Friday, December 27, 2013

30 Years of Excellence

This piece is a little late but hey when you’re my age you should get a little leeway. What age is that you may be asking? Since I last angrily pounded on a keyboard your hero, the Puma of Chocolate persuasion hit a robust thirty years old. And over the course of thirty years I have learned a few things. So now in painstaking detail I present to you….the most important thing I learned every year of my existence!

Age 1: Man, I get a pretty good response by chewing on these photo albums…I think I’ll keep doing that.

Age 2: Glue tastes pretty good. Who knew?

Age 3: Chicken nuggets are the height of culinary excellence.

Age 4: I am the baddest man on the planet when it comes to big wheels son.

Age 5: The Smurfs is quite possibly the best TV show of all time.

Age 6: Man that Home Alone kid is the hero we all need.

Age 7: There is no doubt in my mind that I am going to be the guy who replaces Michael Jordan. No doubt.

Age 8: A correction on an earlier realization, pizza rolls are the true height of culinary excellence.

Age 9: My grandmother passed away and I learned that life isn’t fair.

Age 10: Still pretty sure that I am going to be the starting shooting guard for the Bulls.

Age 11: Stripes look amazing on me. Keep it up young man.

Age 12: The era of Cross Colours will never end!

Age 13: Uh people in Chicago are quite different from people in Mississippi.

Age 14: High school couldn't possibly be that awkward.
Nah...Wasn't awkward at all.

Age 15: I am noticing this growth spurt isn't really happening; maybe I should not bank on being on the Bulls in three years.

Age 16: I am pretty sure I know everything ever. No need for advice MOM!

Age 17: FUBU. Now that’s something with some staying power!

Age 18: I had a gun pulled on me twice this year and both times by the police. I better keep my head on a swivel.

Age 19: Tequila is not your friend; I repeat tequila is not your friend.
"Hey...buddy...tequila is not your friend. Ok?
Age 20: Man that “In Da Club” by 50 Cent is never gonna get annoying!

Age 21: A 5 am bar is not your friend…

Age 22: The proper thing to yell at someone when trying to riot a World Series victory is not “What you doing? Riot bitch!”

Age 23: I will not get that addicted to Fantasy Football.

Age 24: That extra shot of Jameson is most definitely not your friend.

Age 25: Contrary to 16 year old Brian I do not know everything. In fact I know very little.

Age 26: For my sanity I will not talk politics or baseball with people I do not know or trust.

Age 27: I grew up in a house full of women yet I know more about molecular engineering than I will ever know about women.

Age 28: I may be addicted to fantasy football…

Age 29: Do not make jokes about Scandal…just don’t.

Age 30: My family and friends are the best. So is anyone who has ever taken the time to read this humble little blog.

Well folks a brief and concise rundown of some of the highlights of thirty years of fun on this journey we call life. Come the new year expect more of my amazing* rants and who knows, perhaps even a few surprises. 

*Opinions may vary.*

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Being A Pompous Asshole Doesn't Make You A Good Writer

Some people in the world have a horrible habit of being insufferable assholes. It’s just a way of the world. Sometimes an event will happen that on the surface is not divisive at all. When these events happen you can always count on the assholes to scream the loudest in the hopes that attention will be paid to them. Late last week the son of Adrian Peterson was brutally beaten to death. An unimaginable tragedy that makes you want to just weep and your heart break for Peterson and the child’s mother.
"Professional Asshole"
Enter professional asshole Phil Mushnick. In the immediate aftermath he wrote an insensitive, borderline racist piece of garbage that made it past his editors somehow. 

“Being a great player doesn’t make Peterson a great guy,” he spouts. Bringing up a speeding charge from 2009, claiming it was a sign of trouble since his brother was killed by a reckless driver. He brings up how Peterson was arrested for resisting arrest…despite the obvious fact he had not been arrested. Wrap your brain around that for a second. Those charges were dismissed.

But his biggest qualm came with Peterson’s decision to play. Claiming that “I’d be fighting for breath, my knees weak with grief, demanding to know why, who, how. Then, I suspect, I’d seethe with rage, swearing retribution. I even think I’d take off a day or two from work. Maybe a week.” This appears to be taken directly from Mystic River for one but the bigger point is Mushnick now claims to know the proper methods of grieving for everyone? Some people work to keep their minds off unthinkable sadness. When the Puma’s beloved aunt passed away after a long battle with cancer I knew if I stayed home a pit of unmovable depression would be my next stop. I worked like a mad man to keep my sanity. Not everyone is blood thirsty revenge hounds like you.

But my biggest qualm was how he changed the story to fit his personal narrative of how Peterson is a bad father and a bad person or at least he is no Phil Mushnick. “With his resources, how could Peterson, the NFL’s MVP, have allowed his son to remain in such an environment? Did he not know, or not care? Or not care to know? Or not know to care?” That’s cute Phil, except Peterson did not know about the child until a few months ago, acknowledged the child could be his, and made plans to meet him during the bye week of the current season. What Mushnick has done is make the villain of this heart breaking tale Adrian Peterson and his corrupted moral compass and not the man who actually beat a child to death.

Here's the thing Philly, this is not a normal situation. You can't claim what you would do because no one knows what they'd do in this extraordinary situation. I would hope that given your platform I wouldn't kick a man when he is down. But then again I am not a pompous asshole.*

*Opinions may vary.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Unforgivable Blackness 2.0

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you, with something you’ll inevitably disagree with and some people will leave me mean internet comments! Sorry, I’m not good at changing rap lyrics to fit my current situation. But moving on I’d like to say I had some good reason for leaving you without the immature, pointless yet sometimes provocative material that you have come to expect from the king of ridiculousness. And I am sure maybe one of maybe ten people will agree with this piece but hey, young Puma speaks his mind and if you don’t like it well you can go somewhere else.

Now last night Kanye West went on another twitter rant. Honestly nothing out of the ordinary right? But it wasn’t the rant per se that caused me to write this it was the response and backlash to it from a very vocal majority. For the record let me say I found Jimmy Kimmel’s satire very funny. But Kanye had a very Kanye response and with that came the normal hordes of people yelling for him to shut up, to be less arrogant and it kind of made me shake my head a bit. 

Allow me to explain. Kanye suffers from a little reported disorder known as “unforgiveable blackness.” And guess what? Kanye isn’t the first rich black male to get the “you have to be humble” while speaking nothing of their white counterparts in popular culture; he may be the loudest of his generation to refuse to do so. And this again is nothing new. We see this all the time in the sporting world. Cam Newton is a remarkably confident young guy, and he is very good. He scores a touchdown and does the Superman gesture. He’s viewed as being this cocky asshole and he’s ruining the game.
"He's Confident in his abilities! Get him!"
Johnny Manziel scores a touchdown and throws up the money signs and he is just a passionate leader. See what I mean?
"Let Johnny live!"
And this happened all throughout the history of the United States. Jack Johnson who was boxing’s first black Heavyweight champion of the world. In an era where being the brash black man he was could get you killed Johnson refused to play the game. You don’t like Floyd Mayweather? 
You want me to do what? Nah son.
You’d HATE Jack Johnson. He’d kick your ass, give you a running commentary on how he was kicking your ass, and then steal your girl. You know what happened when he wouldn’t be “humble”? He was put in jail, claiming his lover was a prostitute (She wasn’t) and he was illegally transporting her (He wasn’t). There is always a punishment it seems for being unforgivably or unabashedly black in America.

Perhaps I’m just being too sensitive, I mean I did listen to the new Drake album this week, but it certainly is disheartening to see this consistent attitude of “well you’re great at what you do, now don’t talk about it because I’m not great.” You can call somebody an asshole but when some backs up his proclamations of greatness ain’t shit you can do but move to the side and recognize it. I’m not saying you have to like it, but damn it recognize greatness and try and do something with your life instead of hating on Lebron, Floyd Mayweather and Kanye.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

NCAA: Where Clownish Actions Continue To Be The Norm.

Ah yes, you smell that? Why it’s time for young Puma to go insane on some hypocrisy being spewed by the NCAA. So sit back and hold on to your butts because this is about to get real. There is nothing in this world that angers me more than the NCAA. And by this I refer solely to the governing body of college athletics and not the games themselves. For years they have pimped the athletic exploits of teenagers to the tune of billions of dollars under the guise of “amateur” status and providing the kids an education. When in actuality the only thing amateur is clowns running the show and they do provide a very valuable education in that life isn’t fair. 

This isn’t a written to say pay college athletes, I have written that before. This is written just to show you the hypocrisy and ridiculousness of the NCAA. They love to spout the tales of the student-athlete and have even exploited cases of exceptional young people as an example that their way is the best way (see: Ray Ray McElrathbey). What they fail to mention is a lot of times in what is becoming the norm for the NCAA, they screw the kid over.

Let’s look at the tale of Jonathan Benjamin, a basketball player for University of Richmond who has long held the dream of creating the next Nike who has been deemed ineligible for attempting to follow his dream. You see after a class project to start his own company he expanded on the project and sunk his birthday money into it and began to actively pursue his own business with the advice of his professor. The NCAA found out about it and deemed him ineligible because: “A student-athlete may establish his or her own business, provided the student-athlete's name, photograph, appearance or athletics reputation are not used to promote the business.” Yep. Work hard for us, sell our merchandise, but the moment you try and do it for yourself which in no way conflicts with your NCAA obligations get the hell out of here.
"Working hard for yourself? Violates the NCAA spirit. Excuse me while I collect my 1.7 million dollar salary."
"Not to sound arrogant, but the football team won a national championship my freshman year, conference championship my sophomore year. The basketball team made the Sweet 16. We helped the school get publicity. Meanwhile, the academic side is telling us that this is a place to grow and spread your wings. Only we can't do that fully. And some of us were studying marketing!” Benjamin said.

Earlier this year Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said fans don’t come to see the names on the back, they come to see the names on the front. That’s true when it comes to watching a game, when it comes to selling merchandise however the name on the back matters very much. Don’t believe me? 

The NCAA owns Muhammad. 
Even disgraced players can't get their names back.

The NCAA owns the name Clowney.

The NCAA owns the name Manziel.

And it’s not just about money, sometimes the NCAA does things that are just heartbreaking or cringe worthy. Take the case of Kerwin Okoro, an Iowa State basketball player who is transferring to Rutgers University. Usually a player has to sit for a year, even though coaches can move from school to school with no waiting but that’s another tale, there is a hardship provision that waives that year long wait. Now I don’t know what constitutes a hardship but I would venture a guess that losing your older brother to colon cancer and your father to a stroke and moving back to be close to your mother should be an acceptable reason to seek that provision. Not according to the NCAA. You can move back to take care of sick family members but damn it if they have passed away they could care less. Hasn’t this kid been through enough?

And these aren’t the only stories that will make you blood boil. Hell the NCAA tried to block a former marine from playing football because he played in a rec league while SERVING HIS COUNTRY! If anybody deserves to play football it’s the guy who put his damn life on the line ensuring the freedom of this ridiculous ass institution to block him from playing a game which that same ridiculous ass institution will turn around and sell his jersey and profit from his on the field play.

What a swell group of guys. How could you not defend these guys? Excuse me while I vomit.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Fantasy Tight Ends of 2013 Ya'll!

In my ongoing quest to give you all the information you need going into fantasy football drafts I am here to help out. Enjoy my loyal follower(s).

5. Rob Gronkowski: New England
You may be asking why the hell is the Gronk rated so low? Well yesterday it was announced he could go on the PUP list meaning he would miss at least 6 games. That said when healthy the Gronk is the best tight end in the league. He's one of those guys who does not stop and is actually good and not a scrappy hustler. So keep an eye on his health status as he could be a steal this year.

4. Tony Gonzalez: Atlanta

Gonzalez is literally someone who makes me sick. Not out of anything he's done, this is completely out of jealousy. This is a guy who is going into his 17th season in the league at one of the most physically demanding positions yet he still consistently is in the league leaders among tight ends in receiving yards and touchdowns. I certainly don't expect this to continue.

3. Jason Witten: Dallas
"The fuck I need a helmet for!?!"
 One of the best tight ends who is quickly reaching the Gonzalez level of me hating him is Jason Witten. This guy is one of the toughest guys on the field. Not only is he is tough, he's fucking good. He had over 1,000 yards and was one of the few bright spots in the Lone Star state last year. With Miles Simon on the down slope expect Witten to keep it up.

2. Vernon Davis: San Francisco
I think he is going to be an absolute monster this year. When Michael Crabtree went down with the ACL DAvis suddenly became the best friend of Kaepernick. Expect him to spend some time lining up at wide receiver and getting frequent targets when the many competent running backs and Kap get tired of running all over opposing defenses.

1. Jimmy Graham: New Orleans
Well number one on the tight end list is probably a shocker. Graham has been one of the top tight ends for the past few years but honestly the guy didn't really know how to play the position. As he gets more and more comfortable we could see a Gronk like explosion in the 2013 season. And it certainly doesn't hurt to have Drew Brees throwing the ball to you. 

Well folks only one more to go folks, follow my tips and you'll finish at least .500. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Wide Receiver Rankings of the Puma

In an ongoing expose of epic proportions the Chocolate Puma has taken the time to answer the question you didn't ask and give you his predictions of who to target for your fantasy football drafts. You're welcome.

5. Julio Jones: Atlanta
Let's justify the high price in auction leagues!
Last season he had 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns and that was as the second option. I expect this season for those numbers to be somewhere around that range with Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and the newly signed Stephen Jackson. Certainly looks like a good decision to part with all those draft picks to get this now.

4. A.J. Green: Cincinnati

Much like in college AJ Green and Julio Jones are near the top of the heap at their position. I expect Green to be a fantasy monster as there really isn't a clear second receiver in the Bengals lineup although tight end Jermaine Gresham and rookie Tyler Eifert will dip into his numbers I doubt it's enough to put a dent into his fantasy numbers. 

3. Dez Bryant: Dallas
A beast on the field, Dez Bryant will catch anything you throw his way and he'll do it with a broken finger as he did much of last season. Tony Romo's number one target will completely eviscerated opposing defenses in the second half of the season and I certainly expect that to continue. He had seven straight games with a touchdown and in three of those he had multiple trips to the endzone. 

2. Brandon Marshall: Chicago
We are not worthy.
Now this entry makes me happy as hell to write. As a Bears fan we haven't had much to gush over offensively for a few decades (where have you gone Curtis Conway?!) Marshall didn't burst on the scene as he has been doing this for years but last year ghe seemingly took it up a notch as the Bears primary receiver  consistently beating double teams or out muscling the competition. Alshon Jeffrey should be improved, Earl Bennett is a good slot guy but those guys aren't taking targets from Marshall anytime soon. Expect mega numbers again son!

1. Calvin Johnson: Detroit
Refer to last year's scouting report:
"Because he's fucking Megatron."

There you have it folks. The Puma is out!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Running Backs To Hitch your Wagon To

You thought I was gonna stop with quarterbacks? Child please! We move on to the running backs suckas!

5. Matt Forte: Chicago
Alright this may be a homer pick but I don't care. Matt Forte is one of the top backs in the league and I will fight anyone who disagrees with me (not really, ya'll know I'm just playing.) He is a phenomenal reciever in the backfield, and with Marc Trestman calling plays running backs generally get plenty of opportunities to get receptions out the backfield.
Jazz hands!

4.  Jamaal Charles: Kansas City

I have him this low for two reasons really. One he seems to be kind of injury prone during the preseason, so if he can make it out with no major season threatening injuries I expect this burner to continue his trend of averaging 5 yards a carry. The second reason is this man.
"Averaging 5 yards a carry? Better dial up 15 straight passing plays."
Yes Andy Reid. While he is a completely solid coach he has a tendency to begin calling a lot of passing plays and very few running plays. So his production may dip a bit in that category.

3. CJ Spiller: Buffalo

This guy through no fault of his own is just a burden to have on your fantasy football team. Not because he fumbles or doesn't produce, it's because THEY REFUSE TO GIVE HIM THE DAMN BALL. The guy is electric. Speed, elusiveness, durable, the kid has it all. And if you're in a deep league that scores special team points he contributes in that capacity as well.

2. Marshawn Lynch: Seattle
Expect big numbers from Beast Mode with the injury to Percy Harvin, and the overall brittle nature of Sidney Rice over the past few seasons I think a running back who is durable and a big play machine who is a grown ass man will be the best friend of Russell Wilson.

And now number one...
1. Adrian Peterson: Minnesota


There you go gang, these are the five guys you should target in all your fantasy football drafts.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fantasy Football Extravaganza Part I.

Ah yes, friends and fans of the blog it is that time again. As a man who has made the championship twice in a decade and the proud owner of five teams this year I feel it is my duty to share some of the knowledge that has made me a legendary figure in the world of mediocre fantasy football owners. Without further ado I present to you the quarterbacks.

5.  Colin Kaepernick: San Francisco
"Keep focusing on the tatts..."
Kap is the real damn deal as a very disgruntled Bears fan found out when he took over for Alex Smith after an injury. The guy has a rocket for an arm, runs like he has been injected with cheetah blood, and has a solid running game not to mention the best healthy tight end in the game. I expect 25 or more touchdown passes and 5 or so touchdown runs as the Niners have a real good chance to get back to the Super Bowl.

4. Cam Newton: Carolina

I am an unabashed Cam Newton defender. I don't think we have ever seen a quarterback with his skill set ever in this league. The reason I do not have him ranked higher is frankly his supporting staff is a tad bit suspect. Steve Smith isn't getting any younger, his running game has been underwhelming, and while Greg Olsen, a favorite of the Puma, has been solid he won't be winning you many games. 25 td passes and 10 rushing tds are very real possibilities.

3. Tom Brady: New England
Never Forget.
Adding Danny Amendola should ease the burden of losing Wes Welker, and I believe that Lagarrette Blount and Steven Ridley in the backfield can hold serve until the return of Rob Gronkowski, you know the tight end that doesn't murder people.

2. Aaron Rodgers: Green Bay
As a Bears fan it pains me to say this but he's good. He's damn good. What is not good however is his facial hair choices. Hey don't judge me, it's all I got to criticize.

1.  Peyton Manning: Denver

So hey remember last year how I said he was gonna be average at best? Yeah...I was wrong about that. And this year the offense is even better. With Welker added to the duo of Demariyous Thomas and Eric Decker not to mention the rookie Montee Ball who should flourish in the Denver running scheme I expect big numbers from the elder Manning of the NFL.

There you go folks, the first of my 2013 fantasy football rankings. Follow my tips and you too can finish 8-5 and lose in the second round!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

This Is Why I Am Angry and No I Am Not Sorry About It

This isn't the Chocolate Puma talking to you right now, this is Brian Thompson talking to you and I gotta tell you I'm angry. For the past week and a half I have been attempting to put into words how have felt and frankly the more time passes, the more segments on the news I see, and the more pieces I see written I just get angrier. So if you wanna see something light hearted check the archives or come back next week because I am about to get real.

I'm angry about the Trayvon Martin situation in Sanford, Florida. While I am not in agreement with the ruling that's not what angered me the most. What angered me the most was that it took nationwide protests to even get George Zimmerman arrested. Does anyone not notice how fucked up this is? They took the word of a guy who shot and killed an unarmed teenager and let him go home. Would you not be mad about that? I’m angry that I never once thought there would be a conviction of any kind because frankly I felt like the authorities there felt he had it coming.

Was I the only one angry that during the trial of Zimmerman, the unarmed teenager who was murdered in the street was the one on trial? And frankly I was angered and insulted by the news reporting that African Americans were going to riot at a not guilty verdict. Like we're so animalistic and savage we can't take bad news or an unsatisfactory outcome?

I'm angry that every time disappointment in the end result of this trial was mentioned some talking head parrots one of two talking points. "Well there are children who get killed all over the country every day," and "well what about black on black crime?" Ass clown what makes you think I am incapable of being upset about more than one injustice at a time? I was and suspect many other African Americans reacted so strongly to Trayvon's story because we can relate to it. I can't count the number of times I have ran to the store or to grab food in just a hoodie or t-shirt. Does that mean I deserve to be shot on the street? We were angry about Trayvon because his story was actually told. He represented those children who seemingly were forgotten by the national media and for the most part the local media.

I'm angry that this kind of injustice is looked at as an anomaly. Unarmed black men are killed and it's rarely reported. Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Kimani Gray, Kendrec McDade, Travares McGill and many more all met the same fate as Trayvon and the judicial system felt their lives did not matter as their killers walked free or got less time than say someone who stole a loaf of bread.

I'm angry that every day I have to worry about if I have to deal with someone judging me that threaten my well being. Every day I walk the street with my head on a swivel, not for the thugs that the national media reports on but for your George Zimmermans of the world, someone who takes it upon themselves to unfairly judge me, deem me a threat and cause harm to me.

I'm angry that people who know nothing of my struggle and that of every other young black man feel they can tell me to calm down, or I'm playing the race card. Acknowledging unfairness and discrimination is not playing the race card. I got into an argument with one of these advice givers recently about use of the "n" word. And I was told because I get offended when white people use it yet not when black people use it and was using my race card or flaunting "black privilege." So black privilege is being able to say the "n" word and get sickle cell anemia. Well ain’t that awesome.

What makes me downright furious however is that if I have a son one day I will have to sit down and not give the birds and the bees talk but instead give a "so this is how you have to act in society so you’re not unfairly judged and you still may be unfairly judged" talk. Your very existence has already been deemed a threat to some. That he has to sometimes swallow his pride and sometimes do things to let scream to the world "hey! I'm safe!" People think thugs run Chicago but I have had more guns pulled on me by Chicago Police than any street punk. And each time that happened guess what I was doing...walking to the train or going home from working out. You know suspicious shit.

So there you have it folks, these are the irate rantings of an angry black man. Someone who since he has been over the age of 10 has had to deal with stares as though I am going to rob someone, being followed in stores, unfairly judged and many more I won’t get into. I don’t write this to garner sympathy or blame white people, I write this so anyone who was curious as to why this case hit home could understand what black men who say “I could have been Trayvon” mean.

Thanks for your time folks. I’m about to go look at YouTube videos of baby otters to calm down.


Monday, July 1, 2013

I'm a Dog Person

I have never been what one would call a dog person. Sure growing up there was the occasional pet canines such as Little Puppy (cut me some slack I was 3) and Milton. But my budding friendships with my four legged companions were cut short when thieves stole both dogs which is actually quite common in Mississippi. Through these events I had come to the conclusion that dogs just were not meant to be for the Puma of Chocolate persuasion. That was until a Saturday visit to a local shelter and the first dog that strolls in changed my mind immediately.
Sir Franklin of the House Thompson
 I remember it like it was 8 weeks ago; the door opened and in strolls a short legged Corgi-Spaniel mix that plopped right down at my feet. If I could have walked out with him that moment I would have. He had won me over. He was so relaxed, so calm, and overly lazy. He was just like me. I left there without him but a mere two days later I was back and walked out the door with this delightful weirdo.
The first few days were filled with feeling each other out, what he could do and what he couldn’t do. Very early on it was evident he had a home before as he was house broken pretty well and was a bit quiet. But there were some rough patches, he had a freak out moment where he just wouldn’t move off the couch so old Puma sat up with him all night, patted his head and we watched tv literally all night. Around 5 am he felt comfortable enough to hop off the couch and follow me outside and give chase to a few squirrels. After that one rough night my little buddy appeared to be a changed dog. He’d hop on your lap as soon as you sat in the chair in my living room, began to figure out when he was in best position to get a treat, and of course his pension for falling asleep in the oddest positions ever.
Who sleeps like this?
 So after about 5 weeks of awesomeness together the decision was made to have a temperament test done by a trainer who came highly regarded after seeing a few disturbing characteristics most notably attempting to bite my niece. The news that came from that wasn’t good. Apparently the prior home I suspected he had been in earlier had been a bit violent as he had been overly corrected to the point of fear to growl which is how you know a bite is imminent. Because of this it was suggested he be placed in a home where there were no children and minimal social activities. Crushed, saddened, deeply depressed the next day my little buddy was taken back to a fantastic shelter where later that evening he was placed with an older couple with no children and a large yard for his goofy run to get plenty of action.
So here I sit, entering week two of no spastic jumping when I enter the room, atrocious smelling farts, and hearing scratching at the door whenever I went to the bathroom and while I am comforted by the fact he is in a home where he is comfortable and not stressed whenever someone new comes in it has been by no means easy.
Very different reactions to a torrent of farts.
I still wake up every morning around 5:30 because someone wouldn’t let me sleep in, I plan social activities still around getting home to let him out, and find myself looking from my bed hoping to see him sprawled out.

But alas the asshole-ish nature of another human may have made him not the right fit at the current moment. I am comforted that he had a good home and saw that not all people are ass clowns. So that’s it. Will I get another dog again? You bet I will. And I will destroy your Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds with pictures of him.

Why? I guess you could say I’m just a dog person.
Special buddies.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

2013 NBA Draft Lottery as Chosen by a Chocolatey Prognosticator

Very few things make the Puma jump for joy and almost weep tears of happiness. Some of these things are bacon, leaving work early while others are still there, and catching a showing of “You’ve Got Mail” from the beginning. What? Sue me. Tom Hanks is delightful! And of course the NBA draft which is tonight, so lucky for you loyal readers Uncle Puma has decided to do a little digging, watch a few clips and blindly guess who everyone in the lottery is drafting. You know, sometimes I spoil you all.

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Nerlens Noel, C; PF – Kentucky
Honestly the Cavs are kind of boned. With Irving and Waiters looking very good together no point in drafting a guard and all this talk of worrying about Noel’s injury is kind of dumb given all the other big men in the draft have injury histories as. Given his defense I think he’s the best choice.

2. Orlando Magic: Otto Porter, SF – Georgetown

This is of course contingent on the working rumor that the Magic are close to trading for Eric Bledsoe. Nikola Vucevic has been a pretty solid guy, E’Tuwan Moore is pretty decent, so adding the very dependable Otto Porter with his very high basketball IQ could be a great acquisition for a young team.

3. Washington Wizards: Alex Len, C – Maryland

The second best big man in the draft, he’s a solid choice for a team with to good guards and little else. He has a history of foot problems which is scary but given this draft he’s probably the best choice.

4. Charlotte Bobcats: Cody Zeller, PF- Indiana
Top bunk right buddy?
Byron Mullens needs a roommate I’m sure.

5. Phoenix Suns: Victor Oladipo, SG- Indiana

I think Oladipo is going to be the best player in this draft. He is great at things that translate to the pro game such as defense and has that insatiable desire to bury whoever he is guarding or is guarding him.

6. New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Burke, PG- Michigan

The best point guard available finds a home for the New Orleans franchise that’s looking to find it’s point guard of the future to join Austin Rivers and Anthony Davis. Incredibly clutch and lives for the big moment he is just what they need since the trade of Chris Paul.

7. Sacramento Kings: Ben McLemore, SG- Kansas
This team is a mess. Tyreke Evans has not progressed, Jimmer has been a bust so far and Boogie Cousins well I find him highly entertaining but he just gets out of his game too often mentally. Start with a fresh slate y getting the second best shooting guard in the draft that’s explosive and shoots the ball very well. If he works on his handles then he could be an elite guard for a long time.
8. Detroit Pistons: Michael Carter-Williams, PG- Syracuse
Rumor has it the Pistons want to move Brandon Knoght to the shooting guard position if that’s the case they will need a big guard who can defend larger 2 guards that Knight could not guard and handle point guard duties. Enter the 6’7 guard from Syracuse. Sees the floor well, has a good bit of speed and very quick hands defensively. He’d be a perfect addition to an up and coming team.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG-Georgia

He shoots the ball extremely well, and with defenses collapsing on the driving Ricky Rubio he’ll be able to knock down plenty of shots that way or when the double team rushes toward Kevin Love.

10. Portland Trailblazers: Anthony Bennett, PF- UNLV

Very skilled although he could be a bit undersized for the 4 and is not quick enough to play the 3. That said very good ball handler, has a very good and consistent shot. He has a history of injury but if healthy he could be a very solid contributor.

11. Philadelphia 76ers: Steven Adams, C- Pittsburgh

Given that the Andrew Bynum experiment was a massive flop I think that the only way to rectify that situation is to get the next best big man in the draft. He’s a bit raw but he showed massive improvement from the start of the season to the end of it. He’s a very efficient scorer and really good offensive rebounder.

12. Oklahoma City Thunder:C.J. McCollum, G- Lehigh

The elite level score that has been missing since the trade of James Harden to Houston he should be able to step right in and contribute. Good all around player has he averaged over 2 steals a game and uses his long arms to crash the board. Spelling either Westbrook or Sefalosha he makes the most sense for the Thunder at this point.

13. Dallas Mavericks: Kelly Olynk, C- Gonzaga
"For the last time I'm not Rebecca Lobo!!!
Olynk is a skilled 7 footer who has pretty good range and passes the ball well. Not great defensively but he’s not awful either and given some of the centers that have gone through Dallas he could start immediately.

14. Utah Jazz: Shane Larkin, PG- Miami

A deceptively freakish athlete as he has an incredible vertical, great speed, and incredible vision. Handles the ball well and is a very good shooter. With athletes such as Gordon Hayward, Alec Burks, and Derrick Favors they could be an extremely exciting team to watch out in the land of Mormons.

Well folks, there you have it, the 2013 NBA draft lottery. I’m sure I may have gotten 1-3 right but this is how these teams should draft. The Puma is never wrong.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

America...My Word.

You know I have getting worked up over the past few days on a variety of topics. So in an effort to not make my brain explode all over my face I will give my brief if not passionate reply to each of these topics.

· The trial of George Zimmerman has begun and already I am so angry I can barely breathe. The defense opens up their case with what? A knock-knock joke. A God Damn knock-knock joke.

 This is serious. This not the time for little jokes, your client chased down and murdered a teenager. Don’t come at me with self defense talk because it’s not self defense if you initiate the conflict then get scared and use deadly force. I would hope the overwhelming evidence would lead to his conviction but hey, this is America. I wouldn’t be shocked if he got off and won a civil trial because, yeah…America.

· Abigail Fisher…I can’t with you right now. Krystie Yandoli over at Jezebel does a much better job than I can right now and there are no expletives!

· So we just gonna strike down parts of the Voting Rights Act huh Supreme Court? We live in a world with no discrimination, no hatred, so we can just strike down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965? This is the definition of taking a step backward. Again I refer you to someone who can explain this much better than I, Caitlin Naidoff.

· Finally, I said I wasn’t gonna really give this too much time but I have read some things recently that you know made the Puma’s blood boil. The Paula Deen fiasco. What confuses me is no one really discussed what the big deal should have been and that’s the discriminatory practices she allegedly participated in. But if you wanna make this about the “N” word fine. People bring up well she born in a different time. Ok. So that means we’re prisoners to the time period we were born into? No room for personal growth? No sorrow or regret for mistakes made? Going on the Today show, faking tears and saying “I is what I is, and I’m not changing” is not the way to go about trying to convince people you’re sorry. Also as an aside, she stated she dropped it only once in her life, about 30 years ago. You know, in 1983. When everyone figured out how shitty that word is a few decades prior.

· Also a little rule of thumb about the “n” word, don’t use it. I know someone is gonna go all “well rappers say it, why can’t we?” If you are one of those people please excuse yourself while the adults talk. These people usually are on the hip hop is trash train except when it means I can say nigger! That’s the amazing thing to me, some white people (not all) just don’t get why they can’t say it. I always pose this question, why do you want to say it?

Well America, I am done being riled up. Gonna give this Killer Mike and el-p album another listen. Shit's tight yo.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Chocolate Puma's Favorite: Kanye West Edition

With the release of “Yeezus” the Chocolate Puma has been thinking as an unabashed Kanye fan who has loved every album, what is my favorite Kanye song? So I began to sit and ponder. And what I have come up with is my completely original top ten list of all songs from the College Dropout to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Enjoy and let me know your list.

10. Hey Mama: Late Registration

As a man who was raised by a single mother this sentimental piece from the Louis Vuitton Don always struck a chord with me. Honest and surprisingly affectionate, Kanye puts his love for his mother on front street and made a hip hop anthem for the mothers.

Favorite line:
“Can't you see, you're like a book of poetry/ Maya Angelou, Nicky Giovanni, turn one page and there's my mommy.”

9. Homecoming: Graduation

The original version with John Legend on the hook may be my favorite variation but I won’t nit pick. If you have a connection with a place this song will particularly resonate with you. Done in the same vein as “I Used to Love H.E.R” by Common Kanye humanizes the city and writes a beautiful ode to the city of wind,

Favorite line:
“And when I grew up, she showed me how to go downtown/ And at nighttime my face lit up, so astoundin' /And I told her in my heart is where she always be”

8. Lost in The World: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Sampling Bon Iver’s “Woods” this track is lush and grand in every way from the tribal drums in the background to the very long sample of my favorite Gil Scot Heron piece “Comment No. 1”this song is just a smorgasbord of all thing the Chocolate Puma loves.

Favorite Line:
“You're my devil, you're my angel/You're my heaven, you're my hell/You're my now, you're my forever
You're my freedom, you're my jail/You're my lies, you're my truth/You're my war, you're my truce
You're my questions, you're my proof/You're my stress and you're my masseuse”

7. Last Call: College Dropout

As someone who loves to say I told you so this is an anthem of sorts. Yeezy goes into painstaking detail of his rise from ghost producing to one of the biggest acts in the world.

Favorite Line(s):

“Some say he arrogant. Can y'all blame him?/ It was straight embarrassing how y'all played him”

“I went to the malls and I balled too hard/ 'Oh my god, is that a Black Card?'/I turned around and replied, why yes but I prefer the term African American Express”

6. Runaway: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

West waxes poetic about failed relationships and his part in causing the break up. He also seemingly comes to term with being as the President referred to him, as a jackass. The repetitive piano riff is a nice touch and a great verse from Pusha T puts it over the top for me.

Favorite Line:
“Let's have a toast for the douchebags/Let's have a toast for the assholes,/ Let's have a toast for the scumbags, / Every one of them that I know /Let's have a toast for the jerkoffs /That'll never take work off/ Baby, I got a plan/ Run away fast as you can”

5. Heartless: 808s and Heartbreak

808s gets a lot of grief because it was a departure from his signature style, I however loved it as it was a risk but I think that this album led to the end of auto tune as this is in my opinion the best auto tune song of all time. That’s right all-time. Telling a tale of heartbreak, this is the soundtrack to a time that I am sure everyone can relate to.

Favorite Line:
In the night I hear 'em talk, the coldest story ever told/ Somewhere far along this road he lost his soul To a woman so heartless.

4. Roses: Late Registration

Telling the tale of the impending death of his grandmother while dealing with newfound fame and an adoring public that does not respect boundaries at all times over a sample of “Rosie” by Bill Withers you can feel the pain.

Favorite Line:
“To get there we run, we fly, we drive/Coz with my family we know where home is/ So instead of sending flowers./ We the roses...”

3. Diamonds from Sierra Leone: Late Registration

With a sample from Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds are Forever” West and composer Jon Brion concoct a instrumental strong enough to hang with the very heavy topic of blood diamonds, A refreshing bit of social consciousness from a an admittedly materialistic artist.

Favorite Line:
“Good morning, this ain't Vietnam/still People lose hands, legs, arms for real/ Little was known of Sierra Leone/And how it connect to the diamonds we own”

2. Get Em High: College Dropout

Simple math formula for the Chocolate Puma: Kanye + Talib Kweli+ Common= A happy Puma. High energy beat, dyslexic flow from Common and gems of lines from Kanye that still to this day makes me chuckle is why this is definitely one of my favorite.

Favorite Line:

“You see I'm so Chi that you thought it was bashful/But this bastard's flow will bash a skull”

1. All Falls Down: College Dropout

Starting with the lovely voice of Syleena Johnson he weaves tales of self consciousness and materialism seamlessly from a fictional woman to himself. And bonus this video featured the greatest cameo in a video ever, Stacey Dash! Ask any guy aged 16-21 when that video was released, they’ll agree.
Favorite Line:
“We shine because they hate us, floss cause they degrade us/ We trying to buy back our 40 acres
And for that paper, look how low we’ll stoop/ Even if you in a Benz, you still a nigga in a coupe”

Well there you go folks, my top ten. Let me know yours. And if you don’t like this I don’t know what to say to you.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Random Ramblings of A Gentleman of Leisure Part 3,267

It’s been too long my loving legion of fans. But don’t you worry the Chocolate Puma is here and he is ready to give you what you need, what you crave, and dare I say what you dream about. My random thoughts on an assortment of topics in which did not ask my opinion on. You’re welcome.

· The NBA finals huh? Wow. Most of America expected the Heat to roll in and steam roll the Spurs but as they have done all season and most of the decade the Spurs keep surprising us. Taking a 2-1 series lead with a beatemdown of Ike Turner proportions I think it’s safe to say we have a series on our hand.

· Man Dwayne Wade has completely fell the hell off the elite level. The once dynamic guard known as Flash because of his dynamic speed has been reduced to Batman (post Bane breaking his back of course.)

· Tim Tebow signed with the Patriots giving Skip Bayless and ESPN what they needed to bring this no talent nice guy back to the forefront of their programming.
"Reunited and it feels soooooo good!"
Not like anything else is going on in the world of sports. (Not counting the NBA Finals, Finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the emergence of Yasiel Puig, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams dominating the French Open, World Cup Qualifying, etc)

· I am so ridiculously excited for the new Kanye West album that I can barely take it. I am an unabashed mark for Yeezy so save your criticisms for they just won’t resonate with me. I feel the only thing he could do to make me dislike him or his music would be to bad mouth sweet potato pie or slap my mother.

· Dear Lebron, Bald is beautiful, I’m living proof. Signed, The Chocolate Puma .
Pretty soon you're gonna need a a bandana buddy.
· “Celebrities read mean tweets” is such a simple concept but it’s so well done. Shows why Jimmy Kimmel is probably the best late night talk show host in the game right now.

· Seriously sometime humans suck so much ass. He’s a damn 10 year old for goodness sake.

· So NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote a letter to congress defending the name of the Washington Redskins. Really dude? I mean…gah! What possible justification do you have outside of merchandising that warrants keeping a slur as the name of one of the marquee franchises of your league? Don’t be a jackass and do the right thing. Jimminy Christmas.

· Last but certainly not least I wanna respond to claims that because I am rooting against the Miami Heat I am “a hater.” Well you’re goddamn right. I hate the Miami Heat. I give them props for what they have done but does it mean I have to jump up and down and act like they are the greatest team assembled? No! I am a Chicago Bulls fan, and any team that beats my Bulls I will root against. Don’t like it? Too bad! This is to the newer Heat fans of course. Those who don’t know who Bimbo Coles is or remember the awesome hair styling of Rony Seikaly. If you can’t tell me who Brian Grant is you’re not a Heat fan. You’re a bandwagon jumper and I’ll see you with your Oklahoma City gear in 2 years.
Good night folks!

The Murder of Trayvon Martin by the Coward George Zimmerman

The trial of George Zimmerman has begun and predictably the time honored tradition of blaming the victim has begun. This time however it feels different. I have never seen the kind of character assassination done on an unarmed victim who was murdered in the street. And let’s be clear, it was murder. It was not self defense as Zimmerman has claimed, it was not an example of an everyday hero standing up for the citizens of his neighborhood, it was a guy who saw a black kid where he didn’t belong in his eyes, stalked that kid, began to lose the fight he started, and then he shot and killed him. This is the truth. This is what happened.

The Zimmerman camps’ attempts at characterizing young Trayvon as a thug and delinquent don’t change these simple truths.
Robert Zimmerman has been very outspoken yet delusional.
What do tweets, texts, facebook posts, or school suspensions have to do with what happened on the night of February 26, 2012? That night he walked to a store, bought some candy, was walking home and because of how he looked was gunned down in the street. So tweeting some Lil’ Wayne lyrics or texts about weed don’t justify murder. That’s not media bias, that’s the truth. The young man wasn’t perfect but damn sure did not deserve what happened to him.

This case is just a microcosm of what happens in society to this day. That’s the unfair assumption of guilt just by your very existence. As the Puma can tell you it’s 2013 and I always have and always will keep my head on a swivel. While I don’t live in a Jim Crow society I do live in a society where I am more likely to be assumed a criminal than the professional gentleman of leisure that I am. I have been stopped by cops for just walking in certain neighborhoods, followed by security guards in stores, and accosted by bouncers as “a wannabe thug.” Any one of these instances could have ended in the tragic case of Trayvon Martin.

I would hope all the evidence sends this coward to prison for a very long time for extinguishing the flame of this young man but history and our society doesn’t have me holding my breath. With legal excuses such as the “Stand your Ground” law there is a chance that this coward could be found not guilty and the feeling that the life of a black man is not that valuable in America will only be strengthened,