Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stumbled across this, and had to post it just out of principle. Roll Tide and go win National Championship #13 (most ever, haters!)

Alabama Football: Number 13

Were the Alabama Crimson Tide, Pasadena Bound
From the SEC, here to represent the South
Gotta sing it loud, we coming for the ring
Thats all Im about, is number thirteen

Im going back to Cali, teams coming with me
And if you want it Texas, try and come get me
Im too shifty, Im too fly man
Im running with 22, Mr. Heisman
Yeah, but that's not it
Cause if he's not in, then it's Mr. T Rich
Teams too sick, the lines just stacked
Five wide, no backs, better ask G-Mac
Hah, and that's fact, we better than great
Run the play action pass straight to number 8
All day, Alabama's gonna drop that hammer
Domination, play that Rammer Jammer


Going, going to the ship
From Pasadena back to the T-town strip
Defense, welcome to the freak show
Can't beat that, just ask Tim Tebow
You wan't the crown, you gonna have to show me
How anybody gonna try to climb mount Cody?
And oh me, oh my, it's just scary
How teams throw it deep right to Mark Barron
Now that's a pick or an incompletion
So punt it deep, Javier Arenas
One, two step, now we gone boy
Number thirteen, believe it Longhorns!


Going, gone, where we belong
At the number spot sitting on the throne
It's domination, It's dedication
It's Roll Tide in the Crimson Nation
Do it Bear, do it for Prothro
Do it for Demeco, Do dat Rolo!
Do it for Donte, it's no game man
Cause if nothing we gonna do it for Saban
Run that route Maze, do that Ingy!
Bring that trophy to Bryant Denny
Oh, envy, the Crimson colors
Cause there won't ever, be another
Team this strong, or team this sick
Or team this nasty, this teams legit
You'll never see a team this mean
One goal: bring back number thirteen.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Oh the difference a second makes....

Just one year ago, Texas was moving through a perfect season on a collision course for the National Championship game. They were unbeaten and were playing extremely well. Then, one second happened against Texas Tech in Lubbock:

Flash forward to 2009 and Texas is again playing well, moving through a perfect season on a collision course for the National Championship game
against the winner of Florida-Alabama. Then, on e second happens again against Nebraska:

Lets look at some of the possible outcomes changed by this one play. If 1 second is not placed back on the clock, and Nebraska wins, then

1)Texas does not go to the National Championship game.
Who goes instead?? The polls would be a mess. Would Alabama play Boise State or Cincinatti or one of the so called "BCS Busters?"
Perhaps a FL-AL rematch? (There would be riots in the streets).Either way, I don't think the National
interest would be there for the championship game. And how does this affect Mack Brown's contract?
I doubt he gets that 2 million dollar annual pay raise.

2) Ndamukong Suh would have at worst been second in Heisman voting, at best could have won the whole thing.Being a direct reason the Longhorns and another candidate don't make the NC might have been to much for the voters to bear, even if he does play on defense.

3) Can you honestly say Brian Kelly leaves for Notre Dame if his team is up for a National Championship? I say no way he leaves. And what happens to the Cincinatti program as a result
of making the National Championship? Recruiting explodes, and they don't have to go Juco or redshirt transfers as much anymore. The program takes on national relevance. What about the increased stock for the best players on Cincinnati's team? We are talking better draft positions and possibly millions of dollars in pay difference.

It is amazing what a difference one second can make.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A fan for hire: The joys and sadness of being linked to no team in particular.

Living in Huntsville, AL puts me in a unique perspective as far as fandom goes. We have no big 4 professional teams within 2 hours. The Titans are up the road in Nashville, Memphis Grizzles to the west, and the Hawks and Falcons to the east in Atlanta. Close, but still not truly ours. For this reason, most hardcore fans in Huntsville look to College Football, and we, like everyone else in our state, support and root for either the Auburn Tigers (BOOOO!) or the #1 ranked National Championship bound Alabama Crimson Tide (YAY!!!!!!!). No need to tell you who I root for. For this reason, I am a diehard Alabama fan and fan for hire in all other sports. Currently I am a fan of the Houston Rockets (due to them being closest to me geographically in Graduate School + their heart and hardworking playing style) the New York Yankees (family ties to NYC +their fine history) and the Dallas Cowboys (always a supporter since the winning days of the 90's with Emmit and Troy, + my girlfriend being from Dallas.) Someone would look at this list and say I am a front running bandwagon fan, and I would respectfully disagree. The Cowboys have not been playoff relevant since '96 and I have still been a fan (also a fan of the Titans). The Yankees are a great team and have been for awhile, and I have a direct family link to them. Now that Alabama football has returned to national relevance I do see a definite difference personally in the feelings I get cheering for them compared with the other out of state teams. I guess there really is something to being geographically linked to a team. I take AL's losses much harder then the Yankees, even in the World Series. I guess I just have a stronger connection to the true "home state" team. What do you all think? Would your fandom for your teams be any different if you actually weren't directly geographically linked to them? For those of you who aren't geographically linked to your favorite teams, can you tell a difference in your support compared to when your hometown team is doing very well? Give me some feedback....

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The return of the Answer: Questions I have....

1) Will he actually contribute from a basketball perspective? Given all the shots he wants, can he still put out at 26 or 28 points a game at this point in his career (34 years old)?

2) How much of a bump in attendance will this bring? With the consensus being that the Sixers are making this move as a business move (at least as much) as a Basketball move, how will the fans react? While Iverson has his die hard fanbase, will the casual Philly sports fan flock to the Comcast center to see the return of #3?

3) Is Reebok going to bring back out a special edition Question? (sorry, the sneaker freak in me flared back up.See pic) I'll continue....

4) How will the Sixers juggle the lineup once Williams returns? Will they start both Iverson and Lou? Iverson has been extremely clear he is not a bench player.

5) Do the Sixers make the playoffs? If they are able to make the 8th spot, they would HAVE TO consider Iverson's signing a major reason why.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My review of the Blackberry Tour: Showdown between Winmo and RIM.

I recently made the switch from the HTC Touch Pro to the Blackberry Tour. I am on sprint's network and they made me an upgrade offer I couldn't refuse. So far the Tour is one of the best phones I have ever had. It is an email and messaging powerhouse, has thousands of apps, gets good battery life and is a 1000 times more stable and dependable hardware wise then anything I had from HTC. As I sit here in austin airport looking around, of the people surrounding me with cell phones in their hands, I count 6 iphones, 5 blackberries, and what seems to be a g1. I also spot what seems to be a droid and a htc hero. I don't have many gripes about my blackberry except that I wish it had a touch screen (sometimes) and used the regular mini usb charger connector instead of the slimmer one (all the time). I had to get rid of all the chargers I had previously. Also I wish that the Tour did automatic reverse lookup when I just stat dialing a phone number. My old Touch Pro did it, auto sorting as you typed more numbers until it had matched up a contact. Something little I appreciated. I also would love for RIM to allow auto sorting of the email inbox as you type key words. Say I wanted to pull up emails from Clifton, all I should have to do is start typing his name or even a subject we had talked about before and the phone sorts and pulls up all of our interactions. The way it is set up now I have to press "s" and then type in a key word or person and then ask it to search and match it up.Another thing I wish they had done better is placing the speaker on both sides or even the back of the phone. Also my Berry is horrendous voice quality wise in the wind. Completely unusable for a voice convo. The keyboard on the Tour has less buttons then the Touch Pro but I like the keyboard just as much. Typing long emails can make your hands a little sore and give you berry thumb though. The holster that comes with the phone is very nice Ad the phone senses when it is in the holster compared to being pulled out. I also like that the screen brightens automatically to a wonderful reading level when it senses it is outdoors in direct sunlight. Lastly, the web browsing on the blackberry leaves MUCH to be desired compared to the iphones and winmo phones of the world. This ancient RIM browser needs a complete overhaul. In the interest of full disclosure, I am running an unreleased 5.0 rom on my phone and it is fantastic. New messaging options, faster boot up time, and dozens of other improvements. I can't wait for it to officially release. In the meantime, for all your berry needs and information, I highly recommend visiting
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sorry for being so dormant!!

Hey everyone, sorry for being so dormant the past month. I have a bunch of stuff I am working from for the blog, like a response to a very interesting Kobe text message from Clifton, a full review and breakdown of Blackberry vs. Windows Mobile, Windows 7 ultimate review, A full review of NBA 2k10, and a review of Bill Simmons' The Book of Basketball. Stay tuned and don't give up on the blog!!



Monday, October 19, 2009

In celebration of the Alabama Crimson Tide being #1 in the AP Poll, some Bear Bryant Quotes:

Happy Monday! Been while since I updated the blog but I am back. The team I shed blood and tears for, the Alabama Crimson Tide (12X National Champions), are now ranked #1 in the Country ahead of the Gators of Gainesville in the AP Poll, and #2 in the BCS poll (HOW?!). In celebration, some quotes from one of the finest men to ever reside in the State (and the greatest college football coach of all time); Bear Bryant.

"How many people watch you give a final exam? [About fifty is the reply.] Well, I have 50,000
watch me give mine - every Saturday!"
  • To English Professor Tommy Mayo (at Texas A&M) when questioned about his emphasis on winning and his salary.
"I left Texas A&M because my school called me. Mama called, and when Mama calls, then you just have to come running."
  • On why he had to leave Texas A&M with six years left on his contract.
"Hell, no! A tie is like kissing your sister!"
  • After being asked if he had considered going for a field goal when trailing by three points.
"What the hell's the matter with you people down there? Don't y'all take your football seriously?"
  • Upon calling Auburn at 6 AM only to find out that none of the coaches were in their offices yet.
"What not the size of the dog in the fight, but of the fight in the dog."

"I ain't never been nothing but a winner."

"Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don't quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don't quit until you reach it. Never quit."

"The old lessons (work, self-discipline, sacrifice, teamwork, fighting to achieve) aren't being taught by many people other than football coaches these days. The football coach has a captive audience and can teach these lessons because the communication lines between himself and his players are more wide open than between kids and parents. We better teach these lessons or else the country's future population will be made up of a majority of crooks, drug addicts, or people on relief."

"What are you doing here? Tell me why you are here. If you are not here to win a national championship, you're in the wrong place. You boys are special. I don't want my players to be like other students. I want special people. You can learn a lot on the football field that isn't taught in the home, the church, or the classroom. There are going to be days when you think you've got no more to give and then you're going to give plenty more. You are going to have pride and class. You are going to be very special. You are going to win the national championship for Alabama."

"At Alabama, our players don't win Heisman Trophies. Our teams win National Championships."
  • After being asked why no Alabama player has ever won a Heisman Trophy.
"I'll beat you with my team today, and I'll beat you with your team tomorrow."

"If you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, you gotta know the password, "Roll, tide, roll!"
  • After being asked of his dedication to the University of Alabama

Friday, September 11, 2009

Michael Jordan, Today (9/11), and Tomorrow

Today is the day. in a few hours, the greatest player of all time will be inaugurated into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.

Michael Jordan...has achieved everything he will ever achieve as a pro basketball player. And no one has ever done it better.

As we've all spent today reflective not only of Michael Jordan's legacy, but also in remembrance of the lives lost eight years ago on this day, a strange and melancholy thought that came to mind, as I thought about these two worlds in collision:

What is the relationship between time and greatness?

Is it inverse, is it direct, or does it vary? Can greatness diminish? Does greatness only swell? Or does time have any relation at all to how monumental a person or event is in history?

Are our lives any less impacted by the great tragedy of 9/11 than they were eight years ago? Yes, our attitudes may have changed. We have returned to a relative sense of peace and stability compared to the emotions of that day. But the reality of what happened, the many lives that were forever changed, the young men that have spent years overseas at war to this day--none of that changes.

The attitude change is attributed to two natural human inclinations: 1) our natural drive towards homeostasis--we were not designed to be emotionally monotone, and 2) today's society is so drowned by information and a world consciousness made possible by 20th-century technology that we are constantly fighting to find our place in history, some assurance that we have had a historically-relevant existence.

(Sidebar: It's the reason that every time you watch SportsCenter there is a new statistic that you would've never imagined was even important, like "Most Time Spent Stranded on 3rd Base", "Most Minutes Played in Toronto by a Non-Raptor", etc.)

So that's why every tragedy that takes place after 9/11 will be compared to 9/11. The lives lost, the effect on the stock market, and the residual damage to our foreign relations will all be marked as "<" or ">" September 11, 2001. It was the greatest tragedy my generation has ever experienced.

But even if/when a greater calamity falls, nothing can change the fact that many sat, as I did, in high school classrooms around this nation, and saw their entire lives flash before their eyes in an instant. No numbers and statistics can supplant the reality of what we and the rest of the nation experienced that Tuesday morning.

Never forget.

(Please see note at end of blog)


great (grt)
adj. great·er, great·est
1. Very large in size.
2. Larger in size than others of the same kind.
3. Large in quantity or number: A great throng awaited us. See Synonyms at large.
4. Extensive in time or distance: a great delay.
5. Remarkable or outstanding in magnitude, degree, or extent: a great crisis.
6. Of outstanding significance or importance: a great work of art.
7. Chief or principal: the great house on the estate.
8. Superior in quality or character; noble: "For he was great, ere fortune made him so" (John Dryden).
9. Powerful; influential: one of the great nations of the West.
10. Eminent; distinguished: a great leader.
11. Grand; aristocratic.
12. Informal Enthusiastic: a great lover of music.
13. Informal Very skillful: great at algebra.
14. Informal Very good; first-rate: We had a great time at the dance.
15. Being one generation removed from the relative specified. Often used in combination: a great-granddaughter.
In my belief, greatness, both in its positive and negative forms, does not fade. The emotions, however, can regress over time.
25 years from his first NBA game, and less than a decade removed from his last dribbles up the court, Michael Jordan's legacy as a great player is well remembered, but his status as the greatest player has already come into question.
Kobe Bryant, for many years seen as the heir apparent, has finally climbed to become the best player in the league, after cementing his first MVP award and Finals trophy sans Shaq. Were he to win one or two more trophies, and climb a bit higher in the record books, many will be ready to give him the "greatest" status already.
Less than a decade removed...
LeBron James, now entering his 7th year in the league (we are getting old), is only 25 but has already established a hall-of-fame career for himself. He has led the league in scoring, won the MVP trophy, and carried his team to the top of the league. If he continues on his current pace and plays for another decade or close, with a few title wins he will likely be considered among-if-not THE greatest player of all many.
Less than a decade removed...
Then there's Dwyane Wade, who has already won a title; Carmelo Anthony, a Jordan-brand athlete who has shown flashes of being absolutely unstoppable and could one day get his game in focus; Kevin Durant, who is 1/2 an inch and 25 pounds from being impossible to guard, and Chris Paul, a small guard who has the will and toughness to compete with players well beyond his experience and size.
Less than a decade removed from seeing Jordan play his last NBA game, there are already whispers of players who could take the reins. What will his legacy be in a full decade? In 20 years? In 30?
Bill "The Sports Guy" Simmons asked an interesting question in one of his recent mailbags: What if Kobe Bryant was a good guy all this time, and we misperceived him because of the Shaq beef? Does that change things?
My first thought, of course, was the way he is perceived compared to Jordan. Would I personally feel that Kobe is closer to catching up with Jordan if I actually saw him as a person rather than a species? Yes, that was a bit harsh, I know.
But then I realized...sure, Kobe could acquire 6 rings, and more MVP's. Sure, Vince Carter might've produced more electrifying dunks in games. Sure, It only took Wade 3 seasons to do what took Michael 7. Sure, LeBron might shatter every scoring, rebound, and assist mark Jordan ever set by the time he's 30. Sure, Kevin Durant could one day average 40 points per game.
But what no one can ever match, and what makes him the greatest player of all time in my eyes, is not his statistics, but his story.
Watch the commercials. Read his quotes. Jordan didn't want to become rich, or famous, or a great dunker, or a leading scorer, or a defensive player of the year, or an MVP, or Finals MVP, or NBA Champion. He wanted it all. He fought for it all. And he achieved every bit of it.
It would be a calamity to see a generation pass and watch Jordan become nothing more than a high-flying dunker who scored a lot of points and won 6 rings. In this highlight-friendly era, that's what he's in danger of becoming. But the beauty of his career is found not in his successes, but in the things we discovered about him in his failures...Being picked after Sam Bowie
  • Losing to the Celtics in his 2nd season
  • Being abused and defeated by the Pistons for three straight years
  • Losing his father
  • Struggling as a minor league baseball player
  • Coming back into basketball, older and further removed from the game
  • Coming back into basketball at age 38 to join a losing Wizards team
...and when he faced the brink of his own demise...
  • The Knicks battles of the mid-90's
  • The '96 season, 72 wins after losing to Orlando the previous year
  • The Sick Game
  • Game 7 against the Pacers, 1998
  • Game 6, The Shot, against the Jazz in '98
  • The "game winner", 2003 all-star game, his last
When you've seen those moments, when you've seen how he fought his way to the top--and stayed there for nearly a decade--it's hard to confine what he accomplished to just numbers and highlights.
Michael Jordan is... a global empire...of shoes.
Michael Jordan is…a shot. THE Shot.
Michael Jordan is… evidence of human flight capability.
Michael Jordan is… a player that cannot be duplicated.
Michael Jordan is… Craig Ehlo’s father
Michael Jordan is… last, a Hall of Famer.
And tomorrow.................................who knows?
*(Please note: in no way am I attempting to tie the legacy of Michael Jordan with the events and destruction of 9/11. This was merely done in tribute and, I hope, in good taste).

Never Forget....9/11/2001

With all the adulation and praise being rained down on the Hall of Fame inductions today, it's important to remember that today is the 8th anniversay of the biggest Terrorist Attack in US History. If you get a chance today, I heavily encourage you to reflect.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Michael Jordan memories....

Once again, I was lucky to get to talk with Nick Fairclough(A Fellow member of the Niketalk forum and currently a Macro Financial Engineer with The Cambridge Financial Center (, former Utah Ball Boy about some of his favorite Michael Jordan memories:

Nick: February 13, 2003: The Washington Wizards utilize the Utah Jazz practice facility located at FranklinCovey. The practice seemed light and casual as players went through full court skeleton and shooting drills. Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing excused themselves from the court and engaged in a friendly game of ping-pong. Due to the laidback nature I thought it appropriate to approach MJ about signing some items I had brought in hope of getting autographed. With a few strokes of a pen…Cha-Ching!!! Michael made my day with additional MJ signatures to add to my collection as well as a posed photograph later that day.

As I left the practice facility I thought to myself “How could/should I possibly show my appreciation to a man who has everything?” I called a friend - Phil Rosenthal, Bell Captain at The Grand America Hotel where the Washington Wizards were staying, and had a case of Bud Light beer delivered to Michael’s room. A gesture that I hoped wouldn’t go unnoticed.

February 14, 2003: I met the Washington Wizards for their morning shoot-around. Michael made eye contact and approached me with an outstretched arm. As we shook hands it was clear who was in charge (my hand could fit in the palm of his giant hand).

“I know what you were trying to do. You got the tall bottles trying to get me drunk!” he said. “What is it with you guys in Utah? Always trying to get me sick or drunk, you remember what happened last time, don’t you?” I can only assume he was referring to the 1997 Game 5 NBA Finals. With the series against the Utah Jazz tied 2-2, Jordan awoke in the middle of the night before Game 5, shaking, sweating and vomiting with the flu. George Koehler, Michael’s long time friend and body-guard describes the event as follows:

“To this day, I don’t think anyone appreciates how seriously ill Michael was in Game 5 on the 1997 Finals against Utah. In those days, Michael never really left his room. So we’d all be in there close by, to pass the time. We all ordered room service, and Michael didn’t order anything. Then at the last minute, he ordered a pizza from a local joint. If I’m not mistaken it was a pepperoni pizza. Nobody ate the pizza except Michael. At two or three o’clock in the morning, Michael wakes up with an upset stomach. So he calls Chip Schaeffer, the trainer, who gives Michael something to settle his stomach. After the antacids, they gave him sleeping pills. Nothing works. He felt like throwing up, but he couldn’t throw up. And he’s getting hot and cold flashes. All of this could have been attributed to the flu, or whatever. Now it’s early in the morning, time to go to practice. So now they give him a laxative. He’s too weak to go to practice, so he skips the shoot-around. Michael tries to sleep, but he can’t sleep. We get on the bus to go to the game at 3 p.m. and he’s just a rag doll. He has no energy. He still hadn’t thrown up. And he still hasn’t slept. Now he’s got antacids, sleeping pills and laxatives in his system. At 5 o’clock, an hour before the game, he can’t stay awake. So he pumps himself full of coffee. He goes out and plays, and we all know what happened. He plays 44 minutes, scores 38 points, brings Chicago back from 16 points down, hits a key three-pointer to put them ahead, and the Bulls win. But at halftime, he’s just drained. If you had seen him, you would have thought there was no way this guy could walk back to the court, much less play. Michael always drank Gatorade to full himself back up with fluids. So one of the locker room kids went to get some Gatorade. Two cans came back, but it’s not Gatorade. It’s Gatorlode, the stuff you are supposed to drink after you are done playing. Michael didn’t even realize what he was drinking. He hasn’t slept in more than 36 hours; he’s get pepperoni pizza, all the medicines, sleeping pills, who knows how many cups of coffee, Gatorlode in his body – anybody else would have been in the hospital. And Michael should have been in the hospital. Nobody else would have been out there playing, much less been able to make a pressure shot and walk off the court. Michael was so dehydrated after the game that he could hardly move. He looked like he was dead. He was barely conscious. I had seen the whole show to that point, and I am still amazed by what he did and with what he had to deal with.That’s just who he is, and it’s hard for people to understand the depth of his will. His whole life is a competition – every aspect of his life. And he’s going to win. It’s just that simple.” (Driven From Within / Michael Jordan” Marl Vancil page.157)

1997 NBA Finals Post Game Comments: “I almost played myself into passing out," Jordan said. "I came in and I was almost dehydrated and it was all just to win a basketball game. I couldn't breathe. My energy level was really low…”

Now, just for the record, I was not trying to get Michael Jordan drunk or sick! Nor was I the individual responsible for giving Michael Gatorlode instead of Gatorade.

Michael thanked me for the beer and we engaged in casual chit-chat before he went onto the court for shoot-around. While the players were on the floor I assisted the Equipment Manager, Jerry Walter, with the set up and organization of the visiting team locker room (hanging uniforms, laying out shoes, placing name plates, etc.) After the team left I took the opportunity to get a few pictures. (How many people do you know who can say they wore MJ’s jersey?)

There you have it. My memory of Michael Jordan, The Greatest Player of All Time, Hall of Fame Inductee September 11, 2009.

Hey Nick, thanks for the info...a few follow up questions:

Did you work the Bull's locker room for Mike's sick game?

I was not officially assigned to the Chicago Bulls locker room during the finals. However, I assisted the Chicago Bulls bench and was on that end of the floor helping the other Utah Jazz Ballboys along with the Chicago Bulls Trainers and Equipment Manager.

Were those of you who were employees of the Jazz aware of what was happening with Michael's health?

Michael’s health was public knowledge due to the media. However, there were several employees (as well as fans) who believed that MJ was faking his illness in hopes of sabotaging the Utah Jazz mentally.

Do you have any specific memories from that game?

I was sitting on the basketball standard as Michael dunked the ball. The reverberation from the dunk was exciting as the standard shook. After MJ's epic performance, Pippen would say, "He's the greatest, and everyone saw why tonight."

Monday, September 07, 2009

Inspirational Images, the Greatest of All Time becomes an Icon.

Click image for full size view

For this week, the choice was a no brainer. Even though this was his 3rd time performing this dunk (twice in this 1988 dunk contest and once in the 1986 contest) this one was a bit different from the rest. First, he dribbled the length of the court and blasted off from inches inside the free throw line. Second he double pumped the ball in the air before dunking it. Huge difference from the fist time he did it laying down the tape as a rookie. For this inspirational image (AND ONLY this inspirational image) no introduction or explanation of who the "he" I am referring to is. If you don't know who that is in the picture or what he is doing, click exit on your internet browser and go read a book.

Michael Jordan enters the hall of fame this week!

In celebration of Michael Jordan entering the Hall of Fame this week, Page 3 is changing out top banner as well as posting a bunch of stuff in review of Mike's career. Celebrate with us as the Greatest Basketball Player who ever lived gets his due Sept. 11.

-Page 3 Staff

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inspirational Images:Hakim Warrick gets the ROYAL treament.

"We have no right to ask when sorrow comes, "Why did this happen to me?" unless we ask the same question for every moment of happiness that comes our way." ~Author Unknown

"I knew that with all the good of being a possible NBA draft choice and a great defensive player Karma would (voice muffled) catch up sometime."
~Royal Ivey

One of my all time favorite "dunked on" plays. Hardly anyone remembers that it didn't count and that Warrick was assessed a charge for it. Doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Both these guys made the league, and both have money so I am sure it is easier to look back on now, but for a while, this was one of the worst College Dunks, in history. Truly a jaw dropping (pun intended) play from Warrick. Context: Final Four, Sycrause vs. Texas, and Royal Ivey is the only one left baseline under the basket.

So nasty it gets unprecedented treatment with a bonus alternate angle photo:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The People (of God?) vs. PJ Morton

I don't write much about music on this blog. Well, I guess that's a bit disingenuous...


I don't write MUCH on this blog.

Because of that, I guess that many of my interests and favorites aren't ever brought up much.

If you do know me personally, though, you know that I love music. And not that excrement they pump sonically through the radio. I mean MUSIC. At first I really only listened to gospel. Then for about a semester (after rooming with co-blogger Steven LaiHing), I surrendered to the depths of hell and embarked on a journey into rap music and hip hop.

(lol just kidding Steve. I actually did enjoy some of what I heard. I still have to pray for strength to not set Tupac's "When We Ride on Our Enemies" as my alarm some mornings...)

Anyway, over the last 7 years I have forayed into just about every genre, listened to everything at least once or twice, and really expanded my own knowledge and perspective on what music actually IS.

That's why, when I finished wandering across the musical landscape, my heart and mind returned to two genres: gospel music and R&B.

For that reason, PJ Morton is one of my favorite artists. To keep the background brief, he is the son of two pastors, Bishops Paul and Debra Morton, who also are recording artists. So PJ was raised both in the church and in the music biz. He started a group called "Freestyle Nation," who I actually saw perform at Madison Mission in 2003, and from the beginning his songs and themes were different than the big-choir church music his parents performed. His music was not widely accepted in the church.

Six years later, PJ is on the cusp of a breakout as an artist. He is performing for packed audiences and getting invited to perform across the country.

Only problem he is considered a secular artist. His style, musical content, and overall goals haven't changed. He even won a Stellar award for "Song of the Year" in 2008, so his ties to gospel haven't been broken. But he tours as all other soul/R&B musicians do these days, sometimes in concert halls, sometimes in clubs.

So apparently within the last week, CNN actually contributed a segment to this debate, discussing PJ, his book "Why Can't I Sing About Love?", and the debate surrounding his "secular" music career. The segment flashes between PJ explaining his stance and Tye Tribbett offering the opposing perspective. You can watch the video here.

After watching that video, as well as PJ's response to the segment on YouTube, I felt a lot more passionate about this subject than I had expected to. I actually ended up writing an enormous comment to post on YouTube (and I have NEVER posted a comment on a video before). The comment was so enormous that, in fact, it was too big to even post on YouTube. So I ended up just sending it straight to PJ's account. There's a major chance that he never ends up reading it, but either way I had to at least put it out there.

So here is the message I sent. As a disclaimer before the disclaimer, I was writing a message with YouTube in mind, so my shifts in conversation between speaking generally and speaking to PJ specifically were supposed to make sense in that context. In this one...not so much. So just bear with

This was what i sent to a friend, and then i fixed it up for YouTube, but then realized it was too big to post, so...yeah, here you go.

PJ, I agree with you AND Tye in this situation. FIRST off, if the debate is about only writing songs about Jesus then Tye really needs to be more introspective, because nothing about "Good in the Hood" was edifying Christ! But honestly I don't even think that Tye is attacking PJ's situation. When Tye & GA were in the secular world they were there as vocalists and background performers, and they had to follow the lead of whatever the artists were doing, in the way they lived and the songs they sang. PJ is a lead artist who controls his own songs, the lifestyle he lives on the road, the places he will and won't perform, and every other aspect of his career/ministry. So whereas I agree with Tye (and the Bible) that "no man can serve two masters," I think that in his secular experience Tye DID serve two masters, whereas PJ is on a path that, I believe through my own experience with his music, is both God-led and God-inspired.
In my humble opinion, PJ is a CHRISTIAN artist. He reflects Christian principles in his music. A LOT of artists within the genre of "gospel music" perform songs that are less about Jesus and really more about Christian themes and Christian life like PJ's music (Examples: Mary Mary, Kierra Sheard, Karen Clark, Deitrick Hadden, Kirk Franklin, J Moss, etc). So I can't understand why GOSPEL artists get so much leeway in what they can and can't perform, but then a Christian artist who presents a message in seemingly every song is seen as being "out there" or "out of God's will." I think we need to think about this a little bit...
Lastly, here's what I suggest we fix: instead of calling BLACK church music "Gospel" and WHITE church music "Christian" (and yes it's true, check iTunes, Amazon, wherever you want!), why don't we stop defining ourselves and our music by race? We can call songs about Jesus "Gospel music" and songs that exemplify the principles of godly living "Christian music". Then PJ wouldn't have to call himself R&B at all.
But then again, until we stop treating love as a secular principle (1 Cor 13), we are just sounding brass and tinkling cymbals anyway. I'm 25 years old, and it's time to "put away childish things" that way of thinking.
PJ, just know that the good folk in Dallas are supporting and praying for your ministry. I Lol or whatever they wanna let you call it! God bless.
So what do you think on this issue? Hit the comments section, tell me I'm stupid, whatever you desire. Hopefully this debate will lead to positive changes within the gospel music industry. What those changes are, I guess, is what remains to be seen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Inspirational Images: Shawn Kemp has a moment with Dennis Rodman

"A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than a giant himself."

"A Power Forward sitting on the shoulders of a defender may see farther downcourt than the defender himself."
Shawn Kemp

Sorry I was late this week folks, I didn't realize it until 5 minutes ago. For some context: 1996 NBA Finals, game 4, 2:00 left in the 3rd quarter. Seattle leads Chicago 73-57. Isoed on the baseline. Shawn Kemp gives Dennis Rodman a nauseous spin move, and Rodman follows him under the basket to challenge, ending with Kemp hanging...well just look at the pic!! One of the best Finals Dunks in NBA History. Here's the Video for those that care.

"KEMP WITH THE REVERSE!! And lands on Rodman, and is enjoying it!"
Marv Albert

Friday, August 14, 2009

My stance on Mike Vick/PETA. Enough is enough.

*Make sure you vote on the poll question!*
OK. I promised myself I wouldn't get involved with this entire Mike Vick mess, but now it's struck a nerve with me after months and months of absorbing all the media coverage and comments from Animal Lovers and Peta supporters. I'm making a stand here. Mike Vick paid back society for his crime, and I am happy that he is getting another chance to play football. There. I said it. Here is the PETA statement released after Mike Vick was signed by the Eagles:

PETA and millions of decent football fans around the world are disappointed that the Philadelphia Eagles have chosen to sign a man who hanged dogs from trees, electrocuted them with jumper cables, held them underwater until they drowned in his swimming pool, and even threw his own family dogs into the fighting pit to be torn to shreds while he laughed. What sort of message does this send to young fans who care about animals and don't want to see them be harmed?

PETA certainly hopes that Vick has learned his lesson and feels truly remorseful for his crimes—but since he's given no public indication that that's the case, only time will tell. At this point, all Eagles fans can do is cross their fingers and hope that they won't ever have to explain to their sons and daughters what a "rape rack" is and why their favorite player was using one, as Falcons fans once had to.

Interestingly enough, the statement read on ESPN is exactly like this, except for the last "rape rack" line. ESPN apparently chose not to read it on the air (?). Here is my thing, and my major issue with PETA's involvement/responses.

PETA takes the stance that a

Human life is the equivalent (or less, depending on the wacko you are talking to) then an animal life. This includes fish ( they call them sea kittens!), dogs, cats, pigs (which according to a flier here on campus, are smarter then dogs and human toddlers), flies and even ants (!). I simply do NOT agree. If it was between my girlfriend Ebony dying or her beautiful purebred yorkie (see pic below), well Felicity, you had a good run. And it would be an easy decision. I will always place Humans and their welfare on a

higher rung of my personal priorities then an animal. Sorry. I guess it goes back to even Creation, where Christians believe that humans were "given dominion over them" them being nature and animals.

My issue #2: No where in the constitution or in society is it stated or given that someone who makes a mistake of this nature cannot have a second chance. People do prison time for murder, get out, and (although difficult) find jobs. Same for manslaughter, robbery, and DUI. Are we saying as a society that DUI which ends in the KILLING of a human being (Stallworth, and others) is NOT as bad as killing and torturing animals, and running a kennel/illegal gambling ring? Both times required horrible decisions on the part of the perpetrator to be made. Both showed a lack of respect for life, one human, one animals. Both are frowned upon legally. And even with that said, as bad as both crimes are, I just don't see the correlation. From a technical standpoint, dogs have a lifetime of what, 20 years max? They bring joy and love to families as well as protection. Well what does a human do?! I like to think I will live 70 years or longer, and that I have brought joy and love to my family, as well as some protection to my girlfriend by my presence. THEY AREN'T EQUIVALENT.

I have read the comments posted on the official PETA blog, and some of them are sick too. " I hope he never has happiness?" "He doesn't deserve to LIVE?" "He is SCUM of the EARTH?" I think this takes it a little far. Though I actually would have no problem with Vick sitting down for a Psych evaluation just to see what the results were from a scientific perspective, I have reached the end of my rope when it comes to catering to these special interest groups. They are trying to hold the NFL, Mike Vick, and other fans as hostage until we get rid of Mike Vick from society, That cannot happen. They question "What will this teach our kids about animal abuse?" Well, my humble answer is that it will teach them that it is wrong on a moral and legal level, BUT if you are a world class athlete (or have any valuable job skills of any kind) after you pay your debt to society SOMEONE will want you. In other words, better yourself, and become the best at whatever it is you do. Why is it ok for Mike to suffer through JAIL, loss of of his fortune, and now have his first love (football) taken away, yet for other worse crimes, people talk about how it's rough they can't find work post-prison? I have arrived at the point that I feel PETA will NEVER be happy or pacified as to Michael Vick's presence in the NFL, and they will do everything in their power to disrupt games, practices, and fiscal developments with the NFL and the Eagles. I support the Eagles making this decision, and hope it doesn't cost them to many sponsorships who kowtow to this fringe element. Michael Vick deserves to be allowed the opportunity to find work in a field of his choice, outside of anything to do with dogs. He was approached by a business interested in his talents, and he signed. Deal with it. Boo him. But don't do anything crazy, it won't bring anymore positive press to your cause/organization. It's reputation is pretty bad as it is.