Dope on the Table

 

 

 

Dope on the Table

 

 

That was a quote from the television show, The Wire,  defining that generally whenever a drug bust was done on the show, it was essentially a dog and pony show highlighting the fact that the police where out there protecting law and order, when in reality they were doing anything but.

Currently, that’s what this A-Rod and Biogenesis saga, is really all about, dope on the table.  Somehow MLB officials thought it prudent to highlight the Biogenesis suspensions as a way to say baseball is officially behind the “PED Era”.  Yet MLB officials ignore current problems that plague the game: numbers fatigue due to sabrmetrics, the length of the average game (check the average game time of a Yankees/Red Sox game), pace of play (again Yankees/Red Sox) and more importantly getting instant replay done correctly.

Those are actual problems with the game, things that can make baseball far more casual fan friendly.  Things that can say, “Look we’ve moved past the PED era by making our game better”. Yet as always, MLB officials are stuck in the past, appealing to old school die-hards that are dwindling in numbers by the day, yet ignoring the casual fans that might want to watch a game and instead are turned off due to some of the factors I previously mentioned.

Moreover, I find that the Biogenesis suspensions are lacking two names who are bigger than Alex Rodriguez: Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and Yankees President Randy Levine. Especially considering that 31 percent of the current Biogenesis clients are either current or former Yankees. Which also ignores those who were implicated in the Mitchell Report (no matter how fraudulent you may consider it to be).  Names like Chuck Knoblauch, admitted PED user Andy Pettite, Jason Giambi and Roger Clemens to name a few.

Which brings my point to this, if you want to attempt to clean up the game (which in itself is impossible, just ask WADA). Make it so that not only are players on notice for taking PED’s, but the front office officials are on notice for fostering a culture of PED usage by indifference.

But in the end there’s still dope on the table, it may not be A-Rod’s tarnished career nor any of the other Biogenesis guys whom are forever linked to this. It’s not GM’s like Brian Cashman, Billy Beane or John Hart who have had multiple PED users pop up on their watch.  Instead it’s Bud Selig and the MLB brass,  they’re the real dopes in this story, simply for their inability to let go of the past and move baseball into the future.

Where Ya Been?

It’s been quite a few months since I’ve updated this blog, and perhaps one or two of you might wonder where I’ve been since I last updated (or wrote anything) on this blog. I assuming that there be more than a few questions, so like intro to the Questlove book, I’m gonna do a quick (for me) Q & A with myself, answering where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing for the last 4 or 5 months. Because to be quite honest, it’s a whole hell of a lot more fun doing it this way, even if it makes me appear self absorbed (which I promise you I’m not) or worse, schizophrenic.  But I hope you enjoy simply because I planned for this to be fun in the best way possible simply because I’d hate for it to be boring.

 

So where the hell have you been actually?

 

            Let’s see, I moved out from the outskirts of Dilworth to the edge of Union County to a nice sleepy area of the suburbs called Weddington. Primarily because the apartment complex that my wife and I had lived in had decided to raise their rent to astronomical prices that it’d be absolutely ridiculous to stay there. More importantly the house we’re currently living in right now was not only unoccupied, but also rent free as the mortgage was already paid off. All my wife and I have to pay is utilities, cable and car payments (more on that later). On top of that, we share the costs with my sister in law since she decided that she didn’t want to live by herself. So it’s one big happy family.

 

So what’s the reason for your long absence?

 

Well, for those who haven’t followed my Twitter feed all that often, I was diagnosed with partial PTSD and general anxiety disorder back in August of 2012.  A lot of that has to do with my upbringing as a child and a young adult on the mean streets of East Setauket, NY (there are a few of ya’ll that will get the joke in that). After about 6 months or so of trying to do it without medication, I finally gave in an got put on Lexapro, which is a very mild antidepressant and anxiety medication.  I’ve been on since the end of February, and been adjusting to it and there’s been little to no side effects. It’s made home life easier, especially for my wife (who’s a saint, and no she didn’t tell me to write that).  But it’s come with some costs also.

 

You still haven’t really given the real reason you haven’t been writing.

 

Remember the costs I just brought up? The biggest one has been my ability to write, primarily because my writing before was just one big anxiety attack, the tone of my blogs were just overly mean-spirited and even if the subjects deserved such snark. It’s not how I was attempting to come across, and how I come across is one of those things I try to keep a vigilant watch over in every aspect of life.  More importantly, I’ve had to learn to write without the motivation of sheer anxiety or the fact that I’m competing with myself, not the rest of the people in the blogosphere. I wrote out of a sense to prove self worth by adulation of readers and the longer I’ve gone to therapy and done some more self analysis I’ve found that it’s not about that, or at least it shouldn’t be about that for me.

In fact I recently came across a Youtube of Bomani Jones answering a boatload of questions from fans/followers of Around The Horn, and the thing that struck a chord with me the most was that writers had to find their own voice. So to sum up why I’ve been gone, I’ve had to find my own writing voice, and for someone that really never took the time to know himself, much less his own writing voice, it took a while.

 

So have you found your writing voice yet?

 

No, and it may take a little while longer. But I’m finally at the point where a blank Word document doesn’t completely intimidate me anymore. I try to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes a day on my Day 1 Journaling app to get back to where I’d like to be.

So what does the future potentially hold?

I want to be better at this writing thing first, and maybe when I’m ready, hop back in the saddle for Charlotte Viewpoint or possibly the South Charlotte news (if either will have me) and possibly more in store. I’m not writing to prove to people how smart/successful/great I am anymore; I’m doing this because I want to do it.  For me that is a big step from where I was even 6 months ago, and if I can do that much growth, who knows where it may lead me in the future.

 

Let’s stop doing this internal Q&A before people really start thinking you’re schizophrenic.

I agree, hope this answers a few questions and possibly get’s you ready for what’s coming in the future, peace ya’ll.

 

White Noise

 

            Coaches Decision-DNP.

 

            Until Royce White was suspended in December, those would be the words right by his name on the box score sheet.

            For those unfamiliar with Royce White, he’s a talented yet mercurial 21-year old kid who last June was drafted 18th by the Houston Rockets. White also happens to be a kid diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, White recently revealed that he also struggles with PTSD.

            Over the past 2 months White and the Rockets have been in a very public dispute over where Royce was going to play. The Rockets generally send all of their rookies to their developmental league team The Rio Grande Vipers. This is to give rookies a diminished learning curve when they get to the NBA.

            According to White, his issues with the Rockets first started in training camp, when they were getting the details of his travel schedule down. White spoke to Slate Magazine’s Hang Up and Listen Podcast stating that his family doctor suggested that White get everything involving his playing career correct, to make sure that he was going to a safe working environment.

            In the interest of full disclosure I, like Royce White, live with PTSD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Therefore I partially understand where he’s coming from, he wants to feel safe in his work environment. White needs structure and little deviance, and if things deviate it may initiate a panic attack.

            That said, his many inconsistencies make it very hard to defend him when you start tugging at the wool of his stories. For instance looking at White’s Grantland interview with Chuck Klosterman, he states that the main issue he has with the Rockets was the fact that he wanted his own personal doctor to determine if he was mentally fit to play that night. Not an independent doctor that both the team and the White could agree on, but one of White’s choosing with absolutely no input from the team.

            The first hole in that thread would be that barring a lawsuit, NBA owners would never give allow a player (via his doctor) to dictate when and where a player decides to play.  It would have to be brought up in the next Collective Bargaining Meetings where it’d be shot down.

 My question for White would be this: why must it be your own doctor instead of an independent physician? Similar to how the NFL treats concussions. That way the chance for wrongdoing and bias are minimized to where both sides should be able to trust one another. Mainly because White does have a point, team doctors are a huge conflict of interest, and if you need any more indications of that, go take a look at the RG3/ Shanahan/ Dr. James Andrews saga that just went on in the NFL.

The other massive hole in White’s crusade of mental health advocacy is the willingness Royce has in painting everyone with mental illness with the same brush. In the Grantland article he states, “If someone tears a ligament, there is a grade for its severity. But there’s no grade with mental illness. It all has to do with the person and their environment and how they are affected by that environment.”  Which reads as White contradicting himself to make his point.

Just speaking from personal experiences, not everyone with mental illness is created equal. There are those of us who need medication to function within society on a daily basis, and that’s okay. Then there are those who don’t have to be medicated and go to therapy on a weekly basis to help get a handle on our emotions. It took two therapists over the span of 5 years to get my anxiety/emotional issues under control, but I’m not a typical case of those who are diagnosed, for that matter neither is Royce. Each case is atypical, each case is a different shade of grey.

In spite of all that, I’m rooting for him. He’d make a great mental health advocate, I just hope he learns from this whole ordeal to be a better advocate for the rest of us.

 

            

A look from the other side of immigration

According to the United States department of Immigration, in 2011 there were over 12 million illegal immigrants within the United States, 15 percent of those 12 million come from countries not in Latin America.

            23-year-old Raven Hazel is one of those 15 percent, living among the citizens of Charlotte, North Carolina.

            Hazel hails from Luanda, Angola, a city near the vast mileage of coastline on the African Continent. She is the middle child of five, having two older half-sisters from her father’s previous marriage and then having two younger with the same parents and her.

            Hazel and family stayed in Angola for a total of three years on and off. The family also spent time in cities like Portugal and Rio De Janero. Having spent time there, Hazel never got to experience much, she was often sequestered in the family apartment sometime living nearly ten stories up.

             “As a child, I was sheltered”, said Hazel. “I wasn’t ever told much and I was expected to obey, obey, obey. Being shy was not who I was, but my parents would often chastise me for being so outspoken and outgoing”

            Hazel also recalls her childhood pastime of dropping many things outside of her family’s apartment, whether it was a shoe, a watch or a tie, the thrill of watching those things drop from the window would ensure that she’d continue to do it.

            “When I did not know any better, I would enjoy my childhood”, said Hazel. “It included puppies, pools, roller skates, bikes and the occasional bit of candy. That was all before (coming to) the US.”

            Then when Hazel turned 9, she and her family made it to the United States, first settling in Massachusetts and then Miami, FL until it came time for her family to move to Charlotte, where Hazel ended up graduating from high school and eventually community college.

            “Once we got to the US, the rest of my childhood was an attempt to live as frugal as possible, constantly changing schools and as sheltered as ever”, said Hazel. “We weren’t ever allowed to play outside whenever my father was home. Sometimes, my mom would let us outside whenever he wasn’t home though”.

            It was that lack of freedom that initially created the rift between Hazel and her father, then she got old enough to pay attention to what her father was doing to her mother.

            “My father was absent for most of my childhood”, said Hazel. “It got to a point where I used to think he was a hero because of the nasty burns he got on his arm from attempting to stop a fire. But as I got older, my mom would tell me what my dad was really like. Then I began to see it.”

            Hazel began to see the constant abuse and arguing from her father towards her mother, she’d see that it was taking a toll upon her mother. The mother in turn would become distant and despondent and just hide in her bedroom.

            The status quo would be acceptable until 38 months ago. The visa that her family had used to stay in the United States was running out. Having spent more than half her life on American soil, Hazel didn’t want to go back to Angola. Seeking any way to stay on American soil, Hazel did the only thing she could think of, she got married.

            Hazel and her husband John knew each other in High school, had dated on and off for over 3 years. They weren’t together when Hazel asked him to marry her so she could stay. After mulling it over for a few days, he said yes.

            “Being married is strange, but at the same time, I think I picked the right person for it”, said Hazel. “When before I would have considered us not being around each other 24/7 a bad thing, now I value the time we spend apart. That’s because the time we spend together we actually have something to talk about.

            However, Hazel was the only one who managed to find a way to stay in the U.S. , as one sister is currently attending the University of Portugal and the other sister is in Angola with Hazel’s mother, Hazel electronically chats and Skype’s with her siblings and her parents around once a month.

            Currently, Hazel spends her days working two jobs, one as a de facto secretary for a professor for one of the local colleges, the other as an order taker for a food truck.

            “With the work study (position), my schedule is set”, said Hazel. “However the food truck schedule is a bit more haywire some weeks. I can work anywhere from one day a week there up to four (days a week).

            When Hazel isn’t working, she’s playing video games at home (her current favorite is a game called Mass Effect), reading and keeping in touch with her family since they’re all spread out all over the world. Hazel also hopes one day to get her green card so that she can eventually go back to school to study massage therapy.

            When asked about Hazel’s attempt to get a green card, she says that it’s been a struggle, primarily on the financial level. Having to scratch and save for doctor’s visits and renewing all of the paperwork required to file for a green card is arduous enough of a journey without having regrets, but Hazel only has one.

            “I truly do regret the way I left my parents,” said Hazel “But at the same time I realize that if I wanted to stay here, I’d have needed to leave abruptly and without them not knowing where to. It took a while for them to forgive me and it will take a while longer until they are truly okay with my decision. But I truly hope this was the right decision.”

 

*names were changed to protect the identity of the subject*

Penn State Sets a Dangerous Precedence Going Forward

Penn State sets a scary precedent going forward.

“So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause.” – Padme’ Skywalker 

In news that shouldn’t surprise you, Penn State University got hammered this morning, like everyone expected. It even lived up to the “unprecedented” tag that was floating around the day before.  When was the last time a school got nailed for 60 million dollars (to be paid in 5 installments at 12 million dollars a year, also to be donated to various child advocacy charities), limited to 15 scholarships a year for the next five seasons, stripped of their shares of Big Ten bowl money.

Even after all of that carnage, the Paterno family put out a statement, stating that the NCAA was wrong for rushing so quickly to judgment, that the NCAA skipped many steps to get to the ruling stage.  That rushing to this stage defamed the legacy of man who contributed so much on and off the field.  The Paterno family even went for the jugular when it was stated “This is not a fair or thoughtful action; it is a panicked response to the public’s understandable revulsion at what Sandusky did.”

Obvious familial bias aside: Is the Paterno family wrong for that assessment?

When one looks at everything that has transpired since the Freeh report was released, the NCAA took the better part of two weeks, bypassed due process, didn’t hold any meetings.  They just read the Freeh report, bullied the Penn State brass , and fired. There was no vetting of the Freeh report, no separate investigations to see if the NCAA had anything more than legal loopholes to tie to Penn State.  Instead we saw the NCAA, galvanized by peer pressure crush Penn State football for the foreseeable future.

Those who think I’m defending what the previous Penn State administration did, please understand I’m not. Covering up child molestation is beyond reprehensible, especially when it was to only protect the “purity” of Penn State football.  What I do have a problem with is the way the NCAA came to this conclusion, and the very dangerous precedent they have now set going forward.

For example, if the Ohio State incident is unearthed now instead of a few years ago, who’s to say Emmert and his posse don’t come into Columbus with guns blazing and shut the program down without any due process? What about UNC and their ongoing saga regarding potential academic fraud? And if you’re an AD down in Coral Gables right now, you cannot be comfortable with the way the Penn State decision came down.

With this decision, the NCAA has now turned one legal decision (NCAA vs Tarkanian in 1988) into a weapon where they can punish a school or even worse an athlete without due process, based off of one individual report, vetted or not.  I guess congratulations are in order, as the NCAA has turned transformed itself from a hapless Barney Fife type, patrolling Mayberry to a vicious dictator armed with nuclear launch codes.

What’s funny and sad at the same time is that the NCAA wasn’t even necessary, between Penn State blatantly violating the Cleary Act and the upcoming lawsuits from Sandusky victims; Penn State was going to lose out anyway. The Freeh report and Sandusky trial basically painted nothing but financial hurt in Penn State’s future, why was a decision from the NCAA even necessary?

Sadly that question becomes moot now, but years from now I can’t help but sit back and ask where was I when the NCAA finally took real power and then proceeded to abuse it.

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The Problem with the Mob Mentality

My Problem with the Mob Mentality

 

In case you’ve been in a cave or a coma for the past year, you might have missed that Penn State was caught in a cover-up of child molestation.  The shining example of the “Great Experiment” of creating a student first, athlete second football program, Joe Paterno was implicated in the Freeh Report as having a major role in the cover-up.

Once it was revealed that Joe Paterno had a major part to play in this scandal, it was hard not finding a reporter who wasn’t screaming for Penn State to get the Death Penalty, claiming that Penn State clearly violated the bylaws of the NCAA and exhibited a clear Lack of Institutional Control. In fact, you could claim that the reporters and fans had formed an angry mob, storming the gates of the NCAA begging for justice.

My only question: Why are reporters and fans so sure that justice for the Sandusky victims involves stripping Penn State of it’s football program if even for one season?

It’s as if the mob mentality has infected both reporters and fans to the point where they’re ignoring the unintended consequences of stripping Penn State football. Penn State Football is the moneymaker for the Penn State athletics, taking away football starves all other Penn State athletic programs that rely on that football money to trickle down to them.  The sports that would see the chopping block first: those fringe Title IX sports, sports that had nothing to do with the cover-up, lies or deception.

That’s one of the troubling things that about the mob mentality here, the reckless need for a pound of flesh makes the lives of students and student athletes disposable. In the mad rush to seek justice for one set of children, they’re leaving another set twisting in wind.

Author Robert Jordan once wrote that men mistake revenge for justice, that people generally lack the fortitude for true justice.  This bloodthirsty mentality of stripping Penn State of their football program doesn’t even come close to resembling justice, instead it reeks of a mob thirsty for blood and their need to find someone to punish.  I’m just hoping that at some point, sanity will take over and this bloodthirsty mob will take their pitchforks and go home, realizing their mistake.

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Is this the most Dangerous Man in Journalism

Dear Toure,

 

 

I’d first like to say that in some ways I admire your career, not many folks tend to find a niche in journalism without ever completing college, your career has been one where you’ve shown you’ll try anything, if only once. However, when it comes to your articles subjects and content lately, it’s seems as if you’re playing fast and loose with the topic of race in America.

Now when I first started following you on Twitter, I was intrigued seeing how you viewed things, seeing as we grew up quite similarly. There were some things issues I didn’t agree with you at all and others that I could at least understand where you were coming from. That all changed the minute you wrote the “What if Mike Vick were white” article for ESPN the Magazine.

In your article, you got lazy; you shoehorned words like swag into the article, making the streetball reference for those who are reading the article who didn’t have a clue that Michael Vick was a black male.  Then you do the most unforgivable sin possible, the crux of an already weak article, you decided to ask the question that what if Vick were white.  It’s unforgiveable because you didn’t bother to research the demographics of Hampton, Virginia, which states that most likely, even if Mike Vick were white, it’s still a great chance Vick would’ve still been born to a one-parent household, still would have been in poverty and in essence absolutely nothing would have changed but his skin tone.

The sad part to all of this is that a simple Google search would have revealed all of this to you, but instead you decided to be Slim Charles from The Wire, fighting on that lie. I even remember the uproar behind that article, as you claimed that you had nothing to do with the Photoshop of a white Michael Vick as the cover art to your article, but if we’re going to be honest with ourselves, while the picture didn’t help, it was your lack of content and contextual evidence that sunk your article. After that article, I’d have hoped that you’d stop being lazy with the racial overtones in sports articles that you’d wrote or even more stopped writing sports articles altogether, however that hiatus was broken yesterday.

In your article, you asked a question no one was asking, “Will there be another Black America’s team?”. The irony to this article is that you just wrote a book last year claiming that black people aren’t a monolith, only to write this article lamenting that the monolith doesn’t have a team to collectively root for anymore. What’s even worse is that you managed to take down Michael Wilbon, a man who managed to address the subtleties and nuances of race in sports, with you.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you’re the biggest threat to black journalism in the 21st century, simply because you play fast and loose with “blackness” as if you’re an outsider (and with the way you describe “blackness” perhaps you are).  Sometimes I wonder if you realize that the reason most mainstream publications probably hire you for freelance work is to provide the racial content that white writers wish they could write as to not appear racist. The editors could just deflect the sloppily used adjectives of race your way and say, “ Look, he’s black, he used them, blame him”.  You’ve become a loaded gun in the hands of a child when it comes to discussing race in America when it comes to sports, and like the child with the loaded gun, you’ve done more harm to the innocent bystanders and more importantly yourself.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide what you choose to write about, I just hope you choose wisely next time, stick to writing the things you know or next time do the proper research.

 

Sincerely,

A Concerned Black Man

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Steve Kerr is being reckless

Steve Kerr is being reckless and irresponsible….

Call him irresponsible

For those who haven’t read Steve Kerr’s piece of attempting to justify a 20-year-old age limit on Grantland, here you go http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7883540/steve-kerr-problems-age-limit-nba

There are multiple problems I have with Steve Kerr’s shilling for the NBA trying to force the agenda of raising the age limit when it comes to college kids. Most of these problems stem from the fact that we’re mainly helping schools make money off of the kids without compensating them for all the money that they bring into the schools. So I’m going to refute or give another perspective to each of Steve Kerr’s points in order, as to make is clear which parts of his propaganda are less or more offensive.

Initially, Kerr brings up the maturity aspect, inherently stating that because these kids are 18-19 years old that they are not mature enough to be in the NBA. My retort would be to ask if Bryce Harper is mature enough to play in the MLB, if he was mature enough to handle getting beaned, (and being the bigger man) over the weekend with that flap with Cole Hamels. My point is also this, lets not lump all 18-19 year olds in one category, let’s judge them as every 18-19 year old would like to be judged: as an individual.

Kerr also suggests that young players struggle with the NBA lifestyle, especially those with no college education. Theirs is so much wrong with that statement, because it ignores the fact that kids with college educations struggle. I could bring up the fact that Chris Singleton, an NBA rookie with 3 years of college under his belt, bought 10k worth of megamillions lottery tickets, his response was even more appalling, “It was either that or spend it at the club”, I could bring up the fact that Shamgod Wells (aka God Shamgod) went broke, trying to keep up with the Chris Webber’s and Juwan Howard’s of the league, and he only had 2nd round pick money, and oh yeah was a 4 year college player, so shouldn’t he have known better since he was so educated?

Next Kerr brings up the inane point about saving the owners money, which if you read in between the lines, is what the raising the age limit is all about, is the owners playing Scrooge McDuck with their money, so they can keep more of it in their bank accounts to swim in. So in this aspect, Kerr gives you an insight into how much money is spent on scouting and General Managers being wrong at least 50 percent of the time. In a small aside, most of these general mangers and scouts have at minimum 4 year degrees, so why is no one fretting about their inability to get scouting right??

Kerr finally gets to the most insulting part of his argument to me right in the middle of his article: player development. To anyone reading this right now, can anyone tell me someone who really develops talent at the college level outside of Roy Williams and John Calipari? Anyone? That fallacy of player development can be killed when one goes and looks over at UCLA, when you look at all the talent Ben Howland has had over his near 10 year tenure over at UCLA, can anyone really say he developed talent. The man had 11 NBA players, only reached the Final Four twice and on top of which, can we really say that ANY of those players got notably better?

Like most of Kerr’s points it all goes back to saving the NBA money, instead of the moral point of being paid to bring millions into a college.  Which brings Kerr to his next point, marketing, which if anyone has an ounce of humanity should bother people because we’re discussing letting kids get exploited for MARKETING PURPOSES. Here’s the funny thing about marketing and the tools that you can use, it’s called the internet, the next players are always talked about on the internet nowadays, we all knew about Kevin Love and his potential impact even before he stepped on campus at UCLA, we knew about Durant, Anthony Davis, and now Nerlens Noel and Shabazz Muhammad. So the marketing thing doesn’t fly anymore, especially in the digital age of social media.

Kerr brings up “a sense of team” as one of the aspects that kids develop, and while you could make a case that it’s true, I’d like to bring up the 2006 UConn men’s basketball team that couldn’t wait to get paid, or the 2011 team, who couldn’t wait to abandon ship after the NCAA dropped the one year probation hammer of them. These teams had the same guy running them, Jim Calhoun, who couldn’t manage to foster this sense of team. Instead they were out there gunning trying to impress scouts.  Also, we could bring up the fact that outside of a few GREAT teams, that sense of team is overrated especially when one considers the rocky relationship that Christian Laettner and Bobby Hurley had, some sense of team huh?

Finally, Kerr heaps on the sentimentality by stating that these kids need mentoring, which when you think about it, might be the biggest crock he mentions since the marketing point. He says that guys like Tim Duncan and Ray Allen needed the extra years in school, yet ignoring that scouts were saying that Duncan was wasting his own time since his junior year in college. Kerr again is ignoring personality types, because at the end of the day some people really aren’t built for the long haul in college, some people have families they need to take care of and most importantly, we shouldn’t be putting these kids careers in the hands of coaches who are solely about themselves, we should afford them the opportunity to at least try college for a year, if at all.

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I Went to a Golf Tournament to relax and got this column instead

So today I got the luxury of going to the Quail Hollow Country Club, home to the Wells Fargo Championship. For some background I’m not much a golf fan, I don’t play golf, don’t follow it (hell I even change the channel when SportsCenter shows non Tiger Woods golf highlights), golf only moves my needle when Tiger Woods is in contention.  So when a former professor of mine called me to gauge my interest in going with her since she had a hookup with tickets for the event (her husband works for one of the multiple sponsors involved with the tournament), my answer was simple: “Why not?”, I’d figured that I’d go, just take in the sights and just observe, because as we all know sometimes just watching people in their element can be funny. So that’s what I did, and the results were more interesting than I could ever imagine so I had to write a blog post on my experience because it was that funny and provided enlightenment that we all aren’t as different as we’d like to believe sometimes, so I just wrote out the points that just stuck out to me.

 

            Tiger Woods isn’t the only Golf Pro out here prowling these courses for women, and these women definitely know the score out here too: This point was made perfectly clear when I got on the shuttle bus to head over to Quail Hollow. One could literally pluck any female who was on that bus, and placed them in the TV show Dallas (the old one or the one currently coming out). They were dressed to impress their favorite golfer on the tour. My professor even explained that when she used to live out there in an apartment complex near the golf course, some of the pros would take a groupie of his choosing with them in their rented rides and just spend time doing what grown folks do in the abject privacy of the parking lot in that apartment complex, going at it like teenagers apparently.

When you stroll around the golf course, eventually you’ll get to the tee times for all the golfers, some of the bigger names will be left off, but those women looking for the golfer of their choice will be sitting there planning out their strategy to bag their favorite golfer like a plot out of an Mission Impossible movie. So I predict that in about 8 months or so, VH1 is going to debut a new show called Tour Wives, and I promise you it’ll probably just as scandalous if not more than Basketball Wives, these women on this golf tour are THAT crafty.

 

For being at a country club, the food choices there are HIGHLY pedestrian: I understand that one might want to save all the choice food for the golfers and the sponsors and their families (and other people who may schmooze their way in) but come on, for the general public the highlight of the food option was a Bojangles food tent, I understand that some of the folks who will read this will swear by Bojangles greasy, nasty and over seasoned food, but I’m definitely not one of those people. I don’t mean to sound like Cheap Pete from In Living Color but paying almost 10 dollars for a lukewarm turkey sandwich, is downright criminal if not outright highway robbery. However food brings me to another point…

 

If you happened to be of the slimmer build, or perhaps not in possession of a beer gut, you were in very rarefied air: In the nicest way I could possibly say it, one could see that a lot of the golf “fans” had obviously spent a lot of time sitting in front of the TV and watching their favorite golfers, and gorging themselves silly while watching. It truly was a sick microcosm of what our nation currently is, to see a lot of these dudes (and SOME women) struggle to keep moving in the heat, well was pretty sad. However at the same time, I’m not gonna sit here and lie like I didn’t have a ton of jokes (hey I’m only human).  And speaking of human my final point..

 

When are we going to take away the sanctified nature of Golf that only the causal sports fan seem to think it has?? : I came into this practice round thinking that the fan experience to this would be unlike any other that I’d most likely ever see.  Imagine my shock when I found out that the course limits cell phone usage (in this case I should consider myself lucky because at other Golf Tournaments, specifically The Masters, they ban cell phones altogether), now this wouldn’t be a problem if somehow the rest of the experience would make up for it.  Possibly, part of my disappointment comes from the fact that I expected the clientele for this event to be a little more upper class, and was shocked when I saw a lot of the same faces that one would see at the Nascar events that are happening later on in the month. Some of those same faces were probably dressed in the same manner that one would dress for a race, right down to the cut off t-shirt.

I bring this up mainly because in Charlotte, North Carolina, the city I live in, there are certain events that happen during the year which bring large amounts of people of color gets a very bad rap from the locals for bringing in what some folks would consider “undesirables”, however no one ever says anything because these so called “undesirables” bring in almost 50 million dollars annually.  I wonder if the same folks who look down upon the average CIAA attendee, would do so for those who choose to attend the Wells Fargo? I’d wager that average income would be similar for both, probably same education level, just there’d be the one major difference.

What that difference may be lies within those who choose to judge, and if that may be you, I ask you to look inside yourself to take an objective look and really ask what the difference is, the answer may surprise you.

We’re Believing THIS GUY??????

 

We're believing the guy who set the fire and LEFT midway??

If you’ve been living under the proverbial rock or you just happen not to care about the NBA in general, the Charlotte Bobcats sport the worst record in Basketball at a robust 7-57 clip. So naturally, they’re the laughingstock of the NBA and every hack sportswriter who happens to be on deadline to file something is just taking up space piling on to what admittedly is a bad situation at best.  However, whomever decided to rile up Larry Brown out of his mid day nap and ask him his opinion on the Bobcats needed to do some actual research on the situation before they decided to ask.

Just so we’re clear Larry Brown was on the Dan Patrick show this morning, virtually pissing and moaning over the fact that he hasn’t let go of not coaching in the NBA anymore, on top of which piling onto the misery that is the Charlotte Bobcats. For anyone who’s paid attention to the latter 3rd of his career, Larry Brown has been the architect of his own destruction.  Whether it was flirting with other jobs from other teams: Brown was negotiating the Knicks coaching job while he was coaching the Pistons in the NBA Finals AND the one that no one mentions, jockeying for the 76ers team president position in the offseason while he was still the coach of the Bobcats. So lets not fool ourselves into thinking that Larry Brown is the bastion of honesty here, he hasn’t been and it’s a question if he ever was.

So when Larry Brown was asked about his tenure by Dan Patrick claiming that the Bobcats owner Michael Jordan doesn’t have the people around him to tell him now, perhaps it just me, but that didn’t seem to make any sense.  Mainly because the 2008 through 2010 Charlotte Bobcats were built how Larry Brown specified, to borrow a quote from Bill Parcells, Larry Brown was cooking the meal with the groceries he bought.  Lets not forget that Jason Richardson (whom in my opinion, is still the best shooting guard the Bobcats ever had) was traded to Phoenix along with a rookie Jared Dudley for Raja Bell and the ever inconsistent Boris Diaw. Let’s also not forget that due to the fact that Larry Brown did not appreciate Emeka Okafor’s lack of passion for basketball, traded Okafor for Tyson Chandler. Brown was the same man who drafted DJ Augustin over Brook Lopez and Alexis Ajinca(who’s no longer in the league) over Serge Ibaka and Nicolas Batum. Oh, but the whining wasn’t done from Larry either, not until the Bobcats mortgaged a 1st round pick and Flip Murray for Tyrus Thomas. Mind you that while I haven’t mentioned the Steven Jackson trade, when you look at the particulars (Vladimir Radmonovich and Raja Bell) it was a steal, so that’s the ONE deal that made sense at the time.

So at the end of the day, I hope people might actually take notice that Larry Brown might not be one of the most reliable folks to talk about Michael Jordan or the Bobcats, especially when he’s the reason that the Bobcats are they way they are currently.

 

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