Yesterday was the kind of day I love in sports.

Well almost. It started off rough. The morning brought us the sad news that baseball legend, Tony Gwynn, had passed away at the young age of 54. I can admit. His passing left me choked up. Partly because cancer had claimed another person who made such a tremendous impact, not only in their profession, but in this world and partly because little pieces of my childhood keeps getting taken away. Michael Jackson. Heavy D. Paul Walker. Nelson Mandela. Maya Angelou. Junior Seau. Flo Jo. Walter Payton. And now Tony Gwynn.

I was always a follower of Gwynn’s career. Unfortunately, I did not get to see him play a lot because the San Diego Padres were rarely on tv but there were plenty highlights of him on SportsCenter. The swing. The stolen bases. The smile. Gwynn was the kind of player you wanted on your team. Reliable. Dominating. Loveable. Resilient. Daring. Consistent. I never heard a player, manager, reporter or fan say anything negative about him. From what I know he was always the m gentleman who excelled at the game of baseball and life. As Twitter and Facebook lit up with RIP posts, I read articles that highlighted his many achievements. Career batting average of .338. 3,141 hits. 8 NL batting titles. 15 time All-Star. Played in 1,838 games. Only 34 games where he struck out more than once. Let that sink in.

If you had the privilege to watch Gwynn play then you were privileged to watch one of the greatest to ever play the game. How can that not eventually bring a smile to your face?

As the day progressed feelings of sadness would give way to exuberance as the US Men’s National Soccer Team fought for victory. Everyone on my TL was talking about it on Twitter. Everyone in my newsfeed was talking about it on Facebook. For a few hours, we were all on the same page. Again. Reminiscent of earlier when love was being spread all around in reference to Gwynn’s passing, Americans had united to cheer our team on to victory. We watched them give their all to issue payback to Ghana for ousting them in the previous two World Cups.  In the 86th minute, revenge was executed. Set up by a perfect corner kick from Graham Zusi, substitute John Brooks put himself in position for the perfect header that would ultimately win the game for the US. I, along with countless other Americans, squealed and cheered in delight. Happy that “our boys” were victorious over their nemesis.

While the famous and not so famous posted congratulatory tweets, a mutual follower expressed his thoughts about it all. He tweeted, “Dunno which is worse, the Heat bandwagon or those who all of a sudden love soccer. I think it’s the latter. .” I responded that he should let us enjoy it because it only comes around once every four years. I would have liked to elaborate but I am not one to send out simultaneous tweets to get my point across. That is why I have a blog :-). To my follower: Yes, there are plenty of people who are all of a sudden tuned in to a sport they do not follow on a consistent basis, me included. I know more than the average person but it is not a sport I keep up with day in and day out. What I can say is that days like yesterday make me happy. In our country, where the news is constantly filled with violence, politics and crime and my TL is sometimes full of rants, gossip and sadness, days like yesterday make me smile. For a few hours, we were all on the same page. UNITED as Americans cheering for fellow Americans. It does not happen very often but when it does, we should cherish it. So yes, you will see more soccer “fans” than usual and that, in my opinion, is part of what the World Cup is all about. Countries uniting, hoping for one common goal. To bring home the ultimate victory. After a rough start to the day, it was the perfect ending.


Until next time…TOODELLS.



Enough already!!

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!!

A Night to Remember…

Source: NCAA
Source: NCAA

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.


I am sorry…

I owe someone an apology. I have never met her. However, over the years, I have found myself making statements about her that have not been very nice.

Behind the humor, big smile and bubbly personality is a sensitive and compassionate woman who turns her head every time she passes an 18-wheeler carrying pigs or chickens on the highway. That compassionate side of me gave me a nice reality check earlier this week. On Sunday, while I was out and about, I checked in on Twitter to see what was trending. I immediately saw that Pam Oliver’s name was trending and thought to myself, “Anytime she is trending, it is never a good thing” I was correct. The usual slander was about the usual topic: her hair. When I arrived at a friend’s house later we discussed the topic and if I recall correctly, I remember saying, “I wish she had some girlfriends who would be honest with her about her hair.” Oh Kass. Smh.

It was not until the very next day that what I said started to bother me. I have commented on her hair for years. Then it hit me. I was essentially doing the same thing I felt Rob Parker did to RG3 a few weeks ago, tearing a person down instead of lifting them up. It was not a good feeling. Had I not learned anything from the Gabby Douglas hair controversy? It was not a good feeling. Then it dawned on me and I had that “ha ah” moment. Had I ever stopped to think that maybe the reason she had not changed her hair is because she likes it? I remember when I made the decision to stop getting relaxers and let my hair revert back to its natural state, there were people who expressed their dissatisfaction in my decision. Yes, my decision. Some of the comments were hurtful but for the most part I was not concerned about what others thought I should do to my hair. IT IS MY HAIR!!!

The slander directed at Oliver has been happening for years and with the emergence of social media, it has only gotten worse. While I would think the comments, to some extent, have been hurtful, she seems to be very confident in who she is and how she chooses to wear her hair. Ultimately, that is all that matters. Instead of focusing on trivial things, we should be focused on cheering her on. She was an all-American in track in college. She is a graduate of FAMU. She is also one of three(I think) black women reporting from the sidelines in major sports. Her employer and former employers seem to not be phased by her hairstyle and neither should we. That is irrelevant. She should not be torn down because she does not conform to a stereotype. She is a pretty woman. She is great at what she does. She has worked her way up the ranks and should be celebrated for that.

From this point forward, I vow to be more conscientious of my words.

I hope that someway, somehow this letter reaches her so she knows that for all those that are tearing her down, there are thousands more lifting her up.

Ms. Pam, I am sorry. Keep doing what you do so well. You are a trailblazer and I thank you for carving out a path for women like myself to follow. YOU ROCK!

Until next time…TOODELLS!