Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oakwood University wins first College Bowl National Championship!










A very special congratulations goes out to Dr. Rennae Elliot and the Oakwood University Bowl Team, today they beat Alcorn State at the College Bowl National tournament in Orlando to win Oakwood's first College Bowl Championship. As a former member of Oakwood College bowl from 2005-2006, I know the amount of dedication and perseverance it takes to succeed against the best players in the nation. I am extremely proud of the team's accomplishments and look forward to more success in the future.

check out College Bowl here:

www.hcasc.com

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Oakwood University! Ten things that are good....


I just got back from Oakwood University Alumni weekend (Class of '06!) and I am very proud of the strides and accomplishments of my Alma Mater. Below are some great things I knew/ found out over the weekend:
In no particular order...
1) Biggest enrollment ever this semester, ~1900 students!
2) National Championship Basketball Team! (USCAA Div. 1)
3) Ranked as top 10 in the NATION at sending African Americans to Med School!
4) Top 20 ranking as one of the best schools in the South.
5) The single biggest contributor of Adventist evangelistic legends in America.
6) A wonderful Spiritual atmosphere on campus.
7) New facilities completed with more on the way! (New men's dorm to open Fall 2008, BCB Institute.)
8) A turn around in fiscal support by Alumni (SUPPORT YOUR SCHOOL!)
9) The best Chemistry department of any Adventist school in America. (I'm biased, but look at the research and numbers!)
10) Dynamic Praise, Whitley Phipps, The Aeolians, Take 6, Virtue, Brian McKnight, Little Richard, Mayor John Street, Barry Black, and the list goes on...all attendees of OU.

For the uninitiated among you, Oakwood University is a Liberal Arts Institution located in Huntsville, AL founded in 1896 by the Seventh Day Adventist Church at the behest of it's Prophet, Ellen G. White. Since that time it has become a premier HBCU and is nationally recognized for it's academic as well as Musical programs. Oakwood alumni are referred to as Oakwoodites, and, if you attend, it is said that you can go anywhere and meet someone who attended as well. It's a big family.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fwd: Fw: Fw: Fw: Email Forwards are Webs of Inaccuracy

I hate forwards. Every time I see "Fwd:" before a subject line I cringe, and my face goes cold when I reach the words "Send this to ____ people and you will ______".... Ok, I mean SOME forwards are ok--I'm ok if I am forwarded something that is funny or if it's something that the person sending it had absolute knowledge I'd be interested in. But those, sadly, are in the minority of forwarded messages. Instead, most of them are like this...

Fwd: Fw: Aint this a *****?!

Guess I won't be drinking Starbucks anymore! ! !

Recently Marines in
Iraq wrote to Starbucks because they wanted to
let them know how much they liked their coffees and to request that they
send some of it to the troops there. Starbucks replied, telling the Marines
thank you for their support of their business, but that Starbucks does not
support the war, nor anyone in it, and that they would not send the troops
their
brand of coffee.

So as not to offend Starbucks, maybe we should not support them by
buying any of their products! I feel we should get this out in the open. I
know this war might not be very popular with some folks, but that doesn'tmean we don't support the boys on the ground fighting street -to-street and
house-to-house.

If you feel the same as I do then pass this along, or you can
discard it and no one w ill never know.

Thanks very much for your support. I know you'll all be there again when I
deploy once more.

Semper Fidelis.
Sgt. Howard C. Wright
1st Force Recon Co
1st Plt PLT

PLEASE DON'T DELETE THIS . . ALLOW IT TO BE
PASSED TO ALL IN MEMORY OF ALL THE TROOPS WHO HAVE DIED SO THAT WE MAY HAVE
THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE TO SUPPORT THEM OR NOT! ! !

Also, don't forget that when the
Twin Tr ade Towers were hit the fire
fighters and rescue workers went to Starbucks because it was close by for water for
the survivors and workers and Starbucks charged them! ! !

JUST A NOTE TO THIS; STARBUCKS HAD STORES ON SEVERAL MILITARY BASES IN THE UNITED STATES. THEY ARE NOW BEING REMOVED BECAUSE OF THIS. GO GET 'EM AMERICA. STAND-UP FOR OURSELVES!

Ok... I understand, people want to support the troops, and if this is true, maybe someone SHOULD do something about it... but here is where I fail to understand humans--why do people reeeeally think they have some kind of inside scoop that is only being passed through a chain of emails despite its explicit importance? AND WHY DON'T PEOPLE EVER GOOGLE THESE THINGS?! If it's really true--and I know, conspiracies DO happen--there's gotta be someplace on the internet where people are talking about it, in this blog-rich society we call America...

So as I do with all "Fwd: Beware, Isn't this guy a jerk, Boycott this, Buy this, AIDS from toilets and gas pumps" messages... I Googled it...

And the website at the TOP of the list was?

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Starbucks Refuses Marines

And ironically, this one had SOME truth to it...but it was still inaccurate information being sent around.

G.I. Joe

Claim: Starbucks or Oscar Mayer refused free product to G.I.s serving in Iraq, saying it didn't support the war and anyone in it.

Status: False.

Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]

I have indeed confirmed the fact that Starbucks charged rescue workers $130.00 for 3 cases of bottled water on September 11, 2001, so the following info that was passed on to me would not be surprising to me at all!!

Dear everyone: Please pass this along to anyone you know, this needs to get out in the open. Recently Marines over in Iraq supporting this country in OIF wrote to Starbucks because they wanted to let them know how much they liked their coffee and try to score some free coffee grounds. Starbucks wrote back telling the Marines thanks for their support in their business, but that they don't support the War and anyone in it and that they won't send them the Coffee. So as not to offend them we should not support in buying any Starbucks products. As a War vet and writing to you patriots I feel we should get this out in the open. I know this War might not be very popular with some folks, but that doesn't mean we don't support the boys on the ground fighting street to street and house to house for what they and I believe is right. If you feel the same as I do then pass this along, or you can discard it and I'll never know. Thanks very much for your support to me, and I know you'll all be there again here soon when I deploy once more.

Semper Fidelis,

Sgt Howard C. Wright

1st Force Recon Co

1st Plt PLT RTO


Variations: An April 2007 e-mailed version changed Starbucks to Oscar Mayer and coffee to hot dogs. In response, Oscar Mayer posted this denial on its web site:


False Rumor: Oscar Mayer doesn´t support the troops.

The email hoax above is currently in circulation but completely false. We do support the troops, in fact, Kraft Foods/Oscar Mayer has donated products to the U.S. troops in Iraq. We work with the military to ensure favorite Kraft products are available where our troops are stationed. Due to security and logistic concerns, the military requests that all product go through previously established channels. This ensures our donations are safely delivered where needed.

Then what is that interenet statement and how did it get started?

We don't know how the internet statement originated as we work through approved channels to accomodate military requests as appropriate.

Origins: We first encountered the Starbucks story in late April 2004 when it turned up in our inbox. In these days of heightened patriotism and concern for the troops, any rumor about a corporate giant snubbing those who are putting their lives on the line


overseas is bound to make a number of folks hot under the collar, which is what this e-mail has done.

We've been in touch with the e-mail's writer and have asked him about the events that led to his penning the note about Starbucks' response to Marines who had come to them looking for a donation of coffee. Sgt. Wright (who is stationed Stateside at the moment but who will be deployed overseas in the next few months), heard the story from a friend, who had gotten it from someone else. He talked things over with the Marine who had supposedly contacted Starbucks, and that, coupled with that night's televised news about the goings on in Iraq, made his blood boil. He pounded out his thoughts into the form of an e-mail, which he mailed to ten of his friends.

It is that e-mail which continues to circulate to this day. Sgt. Wright has since learned that what he heard was in error, and he has subsequently tried to set things right by issuing the following retraction:


Dear Readers,

Almost 5 months ago I sent an email to you my faithful friends. I did a wrong thou that needs to be cleared up. I heard from word of mouth about how Starbucks said they didn't support the war and all. I was having enough of that kind of talk and didn't do my research properly like I should have. This is not true. Starbucks supports the men and women in uniform. They have personally contacted me and I have been sent many of their Company's policy on this issue. So I apologize for this quick wrong letter I sent out to you. Now I ask that you all pass this email around to everyone you passed the last one to. Thank you very much for understanding about this.

Howard C. Wright

Sgt USMC

Sgt. Wright has been unable to produce the reply his buddy supposedly received from Starbucks, and the folks at Starbucks deny engaging in any correspondence on such matter prior to this rumor coming along. Given that no copy of the letter appears to exist, neither one resting in the hands of the Sergeant's comrade, nor one residing in Starbucks' files, the rumor about the java vendor's harsh response to a coffee-hunting Marine should be dismissed.

As for what Starbucks has to say about the matter, while it doesn't directly refute the rumor on its web site, it does at least provide somewhat of an answer in e-mail. An excerpt from that statement reads:


Starbucks has the deepest respect and admiration for U.S. military personnel. We are extremely grateful to the men and women who serve stateside or overseas. We sincerely appreciate that they are willing to risk their lives to protect Americans and our values of freedom and democracy. While Starbucks as a company cannot directly donate to military personnel, many of our partners (employees) show their support by donating coffee.

Starbucks partners receive one pound of free coffee each week as an employee benefit (known as "partner mark-out"). Many of our partners have elected to send their weekly mark-out of coffee to members of the military or military families, and related organizations. Our partners have collected and shipped numerous pounds of Starbucks coffee overseas.

As an example of this generosity, our partners in our Atascadero, California store sent their weekly mark out coffee to troops in Afghanistan so they are able to enjoy a little piece of home. Our customer relations department in Seattle donated hundreds of pounds of coffee to the sailors in the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group.

Under the terms of the Starbucks' corporate giving policy, had such a request been made, the coffee giant would have had to say no to it. Such a refusal would have been in keeping with the corporation's donations policy, in that Starbucks chooses to direct its charitable resources within the communities where its stores are located and limits its funding to non-profit organizations. Moreover, it does not consider requests for funding that come from political or religious organizations or which would fund political or religious initiatives or programs. According to the guidelines currently in place, a request for coffee from soldiers serving overseas would be turned

down.

However, while it is true Starbucks as a corporate entity could not have donated coffee to java-seeking Marines, it would have passed along such a request to any number of its employees who are looking for military mailing addresses to send product to, as it has already done on many occasions. Starbucks partners receive one pound of free coffee each week as an employee benefit (known as "partner mark-out"). Many of them have elected to send their weekly mark-out to members of the military or military families, and related organizations.

The claim that Starbucks would ever have said "they don't support the War and anyone in it" is false, in light of what various news accounts show us about the coffee retailer's attitude towards those who serve in the armed forces. In addition to what Starbucks itself says above of its beneficences to soldiers, we know from different newspaper articles of other instances of glad-hearted support. In July 2004, a Starbucks in Cincinnati was reported to have been practically overflowing with people making yellow ribbons in support of Keith "Matt" Maupin, a soldier whose fate was then uncertain (it has subsequently been reported that he had been beheaded by his captors), along with red, white, and blue ones to show support for American troops in Iraq. In June 2004 in Cleveland, when the mother of one serviceman called her local Starbucks to arrange for the shipping of some java to her son, the employees at that store insisted on paying for 30 pounds of coffee as their gift.

Regarding another of the claims made in the e-mail, while it is true someone working at a New York City Starbucks did indeed charge ambulance workers $130 for three cases of water on September 11, 2001, it would not be quite fair to say Starbucks did this. However, act of a single, misguided employee or not, the corporation alone bears responsibility for afterwards spurning a number of opportunities to offer the rescue workers their money back or apologize to them — though it finally took both those actions, it did so only after the story attracted online and print media attention.

In addition to the "rescue workers charged for water" and the "spurned servicemen" story that is the focus of this piece, Starbucks has been the butt of a number of other unsavory rumors and mistaken beliefs just in the past few years, including:

  • A 2002 poster promoting two new iced drinks prompted some consumers to see in it reminders of the hijacked planes hitting the twin towers.
  • In 2001, a false story spread in e-mail about the wife of the owner of a Thailand Starbucks telling non-white customers the coffee shop was not for Asians.
  • The company's 2003 termination of its business interests in Israel caused some to believe Starbucks had abandoned that nation in favor of being able to continue to do business in Arab countries.
  • In 2002, a prankster who scanned and distributed online a coupon entitling the bearer to a free Crème Frappuccino caused any amount of bad feeling to be directed at the company — those duped into believing they were entitled to free product were often angry at the stores who refused to honor the fake coupons rather than with the unnamed person who had deceived them.

Starbucks, like any other successful corporation that has a strong public presence, is fated to operate with the Damocles sword of public opinion hanging above its head. No corporation can fund everyone who comes to it looking for assistance, which means some deserving groups will always be refused. In less emotionally-charged times, the logic of such a policy is better understood, but the current climate makes it a dicey PR proposition at best to say no to anything having to do with soldiers.

Barbara "enlisted support" Mikkelson

Last updated: 20 November 2007

Sorry for pasting all of that...but you get the point. PLEASE folks, you've got to check your forwards! If you don't want to check them, don't keep sending them! That's all I ask...it's not too much, I hope!!






Uhhhh...


























So...if this has been helpful to you, please forward the url of this blog to 15 people--and your hair will not fall out, a dog will receive a new home and your bank account will be awarded $500 each time.

Thanks.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Letter to the ESPN Ombudsman

Hi Le Anne,

I've emailed you before, and I thank you for responding. It was unexpected and much appreciated.


I have a question about Page2, and the concept and purpose behind ESPN.com. I have been reading this website for at least 4 years now, and I have seen writers, for various reasons, come and go. But in all those years I have never seen two writers more loathed and vilified by the masses of your readers than Scoop Jackson and Jemele Hill.


(To add some context to my reason for posting this, I am an African American and a writer, so I really desire to hear your perspective on both sides of this issue.)


My question, in short, is this: what is the reason and motive behind their current employment at ESPN.com? I don't doubt that the intentions were sincere at the time they were both hired. But now as I read the overwhelming majority of reader comments blasting their articles and calling for their removal on a weekly basis, I have to wonder what keeps them in these positions—a belief in them as writers, or a desire to give them both to the screaming mob for the extra clicks and advertising increase it gives the website.


Both Mr. Jackson and Ms. Hill have had their ups and downs. But the downs are definitely in the lead now. And I can't say that they shouldn't be. Mr. Jackson's "The Jordan Experience" (Nov 6) was a piece that I found to be in total denial. He wrote it as though he was still writing for Slam Magazine, where his readers adored him, and where his other articles were of enough substance to excuse a short blurb that was all personal and no news. As for Ms. Hill, her two most recent articles, "Defending Barry" (Nov 19) and today's piece, "The grim statistic," have both mishandled the discussion of race in a way that instigates more angst than genuine discussion amongst the readers (which ALL of her articles have a knack for). Both writers have offered pieces that I have enjoyed, but their recent bodies of work have lacked in some necessary aspect of journalistic responsibility.


Yet when this happens, you would think that ESPN.com would resign to make one of two decisions, of which they have made neither.


1. If writers are incapable or disagreeable to your general readership, shouldn't those writers be removed? Or to make it more specific, if a black writer can't substantively communicate racial issues and creative dialogue with white readers, and even loses the perspective and understanding of other black readers, can that person still somehow reflect the interests and pursuits of ESPN.com?


2. If these writers are performing at a level considered satisfactory to the management at ESPN.com, and they are stood by at the organizational level, then why are they not permitted to go without a comments section like Bill Simmons? It doesn't seem to make sense both ways—either all Page2 pieces should receive comments, or all Page2 writers should have a protected place to offer their opinions.


I don't know that my question as to why they are still employed is one that you can answer as Ombudsman. But I'd love to hear your perspective on the Page2 and ESPN.com concepts. My goal is not to request anyone's firing, or to ask ESPN to silence the voices of its readers; it is just to see what purpose these two writers are serving ESPN.com, for my own understanding. There will always be ugly comments, but "the Mavs suck" is a lot more refreshing to read than a lot of the comments left after what these authors have penned. This country's racial history is far too explosive to afford having its #1 sports website inciting bigoted and divisive conversations amongst people who come to the site for the same reason—because they all love sports.


Sorry I ran so long… but I hope to hear from you. God bless.


-Clifton Jessup

Thursday, March 13, 2008

From REAL WITH YOU to THE NAKED TRUTH

Real With You

-----------------------

The Naked Truth

by Anthony “Tonéx” Williams II

Life's a masquerade filled with so many faces

Faces that aren't so real
Hearts that really can not feel…
-----------------------

I know the truth now and I feel like crying—but I’m not sad,

And I feel like yelling—but I’m not angry,

I feel like screaming—but I’m not scared…


I remember how tight we used to be
And I want You to draw me closer to Thee
Lord, I try to live an honest life
So why do I try to fool God's people all the time?...
-----------------------

I’m not afraid no more, and I got out alive, n****,

I peeled off layers of bulls*** & falsehood,

I peeled off years of slander and embarrassment…


Notice what it takes
And Lord I don't want to be fake
For there's another side of me

Lord, I've got to get it straight
And it's my desire to be more like You each day
But the enemy keeps trying to lead me further astray

-----------------------

I’m wiser, I’m thicker, I’m sexy, I’m bold

I’m hot, I’m next, I’m saved to the bone

I’m prophet, I’m model, I’m singer, I’m actor

My swagger is corporate—my thug life is dapper

I got out just in time before I lost my mind

I’m good, I’m cool, I’m alright, I’m fine


CHORUS- I just wanna be real with You
I just wanna live a life that's true
I just wanna be real with You
-----------------------

Yup I did it, I made it—the genius, the faggot,

The weirdo, the homo, the hobo, the magnet

Cuz I keep drawin’ yo a** back, you wanna see more

Give me 3 years; I’ll spark a revival bigger than William J. Seymour

Baptizin’ all the people that yo a** can’t reach

Use my hands to grab a basin and wash my enemies’ feet

Don’t judge a tree by the fruit—

You’ve gotta go to the root

There’s nothin else that y’all can say to me—it’s too late, GET OUT

Cuz you pollute the city like the smog in LA

I ain’t gay, I’m a real man. Come see me, I’m TONEX, n****!

And I am The Naked Truth.


As incredible as it may seem, on either side of the lines above are the words and thoughts of just one man.


We can never judge a person’s heart with complete accuracy, no matter how sincere or careful we are to observe.


But when Tonéx, a gospel artist, a Christian, says these words, we’ve got to sit up and assess what could’ve gone wrong.


How are lines such as these created? Who was or wasn’t there when these lines began to form? What events or occurrences could create such a drastic difference between who a person once was and who they are today?


He has given us his own struggles between the lines. This article is an attempt…to read the lines.

_______________________________________________________________________________


Anthony Williams II, or “Tonéx,” officially arrived on the gospel music scene in 2000 with his first album Pronounced Toe-Nay. His music was far more progressive/worldly/rhythmic than even the more contemporary artists of the previous decade. He achieved moderate success with his first album, finally getting noticed after his second album’s single “God Has Not 4got” was a success on gospel radio stations across the nation.


Two years later, a 25-year-old Tonéx released his signature album, the double-disc Out the Box, which ultimately was his bold stance in taking gospel music beyond the walls of church standards and tradition. He took risks in sampling from secular music, including a portion from Michael Jackson and the theme song from the Family Feud TV show. But the risks paid off—Out the Box was the best-selling gospel album of 2004, and he was the recipient of six Stellar Awards and the Grammy for ‘Best Soul Gospel Album.’


But in the midst of his incredible four-year journey to the top of the gospel charts, Tonéx, as he later revealed, struggled with pornography, a troubled and downward-spiraling marriage, and a clear identity crisis that was reflected in his numerous hair and clothing changes. But in the midst of all of his success, none of these issues were dealt with—they just festered.

_______________________________________________________________________________


And when 2005 came, all that was festering came to the forefront…and left his life in shambles.


In the course of one year, he buried his father, divorced his wife Yvette, and was sued for $1 million by his record company. The pain of this year caused him to enter an early “retirement” from the gospel music industry. In the past three years, Tonéx has released two albums straight to iTunes and performed across the world, but still the pain from all of his hurting was never acknowledged.


Tonéx won the tough battle to become a mainstream gospel artist. But with the increased fame and success of his career, he also faced greater and greater scrutiny from purists who saw his persona as being obtrusive to the gospel message. He managed to make it to the top of the charts singing his signature style of music—on his own terms—but he became a posterboy for conservatives when noting the secularization of Christianity as a whole. His greatest critic has by far been G. Craige Lewis of ExMinistries, who has openly attacked him in his DVDs and presentations. He and his followers have fought many of the artists in gospel that they believe to be “secularizing” their music.

Again, as he later indicated, Tonéx has been sensitive to people’s views and treatment of him, particularly relating to his sexual preference, for much of his life. As a musician in the Christian church, especially in the African-American culture, his behavior and eccentricities were always question marks to his character, regardless of the content of his music.


Despite this sensitivity, Tonéx has a swagger that is born of many sources. He is a musical prodigy with arguably the most incredible vocal ability in gospel music today. His dancing ability comes in a close second. He also has a sense of style (when not in excess) that makes him appealing to a mass market. He knew he had the goods. His talents enabled him to perform beyond the wildest dreams of most gospel artists and, seemingly, in his mind, placed him above being “boxed-in” with them. So as others offered criticism, his style of music didn’t get more reserved—it became even bolder.


His confidence had always been palpable in his music, but he then started to even verbalize it by praising himself in songs that should’ve been praising God. His talent and his confidence in himself became his first line of defense against the people around him.


So after his life came crashing down, all the boldness, confidence, and swagger he carried turned into venom. He raged against the sources of his pain—his ex-wife, the name-callers, and the haters. He decided to strip down the walls of discretion, much as his music attempted to strip down the walls of “church-appropriateness,” and send a message to the people who had caused him pain.

He released the angry, profanity-laced tirade entitled “The Naked Tr

uth” on YouTube, culminating in the loss of his Zomba contract, and the s

uspension of his CD project.

_______________________________________________________________________________


So there’s Tonéxa 21-year-old gospel artist singing about sincerity and opening up to God

…and there’s Tonéx…a now 29-year-old (genre?) artist singing about being a survivor and shunning the haters he’s faced all his life.


Tonéx…a young believer seeking salvation…


…and Tonéx…a young believer spiritually, mentally, and emotionally disconnected from God and his church.

There are so many reasons Tonéx’s become Tonéx’s. But just like in the life of Tonéx, nobody cares to look back—everyone just looks at the mess-of-a final product and shakes their head. But why not instead choose to learn from this situation, especially since 70% of Tonéx’s between the ages of 18 and 30 are leaving the church? Why let someone who has an abundance of lessons to teach us about ourselves slip through the cracks?


Tonéx’s words in the song Real With You are haunting. They tell the story of a

young man who is seemingly trapped in a world of insincerity, a world where hearts “really cannot feel” a thing at all. He sees a need in his own life for change, and he doesn’t want to be the same masked man as the others around him. Whether a general or a specific sin, he saw a need for G

od’s intervention, in hopes that he could be “real” and “live a life that’s true.”


But his words in “The Naked Truth” are all about his confidence in himself. It’s as though he is trying to say that HE has Jesus, but the people around him were saying he didn’t, and his message to them was a metaphorical finger waving toward them in the air.

There was no interview done to complete this article. We cannot know for sure the condition of Tonéx’s heart, nor of his ex-wife’s, nor of the people he felt the need to embolden himself against through song. But we can still look at this sad fall from grace, even if just as human beings, to discover lessons that can benefit all of our lives.


Tonéx’s story is about loving others. Regardless of how people are viewed, it’s always less important than how they are treated.


Tonéx’s story is about loneliness. It’s difficult to find your way with God when the people around you don’t show Him to you.

Tonéx’s story is about suffering. Some people see their greatest works after suffering—others lose faith and find themselves spiraling back towards earth.


Tonéx’s story is about pride. When you can’t see yourself, and you try to control yourself, you can sometimes lose yourself, regardless of your talent and ability.


Tonéx’s story is about church folk. There is nothing more deflating than to come to a place where God accepts you as you are to find that no one else does.


Tonéx’s story is about family. It’s presence can cure an abundance of evils—it’s absence can generate an abundance of pain.

Tonéx’s story is about sincerity. When we fail to see it or acknowledge it (Real With You) and come to the aide of those who need help, we leave them bitter, vulnerable creatures. No one wants to be closed back up after they’ve opened up.

We don’t know how this story will end. All we can control is whether or not we choose to learn from it.

And I sincerely HOPE we do.

The insanity of PE basketball sneaker collecting, and the pitfalls...


So for anyone who is not a sneakerfreak/ collector, the holy grail of any one's collection are the models of sneakers produced only for the signature athlete in their favorite colors or designs. These sneakers are made in laughable quantities (sometimes only 1 pair) and are worn by the athlete and the athlete only for a game. Game worn sneakers have now garnered their own marketplace with some sneakers going for $10,000+. Naturally, the game worn sneakers of some players are worth more then others (Harold Miner game worn shoe? $50). Michael Jordan's game worn sneakers are the most valuable, with a recent pair of size 13.5 Jordan game worn PE's (Player Editions) X's going for more then $20,000 on eBay. (see pic)
Recently, on the Web's biggest Sneaker message board Niketalk.com, a semi-scandal broke out when it was discovered that some owners of these "Rare" sneakers were being duped by a Nike factory worker in China with the help of one of the US based Niketalk members. The factory worker got his hands on sample stickers and stitching, acquired several old pairs of the original sneakers (regular store releases) and doctored them using stitching and glue to pass them of as PE game worn sneakers in different colors. Many people have been fooled by this scam, and a pall has descended on top of the high stakes PE collector game. Luckily, I never had the money (had the desire though!) to ever get into this crazy exclusive world, so I am not affected, but I feel absolutely horrible for those that have been (one Niketalk member divulged that he had been taken recently for $3000!) I guess that even in the sneaker game, knowledge is power. The only reason this scandal was brought to light were that some members and longtime sneaker collectors were able to call in resources at Jordan Brand to conclude whether some of the sneakers in question had ever even been made for Michael. The response, according to one of them, was a Jordan Brand meeting full of laughter at the pictures. Fakes, anyone?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

So the question is...DO I know a sneaker freak?

Bolded are the answers I know--or at least believe--to be true of Steven LaiHing...

1. The first thing you notice on everyone is their shoes. KNOW this
2. When you walk into class people occasionally say Another Pair?!? LOL!
3. The teachers even notice when you get new shoes. They have to by now
4. Instead of taking the shortcut with your friends in the grass or dirt you walk all the way around the cement. No dirt on Jordans! Save that for LeBrons!
5. Your parents get really mad when you get another pair of shoes. Nah...they love you
6. When somebody insults your shoes, you stuck up for them like they are your children. Still reeling about me putting the Air Pennys above Jordans, lol
7. You constantly look at peoples shoes when you walk by them.
8. Before you go out, you think for a good 10 15 minutes about which sneakers you should wear. Unless the clothes that match them are dirty, I'd imagine this happening
9. You do not wear certain sneakers to parties/clubs because you are afraid someone is going to step on them. If this didn't say clubs, I'd think it was possible
10. You do not wear White/Clear sole shoes in the rain.
11. You keep every single pair of shoes in the box stuffed. You win major points for this not being true
12. When people you know (or even strangers) who always see you, look at you, and then look directly down to your feet to see what your shoe you are wearing. Depends...some do, I'm sure
13. Most of the time your shoes are the main center attraction.
14. You feel insulted when someone says Theyre JUST shoes! Ok, ok... you're not THIS bad.
15. You want multiple pairs of the same shoe. He taught me the word "colorway"
16. You browse eBay daily to find that HG (Holy Grail).
17. You are willing to spend good money on your HG in NDS (Near Dead stock) condition. You do somehow maintain your frugality despite your chronic fetish
18. You know at least 2 people in every shoe store you go to. You've been in College Station 2 years now...I'd say yes
19. Your paintings are shoe themed. We'll count the Jordan picture with the rings as an homage
20. You could have bought a small car for the amount you spent on your collection. Unfair, because you aren't a BIG spender...but likely true
21. You get really defensive about any damage to your shoes.
22. You save up your lunch money over a month to buy a new pair. At some point I'm positive this happened--some poor girl in high school probably got a romantic meal at McDonalds when a pair of Jordans was releasing
23. You look down at your shoes every 5 minutes. If you did this your lab would explode
24. Your drawer is full of shoe cleaners.
25. You skip appointments to go to the mall because new pair of Jordans are being released. No, you keep your appointments with the Savior--MAJOR points here
26. You know what NT and ISS stands for. Probably...
27. You sit and keep turning your foot to the side to look at your shoes. After you've seen the shoe's pre-release model, you can't get too hype when it's on your foot...
28. You know a fake shoe when you see it. AAH!! HE DOES!!!! LOL this one made me choke
29. Your background in your computer is a Jordan.
Let's have some fun with this one...

Top 5 Steven Desktop Backgrounds:
1. Him playing at Rucker (I remember that pic from freshman year!)
2. Javorski Lane running up the field holding Acie Law like a football
3. Oakwood Colliversity (Bo Bokpe slamming one down--throwback!)
4. Michael Jordan beating Kobe Bryant senseless, but no basketball being played
5. Artists rendition of what the Oakwood College Church will look like after it is merged with the New Jerusalem
30. You think that girls that have wear Air Jordans are hot even without looking at their face.
31. You go to the mall for silica packs and tell the lady that its for a school project because they wont give you any otherwise.
32. You check the weather before you go out so you know what shoe you should wear. Do you? This would actually just be using common sense, I'd think...
33. You put an extra insole in your Jordans to not rub off the Jumpman in the insole. Wow...
34. You take a traveling cleaning kit when you are on the road.
35. You limp when you walk to prevent creasing. Yo...I really want to meet people who have some of these problems...this is crazy!
36. You clean your shoes after every wear.
37. You learned the roman numerals from the Air Jordan series. LOL! I learned them from Super Bowls, so this is probably how you got them!
38. 23 is one of your favorite numbers. Could it NOT be?
39. When you are bored in class and someone says something about shoes you listen.
40. You never try to get any of your shoes dirty. This is not possible if you play...so no
41. You take your shoes off and walk when it suddenly starts raining in school to walk to your car.
42. You have a whole frame of Jordan retro cards.
43. You carry an Eastbay, Brand Jordan, or Sole Collector magazine in your backpack. No, you have quite an expansive memory--no need for visual aides
44. You know all the release dates for Jordans. Had to change the font for this one
45. You get mad when people say Jordans are a waste of money.
46. When you buy a new pair of shoes you take pictures of them. I've received a few...punk
47. You write poems of your shoes. LOOOOL thank God it could be worse
48. You visit ISS and NT Forums. And know the people on them!
49. You know what DS, OG, SMH, & MJ stands for. Just guessing on this one
50. You know when Michael Jordans birthday is. Well...what is it?

I have to say...this has been a fun 20 minutes... And to my count, he gets a 24/50...making him a 48% Sneaker Freak. I really think it could be much worse.

Congratulations! Enjoy your day

50 ways to tell if you're a SNEAKER FREAK

LOL...from Niketalk.com

1. The first thing you notice on everyone is their shoes.
2. When you walk into class people occasionally say Another Pair?!?
3. The teachers even notice when you get new shoes.
4. Instead of taking the shortcut with your friends in the grass or dirt you walk all the way around the cement.
5. Your parents get really mad when you get another pair of shoes.
6. When somebody insults your shoes, you stuck up for them like they are your children.
7. You constantly look at peoples shoes when you walk by them.
8. Before you go out, you think for a good 10 15 minutes about which sneakers you should wear.
9. You do not wear certain sneakers to parties/clubs because you are afraid someone is going to step on them.
10. You do not wear White/Clear sole shoes in the rain.
11. You keep every single pair of shoes in the box stuffed.
12. When people you know (or even strangers) who always see you, look at you, and then look directly down to your feet to see what your shoe you are wearing.
13. Most of the time your shoes are the main center attraction.
14. You feel insulted when someone says Theyre JUST shoes!
15. You want multiple pairs of the same shoe.
16. You browse eBay daily to find that HG (Holy Grail).
17. You are willing to spend good money on your HG in NDS (Near Dead stock) condition.
18. You know at least 2 people in every shoe store you go to.
19. Your paintings are shoe themed.
20. You could have bought a small car for the amount you spent on your collection.
21. You get really defensive about any damage to your shoes.
22. You save up your lunch money over a month to buy a new pair.
23. You look down at your shoes every 5 minutes.
24. Your drawer is full of shoe cleaners.
25. You skip appointments to go to the mall because new pair of Jordans are being released.
26. You know what NT and ISS stands for.
27. You sit and keep turning your foot to the side to look at your shoes.
28. You know a fake shoe when you see it.
29. Your background in your computer is a Jordan.
30. You think that girls that have wear Air Jordans are hot even without looking at their face.
31. You go to the mall for silica packs and tell the lady that its for a school project because they wont give you any otherwise.
32. You check the weather before you go out so you know what shoe you should wear.
33. You put an extra insole in your Jordans to not rub off the Jumpman in the insole.
34. You take a traveling cleaning kit when you are on the road.
35. You limp when you walk to prevent creasing.
36. You clean your shoes after every wear.
37. You learned the roman numerals from the Air Jordan series.
38. 23 is one of your favorite numbers.
39. When you are bored in class and someone says something about shoes you listen.
40. You never try to get any of your shoes dirty.
41. You take your shoes off and walk when it suddenly starts raining in school to walk to your car.
42. You have a whole frame of Jordan retro cards.
43. You carry an Eastbay, Brand Jordan, or Sole Collector magazine in your backpack.
44. You know all the release dates for Jordans.
45. You get mad when people say Jordans are a waste of money.
46. When you buy a new pair of shoes you take pictures of them.
47. You write poems of your shoes.
48. You visit ISS and NT Forums.
49. You know what DS, OG, SMH, & MJ stands for.
50. You know when Michael Jordans birthday is.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Brought Back for your reading pleasure... Classic post-For the last time....Kobe Bryant isn't better then MJ! (part 1)


In case you haven't paid a visit over to the worldwide follower in sports, they are doing a whole section of the site on the best Shooting Guard in NBA history, with the people voting, etc. etc. I would like to draw your attention to a post I did 6 months ago concerning the top 2 people on the voting list, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant:

It gets really old comparing Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, but lets try to look at it from 3 facets: statistically, physically, individual accolades, and overall team performance. Stats are probably easier to look at objectively, so we'll start with that.

Michael Jordan's first 9 seasons:

667 games:

32.3 Points per game
6.3 Rebounds per game
5.9 Assists per game
2.7 Steals per game
1.03 Blocks per game
84.6% FT (9x per game)
51.6% FG (24x per game)

And keep in mind this is factoring in the year he only played 18 games because of a broken foot. His stats were actually BETTER than this in the other 8 years.

Kobe Bryant's first 9 seasons:

627 games

22.4 Points per game
5.1 Rebounds per game
4.5 Assists per game
1.5 Steals per game
0.6 Blocks per game
83.1% FT (7x per game)
45.2% FG (17x per game)

And you people HONESTLY are trying to state that Kobe is as good as Jordan is, and could even end up greater?

Kobe would have to post averages better then 32 points a game for the next 11 seasons to tie Michael Jordan's career scoring title. In that final season, Kobe Bryant would turn 40.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The truth about G. Craige Lewis (Pt.1) (An introduction and two fallacies)



Do you know who G. Craige Lewis is? You should, because what he is saying will probably affect you in one way or another, especially if you are a Christian. His extreme, partially inaccurate views and his legendary attacks on Gospel artists and Workers in the Ministry has become nothing short of a witch hunt. I have watched almost all of his videos and presentations as well as read his blogs and his website. While his goals I believe are noble, I think that the (mis)information he presents has been distorted and has been used as a banner for extremist fundamentalist within the church. The first thing that jumps out at a listener to his presentation is that he appears to be extremely homophobic. The second thing that jumps out at you is that he has no problem with calling people out by name, even when it borders on slander. Case in point, during his earlier presentations (the truth about Hip hop) he openly attacked R&B artist Jill Scott (on his website as well) as a part of the Islamic spin off 5% movement. Look here. Completely untrue. I have looked at all of her liner notes, attended her concert, and read her biography. She does not hesitate at any point to give all glory to God and goes so far at her concerts to specify on stage that she praises the "God in Heaven who sent his Son for us!" I WAS THERE. I heard this at the Ryman auditorium in downtown Nashville, TN. Jill Scott is a Christian who believes in Jesus Christ. Does she sing about Sex? Yes. Does she sing about Love? Absolutely. IF you want to attack Jill on being sexual, fine. At the same time, she makes public disclaimers that her music is for adults. It has it's place. But to make public claims that she is part of a movement in which her stated belief in God is transferred to the belief that the black man is God (5%ism) is completely untrue and should not be tolerated. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this man. He also attacks pastor's and Bishops in the church who he feels are inappropriately rich and who are only preaching of prosperity. Whatever good he says is completely compromised by his methods of delivery. This whole movement started back when he claims he received a vision in 1990, and now has mushroomed into a noted underground phenomenon, with churches throughout the country bringing him in and helping him to sell thousands of his dvds. The problem I have with G. Craige is that while he appears to know what he is talking about, many of his reported facts are patently wrong. Two that jump to mind are the Jay-z "murder, murder Jesus" snippet along with the High school with 60% aids in South Carolina. The High School Aids story he told is a known hoax explained at this website. The Jay-z snippet played backwards has already been completely debunked as being a DJ remix by DJ Danger Mouse with words jumbled and reassembled taken from the original song "Lucifer" from the 2004 Black Album. Here is where G. Craige makes his claim, and here is where it is debunked by a music fan. Yet even after careful research and study reveal this discrepancies, people still invite him in and fall for everything that he says, hook, line, and sinker. We as a Church need to realize that a concoction fed to us consisting of a little truth mixed with a little lie still equals an assault on our Salvation. This kind of deception is even more powerful and dangerous then an outright lie, because at the outset of the argument, he comes with Biblical text and emotion, and then proceeds to pull the wool over your eyes. Parents come to these presentations and bring their kids, and he terrifies the parents and in some instances sensationalizes the truth. Now the parent feels like they "know" whats going on and in some instances they are just in the dark as much (or more) then when they first walked in to hear the presentation. Over the next few posts I will be peeling back the layers on this interesting man and share with you a few things you may not have noticed or known at all about him, his "ministry" and the claims he makes about Christianity, the Church, Gospel Music, and the people around the church.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

This is a lot less funny than when it first aired





http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=156702&title=obamas-february-wins

Monday, March 03, 2008

I HATE double standards....Leave the NBA alone...

NEW YORK -- Assault charges were dropped against Houston Rockets guard Rafer Alston, who was accused of slashing a man with a knife in a nightclub.

Rafer Alston

Alston

Prosecutors were unable to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and the assault and attempted assault charges were dropped Friday, the Manhattan district attorney's office said.

Alston was arrested Aug. 27, 2007, after a confrontation with Wilbert Ashman of Long Island inside Club Stereo in Manhattan. Ashman told police he and Alston accidentally bumped each other, and during an ensuing argument the 31-year-old player cut him on the neck.

Defense lawyer Alberto Ebanks did not immediately return a call.

The charges were dropped because "while the victim suffered serious knife wounds, there are questions about where the victim was injured," said Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the district attorney.

Ebanks said in August that witnesses had told him Ashman did not appear to be injured when he left the club and did not alert police officers who were in the area.

The 6-foot-2 guard out of Fresno State signed with the Rockets in 2004. He's averaged 12.2 points and 5.7 assists in 54 games this season.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press


slaihing:On ESPN.com, there were dozens of comments on the original AP story when he was charged, now that the charges have been dropped, there were only two comments for the entire story. I'm sick of people bad-mouthing the NBA. Baseball as a sport is tainted with the government breathing down its neck and the record books from 1980 to present pretty much useless, the NHL is marginalized to putting on circus like games for ratings (as well as sanctioned fighting), the NFL has more felons per square yard then any place short of Riker's Island, yet the NBA is the bad "thug" league. Get a life and get off all these Black millionaire's backs....

Heartfelt letter from Seattle Supersonics fan...

City: Minneapolis
Name: Mark Olstad

I think in your "Save the Sonics" piece, the e-mails left out provide the most valid argument to keep the Sonics in Seattle: They were the most dominant team in the most famous basketball game in video game history: NBA Jam TE. No team could match Seattle! The Charlotte Hornets were the only team that stood a chance. But Gary Payton could push around Muggsy Bogues any day of the week, and Kemp could totally do a windmill, double-flip dunk that would shatter the backboard in Larry Johnson's face. Not only that, but they always had the token white guy, Detlef Schrempf, coming off the bench to keep Kemp and Payton rested for the crucial fourth quarter.

Now, someday when I have kids and I am completely owning them in NBA Jam TE, they'll probably be confused and ask, "Dad, who are the Seattle SuperSonics?" I don't know if I'll be able to deal with that. Please, Clay Bennett, keep the Sonics in Seattle. For NBA Jam.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Congrats to Oakwood University!! USCAA Basketball National Champs!!

Here is the box score:

Florida College vs Oakwood University
03-01-08 8:15 pm at Broken Arrow, Okla.

Newspaper Box Score
Florida College vs Oakwood University
03-01-08 8:15 pm at Broken Arrow, Okla.
At Broken Arrow, Okla.
OAKWOOD UNIVERSITY 90, FLORIDA COLLEGE 76
FLORIDA COLLEGE
Stanley Kelley 7-13 3-6 18;
Jesse Hastings 6-10 4-4 17; Pete Alexandrou 4-11
4-7 15; Leonard Simmons 3-6 0-0 6; Ian Jones 3-5 0-2 6
Moorer 2-5 0-0
6; Blake Elrod 2-8 0-0 4; Matt Westbrook 0-0 2-2 2;
Shane Slone 1-4 0-0 2;
Ethan Price 0-0 0-0 0; Jordan Unlap 0-1 0-0 0.
Totals 28-63 13-21 76.
OAKWOOD UNIVERSITY
Terrell Black 4-7 7-7 18;
James Doggette 7-9 3-4 17;
Dewitt Henley 5-14 3-3
14; Brandon Broome 6-11 1-3 13;
Mike Conner 3-6 7-7 13; Rodney Davis 5-7 0-0
10; Rupert Bushner 1-4 0-0 3;
Kareen Talesford 1-1 0-0 2;
Eric Adams 0-1 0-0
0; Deshawn Preston 0-0 0-0 0;
Ronald Bushner 0-0 0-0 0; Andrew Ford 0-0 0-0
0; Derrick Long 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-60 21-24 90.
Florida College............... 29 47 - 76
Oakwood University............ 43 47 - 90
3-point goals--Florida College 7-23
(Pete Alexandrou 3-9; Sam Moorer 2-5;
Jesse Hastings 1-1; Stanley Kelley 1-3;
Shane Slone 0-2; Jordan Unlap 0-1;
Ian Jones 0-2), Oakwood University 5-22
(Terrell Black 3-5; Rupert Bushner
1-3; Dewitt Henley 1-7; Mike Conner 0-3;
Eric Adams 0-1; Brandon Broome 0-2;
James Doggette 0-1). Fouled out--Florida College-None,
Oakwood University-None. Rebounds--Florida College 25
(Pete Alexandrou 6),
Oakwood University 41 (Rodney Davis 10).
Assists--Florida College 11
(Pete
Alexandrou 5), Oakwood University 6 (Dewitt Henley 3).
Total fouls--Florida
College 19, Oakwood University 15.
Technical fouls--Florida College-None,
Oakwood University-None.