Reflecting on life at 35

Posted: April 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

Turning 35 on May 12…

 

http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20160421/OPINION/160429979/0/FRONTPAGE

Hmmmm, where do I start?

Do I start with naming the countless records he holds? Or do I start with by highlighting his career with the Indianapolis Colts then proceed to his career with the Denver Broncos? Or do I start with the way he revolutionized the game of football?

Or do I just start with what today means to me?

I think that is a good place to start.

I am sad, ya’ll. For real. And I know that is not surprising to most. For weeks, I have tried to prepare myself for football without Peyton Williams Manning. I have wondered what it is going to feel like to not rush home to see him play. I have wondered what it is going to feel like to not post my traditional “PEYTON BOUT TO PUT IN WORK! HEEEEY!” status on Facebook throughout the season. I have wondered what it is going to feel like to not sit and listen to analysts talk weekly about the greatness of #18. Yeah, it is that serious.

See, for me Peyton retiring is not just the end of an era but is essentially the culmination of a career that I credit with raising my football fanaticism to a whole new level. Yes, I have been a football fan since the 80s. And yes I have been a fan of the 49ers since then and the Panthers since 93 but watching Peyton play provided me with a whole new appreciation for the game. No longer was it just a game but it became a display of the precise knowledge, tenacity and grit that it takes to survive and thrive on football’s biggest stage. In my opinion, no one, other than Jerry Rice, mastered the art of dissecting a defense, quite like Peyton.

To watch him work was art in action. It was as if his mind was created to do exactly what he did for 18 straight years: become more knowledgable than anyone else on the field and find a way to beat you with all that informaiton he had collected.  Defenses knew they needed to stop him but they could rarely figure out how.

Watching him in action was fun. I love to see athletes who are fully committed to their craft enter into the realm of greatness. I love to see those athletes who just have “it” go out and dominate the competition over and over. I love to see athletes who truly love what they do experience joy in the moment. I see it in Serena. We used to see it in Tiger. And Peyton embodies it.

For 18 years, Peyton has been the source of so many great moments for so many including me, of course. It will always be difficult to pick a favorite but two moments stand out: the 18 point comeback he led against the Patriots in the 2006 AFC Championship game and the seven touchdown performance in the first game of the 2013 season. That was Peyton at his best.

As he trended on Twitter all day and well wishes and congratulations poured in from across the NFL community, I flashbacked to a couple of weeks ago where the talk about Peyton was much different. It revolved around not what he had done but what he was accused of doing. For weeks, I have been tagged on Facebook in posts and been questioned on Twitter about my thoughts. Up until now, I have been virtually silent. I needed time to process it all.

See, my love for Peyton is not just centered around what he does on the field but how he conducts himself off of it. For decades, he has been the walking definition of class personified in the sporting world. No temper tantrums, no scandals, no arrests, no in house scuffles, no parking tickets, shoot have we even heard him cuss? So imagine my surprise when the bombshell dropped after the Super Bowl that Peyton had been accused of sexual assault while in college at the University of Tennessee. I had heard about this particular incident where he allegedly mooned a teammate and accidentally mooned the Director of Health and Wellness, a female, at the same time. I heard nothing else about it so I had no reason to assume it was anything more than what was being reported. If that was the story, was it ok for him to do that? Absolutely not. Should there have been consequences? Absolutely.

Now the story that was being told was much different than what I had heard. Words that were being associated with Peyton were now sexaul assault, defamation, lies, cover up. Peyton? Peyton Manning? Wow. The more I listened and read, the more something seemed amiss. Still I was not sure how to feel about everything. Do I think Peyton put his genitals in the face of Dr. Jamie Naughright purposely? Um, yeah. Do I believe the University of Tennessee created culture where this was deemed acceptable? Looks like it. Do I think Peyton was wrong to discuss a matter, from his point of view, in an autobiography he wrote with his dad after signing a confidentiality agreement? Yes. Do I think there should have been consequences? Definitely. This whole story just reeks of the injustices women are made to suffer through in male dominated industries.

At the same time, I do believe people are capable of change. And I do believe that it is possible that the person Peyton was in 1996(when the alleged incident occurred) and 2003(when the book was released)is not the same person he is today. We all have done things we are not proud of. Maybe not the extent of what he is accused of doing but I know we all have skeletons we hope stay in our closet. 

I do not know if we will ever find out what really happened. Do we deserve to know? Yes because if anything, Dr. Naughright deserves to have her name cleared, publicly, if the allegations are true. What I do know is that it changes nothing regarding what he did between the white lines. Whatever your thoughts are about him as a person should not cloud your vision about what he did for the game.

The game is going to miss #18. And it should. Players like him do not come around often. Just ask all the other teams who have been trying to locate a franchise quarterback for years. Cleveland Browns, anyone?

That is it, folks.

End of an era.

Chapter closed.

Gun holstered.

GOAT status.

Thank you, Sheriff.

But I still need you to answers these unanswered questions.

 

P.S. How dope was it that ESPN’s Chris Mortensen was the one to break the story? Continue to send up prayers for Mort!

 

{Source: Twitter}

{Source: Twitter}

I have never been so conflicted over a Super Bowl.

I have always drawn the line when it comes to who I am rooting for in the big game. If my teams are not in it or one of my favorite players are not playing, my rooting interest usually hinges on my dislike for another team, player, coach, fan base, etc or my like for another organization, player, coach, fan base, etc.

But this is different. This is my second favorite team vs the team lead by my favorite player. This is the team I have been a fan of since October 26, 1993 vs the player I have been a fan of since his days at Tennessee; a fanatic since roughly 2004. This is the team who I want to see finally get that championship that has alluded them for 21 years vs the player whom I want to see win another championship more than anyone else.

So what’s a lady to do? Who do I roll with? Or do I roll with anyone?

How could I ever cheer against the team I have loved for decades? How can I cheer against the QB whom I have defended immensely over the years? How can I cheer against the team I have had the privilege of watching play in person numerous times? How can I cheer against the QB whom I think embodies all the traits you would want in a franchise QB? How can I? How can I? How can I?

Nothing will make me happier than seeing my beloved Panthers finish one of the storybook seasons on top. Nothing will make me happier than seeing #18 get his second ring, the one that so many talking heads says he needs to solidify his legacy. *rolls eyes over and over and over* Let me just say this, #18 is top 4 REGARDLESS of what happens Sunday. That is another story for another day.

And with that said, to answer the question you all want to know, who will Kassie Nette be rooting for?

Drumroll puhlease……..

I will be cheering for the CAROLINA PANTHERS, of course. Duh! My loyalties NEVER change. I fully expect the Panthers to win on Sunday. However, if the #18 lead Broncos happen to pull the upset, you will see me smiling almost just as hard if my Panthers won. You do not like it? Eh well! I love my Panthers and I love #18! I win:-).

{Source: Google Images}

 

{Source: Twitter}

{Source: Twitter}

A few months ago, right after Peyton was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, I started a blog post. The topic was going to be about how we may have just seen one of the greatest, Peyton Manning, take his last snap behind center. I couldn’t do it though. I couldn’t bring myself to write the blog because I knew if anyone could dig deep and get back on that field, it was Peyton Williams Manning.

Look who was right:-). All I heard all was week was Peyton can’t beat Brady. Peyton can’t throw. Peyton has no chance. Wonk wonk wonk. “That’s why you don’t listen to they. They don’t play.” Ain’t that right, D. Wade? At 39 years young, Peyton is headed back to the Super Bowl and his opponent is my beloved Carolina Panthers. Yes, I had a great Sunday!

The day started with the fun going down at Mile High Stadium. I don’t think you will find many who expected Peyton to go out and throw for 300+ yards. I know I didn’t but I have watched Peyton play enough throughout the years to know what he was capable of. No, this wasn’t the Peyton of two years ago but this Peyton was able to do enough, including throw two touchdowns, to keep his team ahead of the Patriots all game. And what Peyton and the offense couldn’t muster up on the field, the defense more than made up for it. 

I have watched a lot of football over the years and I have never, ever seen Little Tommy Brady(that’s what my mama calls him) on his back more that he was yesterday. Every time he took the snap, it seemed like he was running for his life especially when he saw Von Miller coming. Miller was attacking with such force and aggression that I think Brady might’ve owed him some money. In the end, after a failed PAT and two point conversion by the Patriots, the Broncos came out victorious and punched their ticket to Super Bowl 50. And my heart leaped for joy as I now know I have at least one more chance to see #18 behind center. So long Little Tommy and take your deflated footballs with you! 

Normally, on Championship Sunday I would have time to revel in the fact that either my team or my favorite player was headed to the Super Bowl but not yesterday. As much as I wanted to soak in what had just taken place, I had to switch gears quickly because my Panthers were now on tv hoping to punch their ticket to Super Bowl 50.

After being in the house for days, thanks to all the ice that is still on the roads, I ventured out for a bit at the start of the NFC Championship game. We all know the only reason I left is because I can watch the game on my phone. By the time I got to my friend’s car, the score was 3-0 in favor of the Panthers. That was the beginning on the end for the Cardinals. 

The Panthers scored on offense, running and passing. The Panthers scored on defense, Luke Keuchly pick 6 anyone? The Panthers did whatever on the field that they wanted to and there was nothing the Cardinals could do about it. Here, I was hoping for a good game to hoping we could put up 50 on them. Ha! 

All year, the talk has been that the Panthers are not as good as their record indicates. They even came into this game as the underdog. Laughable, right? Well, after last night’s beatdown I would hope no one is still singing that tune. If they are, dab on em.

As the clock neared zero, my heart once again lept with joy. At the beginning of this season, this is definitely not the outcome I expected for the Panthers. I can admit that and I know I am not the only one. I believe the only people who truly believed this could be a reality are the Carolina Panthers. They saw something in themselves early on that had not mainfested itself in the eyes of those watching. It was up to them to show us they are for real. Mission accomplished.

So the stage is set. The team I have loved since 1993 vs. the team led by the quarterback I have been the biggest fan of since eh, 2002-ish. I cannot wait!

Now who will I be rooting for? Well, if you know me well and have been keeping up with this blog, then you know the answer. However, if you do not you will have to wait until next week to find out.

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.

I saw Ken Griffey, Jr. trending this morning and I immediately got nervous. Whew! False alarm. He’s ok. The reason for him trending? Well, today is the day that the 2016 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame class is announced. Today is the next first step in Griffey, Jr journeying to taking his rightful place in Cooperstown. Let all the fans across the globe rejoice!

Long before people associated #24 with Jeff Gordon and Kobe Bryant. Long before Dale Earnhardt, Jr would step into the spotlight as Junior, Ken Griffey, Jr. aka JUNIOR was the #24 all athletes wanted to be like. His athletic talent was outerworldly. His knowledge of the game was envious. His swagger, long before the term was ever coined, superceded everyone else’s on the diamond. Junior is easily one of the most revolutionary athletes to not only pick up a baseball bat but to play sports, period.

I have been a Griffey fan since I was about eh, 12 years old. My granddaddy was a huge baseball fan and every day in the Spring when I would come home from school, he would be watching baseball. Watching it together was one of the ways we bonded. In the beginning, Junior’s games didn’t come on often in North Carolina so my exposure to him was often limited to SportsCenter highlights. Every night that he played, you could find me sitting in front of the tv, waiting with great anticipation to see what he did that night. Very uncharacteristically of most women, I was stationed in front of the tv with a remote in my hand. Not so I could flip through channels or change the volume but so I could record Junior’s highlights on my VHS. I am so serious. I had a tape full of Junior highlights. It is 2016 and I still have that tape.

There was just something about the way Junior played the game that resonated with me. Maybe it was the infectious smile that confirmed how much he loved playing the game. Maybe it was the way he seemingly scaled outfield walls  often to rob someone of their homerun glory. Maybe it was the Nike Griffey Air Max 1’s that he wore that were so dope I begged my mother to buy me a pair. Thanks Mumphrey!! Maybe it was how he managed to breathe life into a baseball club that had been on life support for years. Maybe it was the fact that during batting practice, Junior often, much to the disgust of “elders of the league”, wore his baseball cap backwards. Or maybe, just maybe it was the fact that Junior had “the prettiest swing” baseball has ever seen. Ever.

Whatever it was, I was hooked. I could not get enough of watching Junior highlights. Whenever the Seattle Mariners happened to be on tv on the East Coast there was no prying me away from the tv. Home Run Derby night at the All Star Game, you could forget about asking me to come outside and play. “I will see y’all tomorrow,” is what I would say.

When Junior gets the call today, it will be the icing on the cake for one of baseball’s all time greats. Unfortunately, he will not make it into the hall unanimously. Some voter somewhere will remember that time he didn’t shake his hand after a press conference and will decide to hold that against him when casting his ballot. Eh well. Potato, potata. He is going home anyway.

To Junior: Congratulations!! You single-handedly made a young teenage girl in a small town in North Carolina love the game of baseball. Your willingness to always put forth your best effort if often not matched in today’s game. I could never forget watching you score from first on a game winning double by Edgar Martinez in 1996’s ALDS against the Yankess to send the club to the ALCS. You scored from first! Thank you, thank you for all you have done for the game and thank you for making my childhood memories of the game so sweet, memorable and unforgettable. #24FOREVER #Hat2DaBack

On Halloween, I received a text. At the time of receipt, I was fully engaged in trying to cheer my beloved North Carolina State Wolfpack onto victory against the number one team in the country. I quickly glanced at the text and said to myself, “I’ll check it later once I get stationary.”

November 1. I finally settled in to catch up on what I had missed that weekend. I soon found out there was a party going on and I was beyond fashionably late. The internet was all abuzz. My social media feeds were filled with people talking about it. The unexpected was happening.

Andre Boyd had gone viral.

“I really didn’t know what viral meant,” explains Boyd, the mastermind behind the newest internet sensation, #NotRayLewis. If you are current with the latest happenings in the sporting world then it is very hard to miss Boyd’s presence. Created in the comforts of his own home, #NotRayLewis was birthed as a result of Boyd’s natural resemblance to Lewis and his intensity that rivals the future NFL Hall of Famer. This year, when it was time for Boyd to select his character for Halloween, his character seemingly chose him.

{Source: Andre Boyd)

{Source: Andre Boyd)

“I had an idea I’d be Ray Lewis,” Boyd recalls. An idea that was solidified as he was repeatedly mistaken for Lewis while working out in his gym. Complete with facial hair, a skully, shoulder pads, a number 52 Baltimore Ravens jersey and black Duct Tape, Boyd set out to embody the essence of Lewis. In an effort to do just that, he created a video that has sparked his month long rise in views, followers, friends and interviews.

The text I received on Halloween contained that video; of #NotRayLewis giving a passionate motivational speech to a “group of children” that were headed out to trick or treat. As a non-social media using Boyd took his family to their church for the trunk or treat celebration, family and friends were posting the video to their social media accounts. Soon, the video that started out as a laugh for a few quickly escalated into ripple of laughter across the country.

Boyd remembers “it was happening(going viral) during the trunk or treat. It got to the point where there were hundreds of thousands of views. When we got home, people were all over my wife’s (Facebook) page talking about, what is Andre doing? He is all over the internet.”

His video landed on the screens of many smartphones including the one owned by Lewis. Lewis, who loved what he saw, immediately shared the video on his social media accounts. “James Walker(a friend of Boyd’s) called me that night and said Ray Lewis reposted your video,” Boyd says shockingly. This was the beginning of something special.

Feeding off the success of the first video, #NotRayLewis began to find other opportunities to express himself. He challenged high school football players to give it their all on the field. He encouraged Ronda Rousey to get up and fight after her surprising defeat. He issued demands to all grandmothers and mothers to not let anyone take credit for their hard work at preparing this years Thanksgiving dinner. He offered advice to the other 31 teams in the NFL on how to stop Cam Newton from dancing. And just last night, he served up notice to the NBA on what it will take to prevent “Chef” Stephen Curry from “cooking” his way to his second straight NBA Championship.

So who is this “budding superstar?” Hailing from Laurinburg, NC in the heart of Scotland County, Boyd is a husband, father, son, brother, cousin, friend, motivator, comedian, neighbor, helping hand and graduate of North Carolina State University. He is a former football player who feasts on weights and cardio to keep the stress level low and the energy high. He runs daily and uses motivation from within to propel him forward each day.

Recently, Boyd decided he would use his God given talents to assist those who lack motivation to tap into their inner strength. This is evident from the speeches. Interwoven with humor, Boyd has a knack for dropping gems of wisdom into each speech that will inspire you to reach for higher heights.

“I’m slowly and subtly hiding things in these features to show people yeah I’ve got the comedy of Ray Lewis. With it(the speeches) just being from my heart someone’s going to wonder, jokes aside, what does this man have to say?” proclaims Boyd.  “To bottle up your thoughts for so long will make you go crazy and mine have been bottled up for so long. Now that I have an outlet, it’s just therapy for me. It’s keeping me at peace.”

Peace is needed as Boyd becomes increasingly popular. His sudden thrust into the spotlight has led him to become active again on social media. On any given day, he is inundated with numerous friend requests on Facebook and his Twitter and Instagram followers increase by the hundreds. A quick search of his followers reads like a who’s who of an NFL round table. You’ll see Hall of Famers Shannon Sharpe & Warren Sapp and former players Damien Woody, Marcus Spears, Travis Johnson, Adalius Thomas & Alge Cumpler. His work is consistently retweeted by current players Charles Woodson & Torrey Smith. He’s been featured on multiple ESPN shows & their website as well as USA Today, Fox Sports and the Baltimore Ravens website. Seemingly everywhere you turn, there’s #NotRayLewis issuing a challenge while quoting Ric Flair. Woo.

With every video, Boyd is perfecting his craft and just when you think you’ve seen his best effort, he proves us wrong. Without providing all the details, Boyd offers up a glimpse of how he prepares his unscripted speeches. He often has an idea regarding the gist of the speech which stems from a selected set of adjectives that will tell the “story.” From there, Boyd engulfs himself in the character. Important to Boyd is the fact that Lewis is a Christian. As he prepares himself for transformation Boyd keeps this fact at the forefront of his thoughts. While he is impersonating Lewis, it is of utmost importance to him to respect the beliefs and values of Lewis, the man, as he crafts his latest project.

With all this new found fame, I was curious as to what was the one moment where Boyd realized he is on the Anchorman route to being “kind of a big deal.” Perhaps it was when Sharpe became one of his biggest fans? Perhaps it was when his Halloween video generated over a million views? Perhaps it was when Thomas sent him a direct message on Twitter? Nope. For Boyd, that moment came when his ” fellow Wolfpacker and friend of 15 years asked him for an interview.” My response, pure shock followed by an aww.

So what’s next for Boyd? Expansion. He wants to dominate not only the sports world but other genres & industries as well. He also wants to get into some kind of acting as he has his eyes fixated on appearances on the ESPYs and Saturday Night Live. In the meantime, expect to see more videos from #NotRayLewis. A Christmas one is coming soon and you will not want to miss this one!

As I wrapped up my interview, I realized I hadn’t asked one of the most important questions that needed to be answered. Andre Boyd, what motivates you? His response? “The greatest compliment someone can ever give me is ‘when you said….’ When you say to me Dre, ‘when you said’, that is it. I thrive off of that. Somebody was talking to me about the high school one when I said ‘saying you got knocked out is one hundred times more respectable than saying I didn’t fight.’ I need more when you saids. I’m addicted to having millions of when you saids. You can say I’m selfish but I am addicted to when you said. I found a platform and I’m going to motivate the world.”

Selfish, no? Able to change to world? Yes. And I know without a doubt that you will do just that, my friend

 

Andre Boyd’s Social Media Accounts:
Twitter & Instagram: @andreboyd1981
Facebook & YouTube: Andre Boyd

 

#NotRayLewis Halloween Speech

#NotRayLewis High School Football Motivational Speech

#NotRayLewis Motivates Ronda Rousey after defeat

#NotRayLewis Thanksgiving Motivational Speech

#NotRayLewis Stop Cam Newton from dancing speech

#NotRayLewis How to stop Stephen Curry speech

 

I can admit. Before yesterday, I was clueless as to the racial tension that had arisen at the University of Missouri.

Normally, I am on top of injustices that are important to the Twitterverse(that place where you find out what is REALLY going on in the world before mainstream starts reporting, if they do, on it). My timeline is filled with people who I consider to be movers, shakers and activists.

As I was preparing to watch yesterday’s game between my beloved Carolina Panthers and the Green Bay Packers, Twitter alerted me that multiple accounts had retweeted a picture that was tweeted by University of Missouri head football coach Gary Pinkel. I immediately opened my feed to see one of the most powerful images I have seen in recent years; the Missouri football team and coaches linked up, arm in arm, in solidarity. The tweet: “The Mizzou Family stands as one. We are united. We are behind our players. GP.”

Screenshot_2015-11-09-18-13-46-1

 

Ok. What had I missed? A quick search gave me the answers. Racial tensions have been high for years at the University of Missouri. These tensions began to climb higher and higher last year with the death of black teenager Michael Brown at the hands white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Ferguson is two hours away from the campus located in Columbia. Naturally, with the campus being relatively close the affects of what was taking place in Missouri was affecting those on campus in Columbia.

According to students, there was nothing done of campus to address or acknowledge what was being felt by many. In addition to this situation, there were reports of racial slurs being hurled at students including the Student Body President who said he was called the n-word by fellow students when he was walking through campus one day. Students, faculty, staff and supporters of the school began to call out University of Missouri system president, Tim Wolfe, whom in their opinion was lackadasical, nonchalant and unconcerned about what as taking place.

In walks, Jonathan Butler. Butler, a graduate student at the University of Missouri, saw the protests, letters and calls of action were not getting the attention they deserved. In an effort to heighten what was an already tense situation, Butler began a hunger strike last Monday. His demands were simple. Tim Wolfe would either resign or be fired or he would die from hunger.

As you would expect, Butler’s stance started to assist the many who had already been concerned with getting the attention the tension deserved. As one would expect, Wolfe issued a statement acknowledging the tension while refusing to step down. As one would not expect, his statement included no information alluding to the powers that be working towards a common ground to alleviate the plethora of feelings being felt on the campus.

After gathering up the information, Sunday’s tweet from Pinkel was now viewed by me in a totally different light becayse it came in support of something that had taken place the night before. Saturday night, a photo was tweeted out showing 32 black players for the football team, arm in arm, in solidarity, vowing to boycott all practices, meetings and games until Wolfe was no longer in office.

Black

That was big.

Sunday’s tweet from Pinkel was EVEN bigger. It is one thing for players of the same race to stand together as one in a effort to bring about change. It is another thing for players AND coaches from all different races to stand together as one, in an effort to bring about change.

We live in a world where everything is black, white and full of stereotypes. Some black people think we don’t have enough power to evoke change. Some white people think that black people don’t desire their help in evoking change. And some are just so hung up on stereotypes that they negate the ability to allow change to happen.

What the football team did at the University of Missouri was unprecedented. It is hard to convey how powerful their stance is. I knew as soon as that tweet was sent out that Wolfe would be resigning. How did I know? It is real simple. Sports DOMINATE. And football dominates the sporting world. And football dominating means mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’money. Last year, the University of Missouri football program brought in $35 million dollars to the school. Thirty-five million. Yeah, you are going to take notice when the people driving that revenue train stand up and say enough is enough. More importantly, you are going to take action because it effects your bottom line.

While applauding the football team with a standing ovation, Wolfe’s resignation is a staunch reminder that money talks. I wish the efforts of the students, Jonathan Butler and all who took a stance before the football team did would have gotten the attention of the powers that be. I wish it did not take a student having to go on a seven day hunger strike for Wolfe to acknowledge the problems that existed. But I am glad that the University of Missouri football team served notice. Notice to people everywhere how we can affect change when we come together. Notice to the powers that be that injustices will not be tolerated. Notice to student-athletes and athletes, especially black athletes, nationwide about their power especially their fiscal power. As my dear friend B. Lewis so eloquently put it, “the masses should use their power more often…in this generation, fiscal boycotts are the most effective form of protest.”

You have more power than you realize. Use it because if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

Take notice masses. Take notice.

Update: As of this afternoon, ESPN has acknowledged the mistake and is working to inform all powers that be on their shows and various platforms that Andre is the person in the video. Thank you for making the correction, ESPN!

 

Last night, I was happily settled into my Monday night routine. I was comfortable in my onesie, the tv was on ESPN Monday Night Countdown and I was chatting with my mother about the day’s events. We were bother eagerly awaiting our favorite segment, C’mon Man!

The last C’Mon Man started off with a clip of future Half of Famer, Ray Lewis, who was honored in Baltimore this past Sunday. Chris Berman then proceeded to prep us for what was coming when he asked how Lewis could be in two places at the same time. As he alluded to the fact that Halloween was Saturday the video switched from the clip of Lewis to a clip of someone who has dressed up as Ray Lewis for Halloween. My mama and I immediately screamed because we knew who the impersonator was. It was my friend, Andre Boyd! I jumped off the bed so I could get closer to the tv to snap pictures of this milestone. I was beaming with pride for my friend. Unfortunately, that quickly faded when the cameras cut to Lewis, who was laughing. He was detailing how hard he laughed when the video was sent to him of Travis Johnson impersonating him.

Wait, WHO??!!

Who was this Travis Johnson taking credit for Dre’s brilliance? How dare he? You know my fingers went to work. It took me all of three minutes to figure out that Travis Johnson was a former NFL player who saw the video and posted it. Dre doesn’t use social media so he didn’t know who to credit the video to. When he posted, he didn’t say it was him nor did he allude that it was him. Crisis averted there.

I, along with friends, worked hard last night to get Dre his just due. I exchanged tweets with Johnson who tried as well to get this corrected. I even asked Johnson to tweet that it wasn’t him, which he did, but to no avail I woke up this morning and plenty of entities, namely ESPN, and others are still attributing the video to Johnson.

Beffuddled, baffled and annoyed come to mind when I sit to think about how so many, namely ESPN, have gotten this wrong. Johnson attributes the mistake to Dre’s lack of social media presence. This apparently made it hard for the powers that be to verify it is him. Sadly, this is true because the media relies heavily on social media. You can seem non-existent without a social media presence. However, it doesn’t take rocket science or physics to know that Travis Johnson is NOT the man in the video. Old school tactics of researching the origin of the video still works as well. I’m guessing that’s a foreign concept now. And I’m guessing whoever took this and ran with it has NEVER seen a picture of Johnson.

In an age, where this gaff was easily preventable, I am very disappointed in ESPN. I’ve had one of their bloggers ignore my tweets about it as I worked to correct the information he had put out to millions. Tweets and emails to ESPN have not warranted responses. And no matter how many times Johnson says it’s not him, it seems as if the powers that be are just scrolling by his confirmations.

I’m all over this and I will continue to work hard to ensure my friend gets the credit be deserves. His portrayal of Lewis was brilliant and might have birthed the newest catchphrase, “with effort.” If anybody’s going to snatch their 15 seconds plus some of fame for this instant classic, it’s going to be Andre Boyd. I’m going to make sure of that!

Thank you Travis Johnson & one of my favorite ESPN anchors, Jay Harris for your help with this matter!!!! We appreciate it!

 

 

Andre Boyd as Ray Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

My column today, in my hometown newspaper…

http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20151022/OPINION/151029948/0/FRONTPAGE?tc=ar

I was not sure what to expect when I saw CC Sabathia’s name trending earlier today as he is not in the news often.

The New York Yankees are in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Heading into the postseason, they will be without one of their veteran players.

Sabathia is checking himself into rehab to confront his alcohol addiction. Can we pause for a minute and really think about the magnitude of Sabathia’s choice? If you think I am looking at this from the stand point of what this means from the Yankees, then you have missed the point already. I need you to look at it from the stand point of here is a player who is on the roster of  the most storied franchise in Major League Baseball history. While not expected to win the World Series this year, it is October and anything can happen. The Yankees have been in a slump for a few years and have rightfully so returned to take their familiar seat at the playoff roundtable. Veterans such as Sabathia will be called upon to mentor and guide their younger counterparts through the ups and downs of postseason life.

Only, the Yankees cannot call on Sabathia. And no one. Absolutely no one should have a problem with it.

Sabathia is sick. Contrary to what many may believe, alcoholism is a disease. 17.6 million people suffer with it. It is the third leading cause of lifestyle-related death in the US. The effects of the disease can be debilitating.

And that is why Sabathia should be commended. In my opinion, he is already starting down the path of overcoming this disease. To walk away from your job, teammates and the fans who love and adore you, right before the playoffs, takes courage and determination. He could have easily waited until after the season while he allowed baseball to be a mask to what he is dealing with.

Instead, he is facing the situation head on and asking for what a lot of people are afraid to admit they need, help. At some point in life, we all need some help. We can scream as loud as we want that we do not need anybody but let me know how far that gets you.

I am proud of Sabathia. This cannot be an easy thing to do especially under the glare of the public and the media’s watchful eye. I am sure they will be people will criticize and scrutinize his decision and the time. Hey, you cannot please everybody!

Standing ovation for you, CC Sabathia for determining on your own terms what is important. And for determining on your own terms that you would not let anyone else dictate when you decided to take control of the situation. That to me is what real men do. Your life, your family and your well being is what is most important and if taking this step is what is going to help you become the best you that you can be then do it. 

I am praying and cheering for you all the way!

Holla at Peyton

Posted: September 18, 2015 in NFL, Uncategorized
Tags:

It is no secret that I am a Peyton Williams Manning fanatic.

He belongs on the Mt. Rushmore of QB’s and can do no wrong in my eyes unless he endores Donald Trump for President.

I have been sitting here working on this blog for a while. I have a lot written but I have decided it is not worth sharing. Not because I did not like what I had to say but because even with his decline, Peyton proved to everyone watching last night that he is still the Sheriff in this town. What else needs to be said?

By the way, that two minute drill clinic Peyton put on nearly brought a tear to my eye. That was beautiful.

2 and OH. Holla at Peyton and his 70,000 passing yards(eclipsed the plateau last night) when you see him in the streets.

 

{Source: ESPN}

{Source: ESPN}

 

He's coming for that #1 spot! {Source: Google Images}

He’s coming for that #1 spot!
{Source: Google Images}

 

 

TOODELLS.

 

I decided yesterday morning that I could not do it. I was too loyal. Too passionate. And too dedicated to go through with it.

I will NOT boycott my San Francisco 49ers this season.

You probably assume that was an easy decision. Nope. Not at all. 

Months ago, I wrote about the disgust and disdain I felt for the front office as I watched them completely gut our team, starting with the head coach. The majority of the decision made absolutely no sense to me. I know. I know. It is business but some business moves make no sense. You know your team is doing the most when they trade your punter. YOUR PUNTER!!

But I have been part of the Faithful too long to put us on pause now. If I can survive those years in the first decade in this millinniem then I can weather this storm.

Last night, I was impressed. I liked what I saw. The O-line looked more cohesive. The offense looked more in sync. And the defense looked like they had tapped into the relentless pursuit of the 49ers D from a few years ago. Oh and two words, Carlos Hyde. That is all I need to say.

We looked good but I am still skeptical. Minnesota is by no means, in my mind, one of the elite teams in the league. Time will tell if we are playoff contenders or not. 

Til then, I will bask in the glow of this win and search for a new 9ers tshirt online. I think they should send me one for my loyalty.

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.

 

P.S. To the media: please Frank Gore’s name out of the conversation when talking about Carlos Hyde. Hyde cannot replace Gore. Gore’s dedication to this franchise goes way beyond what he did on the field. He will always be one of the greatest 9ers to put on the red and gold. Now Hyde, gets his chance to began carving out his own legacy. That is all.

I was not sure I would ever see this again.

But here we are. Again. Venus vs. Serena playing against each other in a US Open match.

Primetime television at its best.

I was asked this weekend who I thought was the better player. It is easy to say Serena and why would you not pick her? But I stopped to think about it. Venus was dominate early in her career but was plagued by injuries. Serena, not as dominant, has found her stride in her early 30’s and is poised to complete the first calendar slam since 1988. I know the choice is clear but I stopped to examine them for a moment. Both have their strengths. Their serves are second to none. Venus is stronger at the net while Serena knows how to completely smother a second serve. I see more power in Serena while Venus tends to be more precise in her decisions. Both know how to dig deep to pull out a win but it will be interesting to see if Venus holds back simply because of what is at stake.

Either way, I will be watching and pulling for a Williams to win! Tune in at 7:00 and #WitnessGreatness.

 

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

 

 

Today is a big day. A happy day! And I need some happy after yesterday.

Kassie Nette’s Korner is THREE YEARS YOUNG today. Whoop whoooop! This is also my 200th post!

When I started this blog three years ago, I had no clue what I was doing. I just knew I wanted to create a platform for myself to talk about sports whenever I wanted to talk about them. I had been told over and over I should be on tv or on the radio talking about sports. That sounded cool but I found myself not really willing to pursue the opportunities. In the midst of being unemployed, I was not feeling very confident in my abilities. I had been told no so much that it seemed to be all I knew.

I have always been a fighter and a go-getter so I struggled, mightily, between keeping myself motivated to press forward and self- pity. Self pity was not me though so I made up in my mind that I would quit allowing the doubts of others to dictate what I could do. As I changed my mindset, I began to focus on what I was good at. I knew I was knowledgeable about sports and I knew I could talk about them. I also knew that finding a platform that might allow me to do this might take a while and just like that The Korner was born.

The Korner was born out of a need. Or should I say needs? My need to, yep, talk about sports but also my need to write. The latter being a need I was not aware of. I credit The Korner with uncovering my gift of writing. You may find this hard to believe but until I started this blog, I had no idea that this was something I was born to do. I grew up writing in my diary. I wrote for my high school newspaper. And every now and then I would get excited about a paper I had to write for class. Other than that, I rarely wrote. 

For three years, this space has allowed me to be me. It has allowed me to express my views, share my knowledge and ultimately, hone my writing skills. This space has also given me the opportunity to expand beyond the world of sports. I have blogged about The Oscars, concerts, Nelson Mandela, domestic violence and the inequalities in our country. I have been able to freely discuss issues that matter to me and engage in dialogue that has challenged me to look deeper beyond the surface.

In just a short amount of time, The Korner has become bigger than I ever dreamed it to be. It has become an extension of me. Whenever I have found myself in a rut where either I could not seem to create time to write or I did not feel like writing, I reminded myself of why I started this blog in the first place-I was born to do this. 

I am forever grateful and thankful for the determination my blog continues to provide me with. I have taken that same determination and channeled it into other areas and projects in my life. No longer do I have this desire to wait on the opportunity. I now desire to create my own even if I have to fight a million obstacles to turn it into a reality.

I am excited about whats to come for Kassie Nette’s Korner. I have been toying around with some ideas and I am eager to test a few out. Thank you to each and everyone of you who takes time out of their schedule to read my thoughts, share and/or comment. I appreciate you. Cheers to year #3! Lets go #4!!!

 

People are sick….

Posted: August 26, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I do not want to keep writing stories like this.

I like to stay in my happy place.

But the compassion that wells up inside of me will not let that happen.

Two days ago, I was hurting over the fact that black lives do not seem to matter to some people. Today, I am hurting over the fact that gun violence, scratch that violence, is out of control.

But we already knew that.

As the details continue to come out about the shooting that took place this morning in Virginia, I am finding it harder and harder to concentrate. Much like the many names that have become hashtags over the years through the #BlackLivesMatter movement, Alison Parker and Adam Ward woke up oblivious to what this day would entail.

The story is a sick and twisted one. And I would not dare give the murderer the satisfaction of inserting his name into my blog. But what happens in Virginia can happen anywhere and that is scary. What is even scarier is the fact that shootings in public places seem to be the norm now.

That is a problem.

A huge one! There are countless mass murders that happen almost daily that never make the national news. Evil seems to be taking over and driving out good.

As I type, I wonder how much of what has taken place is driven by our desires to always be in the know. We like to say people are getting meaner and meaner. When in actuality, people have been mean for decades. However, a lot of them did not have a platform available to share their sadistic minds. When I was growing up, it could be days before you heard about the latest unbelievable act of violence.

Enter social media.

The place where people share videos of girls being gang raped, dead bodies lying in the road and videos of murders. The place where people hide behind a persona, pedophiles seek potential victims and soon to be murderers sit back and watch how their fellow comrades actions have dominated media throughput the day.

#WDBJ will trend in the top 10 all day, as it should. However, I was once again disappointed to see people sharing footage of the actual act of violence. Anyone who shared it is sick. There is no reasonable reason for sharing the video of someone’s fiance, daughter, son, brother, colleague, friend, etc. being murdered in cold blood. NO REASONABLE REASON.

A culture has been created where, no murdering is not ok, but if you post it will be retweeted or shared just so people can inform you of how disgusted they are.

I understand that some people are not as bothered by these actions as I am. Very puzzling to me but to each his own. None of us should want to give these perpetrators a platform. They do not deserve that at all.

I am by no means saying that if people stop sharing these types of things on social media, we will see an decrease in these acts of violence. But hey, it is worth a try, right?

Oh and to anyone who wants to start in with this white people should riot and protest because their lives matter, miss me with that. You missed the point of the movement a long time ago.

I can only hope that going forward we are all more conscious regarding what we share, retweet and praise on our social platforms. The next killer is watching.

I can only hope that maybe this will be the day where our lawmakers take off the blinders and take a serious look at our gun culture.

I can only hope that we can find a way to allow more love to reign supreme and drive out the hate that has permeated so many.

I can only remain hopeful even when it is understandable if I did not.

 

Rest in peace, Alison Parker.
Rest in peace, Adam Ward.

Praying for all their loved ones, colleagues & journalists every where.

I have got to tighten up! Y’all know I am not a fan of preseason football. I mean I know it is great and all to see the second string and potential stars get some shine. But I like the real thing. I have not watched a preseason game all month.

So I guess my first paragraph is not a surprise but the fact that I have not created a fantasy league or joined one is making me scratch my head. Like what am I doing with my life? I know I have a lot going on but this is ridiculous.

Soooooo if you have a fantasy league and you still need players, hit me up! Smashmouth running all up and through your league.

I am so tired of this.

I could cry a river right now.

First, it is breaking news that the jury in the Randall Kerrick trial is deadlocked and is seeking advice from the judge. Defense wants the judge to declare a mistrial. State wants the Allen charge enacted which encourages the jury to continue deliberating to reach a decision. Then there is breaking news that Mansur Bell-Bay, the black teenager that was killed in St. Louis on Wednesday, died from a gunshot wound to the back. Supposedly, he pointed a gun at officers. However, the only “witnesses” that saw this gun were the officers. All other witnesses said the did not have a gun.

I am dumbfounded over the fact that there are people on the jury of the Kerrick trial who actually think firing 12 bullets at an unarmed man is not excessive. Mind you, at least six of these bullets were fired AFTER Jonathan Ferrell, the victim; a black man, of course, was on the ground.

This hurts. And I want it to stop but I am not sure it ever will. Every trial, every case, I hold out hope. Just praying that this is the one time our lives really do matter. That there will be people who look at the black life that was taken and say no this is not right. Not simply because the person is black but because it is not right. A law was broken and those who broke it should be held responsible.

I am frustrated. I am hurt. I am sad. I am angry. I am scared. I am so tired of this.

But I do not know how to make it stop? How can I change these narratives? What can I do that will really make a difference? Probably the question I really need to ask is will it matter? Will it matter if I protest? Will it matter if I sit down and have conversations about officers using excessive force? Will it matter if I call out those who somehow always find a way to justify these wrong actions?

As a sister, aunt, cousin and friend, I pray constantly for my brothers, nephews, cousins and friends. I know these people. Very well. I have known most of them my entire life. I love them. They are my support system. They make me laugh. They make me smile. They keep me encouraged. They go above and beyond for those they know and love. And even for those they do not know. They have families. They have dreams. They have people who depend on them. They are law abiding citizens. They are people who would give their life for me.

Yet, none of this may matter if they ever cross paths with an officer who sees them as nothing more than a “threat” who must be eliminated that day. That scares me.

I try not to think about it but it is hard. Very hard. I am sure Eric Garner did not wake up preparing to die that fateful day last summer. Nor did Freddie Gray. Or Tamir Rice. Or Michael Brown. Or Sam DuBose. Or Jordan Davis. Or Trayvon Martin. Or Oscar Grant. Or Mansur Bell-Bay. Or Jonathan Ferrell. Or Rakia Gray. Or Sandra Bland.

None of them got what they deserved.

But Dylan Roof got a Burger King Value Meal. And Darren Wilson got to go home. And George Zimmerman got to open a shop and sale confederate paraphenalia.

And Randall Kerrick just went home knowing he probably will not be tried again for killing an unarmed black man who had just gotten into a wreck and was seeking help.

I just want to it stop because I am tired of crying.

 

This. Is. Ridiculous.

I have been very busy lately with a lot of projects. As a result, I have been fairly absent from the blog. I apologize. It was not intentional but I am back. And I am back with a vengeance.

Ya’ll I am so annoyed, disappointed and frustrated with the San Francisco 49ers organization. How do we go from being a yard away from a 6th Super Bowl ring to being so out of sorts, order and everything else that we just might be the laughing stock of the league right now? Really, the 9ers? The laughing stock of the league? Let that sink in.

I did not think it could get much worse than the grand exodus that began in winter. Patrick Willis, gone. Frank Gore, gone. Mike Iupati, gone. To a division rival. Anthony Davis, gone. Chris Borland, gone, Justin Smith, “Cowboy” gone. Michael Crabtree, gone. Perish Cox, gone. Chris Culliver, gone.  Jim Harbaugh, “Khaki” gone. And now Aldon Smith, arrested. Again.

Someone please make it stop. For all of the “Faithful” this is like a never ending nightmare. What we once knew just a couple of years ago, shoot I will even say last year because I expect that team to be better than this year’s, is no more. The burning question is why? You will never be able to convince me that this is all coincidence. Something is up. I am not implying that it is anything illegal or against the rules but you do not have that much star power exiting one of the leagues premier organizations without there being a reason. And saying its just business is not the reason.

My thoughts? We all know my feelings about Jed York and Trent Baalke. I think my mama and I could do a better job at running the front office. We know that Baalke allowed his personal feelings to dictate his handling of Harbaugh. He forced out the person who was able to expand upon the foundation that former head coach Mike Singletary built. Once that happened, I knew he needed to relinquish his duties.

For whatever reason, it seems as if the front office wants to rebuild this organization which is baffling. You already had something great working that had more years left in it but you cause division which in turn causes as exodus. I do not get it. And I am seriously considering placing myself on a one year ban from all things San Francisco 49ers related.

Not sure how much more I can take.

 

P.S. Smith has been cut by the 9ers. If I recall correctly,this is the only time within the past year that I actually agree with a personnel decision. I pray Smith can turn his life around. He needs some help.

 

Two words, five syllables…Serena Williams.

I could go in on all the naysayers. I could go in on all the social media trolls who made it a point Saturday to claim Serena had an unfair advantage due to her size. I could go in on all those who refuse to recognize her greatness.

But then I would be stooping to their level and I am already short enough. So I’m going to just leave this here.

{Source: ESPNW}

{Source: ESPNW}

Whether you want to recognize it or not, greatness is here to stay.

Well, well. Here we go again. 

Domestic violence is in the news again. Or should I say the word assault is in the news again.

De’Andre Johnson is today’s poster boy for what happens if you put your hands on a female. The former Mr. Florida is all over the internet, particularly social media, after a video was released of him assaulting a female at a bar. Oh, but it is not that simple. This is not an open and shut case If you have not watched the video, please do. 

I have watched this video over and over and over. Here is what I saw. Johnson was trying to get through the crowd to the bar. As he begins to approach the bar, his actions lead me to believe he is saying excuse me to the female on his left. As he moves pass her, he bumps into the female on his right. Happens all the time in crowded spaces. It works my nerves especially when people do not say excuse me but it happens. No harm. No foul unless you almost knock me down. After the bump, the female is seen sliding to her left in an effort to block Johnson from getting to the bar. As she does this, she is seen looking over her shoulder exchanging words with him. The exchange heats up as she turns around and presses her left forearm against his chest. Johnson is then seem grabbing her left arm and then her right as she has now raised a balled fist into the air. Words are being exchanged as Johnson is seen seemingly trying to create  some space between them. This does not work as the female then lifts her right leg and knees/kicks Johnson in between his legs. She follows up her action with a punch to Johnson’s face which is met with a furious return punch to her face by Johnson. Johnson then walks away as her “friends” rush to her rescue.

As of today, Johnson has been charged and has been dismissed from Florida State’s football team. The female who threw the first punch is still enrolled at the university.

Yeah, so about that. She hits him, FIRST. He retaliates, gets arrested and gets thrown out of school. And she gets to sit up in economics class playing victim? See. This is the part of the problem. This is what I was screaming last year. This is the DOUBLE STANDARD.

All day yesterday there were debates going on via social media about whether or not Johnson should have punched the female. There were many who stuck to their “a man should never hit a woman” guns and there were many who stuck to their “if you dish it, you better be able to take it” guns. I fall in the latter. 

As a woman, if you are going to be bold enough to lay hands on a man then do not run screaming and hollering when he does the same. Yes, for the sake of not being arrested, possible jail time and a record that could haunt you for the rest of your life, I wish it was always easy for men to walk away when being assaulted by a woman. That is not reality though. And in this day and age with the internet increasingly teaching our youth more than the parents are the chances of a woman being hit if she hits a man first have greatly increased.

Johnson was wrong. And so was she. In my opinion, she was the aggressor. Having been in environments such as the one they were in, I have seen men place their hands on women in an effort to diffuse the situation. It is a natural reaction for some men. In this case, it seemed like a natural reaction to keep the situation from getting out of hand. Could he have walked away? Sure. Could she have not pushed him, raised her fist and kneed him between his legs? Absolutely. If anything, she should be issuing an apology tomorrow for her part in the front page headline while packing up her dorm room at FSU. 

But we know that is not going to happen because when it comes to assault and domestic violence a man is ALWAYS going to be the one getting fingers pointed at him, regardless of what transpired. The man will ALWAYS be scrutinized for his actions, regardless of what transpired. The man will ALWAYS be expected to rise above the attacks and insults, regardless of what transpired. Just ask Ray Rice.

Or ask Hope Solo, our newly crowned World Cup winning goalie, who was arrested on domestic violence charges last year. She still has a job?! Or ask Brittney Griner. Or Glory Johnson. Or countless other women who have unleashed vicious domestic assaults and still found themselves employed, supported and idolized. We barely heard any mention of our beloved female athletes transgressions. It is almost as if it did not happen. As quickly as the news appeared in our social media feeds, it disappeared again. Swept up under that DOUBLE STANDARD rug.

And what I found to be very comical during all of this is the statement by FSU’s President, John Thrasher who was quoted as saying “I expect all students at Florida State University, including student-athletes, to adhere to the highest level of conduct. I have no tolerance for the kind of behavior exhibited in this case.” If he considers the actions of the female to constitute operating at the highest level then a} their highest level of conduct is pretty low or b} their highest level of conduct is pretty low.

If we as a society are going to be serious about domestic violence and assaults, then we need to be fair on both sides. Instead of screaming, “a man should never hit a woman,” lets scream “everybody keep your hands to yourself.” There is no way I should get a pass just because my chromosomes are different. No way. I am strong and can throw a mean right hand but at the risk of possibly losing some teeth? I think I’ll pass. Plus I am not trying to end up like the female who was on the receiving end of Johnson’s comeback punch, dazed and confused with a ferocious headache.

Well, it has been a while.

There has been a lot that I have wanted to write about. I honestly just have not made the time to blog.

With all the division taking place in the US, it was great to finally be able to “come together” and get on one accord for a change. Huge thank you to the US Women’s National Soccer Team. If you missed it, the ladies brought the World Cup Championship back home.

For weeks, the news has been full of talk about the murder of nine innocent, black men and women in Charleston, what the Confederate Flag does and doesn’t stand for and debates over same-sex marriage. I have my opinions on all three topics and do not mind sharing them. However, I will write about them if and when the urge comes.

Back to soccer. I woke up Sunday morning excited! As a woman, I am always thrilled to see women dominate and gel for a common goal. I had watched previous US matches in the World Cup and knew the US women were playing some of their best ball as of late. I could not wait until 6 to see them play. Well, 6:00 came and I was not home. I soon found out the game had not started. Great! I would be home in time. Wrong. I was visiting an older lady whom I love and admire dearly. As always when I visit her, I lose track of time. The beauty of being engulfed in thought provoking conversations. As I headed to my car, I was carrying on a conversation with her son who happened to mention that we were up 4-1. Her son often “pulls my leg” so I thought he was exaggerating. Until I arrived home and turned on the TV. We were kicking tails and taking name after name after name.

What I thought would be a nail biter turned into a bet of how many times Carli Lloyd would score. The minutes began to give way to seconds as Lloyd transferred her captain’s armband to Kassie favorite, Abby Wambach. With a ultimate goal realized, Wambach began a jubilant celebration that is still being heard around the world.

The internet rejoiced. Patriotism was on an adrenaline rush. And 23 women from multiple walks of life celebrated a feat that had not been accomplished in 16 years.

It felt nice to be on one accord for a change. Thank you ladies for giving us something we could all cheer about, together.

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

WCC2

This post is probably not a surprise to most. It is probably more of a surprise that I am just now writing about it.

Yesterday, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released the Notice of Allegations that was sent to them on May 22. The report was a redacted version but what was released was damaging. We found out what many, including myself, have been saying for years-there is some shady business happening in that athletic department.

Now before you get your t-shirts all in a bunch, please do not come at me with this whole I am only saying this because it is UNC-CH mess. The rivalry between my alma mater and this school has absolutely nothing to do with my stance regarding this situation. Contrary to what you may believe, I have a great deal of respect for this university as a whole. To some extent. Let me rephrase. I have a great deal of respect for those who work at the university and are not a part of this scandal. The ones who do their job the right way on a daily basis. I have a great deal of respect for my family, friends and colleagues who are graduates of this university; the ones who did things the right way. However, the allegations that keep spilling out of the hallowed walls of the buildings in Chapel Hill are disturbing, damaging and sickening.

I am not going to go all into the details of the report. You can read that for yourself. What I want to focus on is what has disturbed me the most about this whole ordeal-the fact that there are people who try and justify what has been taking place. Almost every day I read on social media or on a message board about how the allegations are not that bad or I see my favorite excuse, “everyone is doing it.” That is where you are wrong. Everyone is not doing it. Everyone does not have a whole fake class system set up through their athletic department. Granted, the African-American Studies Department is a legit department at UNC-CH, but for 18 years this department played a significant role in “enrolling” students in classes that never met or only got together once to turn in a paper.

What is even more disturbing is the amount of people that knew all of this was happening and they either a) did nothing about it or b) were a part of the problem. You see I have issues with coaches who enter into the homes of parents who are willing to entrust them with their child’s collegiate athletic and most importantly, academic career with intentions of only ensuring they remain eligible to exceed on the field. I have an even bigger issue with the fact that the a lot of these athletes come from situations where attending college on their athletic prowess is the only way they will ever get a college education. They are then used as pawns in this big game of chess. I also have issues with parents who see these types of things happening but do not speak up for their children for fear of backlash or the possibility of lessening their dream to play professionally.

There is no doubt in my mind that UNC-CH is not the only school that violating rules. I know there are other schools out there that are offering some type of impermissible assistance to help their student-athletes main their eligibility. Who knows if it is as wide scale as this one but I hope they get caught as well.  However, at this very moment the spotlight is on UNC-CH and the NCAA has an opportunity to either a) take it easy on one of their cash cows or b) make an example out of them for not upholding the very morals they stress as the “Carolina Way.” And if you expect me to believe that coaches who were involved with the athletic programs in question had no knowledge of what was going on then I guess you expect me to believe nobody knows that happened to that Malaysian airplane.

Do I have a lot of faith in the NCAA? Of course not. Have you not paid attention to the inconsistency of their punishments over the years? The only thing consistent about the NCAA is their inconsistency. That coupled with the fact that this investigation has been going on for five years leads me to believe the NCAA will be lenient with their punishment. But they could prove me wrong.

Either way it goes, this whole thing is ridiculous. The reason this type of culture is so prevalent is because the NCAA is a mess itself. Collegiate athletics is very political, money driven and on a daily basis it allows programs to operate in a manner that stresses the importance of athletics over academics. At least on some campuses.

For now, I will just sit back and wait for the ruling. Should be interesting. I just hope their ruling does not prove me right. Oh, wait. Too late.

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.

Random…

Posted: June 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hey ya’ll!! It has been a while, huh? Sorry I have been celebrating my birfday all last month. No really, I have been celebrating my birfday(with an f).

I am back though and just in time to give my thoughts on a few things…

 

MayPac
That fight was terrible. Borrrring. I did not expect Manny to win although that is what I was hoping for. I knew he would have to bring hs best Zumba moves if he was going to keep up with Mayweather. 

FIFA
Is anyone really surprised at this debacle? The oly thing surprising was that Sepp Blatter was re-elected. Well that may not be so surprising either. And now he has resigned.

ESPN First Take
I called myself watching this a couple of times last month. I am so over this show. Between Stephen A. constantly clearing his throat and Skip constantly beating on the desk, I am constantly rolling my eyes. I wish I had time to watch His & Hers and Highly Questionable daily.

NBA Playoffs
That Spurs-Clippers series. Maaaaan. One of the best ever! Finals are up next and my money is on Chef Curry(with the pot).

Stanley Cup Playoffs
I know a lot of you do not watch hockey. Playoff hockey is so exciting! Although the conference finals Game 7’s were not. Talk about sleepers. 

Charlie Weiss
I need his agent! That is all.

Josh Hamilton
I cannot tell you how happy I am that he is back home in Texas. The childlike joy he displayed over hitting a walk off double last week brought the biggest smile to my face. I am happily wearing my Hamilton baseball seam bracelet again.

Wolfpack Baseball
I still cannot believe we gave a seven run lead in the eighth inning. This one is gonna leave a salty taste in my mouth for a while. I still love my Pack!

Look & Listen Podcast
I did my first podcast with my homey, Leonard. Check out all the fun at http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/look-and-listen-podcast/e/play-it-up-at-kassie-nettes-korner-37600991?autoplay=true  Be sure to visit http://www.lbothersmedia.com to see what all Leonard is up to. 

Cam Newton
He got paid! Now lets see what he does on the field.

 

I know I have missed a lot but that is all I have for now but stay tuned. I am working on something gooood.

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.

 

I want my money back! Ok, I want my brother to get his money back.

The “Fight of the Century” was anything but that. It was more like a dance off.

But let me back up. We, the die hard sports fans, have been waiting five years for this fight. We sat and watched as folks on both sides of the aisle bickered about money, drug testing and how their opponent utilized their free time. Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. It was finally happening! Years of back and forth finally culminated in people all across the world tuning in to watch what we all hoped would be one of the best fights ever.

Welp. So much for hopes. I cannot recall the last time I was so bored watching a boxing match. Oh yes I can. It was the last time I watched Floyd Mayweather fight.

I have heard it all before about how Mayweather is this great fighter and is now self proclaiming to be the best ever. Oh stop. Dancing around the ring all night does not make you the best ever…

 

You know what. I am not even interested in continuing this post. I could sit here and defend why I think Mayweather(and yes I do give him props for being one of the sports greatest is boring to watch but I do not even feel like doing that anymore. Plus I am hungry.

 

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.

 

P.S. Mayweather won. I cannot condone that nonsense Pacquiao was talking.

{Source: Google Images}

{Source: Google Images}

 

I have a confession. 

I have not been feeling very “sportsy” lately. 

What does that mean exactly? Well, my life often revolves around sports. I have been known rearrange activities or even skip them because “the game” is coming on. I watch SportsCenter daily. I read ESPN.com daily to stay abreast on the latest happenings. And I answer at least one question a day from someone regarding something sports related.

But lately, I have found myself oblivious to lots of things that are going on in the sporting world. I am not quite sure who is still in the NBA playoffs. I know San Antonio and the Clippers of LA are still in it. It is the one series I have been watching. Go Spurs Go!! Oh and I know the head of social media for the Houston Rockets lost his job because of a dumb tweet. What was that guy thinking? When the playoffs started, I had no clue that the Atlanta Hawks were the number one seed in the East. How did that happen? When did they become contenders? Who plays for them? Did the Human Highlight Film come back and suit up? Do they even have a star? Is Elton Brand still there? Talk about clueless.

Then there is the Stanley Cup playoffs. Now I am a woman who loves some playoff hockey. The intensity that shows up in the playoffs is second to none. I love it. I love it. I love it. But I do not know who is still playing. I have yet to watch a playoff game. I do not even know when the next game is. What is going on here?

Then there is the NFL Draft. Unless you are new to my blog then you know that football is my favorite sport and I am fully engulfed in the sport. The NFL Draft is tonight. Assuming nothing has changed, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are still expected to go one-two, respectively. If anything has changed, I would not know because just like the NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs, I have not been keeping up with this either. Yikes.

Then there is what is being dubbed as the biggest fight since Thrilla in Manilla, the fight we have been waiting years for, Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. Most of the talking heads expect Mayweather to win. I for one am cheering for Pacquiao. Since I am not feeling sportsy I do not feel like breaking down why I am cheering for him and why I think he will win. Just know, it is Go Pac Man over here!

The Kentucky Derby is this weekend. Baseball is in full swing. Maaaaan. I do not even know who is leading the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I just Googled it. Kevin Harvick is. What else is going on? What else have I missed?

This is a weird place for me. Now you all know why I have not had much to say. No worries though, it will not last long. Sometimes you have to make certain adjustments in life and lately I have had other endeavors that I have needed to focus my time and attention on. Although I may not be as in tune as I typically am, I am always in the know. Plus you all are depending on me to keep you abreast of the latest happenings, right? Guess I better step my game back up, huh?

I gotcha.

 

Until next time…TOODELLS.