I have tried all week to come up with a topic to blog about. I have nothing! This is frustrating. I pray next week is better. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!
Until next time….TOODELLS.
I have tried all week to come up with a topic to blog about. I have nothing! This is frustrating. I pray next week is better. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!
Until next time….TOODELLS.
Hi everyone! I know it has been a while. Did you miss meeee? I planned to blog last week but unforseen circumstances prevented me from having the adequate amount of time to do so. On top of that, my Birfday was this past weekend so I had to celebrate :-}. I will be posting this week so stay tuned.
Until next time…TOODELLS!,,
Hello all!!! Just wanted to let you all know that I will be taking a brief hiatus until the week of May 6. Yes, that means no posts from me about tonight’s NFL Draft. The class is kind of blah this year anyway.
Until next time….TOODELLS.
Whoop whoooop!!! It is not football season but hey at least we have the 2013 NFL S.chedule!!! I have some planning to do :-}.
Below, I have listed the most intriguing game or games of each week. Let me know what you think!
Week 1: Seahawks @ Panthers. Russell vs Cam. Yes!! Packers @ 49ers. Second year in a row these two teams have met in week 1. Should be another good one. Ravens @ Broncos. Now this is an interesting matchup. Interested to see how the Ravens look after having that yard sale in the off season.
Week 2: 49ers @ Seahawks. Kaepernick vs Russell. 49ers D vs Seahawks O. 49ers O vs Seahawks D. Nuff said.
Week 3: Chiefs @ Eagles. Andy Reid going back to Philly will be the big story. I am interested to see how these teams bounce back after disappointing seasons last year. Texans @ Ravens. For reasons other than Ed Reed going back to Baltimore, I think this matchup will show us a lot about these two teams
Week 4: 49ers @ Rams. Lets hope the game does not end in a tie, again! Seahawks @ Texans. Once again, two prolific D’s are featured. Looking forward to seeing if the Seahawks O-Line can contain the Texans JJ Watt. Bears @ Lions. The Lions Stephen Tulloch predicts that the Lions will bounce back this season. We will see.
Week 5: Chiefs @ Titans. Yeah, no one pays these teams any attention but hey it could be a good game! Broncos @ Cowboys. By week 5, we ought to know which Cowboys team we are dealing with. Texans @ 49ers. How can you not be excited about this game?
Week 6: Giants @ Bears. The Bears have been underachieving for a few years. Lets see if they can bounce back. Redskins @ Cowboys. Romo better win this game. I mean his $108 million dollar arm should be able to do it, right? Colts @ Chargers. I keep holding out hope that things will turn around for Philip Rivers out in Diego. Keeping my fingers crossed!
Week 7: Bears @ Redskins. This has the potential to be a great matchup. Then again, it has the potential to be a blowout. Broncos @ Colts. Peyton’s singing, “I’m coming home. I’m coming home. Tell the world, I’m coming home!!!” Ravens @ Steelers. One of the best rivalries in the game right now. Lets hope it does not lose its luster with all these roster changes.
Week 8: Redskins @ Broncos. I fully expect #18 to slice and dice the Redskins D. Love watching “The Surgeon” work.
Week 9: Steelers @ Patriots. Everyone is always gunning for the Patriots. The Steelers are no different. Colts @ Texans. Interested to see what young Andrew Luck can do against that Texans D. Bears @ Packers. Another classic rivalry.
Week 10: Seahawks @ Falcons. I am sure the Seahwaks want payback for losing their NFC Divisional game to the Falcons with less than a minute left. Still shaking my head on that one. Panthers @ 49ers. My two favorite teams. Go 9ers! Go Panthers!
Week 11: Jets @ Bills. Welp, for years these teams have been pretty terrible. Not expecting it to be any different this year sooo yeah, should be a good game! Falcons @ Bucs. I think the Bucs are going to be a much better team this year. They could challenge for the NFC South crown. 49ers @ Saints. Hope they are not already dishing out Kaepernick payments.
Week 12: Saints @ Falcons. Another NFC South matchup. Broncos @ Patriots. Peyton vs Brady. Yep, that is all you need to know. 49ers @ Redskins. Kaepernick vs Griffin III. Yep, that is all you need to know.
Week 13: Packers @ Lions. I hope this is a good matchup. Watch, one of these teams is going to be not so good. Haha. Saints @ Seahawks. Can not remember the last time I have seen the Saints play in Seattle. Lets see how they handle the 12th man. Jaguars @ Browns. Another one of those these teams typically are not very good so this matchup should be.
Week 14: Seahawks @ 49ers. At this point in the season, this game could very well decide who wins the NFC West.
Week 15: Texans @ Colts. At this point in the season, this game could very well decide who wins the AFC South. Ravens @ Lions. I am just interested to see what the Ravens look like at this point in the season.
Week 16: Falcons @ 49ers. At this point in the season, this game could very well decide who gets is the #1 seed in the NFC. Plus, the Falcons are probably still bitter from last year’s NFC Championship debacle. Bucs @ Rams. The Rams were slowly improving last year. Too bad no one paid them any attention.
Week 17: Redskins @ Giants Eagles @ Cowboys NFC East matchups! Could the division title be decided the last week of the season???
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALLLLLLLLLL??!!
I have gotten really tired of writing posts about sports related tragedies. Today is no exception. Yesterday started out as a normal day. Monday. Kinda gloomy. Warm. However, this Monday would not be like the previous Monday. The sports world started the day celebrating the accomplishments and legacy of Jackie Robinson and ended the day with questions and tears as the holy grail of marathons, The Boston Marathon, was rocked to its core.
Shortly after 2:45, two explosions took place. One near the finish line and the other about 50 feet away. As chaos ensued, emergency personnel rushed to the sites of the explosions to put their training to use. On a day that was suppose to mean to much to so many, it has now been marred by an hellacious act.
As a fellow marathoner, the tears immediately begin to flow upon hearing the news. I know what it is like to be within a few feet of the finish line. I know what it is like to see your final destination ahead of you. I know what it is like to know that all your hard work is about to pay off. I know what that finish line means. That finish line to many is a representation of all the obstacles, trials and devastation, that many had to overcome not only to make it to the finish line but to make it through life. Every marathoner has a story. Whether it was the death of a loved one, failing in school, being told you would never amount to anything, debt, abuse, depression, etc, the finish line sends a statement to the runner as well as the world, that this particular finisher is equipped with whatever he or she needs to overcome anything that comes his/her way.
The running community is a family, especially those in the 26.2 club. We know what it takes to finish those races. We know the hard work that has to be put in. We know the sacrifices that are made to ensure that we cross that finish line. Not only do we know but our family and friends know as well. Today’s act not only effects runners in attendance but their supporters as well. A marathon is about more than just the participants. Most of us would never cross the finish line without the support of our family, friends and complete strangers who come to marathons just to cheer for the runners. Trust me when I say that spectators, staff, emergency personnel, law enforcement and volunteers are just as important to a marathon as the runners themselves.
The sadness I feel is not likely to go away easily but it makes me even more determined to go out and accomplish yet another goal I have zoned in on. For those of you who have never crossed that finish line, it may be hard for you to understand. Or maybe not. Think about that one goal you have your mind set on. Think about how hard you have worked to reach that goal. Think about how you have put the plan in motion and you are almost there. 10 steps away from the finish line and then just like that, the line is gone.
The finish line at a marathon should serve as a source of triumph not of tragedy. It should be a place where runners are celebrated for their accomplishment not consoled because their dream was shattered. It should be a place full of exuberance, laughter and tears of joy not sadness, disorientation and tears of distraught.
Yesterday the finish line may have been compromised but it is not to be denied. The Boston Marathon will rise from the ashes again and the determination, dedication and resilience of the runners, supporters, volunteers, emergency personnel, law enforcement and spectators will be evident once again. This is now the stumbling block that many of the runners and those in attendance will now have to overcome. The thing that stands between them and the finish line. The situation that will motivate them to dig deep. Keep pressing. Keep pushing. Keep going. The finish line is waiting for you.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, those in attendance and all those who have been affected by this tragedy. UNITED WE STAND.
On this day, 66 years ago, the landscape of Major League Baseball(MLB) was forever changed. On this day, 66 years go, starting at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers was Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson. On this day, 66 years ago, Robinson became the first black man to break through baseball’s elusive color line.
I had every intention of going to see 42, the movie about Robinson’s life, on Friday. However, unforseen circumstances prevented me from attending opening night. And I still have not managed to make it to the theater. This is a movie that I have been excited about for months. As a black woman, I am beaming with pride at the fact that a film depicting the true story of an American legend, who happens to be black, is being shown all across the world. 66 years ago, who would have thought that would ever be a reality?
In 1997, in what I think is one of the most significant moments in baseball history, MLB retired the number 42 across the league. No other players, other than the players that were currently wearing the number 42, would ever wear that number again. EVER. The significance of that transcends beyond baseball. It recognizes a man for not only what he did for baseball but what he did for this country. The Civil Rights Movement had yet to begin in the United States and here was a man who willingly put his life on the line, literally. Was it a popular decision? Of course not. Was there outrage? Of course there was. Were there people who thought there were other players in the Negro League more deserving of being the first? Certainly. 66 years later, all of that is a moot point.
On April 15, 2004, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig officially declared April 15 to be Jackie Robinson Day. Often called the most significant moment in MLB history, Selig stated that “by establishing April 15 as ‘Jackie Robinson Day’ throughout Major League Baseball, we are further ensuring that the incredible contributions and sacrifices he made — for baseball and society — will not be forgotten.” At the end of this baseball season, whenever the New York Yankees finish their season, the last remaining player wearing number 42, Mariano Rivera, will retire. It is fitting that Rivera, a Latin American player who is arguably the greatest closer the game has ever seen, will do his final curtain call wearing the number that means so much to not only blacks but Latin American players as well. In 2011, Rivera called it a privilege and an honor to wear number 42 because of what Jackie represents for us(Latin American players). 66 years ago, who knew that Robinson’s impact would not only be felt in North America but on other continents as well.
So here we are, 66 years later and the impact that Robinson has had on MLB and the world is still being felt in 2013. The next generation is learning about him; what he stood for and the tremendous impact he had on race relations. Those already familiar with his story are having their memories refreshed and are often times learning new tidbits about Robinson. And those that were around in 1947 are recalling what that moment was like for American History. 66 years ago, blacks could not drink out of the same water fountain as whites. 66 years ago, black soldiers, who had served their country during World War II, were treated like second class citizens by the country they fought to defend. 66 years ago, there were black men who were beaten, ridiculed, heckled and lynched because of the color of their skin. 66 years ago, a black man stood courageously at first base as his fellow Americans hurled insults at him and questioned his right to play “their game.” 66 years later, a black man’s bold stance against inequality has resulted in him being called a legend. A hero. An American Treasure.
Thank you Mr. Robinson!!! Happy Jackie Robinson Day!!!
Last week I got four of the games right. Yay me! Earlier this week I realized I did not pick who I thought would make it to the Final Four. Oops. Ok, so here it goes.
Michigan over Syracuse
Louisville over Witchita State
Louisville over Michigan for the NCAA Championship
By the way, if you have not seen ESPN’s Rece Davis’s interview with Louisville’s Kevin Ware, Google it immediately. Great interview! Ware is a bright, intelligent, classy, humble young man. Best wishes to him!!
I have not shown the women any love this postseason. Shame on me because their tournament has been gooooood. Here are my pix…
Louisville over California
UConn over Notre Dame
UConn over Louisville for the NCAA Championship
I think next week I need to address the fact that the Atlantic Coast Conference will be gaining two Final Four participants next year, two each from the men’s and women’s side….Louisville, Notre Dame and Syracuse. Should make for an interesting ACC Tourney next year.
Have a great weekend folks! Until next time…..TOODELLS!
This story was written before Mike Rice was fired…
What Rutgers men’s basketball coach Mike Rice did is nothing new. Happens all the time. Every day. All across the country. Well, the throwing of basketballs at players may not be real common. Over and over, players report what is happening. Parents report what is happening. Member of the personnel report what is happening. Unfortunately, all too often, the consequences tend to be the same. The coach is brought into the office to be “talked to.” Sometimes there is a suspension. Sometimes there is a loss of pay. Very rarely is a coach fired.
Just a few weeks ago, I was talking with a friend about this very common style of coaching. Profanity. Yelling. Belittling. Verbal abuse. I never understood it and never will. And this is coming from a female who played sports all through middle and high school. To me, it is unacceptable. However, I find it to be very acceptable among males. I always hear, “that is just how it is.” That might be how it is but it does not make it right. No one, absolutely no one, deserves to be talked to as if they are not worthy of even being on this Earth. No one deserves to be called names all because they did not meet someone’s standards at that particular moment. No one deserves to be called anything less than the name that is on their birth certificate.
What Rice did was wrong. So wrong. So wrong on so many levels. How he still has a job is just baffling. While I do not condone the use of profanity and I do not think yelling at players every minute is very effective, I understand that that is the culture, especially in men’s sports. Men are taught to be tough and somewhere along the way, the use of profanity and yelling became synonymous with effective coaching. However, some things just should not be accepted. Throwing basketballs at players. Pushing players. kicking players. Calling players f****** is UNACCEPTABLE.Again,how Rice still has a job is just baffling. I am befuddled. Is this the new standard? Is this how we think young men should be treated? Is it now ok for coaches to hurl basketballs, at close range, at players all in the name of the game?
As I watched SportsCenter today and learned more about the situation, I found myself becoming increasingly angry with the way the situation was handled. Former Rutgers Director of Player Development, Eric Murdock, met with Rutgers Athletic Director, Tim Pernetti as early as last summer to discuss what had been taking place at the practices. At that time there were no disciplinary actions taken against Rice and soon thereafter, Murdock was fired. In December, Murdock provided Pernetti and Rutgers officials with video footage of Rice physically and verbally abusing players. With concrete evidence in hand, Pernetti suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000. He was not relieved of his duties because this was a “first offense.” I bet you are laughing, just like me.
What if the roles were reversed? What if the player was the one doing the kicking, screaming and throwing basketballs? Do you think he would still be playing basketball at Rutgers? No. Ask Latrell Sprewell what happens to players who put their hands on coaches. Now I am no psychologist but I am willing to bet that there are players, past and present, that have suffered emotionally and mentally as a result of Rice’s actions. Sadly, we all know many players will not admit it because it makes them look “weak” and there is no room to be weak in college basketball. Thankfully, there has been one player, Gilvydas Biruta, willing to step up to the plate and has admit that Rice’s behavior was the reason he transferred. I guarantee he is not the only one suffering. Where there is smoke, there is fire.
Today, players emotional, physical and mental well being need to be what is most important. The past actions of Pernetti have spoken loud and clear: his main concern is for her coach. That was until today when ESPN’s Outside The Lines broke the story. In response to the videos and interview with Murdock that was aired, Pernetti defendedhis actions only to later say he is now mulling over what is best for Rutgers basketball. Conincidence? I think not. It is amazing what bad press will do for you. Rice wore out his welcome years ago(this started in 2010) and it is past time for him to be relieved of his duties. Show these players that they matter.And while they are at it, relieve Pernetti of his duties as well. Those young men deserve to be under the tutelage of someone who is concerned about them, first and foremost.
Until next time….TOODELLS.
Everything has changed in the small town of Stubenville, OH. Life will never be the same for the approximately 18,659 residents.
August 11/12, 2012 was like many nights in “Small Town America.” High school kids were partying. Alcohol was present. And almost every teenager was in possession of a smartphone. This particular night a 16 year old girl, from a neighboring town, became incapacitated due to her large consumption of alcohol. Instead of being concerned, fellow partygoers stood by and watched as the young lady was victimized. Over a six hour span, the young lady was transported from party to party where she was photographed nude and semi-nude, sexually assaulted and ultimately raped by two of her peers. Unbeknownst to the young victim, she had quickly become the “talk of the town.”
In an age where social media dominates how we find out about news, react to news, share information with family and friends , it comes as no surprise that social media was front and center in this case. When the victim finally awakened, she had no recollection of what had transpired. The only thing she knew is that when she awoke, she was missing her underwear, shoes, earrings and phone. However, the young lady would quickly learn of the disgusting acts that had taken place, thanks to social media. There were photographs on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. There were videos on YouTube. There were text messages exchanged between the assailants, bystanders and even the victim. Instead of keeping quiet, like a lot of rape victims do, this brave victim went to the police to report what happened. Instead of there being an outpouring of support, the victim was criticized, ostracized and ridiculed. There were people blaming the victim for the rape. There were people who were mad at the victim for going to police about the rape. Perhaps most disgusting of all, there were people who were mad at the victim for coming forward because it casted a negative light on the football team,which the assailants were members of, and the town.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! A young lady was RAPED and all you care about is the potential backlash that will fall on the football team. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! The more people from Stubenville began to speak out, the more I began to understand why so many of the kids did not see anything wrong with what had taken place. It was obvious they were being raised in a culture where football was king. Couple that with a society which degrades and bashes women on a daily basis and you have a recipe for disaster. The fact that teenagers, whom know right from wrong, viewed what had taken place as a source of fun, entertainment and comedic relief is disgusting, saddening and heartbreaking. Their lack of moral convictions is downright disturbing. Many participated in the victimization and humiliation of the victim, indirectly, by standing around doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. No one called the cops. No one stood up for a victim who could not stand up for herself.
On March 17, Trent Mays and Ma’Lik Richmond were both convicted of rape. Mays was sentenced to two years in juvenile detention. Richmond received a one year sentence. To add insult to the victims mental and emotional injuries, many in the media chose to focus on how the “lives of two promising young men who had tons of potential has now been ruined.” EXCUSE ME? Actions have consequences. No one forced them to perform those heinous acts. Instead of focusing on them, the focus should be on the victim whose innocence was compromised in ways the majority of us will NEVER experience. For the rest of her life, her name will be synonymous with what took place that on August night.
A few days after the conviction, a couple of girls from Stubenville were arrested for communicating threats against the victim via Twitter. I guess these girls did not learn anything from the trial. There are so many things that need to be addressed as a result of this situation that it leaves my head spinning. Where are we as a society going wrong when our youth think it is perfectly ok for a young lady to be raped? Where are we as a society going wrong when our beloved football teams reputation is more important of than that of a 16 year old victim? Where are we as a society going wrong when our youth live their life as if their actions do not have consequences?
Social media, in my opinion, is ruining the next generation. Our next generation is very much lacking when it comes to social skills and moral values, as a result. Social media gives them the opportunity daily to communicate in ways generations before them never could. If something happens they can tweet it in a matter of seconds and their tweet has the potential to reach millions of people across the globe, regardless if their intention was to do so or not. Therefore, there needs to be some type of balance and that starts at home. In order for the next generation to be effective, they need face to face interaction with peers. They need to be taught that they do not need to share EVERY thing that happens in their on Twitter and Facebook. They need to learn that women should be respected at all times. Let this serve as a wake-up call to us all.
Ok, so in keeping with my word, I had to come up with something to write about today :-}. Thought about doing random thoughts cause I have quite a few. Thought about talking about Tiger Woods. If he wins the Master’s this year, he will definitely get some love. Basketball is back tonight so I decided to go with that. I am currently in a battle with my mother. She is beating me in our bracket battle by 5. Unfortunately, two of my Final four teams are out so I am hoping there are some big upsets so I can make up some ground. Hehe.
Alright, so here are my Elite 8 picks…
Miami over Marquette
Zona over Ohio State
Indy over Cuse
La Salle over Witchita St.
Louisville over Oregon
Michigan over Kansas
Duke over Michigan St.
Florida over Florida Gulf Coast(I think this is going to be a really good game. I would be estatic if FGCU wins even though it would destroy my bracket, what is left of it.)
Enjoy the games! I know I will. Make sure to follow me on Twitter @KassieNette to catch all my hardwood commentary.
Come back to The Korner tomorrow to read my latest post about a very controversial topic. Until next time…TOODELLS.
I LOVE TO RUN. If you have been faithfully following my blog then you are aware of this fact. There is no exercise I enjoy more than running. There is just something about getting out there and pounding the pavement. Or trail. Or grass. Or track. Or beach. I will run just about anywhere. Well, not anywhere but you know what I mean. I was not much of a runner until 2005. I was in graduate school at the time and I lived near a lake that had a paved trail around it. In an effort “get away from it all”, I would often go out to the lake and run. The trail was two and a quarter miles long so it usually took me anywhere from 19-30 minutes to run around once. I found a lot of serenity at the lake. It was surrounded by trees and there were plenty of geese, ducks and other water fowl to keep me entertained. This very lake I began to run around in 2005 was the same lake I was at in 2010 when I decided to run a marathon. I truly came full circle out there :-}.
So you want to start running? Here are some suggestions to get you started….
1. Figure out if you are the type of person who will need someone to motivate you to run or not. In most areas, there are running clubs so that would be a good place to start if you need some extra motivation.
2. Decide on a goal. My goal was to be able to go from running 2-4 miles to being able to complete a marathon(26.2 miles). Your goal does not have to be that outrageous or it can be. Whatever you decide, stick to it!
3. Research running. Sounds kind of crazy, right? Well up until 2010, I was running in the wrong types of shoes and clothing. I was also not worried about protein, which is essential to runners. There is all kinds of information out there to assist you in getting started. Research foods to eat, beverages to drink, different places to run, how to breathe properly while running, etc. By the way, when running, I inhale through my nose, exhale through my mouth…in your nose, out your mouth.
4. Go to a running store and get fitted for shoes. THIS IS IMPORTANT. In my opinion, it is the most important thing you need to do before you start running. The correct shoes are essential for your success. P.S. If you go to a store and the associate has you try on shoe but does not have you run in it, either in the store or outside, DO NOT BUY FROM THEM! Those that do it right will not let you leave without watching to see how you run in different shoes.
5. Buy some running gear. Do not run in cotton!! Cotton traps in heat and it is harder for your body to cool off when you are wearing it. Once I learned this, I understood why I always felt like I was going to pass out when I was running in a “wife beater.” Great fabrics to run in are nylon, rayon and polyester. Also, look into purchasing a fuel belt. These are essential on long runs because you will need to hydrate during your run.
6. Running is MIND OVER MATTER. Trust me. I can not tell you how many times I have had to repeat this to myself on 14 mile runs. There will be many days when your body will want to quit. Unless you are seriously injured, then you will have to push your body farther than it think it can go. Even on extremely hard runs, I have never regretted getting out there and getting it done.
7. Do not be hard on yourself. Some days will be better than others. Some days you will run an eight minute mile. Some days you will run a 12 minute mile. It happens. Do not beat yourself up about it.
I think that should be enough to get you started :-}. Now, go get your run on!! Have fun!
Until next time…TOODELLS.
A lot of fuss has been made regarding the National Football League(NFL). Oh, it has gotten too soft. Oh, they will not let you hit hard anymore in games. Oh, why not just make it flag football. Earlier this week, the owners voted to ban players from using the crown(top) of their helmet as a means of making forcible contact. This rule change has been criticized by players and fans.
Look, I get it. You all know how much I love the NFL. You all know how much I love big hits but lets face it, the NFL is changing. What worked in 1970 does not work in 2013.
A few years ago, former NFL player, Dave Duerson, committed suicide with a gunshot wound to his chest. The reason he did not choose to shoot himself in the head was because he wanted his brain to be used for medical study. He wanted doctors to study his brain to see if the mood swings, erratic behavior, depression, etc were directly connected to the hits he had sustained in the NFL during his 11 year career. The news of his death and his request sent shockwaves through the sports world.
In 1994, the NFL formed the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee. The committee was established to provide additional support to teams who had players suffering from concussions as well as provide information to current and former players about the short/long terms effects of concussions. Many former players have claimed that the committee was misleading in terms of providing accurate information to players. Not happy with the committee, commissioner Roger Goddell determined in 2010 that new leadership was needed and a new direction for the committee needed to be established. The committee was renamed the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee. Chosen to head the committee were Dr. H. Hunt Batjer and Dr. Richard G. Ellenbogen, both neurological surgeons.
Look, I get it. You want to see the NFL of old. You want players to be able to ram into each other with no consequences but lets face it, the NFL is changing. What worked then does not work now.
Many have criticized Goddell for “watering down” the game, for taking all the fun out of it. Football is a violent sport, period. No amount of rule changes and penalties will ever change that. However, we are all aware that their have been studies done that show direct correlation between football and brain deficiencies. How do you propose that issue be addressed?
Well, on one hand you have a commissioner who is trying to eliminate “unnecessary” hits. You know those kinds where the players only mission is to severely injure someone. Or those hits where the main point of impact is at the head. You know those hits. On the other hand, you have players who complain that the NFL has not done enough to prevent them from sustaining concussions or that they have not provided much assistance to those who are suffering long term effects from concussions.
Bottom line, you can not have it both ways. You can not want the commissioner to do provide more assistance without allowing the commissioner to try and make changes that may decrease the amount of assistance a player needs over time. Players can not complain that not enough is being done and then turn around and get mad when the commissioner adjusts a rule that will hopefully result in there being less head injuries. You can not have it both ways.
I like what Goddell is trying to do. I would rather the changes be made now than for some player to have to suffer tremendously in his latter years. Now I know it is not realistic to think that all these changes will guarantee that players will not suffer ill effects from playing football. However, if it can lessen the pain then I am all for it. Hey, maybe it all goes back to what is being taught. You know the fundamentals of football. Maybe we can start there. You know teaching kids how to properly tackle, run with the football, quarterback, etc. Art Rooney, President of the Pittsburgh Steelers, probably said it best in reference to the change of players not being able to make contact using the crown of your helmet as it related to fundamentals, “Jim Brown never lowered his head. It can be done.” I agree Mr. Rooney. I agree.
Until next time….TOODELLS!!
Alright here it is…Louisville, Notre Dame, Florida and my alma mater, North Carolina State :-}. I wholeheartedly believe if we can get pass Indiana, we can make it all the way to Atlanta. Bold picks, right? We will see what happens.
Oh I have Louisville and Florida playing for the championship with Louisville winning. Let the madness begin!!
Last night I laughed, I thought, I cried. I laughed some more. I thought some more. I cried some more. The more thoughts ran through my mind, the more I cried. The more I watched ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary, Survive and Advance, the more I realized just how special this story was.
It was over a year ago when I was perusing the North Carolina State University Pack Pride message board and I saw a thread(discussion) about a new 30 for 30 documentary. It was almost too good to be true. ESPN was producing a new documentary on the 1983 Men’s Basketball National Championship team. Seriously? Whoop whoooop!! I was beyond excited for two reasons: 1. 30 for 30 documentaries are huge! 2. They were doing a positive 30 for 30 documentary about my school. How cool is that? At the time, I wondered how well I would be able to contain my excitement.
On April 4, 1983, the North Carolina State University men’s basketball team shocked the world. One year old me was probably asleep in my crib, unaware of the historical moment that was taking place in the world. My mother knew. My grandparents knew. My brothers knew. However, as fate would have it, I would become the one with the most ties to the story.
August 2001, my junior year at North Carolina State University. I was a Student Assistant in the North Carolina State University Athletic Media Relations Office. As a Student Assistant, I would generate press releases, assist in the production of media guides and press conferences, field calls from the local and national media and serve as a media liaison at countless sporting events. I loved being a Student Assistant! It afforded me the opportunity to meet Wolfpack legends David Thompson(DT), Coach Kay Yow, Tommy Burleson, Monte Towe, Torry Holt, Julius Hodge as well as Kareem Adbdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Coach Pat Summitt, and Kirk Herbstreit, just to name a few. While I enjoyed doing all these things as they gave me a tremendous amount of hands on experience, one of my favorite things to do was the hang out in The Dungeon. The Dungeon was the nickname given to the locked cage in the basement of Reynolds Coliseum(former home of the men’s basketball team). In The Dungeon, we kept numerous file cabinets that housed folders filled with photos, newspaper articles, magazine clippings, collectibles, trophies and videos of student-athletes, past and present. I am talking DT, Burleson, Tom Brown, Tab Thacker, Julie Shea, Roman Gabriel, Holt, Genia Beasley, Tab Ramos and the 1983 championship team.
It was never unusual for me to go down to The Dungeon with the intent of grabbing a picture out of DT’s folder, only to end up browsing through the 1983 championship folder to see if I could find out something new. The story was absolutely fascinating and it truly played out like a movie. A man had a dream. A dream to cut down the nets. This man took a job at a university with a rich basketball tradition with the same end goal in mind, cutting down the nets. In the the midst of the man’s third year at the helm, with his team enjoying one of their best starts, his star player, a senior, went down with a broken foot. From that point on the man’s team experienced an up and down year where it seemingly tried to find its footing in a very competitive Atlantic Coast Conference. Just when it seemed like the impossible would indeed be that, a road never traveled opened up…
The documents I found in The Dungeon helped me to somewhat grasp just how special this man’s team was. I began to understand a little more why Wolfpackers, past and present, always beamed with pride when talking about that team. Wanting to know more, I would often talk with Assistant Media Relations Director Bruce Winkworth, who was working at North Carolina State during the time of the 1983 run. The stories he would tell about that magical season always left me wishing I could rewind time and relive those moments as a student. The pictures he shared from pep rallies, games and the celebrations on Hillsborough Street and in the Brickyard after the championship game gave me chills down my spine and always left me just a little bit jealous.
March 17, 2013, the world premiere of the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary “Survive and Advance.” The story of the 1983 North Carolina State University Men’s Basketball National Championship team and the man who inspired the dream, Jim Valvano affectionately known by Wolfpackers as Jimmy V. As I sat and watched the star player, Dereck Whittenburg, insert his humor into such a compelling story, I began to do what many others before me have done, beam with pride. Hearing the story from the mouths of Whittenburg, Thurl Bailey, Ernie Myers, Terry Gannon, Cozell McQueen and former Graduate Assistant, Max Perry infused with footage of Jimmy V, was more than enough to bring a grown woman and many grown men to tears. Up until last night, I understood how big this story was to Wolfpack Nation. After last night, I understood how big this story was to the ENTIRE nation. As Twitter blew up, with five of the top 10 nationwide trends, centering on this particular story, I realized that the 1983 championship run was crafted to inspire millions in a way I think no one at that time ever imagined. As an alumnus of North Carolina State University, pride is the best way to describe how I felt knowing I was connected to what Sports Illustrated named “the greatest moment in college basketball history in the 20th Century.”
During my tenure in the North Carolina State University Athletic Department, I had the pleasure of meeting members from the 1983 team. Most of the meetings were brief and some members were even shocked that I knew who they were. I am not sure if I ever said thank you to any of them. I am hoping I did because their belief in themselves strengthened a nation’s resolve to follow in their lead. Unfortunately, I never had the pleasure of meeting Jimmy V. What an honor it would have been to be in his presence and grab nuggets of wisdom from him. I am sure we would have shared some laughs as well. Not only was he destined to lead champions on the court but his courageous battle with cancer destined him to inspire generations after him to never quit. After watching the documentary, I truly believe this end was result was what God had planned all along.
To the late great Coach Jimmy V and the 1983 championship team: THANK YOU!!! Thank you for showing us how to believe. Thank you for dreaming. Thank you for never saying never. Thank you for seeing beyond what you saw. Thank you for fighting. Thank you for making us laugh, think and cry. Thank you for loving one another. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being a part of THE PACK! Thank you for being a living example of the V Foundation’s motto, “Don’t give up! Don’t ever give up!” Thank you for teaching us how to SURVIVE obstacles that come our way and how to ADVANCE pass them. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
I want to send a special THANK YOU to the documentary’s director, Jonathan Hock. What an amazing piece of art. You should definitely get some awards for this. If you do not, I am sure Wolfpack Nation will be very unhappy. You know how passionate we are.
Proud Alumnus, Kassaundra S.
Sunday marked one of my favorite days of the year, Daylight Savings Time(DST)!!! Whoop whoooop!!! I know there are many of you who were not excited to lose and hour of sleep. I like to sleep too but I can sacrifice an hour to not have to deal with it being dark at 3:30pm. On top of that, its cold this time of year. So DST is always a welcomed day because for me it signifies to start of RUNNING SEASON!! Whoop whoooooop!!! Yeah, sure I can run year round and I do, to some extent. Ok, well I will go outside and run if the temp is 48 or above and it can not be windy. Or raining. It is very rare that you will catch me running in 30 degree weather. Between my nose running, my hands freezing, my body being warm and that crisp cold air smacking me across my face, I am completely miserable when running while it is cold. On top of that, I have to get up waaaaay too early in the morning to get a run in because it is too dark to run in the evenings. You will not catch me outside in a reflective vest. So I am happy!! Longer days. More time to enjoy the outdoors. Warm weather on its way. Um, yaaaaaaaaay!!
Until next time….TOODELLS.
Twitter was all abuzz last night when the Los Angeles Clippers DeAndre Jordan made the Detroit Pistons Brandon Knight the newest trend.
In case you missed why, here you go…
Of course with any good posterization, you have to start looking at others. So I have provided links to some of my all time favorites. I am pretty sure nothing will ever replace Vince Carter’s dunk over 7’2 Frederic Weis in the 2000 Olympics. I mean really? Dude never stood a chance. And the leg shake after the dunk…classic. I am also pretty sure that up until this point there has never been a more disrespectful posterization than Scottie Pippen over Patrick Ewing. The dunk was nasty. The stare down he gave Ewing was nasty. And the fact that he made a beeline to Spike Lee’s courtside seat to let him know just how nasty his dunk was and how he felt about the Knicks was the cherry on top. Enjoy!!!
If I have to hear the analysts on ESPN discuss LeBron James entering the NBA dunk contest on mo’ time, I am going to scream!!! I might as well get prepared because I know it is coming.
Before the All-Star game, there were complaints from analysts and fans about the lack of “star” power in the dunk contest. During the contest there were complaints, which were warranted, about the lack of “star” power and creative dunks. After the contest, the same thing. However, this has gotten out of hand. Last week, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, created a big stir when he offered James one million dollars to enter the contest. Yep, one million dollars. To dunk. Since then the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant has sweetened the pot by adding $1000, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon has offered up another thousand and ESPN First Take’s great debater Skip Bayless is willing to put in $2,000. Seriously?? The dunk contest is 11 months away!!!! I do not want to hear about this until next February.
Furthermore, why all this pressure to get James to dunk? If he does not want to dunk, that is his prerogative. People are acting like he owes it to us to dunk. He does not. People act like they are surprised the “stars” do not want to participate in the contest. To me the lack of “star” power in the contest is reflective of the NBA itself, watered down. Between the flopping, lack of defense, me-first attitudes and Twitter beefs, the NBA, in my opinion has been on a downhill slope for years. So it does not surprise me when the stars use All-Star weekend to socialize, rest and Instagram pictures. The league is reflective of the generation that is represented in it.
Up until a few weeks ago, I have never been real impressed with James’ creative dunking ability. He is strong and that is reflective of the force in which he throws down his dunks. However, James has been putting on a show in the pre-game warmups with his own personal dunk contest. I have seen a few dunks that are contest worthy and probably would have won the contest for him this year. Wait, I am getting like the analysts. Let me stop. Catch me next February. We can revisit this topic over hot chocolate. For all of you who are craving a great dunk contest, just do what I did, watch the 2000 dunk contest. Best one ever. Two words. Vince Carter.
Enjoy!!! Until next time….TOODELLS!!
Big Monday. ESPN 2. Number 2 vs. Number 3. For the Big East regular season title.
Almost three hours later, after three overtimes, Number 2 finally put up enough points, 96 to be exact, to defeat Number 3. These ladies put on a show. Yes, I said ladies!!! Number 2 Notre Dame vs. Number 3 UCONN in an “Instant Classic.” In hometown hero, Skylar Diggins, last game at Purcell Pavilion, she and the Lady Irish refused to be denied a win. In the first overtime, the Lady Irish trailed by six before tying the game. The second overtime started out much like the first with the Lady Irish trailing by five. In the third overtime, the Lady Irish took their first lead when Kalia Turner hit a free throw to put the Lady Irish up by one. The Lady Huskies would regain the lead on a bank shot by Kelly Faris but that was the last time the Lady Huskies would lead. The Lady Irish sealed the win going six for six at the charity stripe down the stretch to clinch their second straight Big East regular season title.
Meanwhile, in Texas….another lady baller was having a big Monday. Brittney Griner. Her last game at Baylor. The Big 12 title had already been clinched weeks ago. And Griner was up to her usual antics. 21-28 from the field. 8-10 from the charity stripe. Six rebounds. Two assists. Two blocks. 50 points. Oh and a slam dunk. A drop step slam dunk along the baseline. *immediately presses rewind button at least five times* It was a thing of beauty. In the end, the Baylor Lady Bears defeated the Kansas State Lady Wildcats 90-68. Griner exited the game to a standing ovation and she exited the Ferrell Center in Waco, TX ranking second on the NCAA Career scoring list with 3,123 points, second only to former Missouri State lady baller, Jackie Stiles.
From Texas to Indiana, the ladies put on a show last night! The ND-UConn game had a championship feel, set in a championship atmosphere. Griner made the most of her last home game. I often check the trending topics while watching games to see if others are watching. I was not surprised to see none of the trending topics were not about the ND-UConn game. It was a shame that people were missing such a great game. I even tweeted, “Too bad the ladies don’t get pubbed like the men do. This ND-UConn game has been amazing!”
However, instead of turning this into a negative, I shall focus on the positive. On a night that typically is reserved for big time men’s college basketball games, ESPN featured two of the premier women’s basketball programs in a unforgettable matchup. Regardless of how the game played out, playing on Monday night on ESPN/ESPN2 is a big deal. The outcome of this game was just icing on the cake. Not surprisingly, by the start of the the second overtime, 2nd OT, Skylar Diggins, UCONNvsUND and Brittney Griner were all trending. It was truly a night to remember.
Until next time…TOODELLS! Follow me @KassieNette.
A quarterback got paaaaaaaid Friday. A quarterback landed the a deal that gave him the second highest amount of guaranteed money, ever. A quarterback, not surprisingly, became the highest paid player in NFL history. What is surprising is that this quarterback’s last name is NOT Manning, Brady, Brees or Rodgers. His last name is Flacco. first name Joe. Some of ya’ll are probably saying, who?
When news broke on Friday that the Baltimore Ravens were preparing to make Flacco the highest paid player in NFL history, I was stunned. Six years, $120.6 million. $52 million guaranteed. We all knew a deal was coming but I do not think there were many who expected such a historic deal. Lets face it, even now Flacco does not routinely make it into analysts conversations about “elite” quarterbacks. He has the same amount of rings as Peyton Manning, Rodgers and Brees. Has appeared in more championship games than them the past five years. And he is still in his 20s.
Flacco is a baller. He is very boring. Even his dad admitted that. However, the numbers he has put up the past five years especially in the playoffs can stand up against any of the ‘elite” qb’s. I am still not convinced he is worth $120.6 million but hey, I ain’t mad at him. Get that money Joe!!!
Until next time…TOODELLS!
When my beloved 9ers drafted Alex Smith in 2005, I was not happy. I felt we needed a wide receiver and I wanted us to draft Braylon Edwards. Ok, you can stop laughing now. For six years, I was right about not wanting Smith as our QB. The team was a mess. No consistency. No winning seasons. No playoffs. Then 2011 happened. We went 13-3, won the NFC West, played in the NFC Championship game and Smith had the best year of his career. Who knew he had it in him??
Then 2012 happened. Smith was having an even better year when he got a concussion. Insert back up QB, Colin Kaepermick. Talk about seizing the moment. On one of the biggest stages, Monday Night Football, Kaepernick played like a starting QB. The shuffle was on. The speculation began about whether or not Smith would regain his starting spot. That answer was no and yesterday the 9ers made the decision to trade Smith to the Chiefs, for draft picks, ending an era.
As a member of the Faithful, I want to thank Smith for all he has meant to the 9ers organization. I wish you nothing but the best in Kansas City!!!
By the way, did you hear the rumblings about Darrelle Revis coming to the bay?? I know it is early but maaaaaaaaaaaaaan….
Until next time…TOODELLS.
Follow me on Twitter @KassieNette
In the famous words of Darrell Waltrip, “Boogity, boogity, boogity!! Let’s go racing!!!” NASCAR season is upon us. Whooop whoooop!!!
We all know the big story leading up to the start of the season was Danica Patrick winning the pole at the Daytona 500. And we all heard the talk from some about how big of a deal that was. And we all heard talk from some about how it was not a big deal given her record. And we all heard about how if she did not win the race, she needed to finish in the top 10 in order to be considered “victorious.” Well, BAM ladies and gentlemen, she was “victorious!” With one lap to go, Patrick was running third only to get passed after a wreck occurred behind her. Unfortunately, she did not win but she did finish in 8th place and became the first woman to finish in the top 10 at the Daytona 500. Earlier in the race, she became the first woman to lead a lap at the Daytona 500. And to top it off, she is one of only 13 drivers to have ever lead a lap at the Daytona 500 AND the Indianapolis 500. POW!!
Even though the rules say she did not win, Patrick was a winner in my book. She accomplished so many things on that track. Things that had never been done. Things that people said would never be done. Things that no one expected her to do. With her accomplishing so much, people will now expect a lot more from her. This season will be considered a failure for her if she does not finish top three in a race. Some will even consider it a failure if she does not win a race. You will not hear that from me. I think what she accomplished on the track yesterday spoke loud and clear. If you are not convinced, just ask the 35 men who finished BEHIND her.
Until next time…TOODELLS.
Follow me on Twitter @KassieNette
I have been debating all morning about which topic I want to write about, Oscar Pistorious or Danica Patrick. I woke up this morning and saw that Oscar was trending on Twitter so I was leaning towards that until I watched ESPN First Take. One of the topics of debate was Danica. There has been a lot of chatter about Danica not deserving the “hype” surrounding her.
I agree that Danica has gotten a lot of publicity and “hype” that is typically reserved for those who have proven over a period of time that they are winners. I agree that a lot of the “hype” stems from the fact that she is a pretty woman and in our society women are typically judged on how they look, first, before they are even recognized for their abilities. However, that is not her fault and I do not think she should be ridiculed for it. Has she capitalized on it? Absolutely. Who wouldn’t? Happens all the time. Just ask the dude who sings “Gangnam Style.”
The media hypes up the “next” such and such on a daily basis. It happens all the time in football, ie Ryan Leaf, JaMarcus Russell, Reggie Bush. It happens all the time in basketball, ie Kwame Brown, Adam Morrison, Michael Olowokandi. Do I need to continue? What has happened to Danica is no different than what has been happening for years. The difference is she wears makeup and everyone I listed does not.
No one knows what type of career Danica will ultimately have but I find it deplorable that members of the media, especially women, have taken it upon themselves to call her out for what she has not done opposed to what she has done. Yes, I know she has participated in almost 200 races and has only been declared the victor in one. By society’s standards she has failed. In my opinion, she has succeeded. She is participating in a male dominated sport, one where there is not a separate league for women. Her peers do not look like her. Just because she has not won a lot does not mean she does not have an impact. I think her not winning speaks louder than winning does. It shows us that even when the odds are against her she is willing to get in the ring and fight even if she knows she has little chance of winning. That is what life is all about, right? Getting knocked down and continuing to get back up to continue the fight.
Even if Danica never wins another race, she has already helped pave the way for female drivers that will follow in her footsteps. The truth of the matter is not everyone will make it to the mountaintop. Some of are here to make the path easier for others to follow. That could be Danica’s purpose. Judging by her actions, I think she is ok with that. And for that, she deserves a round of applause.
Until next time…TOODELLS.
Follow me on Twittter @KassieNette
Today is a good day! Unless you have been living under a rock, then you are aware that today is the day that Robin Roberts returned to Good Morning America(GMA). With so much tragedy dominating the headlines, it is great to wake up to this type of story.
As most of you know, Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome and received a bone marrow transplant from her sister, Sally-Ann. In a very tear jerking announcement last year, Roberts announced to the world that she would be taking a leave of absence of fight the disease. It was clear during her announcement that she intended to win the battle, just like she did when she beat breast cancer in 2007.
I have been a big fan of Roberts since the early 90s. As I have stated before, back in my middle school days my mornings consisted of Rocky & Bullwinkle, cheese toast and SportsCenter. Roberts was one of my favorite anchors. I could not wait for her to do a segment so I could hear her yell out her famous catchphrase, “Go on with your bad self!” Although I was disappointed when she left ESPN, seeing her have so much success on GMA has been a joy to watch.
As a person who truly admires Roberts, I want to join the rest of the world in saying WELCOME BACK ROBIN!!! When I joined the Twitterverse, I would often chuckle when I would see people tweeting celebrities. I would be thinking in my head, “They have hundreds of thousands of followers. They are never going to see or respond to your tweet.” However, I found myself being one of “those people” during Roberts time away from GMA. I have often tweeted her scripture and inspirational quotes, not in hopes of getting a response, but to simply do what I could to keep her encouraged. To give back to her what she has given to millions. Roberts has often stated that the tweets she receives from her followers keep her motivated and I felt like my tweets were simply my way of saying thank you. I hope that one day Roberts gets to read this post because she has truly been an inspiration to me. In the last few months, I have endured some difficult tests and trials. During those moments when I felt like giving up and throwing in the towel, I often think of people who have faced hardships and have overcome every obstacle that has stood in front of them. People such as my mother, my grandparents, my aunt, my cousin Nellie, my friend Quincy and on a more recognized level Josh Hamilton and Roberts.
Thank you Robin Roberts for sharing your story with the world. Your faith, strength, perseverance and determination have served as a blueprint for how to fight and defeat whatever stands in our way. And to see you do it in such a beautiful and graceful way has left me in awe. You are truly an inspiration. GO ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF!!!
While everyone was consumed this weekend talking about Oscar Pistorious’s murder charge, All-Star Weekend and Michael Jordan turning 50, a series of firsts were taking place down in Florida.
Ladies and gentlemen, Danica Patrick intends to be taken seriously. I hope. On Saturday, Patrick posted the fastest time in the qualifying round for the Daytona 500. I can admit, like many, I was shocked. When Patrick first started racing it was a big deal, of course, because very few women have participated in auto racing. In fact, on May 29, 2005, Patrick became just the fourth woman to compete in the 94th Indianapolis 500. Before switching to the Sprint Cup series last year, all we had to go off of was her previous track record which had included only one win(the 2008 Indy Japan 300) and seven top ten finishes in the Nationwide Series.
On Sunday, she one upped herself and claimed the top spot in the pole. Say what now? For those of you who do not understand what the pole is. It means she was, once again, the fastest person on the track that day. Yes, a woman is going to lead the start of the 55th Daytona 500. As if I was not already excited enough for NASCAR season to begin. Do you all realize how huge of an accomplishment this is? The Daytona 500 is the granddaddy of all races. It is the one race EVERY driver wants to win at least once in their life. No, winning the pole does not guarantee you a first place finish but it does signify that you are to be taken serious.
In a TOTALLY male dominated sport, Patrick has done something no other woman has been able to do before and she has served notice to the other drivers. Her hot start does not mean she will dominate the track this year. In fact, plenty of drivers have taken the pole at the Daytona 500, only to not win the Daytona 500 and to ultimately finish outside the top 10 in the Sprint Cup. This feat is going to put a lot of pressure on her to live up to all the hype that has surrounded her the past few years. However, this is a major leap forward for women. A lot of us are more than just a pretty face. You might want to take notes….
Until next time…TOODELLS!!!
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