I've heard a number of sports analysts talk about what Phil Jackson said recently regarding LeBron James reaction to the use of the word "Posse" & whether or not the use of that word in relation to LeBron's business friends in his inner circle means that Jackson is now a racist in this 3 time NBA Champion's eyes. To me, posse has no negative, derogatory connotation to it historically speaking. It's not the equivalent of saying using the N word at all. Let's examine how the term is defined in the dictionary shall we...
Posse: 1. A group of people who were gathered together by a local sheriff in the wild west to help search for a criminal or somebody on the run. 2. A search party. 3. A select group of friends, associates, or a traveling entourage that has your back no matter what regardless of the situation at hand. A posse according to these definitions makes no distinctions for race or even gender correct?
Did you ever see the Clint Eastwood movie "Pale Rider" released by Warner Brothers Studios in 1985? That to me is what a posse more closely represents in the context of human history. A rich business tycoon who pays a gang of mercenaries to murder legal settlers for their property so that the wealthy man can steal their gold & line his own pockets accumulating greater personal fortune at the expense of any man's bloodshed without having to get his own hands dirty. Technically, this version of a posse that sells their services to the highest bidder speaks more to corruption than in your face discrimination.
Here is a clip I saw on "Undisputed" yesterday discussing this controversy...
From my vantage point, all Phil Jackson was really saying is that LeBron can't surround himself with friends who handle all your daily duties for you because part of growing up is dealing with your own obligations entirely on your own & a fleet of yes men around you tends to keep superstar athletes in a bubble, which isn't always a good thing in the long run. I'm not referring to a personal assistant or 2 here. I just mean that a bunch of childhood friends now handsomely paid to solve problems for you at every turn can be a hinderance down the road. Phil Jackson never attacked LeBron's skills on the court, his intelligence, or claimed that his business partners were up to no good.
I like what Joy, the moderator on Undisputed said in reference to this discussion...
The term posse is not a racist term at all & LeBron needs to lighten up & realize that in the grand scheme of things his friction with Jackson is a complete waste of his time & energy moving forward. I was born with a disability called Cerebral Palsy & I am not fond of the word crippled when describing my condition. Now, if somebody uses that term in my presence do I ridicule them loudly for using that word? No, I take into account how old they are, when they grew up, & I politely encourage them not to use crippled when describing people in wheelchairs or individuals using forearm crutches or prosthetic limbs. I don't blow up at them or assume they are being viciously cruel on purpose. LeBron James is way off base claiming Phil Jackson is a racist in my opinion simply because he referred to his business partners as a posse.
Posse usually refers to a group of friends who hang out together & enjoy each other's company. How in the word is that a racist phenomenon? Okay, it can refer to a security detail that protects a celebrity from harm in the public sure. But again LeBron, how is that racist? It's not. Have you ever seen the 1993 film 'Posse' directed by a black man named Mario Van Peebles? Is he racially insensitive too? Just curious.
When 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first made the decision to sit during the Natl. Anthem, I was not happy. Part of my frustration was due to fact that my father served in Korea as a med tech & historically speaking the Korean War is viewed more as a police action then a national conflict like World War I or World War II is. It is also referred to as the 'Forgotten War' meaning that veterans who served there are not fully appreciated for the sacrifices they made serving overseas away from their family & friends. In addition, I failed to see how Colin Kaepernick took it upon himself to be the spokesman for police brutality in the 21 Century, especially now as the backup quarterback vs starting face of the franchise quarterback in San Francisco. Third, Colin Kaepernick was making this display of peaceful, civil defiance not in civilian street clothes, but in his NFL uniform. A huge no no in my book.
Do you remember when HOF pass rusher Reggie White who was also a minister spoke against the same sex lifestyle as a retired player wearing his #92 Green Bay jersey? Aside from a person's religious, spiritual, or even agnostic beliefs in general, it is not my place to tell anyone how to lead their private lives. My biggest pet peeve with what Mr. White did is this: By wearing a Packers jersey from the NFL team that he won a SB ring with, Reggie blurred the line between religion in his pulpit capacity with indirectly associating the Green Bay franchise with the notion that this organization endorsed or condoned discriminating against people who just happened to be gay or lesbian themselves. So, when Colin Kaepernick decided either to not stand or kneel during the signing of the National Anthem in his NFL uniform, he was disrespecting John York, the owner of the 49ers who cuts his check, pays his salary, & provides Colin a darn good standard of living. He is creating the false impression that Mr. York on company time approves of this continued act of defiance on a repeated basis. When an employer provides their employee an income to purchase a home, a car, food, & a disposable income to travel, buy nice things, help family members out financially, & have a girlfriend & a social life away from football; Colin Kaepernick should know that there is a difference between company expectations & doing whatever you want on your own time when the regular season isn't taking place. Colin's boss may not cosign everything Kaep does while wearing the burgundy & gold uniform right before a game is about to start, which is why he is actually being paid.
There is nothing wrong with bringing a heightened sense of awareness against police brutality across America just don't use your employers uniform in order to spread possible solutions to ending unnecessary violence, fostering more community policing vs racial profiling & stop & frisk practices, & holding dirty & racist police officers accountable when they cross that line & murder a black man or woman in cold blood.
There is definitely a double standard when it comes to pulling over a black driver vs a caucasian driver in this country. Now, I am not saying that all police officers are up to no good or use excessive force on purpose getting intoxicated with the power & the authority that a badge & firearm may give them. There are a number of fine upstanding cops out there. All I'm saying is this: Most parents of white children with drivers licenses don't have to tell their offspring to lower all their windows, place their hands visibly on the steering wheel making no sudden or abrupt movements, speak in short, respectful sentences to the police showing no rebellious tone in your voice; & concluding their interaction in one peace meaning not secretly fearing that they are about to be unlawfully incarcerated, beaten, or shot. White children 16-18 don't usually worry about their world being flipped upside down if they mouth off to a cop or decide to argue over how fast they were going when they were pulled over & the red sirens got turned on. They just don't. My oldest nephew got pulled over for transporting illegal narcotics across state lines & I wonder to myself if the driver had been my black cousin instead of my white nephew would he be dead right now? I already know the answer to this question & it infuriates me because skin color shouldn't matter one darn bit but I know how the real world works sadly.
Getting back to Colin Kaepernick, is there credence to the fact that Colin started this whole red, white, & blue movement against police brutality as the 2nd string QB as opposed to the starter right now? Well, the NFL is consumed with production on the field week in week out & the league runs away from anyone or anything controversial because it doesn't wanna lose millions from sponsors as a wholesome, family friendly entertainment. Or is this just a publicity stunt by a man who isn't what he once was on a football field anymore & Colin just did this to make himself a household name off the field & become a celebrity that way? I think Colin Kaepernick genuinely believes in what he is doing & he is sincere promising to give $1,000,000 of his salary to charity designed to curb police violence. However, the reason we even know who Colin is is due to his SB appearance vs the Ravens in New Orleans during the 2012 season. So, if Kaep is no longer affiliated with the Niners anymore or any other team after this year; will we even care anymore? Probably not.
My primary thesis here is this: When you are in company clothes on company time as a 49er QB, you don't have a right to use your uniform as a tool or mechanism to propel a personal issue forward. In blue jeans & a t-shirt or tie away from the football facility, Colin can endorse whatever cause or movement he wants. The difference here is that your boss may not want his logo & brand name attached to everything their field general says off the field. Now, I know what you're thinking. The NFL endorses play 60. Is it the league's business to start a campaign on TV inferring that my teenage kid is fat, lethargic, eats to many candy bars & needs to exercise more? Not really. Or what about Habitat For Humanities building homes for low income people or making homes handicap accessible for Disabled Veterans returning home from War? Isn't this an example of participating in activities that transcend football as a game & improve a community for the better? Okay sure, when you put it like that, it's easy to make the case that this act of Natl. Anthem defiance is just a way to keep black men & women alive by keeping families intact & alive. Therefore, promoting protection & self worth in local communities across America. However, can't the same platform be propelled forward by Colin Kaepernick in street clothes outside his 49ers uniform? It's not people won't know who Kaep is without his uniform & pads on man. Just like everybody who knew who Reggie White without his Packers uniform on.
Thanks for listening. I appreciate it. It's cathartic just to write about provocative current events like this for me.
Now, I wanted to examine overwhelming themes in the ESPN documentary. Identity affiliation, the quest for fame & fortune, domestic violence & a distorted view of love, & the perception of 'To Protect & To Serve' in the LAPD from the perspective of the black community.
Back in 1968, when OJ won the Heisman Trophy at USC; Mr. Simpson made a choice to ingratiate himself with white alumni & rich people with a connection to the university since OJ had no desire to be considered controversial. Comedian Bob Hope even said this at a function with Simpson in attendance: "I want to congratulate OJ on not having participated in or had a riot, a demonstration, or even a sit-in while he was there." OJ had no inkling to associate himself with say the Black Panther Movement, taking a stand against the Vietnam War, or ending the practice of segregation or police harassment in this country against African Americans who sought equal housing rights, voting rights, & employment rights among their contemporaries. OJ merely wanted to lay low, not ruffle any feathers, & make millions of dollars in corporate America pitching Chevy trucks, mainstream soda pop, & rental cars. He saw himself as white not black because he surrounded himself or immersed himself really with caucasian entrepreneurs & leaders of business, industry, & entertainment. By 1994, OJ completely underwent a total reversal of loyalty. On trial for double murder, OJ & his legal team under the stewardship of Johnny Cochran appealed to black jurors as means to appear the victim of a corrupt & brutal police force under the biased eye of Detective Mark Fuhrman driven to frame him. What's funny here is that until OJ was undergoing jury selection protocols for sympathetic candidates who would rule in his favor; OJ wanted nothing to do with the black community at large. During the documentary, Simpson said to his defense team "if this [largely black] jury convicts me of murder, then maybe I did do it." Remember, back when heavy weight boxing champion Muhammad Ali chose to not fight in South East Asia in the 60's, OJ wanted nothing to do with supporting any civil rights gesture of defiance.
The problem with fame & money is this: After awhile your clout & celebrity status tends to go to your head & you're not careful, your inflated ego gives you a sense of entitlement. And often that enormous sense of entitlement creates a dangerous situation where the word no is not part of your vocabulary. You take what you want when you want it, even if that means domestic violence & physical & psychological abuse toward a woman [Nicole Brown] that Simpson supposedly loved. In Part 3, of this 10 hour miniseries that lasts 463 minutes in duration, we learn that OJ often stalked Nicole hiding in the bushes outside watching other men have sex with his estranged wife because he was very possessive of her. In addition, as you listen to frantic 911 phone calls to emergency operators in 1993, it becomes abundantly clear that Nicole feared for her life & the safety of her children Sydney & Justin. We see diary entries on screen where Nicole reveals that other men made her feel beautiful & safe while OJ just insults her, demeans her, beats her, & forces himself upon her when he feels like it. When Nicole screams & shouts he's gotta get off the phone or he will hit her again, we feel her anxiety. That's the thing about abusers: They get excited where their victim is terrified because it's all about dominance & control it's not even about intercourse. They wanna call all the shots & be in complete control 24/7. And, to the abuser, everything revolves around them. How you don't appreciate everything they do to provide for the family financially & it's okay for them to cheat with other partners socially, but if the victim leaves the home & starts romantic relationships with other men, then they are falsely labeled promiscuous, a sexual deviant, not a good mother to their kids, & disrespecting him, the habitual abuser & playboy.
As I listened to Nicole petrified on the phone after cops had been called to the Simpson estate over 8 times for domestic violence with no arrest of OJ in custody in the early 90's prior to the trial, it dawned on me how domestic violence calls are like morse code. Here's what I mean: If you feel relaxed, happy, & safe, you tend to laugh, joke around, & embellish stories. But if you are scared, on edge, & think your life is going to end any moment at the hands of an abuser: Your sentences are very short & direct, you go into survival & preservation mode, & all you care about is the welfare of your children & somehow showing them that there is nothing to be afraid of like momma bear; security blanket mode.
Once the not guilty verdict was handed down in the double murder case, a division transpired between 2 communities. Whites were stunned & in widespread disbelief that OJ got off scot free when OJ kept coming up with different excuses as to how he cut his finger. A broken glass in Chicago, a golfing mishap, or dropping his cell phone injury. Nobody bought Simpson's hotline to find the real killers of his wife either. Plus, the DNA evidence appeared to be overwhelming in the white bronco, on the scene, & the gloves Nicole purchased for him 1 Christmas where only a limited number had been sold on the west coast in that specific style. Whereas, several members in the black community felt that OJ Simpson was to be celebrated because he played the white man's legal system & beat them at their own game claiming that Mr. Fuhrman tried to almost legally entrap him. One prominent civil rights leader even said "now you know how it feels" [to be mistreated by the police white america]. I understand the wear & tear of being perceived as a 2nd class citizen by some authority figures in this world. I truly do. However, cases are supposed to be judged on their individual merits based on the facts in just that case alone. Perceptions can be different based on backgrounds & how you grew up sure, but it's never a good idea to use a murder case to rewrite or re-litigate race relations for an entire country especially using revenge as the sole reason for jury nullification. That's exactly what happened too. Jurors were angry that officers who beat Rodney King were absolved of all wrongdoing, rightly so I might add, so they decided to not deliberate & instead, use their nationwide platform to level the playing field of gross injustice in their eyes by basically pardoning OJ Simpson from any wrongdoing.
Look, I'm not here to point fingers or blame a societies rifts on 1 race or another. I just want black people & white people to feel safe & respected in the communities where they live. I may understand the trials & tribulations of every minority in America but I'm willing to listen, question any blind prejudices I might have, & try to change my way of thinking while walking in somebody else's shoes for awhile. Always remembering to not condemn what I might I might not fully grasp outright & don't forget that the world doesn't operate in absolutes, but rather in nuance & following the golden rule: Treat others how you wanna be treated yourself.
All lives matter. I care about black citizens feeling safe, respected, & protected just like I do decent law enforcement officers who are entitled to the same courtesy. Director Ezra Edelman deserves an A+ for her outstanding 5 part miniseries broken down into 2 hour viewing blocks called OJ Made In America. This film showed how far we've come as a society & sadly how far we have yet to go. On the 1 hand, it's nice to see interracial couples accepted into mainstream society as normal with no distinctions or negative stigmas attached to it, but on the other hand, love is not shown thru a furious fist & law enforcement personnel need to engage in a stronger community presence where they are seen as treating all citizens with respect so that when a catastrophe does occur like say a tornado or a home fire; everyone living in a city looks for what brings us together as opposed to what may fracture & sever our longterm bonds.
This video by Van Halen called "Don't Tell What Love Can Do" was released during the OJ Simpson Trial highlighting the dangers of domestic violence & that we can never ignore it or turn a blind to it when we see it. I always think of Nicole Brown whenever I watch it.
I'm also reminded of a TV commercial I saw once where a couple in reading in bed while they hear a women screaming thru the wall next door. We can tell the woman is being violently abused. On the couples night stand, there is a lamp & a telephone. They look at each other & we think the husband is going to call 911 & save his neighbor's life, but instead, he just turns out the light & goes to sleep. In big white letters, the screen says "IT IS YOUR BUSINESS." Wow, I was blown away how effective that advertisement really was.
We will now continue to explore the 2016 ESPN documentary. Judge Lance Ito proceeds to let the jury take a field trip to O.J.'s house. Why still perplexes me since all the scientific evidence from both murder victims would have already been photographed, collected, & placed in the relevant store facility for trial purposes. Yes, I know. The defense claimed that police officers & detectives on the scene mishandled blood & hair samples, were sloppy in how they preserved & cataloged what they found, & that DNA testing & forensic science in general was new, foreign, & untrustworthy as a tool that could determine who the alleged killer of Ron Goldman & Nicole Brown truly was with absolute certainty. Well, before the jurors arrived Carl Douglas & other members of the Cochran Dream team went through OJ's residence removing or thinning out all the pictures of white executives & prominent friends on his walls. They needed to make Simpson appear more culturally diverse to a number of black citizens in the jury box so the dream team preceded to put up more pictures that would make OJ more sympathetic to African American culture. I wasn't offended by this act too much since lawyers on the defense are being paid to do whatever they can to make their client more everyman in appearance & elicit favor with the community who can get you an acquittal. Fat pocket buys celebrities the best representation possible. Justice is based on fairness not necessarily a limitation on the size of their client's wallet.
The duration of the trial lasted 9 months & something like 267 days. That's a long time to be sequestered, isolated, & quarantined in a hotel room with no newspaper or current events TV coverage. When both the prosecution & the defense rested their case, it was time for the jury to deliberate over a mountain of physical evidence. Marcia Clark was confident that OJ would be convicted because the white bronco had blood everywhere indicating matches for Nicole, Ron, & OJ presumably under a special black light since a person can't eliminate all traces of DNA no matter how hard they clean & scrub. In addition, during the bronco chase/diplomatic police motorcade escort, OJ refused to turn himself into the LAPD peacefully as previously arranged by Robert Shapiro, he took $10,000 with him, & low & behold a passport. So, let's review shall we: Simpson is now a fugitive from the law, has a large amount of bills on him, & passports usually allow you to leave the United States & go to a country with no extradition treaty in practice. Oh yeah, I almost forgot he's suicidal pointing a gun to his temple. Now, does sound like a stable, innocent man of sound mind & body with all his mental facilities operating on all cylinders to you? Hmmm...
Deliberations ended in like 3 hours with a decision of a complete acquittal. Wait. What? How seriously did these jurors take their responsibility? 1 juror named Yolanda Crawford claimed that she just wanted to go home & that freeing OJ was payback for the Rodney King beating. Whoa. So, black jurors were compelled to release OJ from federal prison in CA as a means of revenge for decades of mistreatment by the LAPD? Seriously? Not all white citizens thought Rodney King deserved to get beaten & they wanted a minimum of 30 yr. prison sentences on the 4 white cops that committed assault & battery nearly killing a black man. I was one of those people & I'm sure I wasn't alone in that assertion either.
I remember when I heard the verdict. I was like what just happened? Did they say what I just thought they said? What? Okay, I get that Mark Fuhrman is a racist, but do you know how enormous of a conspiracy there would have to be across the entire LAPD to frame a HOF RB from the Buffalo Bills? It would require cops, coroners, district attorneys, DNA experts, property clerks, & detectives all working in concert with each other always knowing what the other personnel are doing in order to avoid an appearance of impropriety, fraud, & corruption during a fluid & ever twisting trial dynamic. That's like a billion to 1 odds. To quote Jim Carrey from the movie 'Dumb & Dumber,' "so you're telling me there's a chance?" Look, I know excessive brutality & harassment takes place when black people sometimes get pulled over by the police because I've seen in 2nd hand with black relatives driving their cars while I sit shotgun in the passenger seat. However, OJ Simpson is not the perfect candidate to prop up as the poster child for representing the plight of all African American citizens tormented & tortured by cruel & vindictive police officers drunk with power. I don't expect celebrities or famous people to be saints, but I would prefer it if icons of society didn't routinely beat the mother of their children, show up at their spouse's wake, & only give a darn about their own ego, popularity, & immediate self gratification since they believe ordinary codes of conduct & decency don't really apply to them.
My roommate in college at the time in the dorms was named Al. Al was an Oneida Indian & he and I often had insightful discussions about race relations as a minority. Al as a Native American & me as a person born with a disability. We would often talk about discrimination we'd experience in our lives growing up & we established a comfort zone with each other where we could ask each other anything because we knew it was meant to learn & expand our knowledge not belittle, mock, slam, & condemn. We both knew OJ had a tremendous ego who used his glory days in football to get women, sex, money, power, & influence. We also knew OJ was very possessive of his image, his brand, & his girlfriends. They were his property & they didn't a right to resist whatever they wanted him to do. If they do, there would be black & blue consequences for Nicole Brown.
The irony is that from 1966-1994, OJ attached himself completely to white America. However, from 1994-2007, OJ attached himself to the black community since corporate america had cut him off from the world of Naked Gun comedy movies & Hertz Rental Car spokesman permanently now. It's strange to watch a needy man in Simpson craving to be beloved by the white masses roll his preferences toward a new community he previously ignored & viewed with contempt & that was only because black citizens put him on a pedestal for getting an acquittal in an era of police unrest & tension on a wide scale.
The people are really have empathy for are Fred & Kim Goldman, the father who lost his only son & the sister who lost her brother. Ron's death get's overshadowed by OJ's popularity/smugness & Nicole's struggles with domestic violence courtesy of Mr. Simpson. Ron is treated like an afterthought. He was planning on opening his own restaurant & he was even doing a good deed [dropping off glasses for Nicole's mother] & unfortunately was stabbed to death because of it. Later on, we learn that OJ left CA for FL where he relocated to South Beach, bought a house, enjoyed a vivid nightlife, & became decadent taking drugs & sleeping with several women. Fred Goldman slowed down this gigolo like lifestyle by suing OJ in civil court where the burden of proof is significantly lower than criminal court. This jury found Simpson guilty of double murder, awarded the Goldman's a $33,000,000 dollar settlement for pain & suffering, & could start selling possessions of OJ's into order to fulfill the terms of the settlement. OJ even attempted to publish a fictional book called If I Did It hypothetically describing how he allegedly committed these double murders. Sick man. Just sick. First, OJ claims he's innocent & now he desecrates the memory of the mother of his children Justin & Sydney. Unbelievable. SMH.
I was disturbed by a radio interview OJ did in Florida with a black, female DJ where by the end of the conversation this woman is flirting with Mr. Simpson. She's smitten with a double murder for crying out loud. Grr! I realize con artists & cold blooded killers can lay on the charm quite thick but come on lady. It's like befriending a convicted pedephile; you just don't do it period. Funny how after OJ lost his civil trial no large crowds of free Simpson supporters showed up or even rallied around "the juice" after that. OJ did have gang bangers come to his defense, but that's about it.
In 2007, 13 yrs after the murder trial, OJ Simpson got busted in LA for stealing his own memorabilia in a hotel room at gunpoint. I laughed my caboose off when he stood before a magistrate in Nevada. I said out loud when the story broke on TV, "Hey there OJ., Karma is a [rhymes with witch] eh juice!" LOL! Bye Bye Mr. Simpson. Actually, he stole Pete Rose & Joe Montana stuff too. Also, OJ didn't own anything he took in that room since dealers already paid him years ago for his signature so they could turn a profit. So OJ gets charged with robbery & kidnapping 4 people at gunpoint. My, my, my, how the once mighty have fallen eh?
It ticked me off how Marcia Clark working as a journalist for Entertainment Tonight covering OJ in Nevada said that the civil case attorneys presented the same case her team did in CA. Shut up Marcia. You don't get to ride these new coattails to glory lady because I'm sure they never put a racist cop under oath or try on any gloves so zip it please. SMH. She doesn't deserve to be rich & famous after her debacle back in 1994. I truly loathe this woman. She screws up primary witness testimony in not vetting Mark Fuhrman, loses a case with a mountain of physical evidence in it, & she acts like she was awarded a not guilty verdict. Grr!
I also find it to be a weird coincidence that Johnny Cochran defended both Michael Jackson & OJ Simpson 2 iconic celebrities who both made a conscious decision to flee from their African American roots &, in their eyes, embrace the white community full throttle. 2 men with gigantic identity crisis issues IMO.
Made In America was a groundbreaking documentary because it proves that money can't buy love or universal acceptance among the masses. I do wonder if Sydney & Justin reached out to Denise, Nicole's Brown's sister, to reconnect with the Brown Family after their dad went away to prison for 33 yrs though.
I just finished watching this remarkable documentary on OJ Simpson AKA "The Juice" from his college days at USC [University Of Southern California], through the double murder trial of Nicole Brown & Ron Goldman, & finally his downfall when he attempted to steal his own memorabilia back at gunpoint. I tried to watch this miniseries previously on my DVR, but an intense thunderstorm prevented me from seeing the whole program in it's entirety. Fortunately for me, the whole documentary was run yesterday morning & afternoon so I received the historical context I needed & I was pleased to watch it with no interruptions or technical difficulties.
The 1st thing that shocked me was how OJ Simpson didn't perceive himself as a black man while being a superstar running back at USC. Now, maybe part of was that OJ was attending school in Hollywood, CA the land of celebrities & movie stars. It's easy to see how an incredible athlete would be seduced by fame, the limelight, motion picture actors who were alumni of USC; & how being surrounded by white people everyday of your university existence might persuade to be-friend this affluent community of movers & shakers almost immediately to rise above your poverty stricken humble beginning & improve your lot in life for a better financial future. According to the documentary, OJ wanted to transcend race & make a name for himself by becoming wealthy & famous while at the same time ejecting his biological, black background totally. Being driven to become famous & live in the lap of luxury is perfectly fine. There's no problem there except for 1 thing: You can't abandon your community, pop it like an unwanted zit, & pretend like the Watts riots in 1966 or police mistreatment of black citizens on the south side of the west coast wasn't happening or not even taking the time to care or educate yourself about it.
There's something troubling about a man who doesn't want anything to interfere with positive publicity OJ is receiving from white community power players in society because he can run really fast with a football scoring touchdowns while dark skinned individuals are being harassed, beaten, rounded up, sprayed with fire houses, & having German shepards lunge at innocent victims in an aggressive manner. Okay sure, OJ Simpson was a young college kid & perhaps expecting him to be a civil rights advocate or a Nelson Mandela in training is a tad bit unfair to an 18 year old man. However, as OJ grew older, he made a conscious decision, really a final decision, to attach himself to the white corporate america community in order to become filthy rich as the spokesman for Hertz Rental Car Co., RC Cola, & Chevrolet automobiles. He wanted to appear non-threatening to white America & the only way to do that was to steer clear of Mohammad Ali's controversy of dodging the draft, refusing to fight in South East Asia, & becoming a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. Ali said famously "No Vietcong [citizen] ever called me the N word; Why would I wanna fight them?" OJ wanted to shy away from anything like this. Any move or gesture that associated him with radical tendencies or alliances Simpson refused to touch because it might stand in the way of the almighty dollar or making money & living comfortably.
When we fast forward to the double murder trail & OJ gets arrested in 1994 on the grounds of his estate, he's surprised to see all the people & cameras assembled there & he says in the back seat of a squad car, "What are all these N words doing here?" My mouth dropped. OMG! He didn't just say what I think he did did he? I hit rewind on my DVR & sure enough he did. Whoa. I just sat there in silence for a moment. This man really believes he's above race literally. That is scary & delusional at the same time. It reminds me of when Tiger Woods said he wasn't black that he was Polynesian. Wait. What? Come on Tiger really? Stop playing semantics & being cute man. It's 1 thing to be embraced & accepted by more than 1 race or culture sure, but don't pretend that you can visibly deny your own identity Tiger & OJ. You're not fooling anybody except maybe yourself gentlemen.
Yet another thing I found peculiar is that jurors tended to idolize OJ in the courtroom. The found him sharply dressed, well groomed, good looking, & charismatic. Raving above his smile & how he flirted & waved back at them. Is part of the reason they acquitted him is because jurors felt that if we let him walk we'll get a taste of the good life ourselves thru book deals & tabloid TV appearances? It sure seems like it. Just because you claim OJ is not guilty on all murder charges, it doesn't mean you're part of OJ lavish lifestyle now you know. Has OJ expressed an gratitude to the jury for releasing him from prison at all? Did he offer to take them out to dinner say as a final thank you? Nope. And why did jurors not hold OJ's infidelity to Nicole & frequent domestic violence 911 calls against him? That just baffles me to this day.
The reaction to adding Cristopher Darden to Marcia Clark's prosecution team was hilarious to me. Here's what I mean: Carl Douglas on Johnny Cochran's Dream Team for the defense displayed a textbook case of reverse racism in this documentary when Darden became a member of the prosecution. Carl pretended to be so appalled that he was added to the opposition's ticket just to add a flavor of diversity & win points with the jury. Are you kidding me Carl with that fake outrage sir? Well, that's richly insincere when OJ your client wanted nothing to do with the black community until 1994 & now he wants to embrace the community he has shunned for years simply because a black jury pool might lead him to freedom huh? Or that the lead defense attorney shifted from a white Robert Shapiro to a well respected attorney in the black community named Johnny Cochran? Purely coincidental, I'm sure right? Chris Darden had it so tough man. He can't win in either community no matter what he does. If OJ got convicted for double murder, the black community views him as a traitor to their race & by losing; he takes heat because he worked for the enemy or white community that tried to take away a football god from the world. Chris also took unfair flack from Johnny when Cochran was expressing fake outrage over Darden's claim that derogatory use of the N word in open court would prevent jurors from looking just at the physical evidence accumulated against Simpson alone. And then Johnny turns the whole thrust of his case on a conspiracy of police brutality with Mark Fuhrman as the poster child for law enforcement bigotry because the detective who found the bloody glove frequently used the N word when interacting with black citizens on patrol in the Watts district.
Was Mark Fuhrman biased & racially insensitive to members of the African American community? Absolutely, he was. The man should have been fired from LAPD years before the OJ Trial saw the light of day man. Marcia Clark totally blew this case by letting him testify. What kind of detective doesn't pick up the glove without a partner present? You do this for another witness who can be sworn in under oath if you run into a problem with your star witness. Marcia Clark was so darn incompetent it's not even funny. What kind of chief prosecutor with experience didn't vet her main witness man? Grr! Gee, your guy hates black people & sues the city of Los Angeles over the stress of patrolling Watts & you Marcia feel no need to verify that fist? Hello! What a colossal bafoon you are Miss Clark. I'm still royally ticked off today over her gross trial mismanagement. If you didn't want Darden to have OJ try the gloves on, you put your foot down & say no. How hard is that? You're the chief prosecutor correct? SMH.
I did admire the fact that Mark Fuhrman did answer all questions posed to him during this miniseries though. He didn't tuck his tail & run. He's still racist but he deserves credit for facing the criticism music. I have to give him that.
I remember seeing the Rodney King beating on TV like yesterday. I was shocked & horrified at the same time. Jesus. Stop it! Nobody deserves being beaten within an inch of his life with nightsticks. He's darn near unconscious on the ground & multiple white cops claimed they feared for their lives. How?! They were the ones distributing unlawful & excessive punishment. So, Rodney is a threat bleeding & bruised on the ground? Are you kidding me? That's absurd man. And then, somehow 4 officers charged with excessive force get the location of the trial moved & they are acquitted? What the hades? The abuse is on tape man. I was furious. I truly was. I swear. Jury nullification pure & simple. A darn travesty.
I understood why Watts exploded again in 1992. Black men & women had reached the breaking point of being harassed by the LAPD, frequent choke holds being used to immobile, arrest, & terminate their lives as a means of containment. The Watts community just erupted in frustration & that frustration led to fires, rampant property damage, & explosions. So many in the white community asked why are they destroying everything where they live? How does that benefit them? The reason the African American community in Watts lashed out is that they were tired of being beaten, harassed, arrested, & killed with no justice in the eyes of the law. There isn't supposed to be a different set of rules & protections based on a person's gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or income level. And what's so outrageous is that when those 4 police officers were acquitted after beating Rodney King, many black citizens felt like their lives didn't matter because there were no repercussions for either excessive force or dehumanizing their race, culture, & daily existence.
I understand that there are good police officers out there. They aren't all Mark Fuhrmans. I just needed to say that.
I will continue my review of OJ Made In America later I promise. It just helps me to put my thoughts down on paper or online I guess for my own sanity & piece of mind.
In light of the legendary LB Junior Seau's suicide, the debate over numerous concussions & the side effects as a result of it later in life seems to have regained some fresh momentum again. Repeated trauma on the brain has led to a neurological diagnosis of CTE among the medical community. What exactly is this condition?
CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes (and others) with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including symptomatic concussions as well as asymptomatic subconcussive hits to the head. CTE has been known to affect boxers since the 1920s. However, recent reports have been published of neuropathologically confirmed CTE in retired professional football players and other athletes who have a history of repetitive brain trauma. This trauma triggers progressive degeneration of the brain tissue, including the build-up of an abnormal protein called tau. These changes in the brain can begin months, years, or even decades after the last brain trauma or end of active athletic involvement. The brain degeneration is associated with memory loss, confusion, sensitivity to bright lights, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, .depression, and, eventually, progressive dementia. Clinically, CTE is associated with memory disturbances, behavioral and personality changes, Parkinsonism, and speech and gait abnormalities. X-rays of deceased boxer & football players brains typically show " a mild yellow-brown discoloration in the leptomeninges over the temporal poles." See image found below:
CTE seems to be characterized by short term memory loss, depression, & a lack of impulse control caused by incessant blows to the head over a prolonged period of time. No known cure exists for this debilitating condition at this time.
Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall for the Chicago Bears recently published a article in the Chicago Sun Times on May 5, 2012 about the death of Junior Seau & how men are conditioned since birth to not display any emotions of fear, concern, or pain.
According to Marshall, "Li’l Johnny is outside playing and falls. His dad tells him to get up and be strong, to stop crying because men don’t cry...We are teaching our boys not to show weakness or share any feelings or emotions, other than to be strong and tough."
What do we do when Li’l Susie falls? We say: ‘‘It’s OK. I’m here. Let me pick you up.’’ That’s very validating, and it’s teaching our girls that expressing emotions is OK. We wonder why
it’s so hard to bridge the communication gap between men and women."
Can you imagine how this presents itself even more so in football players? "In sports, those who show they are hurt or have mental weakness or pain are told: ‘‘You’re not tough. You’re not a man. That’s not how the players before you did it...So your perception of a man or player gets distorted.’’
Brandon Marshall's over simplification of "male toughness" notwithstanding; His argument does carry some merit. You can't expect gridiron gladiators to simply flip the civilian switch when their professional playing days are over & done. They were paid handsomely for their aggression & now they are expected to integrate into peaceful society without therapy & mental help? A tall order indeed that often leads to self inflicted tragedy or bankruptcy for many household name athletes. Drug addiction to Human Growth Hormones & pain killers often surfaces with tragic results too for several NFL greats too.
New helmet advancements & CBA rule enhancements about safety are not enough. Cut through the red tape Commissioner Goodell & allow all former NFL players the physical & psychological help they desperately need without having to hire a lawyer to get the mandatory medical attention these players legitimately earned through years of blood, sweat, & hard work.
Since the NFL season is low key right now & entrenched in rookie player minicamps around the league, I figured why not write a non-related football blog just for pure entertainment value alone.
Recently, I just watched a film called "The People Vs. George Lucas" released in 2010 by Exhibit A Pictures.
The central thesis of the film is this: Billionaire George Lucas who vehemently fought motion picture studios to get Star Wars made according to his initial vision in the late 1970's has now become the very corporate and merchandising overlord he railed against in his young directing career. Fans who fell in love with this trilogy in their early adolescence are furious over the inability to gain access to the original film debuts they saw in the theater as a youth, the annoying introduction of Jar Jar Binks & the cry baby persona of Anakin Skywalker who evolves into a non menacing galactic villain Dark Vader in the prequels, and who has the real ownership of the Star Wars film saga and international cultural phenomenon? Director George Lucas alone or the National Film Archives and society at large.
George Lucas soon after from graduating from film school in CA wanted the freedom & independence to make the films he saw fit without corporate studio control & restrictions. Fox 20th Century Pictures gave Lucas that opportunity after the box office success of "American Graffiti." In 1977, Star Wars was a profitable smash worldwide. As part of the initial deal with Fox, Lucas retained all commercial merchandising rights for less directorial money outright. Those merchandising rights built Skywalker Ranch where all Lucas's films are now produced, made, and distributed. Lucas first preserved the original negative master reels and transferred them over digitally via his company Industrial Light and Magic [iLM]. To pay for the preservation process, Lucas re-released the original trilogy in theaters with updated scenes not seen before. Most fans who grew up watching the original films as a kid despised them with a passion. To them, the films were now ruined and forever tarnished. Most of the upgrades failed to move the story forward or significantly diluted or watered down a character's clever wit, charm, or menacing capabilities overall. Lucas felt the upgrades were his landmark vision alone and he refused to release any DVD set with the original film sequence debut. The irony here is that George Lucas joined a campaign to stop the colorization of classic black and white academy award winning films & yet he refuses to release the original trilogy as most fans fell in love with the story as they first saw it.
When I was a kid C3PO & R2D2 were the comedy relief of the original trilogy, they were designed to appeal to little kids. Jar Jar Binks, the giraffe like creature with Dumbo ears & a speech impediment, was created for the same purpose. Since when is clumsiness, incompetence, & a speaking disability funny? Lucas undoubtedly took screen writing classes & story boarding classes in film school why is he so horrible at it? Lucas cannot write dialog, create suspension & pacing, or effectively transition into foreshadowing. He is exceptional at special effects though.
Darth Vader as youth comes across as a naive, control freak, and colossal wuss. Yes, "absolute power corrupts absolutely" I know, but come on. Any control freak drunk with power is going to embrace his gifts & the dark side & not run away from it. The best villains are always psychotic, demented, & see the world slightly askew & off center. They don't scream "NO!!!" when they hear that their girlfriend dies IMO. So pathetic & childish... They go on a murderous binge of mayhem & destruction.
Since Star Wars is so engrained in our contemporary culture with phrases like "May The Force Be With You" "Luke I'm Your Father" or "It is Your Destiny," wouldn't you think that George Lucas would abide by the wishes of the fanbase that made him a wealthy man & release the original, unaltered trilogy? The 1977 release won academy awards for special effects do you want to dishonor the memory of the men & women who won that trophy too & made Star Wars a household name around the globe? Lucas claims to have cut the original negative & destroyed it once the digital restoration was completed. Are you bleeping kidding me George?!!! As an archivist myself, you preserve the original medium & format at all costs. You never discard it ever. For a man who spoke eloquently about preserving black & white films in their original format, I find it disturbing that Lucas would joke about the destruction of any film, especially one placed in the National Film Archives. It makes me sick to my stomach...What do you think?
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 11 A.M. Central Standard Time. A press conference that will live in infamy for all the wrong reasons. Seldom do you see a future Hall of Fame quarterback & franchise owner in the same room announcing a public separation & divorce from one another. Why did this prosperous NFL partnership really end? Health, cold hard cash, & nerve re-generation? What's the real story here?
During the press conference yesterday, the owner Jim Irsay said this, "the plane ran out of gas." The entire fan base was on pins & needles hoping some last minute midnight re-structuring contract deal could be signed with the ink still wet keeping #18 in Indianapolis. Presumably, as Jim Irsay & Peyton Manning rode the lear jet back from league meetings in Florida, they reflected upon all their years together...a promising, young prospect fresh off the University of Tennessee campus, the 3-13 1st season under the new Manning era in '98, breaking his idol Dan Marino's touchdown quarterback record with 48 in 2004, the Tampa Bay Bucs comeback game under head coach Jon Gruden on the opposing sideline, taking down our arch rivals the Patriots & bringing the Vince Lombardi Trophy home to the Horseshoe in 2006, an onside kick recovery away from changing the entire dynamics of the 2009 Superbowl against the New Orleans Saints, fighting through bursa sac knee surgery in 2008 to rattle off 8 straight victories & getting the Colts in the Playoffs, getting Lucas Oil Stadium built, & hosting a Superbowl in the great city of Indianapolis...I'm the 3rd guy in the room Peyton spoke of yesterday Mr. Circumstance.
Just like the business side of football, Mr. Circumstance is cold, crude, & unemotional. I'm all about the money, cap space, potential team suitors, revenge, & proving all the doubters & nay sayers wrong. Just like Peyton told Bill Polian "If you don't take me, I'm gonna kick your a** for the next 10 years." Irsay no longer wants the same dance partner. Okay fine. Your day of reckoning will come soon enough. #18's competitive juices are chomping at the bit to show you just how strong this fully functional arm will be by September.
Yoda AKA Peyton Manning will have his pick of the NFL litter. Many experts predict Miami or Buddy Ryan's defensive guru Rex Ryan in New York. Mr. Circumstance reminds you all that Yoda won't play in the same division as his baby brother Eli Manning, he must respect the new team owner & head coach, he would prefer to avoid the glaring spotlight of the Big Apple, & he must be given free reign over the offense with minimal interference & oversight. Can anyone say Mile High in Denver? "The bloodless coupe" whereby Tim Tebow #15 is swiftly replaced with #18. Fans in Colorado would accept & approve this move without any resistance. Solid defense & John Fox will provide Peyton with a good running game. The Kansas City Chiefs are another dark horse possible suitor for Peyton as well.
The most isolated outpost in the Pacific Northeast i.e. Seattle Seahawks are in legitimate bidding war contention as well for #18's field general services too. Running back & skittles beast Marshawn Lynch could be #18's "Edge" #2, their secondary is within the top 5% of the NFL, the 12th man crowd noise is sound deafening when necessary, & Paul Allen, of the richest owner in the NFL, responsible for silicon computer valley & Microsoft headquartered there could bring in whoever Peyton Manning wants...Reggie Wayne no problem. Who else do you want? Vincent Jackson...Sure...Next?
Mr. Circumstance laughs at the demand or preference to play in an indoor facility by so called media experts...Can #18 handle constant home field stadium rain? Let me get this straight: Peyton Manning won a Superbowl in 2006 with sheets of down pouring rain against Chicago...Prince even sang "Purple Rain" during halftime, but Peyton cannot win playing games outside. What a load of crap.
Yoda will win another "precious" ring, & unlike J.R. R. Tolkien's literary masterpiece the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy, he won't have to climb Mount Doom in order to do it either. Mr. Circumstance doesn't get bogged down with blame, rhyme, or reason...Mr. Circumstance only focuses on the aftermath & final results. The ends justifies the means..."Mile High" sherbet ice cream orange just like his Tennessee University college days will be Peyton's new NFL uniform colors next year. John Elway & Peyton Manning will raise the shimmering silver Tiffany's Diamond Vince Lombardi Trophy once again...Who doubts #18's arm now?!!
Like the vast majority of people out there, I really miss NFL football games & September is so far away...As a pleasant distraction from the Peyton Manning dilemma, I decided to post this classic comedy routine from George Carlin "Football Vs. Baseball." I smile everytime I watch this genius in action.
Peyton Manning was drafted by this franchise in 1998. 14 years in the league. He made a multitude of players household names. Streets & hospitals are named after him. He single-handedly built Lucas Oil Stadium courtesy of his arm, his feet, & his intellect. Yet, his security within this organization remains in doubt. Will Yoda stay or will Yoda be released? Health, money, or blind loyalty which entity will ultimately win out?
Is it really as simple as the rate & speed of nerve re-generation? If Irsay knew tomorrow that the nerve generation was 75% complete, would that really put to rest restructuring contract or release rumors? Is it wrong to begin grooming Manning's eventual successor? If you were in Peyton's shoes, would you want to remain here when the vast majority of personnel you coached or trained with are now departed & gone for good?
Why wouldn't Andrew Luck or RG3 want to be tutored at the feet of the master? No one can run this offense better than the Yoda of NFL field generals can they? Is there a legitimate sales pitch being given to protect Manning with a stout defense, flawless special team's play, & a tight secondary? Or is it best to make a clean break from Yoda & move in a different direction?
If we are moving forward into a Peytonless Millennium as a franchise, why drag this tedious process out any longer? What possible purpose does delay serve? Is it fair to Peyton? To us? How do we plan on selling our loyal fan base of this drastic new direction? If I do see Peyton in a new uniform next year, how will my eyes comprehend this unthinkable nightmare anyway?
Will Andrew Luck or RG3 experience the same duplicate backlash reaction that Aaron Rodgers did when Brett Favre was let go in Green Bay? Or will our fan base rally around the new field general in Indianapolis? How will I cope with my torn allegiance to my beloved Colts & the profound respect I have for Manning when we face him as an opponent next year? If we had won the Superbowl in 2009 against the New Orleans Saints, would Manning's longevity within this organization still be in question?...My head hurts does anybody have a glass of water & an aspirin I can take now?
Recently, the ESPN company located in Bristol, Connecticut and owned by the Walt Disney Corporation suspended a reporter named Max Bretos for 30 days for stating the following phrase on the air "If there is a Wink in the armor, where can [New York Knicks basketball star Jeremy] Lin improve his game?" Another unnamed ESPN reporter has been dismissed for posting the following online blog headline "Wink In The Armor" on their mobile service devices. Reasons given for these swift moves stem from racial insensitivity toward people of Taiwanese decent. Is this abrupt move on the part of ESPN political correctness gone amok?
The phrase "Wink in the armor" goes all the way back to the Middle Ages & the Crusades historically speaking when knights wore armor to fight in battle on horseback like King Arther & the Knights of the Roundtable. Javelin contests were frequently held in towns & villages to show a knight's prowess, expertise, & strength. "Wink in the armor" as a phrase refers to your overall weaknesses as a knight or athlete not a derogatory statement of racial bias or inferiority in that reporter's context. Mr. Bretos did not say that Jeremy Lin plays pretty good for a _________________. That would be racially insensitive & worthy of a suspension or employee firing.
Yes, we all know red flag racist terms that cannot be used in public discourse in any situation i.e. the N word when referring to African Americans, the K word when referring to people of Jewish descent, & the word "NAZI" or "S.S. Officer"in a humorous context given the horrific nature of the Holocaust & mass genocide in Europe during the Second World War. A person must be weary of taking a statement out of context. Is that Taiwanese C term always a bigoted, racially insensitive term regardless of the way in which that term is used? If we start eliminating words & phrases based on any & all arrangements of them, sooner or later no open lines of communication will exist among all segments of society & malicious, unfounded stereotypes will continue to spread like wildfire. People from all walks of life will be afraid to express any emotions or beliefs for fear that somebody might get offended & you end up getting fired from your job as a result of it. I guess what I'm saying is all cultures must have a comfort zone with one another to discover & pinpoint what terms are off limits at any & all costs. Firing an ESPN employee & suspending another one does nothing to solve racial relations among cultures; it brushes the problem under the rug which helps no one.
How do people of Chinese heritage feel about this controversy? Korean heritage? Pilipino heritage? Taiwanese heritage? Japanese heritage? I don't know...I'm asking. Was firing 1 reporter & putting another one a 1 month leave without pay appropriate? How we use language in public is very crucial no doubt, but an overzealous reaction to a very racially charged perception of a statement is equally as dangerous as well.
I have no concrete answers here other than to promote the importance of equal comfort zones among all cultures. We must all strive for an open dialog to ask difficult questions in an attempt to build cultural bridges among people not burn them down to the ground for good.
Has society gotten to the point where every race & culture needs to pass out & exchange a book of words & phrases we can no longer say to one another anymore? What's considered offensive language in one culture may not be seen that way in another culture. Firing people outright does not seal, solve, or solidify this country's racial divide; it only exasperates it & makes it much much worse. Has racial sensitivity been taken a tad bit off the deep end here? Speak openly & honestly about race & find out why a specific culture may find a word or phrase harmful, dangerous, & offensive please. Take the time to learn, respect, & know about a people, place, & location different from your own. Never be afraid to step outside one's familiar comfort zone. You will be a better person for it.
Lower the Stars & Stripes to half mast, drag out the Scottish checkered kilt & bagpipes, & play "Tabs" on the silver military trumpet because we need to attend a mandatory funeral of last rites known as the NFL Probowl. The scenery in Hawaii may be lush, green, vibrant, tropical, & beautiful with a sweet, soothing evening breeze. The umbrella drinks by poolside are thirst quenching, colorful, & abundant. Athletes from every professional team & position are there on both offense, defense, & special teams. Laughter, jokes, & smiles are seen from horizon to horizon. This is not the usual game day business trip. No playoffs are on the line here, but a nice bonus check is to the victorious AFC or NFC squad that wins the game sure is.
It is a carefree field trip to reward the family & friends that stood by individual athletes all year long. Your peers & franchise fan base put you on this plane to paradise & it is a time to cut loose, relax, & put your hair down. Good friends, good food, & both new & old friendships get renewed as everyone happily chills with all their wives, kids, girlfriends, aunts, uncles, mother's, father's, & lifelong buddies who knew them prior to becoming wealthy & famous. The Probowl is an after thought. Even media personalities from ESPN & the NFL Network don't treat this game seriously. No one speaks of blitzing, man coverage, or zone defensive schemes. Hitting, wrapping up, & tackling are not deemed relevant or of any significance here. Fans bought a ticket to come to Hawaii, get an autograph from their favorite player, & see their favorite coach in the flesh for once. Offense not defense is the major drawing feature here.
I used to like it when the Probowl aired a week after the Superbowl because the winning team always got congratulated by their peers after the city parade was finished & the MVP went to Disneyland for a few days to celebrate their victory & bask in the media attention & glory. No one perceived the Probowl as important. Other than the need to pay for the large family hotel bill anyway.
If the Probowl is not taken seriously as a game why even play it at all? What is this punch, dancing, & a prom date for crying out loud? Why even put zebras on the field? No blitzing...No press coverage...No hitting, tackling, or real contact period. Come on Man!!! That's how athletes get hurt...not going full throttle at full speed with LIVE rounds in the chamber & gun barrel baby!!! Why even give the zebras yellow challenge flags in the first place? It is not compelling television to watch because just like regular season the referees coddle & pamper the offense. No fan pays any real attention to the Probowl until the last 10 minutes of the 4th quarter. "Oh crap! I've got an expensive hotel bill to pay for come on guys we need to win this game & get that winning team bonus check."
Roger Goodell either let the defense play for real or end this cash cow NFL media revenue circus show already please. If Probowl voting is a popularity contest anyway maybe the popular thing to do is end this fan viewing embarrassment once & for all. Thank you. God forbid the NFL a $8-$10 billion dollar enterprise anually speaking can't make an extra dollar right? Ridiculous. Is that a trumpet playing "Taps" in the background I hear getting closer & closer?
Here is my last & final blog that I will transfer from Colts Direct. Again, the primary objective here is to expand audience access & encourage rational, peaceful debate. All viewpoints are welcome:
We all know that football is a violent sport. We also know that when the playoffs roll around a solid defense is essential in order to "ring a [running back's] bell" & stop the run by any means necessary. Hitting & tackling become mandatory in order to win Championships at all levels in football either at the high school, college, or the national football league level. How do you balance concussions & personal player safety against neutering the best thing about this sport & not turning the NFL into flag football?
Rodger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, has testified before Congress about the danger of concussions and he has consulted with the U.S. military about advanced helmet design used to shield soldiers from traumatic brain injuries and for installing base line memory tests to use as a reference in determining whether a player must sit on the bench or not. Professional players don't want their toughness questioned. Plus, if they are benched for too long, they know that they will probably lose their starting position, get cut from the team roster, & they still have bills to pay & a family to provide for.
Last month on CNN, I watched a TV program on Jacquan Weller a high school football athlete in North Carolina [somewhere down south I think] who was a star running back that died after suffering from 2 fatal concussion episodes. The program dealt with the need or mandatory requirement to place a certified athletic trainer on every football field in America to prevent concussions from being misdiagnosed, fatalities from rising, & scientifically studying brain trauma to verify that concussions parallel the disease of Dementia in young student athletes with as few as 2 concussions. The reason being that the brains of these young athletes are still growing & developing & any violent hit to their skull cannot be as easily withstood as a full fledged adult can handle such a hard hit in the exact same spot on average.
Yes, I agree every sideline should have a certified athletic trainer to properly diagnose brain injuries & I am all for establishing base line tests before any high school, college, or NFL season starts. Tweaking helmet design is also another good idea, but please keeping hitting & tackling in all phases of football please. These men know the risks involved everytime they step onto a football field. How do you balance supreme safety of a player with an enthusiastic fan that demands hard hitting intensity on the football field at all times without exception? There are no simple solutions here.
The CNN TV program did bring up an interesting dilemma though. Female certified athletic trainers did experience some measured resistance by male athletes when they were told to sit down due to a concussion. Would certified male athletic trainers advice be received with the same reaction & denial per say? Yes, this reaction is absolutely sexist & wrong of course. But hopefully, as more & more women certified athletic trainers occupy sidelines in all phases of sports this ludicrous attitude will change for the better over time.
Football's defensive violence is a huge ticket selling & TV watching draw. Continue this vital concussion research, but please don't remove controlled chaos from this fantastic game. That's all I ask.
Initially, I posted this blog on Colts Direct. I transferred it here in order to encourage further debate by spreading access to this conversation to a much wider audience. A variety of diverse opinions is always welcomed here. Thank you.
Sunday, February 5, 2012, saw the New York Giants defeat the New England Patriots 21-17.
Confetti falls, the Lombardi Trophy is handed over to the best NFL franchise of the calendar year, & the Most Valuable Player [MVP] award is determined, handed out, & a shiny new vehicle is given to this lucky athlete. If most football experts, TV analysts, & loyal football fans believe that defense truly wins Championships, why are no defensive players ever named MVP in a Superbowl?
In Sunday's night's Superbowl, I honestly believe that New York Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck easily earned MVP honors. A 1st quarter safety of "Tom Terrific" [ Excuse me, while I roll my eyes in utter disbelief over quarterback Tom Brady's unwarranted God like field general NFL status.] Not to mention a number of crucial 2nd half sacks of #12. Or better yet, give MVP honors out to the GMEN'S RELENTLESS FRONT 4 PASS RUSH AS AN ENTIRE UNIT. Defensive players have to contend with so many ludicrous referee calls revolving around roughing the passer penalties, jamming receivers too close to the line of scrimmage, holding penalties, an illegal chopping block, horse collar penalties, pass interference penalties, and face mask penalties....Don't even get me starting on the foolish Brady Tuck Rule okay....Tom YOU FUMBLED THE BALL & THE RAIDERS SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE SUPERBOWL IN 2000. No incomplete pass nonsense.
When was the last time a zebra threw the yellow flag on a wide receiver for offensive pass interference? It's rare & virtually non-existent. How come a running back can lead with their helmet against a linebacker but if the linebacker, safety, or corner does the same thing they get fined heavily for it? You get paid to hit, tackle, smash, & destroy any offensive player holding the ball, but in a fraction of a second if you hit them in the wrong spot your team loses crucial field position, you get fined, & you might even face game suspenion [sic]. The amount of these fines is usually astronomical & way out of line in most cases too. Defensive players are just trying to earn a living & provide for their families. Here's their occupational job description: They tackle, hit, wrap up, & swing the gauntlet of pain, misery, speed, & chaotic anarchy on the field of play everytime they buckle their chinstrap.
Give the defense some respect okay. The new CBA restricts the number of practices conducted in full pads with full live contact. The quarterback is always wearing a red jersey meaning he can never get hit. How can you simulate sack drills on a stationary dummy on the field in practice & expect to perform well during game day on a movable target? How often do tight ends & wide receivers go directly for a linebacker's or defensive end's knees because that's the only way they can stop or slow them down? A defense player gets a flag for barely touching a receiver, but they can blow out a knee by targeting that area directly & no zebra even cares? Are you kidding me?!!
Hall of Fame player Deacon Jones would probably be permanently banned from the league today if he was still in his prime & he attempted to head slap a quarterback or offensive linemen in a contemporary football game. Penalty flags would be flying like crazy over a concussion inducing, violent move like that. My how the league has changed & sometimes unfortunately, not for the better either.
It is time to show superb defensive players some MVP Superbowl respect, admiration, & love. It is long overdue...Justin Tuck is a defensive beast & he is the unsung hero of the last Lucas Oil Stadium Superbowl not Eli Manning. Tip the hat to the real NFL men in the trenches not pampered quarterbacks but the real grunts sweating it out on every single solitary play when the lights are the brightest of all.
As our beloved Colts franchise undergoes a massive overhaul this year, from GM, to head coach, to staff, & finally roster additions & subtractions, I wonder if our team & the corresponding front office in INDY have finally grasped the importance of maintaining a quality back up quarterback yet. Starting QB's these days are prone to a number of injuries these days from concussions, to rib damage, to knee damage, to ankle damage, & ,as we all know, neck damage too just to name a few ailments.
Curtis Painter as we all know was not the the answer. Even Bill Polian had to acknowledge that misplaced athletic trust in him over time as the losses continued to mount up over the course of the season. Is Dan Orlovsky capable to fill this crucial role permanently? Too soon to conclusively state that he has earned that right yet. What really are the necessary guidelines for a quality backup QB anyway? You seldom get reps with the 1st string squad yet you are expected to execute the plays flawlessly even though you have had no time to develop team or individual player chemistry & timing with routes & receivers & tight ends. You must memorize the entire playbook & go to unit meetings with the specific coaches, but unless the QB coach puts you in there during practice to stay sharp or the receivers agree to work with you after practice individually you won't be precise, crisp, & fluid in your throwing motion, delivery of the ball, & route combinations.
I liken this lack of QB fluidity to Drivers ED training. Remember in high school when your instructor loaded up the car with 4 students & took everyone out for a spin behind the wheel? One student is told to paralell [sic] park & then the instructor asks eyeryone else "Did they do that correctly observing all the rules of the road with safety in mind at all times?" Nobody knows & nobody cares either because you are in the backseat day dreaming wondering if you get to step in the driver's seat next. Here's my point: Until a coach gives you the green light to take the reins for real & lead this team of horses down field for real, does a backup QB honestly believe that he's getting real reps with an iron man veteran QB at the helm? Yes, back up QB's get paid handsomely to be prepared for the injury bug reality, but until LIVE rounds are in the game day gun & you are baptized by the line of scrimmage defensive fire...You are just like that high school driver's ed kid twiteling [sic] your thumbs patiently waiting to grab the wheel & hit the accelerator full throttle baby!!! What are the definitive job description rules for backup QB's around the league anyway? Which ever one is cheapest & the most experienced?
How do back QB's stay sharp, motivated, on fire, & accurate when most veteran players view you & your position just like a field goal kicker? You barely break a sweat, still get a nice check, & nobody cares about you unless they need your foot to win a hard fought game or get them into overtime...If you miss the uprights, join the FBI's Witness Protection Program man because the fans & city will despise you.
Not an easy spot to be in...The life of an NFL backup is hard & short-lived...Can I get behind the wheel now?!!
Juliet, a 8 year old girl, sings a short song about her dog Robert & her goldfish speed metal style.
So much for "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." This isn't simply your grandma's little angel into Barbie dolls & cupcakes.
The heavy metal connoisseur inside of me makes me wonder what this girl would do with a Dave Mustaine Megadeth song HA! HA!
This clip is cute & cool at the same time...I Love it!!!
I never get tired of this video. It makes me smile everytime I see it.
Sibling rivalry what a wonderful thing!!! Competition to emerge victorious in any activity & the accompanying "bragging rights" never ever gets old either...No matter how old you really are. HA! HA!
In the immortal words of Queen's Freddie Mercury: Peyton & the Indianapolis Colts will literally "Rock You" with these outstanding play highlights...ENJOY Everyone!!!
Tragically, Peyton Manning might be a distant memory in a few weeks...
Gotta appreciate #18 while we still can. No matter how short-lived it now is...
I like the classic musical score on this video. It is very compelling. Also, the black & white backdrop is so vintage & timeless like old World War II news reels in the movie theatre.
I wish it just featured #18 exclusively though. Still sweet & slick in its presentation though.
I for one never doubted that Peyton would get to the BIG DANCE & win a "precious" Superbowl ring. More shiny hardware is in his future too in my estimation.
Never trivialize his competitive juices on the field or his compulsive drive to win EVER!!!
Ray Lewis knows just how tremendous Peyton Manning's work ethic to be great is..."That doesn't just happen." God Bless "Sugar Ray" I LOVE YOU MAN!!!
Hey Jim Irsay, are you listening to this wisdom that the GREAT RAY LEWIS IS LAYING AT YOUR FEET? I sincerely hope so....
There's only one Peyton Manning...AKA YODA OF NFL FIELD GENERALS PERIOD...END OF STORY.
NFL Hall of Fame players of his caliber do not simply grow on trees. I hope GM Bill Polian is #18's presenter into the hallowed halls in Canton, Ohio.
Personally, I love this video because I was a heavy metal head banger in high school & this song & the accompanying highlights are intense, strong, & IN YOUR FACE...
In the immortal words of soon to be Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis: "Are there any dogs in the house?!!! A modern day pre-game rallying cry for laying the wood & dropping the defensive hammer of pain, sheer anarchy, & intimidation baby!!!! Let's get ready to RUMBLE!!!!!!!
This is why I refer to Peyton as the YODA of NFL field generals ladies & gentlemen...
Plus, Peyton has a great sense of humor too. Man, Peyton you are so AWESOME!!! I am in sheer AWE of your line of scrimmage mastery skills everytime you line up & that is no joke.
That "next level" line is so FUNNY!!! Jeff Saturday had better cut back on those spicy tacos for the wellbeing & safety of Yoda.