Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BHMonth Spotlight: Jane Bolin

Today's Black History Month spotlight falls on Jane Bolin. Judge Bolin was the first black woman to become judge in the United States, the first to graduate from Yale Law School and the first to join the New York Bar Association. Below is quote by the illustrious judge regarding women's civil rights.

"We have to fight every inch of the way and in the face of sometimes insufferable humiliations."

Here are a few other photos I thought you guys/gals might enjoy.

Embarrassing TV moments (Watch)

It appears 50 Cent fell a dollar short:

It's the little things that matter:

Good composure:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

BHMonth Spotlight: Did you know?

As you already know, every week I feature a hidden gem from Black History Month to help shine light on some of the great African-American innovators and trailblazers. But this week I wanted to switch up the flow and share some anecdotes from three eminent sports figures that you may not know.

Olympic sprinter Tommie Smith recalled an incident from his boyhood in which a white child snatched an ice cream cone out of his hand and snarled, "Ni**ers don't eat ice cream." 

Michael Jordan was suspended from school for hitting a white girl who called him a "ni**er" during a fight over a seat on a school bus in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Tiger Woods was tied up in kindergarten by older schoolmates who called him "ni**er."

These are just a few instances I wanted to share from a novel I read in college, The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word by Randall Kennedy. This book is better than any forum/panel I've attended or lecture I've had in class regarding the history of the racial epithet and its impact on today's society. So for those out there looking for a book recommendation, you're welcome. Reading is fundamental kids.

Enjoy the rest of your week. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Projected All-Star winners: 3-Point & Dunk Contest

Finally a sport that truly embodies what an All-Star Weekend should look like. Yes, there is room for revision in the NBA's All-Star festivities, but the Association ostensibly have the best weekend across all major sports. So with no further ado, my picks for this weekend's competitions.

NBA Three Point Shootout
Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Hornets
Matt Bonner, San Antonio Spurs
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors -- MY PICK
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Steve Novak, New York Knicks

The norm for most players is to lollygag throughout All-Star contests, but the 3-point challenge is usually the one event that players will actually try. Think about it, who misses on purpose? Nonetheless, choosing Stephen Curry to win this is a no-brainer. Curry is the only participant on this list that has a chip on his shoulder. Many thought Curry was a lock to suit up on Sunday for the All-Star game, but we see how that transpired. Because of this, I postulate that Curry will put on a shooting clinic. Curry also has a very quick release which is always an advantage during this shootout. 
And if you're still on the fence about selecting Curry, check out highlights of his father Dell. As my pops would say, "you think his son can shoot; you haven't seen anything yet." Oh yeah, there's also another Curry in that family that plays for Duke and the mom is also a baller (volleyball). A family replete with shooters is all the reasoning I need.

NBA Slam Dunk Contest
Gerald Green (Indiana Pacers) -- MY PICK
Terrence Ross (Toronto Raptors)
James White (New York Knicks)
Eric Bledsoe (Los Angeles Clippers)
Jeremy Evans (Utah Jazz)
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)

Can you believe once upon a time that this event was the apex of the weekend. How time flies by. I can't knock the NBA for trying to bolster the event. From the timed clock to the putrid spinning wheel, the dunk contest has had some interesting makeovers since its inception. Although the best high-flyers in the league will be watching this event in the stands, I'm confident the above participants will bring some flair to this event. Or at least, I hope so.
Moving on, the obvious choice in this contest is Gerald Green. I still consider his birthday cupcake dunk as top-10 creative jams during the Dunk Contest. Creativity and showmanship are the keys to winning the crowd and this event. And yes, I have seen James White's between the legs free-throw line dunk, but this event features several dunks not one. With that being said, the more experienced contestant gets my vote.

VIDEO: Facial Fridays: Better dunk?

 In the left corner, we have Marcus Lewis from Eastern Kentucky.

And in the right corner, we have Demar Derozan. If Timofey Mozgov keeps this up, his name will turn into a verb.

BHM spotlight: Eddie Robinson

Over 200 players sent to the NFL, one of the most winningest coaches in NCAA football history, and an iconic civil rights trailblazer. These are just a few feats the former Grambling State head coach blessed the sports world with before succumbing to Alzheimer's disease at age 88.
Enter in Eddie Robinson. 
During a time when African Americans were considered inept at every possible leadership position, Robinson shattered a myriad of tumultuous race barriers while stamping his name as one of the first successful black coaches in any sport. It was Roberson's gumption that led Doug Williams (to the right in the  picture above) to become the only African American quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Williams' Super Bowl MVP performance is only one of many prodigious seeds planted in his football garden of prestige.
But what impresses me the most about Robinson is his mentoring and motivating. All of his players persistently boast about his life principles that extended beyond athletics. That defines character and is best compliment any instructor can receive in my eyes.
Thank you for your unflinching efforts Mr. Robinson. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

WATCH: Tribute to Jeffrey Jordan

Michael. Jeffrey. Jordan.
His name rings bells from Chicago to Croatia. In light of his 50th birthday this Sunday, I would like to share the three things I remember Air Jordan for the most.




Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Black History Month Challenge

February, one of favorite months of the year. Not only does my mother's birthday fall in this beautiful month, but so does my beloved grandmothers. And on a national scale, there are a litany of events to celebrate. From Valentine's Day to Presidents Day, the shortest month of the year certainly carries a lot of magnitude. But to be candid, those days are only atoms in this abridged month. February is and will continue to be predominately associated with Black History.
As an African-American in today's society, I'm perturbed not by the lack of knowledge of black history amongst all ages, but by most individual's reluctance to want to digest any knowledge or even enhance what they know.
Carter G. Woodson's efforts in 1926 to create Negro History Week wasn't for future generations to only celebrate their ancestry and heritage sporadically. His aspiration was for sagacious individuals to shepard these abandoned accomplishments to younger folks like myself, and for members of all races and creeds to be proud all-year around of their progenitors' labor that molded into to our limitless amount of opportunities. Yes, Black History Month is primarily celebrated and adored by African-Americans, but we are not the only race praising this month. BHM transcends color and is knowledge for everyone. These creations, findings and lessons have no color. The people behind them may be African-American, but if I'm correct, non of these products say "For Colored Only."
I now invite every person reading this post to my Black History Month challengedon't try to exit the site now lol. It's very simple and only consumes a minute if that of your day. For the rest of this month, I would like you to research a different African-American pioneer, establishment or fact every day. Don't be coy about it either. Share it with your classmates, friends, teachers, mentors or family. Embrace this knowledge and invite others to the challenge.
Every Wednesday, I'll feature a hidden gem in this illustrious month. Today's spotlight falls on Sherman 'Jocko' Maxwell, the nation's first African-American sportscaster. Not only was Maxwell a broadcaster for the Negro Leagues and other various stations, but he also contributed columns and reports for magazines and newspapers such as Baseball Digest.
I've also listed a pretty good article I read on Huff Post about Black History Month being an epic failure. I invite all of you to read it and share your thoughts w/ me by commenting below or via Twitter
Good luck with the challenge!

Black History Month Has Been an Epic Failure

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Examining Super Bowl XLVII goal-line stand

All it took was the flick of a light switch and Super Bowl XLVII turned into a popcorn thriller. Dicey play-calling and questionable officiating all parts of one of the longer championship games in Super Bowl history. And what a powerful rendition of "America the Beautiful" by the Sandy Hook survivors.
Speaking of performances, I know I wasn't the only dude mesmerized at halftime. Lord please forgive me for my thoughts, but after Beyonce's performance I was left agape and the only suitable response was to do my best interpretation of Johnny Gill (my, my,, my, my) . But let's focus on the football aspect in New Orleans before I ramble on about looking on Ebay for a multiple image projector of Beyonce. "I don't think you're ready for this...."
By now, I'm sure you're heard and read it all about about why the Ravens won or how beneficial the blackout was to the game. So instead of giving you a full-game analysis, I'd like to review over the 49ers last drive-- more specifically, their final four plays. But before I delve into the Ravens goal-line stand, let's clear the airways regarding this power outage.
The prolonged halftime delay DID NOT alter the Baltimore Ravens 22-point lead. No matter how you spin it, a 22-point deficit is still a commanding three score lead. I'll settle for someone saying Baltimore lost a diminutive amount of momentum, but on the nation's biggest sporting stage, a team doesn't deserve to win if they squander that big of a lead. This is America's most watched game of the year with players competing on the highest level on the biggest platform. If that's not enough incentive, then what is.
Furthermore, when the power was restored, the Ravens stopped TE Delanie Walker short of the first down and forced a punt. So this whole postulation that the 49ers would of have been blown out if the blackout never occurred is asinine. The Ravens were fully aware how explosive San Fran is. Scoring 17 points in the span of four minutes didn't provide some esoteric sense of elation for the Niners. They overcame a similar deficit in the NFC Championship to Atlanta and have verified their offense is volatile and can get clicking in the matter of one second.
Moving forward, San Francsico's comeback effort was remarkable, but ultimately fell short due to their loss of identity in the redzone on the final drive.
Mistake number one took place when Frank Gore did not receive any carries at the goal-line. Soon after a Vernon Davis drop, Gore propelled the Niners inside the 10 with a 33-yard run. San Fran's DNA has notoriously been to pound the ball inside. When the game was on the line, bread and butter is always the way to go. Gore finished with over 100 yards and a score; the least you could do is give the rock once to all your all-time leading rusher.
Staying on the topic of the run game, I find it hard to believe the Niners offensive coordinator, Greg Roman, couldn't dial up a running play for the Colin Kapernick. Kaepernick only needs but so much room to take off. If he didn't score, he certainly would of gained some positive yardage. Football is a game of inches, and a yard of two could have changed the whole dynamic of the situation.
And for my final blunder with the Niners' redzone play-calling, I shift my undivided attention to Vernon Davis. No targets for your best receiver when it comes to size, speed and strength is beyond belief. Tight ends are quarterbacks best friend, especially in goal-line situations. Davis did have a costly drop that could of changed the outcome of the game, but ultimately the Niners still marched down. Davis is a flat out game-changer. It is imperative that he is targeted in scenarios like this.
Credit must be given where it is due as well. The Ravens never teetered on their blitz pressure and brought the house on both the two point conversion play and final 49er redzone snap. Baltimore stood by their code, and their relentless pressure on two huge plays ushered them to hosting the Lombardi trophy.

Video: Metta World Peace suspended

Everything old becomes new. It's something about Detroit that brings the best out of Metta World Peace. At least it didn't result in Malice in the Palace part 2-- imagine how that brawl would play out with today's influx of social media.
World Peace was only suspended one game for what appears to be a baby-hook, which I find a bit surprising due to history. Then again, David Stern understands that the Los Angeles Lakers need all the help they can get. And since we're on the topic of Laker fights, let's take a stroll down memory lane. So long ago, but still one of funny not Top 10 moments for one of the greatest Lakers.