It is hard to root for the Red, White & Blue

I’m a golfer. I like and follow professional golf. I’d like to think the average professional golfer isn’t a pampered, spoiled horse’s ass. Then something happens to make me realize otherwise.

The President’s Cup, a set of matches pitting a team of American golfers against their international counterparts, begins Thursday. The players have been practicing this week at the course hosting the event, where the following brouhaha occurred:

Presidents Cup captains Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player engaged in an animated
exchange over players signing autographs during practice rounds at the
Presidents Cup on Tuesday.
Nicklaus, who is captaining the U.S. team for a
third time, confronted Player on the driving range and accused the International
team captain of breaking an agreement to not allow players to sign autographs on
the golf course.

World No. 2 Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen and the
International team in general were seen signing autographs throughout the day as
they practiced at the Robert Trent Golf Course. Later, some U.S. team members
also signed for fans.

After talking with Player, Nicklaus told fans
around the driving range -- as he was signing autographs -- that some of his
players thought the Internationals where making them look "like jerks," said

The European team drove the U.S. to distraction at
last year's Ryder Cup in Oakland Hills near Detroit, signing autographs and
mingling with American fans as part of a major charm offensive designed to help
diffuse some of the hostility they might face during the event.
The plan
worked as the Europeans received a mostly warm welcome from the pro-American
crowd as they rolled to record-breaking 18½-9½ victory.

Let me put this in another way. The American team basically said to the International team ‘Look, we have no urge to be cordial to the people that help pay our salary by signing a few autographs, but we don’t want to be called out as the jerks that we really are. Could you not sign autographs either so we can pull off the scam that we can’t possibly tear ourselves away from practicing for a second? Thanks a bunch’. The International team agreed, waited for the American team to leave, called them a bunch of wankers/blokes/chumps/hosers and ignored the request. And since the America side is not just pampered and spoiled, but thin skinned, they couldn’t for a moment be seen as the bad guys and out came the Sharpies.

Mr. Nicklaus, if the International team has no problem signing autographs during a practice session and the American team does, the Americans don’t look like jerks, they are jerks. Also, Mr. Nicklaus, if the American team can't learn their lesson when competitors used the nefarious autograph signing gambit just last year, not only are they jerks, but they are dumb jerks.


A letter to Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele

This is the text of a letter I wrote to Michael Steele, the African-American Lieutenant Governor of Maryland regarding the late action of the federal government in helping victims of Hurricane Katrinia, specifically the ones in New Orleans

Lt. Governor Steele:

My name is Anthony Nurse and I am a resident of Montgomery County. I moved to this state in 2001, so I am not intimately familiar with Maryland politics in general or you in particular. I do know three things about you though; you are the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, you are rumored to be running for U.S. Senate in 2006, and you are black.

I’m sure you, along with the rest of the country, have watched in horror the devastation Hurricane Katrina caused in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in New Orleans. I have been absolutely stunned by the late response from the federal government to help people stranded in the city without food, power or water. I’ve seen what this country can do for people in need both in and outside this country during times of natural disasters, and it wasn’t done in this case in a timely matter. The only difference in this case is the majority of the affected are black, like you and I.

Outside of rank incompetence, I can’t think of any other reason the federal government would be so lax in helping people, except that the pain of black people doesn’t mean much to them. The federal government which is currently controlled by your party.

I want to be wrong. I don’t want to be so cynical about the current leadership of this country that I believe latent racism would cause a delay in getting help out, but I don’t see any other reason. I don’t want to believe a man like yourself, who must have a level of intelligence and personal success to be chosen for such a significant post would willingly throw his lot with a group who thinks less of people that look like you and I. That is why I have written this letter to you. I want you to convince me otherwise.

If there is another reason for the failings of the federal government, I need to know. If there isn’t; if the rank and file members of the Republican party can’t be bothered to help black people, like you and I, in a time of desperate need, I can’t be bothered to vote for any members of the Republican party. Including ones who run for Maryland senate seats.


For the second post in a row, I’m talking about a fired radio host.

Michael Graham, who hosted a midday political talk show on WMAL-AM in Washington D.C., was let go this week. A couple of weeks ago, he called Islam a ‘terrorist organization’. He was suspended, and when he did not agree to apologize on air for his remarks, he was let go.

While I agree that comments were wrong headed, that is not what brought me to post. Instead, these comments made by Graham after the firing got me going:

As a fan of talk radio, I find it absolutely outrageous that pressure from a
special interest group like CAIR can result in the abandonment of free speech
and open discourse on a talk radio show (emphasis mine)

Ah, the old ‘free speech’ crutch. Used my many broadcasters when their comments get them in trouble. I looked up the text of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of
the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
Government for a redress of grievances.
No where in that text does it say a member of the media has to keep their job when they say something that offends people.

The First Amendment protects Graham’s ability to say Islam is a terrorist organization without being arrested. He could stand in front of the Capital building in D.C. and sing it to the tune of ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’ and not get sanctioned by the government.

Graham didn’t get fired because he broke the law, or because the Federal Communications Commission was breathing down WMAL’s neck. He got fired because WMAL decided Graham was bad for business. He got fired because the Council on American-Islam Relations, ‘special interest group’, was threatening to go after WMAL’s advertisers, i.e. cut off WMAL’s money. And since WMAL is a business, it took steps to protect the money. And if a midday radio host has to get the boot to protect that cash, so be it.

Here is a tip for Mr. Graham, Larry Krueger, and the next media member to wrap him or herself in the Constitution when they say something stupid and pay a price; when someone is paying you to say something, the speech isn’t free.


LeBron doesn't listen to Chris Rock

From ESPN.com:
Coca-Cola will test LeBron James' crossover appeal when the company puts the Cleveland Cavaliers guard on Bobby Labonte's hood this Saturday night.

A comic book character resembling the 20-year-old NBA marketing icon will
be plastered on the hood of the No. 18 car for the Sharpie 500 at the Bristol
Motor Speedway to promote POWERade's new James-inspired flavor, SourMelon.


Coca-Cola will be flying in James to see his first live NASCAR race.

"I really like the look of the race car," James said in a statement. "But I'm thinking we need to add some new rims."

We will never get ahead as a people.


Oh yeah, I have a blog

Some sports related articles have caught my eye recently:

KNBR, the flagship radio station for the San Francisco Giants, fired talk show host Larry Krueger. While station management gave other reasons for the firing, Krueger was a center of controversy for stating the Giants had too many "brain-dead Caribbean hitters hacking at slop nightly," during his post-game show. Giants’ manager Felipe Alou, among other Latin players in and out of the Giants’ organization, was publicly upset about the remarks.
Fellow KNBR host and San Francisco sportscaster Gary Radnich thought the firing was unwarranted and said the following;

"Felipe Alou got rolling, got a head of steam up, and in this politically
correct world, you don't get a second chance any more,"

Excuse me as I whip out the smallest violin and play a tune.

First of all, if you are a broadcaster and you are stupid enough to insult a whole group of people, you get what you deserve. Why should Latin people in the Bay area listen to KNBR if they are going to get insulted during a post game show?

Second, Alou did nothing wrong. Blaming him, however subtly, for Krueger’s firing is like blaming a mugging victim for reporting the offense to the police. Tiger Woods caught similar flack for not throwing a life preserver to Fuzzy Zoeller after he made the chicken & collard greens crack at the Masters in 1997. It is not the job of the insulted to bail out the insulter. If it is in the heart of the insulted to do so, like Yao Ming did with Shaquille O’Neal’s "Tell Yao Ming, 'ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh." comments in 2003, so be it. If not, tough luck.

Filip Bondy, columnist for the New York Daily News, takes the PGA Tour to task for the lack of diversity of players in the upcoming PGA Championship;

“Don't let the skin color of Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh fool you, over the
next four days of bleached television coverage. The top levels of this sport are
not getting any darker, any more diverse, any more accessible to minorities in
this country. Woods stands alone, in more ways than one.

As of early this week, there were 156 tentative entrants in the PGA
Championship, and 90 of them were from the U.S. Of those 90, there was one
Asian-American, one Hispanic-American and one Asian-African-American, who
happens to be the greatest player in the world. The rest were white guys. The 24
club pros who qualified for this championship were all white again, which tells
you that the mid-level pipeline is not pumping out diversity.

We are still seeing too many pros who had enough money to hire the
right coaches, or to grow up around a golf course when they were young. Woods'
success has not enabled or energized the black population to take up irons in

Okay, now what?

Is the PGA Tour doing anything to keep people of color away from the links? No. I believe PGA Tour officials would jump up and down in glee if they had more golfers of color on their tour. I watch a lot of golf (much to my wife’s chagrin), and I see a number of The First Tee promotional messages, bringing golf to places where it wasn’t played before (read: the ‘hood).
Is golf in general doing anything to keep people of color away from the greens? No. If you think golf coaches wouldn’t like to get their hands on the athletes that are currently playing basketball, football and baseball, regardless of color, you are crazy. If an Al Queda follower could hit a 300 drive straight down the fairway, he would get a college scholarship faster that you could say As sala'amu alaikum.

There are few to no golfers of color at the highest levels of the sport because golf is expensive (as I unfortunately know, it would be cheaper and less addictive if I took crack cocaine up as a hobby) and because golf has only become cool in the last decade, corresponding with Tiger’s accession to the top of the golf world. The kids who Bondy describes growing up with a club in their hands are in their teens now; too young to challenge Fred Funk and Sergio Garcia.

By the way, if you want to see the first waves of Tiger Woods’ effect on high level golf in America, look at the LPGA. The teenagers threatening to take over the women’s tour (Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel) were in grade school when Tiger won the Masters. While 17 year old boys can’t contend on the PGA, 17 year old girls have been able to place well in LPGA tournaments.

I don’t see any solutions from Bondy on how to get more color on the PGA Tour. I’m not one to buy into the ‘patiently wait, your time will come’ idea of getting what you want, but in this case, patience will reap rewards.


From the rumors section of AllHipHop.com:
Mary J. Blige once had a classic album called No More Drama but, from what
I hear, she can still bring it. Apparently, Mary is fast at work on her next
album and was dealing with a younger R&B starlet. Something happened in the
studio and I heard that Mary issued a smack down. I don’t know who the younger
singer was, but if I find out, I’ll let you know.

Is it so wrong for me to hope this is Ashanti?


Comcast reeks

The Mrs. and I have moved into our new house. All in all, the move was easy enough; the moving company didn’t break anything, most of the essential equipment has been unpacked, two of the four rooms we plan to paint have been, and I have only spent 6 million dollars at Home Depot.

Oh yeah. I told Comcast to jump into a lake.

Allow me to backtrack a bit. Since I moved to Maryland, where Comcast is the local cable company, I’ve found the customer service of the company to be lousy. Like the time Comcast switched internet service provider companies and I had to go into a local office to find out the cable modem I had wasn’t compatible with the new service after over two weeks of waiting, information their technical support office couldn’t provide me. So I was understandably wary while setting up the service in the new place.

I called June 18th to make an appointment for the service to be turned on. The earliest day they had available was Monday, June 27th; between the hours of 10am and 2pm. No problem, the appointment was made. The fateful day arrives; no Comcast technician. I called back, where Carlene, the “customer service” representative, told me I made the appointment for Wednesday, June 29th. This is impossible as I knew at the time I made the appointment I wouldn’t be in town that day. I then asked when the next available appointment could be made and was told July 18th. No way. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was put on hold. After a few minutes, Carlene informed me the supervisor, Jasmine, was working with another customer and would be a while. I gave Carlene my number and asked for a callback. This was at approximately 2:30pm.

At 4:40pm, I had yet to receive a callback. I called again, this time getting Greg in the technical service department. He attempted to reach Jasmine, only to find she had left for the day. Having enough, I told Greg if a technician couldn’t be sent that day to set up service, I would take my business elsewhere. No one showed up and I quickly called Verizon for DSL service.

When I came home Wednesday the 29th, there were two calls on my answering machine from Comcast technicians, to confirm I’d be home. This is after telling their customer service department I wouldn’t be home that day. I chalked it up to normal Comcast customer service, and erased the messages. Ironically, I also received a bill from Comcast for July internet service. I called to ensure the account was cancelled and destroyed that bill.

Thursday June 30th, sometime in the 6pm hour, a car drives up to our home. A man in a Comcast polo shirt tells me he is there to turn on my internet access. I don’t know if I am more stunned he would show up unannounced, angry that he was there at all, or happy that I would be able to tell him about his company’s woeful customer service. After explaining to him (in front of the house; I wasn’t letting him in) that I cancelled our account with Comcast because of current and past mistakes and signed up for DSL, he asked me to give his company one more chance, that this would be the beginning of a new Comcast.

Right. A new focus on customer service since Monday.

I asked him about the lack of call back from the customer service center. He apologized for that and said it wouldn’t happen again. I told him I didn’t trust his company. I asked what would happen to Jasmine, the supervisor that didn’t return my call. He said this incident would be put in her file. I replied ‘in other words, nothing.’

Finally, I told him the DSL service wasn’t scheduled to begin until Wednesday, July 6th. If somehow, Comcast could impress me that they were truly changing their ways (and some sort of financial remuneration for the annoyance), I’d consider coming back. He said I would be hearing from him the next day.

I didn’t hear from him. I did hear from Verizon, informing me the phone lines were now ready for DSL service. And that is how I am able to post this message.


Blackpot's Music Review

I've been gone for a while, I know. Preparing to move into a new house will suck all your time and energy.

Da Goodness

Hate It Or Love It/The Game feat. 50 Cent – Somehow, they made a song that is uplifting and gangsta and pop at the same time. Game and 50 had a falling out, forcing Aftermath to recycle the beat for MVP/The Game & Mary J. Blige. Still hot, though.

We Belong Together/Mariah Carey – EXACTLY the type of song Mariah should be singing 26 hours a day. America has spoken Mariah; they don’t think you and hip-hop are a good look together.

Wait (rmx)/Ying Yang Twins frat. Free, Busta Rhymes, Jackie O – This is hard for me, because I HATE Ying Yang and all that they stand for. Plus, when Wait first came out, I thought theysaw Chris Rock’s latest comedy special, heard the joke about women dancing to songs with misogynistic lyrics (‘slap her with a dick; slap her with a dick’), and figured they could do better. But damn if the song isn’t catchy, and the remix may be the best raunchy song since Dreams by Lil’ Kim. Get the version with Jackie O, she has rhymes on it that are enough to peel paint off the walls.

Gillahouse/Redman – Almost anything Red does musically is fine with me (don’t ask me about his ‘acting’ career), and it has been too long between projects.

Straight Garbage
Baby Mama/Fantasia – A good idea from a marketing standpoint. Fantasia is a kuntry as pigs feet on sale and someone has to sing for the ghetto girl who thinks Mary J. Blige got too bourgeois. Monica can’t do it all. Too bad the actual song is ass.

So Icy/Guccy Mane – I fully admit my East Coast hip-hop bias. It took me a while to warm up to any Dirty South music. This isn’t getting it. Lame topic, lame rhyming skills. Actually, I don’t really know the lyrics because I always turn the station the minute I hear it.

Gimme That/Webbie Featuring Bun B – The other song on my ‘gets immediately turned away from’ list.

Destiny Fulfilled album/Destiny’s Child – From the jump, it sounded like a contractually obligated album, hurriedly written and recorded between (bad) acting roles for Beyonce, trips to the bridal salon for Kelly, and whatever the hell Michelle does while she waits for the next tour. They have announced this is the last album, and I could not be happier.


If you thought The Honeymooners remake was bad

My wife regularly teases me that someone will remake Caddyshack with an all black cast. Out of boredom (and an attempt to own my fear), I will now try to cast the main characters in the movie, titled (of course) 'Tha Shack'

Ted Knight/Judge Elihu Smails - Phil Morris
The go to beaugois black guy, last seen as the foil to Wanda Sykes in her short lived sitcom.

Chevy Chase/Ty Webb - Damon Wayans
Samuel L. Jackson should own this role, but he wouldn't take it, considering the movie would be packed with athlete and rapper cameos. Now that My Wife & Kids is cancelled, Damon has some time on his hands. He would have to play it straight though; I still don't forgive him for ruining Bamboozled.

Michael O'Keefe/Danny Noonan - Nick Cannon
I think he is still young looking enough to play a teenager. And as Dave Chappelle's son knows, he's hilarious.

Rodney Dangerfield/Al Czervik - Busta Rhymes
Unlike, for example, L. L. Cool J, who is equal parts actor and rapper, Busta is a rapper first. He can act a little though; his performance in Finding Forrester was credible. He could easily play the over the top blinged out rapper who joins the club, annoying the more conservative members.

Bill Murray/Carl Spackler - Mike Epps
Another role that should go to someone else (Dave Chappelle could just reprise his role in Undercover Brother and clean up, but I would be too afraid he would leave halfway through filming to get his head right in Somalia). Since Mike is contractually obligated to appear in every black ensemble cast, I'll put him here.

Of course, there would be scenes that would make me squirm in my seat:
  • The Escalade golf cart with spinning rims
  • The video hoochie selling Kool-Aid, shots of Hennessey and White Owl cigars out of the beverage cart. Or worse, Moniqué manning the beverage cart
  • Everyone showing up to the movie ending golf battle wearing red shirts and black pants, like Tiger Woods

When it movie comes out, I’ll cry. The only way it could be worse is if the announcer says ‘From the producers of Soul Plane’ during the commercial.



He had to go all the way to South Africa to get his mind right?
Comedy Central star Dave Chappelle has checked himself into a mental health
facility in South Africa, the magazine Entertainment Weekly reported on
Chappelle flew from Newark, N.J., to South Africa on April 28 for
treatment, said the magazine, quoting a source close to the show it would not
identify. Entertainment Weekly said it had corroborating sources for its

Viacom might as well release the season 2 DVD now. The discs may warp if they are waiting to coincide the release with the start of season 3.


The Jennifer Wilbanks package

Courtesy of the New York Post:

Bolting bride Jennifer Wilbanks was chaste away — by her fiancé's insistence on abstinence, friends of the sex-deprived couple claim.

"She told people the fact that she and [husband-to-be John Mason] were not
having sex was upsetting," a friend of Wilbanks' told People magazine, which
hits newsstands today.

Mason was once a "wild" guy who "dated a lot," his running pal Ted King
But he became a born-again virgin — eschewing premarital sex — five
years ago after pledging himself to his Baptist faith, friends said.

"He's been saving himself for the right woman," Mason's friend Andy
Parsons told the magazine.
And friends say that likely drove the marathon
enthusiast to run — from the altar.
In Wilbanks' hometown of Gainsville,
girlfriends told The Post the 32-year-old woman had once enjoyed a very active
social life — regularly dating men from a local gym as well as firemen.

Some travel agency should come up with the runaway bride package. It would include roundtrip bus tickets from anywhere in the continental U.S. to Las Vegas, three night’s lodging and access to a nightclub in one of the casinos hotels. For women with self esteem issues, escort services can be provided for an extra fee.


I'm Late, Biatch!

Well, damn.
In a surprise announcement Wednesday, Comedy Central said that the highly
anticipated third season of Dave
's show will not make its May 31 premiere date.
a d v e r t i s
e m e n t

"Comedy Central has suspended production on the third season
of Chappelle's Show until further notice," network spokesman Tony Fox said in a
brief statement. "All parties are optimistic that production will resume in the
near future."

No official reason was given for the shutdown, but sources told E! News
that Chappelle has been MIA from the set for weeks. There was no indication on
how long the suspension would last.

He must be able to afford the really good weed now.


Cold feet gone too far

Ga. Woman Found, Reportedly Got Cold Feet

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A Georgia bride-to-be who vanished just days before her
wedding turned up in New Mexico and fabricated a tale of abduction before
admitting Saturday that she got cold feet and "needed some time alone," police

I'm mostly surprised a black man wasn't blamed for the abduction, setting off a manhunt that would have thousands of black men in Goergia face down on the side of a highway.


Whitlock vs. Blackpot

Jason Whitlock, a columnist for the Kansas City Star and ESPN2, has written a well thought out article regarding his approval for the proposed 20 year age limit for incoming NBA players and his disapproval of Jermaine O’Neal saying the choice is about racism.

Once I totally disagree with.

Fans don't enjoy the game the way they used to, and they're becoming more and
more hostile toward the players. O'Neal has a $100-million contract. In his
mind he's a huge star. He has no clue how much more of a star he would be had he
spent two or three years in college being hyped up by Dick Vitale, Billy Packer,
Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and Clark Kellogg. O'Neal spent his college years
sitting on the Portland bench, collecting a fat check. That was good for
Jermaine O'Neal. It was not good for the NBA.

There are two problems with this attitude. First, there are bigger reasons American fans aren’t as in love with the NBA than high school players going right to the NBA. For example, as much as I love the New York Knicks, the thuggish style of play they perfected (the ‘Bad Boy’ era Detroit Piston were the originators) under Pat Riley has made the game Wanda from Living Colour ugly, making breaking the 80 point mark cause for celebration.

More importantly, you have drank Billy Packer’s Kool-Aid if you believe the best place a young man can improve his basketball skills is on campus. If the NBA had a real minor league, instead of the loosely affliated CBAs and NDBLs, Jermaine O’Neal would have been playing 30 minutes for a team in Tacoma. Not only would he be improving his basetball skills, ithe carrot of getting called up to the show would help keep his head from getting to big before he accomplishes anything.

David Stern's job is to do what's good for the league. He can't react when the
league bottoms out. He'd lose his job. Stern must improve the NBA now and get on
top of any image problems that might damage the future financial health of the

The last three image nightmares for the NBA were the brawl in Detroit (started by Ron Artest, who went to St. Johns for three years), Kobe Bryant’s rape charges (no college) and Latrell Sprewell (who attended the University of Alabama for four years) choking his coach. Two of the three protagonists were college guys.

But let’s call a spade a spade when you speak of the NBA image problem, if you will excuse the choice of language. The problem is young black men with f**k you money. Thanks to the success of the NBA during the Magic/Bird/Jordan/Stern era (and yes, Stern is as responsible for the current success of the NBA as any of the players mentioned), players don’t have to be squeaky clean to acquire endorsement money. Their salaries are large enough so that they can be tattooed and smoked up if they choose to. You don’t have to be Grant Hill or Shane Battier to make ridiculous cash. You can be Allen Iverson, and if your skills are exemplary, you will get paid.

Not only are players more fundamentally sound after spending a few years in
college, they are far more marketable after going through the NCAA hype machine.

The reason European players are more fundamentally sound than their American counterparts when they begin their respective NBA careers is because the European players have been professionals since their teens before getting to the NBA. The same opportunity Whitlock wants American players not to have.

So, yes, David Stern and NBA owners have a vested interest in the success of
college basketball. There's nothing wrong with that.

Of course there is something wrong with that. College basketball is much more powerful that it should be due to it’s de facto minor league status. As much as I enjoy(ed) watching college basketball, it shouldn’t be the only place an athlete can apply his skills to better himslef.

It's not uncommon for the prep-turned-pro to sit on the bench for three years
maturing mentally and physically. He can't help. He's stealing the roster spot
and paycheck of a veteran who might be able to help a team win. Given the makeup
of the NBA, that veteran player is more than likely going to be the same color
as Jermaine O'Neal.

I fully agree with that. Said prep-turned-pro should be playing for the team’s affliated minor league program.

is O'Neal right that it's hypocritical for the public to be outraged by
high school basketball players' turning pro when baseball players have done it
for years?

Yes, O'Neal is right. The public outcry is hypocritical, and perhaps
driven by a bigoted double-standard.

Perhaps? High schoolers are encouraged to start their professional careers in baseball, tennis, soccer and hockey, just to name a few sports. Jennifer Capriati’s parents should be in prison for child abuse for what they did to their daughter, but America is more ‘worried’ about an 18 year old black boy than a 14 year of white girl.

Making business decisions based on the hypocracy and bigoted double standards of a populace empowers the hypocracy and double standards.


Not dead yet

Yesterday for me was chock full of action. My wife and I went to a funeral for a member of her family in the morning. Later in the day, we submitted a bid for a new home. Those two things are don’t seem to have anything to do with each other, but they do.

During the reception after the funeral, family and friends made comments about the deceased’s life and what he meant to them. I started welling up during the more emotional speeches, and I couldn’t understand why. Later I realized, listening to family and friends tearfully speak about their passed loved one, I am afraid of dying. Not as much out of fear of death, but more out of fear of breaking the hearts of loved ones by dying.

If I died while I was single, while I assume my family would be upset, no one would be without a provider or a parent or a partner. I’ve screwed part of that up by getting married. If/when we move to a new (bigger) home, it would mean a larger financial responsibility. I can’t up and quit my job without negatively affecting my wife. I certainly can’t up and die. And heaven forbid we have kids, then I am stuck having to stay alive.

We will return to your normal opinionated mostly sports related postings later.


Free Jolly Jenkins!

Good news:
The Cartoon Network has ordered 15 half-hour episodes of the popular comic strip
The Boondocks. The animated show will be based on the award winning comic strip
series created by executive producer Aaron McGruder. The series is set to
premiere this October on Cartoon Network’s popular Adult Swim block of
programming. Like the comic strip, the animated series will focus on the
exploits of Robert “Granddad” Freeman and his grandchildren Huey, who is
10-years-old and Riley, who is 8.

Hopefully, The Boondocks doesn't beat Chappelle's Show to my television screen.


Busy, busy, busy

I’m sorry I haven’t posted much lately. The wife and I are looking to sell our current home and buy a new home. Which means lots of work and visions of me sweating over yard work dancing in my head.

I’ll post when I can.


Does anyone know how the NCAA games came out today

Thoughts after following the congressional hearing on baseball and steroids:

McGwire is sunk

There is no way McGwire can deny taking steroids, being the only person, besides Canseco, to invoke his 5th amendment rights. And his ‘I don’t want to talk about the past’ is the new ‘wardrobe malfunction’ in my world.

I’m not surprised by his teary opening statement. He had to sit and hear parents talk about the death of their children due to steroids. The last time we saw McGwire get choked up is at the press conference announcing his last contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. He cried then when he mentioned his foundation, which was and is focused on fighting child abuse. I believe the idea of children suffering makes him emotional, and he got that in spades listening to dead children’s parent testifying their sons idolized baseball players.

I believe he will admit in public his steroid use before the end of the year. The internal and external pressures will be too great for him to stay silent.

By the way, when I heard McGwire say his message to kids would be ‘Steroids is bad, don’t do them’, I nearly ran myself off the road.

Canseco may have experienced the worst book plug ever

In his book, he is an unabashed defender of the use of steroids, under proper supervision. At the hearing, he said he wrote the book over a two year period, and some of the things he wrote then he doesn’t believe now.

This can’t help book sales.

Sammy Sosa looks pretty good

He vociferously denied, under oath, ever taking steroids. He may be lying, but it is very hard to not give him the benefit of the doubt. He wasn’t mentioned in Caseco’s book, he has no connection to BALCO, and there is no publicized investigation connecting him to steroids. The only reason his name has been thrown into speculation is he has big arms and he has hit a lot of home runs.

Jim Bunning is the bitter old man, telling kids to get off his lawn

Bunning, a Senator from Kentucky and a former MLB pitcher, complained almost as much about pitchers not pitching inside and smaller ballparks as he did about steroid abuse. And he stuck up for the players in his era:

"If they started in 1992 or 1993 illegally using steroids, wipe all of their
records out," Bunning said. "Take them away. They don't deserve them. Go ask
Henry Aaron. Go ask the family of Roger Maris. Go ask all of the people that
played without enhanced drugs if they would like their records compared with the
current records."
I’m sure he doesn’t mean all the pitching records. I wonder if he will advocate the pulling of Gaylord Perry’s records, since he was an admitted spitballer.

He also mentioned the 230 pound elephant (Bonds) in the room without mentioning him by name:

When I played with Henry Aaron and Willie Mays and Ted Williams, they didn't put
on 40 pounds and bulk up in their careers, and they didn't hit more home runs in
their late 30s than they did in their late 20s. What is happening in baseball
now isn't natural and it isn't right."
The good thing about getting old is you can say what you want.

Tom Lantos is an idiot

Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), during a question and answer period with scientists, made references to Martha Stewart and the television show Extreme Makeover. I want to move to San Mateo just to vote against this guy.

Lantos was able to get all players to say they favor federal intervention if Major League Baseball can’t fix their steroid problem. So maybe idiot is too harsh. He does need better focus.

Tom Osborne. TOM OSBORNE?!?!

The head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers from 1973 until 1997, currently a Republican congressman from Nebraska, is on the congressional subcommittee holding these hearings. I bet he is happy to be one of the people asking the questions and not one of the people being asked.

Don Fehr is the MAN!

Nothing shakes him. During the portion of the hearings both Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB executive vice president for labor relations and human resources Rob Manfred slightly lost their composure during their grilling. Fehr maintained his calm at all times. He must pee ice water.

Save them kids!

Over and over, I hear that everyone involved talk about the kids, the poor kids that idolize these steroid taking players. But there were no panelists called that work with these steroid taking kids. There were grief stricken parents called to tell the stories of their late sons, but no one who works with young athletes.

Remember, when anyone says they are doing anything for the kids, watch your wallet.



O'Jays slam Timerlake
R&B veterans The O'Jays apparently lodged a protest about Justin
Timberlake's involvement in their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

singer Eddie Levert commented that the band were unhappy about
Timberlake inducting them into the Hall.He said: "We protested, kicked and
stomped. But it is out of our control."Bandmate Walter Williams added: "No
offence to Justin, because he deserves the respect he has earned, but I could
think of a few people who know more about our pain and suffering and

The O'Jays know the truth; Justin Timberlake is a punk ass bitch.


Okay, this is starting to turn into a sports site

Everybody is looking out for the kids these days.

Congress is holding hearings next week regarding steroid use in Major League Baseball. One of the stated reasons for the hearings (besides providing good publicity for the congressmen involved) is to deter kids from taking steroids and emulating professional baseball players.

The NFL recently enacted strict rules against what they called unnecessary celebrations. One of the stated reasons behind that decision (besides cultural disconnect between the old white men who make the rules and the young black men who play the game) was the NFL was receiving complains from youth coaches, saying their players were emulating the professionals.

Everybody is looking out for the kids. Except the ones who should be. The youth coaches. Too many youth coaches abdicate their primary job; developing teamwork and good sportsmanship in their charges. They become more interested in their secondary job; wins and losses.

I played little league baseball. One game, while playing shortstop, I was bored and flicked pebbles at the pitcher while in the field. I was taken out after three innings. After the game was over, the coach asked me if I knew why I was taken out (I was one of the better players on the team and rarely sat the bench). I knew. And I never did anything like that again.

While college and professional coaches aren’t absolved from providing this type of guidance, they are dealing with young adults whose personalities have been formed for the most part. Plus, coaches on that level are hired and fired for wins and losses. Ask Tyronne Willingham why he isn’t the coach of Notre Dame. Or Bill Curry why he isn’t the coach of Alabama.

If more youth coaches, from tee ball all the way to high school, worried as much about the sportsmanship of their players and they did about wins and losses, kids wouldn’t be so apt to ape their poorly acting professional counterparts.

And the kids wouldn’t have to be looked out for so much.


R.I.P. B.I.G.

8 year ago today, Christopher Wallace (A.K.A. Biggie Smalls, Notorious B.I.G., Frank White) was murdered.

My memory is vague, but I believe I was on my way to work when I heard about his death. I was waiting for the bus from Jersey into the city with had my headphones on, listening to Hot 97. The announcement came on and I felt a loss, like something was taken from me. I was in the same place when I herd Tupac was shot a few months earlier and I didn’t feel the same way. Partially because he wasn’t dead yet, partially because I felt he was asking for it, running with Death Row and acting crazy.

If you are a hip-hop fan of a certain age, Biggie vs. Tupac is your Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. I don’t dislike Tupac’s work and I don’t want to bust a gat at Tupac fans, but given a choice, give me Notorious. While I believe Tupac is the James Dean of hip-hop, a iconic figure that shined brightly, Biggie is the better hip-hop artist.

And make no mistake about it, Biggie owned New York. Biggie owned New York in a way Jay-Z, Run DMC, L.L. Cool J, Fat Joe or 50 Cent never did, or could. There was an emotional connection between Biggie and hip-hop fans, especially in New York. Maybe it was because he wasn’t the best looking guy out there. Okay, let me stop playing. He was ugly. Self admittedly ugly. Maybe it was his talent in putting words together. Maybe it was the humor in some of his rhymes. Maybe it was because, even with his most violent, most misogynistic songs, there appeared to be a wink to the audience that said ‘I’m just playing, y’all, having a little fun with this rap thing’ that doesn’t appear in today’s hip-hoppers.

Not counting the Junior Mafia posse album and the posthumously slapped together Born Again, Biggie only put out two albums, the last of which came out after his death in 1997. Besides the fact children were left without a father and a mother was left without a son (and it is almost distasteful to put that face aside), fans missed out on what would be next. We only got a taste of Biggie and Jay-Z on ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ they were rumored to be planning a whole album together. What would Biggie have done with new styles coming out (anyone who heard him rhyme on ‘Notorious Thugs’ with Bone Thugs N Harmony could attest he could do your style better than you)?

Rest in peace, Biggie. And big up to Brooklyn.


I'm weird: Part I

I came to a revelation about myself recently. I really like sad songs.

Not any generic sad song will do though. I like songs where the protagonist is either neck deep in an unhealthy relationship or psychotic because he or she just got out of a relationship 15 minutes ago. For example:

Down Here in Hell (With You) by Van Hunt
Charlene by Anthony Hamilton
Lovefool by The Cardigans
Just Like A Pill by Pink
Hopeless by Dionne Farris
Cardigan by Pearl Jam

This has nothing to do with my personal life. I have never been more content (except for Freshmen Fifteen’s older cousin; Married Twenty coming to visit me) with the way my life is going. Just a quirk.


It could be worse, Barry

I can’t seem to stop talking about Barry Bonds. Or at least around Barry Bonds.

Jon Saraceno wrote an article about Barry Bonds in USA Today last week. The point he was trying to make is the reason people (read: sportswriters) don’t like Barry Bonds has nothing to do with him being black and more to do with the fact his is an asshole. In the article, he used the career of Frank Robinson as an example of a black man who was truly attacked because of his skin color. At the end of the article he says; Bonds has it easy and doesn't know it.

And that is where he lost me.

There is no denying Bonds has it easier than his black predecessors. But to say Bonds has it easy invalidates any and all claims of prejudice he or any black athlete has in this day and age. By holding up Robinson’s career against Bonds’, he is basically saying, “What’s the problem Barry? We’re not calling you a ‘coon to your face or hanging you or anything. Lighten up.”

The mainstream media (I saw Jim Rome make the same point that Saraceno did on his television show this week), in their battle against Bonds (and don’t be fooled; if and when a reporter gets any proof of Bonds using steroids, he or she will never have to buy an adult beverage in the company of his or her peers) have to be careful not to get too hysterical in their attacks on him. When you reach too far by basically saying there isn’t any prejudice in 2005, or some prejudice is acceptable, you look ridiculous.


Bash the pen from this brother's hand

My wife job puts her in contact with book publishers, giving her access to free books. She is not a sports fan, so when the buzz began for Jose Canseco’s book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big, she asked me some questions about Canseco’s career. In return, I got a free copy. It was laying around the house for a couple of weeks until I read it on a flight this weekend.

I’m glad I got it free.

Unlike most books written by sports figures, there is no co-writer. From the level of writing, I doubt there is a ghost writer involved either (my wife insists there was a ghost writer; if there was he or she should be banned from writing anything longer than a laundry list). The publisher, Regan Books, should be ashamed that they didn’t assign one to this project. Between Canseco’s interesting career and his willingness to tell tales out of school about fellow baseball players, there is a lot of raw material in the book that would make a good book if there was a writer with some talent involved in putting it together. The book is being sold on the steroids angle, but he has some interesting stories about life on the road and umpires that, if they weren’t ghettoed in their own respective chapters and fleshed out further, would have added to the enjoyment of the book.

I can sum up the main themes of the book and save you the $18:

  • Steroids are a good thing, when used properly. And Jose knows how to use them properly.
  • Jose isn’t as bad of a person that he is made out to be.
  • Latino players get less slack than comparative white players by the media.

The last subject runs through the book almost as much as his love for steroids and human growth hormone. It is one of the reasons I think he wrote the book, to have his career shaped on his terms and not through what he considers a biased media. He is very bitter about his treatment by the media in comparison to other players like Mark McGwire and Cal Ripken Jr.; players he referred to as ‘untouchables’.

The book’s release is being used by the media to turn up the heat on Major League Baseball and its player regarding steroid use, so it is good that it is out. This does remind of Dennis Miller’s comments when 2 Live Crew albums were being banned in Florida in the later ‘80s. He said censorship should always be fought against, but he is disappointed artists are forced to go to the wall for songs like ‘Me So Horny’.

I feel the same way about this book.


That is going to be a fun Hall of Fame speech

Barry Bonds had a press conference where he basically flipped the assembled media the finger Tuesday. Words like combative, defiant and angry have been used to describe the tone of his comments. Throw the steroid and BALCO controversies in the mix, and I’m surprised Bonds didn’t bring a flamethrower to the meeting. Most people assume this is just Barry being Barry; that he never had much use for the media in general.

I just think Barry Bonds doesn’t care for white people much.

Oh, I’m sure he has white friends (Greg Anderson, AKA Mr. Flaxseed oil, comes to mind). And he has proven bedding down with a shapely white woman is not beneath him. But the average, run of the mill white person? Not so excited about. Unfortunately for Barry, he has chosen a profession where he is surrounded by average, run of the mill white people. And they want autographs and pictures. And to ask him personal questions in the locker room and at press conferences.

Where was Bonds’ opinion of white people formed? Look no further than his father (the late Bobby Bonds, major league player), his godfather (Willie Mays, considered the best living baseball player) and the man who holds the home run record Bonds is currently chasing (Henry Aaron). I have not a stitch of proof, but I believe Bonds saw his father and godfather treated poorly by the media during and after their playing careers as he grew up. He probably heard them bitterly talk about it around the dinner table. In private. In the bitter tones that come from having to smile and be the bigger man in public.

Hank Aaron may be the best person to use an example of where Bonds attitude may come from. Aaron caught hell for having the audacity to break Babe Ruth’s all time home run record. Not ‘did you take steroids’ hell. More like ‘if you play today, I’ll shoot that nigger head of your shoulders’ hell. Aaron had to just take it. And he is still mad. He can’t come out and say it (he is getting a nice salary from the Atlanta Braves to not complain about not having anything to do), but he is more bitter than skunky beer left outside in the summer. Trust me; shoot some truth serum into Aaron and he will make Paul Mooney sound like Wayne Brady.

Bonds knows this and truly respects Aaron for what he had to go through as much as his baseball accomplishments. One topic you can get Bonds to talk about is Aaron. He has suggested it is more important to him to pass Babe Ruth than it is to pass Hank Aaron, using the weak argument that both he and Ruth are left handed hitters. As opposed to the glee he will feel besting the great white hope of home runs.

The cold war between Bonds and the media will continue until far after he ends his baseball career, with both sides entrenched in their respective positions. The one good thing for Bonds to think about is the last all time great to have this contentious relationship with the media was Ted Williams. Not a bad person to be compared to if you are a baseball player. And the good news for the media is, with Bonds’ age and failing knees, they won’t have to deal with him much longer.



I got my last Christmas present Friday. It is an Odyssey White Hot 2-ball putter. My brother got it for me before he went back overseas.

I didn’t need another putter, but Mike was going to buy me a new golf bag. Thanks to Ebay, I didn’t need one, and I suggested the putter. By suggested I mean I told him the exact model and size of putter to buy when he went into the golf store, as the only think Mike knows about golf is he doesn’t play.

How did I, a black boy from Brooklyn, become a golfer? Blame the following:

MATT: My friend and father of my godchild. Part of the bachelor proceedings was the ‘Dead Man’s Open’ a golf outing with friends. As a member of his wedding party, I was invited. It was my first time on a golf course as a participant. He also sold me his old clubs when he bought new ones. He doesn’t seem too guilty about introducing me to the game; he laughs at me when I tell him I’m sucked in and it is his fault.

(By the way, it is also his fault that I am not a better golfer than I am now. His wife and I were supposed to learn to play at the same time, but he had to go out and get her pregnant. By the time she recovered from the wrath of Cameron, I had moved from Jersey to Maryland. I hope you are happy, Matt.)

USA NETWORK: After I graduated from college and before I started work at CBS, I took a freelance job with USA Network. I worked in the production truck during the 1995 Ryder Cup, a bi-annual competition between the top American and European golfers. It was my first time on a golf course of any type. As a general sports fan, I knew a little about golf, but I wasn’t a fan. Working the event was my introduction to golf in general. Now, the Ryder Cup may be my most favorite sporting event of them all.

MY RIGHT KNEE: Before golf, my two favorite sports to participate in were bowling and basketball. Unfortunately, my right knee does not much care for running and jumping, especially on blacktop or concrete. One spirited game of full court leads to 10 days of limping around. I needed another sport to channel my competitive juices towards and I couldn’t find a bowling league that fit my work schedule.

There are other reasons that I got involved in golf. A chance to look preppy in golf clothes, a reason to get out of the house, seeing Tiger Woods’ succeed. Whatever the reason, now I am locked in. Just in 2005 I have purchased new Ping irons, a bunch of used Titleist NXT balls (you can be a cheap golfer if you try), and three new shirts (thanks Ebay). I’ll be going out to Arizona for a long weekend with the Mrs. and try all my new gear out.

I’ll probably stink, but with my latest Christmas present, I’ll look good stinking.


Man hating for a price

Phil McGraw, better known as Dr. Phil, had a prime time special last Tuesday. Because my wife is a fan, we recorded the program and watched it last night. The show was nothing more than a night time version of his syndicated show, focusing on relationships. He talked to Jonathan and Victoria from the latest season of The Amazing Race (quite possibly the most distasteful game show/reality show participants ever, right up there with Beth from the Real World: Los Angeles), gave dating advice to a successful woman who is searching for Mr. Right, and counseled an engaged couple, Corey and Mary, who are having doubts about going through with the marriage.

The couple in question had issues. She had banished him to the basement because she felt he was invading her space. He had come up with a sexual contract to make sure the amount of nookie didn’t decrease after the marriage. While watching the introduction, I decided there is no way they should get married, since they were both insane.

So Dr. Phil goes into his shtick, which is supposed to be no nonsense common sense. He pulls Corey aside and, with good reason, derides his idea of a sexual contract. Phil also critiqued how Corey proposed to Mary (in the front yard, while mowing the lawn). Not a four star Dr. Phil reaming, but a strong rebuke to the way he interacts with his fiancée.

Then, it was Mary’s turn. And it happened. Or I should say, it didn’t happen. Phil doesn’t give Mary his patented ‘marriage is not 50%-50%; it is 100%-100%’ speech. He doesn’t give her the ‘what were you thinking!?!’ regarding her throwing him out of the bedroom and into the basement. He gently says she should not stand for anything less then exemplary treatment. I nearly spit out the snack I was eating. Once again, Phil bashes the man and treats the woman with kid gloves.

I may have seen one episode of Oprah when Dr. Phil was a regular. But, from what I have been told, he became a hit by giving people the unvarnished, straight answers to their questions. He got his own show, and did basically the same thing. At some point during the first season (yes, I was watching), some one got to him and told him he had to hammer the men more because women were his audience. And he listened.

Now, I’m not one to knock the hustle Dr. Phil has going. Yes, he is as safe as kindergarten scissors. Yes, most of what he says is common sense. Unfortunately, there are some stupid people in this world that do not have enough common sense to come out of the rain. They need Dr. Phil to tell them it isn’t a good idea to cheat on their spouses, or eat their way to a visit from Richard Simmons, or drop out of school to begin a career dancing on the pole. And the rest of us need Dr. Phil and his rotating freak show guest list to feel superior to. Everybody wins.

I’m funny in how I deal with entertainment. My suspension of disbelief threshold is pretty low. I know the teary eyed teen begging her mother to put down the booze and be a parent on the WB drama went right to her trailer after the scene was over. I just ask performers to try to hide the fact they are after my time or money. Don’t make it obvious. And Dr. Phil is making the nuts and bolts of his show obvious to me.


He's rich; biatch!

I’m worried about Dave Chappelle.

Okay, I’m not worried about his ability to feed his family, with the $50 million deal he signed with Viacom to continue Chappelle’s Show on Comedy Central. That should keep him in high grade weed for a long as he lives (as long as he keeps away from Wayne Brady and his Sherman Hemsley). I am worried that Chappelle’s has peaked as an artist.

First of all, with all his current success, I don’t think Chappelle is an all time great comedian. He, in my opinion, pales in comparison with Sam Kinison (for generating humor out of shocking material), and Chris Rock (for generating comedy from the black experience) for example. I won’t even mention Richard Pryor, who will be the funniest man in the world a year after he dies.

Second of all (and I hope I’m wrong), I don’t know if Chappelle can be as funny as he has been now that he has ‘made it’ financially. Can and will Chappelle keep his nose to the grindstone and put out top flight, original comedy, even though he can take his ball and go home? Chris Rock has been forced to dig deep and bring the funny every time out because, with all his critical achievements, he never truly ‘made it’. I love Chris Rock’s comedy, and he couldn’t get me to see Head of State or Down To Earth. He may be rich, but he doesn’t have f^%k you money. Chappelle has f^%k you money. Eddie Murphy has f^%k you money, and he has become Mr. Safe Family Comedy. It is hard to rage against the machine under 350 count sheets.

Most importantly, Chappelle seems to curse what the success of his show has brought him; more notoriety. I saw him in concert after his first comedy special (Killin’ Them Softly) struggle with a drunken fan, throwing out lines from the special. The guy wasn’t maliciously heckling; he loved the performance so much he couldn’t help himself. One of the main themes of his latest comedy special, Dave Chappelle: For What It’s Worth (which seemed rudderless and rushed on a whole), was how his show made him so famous he couldn’t interact honestly with the public, making it harder for him to entertain and mine for further material. He touched on that problem again at the MTV Music Video awards, apologizing to rapper/producer Lil’ Jon for ruining Jon’s life (Chappelle did a number of skits, impersonating Lil’ Jon, single handedly increasing Jon’s Q rating).

I’m convinced none of the public figures Chappelle lovingly impersonated* (Lil’ Jon, Prince, the late Rick James) minded the attention. Rick James was so offended, he did a tricky double reverse at the 2004 BET Awards; impersonating Chappelle impersonating himself with the now famous ‘I’m Rick James, bitch’ line. The only person struggling with higher notoriety is Chappelle himself.

I hope I’m wrong. The third season of Chappelle’s Show (along with the release of the second season on DVD) was scheduled to begin around this time. According to Comedy Central, the premiere was pushed back to May because of an illness to Chappelle that postponed production. Hopefully, the extra time will be used by Chappelle to recharge his batteries, figure out how to deal with the fame and come out stronger then ever. I’m not betting $50 million on it though.

* This does not include R. Kelly. I’m surprised the Awrra can leave the house after the ‘Piss On You’ and ‘Piss On You (remix)’ videos Chappelle put out.


Avoiding O-Dog and Doughboy

I got the idea to write this post from reading Tomato Nation. Sars is an actual writer. You should go there.

A couple of years ago, the fellas came down from Jersey to visit me in Maryland. I don’t remember if there was a specific event they came down for, besides the fact that I live here now. A couple of the guys are Steeler fans, and they like to come down to Baltimore for the Steelers/Ravens game and soak up the atmosphere at the ESPN Zone at the Inner Harbor, but that wasn’t this trip. Another one of my friends fell in love with the Friday night atmosphere of Jaspers in Greenbelt, MD. But I digress.

Two of the fellas showed up later than the rest (who set up in a hotel) and wanted to hit a strip joint. The only spot I was aware of at the time was the Penthouse on Georgia Ave in Northeast DC. I wasn’t too excited about going. Number one, I’m not as excited about hitting the go-go spots as some of my friends, although if the group decides to go you don’t have to drag me to one. The Doll House in Irvington NJ did take some of my money in the late ‘90s. More importantly, the Penthouse was in the ‘hood. And it wasn’t my ‘hood.

Let me explain. I grew up in Vandeveer Estates in Flatbush, Brooklyn. While Flatbush isn’t as bad an area as say, Brownsville or Bed-Stuy, Vandeveer was (and probably still is) the ‘hood. During my tenure there, I knew where to go and where not to go in order to stay relatively safe. I didn’t become an adult until I left (and I’m not going back, thank you), but I imagine I would know where I could get a drink in the area without undue danger.

The fellas I run with come from Essex County, New Jersey. The towns we used to hang in when I’d go down there (Irvington, Vauxhall, East Orange) weren’t ‘hood like parts of Newark are, but you could get caught out there if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time (one time we saw someone get hit over the head with a champagne bottle, then stomped down until he was under a parked car). But they lived there and knew where to go. I never felt it any danger running with them, to the point I could come down on my own and meet up with them, no sweat.

I guess I should mention crew I run with averages 6’1” and 230lbs. And one of us is a cop. That may have something to do with feeling safe waiting for your beep patty at Jessup’s at 2:30 in the morning.

I had no idea about Northeast DC, except that I drove through it to get to and from work. I didn’t know if I parked my car on Georgia, would I have windows or a radio when I came back. I didn’t know if side streets off Georgia (a major thoroughfare) were especially dangerous. I haven’t lived, and I have rarely frequented anywhere that could be considered a ‘hood since I moved to Maryland in early 2001. And I have no desire to pick that back up. The funniest thing my brother ever said to me is we don’t keep it real; we keep it gated, as in gated community.

The ‘hood had 18 years to get me; I’m not giving it bonus shots.

We did end up going to the Penthouse, once my friend agreed we could use his (rented) car. Had an okay time. Got home safe. I couldn’t recommend that establishment for your naked dancer needs, but I’m probably not the person to go to for that.



Jason Giambi held a press conference yesterday, where he never specifically mentioned he took steroids (which he reportedly admitted during federal grand duty testimony, leaked to the San Francisco Cronicle), but he inferred he did something wrong which he regretted. When asked specifically about steroids, he refused to give specifics due to legal matters. Giambi is getting hammered in the press today, which is an example of the following rule:

When the press doesn’t get exactly what they want, they get pissy.

Never mind that it is against federal law to leak the grand jury testimony Giambi offered, even by Giambi. Never mind the Yankees investigated voiding the last 4 years and +$80 million of Giambi’s contract, but couldn’t because there isn’t any tangible proof Giambi did anything wrong. Never mind that; the press wanted their pound of flesh, and when they didn’t get exactly what they wanted, they lashed out.

This isn’t about steroids. It is about arrogance. Listen to Jay Mariotti on Around The Horn sometimes. If you took a shot of Jagermeister every time he said ‘(sports figure) needs to prove to me…’, you would be dead of alcohol poisoning by the time Pardon The Interruption came on. When I watch (and I don’t watch the show much these days) and he says that, I scream at the television screen ‘No they don’t! Who the hell are you?’

When I was in high school, I loved to read Mike Lupica’s column in the Daily News. As I got older, I soured on his sports=morality play aspect of his writing. By the way, he moved from the News to the short lived National, to Newsday and back to the Daily News. Remember that the next time he complains about an athlete moving from one team to another for money. And I dare you to get through one of his heavy handed, cliché filled fictional novels. House painters don’t use strokes as heavy as Lupica does on character development.

Not all sports columnists are arrogant pricks. But enough of them are to annoy me.


Blackpot = Black + Crackpot

Welcome to Blackpot. I'm the Blackpot, also known as TwoNuse over at the Fametracker forums.

I wanted to have a place to spew my opinions on whatever is going through my mind. Plus, I'd like a place to write. I'm not a writer. I shouldn't even use the word writer in a sentence. Hopefully, practice makes me better.

What would be some of the topics I touch on? Sports? Yep. Race? Uh huh. Popular culture? Sure. Hardcore politics? Most likely not. Bollywood movies? Nope. I don't fully know where this will end up.

Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully you'll be back. Hell, hopefully, I'll be back.

Forget about keeping it real, you better start keeping it right

I had a long IM conversation with a former co-worker that turned into a phone conversation. She and her husband have a foster child, whom they most likely will adopt when the state allows her to. She and her husband are white and the child is black. Among the concerns she mentioned to me was the fear that, because she would raise her adopted child just like she would raise a biological child (private school in a predominately white neighborhood, hockey as an activity, etc.) the child wouldn’t be able to relate to other black people.

This hit a chord for me, because I was that kid that was considered ‘acting white’ by other black kids in the neighborhood, because I was relatively successful in school and spoke proper English (thanks Mom and Dad). I didn’t think much of it as I was growing up; I knew I wasn’t like other kids my age growing up in Flatbush and chalked it up as such. By the time I got to high school, I was around enough people like me that I didn’t have to worry about that too much. Now that I am a grown man; the idea that black children, especially young black boys, are bent by peer pressure to achieve less and act up more pisses me off.

In my opinion, one of the largest problems in the African-American community is the lack of self esteem in our children where a sporting event or the curvature of one’s ass isn’t a factor. Not enough of our children are told they can do anything, so they don’t do anything. And when a child is instilled with self esteem and attempts to achieve, he or she is dragged down like crabs in a barrel by ‘peers’ either ignorant of how to properly act in society or scared that their anti-social behavior would not be seen as ‘keeping it real’. Do you know who is ‘keeping it real’? Wayne Brady. I have no doubt in my mind the Wayne Brady you see on television is the same Wayne Brady you would see at home. That is ‘keeping it real’, being true to yourself and not putting on airs to fit in to a cookie cutter image of what being black is.

I’m not saying all black people should have Carlton Banks (another nickname I caught) posters on their wall. I have enough Jay-Z CDs and Def Comedy Jam DVDs to appreciate urban culture (by the way, the fact that Eddie Murphy: Delirious isn’t on DVD is a national tragedy). But there has to be the understanding the way you interact with your boys at the club isn’t the same way you interact at a PTA meeting.

I apologize for going all Bill Cosby on you. I promise no women were drugged and fondled in the writing of this post.