Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Few Lessons to The Chocolate Cub

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

In Which I Stan For Russell Westbrook

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Not So Curious Case of Colin Kaepernick

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ben...Sit your ass down!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

9 Years of Excellence!

On February 27, 2008 I posted a blog post in my newly christened blog where I called out the hypocrisy of Natalie Cole criticizing Amy Winehouse. Nine years later I’m still typing away, sometimes angrily, sometimes happily, but all the time I’m just being me. Who would have thought that a decade ago when the moniker of the Chocolate Puma was bestowed upon me by my good friend Kevin that 1. I’d still be going by that and 2. I’d have a blog by the same name for 9 of those years. It is in this spirit that I present to you the 9 of my most random thoughts at the current moment given that this was the initial goal when I started this, a place for my random thoughts. 

9.  Given the uncertain times, and just straight up fuckery in which we are constantly being inundated with, seeing the good people of Moonlight win was a moment that completely warmed my soul. And of course the petty part of me loved seeing the Oscar ripped away from La La Land which was wildly hilarious.
He had a black ass year.
8. I know many people are not a fan of the trade that sent Boogie Cousins to Sacramento but I love it. I think that this makes New Orleans a wildly attractive landing spot for free agents.
Teaming with Anthony Davis, together they are averaging a combine 58 points per game and this is only after 3 games. Give them time and Alvin Gentry could have a formidable team in the West soon. They’ll at least be wildly entertaining.

7.  I’m seeing a ton of hot takes after Casey Affleck won the Oscar for best actor. Some of the more trash takes center around Nate Parker getting snubbed come award season. Some are even going as far as to blame black feminists for the snub, and asking where the outrage over Affleck was. Look, if you’re arguing that Nate Parker should have gotten shine because Affleck did, you’re an asshole. You should want the same thing to happen to Affleck and not access to the right to be a predator. 

6. Donald Trump can’t properly tie his tie and he orders a dry aged steak well done with ketchup on it. That’s ya’ll man.

5. There are very few things on the planet earth that O hate more than shitty acoustic covers of hip-hop songs. I heard some guitar strumming moron covering Kendric Lamar's 'King Kunta.' It made me so angry I almost drove to a Guitar Center and slapped the first person I saw buying a guitar.
These songs stand on their own, you're not doing it favor by slowing it down and adding a your wailing over a slow strumming of your guitar. Leave hip-hop alone.

4. Anyone who has read me for any amount of time will tell you I am a nerd of the highest order. I long have abandoned going out in order to watch documentaries or crime shows. If there is anything I can recommend to you from the depths of my nerdy ass soul, is to get into the Star Wars Darth Vader comics and do it right damn now.
I don't even care if you don't like comic books, go buy the damn book and revel in the bad assness of one Darth Jerome Vader.

3. For the first time in recent history I wasn't asked the dumb ass question that every black person gets asked in February. "Why is there a black history month? How come there's no white history month?" A quick google search could really help you out. There are numerous months dedicated to the history of ell everyone. If you are too lazy to google then keep your dumb ass question to yourself. It's not my job to educate you.

2. Wrestling fans, do yourself a favor, look up the work that Cody Rhodes is doing particularly in New Japan and Ring of Honor. His "American Nightmare" character is just a work of art and plays on the moniker of the "American Dream" that his father Dusty Rhodes portrayed for years. If he WWE is smart, they'll beg him to come back, put him in the main event where he should have been and continue his masterful work as the American Nightmare.

And last but not least...
1. We are closing in the time when the home of the Chocolate Puma will be welcoming in the Chocolate Cub. I'm consistently racked with anxiety, fear, and excitement. Do I have any idea what I am doing now or will I then? Not at all. But my excitement and eagerness to give this kid all I got and more shall make this an amazing time. Also it doesn't hurt when your wife is smarter than you. 

Alright take it easy peeps.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

February's If You Don't Sit Your Ass Down Award!

Ah yes here we are, February is upon us and that means it's time for my "If You Don't Sit Yo Ass Down" Award. There have been no shortage of contenders for this prestigious award and I really have spent a good amount of time trying to decide who would receive the Golden Seat. It came down to two people so I'll highlight the silver medalist in this Olympics of dumbassery.

Come grab your runner up prize Mitch McConnell you turtle faced bastard.
Said the senator about his upcoming race, "Slow and steady, easy does it."
I have had quite a problem with the esteemed senator from Kentucky for quite a while. This week he decided to up his cartoonish super villain type of shenanigans when he decided to silence Elizabeth Warren. Mitch McConnell looks like he was Mason Verger's stunt double in "Hannibal."
The resemblance is uncanny.
So whether it's willfully not working to do what's best for the American people or doing his best to sound like an Emperor Palpatine reject, Ol' Mitchy here can have all of the seats.

Now on to the cherry in this shit sundae. I present to you, the person whom I wish would line right up and pick up this lovely seat so he can sit his ass firmly down....DAN FOUTS! Get your bearded ass up here so you can sit your ass down!
He can finally say he won something! 
Now I guess Mr. Fouts can share this award with the rest of the ass clowns who did not vote Terrell Owens into the Hall of Fame but since he was the most vocal to speak out he can the one who can have a seat. First off let's get this out the way, T.O. was an ass clown.
I'll admit, this was pretty fun.
That being said he was also one of the most physically dominant NFL players of his era. The Hall of Fame isn't the teammate Hall of Fame, it's based on numbers. And T.O. put up numbers. Over 1,000 receptions, 10,000 receiving yards, and 153 receiving touchdowns. He was a 6 time Pro Bowler and 5 times was All NFL First Team. HOW IS THAT NOT HALL OF FAME WORTHY?!?! According to Ol' Danny Boy:
"I think his numbers are very worthy, but again on the other side of it, I think his actions on and off the field, on the sidelines, in the locker room, and the fact he played for so many teams and was such a great player, the question that comes back to me is if he was such a great player, why did so many of those teams get rid of him? And I think we all know the answers."
What. The. Hell. Are. You. Talking. About. I'm not gonna pretend he wasn't a headache for teams, possibly why he moved around a though a ton of those moves came well after his prime. I mean we're not gonna punish Jerry Rice for ending up on the Seahawks practice squad are we? Also, what off the field actions? For all his on the field antics which mainly consisted of celebrating a touchdown, he has never so much as gotten a speeding ticket off the field. In fact he is one of the guys that should be propped up for seemingly being a decent human off the field. I'd rather have a headache in the locker room than a perfect teammate like say, oh I don't know Darren Sharper.

So stop with this fake moral policing and be honest with us Dan. Just say you don't like the man because you don't hear a single word when some crooked owner is up for induction. So for all your mental gymnastics and making yourself the face of irrational logic I present you with this Danny.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What President Obama Meant To The Puma

As I sit to write this we are in the waning days of the Obama presidency I am sure there will be many think pieces on how he was an unmitigated failure or how he was the greatest president of all time. 

The first ever ball is life president
I’ll leave those to people much smarter than I to hash out. What I would like to do however is say what the man meant to me, so if you’re gonna read this and comment on how he is a socialist or a Kenyan Muslim who is intent on killing our grandparents this is where you get off. 

I first heard the man when I was in high school. He came and spoke and I was just in awe with how calm and relaxed he was, he was unlike any other speaker we had before. At the time he was a state senator and I thought to myself “wow, maybe this guy can be mayor one day.” Even that seemed like a long shot. I’d see him around Hyde Park, give a head nod and he’d return it in kind. I’ll be able to tell my kid I shared the universal sign of respect between two black men with the man who would be president. 

Fast forward a few years and he was running for US Senate. I was at North Park University when a debate between him and Alan Keyes took place. I skipped Journalism that night (Sorry Dave) and tried to get in. While unsuccessful I did get to see Alan Keyes as he left, I extended my hand to shake his, he walked right by. A few minutes later Obama strolled out, I extended my hand and lo and behold he hit a brother with the intricate dap and pull in.  The homie Barry hadn’t gotten too Hollywood on us.

After a rousing speech at the Democratic Convention and winning a seat in the US Senate there were murmurs that he could be a great candidate for President. I laughed. Then I thought what if he won? Nah it would never work I remember thinking. I have never been so happy to be wrong.
I remember sitting in Grant Park that night with my friends Julia, Kelly and Cooper anxiously awaiting the results.
Moments before the tears started flowing.
As it became more and more evident that he was about to become the 44th President of the United States, anger inside me grew. I was mad at him for having his speech outside. I sat there so scared that I was going to watch some psycho take away this representation of hope and joy. It’s a fear that I still have to this day if we’re being quite honest. I was so angry and scared, but he was and remains to this day so hopefully optimistic. It’s a trait I wish I had. 

Whether you like the man or not, I think we can all agree that he put up with more than any other president has before him. He had his wife called names and likened to animals, people who I’m not sure can read past a 3rd grade level asking to see his college transcripts, his beautiful daughters called everything but their names, even questioning if he was a true citizen of this country. He could have said “kiss my ass” as I would have done but he handled it with style and grace.
He worked with a congress that before he uttered a single word as commander in chief publicly made it known that their sole mission was to make him a one term president. He dealt with more threats against his life than anyone else and through it all he has kept his optimism and faith in the American people.

I remember as a young kid, I must have been 8 or so, I said in class that I wanted to be president. A kid turned around, looked at me and said “black people can’t be president.” After Barack Obama my kid will know that nothing, not even the presidency is unattainable.
You can be a guy with a funny name, who loves hip-hop, and is an unabashed basketball fanatic and you can be president. That representation matters.

While I can’t speak for every black person or tell them how they should feel I for one am happy to have had him as a president.And for one last time let us all lock arms, and swag surf to the old negro spiritual one last time.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

January's If You Don't Sit Yo Ass Down Award!

Ah welcome back my loyal tens of readers; it’s a new year and the same ridiculous Puma here. I’d like to say that as I’ve grown older I am more measured and more mature. I’d like to say that. The truth is I am as petty as I have ever been. In fact I’d say as I grow older my super power has been my pettiness. It’s in this spirit that I present to you the first person to receive what will be a monthly installment I hope. I present to you January’s recipient of the “If You Don’t Sit Your Ass Down Award.”

This month’s recipient is a man that needs a bit of an introduction because frankly before this incident no one remembered or had heard of him. Bo Bice…Get yo ass up here so you can sit your ass down! 
If you don't get the...
If you are unaware why he may be receiving this prestigious award, I’ll bring you up to speed. Mr. Bice went to a Popeye’s, ordered food and was insulted and shall I say massively disrespected by the slur “white boy.” Wait… what? Hold on a second. 

Ok so let me get this straight, this wing ding is on tv literally crying because a Popeye's cashier said the horribly offensive line “He’s already got his — that white boy there.” He further went on to say: "If the tables had been turned and I used something as insensitive like that… I would be boycotted, there would be people not buying my albums." Hate to break the news to you champ but they weren't buying your albums anyway. Is this guy serious? Let me tell you I've been to that airport and he got off lucky if that's all he was called. 

Jokes aside, so you got your feelings hurt because she said you were a white boy? Bo, buddy, pal, being called white isn't a slur, or was it the boy part, the point is calm your crying ass down. At work I got called a nigger. This wasn't some long time ago, this was September. Hell last week I had another person ask me to teach them how to speak in ebonics. While not many come right out with the "n" bomb, little microagressions like the ebonics line are a daily occurrence. And guess what sport, I'm not special in this regard. I can't even tell you what a minority woman goes through as they get hit with the daily double of racism and sexism.

“Look through the comments of hate and ignorance that have been pouring in and tell me there isn’t a problem with race relations going on in our society, folks.”
You make a good point Bo, there is a problem with relations in this country, unfortunately for you this ain't it. I hope you cry just as hard when studies show black men with college degrees have the same chances for hire that fresh out of prison white men  or when banks use discriminatory lending practices that harm minorities. If you don't then by all means feel free to use this: