly Heisman Rankings

After a two week hiatus everyone’s favorite angry puma is back with his predictions on the grandest individual prize in all of college sports, the Heisman trophy.

3. Trent Richardson: RB- Alabama
Season: 132 rushes for 912 yards and 15 TDs; 15 receptions for 179 yards and one TD; two kick returns for 43 yards.

Not many schools are afforded the luxury of losing a Heisman winning running back to the NFL and have him replaced with a dynamic talent who is capable of winning the Heisman trophy himself. While not the between the tackle back Mark Ingram was he is just as dangerous and possibly has the most deadly cutback in all of college football.

2.Robert Griffin III: QB- Baylor
Season: 142-of-182 passing for 22 TDs and two INTs; 72 rushes for 295 yards and two TDs; one reception for 15 yards; one punt for 39 yards.

Seriously this kid is having an amazing season and my fear is that due to the fact Baylor will at the end of the day lose 2-3 more games his amazing campaign will be for naught.

1.Andrew Luck: QB-Stanford
Season: 129-of-181 passing for 1,719 yards, 18 TDs and three INTs; 13 rushes for 60 yards and one TD; one reception for 13 yards.

Well consider me on the Andrew Luck bandwagon. Got off to a rough start last week throwing a pick in first throw but after the half he came back and well he did what Andrew Luck does. Some team is going to be very “Lucky” come the 2012 draft.

P.S. Please forgive me for that pun. My God that was just awful.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Struggle For Justice

Today I delve deep into myself and share an ongoing struggle in which I am unselfishly sharing with you. This is a story of unfair prosecution and hopefully the tyrant responsible will one day realize the error of their ways. I like one of hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans take the train to work. On my daily pilgrimage to my place of employment I see some of the same faces and we have become acquaintances. A ‘hello’ here and there, a wave, a head nod. But there is a dark force trying to cloud the happy little family that is the Asian hipster, slutty dressed teen, and old black man who usually sit near me. This force is an older Romanian woman.

I should begin this story from the beginning. I usually arrive to the train everyday at 6:30 and I sit in the second seat on the second car as it puts me near the stairs when I reach the loop. For the past few months there has been an elderly Romanian woman who sits in front of me and as I do with my other amigos in traveling I say hello or flash one of my patented grins at the lady. And for the past few months whenever I sit down she promptly gathers her things and relocates to another seat.

For a while I brushed this off until one morning I finally had to ask. So I looked at her as she scowled at me as she moved and simply asked “why do you move whenever I sit down?” She looked at me shocked that I would speak to her. Asian hipster, old black man and slutty dressed teen held their breaths in anticipation of her answer. She said nothing. This time though instead of relocating to another seat, this lady relocates to another car completely!

So now the gauntlet has been thrown. I pledge to you my internet friends, enemies and stalkers, that one day I will have this woman acknowledge my presence. My current method of attack is every time I see her I immediately hit her with a 2 handed wave and smiling widely (which may be terrifying given the caffeine infused state I am in at 6:30 am).
Waving method performed by adorable child

So from time to time I will update you on journey. The road is long, and the task is arduous. But I know that I will be successful. And one day my ragtag comrades of commuting can add an elderly Romanian woman to our midst and be complete as a group of strangers can be.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


This is just a quick little rant about a photo I saw online and no it’s not Jay Cutler seen holding hands with Kristin Can-I-Get a talent. No this refers to a photo taken from an event called Slutwalk. Now I am not well versed in the modus operandi of the event but according to the website its sole function is “to enforce the truth that those who experience sexual assault are never at fault-- no exceptions. We seek to combat a culture that teaches ‘don't get raped,’ as opposed to ‘don't rape.’” I have no problem with this so allow me to state for those who like to fight for no reason, the following rant has nothing to do with the event. It does however have a lot to do with this:

Yes upon seeing the photo I did a double take and assumed I was being punked. Surely this person who brazenly held the sign up didn’t believe that “woman” is equal to “nigger.” I could go into the etymology of the words but instead I will use the common sense retort, woman = gender; “nigger”=racial slur. One is not like the other. It also does a disservice to a very worthy cause. People are focusing on a sign rather than the intended message of the event. So to the young lady holding up the sign so brazenly let me tell you this, keep up the work you are doing, but please gain perspective when writing signs. Otherwise some handsome mofo with a blog might write a rambling blog post about you.

Weekly Heisman Rankings

Like sand through an hour glass I present to you the week 3 of the Chocolate Puma’s Heisman rankings. Enjoy.

3. Russell Wilson: QB- Wisconsin
Season: 83-of-111 passing for 1,391 yards, 13 TDs and one INT; 22 rushes for 140 yards and two TDs

Mr. Wilson was huge in his team’s complete and utter humiliation of Nebraska over the weekend. All season he has been a steady hand and morphing from a poor man’s Cam Newton to future lottery pick that compares to no one.

2. Andrew Luck: QB- Stanford
Season: 80-of-112 passing for 1,013 yards, 11 TDs and one INT; 11 rushes for 58 yards and one TD; one reception for 13 yards.

Welcome to the top three Mr. Luck, you’ll probably be here the rest of the season. He was somehow both efficient and dynamic in the Cardinal decimation of UCLA over the weekend. This young man is no joke ladies and gentlemen.

1. Robert Griffin III: QB- Baylor

Season: 93-of-113 passing for 1,308 yards, 18 TDs and one INT; 36 rushes for 173 yards and one TD; one catch for 15 yards; one punt for 39 yards

If you have been following this then you know I am bordering on a man crush on RG3. This kid had his third 5 touchdown game of the young season although he did throw his first pick which led to his team’s loss. That matters not to the Puma as the Heisman is an individual award and there has been no more dynamic individual that the signal caller from Waco.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Weekly Heisman Rankings

Well folks here we are again, week 2 of my Heisman rankings. The college football season has already shown us many legitimate contenders for the highest individual prize in all of collegiate athletics. The top three remains the same although there may be some flip flopping amongst the top 3.

3.Kellen Moore: QB- Boise State
Season Stats: 83-of-105 passing for 995 yards, 12 TDs and two INTs.
The consistent signal caller didn’t wow the Chocolate Puma this week, but he didn’t have to. With a 279 yard and 4 touchdown game last week he certainly is positioning himself to be in the thick of things come Heisman time.

2.Robert Griffin III: QB- Baylor
Season Stats: 70-of-82 passing for 962 yards and 13 TDs; 24 rushes for 167 yards and one TD; one reception for 15 yards.
This guy has more touchdown passes than incomplete passes. Think about that. Add in his ability to run the ball as well and you have just the kind of exciting player the Puma loves to see.

1.Marcus Lattimore: HB-South Carolina
Season Stats: 107 rushes for 611 yards and eight TDs; 12 receptions for 139 yards and one TD.
Got off to a rough start on the ground so what does Mr. Lattimore do? Add the receiving game to his repertoire finishing with 73 yards on 3 receptions to go with the 77 yards he picked up on the ground. Mr. Lattimore is a bad, bad man ladies and gentlemen.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Take on Tyler Perry Movies

Many of the people who know me know that I am not what one would call a big fan of the work of Tyler Perry. Notice what I said there, I am not a fan of the WORK of Tyler Perry. Lately there has been a discussion amongst African Americans who love the works of Perry and those like myself who hate the works of Perry. That discussion always boils down to “well he gives black people jobs in Hollywood.” This is true, he does hire African American actors and he should be applauded for doing so. But that doesn’t mean I have to actually like the movies. The bigger question should be why others aren’t doing the same thing, but that’s another rant for another day.

Now while I am not a fan of the works, I do respect the man. It’s a story that’s hard not to respect. A man who had gotten as low as homelessness stuck to his dream to become one of the highest paid men in all of entertainment. But all that said the same recycled story lines and him dressing up as a woman does not a good movie make in my opinion. Here are his movies in a nutshell; successful African American woman is in a relationship with a dark skinned African American man who on the surface appears to be the perfect gentleman. Behind closed doors however he is either abusive or just a flat out asshole, enter the light skinned African American handyman/pool cleaner who just got out of prison. Madea shows up, slaps someone, insert church scene, woman comes to senses and leaves the asshole for the handyman. Boom. I just saved you hours of watching 8-10 of his movies.
You don't like my movies huh?

Then we he attempts to make a movie not based around the premise of a gun toting grandmother in “For Colored Girls” he made, in once again my opinion, an egregious error when he decided to direct the film himself. A movie that is about the experiences of African American women should be directed by an actual woman and not someone who just dresses as a woman. That would add much depth to the movie as someone like Kasi Lemmons, Neema Barnette, or Debbi Allen could use personal experience to make it a richer film. Now I didn’t see the movie so I can’t say it wasn’t a rewarding success but it would have been nice to see a woman at the helm of this film.

I guess the point of all this is can we agree that yes he should be respected for his work, but if your argument for why I should like this guy’s work is “well he hires black people,” my opinion shall remain unchanged as I am sure the above rant will not change your opinion. I only ask one question, when “Madea's Big Happy Trip to the Podiatrist” comes out make sure you don’t invite me.