robinson-day

{Source: Google Images}

 

I remember this day, last year, so well.

I woke up excited to blog about the heroic contributions of Jackie Robinson. It was my first time writing about him and I could not wait to share my thoughts with the world. I was happy to see that #JackieRobinsonDay was trending on Twitter. Major League Baseball players were tweeting and Instagramming pictures of their #42 jerseys. And somewhere in the U.S, the last player to wear #42, Mariano Rivera, was gearing up for his last Jackie Robinson Day.

As I continued to enjoy the day that was known as Jackie Robinson Day, I would later find myself in tears as the Boston Marathon was rocked by an act of terror. I cried as I prayed for the runners that were injured. I cried as I prayed for the families who had not heard from their loved ones. I cried as I prayed for all those who would be tasked with saving lives. As the days rolled on, I found myself feeling proud to be a part of the running community. All across the nation, runners were banding together to stand united for Boston.

One year later, as Boston remains strong, I am reminded of why I was excited to blog on this day. One year later, on a day that is now forever linked to tragedy, we can all look to the example that Jackie Robinson set for us 67 years ago. An example that showcased determination, heroism and courage. On Monday, when runners take to the streets of Boston we will see reflections of that same legacy manifested in the form of men and women, some whom never got the chance to complete their race last year.

Jackie Robinson Day. Boston Marathon. April 15. Forever linked. Forever unbreakable.

 

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

 

So, I heard the most RIDICULOUS story that I have heard in quite a long time.

On Wednesday, talking heads in the sports industry were all up in a roar because of a baby being born. Yes, a baby was born and some folks had an issue with it. New York Mets second basemen, Daniel Murphy, missed the Opening Day game so he could be present for the birth of his son. And then he had the nerve to take another day off. And then the talking heads went crazy.

So, um what is the problem? He missed the first game of the season. So what! There are 161 games left for him to play in. He missed the second game of the season. So what! There are 160 games left for him to play in. He missed a chance to possibly tag a runner out at second base. So what! I am sure he’ll have hundreds of other opportunities to do so over the season. I am honestly shocked at all the backlash he is catching. One talking head, Mike Francesca, opened his mouth and out spewed a statement that will probably come back to bite him in the rear one day. He was quoted as saying, “You’re a Major League Baseball player. You can hire a nurse to take care of the baby if your wife needs help.” That definitely ranks as the most asinine statement I have heard in quite a while. Then, Boomer Esiason, took it a step further when he popped off at the mouth and suggested that Murphy and his wife should have scheduled a C-section before opening day. Um, what??!! So, you want a woman to have a surgery that is NOT necessary, at the time, because of a game??!! This guy.

I constantly hear current and former players expressing regret over how much time they have had to spend away from their families because of their million dollar occupation. Often times, players miss out on opportunities to be present at their children’s games, recitals, spelling bees, conferences and even births. I applaud Murphy, matter of fact I give him a standing ovation, for not just using his words but his actions to prove his devotion to his family. He decided that on that day family was what was most important to him. I guarantee that act of love will be unmeasurable to his son when he gets older and finds out what his father sacrificed to be there for him. Literally.

Until next time…TOODELLS.

 

P.S. Major League Baseball players are allowed to take three days off for paternity league. It is part of the collective bargaining agreement.

For most runners, spring officially marks the start of RUNNING SEASON.

Unless it is 2014. And you live on the East Coast. And you live in the South where it is 9:55am and it is a balmy THIRTY degrees.

Spring has DEFINITELY missed the memo. Oh. Yeah, spring paid us a visit Friday and Saturday. Tricked us into believing she would be here for a while. Tricked me into believing I might be able to retire my pea coats until November. Tricked me into thinking I would finally be able to put my brand new running shoes on the pavement. Oh. Yeah. Surrrre, I can go running anytime I chose to. Well except for when it is snowing, sleeting and freezing raining. Oh and the temperature is below ummmm 45. Oh. Yeah. I know. This means you can count on your hands how many times I have gone running, outside, since mid-December.

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

I am struggling ya’ll. Everyday when I hop in Louise(my car) and I catch a glimpse of my I heart Running keychain dangling like a loose strand of hair, a part of me sulks. I have tried to be a person who is thankful constantly. Even for the cold weather because it signifies that I am alive and that my senses are doing their job. However, we all have our preferences and this spring baby prefers  sunshine, blooming flowers, trees full of leaves, a few clouds in the sky and temperatures 75 and above. It is coming! I know it is. I just hope it gets here sooner rather than later.

Thankfully, I see temperatures ranging between 68-70 in the next few days. If I want to quench my craving, then it is a must that I break out the new kicks and give them a spin within the next few days. If I wait and the cycle we have been in for the past month continues, then I will be sitting here next week typing the same story again as I stare at the anything but spring like temperature staring back at me on my phone.

Until next time…TOODELLS.

Follow me on Twitter: @Kassienette

For two days straight, my phone has been blowin up.

A buzz here. A buzz there. A notification here. A notification there. A retweet here. A retweet there. Everywhere a tweet, tweet. It feels like my phone buzzes every other minute. Welcome to the frenzy that is NFL Free Agency.

Donte Whitner. His release HURT!! For real. DeMarcus Ware. Darrelle Revis. Antoine Bethea. Jared Allen. Julius Peppers. LaMarr Woodley. Aqib Talib. T.J. Ward. Karlos Dansby. This would make a nice Pro Bowl roster.

And then, the hammer dropped and everyone in North Carolina and South Carolina heard the news that they did not want to hear, the Carolina Panthers would start training camp in July without all-time leading receiver and arguably the franchise’s most famous cat, Steve Smith. The rumblings began at the NFL Combine when Panthers General Manager, Dave Gettleman, offered a noncommittal response when asked about Smith’s future with the team. Many were stunned by the response including Smith. In 2012, Smith signed a three year extension which many felt would guarantee that Smith would retire as a Panther. That was what Smith wanted and at the time it was what the Panthers wanted. Loyalty seemed to be at the root of the deal as everyone walked away from the table happy. Unfortunately, loyalty does not always rise up from its hole each year. And loyalty does not score touchdowns. And loyalty does not guarantee good seasons. And loyalty does not guarantee championships.

Buzz. 9:05am. Alert from SportsCenter. Panthers to cut WR Steve Smith Thursday, a league source told NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Once Schefter tweets it/says it, you can bank on it.

Wow. I was in Bank of America Stadium to witness Smitty’s last game as a Panther.

This part of the NFL just makes me go ugh. I have dissected this move from many angles. Smith is 34 years old. He is 5’9(not that his height has ever been an issue but short WR’s are becoming less common). He is coming off a knee injury. The Panthers would potentially have to pay him seven million in 2014. They need to get under the salary cap. Yada yada yada. Everyone will scream it is business and move on. To me, I do not believe this is JUST a business move. I think this was personal. Sure we do not know what kind of year Smith may have next year. He may have a horrible year. He may have a great year. He may have even decided to retire. That is just the nature of sports. You can make all the predictions you want but none of us know what will really happen during the year. Right? Or are you trying to tell me you picked Seattle to win the SuperBowl. Anywho, back to Smitty. Regardless of what is going to happen, the Panthers will be paying Smith three million dollars. It is part of the guaranteed money that he got for his extension. So, they essentially saved four million dollars which I hope they use to spend on another wide receiver because I am not sure that Tavarres King, Martin McNutt or R.J. Webb can step in and fill Smith’s void. Oh and did I mention that the four million saved does not really put a dent in the cap space needed.

Perhaps the most telling sign that this is a personal move is the fact that the Panthers never asked Smith to restructure his contract. Let that sink in. Business or personal? You be the judge.

The past two days have been a doozy. I am almost positive that there have never been so many big name players released at one time. For as much as I love the game, I absolutely hate this part of the “business” where feelings have to be separated from reality in order to save dollars. But I have learned to accept it. If the 9ers can trade football royalty in the form of Jerry Rice and Joe Montana then anything is possible. Here is to hoping today is not as hectic. I have work to do and I do not need any distractions!

Until next time…TOODELLS.

Follow me on Twitter @Kassienette

 

P.S. To Smitty….thank you for your dedication, loyalty and hardwork. As a Panthers fan, it has been a joy to watch you play the past 13 years for the blue and black. May GOD bless you abundantly in your next chapter.

 

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

Every once and a while, something happens outside of the sports world that causes me to want to write. Last night was no exception.

Lupita Nyong’o.

For years I have loosely tuned in to the Academy Awards. I have to stay in the know although I cannot remember who won Best Picture last year. I love to watch the red carpet footage. The dresses. The shoes. The purses. The hair. The tuxedos. The bowties. I love it. I saw long dresses. Short dresses. Flowing hair. Cropped do’s. Slits. Splits. Midriffs. Louboutins. And a tuxedo short set. Only Pharrell.

This year, I actually watched the whole show sans a few minutes where I had to gather snacks, tend to my kitties and fix my lunch for the next day(today). I was excited about potentially seeing some actors and actresses I truly enjoy watching win the coveted Oscar. Plus I love Ellen Degeneres. Over the years, I have gained a new appreciation and respect for those in the film industry(thanks to my friend making waves in Hollywood…Hey Ceej!) who put in long hours on and off screen to perfect their craft. The Oscars are their night to shine and I feel the least I can do is tune to in, even loosely, to see them honored for their hard work.

I will admit. I have not seen any of the movies that were nominated for Best Picture. Matter fact, I do not believe I have seen any of the movies in which any of the actresses and actors were nominated for. *shrugs* I am not a movie goer. I go to the movies typically three to five times a year and that is being modest. Last year I went three times. Two years ago, I only went once. *shrugs* I am not a movie goer. However, that does not exempt me from appreciating all the talent that graced the seats of

The selfie that "broke" Twitter. {Source: Google Images}

The selfie that “broke” Twitter.
{Source: Google Images}

The Dolby Theater in Hollywood last night. From Ellen’s having pizza delivered and taking the ultimate selfie to the stars to Pharrell shimmying with Meryl Streep to Robert Lopez winning an Oscar for the song “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen” to join the rare EGOT club(Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony) to Matthew McConaughey aka Jake Brigance acknowledging God for his success and throwing in an “Amen” in the process.

Yet, none of those were considered the highlight of the night. That honor belonged to Lupita Nyong’o’s, the starlet who stormed onto the scene and snatched every major award including Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Patsey in the Best Picture winning “12 Years A Slave.” The world’s new favorite darling sealed her domination of awards season by capturing the gold statue, that she ineptly entitled “Young Man”, and hearts of those who were not familiar with her before last night. Looking like Cinderella, ready for her ball(Oscars), Nyong’o was a walking picture of grace, poise and class as she jubilantly covered her face with her hands when her name was pronounced into history. And then came her speech. Powerful. Memorable. Emotional. It started with a quick thank you to the academy and then an ode to her character, “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.” Her immediate gratitude to her character, before she thanked cast, crew and her families, is a testament to the class she personifies every time she graces a red carpet or sits down for an interview. As I watched her speak, with tears in my eyes, she spoke to my heart as she concluded her speech with a line that spoke to millions across the world, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that, no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

On a night where movie star royalty was front and center, a newcomer who was born in Mexico and is of Kenyan descent stole the show. Her regalness, elegance and sheer beauty are captivating. However, that is not what stands out to me. What stands out is what she represents. In a society where the gold standard of beauty has for many years not resembled Nyong’o, she is just that. A gold standard. She exemplifies everything a woman should be. She exemplifies how a woman should carry herself at all times. She exemplifies going against the grain and embracing your God given features. She represents the essence, strength and determination that women all across the world display on a daily basis. She represents you. She represents me. She represents us.

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

The joy. The exuberance. The child-like giddyness. The smiles. The hugs. The laughter. All were present last night as NASCAR’s most beloved, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., won his second Daytona 500, 10 years after winning his first.

On a day when most of us were not even sure the race would finish on its scheduled day due to a rain delay that totaled six hours  and 22 minutes, Junior emerged victorious amongst a host of drivers who showed their endurance, stamina and determination during the grueling day and night long event. The 11 time NASCAR Most Popular Driver had gone 55 races without taking a trip to Victory Lane. Sandwich that with the fact that in three of the last four Daytona 500′s Junior had placed second,

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

many skeptics begun to wonder if we had seen his best. Without uttering a word, Junior let his #88 car do all the talking and when it was all said and done, the skeptics were left pondering what new story angle they could come up with.

On a night when I had planned to go to bed early so I could go to the gym early, I could not pass up an an opportunity to watch the Daytona 500 under the lights. If you would have visited me last night, you would have found me sitting on my bed squealing and pleading, much to the dismay of my cats, with Junior to hold on to the lead. You would have found me paying that no more wrecks occured. One, because I do not want to see drivers get hurt. Two, because I was tired and ready to go to bed. You would have found me covering my eyes(with two laps to go), hoping that the mysterious black material that attached itself to the front of Junior’s car did not hinder him from keeping his lead. You would have found me dancing, fist pumping and cabbage patching, again much to the dismay of my cats, as Junior raced to the finish line to capture the checkered flag.

On a night when I had just hours earlier been ready for bed, I was now too thrilled for sleep. I have followed Junior closely over the years and while I have admittedly been a fan of his, last night pushed my fandom to another level. The joy. The exuberance. The child-like giddyness. The smiles. The hugs. The laughter. He let his owner, Rick Hendrick ride on the side of the door with him to the celebration. He hugged every one of his crew members before conducting an interview. How could you not be excited for Junior??  The son who has grown up in the spotlight. The son who tragically lost his father with the whole world watching. The son who was expected to take his father’s place as the face of NASCAR(which he has). The son who publicly battled his stepmother over the direction of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. The son who knew all too well the pressures of being the most beloved. The son who despite the pressure has always remained classy, honest and determined.

On a day when the #3 car, the one his father, Dale Sr. made famous, returned to the track, it was Junior who proved he belonged in the place he grew up: the track. It was Junior who proved that he was still a force to be reckoned with. It was Junior who proved that perseverance pays off. It was Junior who proved that good guys still finish first. It was Junior who proved that despite the obstacles you face, only you can determine whether or not you make it to Victory Lane. It was Junior who proved he is still the best person to carry on his father’s legacy.

And on yesterday, I am sure his dad, The Intimidator, was smiling up above.

{Source Google Images}

{Source Google Images}

Selfeeeee!!! Gotta love it!! {Source: Junior's Twitter}

Selfieeeee!!! Gotta love it!!
{Source: Junior’s Twitter}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

My favorite picture :-} Caption read: "Look who I ran into at the Dayton Experience. Dad's Happy! #2XDaytona500Champ" {Source: Junior's Twitter}

My favorite picture :-}. Another selfie.
Caption read: “Look who I ran into at the Dayton Experience. Dad’s Happy! #2XDaytona500Champ”
{Source: Junior’s Twitter}

As if anyone saw that coming.

Total domination. From start to finish. Despite what my beloved Peyton Manning says, that was indeed embarassing.

We all knew Seattle’s defense had the potential to cause some problems and disrupt the Broncos flow but what I saw last night went beyond anything I could have comprehended. If you would have told me at the beginning of the game, even after the ball was snapped over Manning’s head, even after Seattle went up 5-0, that Seattle would win 43-8, I would have laughed. Hard. If you would have told me that after Percy Harvin returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown, I would have left. I never thought I would see a Peyton Manning led team give up so easily. I give all credit to Seattle for their win. Their game plan exploited every weakness the Broncos have. From start to finish.

While the Pacific Northwest celebrates its first championship in a major sport, the rest of the sports world is left to sort out the details of “Manning’s Legacy.” I could go on all day spitting out numbers that solidify why he is still one of the greatest to ever line up behind center. However, there are only two stats people care about…11-12 in the playoffs, 1-2 in Super Bowls. Unfortunately, many will judge him on those numbers alone. They have every right to. The numbers are not astounding and you can argue that he cannot win the big game. However, I have always been a firm believer in football is a team sport. The quarterback just happens to be the face of the franchise. Therefore, he shoulders a lot of the blame. For years I have said if a QB’s greatness solely lies in how many rings he wins then Marino and Manning cannot enter into the conversation. They would be replaced by Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman. Are there really people out there who can honestly say they would choose Bradshaw to lead their team over Manning?

To me, a QB is only as strong as its weakest link. No matter how great your QB is, if you run up a team that can exploit your team weaknesses then you are doomed. All year, the Broncos defense has been their achilles heel. They finished 19th in the league. However, when you have an offense that is putting up numbers the way theirs did, your defense is often overlooked. All year, the offensive line for the Broncos had been challenged, very little. Statistically, Houston was the best defense they had faced all year and they are not even in the same room with Seattle’s defense. Recipe for disaster for the Broncos. They could not adjust. Their timing was off. The o-line collapsed on almost every play which left Manning hardly enough time to set his feet to throw the ball. It was just all around bad ball for a good football team.

Things happen. This team gave up long before the clock read 0:00. Things happen. To me, this does not diminish Manning’s legacy. Yes, he made some mistakes but he is not the reason they lost. You can say I am making excuses all you want and that still will not change my stance. I still think Manning is the best in the league and one of the greatest ever. Quote me on that.

 

CONGRATULATIONS to the WOLFPACK’S OWN Russell Wilson, J.R. Sweezy & Steven Hauschka!!!! You make us proud!!!!

You all know how much I loooooooooooove Peyton Williams Manning. You all know how much I loooooooooooove Russell Carrington Wilson. So the question becomes, which QB am I pulling for in the Super Bowl???

Now the answer you all have been waiting for……

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{Source: CBS Sports}

{Source: CBS Sports}

Yep. I am pulling for #18.  I actually made the decision BEFORE the NFC Championship Game. As a loyal Faithful, it is impossible for me to cheer for the Seattle Seahawks, as a whole, to achieve such a major accomplishment. My Gold Blood just will not allow it. That is what happens when a rivalry gets very real. Everything shifts. I fully expect #18 to carve up one of the best defenses in the league. He may not hang 30 on them but I am looking for him to pass for at least 300. It is what he does. And then when he wins all the talking heads can finally stop talking about how he cannot get it done in the postseason. Who am I kidding?? The talking heads will still find something to yap about. Now if the Seahawks happen to pull off the upset, then I will definitely be happy for Russell as well as J.R. Sweezy and Steven Hauschka(WOLFPACK!!!) Shoutout to Nate Irving(WOLFPACK!) who plays for the Broncos. Only one school, Tennessee, has more players playing in the Super Bowl than we do.
 

Looking forward to a great game!! PEYTON BOUT TO PUT IN WORK!! HEEEEEEEEY!! PEYTON BOUT TO PUT IN WORK!! HEEEEEEY!!

One week later and Richard Sherman is still headline news…

While in the gym this morning at FIVE AM, I caught of glimpse of Sherman on ESPN. Not surprisingly, he was the choice candidate for SportsCenter’s weekly Sunday Conversation. Since I was unable to listen to the conversation at the gym, I made it a point to watch it when I got home. I still love the fact that ESPN shows the same SportsCenter episode repeatedly for like eight hours during the night and into the next morning. You never have to miss a thing! Upon sitting down to watch the interview, I did not anticipate Sherman saying anything that I had not already heard him say in the past week. Boy was I wrong.

Sherman’s conversation was conducted by Kenny Mayne, one person I know never shies away from the tough questions and always creates an environment that allows his interviewee to feel comfortable being his or herself. When Mayne referenced Sherman’s comments about Michael Crabtree being mediocre, my ears perked up. If you will recall last week I made the claim that I do not believe Sherman really thinks Crabtree is a “sorry receiver”(click here if you missed that post…http://kassienetteskorner.com/2014/01/21/why-they-mad-bro/). Boy was I wrong.

Mayne: “Crabtree. You called him medicore. Do you really believe that cause I don’t think he’s mediocre, personally.”

Sherman: “I do, I do. I do…I really think that it’s one of those situations where I’ve watched the film, I’ve played him, I’ve done everything…”

Welp. Bloop! And there you have it. He was dead serious. I loved the fact that Sherman stood by his words. Again. As if this rivalry needed more fuel to be added to the fire. Crabtree, he called you out, again. Now how you gone respond, on the field?? Is it too early to start counting down the days to 9ers vs Seahawks 2014, Vol. 1??

 

P.S. I do NOT agree with Sherman’s assessment of Crabtree. He’s no Jerry Rice but he is far from being an Andre Holmes. Who? Exactly.

I knew it was coming.

From the time Richard Sherman opened his mouth after his Seattle Seahawks won the NFC Championship Sunday night, I knew it was coming. Yesterday, it dropped. The apology. Ugh.

I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, the unpredictable would happen. I was hoping that maybe this would be the one time an athlete seized his first amendment right with no apologies. I was hoping that maybe there would be an unequivocal silence that would speak for itself.

However, I get it. As a PR consultant, I totally get it. It had to be done because this story had become bigger than the result of the game. More than 36 hours later, Sherman is still the number one trending topic on Twitter. Some are praising him. Some are enjoying the moment. Some are calling him names. There are memes, spoofs and t-shirts popping up all over cyberpace. I have read articles of support, articles of condemnation and articles of indifference. I have shaken my head so many times

Thug. Bully. Uneducated. I have seen those words thrown around so many times I need an assistant to keep count. Thug. Bully. Uneducated. Maybe there is a different Richard Sherman people are referring to. Surely, none of the talking heads are referring to the Richard Sherman who graduated second in his high school class with a 4.2 GPA and holds a degree in Communication from Stanford. Oh, and he graduated from there with a 3.9 GPA. Surely, they are NOT referring to THAT Richard Sherman.

As I sit here, typing earnestly, at the computer, I am wondering when did sports become so watered down that everyone has to place nice in the sandbox at all times even in the midst of battle. I think a lot of people have forgotten that we all are different. Every player does not study the game the way Peyton Manning does. Every player does not display the fiery passion for the game that Ray Lewis did. Every player does celebrate their on-field accomplishments the way Deion Sanders did. However, is that not part of what makes sports so enjoyable for most? Men and women from all walks of life with different personalities competing for the same goal.

As I have stated previously, Sherman’s actions at the end of the game were less than desirable. However, I stand by my previous statement that I have no problem with his words and the more I think about it, I am beginning to think I do not have a huge problem with his actions. Was the pat on the behind and the “friendly” extension for a handshake from Michael Crabtree necessary? Absolutely not. That had potential fisticuffs written all over it. Things could have gone left really quick and no one in their right mind believes Sherman was thinking good sportsmanship in that moment. That is sports!! If he apologized for anything, it should have been for the that. Again, I get it. I really do. Sherman had just made the biggest play of his career, thus far, to send his team to the Super Bowl. Many of us would be excited in that moment, operating off pure adrenaline. Many of us would want to celebrate. Many of us would want to rub that in the face of the opposing player whom the play was made on. Yet, some have crucified him for being caught up in the moment as if we have never gotten “caught up” when someone cuts us off in traffic.

Bottom line is this: its football! A brutal sport that is not for the weak. It is rough, you have to be tough and trash talk happens, a lot. There are some players who passion oozes out through the way they approach the game. Then, there are players whose passion oozes out through their words in a way that scares some. At the rate things are going, soon players will not be able to express themselves at all for fear of being labeled everything they are not. Well, unless you are Tom Brady because then you can berate officials all you want and no one will say a thing.

Yeah, this San Francisco 49ers Faithful went there.

faithful

Lawd ha mercy.

In 2011, my beloved San Francisco 49ers lost the NFC Championship courtesy of a fumble on a punt return in overtime by Kyle Williams which lead a game winning field goal for the New York Midgets, I mean Giants.

In 2012, my beloved San Francisco 49ers lost Super Bowl XLVII despite having the ball at the seven yard line with under 2:15 left in regulation. Four downs+no paydirt=HEARTBRAK.

So in 2011, we lose the Championship game. In 2012, we lose the Super Bowl. This would be the year we got back to the Super Bowl and finally completed our Quest, right?????

Wrong. Lawd ha mercy.

Down six with 33 seconds left and TWO timeouts, our beloved QB Colin Kaepernick tried it. With Michael Crabtree in a one on one matchup with Richard Sherman, Kap tried it. NOOOOO!!! Now let me clarify. Yes, I do believe Sherman is the best corner in the game. Revis Island has sunk, for now. I also believe Crabtree has some of the best hands in football. However, with 33 seconds left and TWO timeouts, that was NOT the time to try Sherman especially when throws have not been very accurate the majority of the game. We were moving the ball on them, at will, during that drive. Why not stick with what works?? I will never understand. The more I question it, the more frustrated I get.

We have the best collection of players in the league and when it matters most we cannot seem to get over the hump. FRUSTRATIIIIING.

Hopefully, this will leave the bitter taste in the players mouth that will FINALLY propel us to a Super Bowl victory.

#BangBangNinerGang

P.S. I did not see Sherman’s postgame rant but I have kind of pieced together what he said, thanks to Twitter. I have always been a fan of Sherman’s play and his quotables. His fiery, passionate and one of the best in the league. While I do not agree with his assessment of Crabtree being a sorry receiver, he deserved to talk whatever smack he did. He made THE play when it counted most. Was getting in Crab’s face necessary? Nah. Was the choke sign necessary? Nah. I have issue with his actions not his words.He was interviewed IMMEDIATELY after the game was over and I am pretty sure that the majority of the players in the league would be just as excited as he was. Maybe not as loud but definitely excited. A reporter stuck a microphone in my face after my 9ers beat my Panthers last week and I could barely formulate a decent sentence :-}. It is much harder than it looks. Oh and that handshake he offered was definitely sarcastic.

P.P.S. The league has GOT to do something about the zeebs(refs) and the replay system. Now before you try me and assume I am blaming the refs for this lost(you should know better than that by now), I am not. I am still dumbfounded over the NaVorro Bowman play. That rule has got to be changed ASAP. Aaaaaaand, the fact that the referee CLEARLY did not know the rules for “running/roughing” the kicker. Lawd ha mercy.

P.P.P.S. My thoughts and prayers are with arguably the best LB in the league, Bowman and starting guard Mike Iupati.

P.P.P.P.S. I will let ya’ll know next week who I will be rooting for in Super Bowl XLVIII. If you know me well, then you already know who I am going with.

faithful

My column that appeared in my hometown newspaper, today.

http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20140116/COLUMNISTS/301169995/0/FRONTPAGE#gsc.tab=0

Deuces…not for long tho :-}

Posted: December 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

Taking a much needed break. I’ll catch y’all in the 2KayOneFour!!!

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Imagine my surprise when I turned on SportsCenter the other day and heard the crazy news, NASCAR’s #3 car is coming back. Seriously? Even more crazy is the fact that Richard Childress’ grandson Austin Dillon would be driving the car. Seriously?? Seriously??? For those of you that are clueless, the late, great Dale Earnhardt drove for Childress’ RCR team.

I have nothing against Childress or Dillon. It has been 13 years since Earnhardt passed away coming out of turn four at the Daytona 500. It is a day that lives in infamy in the NASCAR  world and in the world of us who love sports. No one was as big of a name in NASCAR as Earnhardt was and still is. His stare, abilities and the mustache drew a whole new sea of fans to the sport. Immediately, after his passing, NASCAR issued a memo stating no one would be able to drive a #3 car for a year. And no one has driven it since, until now.

I have no doubt Dillon is worthy of a chance to participate in the Sprint Cup Nationwide Series but in my opinion he is not the one that should bring #3 back to the track. No one should. Not even six time Nationwide Series winner Jimmie Johnson. And that has nothing to do with his abilities on the track and everything to do with the respect that Earnhardt earned before he passed.

Most of us naturally assumed that if anyone ever drove the car again, it would be driven by his son, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. I personally think NASCAR should pull a MLB move and retire the number across the board. The number is iconic, sacred and should only be connected to Earnhardt. The man gave his life to the sport and has forever been immoralized as NASCAR’s biggest star. #3 should stay in the garage. Childress owes The Intimidator that much.

Saturday night, I found myself exhausted. I had an extremely busy and productive week which consisted of meetings, work, fundraising and the cherry on top: my little cousin graduating from college with honors. As I lay in the recliner Saturday night flipping channels, I stopped on one of my favorite channels: ESPN. A new 30 for 30 was about to start entitled Youngstown Boys. It was the story of Youngstown’s most famous sons, Maurice Clarett and Jim Tressel. As tired as I was, the thought crossed my mind to DVR it and watch it later. However, I was intrigued from the opening scene and I decided to watch it. To say that I am glad I did would be an understatement.

The media. The media. The media. Boy has the media torn apart  Clarett. The media would have you to believe that Clarett is a young man who squandered away the opportunity of a lifetime all because he was self-centered, self-righteous and self-appointed to be the next big star at Ohio State University. They labeled him a troublemaker. A traitor. A modern day Benedict Arnold in the state of Ohio.

Now, I have closely followed Clarett’s story since he burst onto the scene at Ohio State. During his freshman year, I was a Senior at North Carolina State and we had a freshman that was making a lot of noise on the football field as well: T.A. McLendon. Both were hard nosed runners who could dart through a hole almost before it opened. There was a lot of hype surrounding both players especially before the season began in 2003, the  year my beloved Wolfpack would make the trip to the infamous Horseshoe for a show down with the Buckeyes. Unfortunately, the showdown between two of the best in the backfield did not happen. Clarett was in the middle of serving what would eventually become a year long suspension from football. That suspension marked the beginning of a downhill spiral for Clarett. For those of you who are not familiar with his story, watch Youngstown Boys.

Before I watched the documentary, I assumed the focus would be on Clarett’s and Tressel’s “fall from Ohio State grace.” That was how it was promoted. I was presently surprised to see that the focus was mainly on Clarett with Tressel’s story weaved into the mix. Not that I would not have enjoyed hearing about Tressel’s rise from the relatively unknown city in Ohio, it is just that I wanted to hear Clarett’s story. In his own words.

As much as I love writing and the whole idea of reporting, it is stories like Clarett’s that make me want to scream when it comes to the way the media tends to portray athletes. Especially black athletes. Now, as a writer, I understand that the media is driven by what society wants to hear. Society thrives off negativity. However, there is a large portion of society that thrives off positivity and restoration. Those of us who thirst for the good in the world could be found with big smiles on our faces and tears streaming from some of our eyes at 11 o’clock Saturday night.

I can personally say I never had a really negative opinion about Clarett. Sure, I thought he made some horrible decisions. I thought he got tangled up with some people who were only concerned about what he could for them. I thought he had just given up on life and did not care that his life was spinning out of control. And when he was sentenced to jail time, I actually thought that may be the end for Clarett. His fall from grace had been a long one. And he hit the ground hard. And when he was released, it was to very little fanfare. And maybe that was for the best. From the time he was young, he was surrounded with fanfare. That can be overwhelming, for anyone.

Our society sets up kid’s like Clarett for failure, daily. We focus on their accomplishments on the field, court and diamond while forgetting to nurture their minds through learning.

I am glad Clarett was able to share his story. There were many things that happened that were NOT reported in the media. His story is admirable, impactful, honest, real and intriguing. It is stories like his that convince me on a daily basis that GOD is real. There is no one else that could have gone through what Clarett went through and still come out a winner. He was created specifically for this journey. His determination to turn his life around is more inspiring than anything he ever did on the gridiron. The endurance it took for him to reach the point he is at now will sustain him for years to come. Clarett has definitely gained a new fan and I look forward to the next chapter of his life.

P.S. His mom deserves her own 30 for 30. Talk about strength! There is nothing like a mother who NEVER gives up on her children. Phenomenal woman, she is.

 

December 5, 2013. The day people will remember where they were when they heard the news that global icon, Nelson Mandela, had died at the age of 95.

I was sitting in my living room. Working. Well Facebooking when I saw a breaking news status from WRAL out of Raleigh. It confirmed what we all knew was inevitable. Mr. Mandela was no longer with us. Physically.

While death surrounds us every day, it is rare that a death engulfs us in a way that news outlets cease all prior projects, CEOs whip out their smart phones to confirm the news and social media erupts in an outpouring of gratitude, thankfulness and love. With my very own eyes, I saw it happen yesterday. Within an hour, #RIPNelsonMandela was the number one trending topic worldwide on Twitter. Within an hour, my Facebook newsfeed was full of statuses with Mr. Mandela quotes. Within an hour, every news station was, for once, focused on something positive: the life of a man who meant so much to so many.

Mr. Mandela, like us all, did some things that he was not proud of. On many occasions he openly discussed his past but adamantly stated that he would not change a thing. For what he did lead him to be the person that we saw before us. The person that was full of love. The person that was full of forgiveness. The person that was full of grace. The person that was full of mercy. The person that was full of passion. The person that was full of humility. The person that was full of kindness. The person that was full of dignity. The person that was full of compassion. The person who was full of intelligence. The person that was so full that his only option was to give.

A thousand plus words today about a man who showed this world how to live empty would never do him justice. I had always hoped that one day I would be in a position to meet him, just to say thank you. Thank you for showing us how much stronger we can be if we love instead of hate. Thank you for showing us how free we can be if we forgive instead of holding grudges. Thank you for showing us how to be humble when we have every right to be boastful. Thank you for showing us how to lend a helping hand to pull someone else up instead of pushing them down. Thank you for showing us how to smile when we our world around us is crumbling. Thank you for showing us how one life can change a world for a lifetime. Thank you Mr. Nelson Mandela for fulfilling your purpose in this world.

I am grateful.

 

Rest in eternal peace, Madiba.

 

 

nelson-mandela

 

Welp, unfortunately for the University of Alabama and Nicky Saban, that mentality cost them the game. Excuse me while I continue laughing. Finally!! So glad to see ‘Bama get knocked down. No one, absolutely no one, could have predicted that ending. Auburn scores with 36 seconds left. PAT to tie the game. ‘Bama’s TJ Yeldon manages to get to Auburn’s 39 yard line with one second left. Assuming ‘Bama would attempt the Hail Mary, Nicky shocked everyone by bringing in a redshirt freshman kicker who had only attempted two field goals this year. You play to win the game!! I would have gone for the Hail Mary though. So Adam Griffith lines up, ball falls short, right into the hands of Chris Davis. And that was all she wrote. GONE!!! Davis returned the missed field goal 100+ yards to do three things: 1) put Auburn into the SEC Championship game, 2)win the Iron Bowl and 3)assure that their cross-state neighbors would NOT three-peat as BCS Champions. GAME. SET. MATCH.

That is why I love this game!!!

Before, the Iron Bowl, most of us figured we had seen the craziest finish we would see all day when Ohio State narrowly escaped their rival, Michigan. The 110th meeting between the two, ended with Michigan playing to win the game. Down by one with 32 seconds left, Michigan Head Coach Brady Hoke stunned the college football world by going for the two point conversion instead of attempting the PAT to tie the game. Hey, you play to win the game!!! Plus Ohio State was running that ball down Michigan’s throats and stomachs. As you know by now, the ball was intercepted by Tyvis Powell and kept, what was at that point, Ohio State’s narrow dreams of playing for the BCS  Championship alive.  GAME. SET. MATCH.

That is why I love this game!!!

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you ~1 Thessalonians 5:18

Every fourth Thursday in November, people gather with family and friends to eat, drink, watch football, play football, chat, laugh and eventually take naps. At some tables, there will be a prayer said before those present begin to sample the feast laid out before them. At most tables, thank yous will be said and thankfulness will be acknowledged. At my table, we will do both.

Thanksgiving is a day set aside for us to be just that, thankful. However, in my life Thanksgiving is not just a day it is a lifestyle. When I arise from my sleep, I am thankful. When I go to sleep, I am thankful. All the hours in between, I am thankful. I am thankful because I realize that my life does not have to be as fabulous as it is and I realize that circumstances could change at any moment that would drastically alter my fabulous life. Do I have everything I want? Nope. Do I have everything that I need? Yes. Even though it seems like at times I am lacking in some “needy” areas but it has not stopped me from doing what needs to be done.

So on this day, a day set aside to give thanks, I want to give thanks publicly. Below are a few things I’m thankful for…

1) I am thankful for my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without a doubt, I know that I would not be the person I am today without him. I would not have survived some of the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual traps that were set for me. He keeps me sane in an insane world. I seek to please Him in all that I do. He died for me so I will live for Him. SN: If you are reading this and you do not comprehend how I feel, my prayer is that one day you will feel the same way.

2) I am thankful for my family. All of them.  My family is my backbone. When I don’t have anyone on this Earth that I can call upon, I know I have my family. Their love, support and reality checks are priceless. I draw a tremendous amount of strength from them and I am blessed to be linked, by blood, to each one of them. Without them, there is no legacy for me to uphold.

3) I am thankful for my friends. I am blessed to have an amazing group of friends who love me, support me, encourage me, correct me, uplift me, motivate me, inspire me and celebrate me. The older I get, the more I can appreciate those who have stuck by me when I had nothing to offer other than my love and friendship.

4) I am thankful for food. Seriously. Not just because it is necessary but because it is sooooo good. I love to eat! And I love fresh baked bread.

5) I am thankful for heat. I’m not made for this cold weather ya’ll. Nevertheless I am thankful for it because it means I am among the living.

6) I am thankful for my love of sports and working out. Nothing cures a bad day like a good run/workout and a game on my tv to scream at.

7) I am thankful to be home. It was not in my original plan but GOD’s plan is ALWAYS better than mine. This is exactly where HE needed me to be. I totally get it, now.

8) I am thankful for the beach. The peace, tranquility and serenity of the beach is unmatched.

9) I am thankful for the ability to see, hear, taste, touch and smell.

10) I am thankful for the many opportunities I have had to give back over the years. The joy I get when I am able to help others is indescribable. I take none of the credit. I am always thankful to GOD for placing me in the position to be able to help.

11) I am thankful for books. Not Kindles or Nooks. Books! I love to read!  Sadly, I have not had much time lately to read as much as I would like but I have made a vow to read at least three books before the end of the year.

12) I am thankful for my blog. My own little space in cyberspace to share how I feel, when I want to, how I want to.

 

Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

 

{Sources: Google Images}

{Sources: Google Images}

Oh boy! Oh boy!! A rare feat. My 9ers AND my Panthers both won this week. My 9ers got a much needed win over the downward spiraling Redskins. Hey! A dubya is a dubya. My Panthers finished another game and squeaked out a win over the Dolphins for their 7th dubya in a row. 7Up for everyone!

Was hoping to get the trifecta. However, Peyton the Broncos could not pull out the win in the always chilly Foxborough. I do not even want to talk about how the game ended. So anti-climatic. Oh and Tom Brady berated another referee but of course no one talked about that yesterday.

The Steelers beat the Browns. The Steelers now actually have a realistic chance of making the playoffs. Told ya’ll. Any Given Sunday. Or Monday. Or Thursday.

Shoutout to fellow Wolfpacker, Tampa Bay QB, Mike Glennon with the dubya. Unfortunately, it was over fellow Wolfpacker Stephen Tulloch’s Lions.

The Vikings and the packers done messed around and couldn’t get right. Their game ended in a tie. *snickers*

The Bears got run over by the Rams. Yeah, those Rams.

The Chargers handed the Chiefs their second lost. Shoutout to fellow Wolfpacker, Chargers QB, Philip Rivers who 27-39 with 392 yards and three TDs. I see you Philly Cheese!

*yawns* The Ravens beat the Jets.

The Cardinals, who are surprisingly and quietly seven and four, mollywopped the Colts. I mean what they did was not even right. Sheesh.

Why is no one talking about the Texans? They have lost nine games straight. This most recent lost was at the hands of the Jaguars. I think I just answered my own question.

The five and six Titans are now back on the playoff hunt with their win over the Raiders. Kool.

The Saints sqoze out a win against the Falcons. Would have been real embarassing if they lost. Maybe next week!

Lastly, the Cowboys beat the Giants. We all know what happens next. Let the annual Dallas December Debacle commence.

In case you are not familiar with the Stubenville case….

http://kassienetteskorner.com/2013/04/01/social-media-and-the-stubenville-wake-up-call/

Well. Well. Well. As if this story could not get any worse. Today, the news was delivered four ADULTS are being charged with lying or failing to report possible child abuse. Those charged…Stubenville High strength coach Seth Fluharty, volunteer football coach Matthew Belardine, elementary school principal Lynett Gorman and Stubenville SUPERINTENDENT Mike McVey. The Super?! I can think of a lot of words to convey how I feel but I will stick with disgusted. The Super?! I know we have this whole innocent until proven guilty thing in the great US of A. However, knowing what I know about the mockery that centered around the girl’s accusations, I am here for guilty until proven innocent. McVey is officially charged with felony counts of obstructing justice and tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor charge of making a false statement. The Super?!

Then we find out the party where all of this foolishness took place was at Belardine’s house. Talk about a mess. Both sides are pointing the finger at each other. Adults whom kids are suppose to be able to view as role models now have glamour shots downtown. And probably forgotten in all of this is the young woman whose life was completely altered that dreadful night in August 2012 simply because football is worth more than her innocence. I pray this story does not get any worse.

I am still kicking myself for not making the drive down to Charlotte last night. I had to listen to my body though. To say I was tired would have been an understatement. It is at times like these that I need a chauffeur. Any takers??

Last night was a BIG night for my Carolina Panthers. No we did not lock up home field advantage for the playoffs. No we did not clinch the division. No we did not clinch a playoff spot. What we did do last night is FINISH. On Monday night. Against a Tom Brady led squad. We FINISHED. Something we have struggled to do the last three years. Last night was a statement game in the Queen City. A chance to show the world that the Panthers, at least for this season, are a force to be reckoned with. And to think, just seven weeks ago, A LOT of you were calling young Cameron Newton a fluke and wanted head coach Ron Rivera fired. Now you all are all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram bragging about how you have been a fan since day one. Blah. Blah. Blah.

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

Let me tell you this. A REAL FAN NEVER gives up on their team. Sure, a real fan can criticize to some extent. A real fan can wonder aloud why a certain play was called. A real fan can even turn the channel when things get a little too rough. You have to turn back though. Do not be THAT fan. However, REAL FANS do not give up on their team. Especially after a 1 and 3 start. Four games into the season I saw it happen. A REAL FAN is always an optimist even if the reality staring you in the face is inevitable. You have to believe in your team at all times. Through the good and the bad. REAL CAROLINA PANTHER FANS should have never given up on this team. Helloooooo. Do you know who is one the roster?? Cameron Newton. Steve Smith. Luke Keuchly. Thomas Davis. Mike Tolbert. Graham Gano. Brandon LaFell. DeAngelo Williams. Greg Olsen. Charles Johnson. Do I even need to continue?? With that kind of talent a turnaround was bound to happen at some point. Did I expect it to happen the way that it did? Nope but we have seen it happen before. Remember the 2011 New York Midgets, I mean Giants, who entered the playoffs with a 9-7 record and went on to win the Super Bowl. Yeah. Any Given Sunday. Or Monday. Or Thursday.

Last night I screamed, whooped and talked trash. You know, what I normally do during games. Then it happened. Someone tried it. They came after my FANHOOD. Big mistake. Most of you know how I am about my FANHOOD but for those of you who do not, I will provide you with the scoop. My peeps love to joke me all the time about my FANHOOD because I am a fan of two teams. They tell me I can not be a fan of two teams. It does not work that way. Ask me if I care though :-}? My life. My rules. My FANHOOD. However, for those followers who do not know how this came about, here it goes…

 10.23.13. The day the NFL announced Charlotte would be receiving a team. I remember sitting in my living room watching the presser. I was so excited! I have been a die-hard and Faithful fan of the San Francisco 49ers since approximately 1984/85. I was raised in a household where you were a fan of your team no matter what. Exiting my relationship with my 49ers was out of the question so the only logical thing to do was to be a fan of both teams. And that is the stance I have taken since 1993. I have cheered for both teams. I have been mad when both teams have lost very close games. I was in Charlotte on 02.01.04 for SuperBowl 38. How could I not be? My Panthers were just 1-15 two years prior. I am still a tad upset about last year’s SuperBowl debacle especially since my 49ers may not make it back this year if they keep playing the way they have been playing. I shall remain optimistic though. As you can see, I experience a wide range of emotions every year.

Last night, I was proud to call myself a Carolina Panthers fan. Last night I was proud to be a North Carolinian. And last night I was proud to say I am a Carolina Panthers fan who has been there since day one. For us day one fans, last night was a big deal. We have not had much to cheer about for the last decade. Last night was for us. The fans who saw the Panthers play in Memorial Stadium on the campus of Clemson University during their first year. The fans who can remember singing the “Nothing can be finer than to be in Carolina for a Panthers football gaaaame!” during the first few years in Ericsson. The fans who have original Howl Towels. That win was for us! Those who stuck around during the tough times. Those that did not give up on the team. Those who are proud that in that particular moment when our team had a chance to make a statement, it did just that. I am sure some people will say we are being real extra right now but who cares! While we do not know what will be the ultimate outcome of this season, it feels good, for now, to be fans of one of the hottest teams in the league right now. It feels good to have more double yous than losses. It feels good to say I AM A CAROLINA PANTHERS FAN!

And to those of you who want to now call yourself a fan or you were not a fan before young Cameron Newton took over behind center, please do us a Michael Jackson favor and “Beat It!” We know who you are and we are not afraid to call you out. Consider that your warning. #NoNewFans.

Until next time….TOODELLS!!!

Oh. P.S. For all you Pats fans who are still crying about the flag/no flag, TUCK RULE ANYONE?

(Originally posted on 11.11.12. It has been updated, slightly)

This post has absolutely nothing to do with sports.

On today, November 11, people all across the country will celebrate the great men and women of our Armed Forces. They will be honored with parades, free meals, handshakes, standing ovations and endless thank yous. They are worthy of each and every act of gratitude that is bestowed upon them on that day. The members of our armed forces are known for their strength, determination, resilience, heart, work ethic, faith, courage, dependability, endurance, integrity, loyalty, the list goes on. I admire them for all these things but what impresses me the most is their humility.

All of my life I have been surrounded by men and women who were in the military. My grandfather was a Marine who served in World War II. He also served as a Post Commander in our hometown at one of the American Legion posts. My grandfather was a very humble man. Over the years, I had numerous conversations with my grandfather about his time in the Pacific and I can not recall him ever initiating those conversations. He was not one to brag. He would just simply say, “I was serving my country.” For all the times we talked, I had no idea I was talking to a man who made history. Not long before my grandfather passed, my mother found out that when he entered into the Marines he was among the first wave of African-American men to ever be admitted into the Corps. Come again? My grandfather? My daddy? The man who I call “The Epitome of a Man” was living history? Imagine our surprise. We knew he was stationed at Camp LeJeune but we had no idea about Montford Point which is where the African-American Marines were trained. The more my mother researched the story, the more we grew to understand just how huge this discovery was. When asked about the recent information that was discovered about him, my grandfather simply replied, “Yes, I was at Montford Point.” That was it. No tooting his horn. No sticking out his chest. No bragging about what he had done.

My grandfather’s response to what he accomplished is what I have always encountered with our soldiers. No boasting. No reminding you of what they did. No expectations of handouts. I am always humbled when I meet soldiers and I tell them thank you. A lot of times, I am given a “thank you for your support” as a response. I typically have that “you do not need to thank me” look on my face. It is not necessary but I get it. They fight for us. They serve for us. Many have given their lives for us. They do it selflessly. They do it knowing the risks. They do it because they love their country. Often times, I feel like our military heroes are forgotten. We see praise all over the place for reality stars, athletes(I managed to tie sports in), musicians, YouTube sensations, etc. Being a soldier is not just about November 11. It is about a commitment they made to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…” As humble as our soldiers are, I know that acknowledging them solidifies that what they have sacrificed was worth it. So do me a favor, the next time you encounter a veteran or a current member of our armed forces, tell them THANK YOU. Then allow yourself to experience the feeling that truly makes them who they are…humility.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I would like to publicly acknowledge some very special men and women who have served and are currently serving in our armed forces…my grandfather, the late LM Lockhart, the late Mr. Dewey Hill, Owen Mitchell, Brandon “Peanut” Parker, Danyell Horton, Tommy Parker, Johnny McKeithan, Adam Horne, Carlos Spruill, Leonard “Boogie” Williams, Cedric Payne, James Roberts, Jr., Lena Godfrey, Keith Hargrave, Tim Jones, Bernard Carter, Sheri McDowell, Jimmel Anderson, Quenya Borders Glenn, Tom Wiegand, Danielle Moses, Leon Marsh, Tracy Marsh, Marlaina Beaty and the late Josh Harris(I did not know Josh but he was a Navy SEAL Team Six member from my hometown who sacrificed his life during a combat mission in 2008). THANK YOU all for your sacrifice and service!! You allow me to proudly say, land of the free because of the BRAVE!

History. Montford Point Marines. My grandDaddy is on the last row, second from the left.

History. Montford Point Marines. My grandDaddy is on the last row, second from the left.

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

 

 

 

 

 

I am going to keep this real short and simple.

Jonathan Martin of the Miami Dolphins has EVERY RIGHT to feel the way he does about the way he has been treated. I know football is a violent sport. I know football is a lot of times more of a metal game than it is physical. I know to play football you have to be “tough.” However, just because a person plays football does not mean that person has to tolerate to a culture of vulgarity, lewdness and racism . If all the allegations that are coming out of the Dolphins camp is true then someone has some explaining to do. No one, absolutely not one, should have to work in an environment that is hostile, hateful and demeaning. Football or not. If that is what you are cool with, so be it. I will definitely be looking at you strange. If that is NOT what you are cool with, then you have every right to whistleblow.

From what I know of Martin’s background, he was raised in a two parent household, both of whom graduated from Harvard. Martin had the opportunity to go to Harvard but passed on the chance so he could play football at Stanford. He was the guy who protected Indianapolis Colts’ QB, Andrew Luck’s blindside. My mother made a very thought provoking statement last night as we discussed this matter. She eloquently stated that “how are we suppose to teach kids that bullying is not ok when there are grown people out here who feel it is ok?” Great question Ma. You do not want to call it bullying? What would you call it then? And do not give me that “He is a grown man. He is too old to be bullied,” mess. We are all different. What may bother me may not bother the next person and vice versa.

This just reeks of “grown men” who are so insecure of themselves that they have to belittle someone in order have a sense of power. I believe Martin was right in walking away from the team. His state of mind, well being and sanity obviously were not high on the Dolphins priority list. I refuse to believe the front office did not know what was going on. It is not a cowardly act. It is an act of someone who understands their worth and would rather hold on to their dignity rather than lower their standards to please others. It takes a STRONG man to go up against an NFL team. Well done Jonathan Martin.

Until next time….TOODELLS.

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

 

95 years ago, thousand and thousands of Boston’s loudest, boisterous and proudest fans packed in to famed Fenway Park to cheer their beloved Boston Red Sox on to a World Series victory. 95 years later, the faces have changed but thousand and thousands of fans that are packed into Fenway are just as loud, boisterous and proud as their ancestors.

The road to the World Series title was about as smooth as a Nestle Crunch.  In August of last year, the Red Sox unloaded their roster and sent Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  When the season ended, the Red Sox were in last place. Expectations coming into this season were high but not many were putting their chips on the Sox being the ones standing at the end.

{Source: The Boston Globe}

{Source: The Boston Globe}

 

And then it happened. April 15. The City of Boston was rocked to its core by two bombs at an event that is the crem de la crem of distance running, the Boston Marathon. The world watched, grief stricken, as chaos ensued. The world watched as people ran away from the point of attack with tears streaming down their faces. The world watched not fully knowing what had just happened and who was responsible.

 

 

Five days later, while the world was still sorting through details, the Red Sox made a statement and it was a big, bold statement that came in the form of David “Big Papi” Ortiz. During a pregame celebration, Ortiz declared that “This is our ******* city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.” And from the infield that day rose a moniker that has been synonymous with all things good in Boston this year, BostonStrong. The Boston Bruins rode the momentum into the Stanley Cup final. The New England Patriots have rode the momentum to a 6-2 record, despite many of their starters being on the bench with season ending injuries. And of course, the Red Sox rode the momentum all the way to a World Series clinching victory. At home. At Fenway Park.

The Red Sox did it together. They did it as a family. They did it for Boston. And as the celebration began last night, dozens of fans raced up Boylston Street in Boston to celebrate at the placed that was robbed of its celebration in April, the Boston Marathon finish line. Last night in Boston and for weeks, months and years to come, it will be about more than just a World Series. It is about more than a ring. It is about more than 95 years. It is about a city that rose from the ashes in the midst of adversity. A city that refused to be defeated. A city that refused to be weakened by the cowardly act of others. It is about Destiny Fulfilled. The BostonStrong way.

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.

 

{Source: The Boston Globe}

{Source: The Boston Globe}

 

{Source: The Boston Globe}

{Source: The Boston Globe}

 

SoxCelebration2

So on the real, I think we have all been sleeping on the greatness of Boston sports in the past decade. This region has been dominating all over the professional map. Did you realize that since 2004, the New England Patriots have won the Superbowl, the Boston Bruins have won the Stanley Cup(2011), the Boston Celtics have won the NBA Championship(2008) and the Boston Red Sox have won the Word Series twice(2004 & 2007) and can clinch their third in 10 years tonight??!! Crazyyyyyyyyy. Boston is one of those cities that seems to be a bit boring. That is just me judging from afar since I have never been. It does not get the shine that cities like LA, New York, Atlanta and Miami do. It is not a flashy town but I do love the city for giving me New Edition and New Kids on the Block though. Oh and Mark Wahlberg. I cannot forget about Marky Mark. Let the Sox get this ring, you can betcha by golly wow that I will be getting me a Boston Strong shirt.

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.