Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Congrats to Kobe Bryant: A Career-Defining Moment


Sunday, Lakers guard Kobe Bryant added yet another milestone to his illustrious list by taking over third place on the NBA's all-time scoring list by passing his idol, Michael Jordan.

First, let me say that I admire Bryant's work ethic, the way he goes about his business is unconventional; Kobe is not your average modest athlete. Kobe's confidence mixed with arrogance persona is vilified in the media, but he doesn't care and neither should you. He's the Anti-Jeter of this era (in my opinion the most modest athlete ever). But that's how he's always been, even as he made his debut at 18 years old for the Lakers.

Bryant's career has been all about the grind while enjoying tons of success as well as failures. He's had his injuries, as recent as last season which limited him to 12 games. But when coming into this season at age 35, the thought of Kobe returning to regular season form was an aforementioned thought. But proving people that he can still play at a high level is something Kobe doesn't mind doing.

This milestone defines Kobe's longevity, and he has seen a few of his contemporaries careers go south due to a lack of such (i.e. Tracy McGrady). It took Bryant 1,269 games and two major surgeries along with a slew of other injuries causing him to miss a total of 112 games over 18 seasons to overtake Jordan. Take McGrady's career, he never played a full season of basketball and as good a scorer he was, he couldn't become a member of the 40 deep 20k point club.

The milestone also defines Kobe's competitive nature. The fire within him never stopped burning and the critics who said he was done and that he should've been amnestied after his torn achilles tendon were the fuel to the inferno.

He tirelessly worked to chase the man a lot of players wouldn't dare chase. He tirelessly worked to pass the man he self-modeled his game after.


Jordan set the bar at 32,292 and Bryant feverishly worked from day one to get to 32,293.


Kobe never stopped his pursuit and I doubt he would've.



Passing former teammate Shaquille O'neal was not very noteworthy, surprisingly, given their history. Passing Wilt Chamberlain, too was done without tons of hoorah and game balls being handed out by the opposing team's owner.

But it was passing Jordan that really put Bryant's marquee career into perspective.

In a way, in Kobe's personal way, passing MJ vaulted him into first on the scoring list.


Congratulations, Kobe, you deserved it.


"Tryna get that Kobe number, one over Jordan"
                                       -Kanye West

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Untitled. . .

No greater pain than to see the look of pain on the faces of my people from the rain of gunshots from policeman who seem to reign over the law when they purposely slain my brothers and sisters all across this country; they were innocent, no matter if it was from six feet or point blank range. Damn, tell me what is the point of calling the people who'll let off their guns for fun? Not even giving us a chance to run...What is the point?....We won't stop til these gunmen are thrown in the joint...they are the real thugs and persons of interest...Until justice is served, my people won't rest....



"I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!"


-Fannie Lou Hamer, 1964

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

I never envisioned growing up in a society like this. I’m a 19 year old black male that hates to have to consciously go about my life. I have to consciously make decisions when I’m outside of my home, in society more than I should have. The corrupt society I live in is the culprit of this lifestyle. When I was a kid, life was all about playing with action figures, eating candy, playing with friends and not having a single thought about anything outside of that. That was the life, the only life I knew. Maybe it was so wonderful because I was naive. I was naive to what was going on around me. C’mon now, I was a kid without the mental capacity to critically evaluate life’s situations the way I do now, you can respect that right? This world, this country specifically has been a source of corruption since its inception.

For hundreds of years Americans have committed wrongful and heinous acts against each other, regardless of race. But as a kid, you don’t worry about those things. Besides, the history books never tell you the full story, they all glorify America and the three principles this country was said to be built on: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. For years we’ve went against those principles, for years we’ve thrown our American Constitution; our rule book, out of the window. For years we’ve neglected morality and made decisions based off of personal, immoral judgement. That isn’t the “American Way”. That’s not what I was taught as a kid. It’s no secret that Americans have filled younger generations of Americans with lies and half-truths so that the latter generation will keep the tradition going, without anyone really knowing what is real and true. It isn’t supposed to be this way. I’m not supposed to wonder if I’ll be the next to be gunned down innocently by a policeman, as over 5,000 Americans have fell victim to since 9/11, and that number is sadly rapidly increasing. Taking lives, whether innocent or not, discrimination, corruption and other acts violate those three aforementioned unalienable rights; the three things that shall not under any circumstances be taken away from us as an American, three things our government was built to protect. 

Let me go back to “regardless of race”. . .

Amid all of the happenings of police brutality that display innocent lives being taken, I’ve come to learn that though most of those events show the slaying of blacks by whites, nobody is innocent.  We kill our own people, too. Some are blind to this idea though. Sure, these cases and many more reveal our country's systematic criminalization and devaluing of black and brown lives, but again, no person is innocent.

Life should not be lived consciously afraid to make one false move nor with the thought of peer perception. Life should not be dictated by another, it should not be up to any one else whether you live or die. Liberty is freedom from control and obligation. Liberty is independence. What’s sad is that we celebrate an “Independence Day” for our country, yet personal independence of the people who inhibit this land matters little to none. Pursuing happiness is being neglected on a micro and macro scale. People give up on their personal dreams everyday, complain, and live a life of conformity. 

I never envisioned growing up in a society like this.

Friday, November 21, 2014

CBB: Ten teams to watch for



With the college basketball season here, there is a lot to be excited about. From the talented young freshman to the veteran leaders, this season is going to be a good one. With the release of the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll, 10 of the top 15 schools in the poll stood out with the amazing talent and stacked rosters they all have, check out the previews for each team below.


5 teams to keep an eye on

Wichita State
Texas
Virginia
San Diego State
Villanova

10 teams that are consider contenders for the 2015 National Championship

Kentucky

The Kentucky Wildcats surprised everyone in the NCAA tournament last season making it the Final Four and going to the National Championship. Even with their lost against UCONN in the tourney, these Wildcats are once again preseason favorites to win the SEC and take home the National Championship. With a young freshman team and an inconsistent season in 2013-2014, the Wildcats weren't expected to make it past the Sweet 16. Calipari’s team is older, tournament tested and they bring in yet another strong freshman class. With the return of probable lottery choices Andrew and Aaron Harrison and Willie Cauley-Stein, the Wildcats are the obvious favorites and open as the top ranked team in the preseason USA Coaches poll. The roles that Aaron and Andrew Harrison will have this season will be much bigger. Consistency was a major factor both twins lacked in and it cost Kentucky several games last season. Cauley-Stein on the other hand was out majority of the tourney last season with an ankle injury. Now healthy, Cauley-Stein could be coming off the bench this season but yet be expected to put up some impressive numbers. Kentucky's depth this season is beyond amazing. Dakari Johnson is slimmer and much more agile. The arrival of freshman Devin Booker gives Kentucky a rare pure shooter. Alex Poythress is considered to be UK's x-factor. He has the potential to be an impact player and his contributions could enhance the team. Although with so much depth, it could come as a bad thing. The sharing of minutes between players could cause a friction for John Calipari as he has to decide what players deserve the bulk of the minutes although he has gone on record to say that he will run 10 to 12 deep throughout the season. The Kentucky Wildcats are looking like a dangerous team in the SEC and serious Final Four contenders.

Arizona

The Arizona Wildcats were a top five team throughout most of the 2013-14 season and they did not disappoint. A winning streak of 21 games had Arizona at #1 for weeks straight until a loss to California and a foot injury suffered by forward Brandon Ashley shook up their season. Through adversity, the Wildcats managed to win the Pac-12 regular season conference title. They were poised for a strong NCAA tournament run, and they did. A loss to Wisconsin in the Elite Eight ended their season. Even though the dynamic duo of Aaron Gordon and Nick Johnson left Arizona to declare for the draft, the expectations placed upon Arizona this season are much higher than last season. Placing #2 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, the Wildcats are favorites to win the Pac-12 again this season, become the Pac-12 tournament champions and make the 2015 Final Four. The return of Brandon Ashley makes those predictions seem realistic for this team. Brandon Ashley will garner lots of attention throughout the season and will have to step into a leadership role. Senior TJ McConnell will also be an important piece to Arizona's success this season. McConnell will have to step up and take the role of the floor general. Incoming freshman Stanley Johnson will look to be an impact player, as he will have the chance to fill the go-to guy position Gordon left. Arizona is a talented team with returnees Kaleb Tarczewski and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Rumored to have the best starting five in the nation, the Arizona Wildcats will be a fun team to watch this season. 

Duke

With an embarrassing lost to Mercer in round 64 of the NCAA tourney and a lost in the conference tournament championship against Virginia in the 2013-14 season, these Blue Devils are out to redeem theirselves. Duke struggled in many areas last season that not even star player Jabari Parker could fix by himself. This season, things are changing. With the arrival of the #1 and #4 duo recruits of 2014, Duke is making up for what they lacked. Losing Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood, two of the Blue Devil’s best scorers last season to the NBA draft meant that two big positions needed to be filled. Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Grayson Allen and Justise Winslow; the incoming freshmen, are just what Duke need. Okafor, a true center, gives Duke what they lacked in the big man department. Jones, a true point guard, will either take over or back up Quinn Cook. Quinn Cook, a senior, could lose playing time due to Jones arrival. Cook will still continue to be expected to put up big numbers and show leadership on and off the court due to being named captain. Another critical factor in Duke’s success this season will be the play of forward Amile Jefferson. Jefferson showed major potential last season when it came to stepping up and playing the big man role. Also being named captain, Jefferson will have the responsibility of providing leadership to a fairly young team, one of Coach K’s youngest ever. Jefferson is the most experienced and versatile big on the roster and his minutes may depend on if he can provide consistent interior defense. The Blue Devils X-factor and potential sixth man this season will be the junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon. Sulaimon is the main perimeter threat, even though he could be splitting time with Cook, he is expected as well to put up impressive numbers off the bench. Duke struggled last season to go small or athletic when the team needed a boost or bigger help in rebounding but with an elite combination at point guard and center with Jones and Okafor, Duke will be able to grab more steals and offensive/defensive rebounds. The Blue Devils probably can score with anyone in the country but they need to be more aggressive in stopping people as well. Look for them to be around deep in March into April.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Badgers, no one looked their way last season. No one saw the Badgers as a threat and no one surely thought they were Final Four material. After an impressive deep run in the NCAA tourney last season, everyone knows to watch out for the Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin ended up losing to Kentucky in the Final Four but they held their own and played a great game. Placing #4 in the USA Coaches Poll, Wisconsin are preseason favorites to win the Big Ten and of course, make it to the Final Four again but this time, win. Their key player in the middle of this success and newfound hype? Frank Kaminsky. With a career high of 43 points against North Dakota in November 2013 and an impressive game of 28 points and 11 boards in the Elite 8 win over Arizona; he has the spotlight turned on Wisconsin. Kaminsky is not the only player that is getting ridiculous amount of attention. Sam Dekker is also going to be a key factor in Wisconsin's success this season. Dekker has made major improvements in the off-season. He is more aggressive and versatile, and could be very effective on the perimeter. The loss of Ben Brust is a big one for the Badgers. Brust set dimensions that will be difficult to replace but sophomores Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig are working to fill that void. Wisconsin has a great wing player, a great point guard, and a great center, which makes them tough competition this season. The veteran backcourt featuring Traevon Jackson and Josh Gasser give the Badgers the leadership they need. There are some pretty high expectations for this Wisconsin team, will they live up to the hype this season is the question.

Kansas

The Big 12 regular season title winners of the 2013-14 season are back to win it again and make the Final Four this time. Kansas Jayhawks lost in round 32 of the NCAA last season to Stanford. With Joel Embiid regulated to the bench due to an injury and Andrew Wiggins only putting up 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist, Kansas went home early. This season, the incoming of Cliff Alexander, the #3 recruit of 2014, and a talented Kelly Oubre gives Kansas back what they lost to the NBA Draft. Incoming freshman Cliff Alexander, a 6'9, 240 pound power forward, will be the key to KUs success this season. Kansas is known for producing and developing big guys and Alexander will have that chance to grow here. Alexander will need to be that force for Kansas in the interior defense and stop opponents from scoring. Kansas had a mediocre defense system last season, ranking 31st in the country. Returning player Perry Ellis will be on Alexander's side to help. The frontcourt of Ellis and Alexander could be a tough one to match. Ellis will have that leadership role to take on this season. Another arrival of a talented freshman that will help Kansas get where it needs to be in the Big 12 is Kelly Oubre. Oubre will not have the typical role of a freshman player. Oubre is a great defender, can finish at the rim and extend his range to the 3-point line. His game is like no other freshman of this class. Kansas could be potential season title winners again this season but they lack the experience they need compared to last season. Rounding out the top 5 in the USA Coaches poll this team still have a lot of changes to make this season. Alexander, Oubre, Ellis, Frank Mason, and Wayne Selden Jr. will all need to be better with effort in making these Kansas Jayhawks strong competitors for a spot in the Final Four.

North Carolina

The Belmont and UAB losses gave the North Carolina Tar Heels a shaky start in the beginning of the 2013-14 season. Great wins against Kentucky and Louisville gave them the hope they needed to continue the season winning against big teams. But a lost to Iowa State in the NCAA tournament last season only brought the hunger to win in these Tar Heels more aggressively. This season, The Tar Heels are back with a better team that can be compared to the 2009-10-championship team. Returnees Marcus Paige, J.P. Tokoto, Brice Johnson, and Kennedy Meeks have what it takes to take this team to the next level. Paige tweeted out to the world that he had no thoughts of leaving North Carolina and his return undoubtedly made him the one of the country’s best point guards and a serious Player of the Year candidate for the 2014-15 preseason. Paige saved UNC many of times last season with his quickness to move the ball and the ability to make shots on the perimeter. Even with Paige being a great outside shooter, perimeter shooting could be concern this season with the loss Leslie McDonald. Nate Britt will have to step up and take more shots this season along with J.P. Tokoto who could improve his game offensively this season. Tar Heels arguably have one of the best frontcourts this season with Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks. Brice Johnson has gained muscle weight, which will give him the advantage to be more dominant in the paint. Johnson could be a potential starter this season with the loss of James Michael-McAdoo, which means his minutes, will increase and his percentage of blocks and rebounds this season will be higher than last season. Meeks has loss a great amount of weight and his new body will allow him to move and get up and down the court easier. North Carolina will be expecting great contributions from the incoming freshman this year. Theo Pinson, Joel Berry and Justin Jackson will see time on the court this season. Jackson makes up what UNC lacked last season in being a great wing scorer. Berry will have the chance to play alongside Paige and they could be a dangerous duo in the backcourt. North Carolina has the talent and experience to make a great run in the ACC and in the 2015 NCAA tournament. Making the top ten in the USA Today Coaches Poll, this UNC team is back better than ever.  

Florida

They swept the SEC conference title, won the SEC conference tournament, and made a deep run in the 2013-14 NCAA tourney to make it to the Final Four, the Florida Gators were indeed the most dangerous team to face last season. The Gators finished their regular season with an impressive winning streak and record of 36-3; they became the first team in league history to go unbeaten in an 18 game season. Falling to the eventual 2014 NCAA champions UConn Huskies in the Final Four, the Gators are back this season with the mindset to be that dominant team they were last season. Making the top ten in the USA Today Coaches Poll, the Gators are strong favorites to face off for the SEC title again and make another impressive run in the 2015 NCAA tournament. By losing their senior class last season, the roles for the players on the current roster will increase tremendously. The departure of Scottie Wilbekin will be a huge one to fill. Wilbekin provided that leadership and floor general role that made Florida the aggressive team it became known as. Bigger roles for Michael Frazier II and Kasey Hill are expected this season. Hill has to be able to become the leader for his team and be better in long stretches on the court. Hill is possibly the most important player in this Florida's team success. Frazier has to expand his game and also provide leadership. Due to academic ineligibility, Chris Walker only played two minutes in the loss to UConn but even then the contributions he gave were slightly impressive and it placed high expectations on him this season. Walker will see an increase on minutes this season and he will be a huge impact for the team. Patric Young’s role will also need to be filled. Maybe the Gators will look to the aforementioned Walker to fill that void. The Florida Gators roster is mostly made up of underclassmen this season but they are still a talented team and a dominant force in the SEC.

Louisville

Being the newcomers in the ACC, these Louisville Cardinals are going to be faced with new challenges the AAC didn’t present for them last season. With matchups against the ACC's best teams such as Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, and Virginia, Louisville is looking to win the ACC in its first year and make it to the Final Four. With the return of Montrezl Harrell, his presence makes Louisville big competitors in the conference. Harrell is a solid and aggressive rebounder and has been expanding his game offensively by taking more jumpers in the offseason. Even with the loss of perimeter threats in Russ Smith and Luke Hancock, the Cards have more than enough perimeter options. Chris Jones and Terry Rozier will make up the starting backcourt this season. Jones needs to get better with the basketball and has to stay out of foul trouble. Being ranked the #1 most important shooter for his team success, Rozier will have to take on bigger roles this season and be a leader off the court for the freshman. Wayne Blackshear named one of the team captains this season will also have to take up a bigger role. Blackshear will need to assert himself more and is challenged by Coach Rick Pinito to be more aggressive on the court. This Louisville team has good veterans but is not a veteran team. With the feel that the freshman are not mentally nor physically ready for this type of upper level basketball, Pinito has 7 players he feels he can depend on. With only a 7-man rotation, Louisville could lack in some areas. That could be a problem for them and an advantage to opponents.
               
   Iowa State

This 2014-2015 Iowa State team is one of the most intriguing teams in the country this season. They ranked in the top 15 in the USA Coaches Poll but that isn't what these Cyclones are focused on. Big disappointments came last season when Iowa State came first in the Big 12 but didn’t win the conference title. Using that as motivation, Iowa State is coming with two goals in mind; win the Big 12 and make Final Four. Losing their two leading scorers in DeAndre Kane and Big 12 Player of the Year Melvin Ejim, Dustin Hogue and Georges Niang will be looked upon to take over the scoring and leadership role. Iowa State has a deeper team than it did last season. Minutes will have to be divided up upon players and players may have to take on different roles such as Bryce Dejean-Jones may end up being more of a role player than a go-to scorer. We will also see how Monte Morris will pan out in his sophomore season. Many people were caught off guard by Iowa State's bright season last season. This will definitely be a team to watch out for in the Big 12 and in the tournament come March. .

Connecticut

The 2014 National Champs. The Connecticut Huskies shocked a lot in March and took back home another championship led guard Shabazz Naiper. The feeling is all too well known to the Huskies. They won the championship in 2011 led by another point guard, Kemba Walker. Now that pressure is on starting guard Ryan Boatwright to lead his team to another Final Four and championship run. Making the top 15 in the USA Coaches Poll, Connecticut are high favorites to win the AAC this season. We’ll have to see if Ryan Boatwright is ready for the responsibility that will come with being the key leader in winning another championship. But what's a leader without his team? With the loss of Naiper, Connecticut will need to develop new perimeter threats. Freshman Daniel Hamilton has an all-around game, Sam Cassell Jr could be an outside threat, and transfer Rodney Purvis will be able to add his contributions. Boatwright, Purvis, and Hamilton will probably be UCONNs main scoring threats this season. Being the unexpected team to win it all last season, the Huskies themselves expect to win it again.          

      

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NFL: The Adrian Peterson Saga

It's Sunday, May 18th and according to a police report, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson disciplined his son after pushing another one of his sons off of a motorbike video game. What was also mentioned in the police report was that Peterson used a thin tree branch, also known as a switch to discipline the child, leaving him bruised with lacerations along his back, legs, arms and buttocks.

Disciplining a child with the use of a switch is something most should be familiar with. You don't know how many stories I've heard of my parents and even friends I've grown up with telling me about how they got beat with switches. Things like "my momma used to make me go pick my own switch off the tree and it better had not been too thin or it would've been worse". I'm pretty sure, though with respect to the child's age that he's not the only child who has been disciplined and left in a state in which he was left. Trust me, I know. Peterson's efforts to discipline his son was seen as basically blatant child abuse and then...

After going to the doctor for a routine visit, those bruises were discovered and labeled as bruises consistent with someone who has been abused.

I get it.

Peterson probably went a bit too hard on the kid, probably could've found another way to discipline his son, but this was the most effective way he could think of to do so. And like I said, trust me, it is.

So then...

It's August 21st and Peterson finds himself testifying before a grand jury in Texas due to those accusations of child abuse, which a doctor "confirmed" (hmmm, c'mon now) basically.

Less than a month later on September 4th, that jury decides not to indict Peterson.

Okay, everything is good, right? AP can go back to wreaking havoc on the field again, right?

Wrong...

Eight days later, Peterson in fact is indicted for reckless or negligent injury to a child and later deactivated for the Vikings' game versus the New England Patriots in which a fan wears his jersey carrying a switch on that Sunday.

Peterson then turns himself in and is later released on a $15,000 bond and then releases a personal statement regarding the charges brought against him on child abuse.

The day after the Patriots-Vikings game, Peterson is reinstated by the Vikings for their Week 3 matchup versus the New Orleans Saints on the basis that he was just "disciplining a child". Peterson was fully expected to suit up and play.

The same day he was reactivated, everything hit the fan. Previous child abuse allegations came out stating that Peterson had struck the child in the head while disciplining him. We later learned that it was the kid who personally hit his head.

It's September 15th and sponsors are beginning to revoke their sponsorships followed by Minnesota governor Mark Dayton stating that even though Peterson is innocent until proven guilty, his actions serve as a "public embarrassment". Dayton calls for the suspension of Peterson.

And so it was that Peterson was placed on the commissioner's permission/exempt list, just as everyone wanted.

Since then, it has been nothing short of turmoil for Peterson.

I don't agree in full with what Peterson did, but beyond the politics of the whole situation, he was technically....disciplining...his....kid.

What? Is this illegal? Yes child abuse happens, but I'll give Peterson the benefit of the doubt. I'd say the last thing he thought about was trying to "abuse" his child. He'll probably say the same, of course.

I'm sure the clear reason why action had to be taken to this past the whole legal logistics of the situation was because he's an athlete and their actions are magnified, especially by the media who in part will purposely put their own spin on things.

I'm not saying they did, but you have to admit, the media WILL blow things out of proportion, though. It's like it's another part of their job description.



Now, the proverbial hammer was dropped on Peterson as he was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season. To avoid jail time Peterson took a plea deal, pleading no-contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault.

 Though he cannot be reinstated no earlier than Spring 2015, he is looking to be reinstated as quickly as possible. He's looking to the NFLPA for assistance in all of this. The Vikings' stance on the situation was a shaky one, one of uncertainty, stating that they'll respect the league's decision and will not provide any further comments beyond those. Peterson was reportedly going to be suspended anyway, even if he was clear of all charges and that sucks. Maybe it's Roger Goodell trying to not make another "mistake" this time. Too many outside pressures would've probably forced Goodell to do what he did anyway, even if Peterson came out of the legal proceedings clean. That's how I feel Goodell moves, at least lately anyway, good ol' peer pressure right?

I hope Adrian Peterson can get back on the field the moment he's able to. The Vikings have still run the rock plenty, as if he's still in the lineup, though. But having Peterson on the field makes any team better.


New Music: J. Cole x 2014 Forest Hills Drive

So after five months of waiting, the Tar Heel State's own J. Cole is set to release his third studio album on December 9th.

The album is entitled "2014 Forest Hills Drive", after the address/home Cole says he started rapping at at age 13. Cole recently purchased the house after it foreclosed when he was 18. What comes as a shock to me which could serve as a wonderful gift to fans is that he's refusing to release a single track from the album. That heightens the suspense and increases my personal expectations.

I bought two copies of his sophomore effort "Born Sinner", and it was a pretty dope album for the most part, a couple of songs have yet to grow on me. Generally, J. Cole puts out very quality music and as I said, I expect nothing less. I think this will be one his more personal-esque efforts to date, if I had to guess.

Recently though, J. Cole announced that he'll be throwing a listening party at the aforementioned spot and tells visitors to "take your shoes off" before you walk in his crib. You can read the full statement and preorder 2014 Forest Hills Drive here.

I'll be getting a couple of copies, will you?



Also take the time out to see 2014 Forest Hills Drive from the eyes of Jermaine Cole himself right here.





Friday, November 7, 2014

Sports: No seriously, we just want to say "Thank You"

In the spirit of giving thanks as the Thanksgiving season is upon us, and while we are enjoying the turkey and stuffing, let us give thanks to those who in some way are leaving or has already left their mark on the sports world in unconventional ways.

Mo Lewis injures Drew Bledsoe, no seriously, thank you #sorrynotsorry

Blame this one on Mo Lewis. On a cool September night in 2001, less than two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, the Jets LB/DE caused a stir within the sports world. It was one devastating hit to Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe that cued the Tom Brady-era in New England. Yet, as mean as it sounds, Patriots fans (including me) can actually be thankful for Mo Lewis. Poor Drew Bledsoe suffered from internal bleeding and was later relegated to backup duty while the former 6th round pick out of Michigan came in and led the Pats to the Super Bowl while becoming one of the youngest (youngest at the time) quarterbacks to hoist the Lombardi trophy. The rest is history.



  • Bledsoe's record as Patriots starting QB: 63-60, 0 Super Bowls
  • Brady's record as Patriots starting QB: 155-45, 3 Super Bowls & he has Gisele B√ľndchen for a wife
Lakers acquire Pau Gasol from the Grizzlies, thank you Mitch Kupchak

After proclaiming to Stephen A. Smith that he'd "go play on Pluto", Kobe Bryant asked to be relieved of his duties as a LA Laker by way of a trade. Of course Bryant was never traded. When the 2007-08 season rolled around, the Lakers found themselves in trouble early. Their young center Andrew Bynum had gotten injured which forced them to play with a frontcourt combination of top-2 bust Kwame Brown, Ronnie Turiaf, Vladimir Radmanovic, and Lamar Odom. That's ridiculous. So to save his sanity, his job and more whines from Bryant, GM Mitch Kupchak acquired All-Star PF/C Pau Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies. He and Kobe later combined to bring championship numbers 15 and 16 to Tinseltown. Maybe we can thank Kupchak for this, since he did pull the strings, not to mention getting the Grizzlies to feel comfortable with Kwame Brown on their roster. I'd have to label him a genius for that one. Seriously.




Ed O'Bannon because college athletes were feeling like Bill Withers' in his hit "Use Me Up"

Impermissible benefits in the form of cash, cars, clothes and sometimes houses for family members are what some college athletes were fond of receiving. But if you're a kid coming from nothing, only making it because you can play a sport but still your family looks to you, a young teenager to help provide for them, who's really going to turn those things down? So why would it be fair that a multi-billion dollar corporation known as the NCAA think that they have the audacity to make a profit off of player names without sharing any of the profit with them. I'm sure Ed O'Bannon, former starter on UCLA's 1995 National Championship team was processing those same thoughts and many more as he filed his lawsuit against the NCAA in 2009. On August 8, 2014, the court ruled in favor of O'Bannon resulting in a settlement of 40 million dollars that will benefits players who were used in EA Sports college sports video games since 2003. 



We still thank Allen Iverson for teaching us to pick our battles wisely

You know it, you've heard it, you can probably recite the whole thing, yes, I'm talking about Allen Iverson's infamous "practice" speech. The man said he'd basically give his life on that court and yet he's criticized about practice? We're talking about practice, man. I mean, how silly is that? We're talking about practice. Allen Iverson was subliminally telling us to seriously pick and choose what we are making such a big deal over, cause there are truly bigger things to worry about, things bigger than practice, not the game. At least that's what I got from A.I., there's a life lesson in everything. 



The Cleveland Cavaliers, yes, we thank you

...Except, we don't specifically want to thank you for your efforts in bringing LeBron James back. No, no, there's an underlying reason we thank you for that signing. Remember how we used to love James vs. Anthony battles? Wade vs. James battles? Wade vs. Anthony battles? They resulted in some of the more exciting games in my lifetime any way. Well guess what, the Cleveland Cavaliers once again has allowed us to be entertained by those match-ups a few more times. I promise you, Cleveland, we're not worthy!!! But thanks anyway!





..Oh, we also thank the other Cleveland team, the Browns

Because you are saving us daily from a Johnny Manziel Sportscenter takeover. Please Brian Hoyer keep performing well. Manziel will get his shot, rightfully so, but I don't think we're ready for him to takeover ESPN for a few weeks. Not yet.


We thank you Aaron Rodgers and Chris Paul




...For continuously producing very corny but funny State Farm commercials. I don't think I'll ever get tired of the different "discount double-check" interpolations and wondering if Chris Paul really has a twin, sorry, his commercials leave room for a legit debate.

We thank Kevin Garnett because he loudly made sure to let us know that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...Really, it is. Just put your mind to it. 


We thank you Buster Douglas for proving Kevin Garnett's point, anything is possible, even knocking out Mike Tyson

The Iron Mike was someone you wish you hadn't picked a fight with. His untouchable power combined with his quick hand speed was something his opponents probably regretted knowing after stepping into the ring. Except for one guy.....James "Buster" Douglas, a very "unusual suspect". Mike Tyson had just come off of a knockout win that only took 93 seconds to do and Buster Douglas was supposed to be just another warm up until Tyson got his shot at Evander Holyfield. On February 11, 1990, Douglas shocked the world by knocking Tyson out in round 10 and holding off one of the more highly anticipated bouts (Tyson v. Holyfield) for another six years.



We all thank you Derek Jeter

...Because you're one of the greatest Yankees to ever put on those pinstripes (title for the top dawg is seriously debatable). It sucks that you retired, of course it was inevitable, though. You'll be missed. Often imitated, never duplicated. Farewell Captain. Thanks for always being a class act and always playing the game the right way. 





Enjoy Thanksgiving everyone!



Saturday, October 25, 2014

For Lack of A Better Title: Man, Just Read!

So, I'm a little early.

Two days from now will mark the fourth month of this blog!!

I know, I know, contain your excitement. It hasn't been THAT long, right? Most would even consider that a brief period. Do you consider that girl you were with for four months of your life a legitimate girlfriend? Does time even matter in a situation like that? I don't know, everyone has their own opinions.

Anyway . . .

 I'm getting away from what I came here for. I haven't been feeding this blog lately, though, at least not personally. It's been starving for content. I don't know, sometimes when it comes to saying things that you think is fit for the public eye, it becomes harder to muster up those creative thoughts. I think I've written something like this before. I have not personally putting content on the blog as much, and that's due to a very simple reason, time.



No, really, school has been taking up all of my time but yet I feel like I have so many periods of free time, yet those moments are spent doing something for school. Whenever I want to write, it's too late at night for me to put any real effort forth.

Or I may just be using that time to sleep or something else....productive of that nature.




I've really gotta stop complaining, it's all worth it, my degree will earn money, not this blog, not any real cash for that matter.

But, I love this and I love to write.

Really, how many people my age can say that they love to write? Okay, a lot, but you, whoever "you" are, you feel me, right?

Essays are a student's worst nightmare.

Okay, essays come in 2nd behind a test that you didn't study for.



But writing is something that is becoming second nature to me, I just wish I had more time to do it.

I'll leave it up to you guys. For everyone who reads this blog, thank you, you are appreciated, I just reached over 2000 views finally and while that isn't a lot, it's a big deal to me. Also for those who read, pass the link to your friends, I literally am tweeting about it every other day.

One more thing, if you're reading this, pass me some ideas in my comment box; whatever you'd like to see me elaborate on more, anything. It would be appreciated. Again, for all you readers and followers, more is coming soon.

Just wait on it! *Cues Migos*


Friday, October 17, 2014

Misc: October is the Month of Awareness

October is the month to bring out anything pink that you own in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. From professional sports leagues wearing pink wristbands and socks to homemade t-shirts of loved lost ones, everyone knows what the pink ribbon symbolizes. What goes under the radar is that the month of October is not only for Breast Cancer awareness but it is also the awareness, prevention, and history month for 17 other important issues and matters that is just as important as the fight to end Breast Cancer. Yes, that is correct, 17. From HIV/AIDS to Lupus, the month of October is a significant month for raising awareness and learning about many other diseases.

Below are a few facts for 5 very common diseases:

     Breast Cancer

o   1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
o   Most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
o   Second leading cause of death among women.
o   An estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die.
o   Estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed and more than 40,000 will die.
o   Once a month, women of all ages should preform breast self exams.

  AIDs

o   35 million people are living with HIV worldwide.
o   3.2 million children that are living with HIV contracted the virus from their mothers through pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
o   There is no cure for HIV infections but effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so people can live and enjoy healthy, productive lives.
    • Knowing your HIV status can help prevent the spread to others and early detection can help prevent health complications.   
  Brain Injuries

o   Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a blow, jolt or bump to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.
o   2.4 million people sustain a TBI in the U.S. each year, 475,000 children included.
o   52,000 people will die from TBIs
    • TBI is a contributing factor to a third (30.5%) of all injury related deaths in the U.S. 
   Down Syndrome

o   It is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. 1 in every 691 babies in the U.S. is born with Down Syndrome.
o   More than 400,000 people are living with Down Syndrome.
o   Life expectancy for people with Down Syndrome has increased dramatically- from the age of 25 in 1983 to age 60 today.

 Lupus

o   It is a chronic, complex and prevalent autoimmune disease that affects more than 1.5 million Americans.
o   Lupus is more common in women of African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent than in Caucasian women.
o   Cause of lupus is unknown; many factors can trigger the disease.
o   Lupus is the leading cause of premature cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and stroke among young women.

            Bringing awareness to these diseases and many more is very essential. It is important that we know the facts, symptoms, causes, statistics, preventions, & treatments for all of these diseases. Making a difference, being conscious of our personal health, and being advocates for the finding of cures is what awareness is all about.


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