Friday, August 31, 2007

Travis Deserves It, But Still...

Why is the media putting Travis Henry on blast? Travis is having some issues with his children and their support payments. The story began in the Atlanta Journal Constitution because Henry is in a child support dispute with a local woman. Then the story made its way to Now, I see it on my Yahoo! front page. Sure, he deserves mention with other father of the year candidates like Brian Urlacher, Floyd Mayweather, Sr. and Andy Reid. However, Matt Leinart get the glossy People Magazine treatment for his child support dispute and the media coos after Tom Brady taking time off work to witness the birth of a son that doesn't even have his last name as a diversion from globe trotting with the next girl. Travis Henry ain't the only baby daddy out there. He's one of the best running backs in the league, but he's probably never had a national article written about him. Just cause he's a mind blowing 9x9...

Wait, you don't know what a 9x9 is?

It's a simple X x Y equation.

x = number of wives/ex-wives/baby mamas (or male equivalent)
y = number of children birthed by x.

Travis Henry has 9 baby mamas and 9 children. Therefore he is a 9x9.
Shawn Kemp is a 6x7 (at least).
Herm Edwards is a 2x3.
Bill Belichick is a 1x3.
Shaquille O'Neal is a 2x5.
Shaunie O'Neal is a 2x5. (see it works both ways!)
Tony Gonzalez is a 2x2.
Oscar De La Hoya is a 3x4.
Larry Bird is a 2x3.

You get it?

The numerical designation carries no universal judgement. It's a just a handy way to stereotype people. However if you're Chinese, the ideal label might be 1x1. If you're a person with a little life experience, maybe 2x3 sounds good to you. If you have super sperm, maybe 4x4 is inevitable for you. If you're a carpenter, maybe 2x4. If you're about your money, maybe 0x0 is music to your ears.

Travis Henry is the category leader right now, but he is just going through life, even if on an exaggerated basis. And here's hoping he'll stop borrowing money from the Titans' petty cash and sell some of those gold chains and cars to take care of all those damn kids.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In Praise of the Prosecution

The United States Attorneys that prosecuted Michael Vick are named Mike Gill and Brian Whisler.

I bet you didn't know that. And that's a good thing.

There were no press conferences on the courthouse steps. There was no tour of the cable news circuit. There was no hardball. These two men did their job. A law was on the books and they prosecuted. Mr. Gill and Mr. Whisler did not try to make a "name" for themselves. They did not pile on.

When the media proclaimed loudly that Michael Vick would get the worst deal because he was the last to plea, the prosecutors proved them wrong. Vick got the same or better resolution than the other defendants. And rightfully so. Vick is a first time offender. And hardly a menace to society. There is little benefit to society in wasting a prison bed on him.

Sure, maybe this case caught the government's eye because Michael Vick is a celebrity. Maybe they projected a win in the court of public opinion when the target was a young Black man. But they didn't abuse those advantages. Instead, they leveraged speed of investigation, the success rate of federal prosecutions and the inherent power of an interstate conspiracy charge.

And all of the defendants in the Vick case benefited from that professionalism. And society benefited. There is no need to lock dog fighting participants up for the maximum sentence just for the sake of doing it. That's a prison bed that a murderer or a rapist could be residing in. Animal cruelty, dog fighting, etc. have become law enforcement priorities mostly because they are gateway crimes. People that engage in those activities have a propensity to be engaged in gambling and drug enterprises. And while society has compassion for animals, people that do harm to other people are the greatest danger.

It could have been worse. Vick could have gotten the maximum sentence. But why waste time and taxpayer money on prosecuting dog fighters when you can get the drug dealers, the money launderers and the other real scourges. If Vick has to snitch, so be it. He was snitched on first. There's no "code" if no one is adhering to it. If Vick's testimony and the testimony of the other defendants gets drug dealers and gambling kingpins off the streets, then I can be happy about that.

Every public lawyer is not a Mike Nifong. Many lawyers do their job with efficiency and professionalism. It tugs the heart strings to see another Black man end up as a statistic . But the United States prosecutors performed their jobs efficiently and professionally. As a lawyer, I have to give credit where credit is due.

Is Michael Vick Going to Jail?

When Billy Martin gave his statement on Monday, he referred to December 10 as the date of Michael Vick's "probation hearing". I thought it was another "spring training" slip of the tongue by Mr. Martin, but maybe not.

Circumstances suggest that Michael Vick's defense team is trying to get probation for Michael Vick. Seriously.

They have scheduled a half day of testimony on the day that the mainstream media is referring to as his sentencing date. Vick's lawyers cancelled his appearance on the Tom Joyner morning show yesterday, as if there was still the possibility that Vick could incriminate himself.

Don't take for granted everything the mainstream media is saying. Remember, back in the day, when they said Michael Vick wasn't going to be indicted? That wasn't true. Remember when they loudly proclaimed he was going to get the worst deal because he didn't plea first? That wasn't true. Even the other day, certain people were saying the acceptance of the plea was in jeopardy because the statement of facts. Apparently, the judge doesn't pay much attention to Lester Munson.

The media is downplaying the possibility that Michael Vick will be sentenced to probation or time in a halfway house. That is a reasonable stance, because the possibility of that outcome is definitely a long shot. However the defense is apparently gearing up for the uphill battle. Otherwise, they would have thrown themselves on the mercy of the court and tried to accelerate the sentencing date, so that Vick could enter and leave prison as soon as possible. Instead, the defense has suggested that they're going to take the three months or so to rehabilitate Michael Vick in the eyes of the court. Maybe that will include a media blitz. More than likely it will include some secret grand jury testimony.

The possibility of Michael Vick serving little to no jail time is a potential development to keep your eye on. The prosecution has already demonstrated that they're not in the business of insisting on maximum sentences just for the sake of doing so. The tone of the prosecution suggests that the prosecution may have bigger fish to fry and that, consequently, Vick may have a chance in seeking a light sentence. You never know how things will turn out.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Remembering Althea Gibson

The U.S. Open honored Althea Gibson at the championship opening ceremony on the 50th anniversary of Ms. Gibson becoming the first Black woman to win the United States championship in tennis. She was finally inducted into the U.S. Open's Court of Champions. Participants in the ceremony included Aretha Franklin; Sheila Johnson, BET co-founder and WNBA owner, former U.S. Senator Carol Moseley Braun; ex-WNBA star Cynthia Cooper; Winter Olympians Vonetta Flowers and Debi Thomas; tennis player Zina Garrison; astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison; Olympic track and field champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee; Traci Green, the first Black tennis coach at Harvard; and actress Phylicia Rashad.

Gibson, who won 11 Grand Slam titles, died in 2003 at the age of 76.

"I have never felt that as a sport and as a society that we have done justice to Althea," USTA president Jane Brown Grimes said. "I feel finally with this opening night celebration we are."

As a child, Grimes spent summers on Long Island and attended the U.S. Nationals at Forest Hills, where she watched Gibson play.

"I was absolutely awe-struck by her," Grimes said. "Her serve was poetry."

Althea Gibson excelled at tennis with the help of benefactors like musician Buddy Walker, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, and Black doctors Hubert Eaton and Robert Johnson. But she was generally talented. She could also drive a golf ball 325 yards and played golf professionally. She could sing. She even acted in a movie, a John Wayne western.

Ms. Gibson dominated Black tennis competitions until 1950, when she was finally allowed to enter the U.S. National championships. Her participation was stoked by the protest of the then current U.S. National champion, Alice Marble. Ms. Marble wrote an editorial for the July 1, 1950, edition of American Lawn Tennis Magazine which said,

"Miss Gibson is over a very cunningly wrought barrel, and I can only hope to loosen a few of its staves with one lone opinion. If tennis is a game for ladies and gentlemen, it's also time we acted a little more like gentlepeople and less like sanctimonious hypocrites.... If Althea Gibson represents a challenge to the present crop of women players, it's only fair that they should meet that challenge on the courts. [If Gibson were not given the opportunity to compete] then there is an uneradicable mark against a game to which I have devoted most of my life, and I would be bitterly ashamed."

Gibson went on to won 11 major titles in the late 1950s, including singles titles at the French Open (1956), Wimbledon (1957, 1958) and the U.S. Open (1957, 1958), as well as three straight doubles crowns at the French Open (1956, 1957, 1958).

In 1957, she was the first Black to be voted by the Associated Press as its Female Athlete of the Year.

Ms. Gibson endured the tribulations of segregated America even as an exalted athlete. One hotel refused to book reservations for a luncheon in her honor. She claimed not to care about these things.

"I tried to feel responsibilities to Negroes, but that was a burden on my shoulders. Now I'm playing tennis to please me, not them."

"Someone once wrote that the difference between me and Jackie Robinson is that he thrived on his role as a Negro battling for equality whereas I shy away from it. That man read me quite correctly."

After Ms. Gibson quit tennis, she became New Jersey State Commissioner of Athletics in 1975, a post she held for 10 years. She then served on the State's Athletics Control Board until 1988 and the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness until 1992.

Gibson won her first Grand Slam doubles title at the 1956 Wimbledon with partner, Angela Buxton. Ms. Buxton was Jewish. And she may have felt a certain kinship with Ms. Gibson as the media minimized their accomplishments at Wimbledon with the headline, "Minorities Win." Years later, as Ms. Gibson was silently suffering in poverty, declining health and suicidal thoughts, Ms. Buxton came to her aid.

“Because she was so penniless until the last few years of her life, because she was so ill, she phoned me one day to say she was going to do herself in,” said Buxton. “I said ‘just hang on a minute I’m cooking some onions. Let me switch that off and we’ll talk about it’.”

In 1995, Buxton spent $1,500 of her own money to support her friend before making an appeal on her behalf in the magazine Tennis Week, highlighting her hardship. “I didn’t want my name on it in case she got cross with me and wouldn’t speak to me,” she said. “She could get on her high horse very easily."

Althea Gibson's mailbox started to bulge with envelopes full of checks from around the world. Eventually nearly $1 million came in.

Despite the highlights of her life, it is said that Ms. Gibson died reclusive, depressed and bitter. But she didn't die unappreciated.

Those that knew Althea Gibson compare her tennis abilities to the Williams sisters. Ms. Gibson, like the Williams sisters, was tall, athletic and dominant. When it was announced the Williams sisters would play Monday evening, the Williams sisters embraced the honor as the next step in building a minority base in the sport.

“We’ve come a long way,” Serena Williams told USA Today. “Obviously, there’s still a space to go. It takes time. It takes people like Althea and Zina and Venus and myself to keep it out there and to keep fighting and playing."

Both of the Williams sisters won Monday night.


Fashion Round Up - US Open

The US Open has begun and the Williams sisters have been especially krispy.

Awww... Plaid for Arthur Ashe Kids Day.

Venus rocks her new Steve & Barry line. Frankly, that's better than anything Reebok outfitted her in. I love the pleated skirt. Pleats are naughty.

I can't even see the bottom of this outfit, but Serena looks cute to def.

This may be the cutest outfit Serena has ever worn on court. I love the ghetto fabulous earrings that say "Serena". (Of course, I picked up my pair from the beauty supply months ago). I love the short curly hair. And I love, LOVE that bow. Well, speaking of the bow. The bow met a tragic end toward the end of Serena's opening match. It was ugly. I don't want to speak of it.

It wouldn't be a Williams sister round up if somebody wasn't putting the "error" in "trial and error." Generally, Serena looks cute in this dress. But I believe the words she was searching for are, "Secret Prescription Strength."

And I guess the Williams sisters get it from they momma. Oracene, child, that's too much blonde.

Still, Janet Jackson and her bangles applaud the overall effort.

And so does Christie Brinkley.

Maria Sharapova also did her fashion plate thing. She rocked a beret. Which is funny because she's Russian, not French. Hilarious!

Some sparkles.

And some shapeless couture.

Ehhhh.... She's no Serena, but she's trying.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Obligatory Fantasy Football Appearance

I am a fantasy football rookie. I blog, but I am not a complete nerd. Deal with it.

But someone invited me to participate in a league and I accepted. The whole thing was quite embarrassing actually. I had technical difficulties, so auto pick ended up doing the first two rounds. (I had done some preliminary draft ordering.) I picked, not with piles of research by my side, but according to the flow of the draft and my general football knowledge. This is why I ended up with 4 starters with a week 6 bye. Not only was I too busy "concentrating" to talk smack to the other league members, but I asked a stupid girl question too. "Can I pick any position now that I've filled my starting roster?" Several people answered "Yup", but I'm sure they were laughing hysterically.

Still, I did okay. Here are my picks by round. This is team, "Jerry Jones' Botox".

  1. Peyton Manning, QB, Indy
  2. Travis Henry, RB, Denver
  3. Marion Barber, RB, Dallas
  4. TJ Who's Your Mama, WR, Cincy
  5. Calvin "Big Hands" Johnson, WR, The D
  6. Jason Witten, TE, The Other D
  7. Donte Stallworth, WR, Home of the Rooney Rule
  8. DST, Pittsburgh's Not so Bad
  9. Robbie Gould, K, Cuz Rex Grossman Isn't Going to Throw For Any Touchdowns

On Reserves:

  1. Jason Campbell, QB, The City that Craves a Black Quarterback More than Atlanta
  2. Patrick Crayton, WR, Where TO Loves the Kids
  3. Antwaan Randle El, WR, Washington
  4. Najeh Davenport, RB, Pittsburgh Isn't That Bad. Really!
  5. Martin Gramatica, K, Dallas

So, what do you think? Not too shabby for a rookie.

A Lonely Man

Michael Vick was alone today.

You are alone when there is only a suit earning his hourly wage at your side. Michael Vick had no wife by his side. Only a female marshall. It was the same marshall that escorted him into the arraignment a few weeks back. I guess that's what qualifies as a friend in Michael Vick's life these days.

In the end, Michael Vick had no friends. Not his homeboys his flipped on him. Not his owner, who accepted Vick's apology without enthusiasm. Not even his dad, who put his crackhead tendencies on blast to air out his son.

Vick only has what could be merely defined as "supporters." A handful of journalists. Some sports talk callers. A few buses of supporters brought in from his hometown, members of a church he funded with his own money. They outnumbered the detractors on the courtroom sidewalk. It seems apropos that the church was there for him at his low point. It's not unusual that somebody from the congregation brings a plate 'roun the way when you're a shut in. Vick will sit alone shut in and shut out from the world, confined within the borders of Virginia, for the next few months. Soon, he will probably be confined within a prison cell. Once again, alone.

And he stood alone at that podium.

"What I did was immature. So that means I have to grow up."

I couldn't help but feel sorry for Michael as he faces the singular road to maturity. I wouldn't wish that loneliness on anyone. And I can't help but feel relieved to be emerging from the bizarro world where people can watch animals beat the shit out of each other on the Discovery Channel, but condemn Vick for doing the same in his own back yard. Where nobody blinks at Kobe Bryant getting private air shuttles to his court dates or numerous criminals playing in the NFL, but feel superior in condemning Vick as committing the most reprehensible crime imaginable. I know it's not over, but I hope today was the first day of the rehabilitation of Michael Vick. As a human being, I can't stand to watch him suffer. Vick promised that he would redeem himself. I've got my fingers crossed. And I hope he finds some real friends on the other side.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Venus' Shoe Game

Venus Williams joins athletes Stephon Marbury, Ben Wallace, and Bubba Watson in marketing shoes and clothing for Steve and Barry's. Venus will design the line of high performance, lifestyle and active clothing and footwear.

The line will be called EleVen (a nod to her childhood address in Lynwood, CA and, I assume, her name). Venus will start modeling the line tomorrow at the US Open, although the line won't be available for purchase until November. Everything in the line will be priced under $19.98, including the shoes, like everything at Steve & Barry's.

It is not clear how the deal with Steve and Barry's impacts her deal with Reebok. However, Venus has designed a line of clothing before that she has worn on court for Wilson's Leather.

Lately, Venus has been looking pretty good in her various appearances. She and her sister have explored a lot of looks via the trial and error method. Hopefully, beads won't be prominently featured in her line.


Recoupment or Windfall?

Reports have emerged that the Falcons are going to seek to recover $22 million of signing bonus money from Michael Vick. It is too early to predict whether the Falcons will be successful in recouping any or all of that money. Maybe even the players union will make an appearance. Maybe they will have something to say about recouping money from a player that is able to play (Vick's incarceration likely won't begin for months) and whether Goodell is making suspension determinations in the name of discipline or providing windfalls for owners.

Still, there are some reasons beyond the text of the player contract or the collective bargaining agreement why the Falcons might want to go easy on this one.

Firstly, Michael Vick made the Falcons PLENTY of money. Far more than $22 million or any salary they have paid Michael Vick. He sells the seats, the luxury boxes and the jerseys... Or at least he did. The Falcons can just invest their number 7 profits and collect the interest. If you're going to milk a man dry, at least do it in the Shield tradition and make him leave everything on the field.

The Falcons shouldn't necessarily be rewarded for their own conduct concerning the Vick matter. Arthur Blank chose to hover in the shadow of Goodell. That was his choice and his choice alone. If Blank was really about the bottom line, which is always clearer than the murky path of good public relations, he would be doing everything he could to keep his gift horse on the field. Arthur Blank is in the unique position of being dependent on essentially one player. The Falcons, as a team, have little goodwill in Atlanta. PETA, while loud and annoying, is not numerous enough to obstruct all the gates of the Georgia Dome. Another team is going to sign Michael Vick when he is available again. Blank could have chosen to ride the rough patch out and carried on with business. You can't give away money and then ask for it back.

Why should the Falcons be able to recoup all those millions from Michael when the Falcons could have spent a few thousand dollars on a private investigator? Then they would have known about Vick's activities and potentially been in a position to control them. The government was able to detail Vick's activities in a matter of weeks. Yet, the Falcons gave him over a hundred million dollars over a course of years, and they plead ignorance over how he spent his spare time. That's laughable. And just negligent.

Only an NFL emboldened by seemingly limitless powers over the players would sign off on the Falcons doing this. However, any agent with a brain is going to realize that the signing bonus is becoming increasingly vulnerable. Some players may instead opt to insist on higher base salaries or front loaded contracts. If that comes to fruition, the whole league will pay.

And what about the fans? For months, it seems like I have been waking up to bad news about the Falcons every morning. Michael Vick and the Falcons have caused me an incredible amount of fatigue. I want it to be over. I want to move on and enjoy sports and have fun with it. Yet, the Falcons choose to subject me and other sports fans to morning headlines about the status of their litigation with Michael Vick. They could choose to propose a reasonable settlement that would provide little consternation in lieu of playing hardball. There is difference between exercising the rights that are technically available to you and being fair. Instead, they are volunteering to jump on top of the pile on that is smothering all football fans, not just Vick. Please, spare me.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

On Martyrdom

ESPN Page 2 writer Jemele Hill cautions "Us" not to make Vick a martyr. She claims Vick "alone should be held accountable for his actions."

If only it were that simple.

Every story has a background. Explaining is not excusing. Those obsessed with examining the nuances are not worse than those who are content to bask in the ignorance of political correctness.

Ms. Hill is among many media members who insist on oversimplified good or bad designations... black and white classifications.. the romantic and naive disposition of heroes and villains.

Ms. Hill writes, "Do not applaud him for taking his comeuppance." And why not? Since when is accepting responsibility a bad thing? It should not matter whether Vick is concerned. Living a life of value is the ideal fulfillment of a human life. And despite ESPN's effort to dehumanize Vick, he is still a person.

There is no need to feign that Michael Vick has no good qualities just to bolster condemnation of his misdeeds. Yes, he has done bad things and he will suffer the consequences. We all do that on varying levels. Michael is just an ordinary human being.

It has been reported that if Vick would have gone forward with a trial, other players would have become involved in the proceedings. If Michael plead guilty, even in part, to save his teammates and friends from personal, criminal or professional consequences, isn't that a noble thing? If Michael plead guilty, even in part, to save his co-defendants from the potential predicament of having to be subjected to additional serious charges that they didn't have credibility or resources to defend, that's not admirable? If Michael plead guilty, even in part, to save the NFL - the almighty shield - from taking a beating from ESPN (they have not spared any staff or airtime to not discuss Michael Vick over the past few months), isn't that responsible behavior toward the entity that made him prosperous? Even if he is just a tragic example of what not to do to some prospective successful person, hasn't Vick served a positive purpose? All things considered - and I mean ALL things considered - it's hard to conclude that Vick is completely unworthy of being discussed for his positive qualities.

I'm not sure exactly who Ms. Hill is accusing of heralding Vick as a martyr. Just because some choose to defer to their compassionate tendencies or amend their proclamations about Michael with "he deserves fair treatment", instead of interrupting every mention of his name with "what he did was reprehensible", doesn't mean that their perspective is inferior.

Pic of the Day

As Larry Johnson rushes to sign his contract on Hard Knocks, that shirt caught my eye. One has to wonder.. Hmmmmm. Is that cleavage?

(If you know the West Village boutique where Larry found this top, holla at your girl!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Someone Dares to Challenge the Dictator

Two players have quietly filed lawsuits against the NFL over their arbitrary suspensions. You gotta do what you gotta do when your so called "union" is unconcerned about your reinstatement.

Odell Thurman of the Cincinnati Bengals and Torrie Cox of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have filed discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

No, it's not what you think.

The players are not claiming racial discrimination, but discrimination based on disability. The lawsuits were filed with the EEOC under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Basically, the players are asserting that they have been treated as alcoholics in the eyes of the NFL. Furthermore, the players are contending that alcoholism is a disability. They are claiming that the commissioner has a negative view of alcoholics and he only suspended them because he perceives the players to be alcoholics. The ADA prohibits employers from discriminating against workers with disabilities.

There is precedent for the players' claim. Roy Tarpley was suspended from the NBA in 1995. The EEOC ruled that NBA violated the ADA when it did not reinstate Tarpley even though he apparently passed drug screenings for four straight years.

Thurman's agent claims that he has passed all league administered tests.

Goodell is facing the lawsuit mostly because he has not established clear standards for suspension. When he denied Thurman's request for reinstatement, Goodell cited no reason.

And even though the league, the owners and even the player's union feel comfortable with Goodell as arbitrary arbiter of discipline, Goodell's authority is not the only authority that matters.

Some Things Should Be Easy to Say

Statements being made about Michael Vick by other athletes have an interesting context.

Joe Horn, veteran Falcons wide receiver, gave this adamant statement about Michael Vick:

“I love Michael Vick as a friend and I'm going to always be his friend. People go through things in life, and you can't throw stones when you live in a glass house; and I'm not going to judge him and I'm not going to step away and not be his friend off the football field because he's going through what he's going through.

“I'm not saying what Mike was involved with was OK, I'm not agreeing with that. I think it was wrong and I know he will have to deal with the consequences. But off the football field he's a friend and ... I'm not going to step away from Michael Vick as a human being and say, 'I'm not involved with you, I don't want anything to do with you, don't call me.'”

I don't think it's a coincidence that a veteran NFLer felt comfortable expressing his feelings about Vick. Joe Horn is over the hump in playing years. He likely doesn't fear much professional retribution or penalty for speaking his mind. He may just be brazen in his old age. But experience may have taught him that there is often no reward for staying on the fence.

Compare Horn's statements to those of other players. DeAngelo Hall, supposedly one of the superstars and de facto leaders of the Falcons and one of Vick's teammates at Virginia Tech didn't even feel comfortable making a statement.

“They’ve got me under a gag order."

Head Coach Petrino said any gag orders were self-imposed.

DeAngelo has never been afraid of the microphone before. I wonder why he didn't he feel comfortable expressing his feelings on the Vick situation, whatever his opinion may be. Is the media only useful for accusing people of spitting?

Also, Warrick Dunn made a statement basically in the same vein as Joe Horn's, but without nearly the same succinctness. Consequently, Dunn is constantly misunderstood.

"It's like we have a family member or brother done something wrong.

You chastise him but still have to support him at the same time.

"As an ex-teammate, right now [Coach Petrino] definitely wants the guys on this football team to move on and move forward. You can't stay in a certain place. He expects us to go out and play hard. Do we wish he was here? Of course but he circumstances say otherwise."

Most media recounts chopped up that quote and derived, "Dunn is the first to call Vick an ex-teammate." Dunn will likely be calling Vick once again to complain about being misquoted and taken out of context. Dunn should just say what he means instead of wasting words trying not to offend anybody.

Stephon Marbury also didn't feel shy about sharing what was on his mind. Also, Stephon Marbury called Vick a "good human being."

"We don't say anything about people shooting deers and shooting other animals, you know what I mean?. From what I hear, dogfighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors and I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down ... I think he fell into a bad situation."

What makes Stephon so brazen? His guaranteed contract?

Marbury can speak without fear of professional retribution. He can say pretty much whatever he wants knowing he can go to work the next day. An NFL player frequently lacks that sense of security.

And Marbury has more than just a player contract to worry about. He has media interests, charitable endeavors and endorsements to maintain. Still, Marbury seems comfortable enough in his own skin to be himself. The path to success is not always paved with political correctness.

Whether it's the contrast of NBAers not hesitating to take shots at the league over a dirty referee versus an NFLer like Tiki Barber saving his shots at the quarterback until he's safely behind the desk, it's often apparent that athletes have to be in a certain situation to be truly outspoken. We should be aware that what we hear from them is filtered.


Another veteran player, Fred McCrary, speaks freely.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Did These Guys Get the Memo?

Two separate articles on Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline quote people close to the league willing to re-sign Vick afer his punishment. Michael Vick has committed the worst crime known to society. That is why he will serve a whole 12 or so months in camp jail. He narrowly avoided lethal injection. Gosh.

Former Green Bay Packers general manager and engineer of the 1996 Superbowl championship, Ron Wolf, says:

"If he pays his debt to society, why shouldn't he get another chance? Maybe I don't understand something in all of this, but you're supposed to get a second chance in this country.

We've had a lot of people in this league do a lot of bad things, and they still got a chance. Leonard Little killed someone (while drunk driving). Jamal Lewis went to prison (in connection to) selling drugs. Are you telling me that killing eight dogs is worse than killing a human being? … Yes, this is bad, but are you really telling me that he doesn't deserve a chance to play again when other people have committed crimes and come back?"

Another general manager says:

"It's going to take an owner who has big ones or a GM who has some (trophies) on his (side) to make that work. Since Vick still is under contract with the Falcons, executives from other teams are not allowed to talk about him from an employment standpoint."

I am on record saying that Arthur Blank lacks big ones.

The same article cites Jerry Jones and Al Davis as owners likely to be willing to take the "risk" of signing Vick.

An unnamed current general manager (claiming the NFL has asked current team officials not to publicly comment on the Vick case) says in the CBS article:

"If he goes to prison, time will pass. Months or years will pass, if he does go to jail. If he went to jail, and then left prison down the road, he'd still be relatively young, and there'd be a line of 15 to 20 teams waiting to sign him. Trust me on that. Teams are going to say, 'F--- PETA. F--- the bad pub. This guy is one of the most talented players of the last 10 years. I'll take my chances.'

Teams may say one thing publicly. But if he gets out of jail, we'll all be looking at Vick hard. We're all whores in football. You know the saying. We'd sign an ax murderer if he has ability. He'll be back. He won't be back in Atlanta probably but he'll be back in professional football. You can count on it."

In case you missed it, "We're all whores in football. You know the saying. We'd sign an ax murderer if he has ability."

He said "ho", but with an r-uh. That means he's serious.

Wouldn't it be funny if all the owners and GM's were running game on newbie owner, Arthur Blank.

"Yeah, Art. Cut that dude. It's going to be a PR nightmare." All the while, they're chomping at the bit to sign Vick in 2009 at a discount.

Yeah, Falcons fans find that prospect hilarious.


Just like ol' times... Once again, Sundays are for going to church and drinking the beer you stockpiled on Saturday*.

For the foreseeable future, professional football is on an indefinite hiatus in Atlanta. Michael Vick is going to jail. DJ Shockley (3rd string, but product of UGA) is injured and out for the season. Our other stars, Warrick Dunn and Alge Crumpler, are old and struggling to overcome injuries. DeAngelo Hall is healthy, but he will probably still get burned by the first receiver he covers.

It's not an overstatement to say that the Falcons depended on Michael Vick for just about everything - on and off the field. Vick confounded the defenses. Vick sold the season tickets. And now he's gone.

My most memorable Vick moment on the field was a recent one and, ironically, a loss. It was last season's home game against the Saints. I was there in person and the clock was whittled down to the fourth quarter. We were down and time was running out. Yet, Vick remained determined. He scrambled incessantly. He ran the ball crazy. He threw the ball hopefully (there's only so much you can do with White and Jenkins). He put the team on his back. He never gave up. It was clear from section 100 to section 300 in the Dome. The crowd booed the Falcons. But there were nothing but cheers for Michael Vick.

And then.... after the game, Vick flipped off a Saints fan. And, yeah, Vick is the same guy who was pulled over in a vehicle the other day with extra dark tint, but too stupid to put his seat belt on before the cop reached his car. (Mike, he couldn't see you.) And, yeah, he was too whatever to duck the charges that are going to put him behind bars. Yep, that was my quarterback.

Still, the highs were always greater than the lows with number seven. It is what it is, but I won't forget all the happiness Mr. Vick brought me and other Falcons fans on Sundays.

Now who's going to help me haul all this Icehouse out to the trunk of my car?

*Alcohol sales in retail stores are not allowed in Georgia on Sundays.

Friday, August 17, 2007

If You're In the Mood For a Comedy This Weekend

I was just trying to find out who Vince McMahon's illegitimate child is, but I found out a little more than I bargained for. Via PWInsider, Evander Holyfield going to wrestle on WWE Saturday Night Main Event.

He is going to pair up with wrestler MVP, the Terrell Owens of the WWE. PW Insider reports that Evander is going to "box" Matt Hardy. They even claim Evander will get his own intro music and video. Hilarity will ensue. I'm sure it will be good for a laugh, even if it doesn't exactly qualify as a legitimate warm-up for his October 13 heavyweight fight in Moscow. It comes on at 11:30 EST on NBC.

White People Are Better At Everything!

Damn them. I've just gotten back from the meeting. (Yes, it's true. We have meetings. We discuss things.) And We've decided that White people are eroding many of the Black community's "specialties." If this trend continues, We'll have no sense of identity. We'll just be... plain. This is the worst crisis to inflict the Community since Eminem started rapping. An intial list of enemies to the cause follows.

Teenage Pregnancy
Joe Namath's 16 year old daughter, Olivia, has just given birth to a child fathered by a 19 year old. "She was pregnant at 15," says a source. "He claims to be thrilled."

Joe's ex-wife has decided to take care of the baby while Joe's daughter finishes high school. The family opts to take care of the child at home instead of forcing the girl to enroll the baby at the day care center at Olivia's high school (Everybody doesn't have those?). That's classy, yo.
"Stop Snitching" Movement
Black people pioneered this movement and White people have run with it. My people sold a few t-shirts, but Greg Anderson may have usurped Lil' Kim as the #1 non-snitcher in history. Kim got a cushy reality show, but Greg continues to rot in jail while Michael Vick's "boys" have flipped on him left and right. Shiftless, good for nothing Negroes...
Coping With Unemployment
Dan Patrick bounces from the quintessential "good government job" and doesn't even have to hit the unemployment office. Negroes on their last week of benefits eligibility after being laid off at the plant are mad jealous.
Down Low Brotha
Men pretending to be straight while engaging in secret homosexual activity is the latest plague on Black families. Brady Quinn has not only deluded his girlfriend, but the Cleveland Browns and the whole league. Eddie Murphy, Al Reynolds, Johnny Gill, Mase, Cuttino, etc. have NOTHING on this guy.
Reaping the Advantages of Being White
God knows Black people have been trying to do this since the beginning of time. But while we're stocking up on blonde weave and blue contacts, Jared Allen demonstrates how it's done. Be a repeat drunk. Get latest DUI. Get suspended for 4 games. Secretly slip the Commissioner your team photo. Magically get suspension reduced to two games and get profiled on Hard Knocks as a feel good story of redemption. And although you're not supposed to be drinking, drink fake beer. O'Douls cures acoholism. Everyone knows this. We're taking notes from the White boy with a Black name, Jared.
Abandoning Your Family
Black men have been trying to perfect this for forever and a day. But We can only learn from the master race. Tom Brady has left his family in the dust. Sure, Tom may send a check, but who is going to teach that kid not to hate women? Of course, Tom doesn't cut any corners by marrying a bitch. But not only does he leave the mother of his child, he doesn't settle for just another hoodrat. He upgrades! Bridget was only going to nag and gain weight. Giselle has a bangin' fattie. Where was the choice? The hood is watching you, Tom. We are in awe.
Yelling At Your Baby Mama
Another pioneering effort taken over by the White man. I mean, there wouldn't even be baby mamas if it wasn't for Black men! White people were choosing to go with the linguistically cumbersone "mother of my child." But Brian Urlacher took a good idea and improved upon it.

"Go to hell you fucking cunt."
"Grow the fuck up and quit praying and get a job."
"You're a fucking fruit cake."
"Your raising a little pussy."

Wow. Even the Lord of Child Support P. Diddy couldn't produce a remix that pleases the ear of a Black man more.
Stealing From Your Employer and Resellng the Loot Out the Trunk of Your Car
Imus gets fired for mouthing off and gets $20 million for the inconvenience. Then he gets to pimp his services to the next sucker. When Tyrone got fired from Circuit City for bein' late all the time, he could only cop 1 flat screen on the way out. He only got like $300 for that shit too. We need to do better.
Excessive Use of Profanity
Black people have wasted years priming their children with exposure to inappropriate rap songs and making sure our kids have bus passes so they can show off their skills at the top of their lungs on public transportation all over the world. Still, but nobody know how to drop a "shit", "damn" or "fuck" like Gunther Cunningham, Defensive Coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. When he does it, everybody just has a good chuckle. When our kids do it, everybody clutches their purse. What's up with that?
Praising the Lord
We have wasted so many breaths saying "First, I want to thank God" at the beginning of every BET Award acceptance speech. Ray Lewis might as well cancel the prayer circle. Kurt Warner is the OZ (Original Zealot). We might as well pack up the gospel choir and head home.
Turning a Ho Into a Housewife
Too Short told Us that this was an impossible task. But I guess we should find better role models. David Beckham made a Spice Girl past her prime respectable. And still left a little bit of ho in her for his entertainment purposes.
Makin' a Ho Work the Tracks
Tim Hasselbeck holds a clipboard for the NY Giants while he makes his bottom bitch wife earn his weed money. Elizabeth is out there battling Rosie O'Donnell and earning millions on The View. It's hard out here for a pimp? Only for Negroes. The White man does this with ease.
Kool-Aid Sommelier
There's no documentation of this, but I've heard things in the streets. I hear Peyton is doing terrific things with mangoes and kiwi puree. Doctoring up Kool-Aid with orange slices, pineapple chunks and an extra cup of sugar is played out.

And that may be just the tip of the iceberg folks. Hopefully, we can get Al to stage a rally. Maybe Whitlock to write a column. We can't aford to let this trend continue. We have so little left. It's no wonder we're clinging to dog fighting and making it rain. And there's no doubt White people will be upstaging us on that too.

Gangsta D and myself both insist that we contributed 3/5 of the humor to this post. We have agreed to spend less time perpetuating stereotypes and more time on math.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Pic of the Day

TO and Tony Romo discuss Terry Glenn's projected receptions for the season.

Gangsta D is a devoted Cowboy fan and excellent tipper - in and out of the strip club.

Perils of Being a Female

My brothers stole my PS2 a while back. After they gave it to me as a Christmas present no less.

Today, I found out that, not only do they continue to "borrow" my PS2, they went to the local bodega at midnight and purchased Madden '08.

They're playing the latest Madden on MY PS2. That's some bullshit.

Joey Harrington Whines

Atlanta Falcons starting quarterback Joey Harrington reminisces about his time in Detroit:

".. I got a lot of people who would leave notes. I got a couple of death threats on my voicemail. It got to the point where I had to take my family out of the stands because people were trying to start fights with my mom."

Joey might want to spring for box seats at the Georgia Dome. Lest his lovely bride, Emily, be surrounded by #7 jerseys. It may take awhile for Falcons fans to let go of the past.

Harrington continued to complain about the difficult lifestyle one is forced to lead when they throw more interceptions than touchdowns.

"I've gone through very extreme cycles. There was a year or two where I would have to wear a baseball cap to make it to my flight on time. And then on the other end, I'd have to wear one because I was scared to go to the grocery store without a baseball cap because I didn't want somebody to accost me outside the citrus aisle.

But I learned to take it in stride. What happened in Detroit is I let other people determine my happiness. When I start letting Joe Fan in row 32, seat E tell me if I'm a good person, I got issues."

Joey seems delicate. I hope he can cope with life in the Dome. There will be losses. If for no reason than the fact that we have a new coach fresh from the college ranks. That ALWAYS results in immediate success.

In a separate article, Harrington complains about the Detroit Lions offense and how he was "handcuffed" from being his normally amazing self.

"Because of what was being coached, the mistakes I had made, the way I was being received, I got to a point where I was scared to throw the ball downfield. Finally I said, 'Forget it.'

This is probably going to come off sounding poorly, but it was like, 'Screw you guys. I know what I need to do to be a good quarterback.' In order for me to play well, I need to be a bit selfish. I need to tell myself, 'You know what? I'm going to throw that post route. And if it gets picked off, screw it. I'm going to throw the post route again, because I know it's open.' "

Not only is Joey Harrington a below average NFL starting quarterback, he is classy too. That's why he was backing up a cripple who cavorts with whores out on a lake in Miami. I will be shocked - shocked - if he starts complaining about the Falcons offense too.

The Falcons are going to be SOOOOOO awesome this season.

Warrick Dunn Complains

"I don't think anybody on this team right now is hoping that Mike comes back. If he comes back, that's great, but I just think right now we're at a point where the guys that are here are trying to get better and move on down the road. Mike is going to be missed and has been missed, but at the same time you have to go on."

Atlanta Falcons running back Warrick Dunn takes offense that this quote was used in both ESPN and AJC/AP stories to suggest that he is indifferent to Michael Vick.

Consequently, Dunn appeared on the 2 Live Stews today to clarify his statements. He said, among other things:

"By no means would I say that I wouldn't want to play with Mike Vick... We want you back."

Warrick said that he spoke to Mike Vick to clarify the "misquote" and that Mike understood. Vick and Dunn have historically been roommates at training camp.

Warrick is battling to regain form from herniated disc surgery in the offseason. The Falcons are going to be SOOOOO awesome this season.

Active Animal Cruelty Charge, Active on the Roster

The AJC reports that Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux's felony animal cruelty charge is still winding it's way through the legal system.

Babineaux was charged in February in the death of Kilo, a pit bull-mix owned by his girlfriend.

Babineaux's girlfriend said she and Babineaux argued on February 18 and that Babineaux later suggested she return home to check on the dog after she went out to a movie.

The girlfriend told police she found Kilo in "severe physical distress". Initial tests showed that the dog died of blunt force trauma to the head, likely by hammer.

The dead dog has been frozen and will re-examined by an expert.

Jonathan Babineaux is active on the Falcons roster and is projected to be a starter.

The pic is of Lucky, a pit bull brought into an Atlanta shelter this week. The knife was removed today and her prognosis is good. Hopefully, she will be adopted by someone not on the Atlanta Falcons roster.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Will Vick Take Michael Irvin's Advice?

A couple of weeks ago, Michael Irvin appeared on the 2 Live Stews radio show and said, among other things, said that Michael Vick should take a plea deal.

Now, if anyone knows about the trials and tribulations of the legal system, it's Michael Irvin. Is Irvin the legal analyst we should have been hearing from all along?

Today brings the news that Michael Vick's co-defendants have decided to enter plea deals later this week. Vick's spokesperson, Collins Spencer (who was "let go" from reading the news on a local tv station earlier this year), said the defense team didn't see it coming.

That's a joke, right?

At the arraignment, it appeared the co-defendants, except Tony Taylor, might have been cooperating with one another. If Vick's professional team was actually surprised about this latest development in the case, it would just be the latest in the comedy of errors in his handling of this matter.

Just another strange, if not negative, turn in the Vick case... Michael's lawyers have reportedly met with the federal prosecutors regarding a plea deal for Vick that must be accepted by Friday.

I certainly would not call this good news, but it's still definitively predict what this means. There is still no information about the specific nature of the pleas. Tony Taylor plead with no assurances about his sentence. The other co-defendants mostly have nothing to lose if "nothing to lose" means millions of dollars in NFL salary and endorsements. Are they pleading for the sake of any reduction in their sentences or for a significant reward from the prosecutors? The prosecutors can't force a certain version of testimony. A witness in court can only be forced to tell the truth. Who knows which way the co-defendants roll? Tony Taylor had a personal falling out with the co-defendants. It's not clear if the other defendants have any special motivation to turn on Michael Vick.

It should be noted that, if Vick goes to trial alone, it will likely change the nature of the testimony at the trial. The other co-defendants were alleged to be involved in the day to day activities of the dog fighting operation. Generally, Michael Vick was alleged to be a financial sponsor and present at certain fights. If the prosecutors were hoping to present gut wrenching testimony of animal cruelty in order to sway the jury, it will be more difficult to accomplish that task with only Vick as a co-defendant. The nature of the trial could become far less sensationalistic.

Michael Irvin's advice aside, I'm not sure why Michael Vick would have hired all those high profile lawyers just to plea. High profile lawyers do not like to lose. Billy Martin, et. al wouldn't have signed up if they didn't think they had a reasonable chance of accomplishing something positive. Maybe Vick will go for it. We know he likes to gamble. A lot of people have turned their backs on him. Perhaps he's at the point where he has nothing to lose too.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Common Sense, Not Civil Rights

I resent ESPN trying to make Michael Vick a civil rights issue.

It's not that deep.

Wright Thompson of ESPN wrote an article invoking the names of the Kings, the Abernathys, the Youngs and the Aarons in an effort to "explain" why Black people might support Michael Vick. The Leader is only attempting to trivialize and undermine the community that supports Vick; pander to a certain audience that is just not comfortable with their real feelings; and, worst of all, cover-up their own biased and excessive coverage of the charges against Michael Vick. I won't accept that article as a mea culpa for ESPN's senseless assassination of Michael Vick.

Some people just need to admit they have never liked Michael Vick.

The list of complaints is potentially long and legitimate. If it applies to you, repeat after me. "He doesn't play the position the 'right' way." "He's never lived up to the hype." "He doesn't remind me of my traditional quarterback heroes." "Ron Mexico has no class and he has herpes." "Vick became a bad role model for my children when he flipped off a (Saints) fan in the stands." "I hate cornrows and he looks like a punk." "I can't relate to him." "I just don't really like Black people."

Anything. But don't pretend.

Don't pretend like Vick is accused of committing the most heinous crime imaginable. There are far worse things a person could be accused of. And don't pretend like America is full of animal rights activists. This is not a country of vegetarians. Furthermore, this is a country full of Wal-Mart shoppers. As a collective, we will undermine rights, human or otherwise, to save a penny.

And don't pretend like the only explanation for empathy for Michael Vick is because of the civil rights experience and/or its corresponding baggage.

Cause I have never felt sorry for Michael Vick before. Not ever. And me feeling empathy for Michael Vick has nothing to do with civil rights or anybody named Abernathy. It has to do with common sense. And ESPN trying to say otherwise is a pathetic attempt to play the race card against me when they have programmed their channel for the purpose of piling on Vick. They have no excuse. No King, Young or Aaron can absolve them.

The issue is not animal cruelty.

Just for example, Jonathan Babineux remains on the Atlanta Falcons roster and he is accused of bashing a puppy in the head with a hammer to get back at his girlfriend. And I doubt too many people will be throwing away their "Pulp Fiction" DVDs because they can't stand to think of Marsellus' Mastiffs mauling a man to death.

It's not even about morality.

How can Donovan McNabb be criticized for standing by his friend and Arthur Blank not be scrutinized for turning his back on his "friend"?

The issue is not corporate public relations.

The NFL is full of criminals - alleged and actual. And sponsors that have distanced themselves from Vick have stood by people accused of committing far worse crimes than Vick and have even used dog fighting to market their goods.

The issue is not about Vick's certain legal doom.

Any neutral lawyer could read the indictment (remember, we're just at the indictment stage) and hypothesize a defense. Whether just by due diligence, eyewitness attacks, the difficulty of proving a triple pronged conspiracy charge or God forbid - the presumption of innocence.

Right now, the indictment against Vick is what it is. There is no evidence to suggest the indictment is based on anything but a belief that Vick did what the Feds said he did. Maybe his celebrity made him an attractive target. Maybe his race. But the charges are what they are.

It's the court of public opinion where Vick is being railroaded. And it's not companies who have rights to terminate their relationship with Vick merely exercising those rights. It's the knee jerking. It's the piling on. It's the selective use of facts. And despite Wright Thompson's attempts, it's ESPN.

ESPN doesn't employ the personnel to reasonably deal with this story. They employ a few guys who know the x's and o's. They employ a lot of other guys who just yell whatever opinion will get the most attention. And, yes, Wright, damn skippy, I take Vick's predicament personally. I take it personally as a Falcons fan. I take it personally as a Black person. But first and foremost, I take it personally as a rational person willing to wait and see the situation play out on its own. Let's call a spade a spade. There's no need to color the situation.

I Told You the Pressure Would Get To Him

Guess who's under the mask? You know you recognize that leotard anywhere.

With Bonds out of the way, Kobe in Europe and the Vick mess on temporary hiatus, Terrell Owens reclaims the spotlight only the way he can.

And he brought back the leotard!

Good God, that man brings a smile to my face. And the season hasn't even started yet...

I'm Very Excited About This

(NSFW Language)

The Boondocks is returning soon. I think October Novemberish.

I know the season is probably already produced, but I do have a wishlist.

1. Please roast Al Sharpton. He's not all bad, but he needs to be knocked down a peg or two or two thousand.

2. Please roast the SCLC. They were ridiculous for thinking of "honoring" Michael Vick. They couldn't have possibly meant "honor". They must have meant whup with a switch.

3. Please roast Jason Whitlock. I know he's not that famous and the Uncle Ruckus character is a fabulous figurative interpretation of him, but I know Aaron McGruder can bring the heat stronger.

Those are my wishes.

Barry Bonds is a Baseball Hero and Hank Aaron is Not a Hater

Firstly, I want to say that Hank Aaron did enough. I've accused Hank of being a hater in past posts. But he did enough. I'm satisfied. It wasn't necessarily personal. Hank's sentiments weren't all that heartfelt. And they were a surprise to most of us, although they were recorded a month ago. Hank did the best that he could and that's all that's required.

"It is a great accomplishment which required skill, longevity and determination. Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement. My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams."

Aaron and Bud Selig conspired on what was the best way to minimally acknowledge Bonds, but I feel fine with discussing Barry Bonds as the home run king by opening up with a Hank Aaron mention. They are forever linked. But Bonds is separate now.

I hope you enjoyed the moment.

No matter what your feelings specifically are about Barry, you've got to love the game more than the innuendo. Everybody at AT&T Park was genuinely exhalted.

I loved it from start to finish.

The hit itself. Not blingy all the way into the Cove, but hit to one of the deepest areas of the park. The crowd, who clapped for 20 something minutes. The family (hat tip to Barry who, like Tom Glavine, acknowledged the start of school as a major source of pressure). The cajones and class of Mick Bacsik, who wasn't afraid to challenge Bonds with pitches and become a part of history. The TV announcers, who saved the other side of the story until several minutes after the milestone. Bud Selig, a jerk who doesn't know how to act in public, managed to find enough cell phone minutes to call and congratulate Barry. ESPN/MLB who saved the steroids PSA until the top of the eighth inning. Willie Mays, the devoted godfather.

And Barry, who seemed genuinely ecstatic and respectful of the accomplishment - who doted over Willie, smiled genuinely at the Hank Aaron tribute and almost broke down at the hint of his father Bobby's name crossing his lips.

"When I saw Hank Aaron that made everything. We've always loved him. He's always the home run king."

He's a jerk. He's a juicer. But he's a baseball hero. It's over now. Barry Lamar Bonds is the home run king. No more debate. It is what it is. Just enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ten Days (or So) Until Irvin!

Much of the response to Michael Irvin's Hall of Fame speech has been positive. Some people think it's revived his professional broadcasting prospects. But that thought is ridiculous. Most are just excited to speculate about his prospects. (Content Factory with Dan Patrick?) Michael Irvin has always had a fan base as a television personality. Some TO fans, some Cowboys fans, some who just don't mind a little fun on Sunday morning. The Playmaker that spewed tear snot over the weekend is the same 'ol Playmaker.

Mike surfaced on Dan LeBatard's radio show Monday and Tuesday and promised (PROMISED!) that he would make a decision about his situation in 10 days or so. Since he's left ESPN, Irvin has been very cautious to speak well of the Leader, but also complained that they restricted his schedule and speech too much for his tastes. Irvin has indicated in multiple interviews over the past few months that he wants to participate in a "man talk" format, not just football format. After his speech, it's clear he has motivational/spiritual leanings.

Irvin said when talking with LeBatard that he would make a decision about what he was going to do very soon and that he would definitely be around this season. Good news. Get your popcorn/tissues ready.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Rick Fox Opening a "How To Get Along With Your Ex" Clinic

Perhaps Michael Strahan is paying attention this time.

Unlike some people who allow acrimony with their ex-spouses to interfere with their financial opportunities, Rick Fox and Vanessa Williams are showing that they can work together for their mutual benefit. Fox will join the cast of ABC's Ugly Betty in its second season. Vanessa Williams is one of the stars of the series.

Rick will be playing a bodyguard for Vanessa's chararcter for at least two episodes. A source says, "Things get heated." Ooooh...

If my ex-husband was plastered all over the National Enquirer with a random blonde and seemingly dedicated to being an unkept, greasy haired individual, I would be salty. But Vanessa is a more mature woman than me apparently. And Rick Fox is better with exes than Michael Strahan.

Hat tip to Gangsta D. You can contact him directly to ask him why he reads People Magazine first thing every morning.

Irvin's Greatest Performance

To be honest with you, I teared up during the videotaped intro for Michael Irvin's induction into the Hall of Fame. Then I teared up during Jerry Jones' intro. But I don't feel as bad about that. Jerry teared up too. Who says you can't show emotion with a face full of botox?

Michael Irvin wore the standard HOF uniform. Yellow jacket, blue tie with little thingies all over it. But he accessorized with tear snot. Lots of tears and lots of tear snot. Unsurprisingly, Michael Irvin gave a speech with a lot of emotion. Unsurprisingly, Irvin gave a long speech - over 26 minutes.

My favorite part was his tribute to his young sons.

"I say, please, help me raise them for some young lady so that they can be a better husband than I. Help me raise them for their kids so that they could be a better father than I. And I tell you guys to always do the right thing so you can be a better role model than dad."

If you haven't gotten an opportunity to see it, check out part 1 and part 2 at You might get something in your eye towards the end of part 2.

Update: Some highly illegal highlights have yet to be pulled from youtube.

Keeping Hope Alive

To quote the great philosopher, Harrison of Atlanta:

"Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I'm a fan of Vick on the football field. He's kind of an idiot off the field, but I'm a fan."

Apparently, plenty of Falcons fans still share this sentiment. Many fans wore Vick jerseys to the intown practice/fan festival that the Falcons host in the city. It's becoming clear that some of us are having trouble accepting reality. Vick isn't running through that tunnel come September.

Still, Joey Harrington had to suffer the indignity of signing autographs for people wearing "Let Vick Play" t-shirts. People were even wearing #3 jerseys for his back-up, DJ Shockley. Very few, if any, fans had plunked down the eighty or so dollars for a #13 Harrington jersey.

I suspect many people will stick with the throwbacks for this season rather than invest in a 13 jersey. If a 7 Falcons jersey officially becomes a throwback, so be it. Vick may be gone, but his ghost will likely haunt the GA Dome all season long.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Blank's Got Jokes

The Atlanta Falcons have signed Tony Taylor to the roster.

Not Michael Vick's nemesis in the dog fighting case a/k/a "The Snitch."

But the linebacker from University of Georgia.

You ain't funny, little Home Depot man.

Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner

Michael Strahan is pretending like he is retiring. Maybe he just wants more money. Maybe he wants to stick it to his ex wife, who he owes millions and millions and millions of dollars to for spousal and child support.

Matt Leinart also got some bad news. The mother of his child, Brynn Cameron, demanded $30,000/month in child support for their infant. Matt thought the $6,000/month plus automobile he was providing was enough. The law disagreed. Brynn Cameron has been awarded $15,000/month in child support.

See, Junior's got to get his money.

Have you ever wondered why some mothers get huge child support awards? Racking your brain over how many diapers $15,000 can buy? Salty that these women are seemingly getting over?

Rich parents pay all that child support because of the legal theory that the child should enjoy the lifestyle of the parents. The child should not be deprived because his/her parents aren't together and the poorer parent shouldn't be put in the position where the child prefers the richer parent because the rich parent can buy more stuff. The standard applies in some states, not all.

It may seem like a payment like $15K/month is more than any kid needs. But rich kids have greater needs. They "need" fancy clothes, ski trips, etc. Have you ever watched Laguna Beach? Do you realize how much a twelve year old girl can drop on jeans and t-shirts? The custodial parent has to provide them with a similar lifestyle that they would have with the rich parent. So, yes, the child support is intended to allow that parent to buy a nice house, car, etc.

Trying to specifically allot the money to the child is problematic. The mother has to live in the same house with her rich kid. The rich kid can't drive his own Benz. And if the rich kid has siblings? Well, they get a cut too. You don't want a rich kid to hate his own brothers and sisters just because they are poor, do you?

Well, why not just make the custodial parent show the rich parent the actual receipts each month? Because the court is not trying to be in your business all the time. The legal system would be put in the position of constantly monitoring and interfering in the family. There are so many child support awards to enforce. There are no resources to do monthly accounting checks. And that is the case whether the child support award is $100 or $100,000.

But still, there are a few ways to avoid the burden of child support:

1. Stay together
2. Get full custody of your kids; and/or
3. Don't pick a trifling bitch person to be the parent of your children.

Otherwise, if your bar tab and your child support payment could be the same amount, no complaining.

Well, Wilbon Was Wrong

The picture is even more intimidating than the Vick indictment. Are you a fan of another Eastern Conference team? Well, you should be shook.

Michael Wilbon boldly predicted in early July that Kevin Garnett would not play in Boston, in part, because of Boston's divisive racial atmosphere. Wilbon was wrong. Obviously, Garnett has found motivation to overcome the situation.

And what's the explanation? Blood lust.

Humans have historically united for the purposes of warmongering and destruction. Wilbon was only wrong in that he failed to consider that thirsty, depraved blood lust would come into play. How was he to know that the evil triumvirate of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce was possible? None of us knew. This could be the most destructive development for humankind (or NBA fans) since the defrosting of Megatron.

The Celtics are an instant playoff team. A playoff lock even. Gilbert is going to be unconscious next season in a contract year. So the Wizards are locks. Miami has Flash and old ass Shaq. That was good enough for a ring before, so they're locks too. The Bulls are solid and improving with experience. They'll be there. Detroit lacked intensity in the playoffs, but I respect the ring. So I'll count them as locks. That's five playoff locks. That leaves Cleveland (yeah, I said it), New Jersey, Orlando, New York and whoever else is in the Eastern Conference fighting for scraps.

The carnage will be fun to watch. Maybe we can all sing "We Shall Overcome" or something to appease Wilbon.