Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baseball GMs & 100 Million dollar Contracts. When will they learn?

In the aftermath of this year's winter meetings and a couple of free agent signings I starting thinking about this trend we are seeing in baseball regarding contracts. Now a days we see absurd contracts on a yearly basis. Every year a few players will get a  6+ year 140 million+ dollar contract which pays them 20+ mil per season until they're 37+ years old. This off season we have seen three such deals starting of course with my Mets signing David Wright to the tune of 7 years 122 mil extension to the 16 mil he's due this season, so 8 years 138mil. As a Met fan am I happy he signed? Yes. Is he worth that much? No, but yes. More on that in a minute. Then the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Zack Greinke for 6 years 147 mil, followed by the Anaheim Angels signed Josh Hamilton for 5 years 125mil a couple days later.

In doing my research I found that this trend of hefty contracts started almost 15 years ago, in 1998 when Kevin Brown became baseball's first 100 million dollar man after signing with the Dodgers for 7 years and 105 mil. In 2000 following a trade from the Mariners to the Reds, one of my favorite players ever, the kid Ken Griffey Jr. signed a 9 year 116 mil contract. Following that 2000 season, Dan O'Dowd signed former Met great Mike Hampton to the richest contract in baseball history at the time 8 years 123.8 Mil. It only stood as the highest contract ever for 2 days. Enter Tom Hicks, the former owner of the Texas Rangers, who signed Alex Rodriguez to a 10 year, 252 million dollar contract on December 11th, 2000. That signing became the highest paying contract in sports history and more than doubled Mike Hampton's. Some people applauded Hicks for the signing as they felt he snatched up the most coveted free agent baseball had ever seen, or at least since young Barry Bonds hit the market in '92. A-Rod was 25, a 5 tool player, whom many thought would one day be the best player in the game, if he wasn't already. He was coming of a .316 AVG-41 HR-132 RBI-134 R-Gold Glove caliber season. Signing him was a no-brainer, but at what price? Hicks thought that number was 252 Million over 10 years. 25 mil a season. Never had that money been paid to one player, 25 mil per season. Outrageous, even for someone as talented as A-Rod. 

With the contract Texas committed to using 1/4th of their payroll on one player for the next 10 years. By setting this precedent with A-Rod, Hicks made it impossible for other teams and GM's to have a chance at signing players for a respectable amount. Other GM's took note and realized what they would have to dish out 20 mil, or close to it, to keep their best players or best free agents. Players have asked for outrageous contracts in negotiations, and no matter how outrageous it's not close to A-Rod's deal. We have seen that players have won as there have been several subsequent outrageous contracts (17+ mil per season):

2001
(SS) Derek Jeter: 10y, 189m, 18.9per
(OF) Manny Ramirez: 8y, 160m, 20per

2002
(1B) Jason Giambi 7y, 120m, 17.1per

2004
(OF) Carlos Beltran: 7y, 119m, 17per

2006
(OF) Vernon Wells: 7y, 126m, 18per
(OF) Alfonso Soriano: 8y, 136m, 17per
(P) Barry Zito: 7y, 126m, 18per

2007
(3B) A-Rod: 10y, 275m, 27.5per
(P) Johan Santana: 6y, 137.5m, 22.9per
(3B) Miguel Cabrera: 8y, 152.3m, 19per

2008
(1B) Mark Teixeira: 8y, 180m, 22.5per
(P) CC Sabathia: 7y ,161m, 23per

2010
(1B) Ryan Howard 5y, 125m, 25per
(C) Joe Mauer: 8y, 184m, 23per
(OF) Matt Holliday: 7y, 120m, 17.1per

2011
(P) Cliff Lee 5y, 120m, 24per
(1B) Adrian Gonzalez: 7y, 154m, 22per
(OF) Carl Crawford: 7y, 142m, 20.2per
(OF) Jayson Werth: 7y, 126m, 18per

2012
(1B) Albert Pujols: 10y, 240m, 24per
(P) Cole Hamels: 6y, 144m, 24per
(1B) Joey Votto: 10 years, 225 Mil, 22.5per
(1B) Prince Fielder: 9 Years, 214 Mil, 23.7per
(OF) Matt Cain: 6y, 127.5m, 21.1per
(OF) Matt Kemp: 8 Years, 160 Mil, 20per
(SS) Jose Reyes: 6y, 106m, 17.6per
and the 3 previously mentioned signings of this offseason. I know I'm missing a few too.

Well we know how everything worked out for Tom Hicks. A-Rod had 3 good steroid using seasons while in Texas, hit 156 home runs and won an MVP one year despite his team finishing last. Hicks couldn't keep spending that amount of money on him and was forced to trade him to the Yankees and eat a portion of the contract. Texas eventually filled for bankruptcy and Hicks sold the team to Nolan Ryan. A-Rod has had a few good regular seasons with the Yankees, won two more MVP awards, and even hit well in one postseason to help the Yankees win a ring. However, he opted out of his original contract in 2007 to sign the highest paid contract in sports history, again! This time 10 years, 275 Mil. Now he is 37, got pinch hit for and benched in the ALCS last season and is getting ready to have his second hip surgery in 3 years. He is still owed 116 million over the next 5 years. 

I'd say that it has certainly went bad for the Rangers and is now going bad for the Yankees. Most of the contracts on that list didn't pan out. In fact, I can only point to a handful that were "worth" it: Jeter, Ramirez, Cabrera, CC and maybe Teixeira. However the trend hasn't stopped. Bloated contracts keep coming because there is no way players will ask for anything less than what has been previously given. Additionally, and more importantly teams are forced to dish out close to 20 mil per season to keep their best players or add players to help. If they can't do that they watch him go, listen to their fans cry and their team loses. If they can keep him, fans are happy in the short-term but feel the financial burden years later when he no longer produces at the same level and the team can't bring in anyone else because they are weighed down by the contract. This is happening now with A-Rod, many of the others on the list and sure to happen to any of the recent signings. All of theses 100 million dollar contracts amount to short term happiness, most of the time very short term, and long term sadness and regret.

Now in the case of my Mets and David Wright. Wright is our best player, face of the franchise and now, since the trade of R.A. Dickey, the only reason to go to a Mets game next year. Because of this we absolutely had to sign him to an extension. Not only that, we had to offer 17.25mil per season or he would have walked to some team that would. Is he worth 17.25 mil? In short no player is. However, because of what he means to us and his status as one of the top 3 or 4 3rd basemen in baseball he might be close to worth it, for now. He will play like he is worth it for the next 3-4 years (I hope) but on the backside of the deal he certainly won't be. Then we'll be dishing out 17 mil for a shell of himself. What hurts most is that we probably won't be in contention for much of the first half of his deal and when we start getting better in the back half (if this young pitching comes around) we won't be able to afford other players because of his contract. In total this contract, like most 100 million dollar contracts, adds up to short term semi-happiness long term depression and regret. When will these GMs learn?  


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Down Low

In honor of the newly release parts to Trapped in the closet I present this Throwback Thursday  First I want to say that I love Kells and although he been tripping of late, this was when he was at his best. Down Low was so dope, original and remix. I remember when these videos came out it was crazy. Fancy Garcelle Beauvais was a #snookup, actually she still is. Anyway, enjoy:



Remix too:




#The90s

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Remember Me

Not the movie, which is pretty damn good, but this Wiz joint featuring The Weeknd:



The Weeknd makes everything better. #Respect

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Legends of the Hidden Temple

It's a known fact how much I love the 90s. Also known: how much I love 90s Nick and their gameshows. Well for this Throwback Thursday I'm going with another one: Legends of the Hidden Temple. It wasn't as good as GUTS, but nonetheless was an awesome show. Perhaps the greatest thing this show contributed to society was the Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Silver Snakes, Purple Parrots, Orange Iguanas and the Red Jaguars. Which team was your favorite?

For your viewing pleasure:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Commercial Spotlight 10-7-12

So I've been off my blog game for a couple months. A few things have happened since then but I'll recap that later. For now I'm jumping back in the water with something light, a few commercials that I've seen of late that I love.

First I gotta go with this one:



This joint is so awesome. I tear up every time. I can't wait to have a daughter and have this type of relationship. Although, I do want my wife to still be living.

Speaking of family, there is this one:



Straight comedy.

Here's another family type commercial about a mom worrying about her son playing football:



I think Tom knows Ray very well lol.

Finally I have to highlight this commercial regarding football fans:



My boy @Run_GMC and his agency worked on that joint. #respect.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finally A Good Comment


Today, as I typically do, I started the day off by reading a few articles on ESPN.com. I came across anarticle about the sting Kevin Durant is feeling having to be teammates with theLeBron, the man who beat him in the finals. Didn't think it was an overly good article or anything but I enjoyed it. What I enjoyed more was the comments section. Most comments sections are better than whatever is being commented on. This is mostly because of the trolling that goes on. On ESPN that takes the form of outrageously stupid opinions from irrational fans usually with ridiculously handles: "NatsDukesSkins," "Lebron - The Greatest Of All Time - James," "FeartheOlympicBeard" (which I actually like lol) being a few examples. Comments are also great because occasionally you will come across a fan that really knows what they are talking about or at the very least makes a compelling, logical comment. 

Today that came from a guy named "MyWordsSpeakTruthAllDay" (heavy burden to bear). He came up with a top 10 list of players and provided some pretty good info to back it up:

1) Jordan: No explanation needed... 6 Rings, 6 Finals MVP’s, 5 MVP’s, Only Player In History Other Than Wilt To Go For More Than 3,000 Points In A Season (3,041 in 86-87), All-Star every year played (14), 10 Scoring Champ, Scoring Titles 10, DPOY 1, Steals Titles 3, All NBA 1st Team, NBA All Defensive 1st Team 9, ROY

2) Magic: Finals MVP As A Rookie... 3 X Finals MVP, 3 MVP’s, 5 Rings (9 Finals), All Time Leader In Avg Apg 11.2, All-Star 12 X’s, All NBA 1st Team 9 X’s, All-Star MVP 2 X’s, ROY

3) Kareem: 6 Rings, 2 Finals MVP’s, 6 MVP’s, NBA All Time Leading Scorer, 19 X All-Star, All NBA 1st Team 10 X’s, All NBA Defensive 1st Team 5 X’s, NBA Scoring Champ 2 X’s, ROY

4) Russell: 11 Rings, 5 MVP’s, All-Star 12 X’s, All Star MVP 1 X, NBA Rebounding Champ 5 X’s, All NBA 1st Team 3 X’s, All NBA Defensive Team 1 X

5) Wilt: 2 Rings, 4 MVP’s, 1 Finals MVP, In 1962 He Avg 50.4 PPG & 25.7 RPG & Scored 100 Pts In A Game... Next Season He Avg 44.8 PPG & 24.3 RPG, All-Star 13 X’s, All Star MVP 1 X, Averaged 50 Points One Season, All NBA 1st Team 7 X’s, All NBA Defensive 1st Team 2 X’s, NBA Scoring Champ 7 X’s, NBA Rebounding Champ 11 X’s, ROY

6) Bird: 3 Rings, 3 MVP’s, 2 Finals MVP’s, All-Star 12 X’s, All NBA 1st Team 9 X’s, 3 Point Champ 3 X’s, 3 X’s All NBA 2nd Team Defensive, ROY

7) Shaq: 4 Rings, 3 Finals MVP’s, 1 MVP, All-Star 15 X’s, All Star MVP 3 X’s, NBA Scoring Champ 2 X’s, All NBA 1st Team 8 X’s, ROY

8) Duncan: 4 Rings, 3 Finals MVP’s, 2 MVP’s, All-Star 13 X’s, All NBA 1st Team 9 X’s, All NBA Defense 1st Team 8 X’s ROY

9) Kobe: 5 Rings, 1 MVP, 2 Finals MVP’s, Scored 81 Points In A Game, All-Star 14 X’s, All Star MVP 4 X’s. NBA Scoring Champ 2 X’s, All NBA 1st Team 10 X’s, All NBA Defensive 9 X’s... Why so low? NBA records: 1) most missed shots in a game 2) most missed shots in a regular season 3) most missed game winners 4) only finals MVP to not shoot above 50% in a single finals game (9 & 10) 5) worst shooting performance by a finals MVP in history (40% shooting) 6) of the top 10 scorers of all-time Kobe has lowest shooting % 7) there are only 13 games in history where someone shot below 50% to reach 50 points, Kobe is responsible for 7 of those 13 games 8) most missed shots in a series 9) most missed shots in a finals

10) Lebron: 1 Ring, 3 MVP’s, 1 Finals MVP, All-Star 8 X’s, NBA Scoring Champ 1 X, All NBA 1st Team 6 X’s, All NBA Defensive 4 X’s, ROY
  
That's pretty well done if you ask me. It’s kind of hard to argue with his list. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

NBA Finals Preview


So the NBA Finals kick off tonight, finally.

Unless you live under a rock you know that its the Oklahoma City Thunder going up against the Miami Heat and LeBron v. Durant. It's going to be a very interesting and entertaining series. The battles of two prolific big 3s. The young, full of energy Thunder are high octane. The Heat, with LeBron and Wade can be equally as exciting. LeBron v Durant matchup will be epic.

For the Heat to Win:

It will mostly come down to how much the big three will do. I think LeBron will bounce back after a horrible finals last year. He is on a roll right now and I don't see that stopping. I can see him averaging 30-11-7 for the series and playing strong defense on Durant at times throughout the series. He must play well in the 4th though for them to win. Wade will play well offensively as he typically does in Finals. Defensively, he will draw Westbrook at times and Harden in the closing minutes of the 4th. He will have to play strong defense against those two when he gets matched up with them. Bosh was the difference in the series against Boston. He may not be fully healthy and whether he is or not he will be facing a tougher defensive matchup then he did against Boston: Serge Ibaka and/or Nick Collison. He will have to play as well as he can for Mia to be succesful.

The big three alone won't be able to beat OKC, someone from the rest of the roster will have to step up. For me this really means Chalmers, Battier or Haslem. I don't see any of them performing well for the duration of the series, but if each of them can have a good to great game at any point during the series they could be the difference in a few games. Mike Miller and James Jones may see some action this series and they have to hit the threes they will get. The Heat "big" men: Bosh, Haslem, and Anthony must do a good job rebounding. The Thunder are a jump shooting team. They can't make all your jumps shots. If the Heat can pull down some of those rebounds and turn them to points on the other end they can win.

As a team the Heat must capitalize on turnovers, which they do pretty well. OKC isn't the strongest defensive team and are prone to lapses, especially on the perimeter. Miami needs to be ready to take advantage of those lapses and knock down open jumpers. I'd like to see Miami run some pick and roll, which San Antonio used effectively at times. Miami needs to play with some fire in their eyes. After reaching the Finals and not playing well last year, this shouldn't be a problem. They must stay focused and hungry throughout the series. Obviously for Miami to win the series they will have to win at least one game on the road. The best chance might be in game 1 if the catch the Thunder overly excited. If they win one of those 1st two game on the road they have a great chance to win the series.

For the Thunder to Win:

They have to do what they've been doing which is getting great production from their big three and steady production from their role players. Durant has to be ready to put in work this series, some of which will match him against the best defender he will face this playoffs: LeBron. He can't be timid, as he sometimes is, this series. When the game is in the balance he needs to step up and demand the ball and rise to the occasion. Westbrook has to make good decisions and limit his turnovers. Plain and simple. Harden must do what he has been doing, coming off the bench playing solid on both ends. He may have to play more minutes this series so he needs to play at the same high level throughout.

Serge Ibaka has to play big this series, all series. On the defensive end he will have to guard Bosh but also have a presence in the paint when Wade and LeBron drive. Offensively, he has to be ready to knock down some jumpers and/or get some easy buckets in the paint. Not really sure we will be seeing a great deal of Kendrick Perkins because of the Heat's lack of big men but when he plays he needs to patrol the paint as he does, and pick up a few of his patented "Who me fouls" to put some fear in Heat players. Former Bulls great Sefolosha must play great defense throughout the series, mostly on Wade but at times on LeBron. He also has to be ready to knock down a few threes when his number is called. Collison and Fisher will be the main people coming off the bench with Harden. Fisher must play decent defense when he is in the game. While with the Lakers he was weak against younger, quicker PGs so he can't let Chalmers get going.

As a team, the Thunder have to remain poised. This is their first finals appearance since relocating. The crowd will be super hype. The players must stay calm and under control especially early. Avoid poor decisions and bad shots which Miami can flip into easy buckets and get going. They also have to remain confident. They have played so well throughout the playoffs mainly because they haven't been scared of anything, knocking off the Mavs, Lakers and Spurs. Finally, the Thunder must continue to play well at home (8-0). Obviously, if they win out at home they will be champions, but if they can have a strong first 2 games and win convincingly they will will put all the pressure on Mia, which they don't typically play well under.

Prediction:

My head is telling me that the Thunder will win, almost rather easily. They are a better team and have depth. They have home court advantage and they are playing with such confidence. Mia doesn't have much depth and hasn't played typically well under pressure. LeBron will be great but he will be tired, especially mentally, when it may count. My heart also leans with the Thunder simply because I like them more than I like the Heat. They have 4 of my favorite players and one of my favorite beards: Westbrook, Durant, Perk and Harden and his beard. I'm getting a gut feeling that the Heat can pull this thing out. They are in their second consecutive Finals. Do we really expect them to lose two in a row? They might be a little more hungrier than the Thunder because of all the pressure that is on them. On top of that I really think the Heat can get one of the 1st two games in OKC. I wouldn't be surprised if they won game 1. If that's the case, they can go home and win 2 of 3 and come back for games 6 and 7 up 3-2.

All that being said, I'm going Thunder in 6. I'm going with my head and heart. Going to be a great series though.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

No Hitter


After 50 seasons and 8,019 games my New York Mets finally had their first no hitter. The man who pitched it? Johan, or as everyone is saying "No-Han," Santana.

My ESPN Scorecenter app sent the buzz to my phone around 7:06pm letting me know that the Mets game had just began. It was another fairly regular Friday night at Citi. The drama around this game was Carlos Beltran's return to NY after his 7 up and (mostly) down years. He would actually be involved in something more dramatic as the night became historic.

I get updates after the 3rd and 6th inning as well as the end of the game. After 3, Mets were up. After 6, Mets were up. I thought:"Cool, were doing out thing. Bout to get this win." Then I got another buzz. "Johan Santana has not allowed a hit after 7 innings." Then another "Johan Santana has not allowed a hit after 8 innings." Then another "Johan Santana enters the 9th inning with a chance to throw a no hitter."

Can't tell you how excited I was, but also nervous. I would have jumped to the closest TV if I could but I was at a play with Grandma so I just had to hoped for the best. Finally, I found out what happened as I got 3 more buzzes from my phone. Scorecenter let me know twice via the end of the game update and the baseball headlines update. New York Times let me know too: "Johan Santana throws the first No-Hitter in Mets history."

We finally did it. Johan "You know who big" Santana did it.



It's so awesome! I'm happy that it was Johan. He has been a beast the whole time he has been a Met. We could never give him enough run support in his first few years, years where he could have won Cy Youngs. Nonetheless he always pitched well. Unfortunately, he was shutdown in September of 2010 and had shoulder surgery. He missed all of last year due to rehab and returned this year. He is no longer the dominant (pitch speed wise) pitcher that he used to be, but he has been very good this year and now has the 1st no hitter in our history.

The no-no didn't come without controversy though. Beltran hit a sharp liner down the 3rd base line in the 6th the was ruled foul. It actually was fair, as it hit the chalk. It would have broken up the no-no and prevented history. But it was ruled foul and no-no attempt went on. It's kind of sweet that Beltran didn't break it up, payback for him not coming through when we needed him the most: final at bat of game 7 of the 2006 NLCS.

Johan didn't do it by himself. Queens native, and life long Mets fan turned Mets player Mike Baxter gave up his body to help preserve the no-no in the 7th.

Thank you Mike. Thank you Johan. Thank you Mets. History. Proud to be a Mets fan!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Couple Jay Arguments

Memorial day weekend typically marks the beginning of summer, day drinking, outdoor partying and arguments with friends over drinks or after drinks. This weekend was full of that for me. On Sunday after a beer brunch (get those mimosas outta here) me and my boys went to this outdoor party thing in Brooklyn and ultimately ended up at my boy @JJolley's crib for more brews. During the course of the night I made a few arguments that I couldn't successfully defend because of my drunkeness lol. The first was something rather simple that can't really be argued, we just have to wait for the outcome. I said to my boy Luckose that the Thunder will beat the Spurs. I tried to make a few points to defend my pick but eventually I just settled on the bet and saying "we'll see what happens." We'll see what happens with that lol.

The next few things I argued about were not as simple and were something that everyone who listens to rap has an opinion on: Jay-Z. As we were sitting there watching the game and talking about whatever, Jay-Z came up; in particular Kingdom Come. First @TheUnjealous commented on how Kingdom Come sucks, which I disagreed with.

I like Kingdom Come
One of my supporting arguments for Kingdom Come was that two of Jay's top ten songs are off Kingdom Come: "The Prelude" and "Beach Chair". When I said that, @Run_GMC jumped in to question my top ten Jay list. Meanwhile @TheUnjealous tried to discount "The Prelude" because it's an intro, saying intros don't count. I discounted that because one of my favorite Jay songs is an intro, the "Dynasty Intro" to be exact lol. More on that later. Soon we were all reviewing Jay's discography to find ten tracks better than "The Prelude," naturally starting at Reasonable Doubt which everyone said had 4 or 5 tracks in Jay'z top 10. This led to my other major argument, that Reasonable Doubt is great but not all that great. Yea I said it.

Great no doubt, not his best though.
So there I was in the midst of 3 arguments regarding Jay-Z:

1) Kingdom Come doesn't suck
2) The Prelude is a top 10 Jay song/On my top 10
3) Reasonable Doubt is not all that great

Couldn't quite defend it how I wanted to on Sunday night. So over the next few posts I'll try to since I'm sober.

Let me take on 1 and 3 first because defending those are easier than compiling my top 10. There are certain things that we as "Hip-Hop lovers" are supposed to do or believe or else we are looked at as fakers. There are commonly held opinions about certain albums/songs that are used to gauge one's understanding of Hip-Hop. Some of these opinions are on point and tell the truth (Illmatic is a classic) but some have gained so much popularity that people think they're true. In my opinion "Kingdom Come sucked" falls into this category. It's almost as if people have to say it sucked or else other people will say they don't know anything about hip-hop. Similarly, people have to say Reasonable Doubt is their favorite and/or Jay's best album or their Hip-Hop head status is questioned. Well, I'll step outside the norm on both.

I'll admit KC is not a great album, especially not the type of album we were used to from Jay-Z. It was his first post retirement album, following The Black Album, arguably his greatest album. That was a lot of pressure and expectations. Honestly, it didn't live up to the expectations but there was no way it could. It certainly hurt but it doesn't mean that the album sucked. It did have some bad songs though. "Anything" is certainly a terrible ass song, which most people probably remember this album for. Then of course there is "Hollywood" which unless you're a lady and/or a dancer you hate. "Trouble" and "Dig a hole" are pretty bad as well. I'll say that "Oh my God" is no better than average. So by my count that's 5 songs that are skip worthy. Out of 14 songs that's a lot, especially for Jay, but fairly normal for most albums.

On the flip of these bad songs are the great, and I mean great, ones. No denying how great "Beach Chair" "The Prelude" "Lost Ones" are. On a slightly lesser note there is "I Made It" which get vastly overlooked. Those 4 are great. "Do You Wanna Ride" is a very good tribute/story telling track. The title track is pretty dope too because its a reference to the graphic comic of the same name in which an older, retired Superman, comes back to show young "super heroes" how to do the damn thing. In the 2 1/2 years he was gone he saw the foolishness that was going on and decided that he had "to take off the blazer, loosen up the tie, step inside the booth, superman is alive." I'd say those two are very good.  Then there is "Minority Report" which is tough to listen to because of the tragedy it covers but if you get past the heartache its really a damn good track. 4 great tracks, 3 very good ones and then "Show Me What You Got" and "30 Something" which are cool enough to listen to without skipping. 9/14 doesn't suck...not great...but doesn't suck.

On to Reasonable Doubt. It is a great album, certainly a classic. I don't think its so great that everyone must call it their favorite Jay album, or his best. People do though, mainly because its one of the things we're supposed to do as "hip-hop lovers" as I mentioned earlier. For me, as a relatively young cat, I can't do it. I feel like it's an album you had to have been able to listen to and understand when it dropped in '96 to truly appreciate its greatness. You had to have been "of age." For me, the time when you hear a song/album factors into its greatness. If you are in a place in life were you can vibe to it because of experience then it will add to its greatness. That's why I love The Black Album more than Reasonable Doubt. I can remember when it dropped, I went to a record store and bought the CD. I remember everyone talking about it and applying songs to their lives. I remember how those joints hit me. The album was like watching Jordan live, as opposed to just on video. The fact that I can say "I remember that" makes it better for me. I have similar feelings and memories regarding The Blueprint. Shoot, I even have very vivid memories of Vol. 3 and The Dynasty. Truthfully, I didn't listen to RD until 11th or 12th grade maybe. It's hard for me to say RD is better than other Jay albums I listened to (and understood) before it. Retroactive listening lets me see its greatness but it still won't let me put it above other Jay albums. That being said, they are only a few songs from RD that I truly love love and can remember all of the words of. Again, the album is certainly a classic, certainly great, not his best and certainly not my favorite. I wish more people would admit they feel the same way.

It's whateva though. Just my opinion but I'm still a true Hip Hop Lover though, I'm also a warrior too. Let that be known.

My top 10 Jay songs deserve its own post so...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Netscape


Crazy story about how I got to this.

Finals been crazy, well school in general of late. I haven't been able to watch much TV. Last night after closing a final out I decided to catch up a little. My DVR was at 97%. I watched the last few episodes of New Girl. Good show, don't know if you watch it but you should. Anyway, Nick was dating an 18 year old and Schmidt said, "man she doesn't even know about Netscape." 

I died! It was way to funny.

Netscape was the less popular internet browser in the late 90s. Everyone was dialing up their AOL but a few of us had encounters with Netscape. It didn't last long and eventually got bought by AOL.

Aww #the90s

Oh and if for no other reason watch New Girl For this:


#Snookup #DT

Monday, April 30, 2012

#HelloBrooklyn

The Brooklyn Nets have unveiled their logos...
The Shield of Brooklyn
Half Court Logo
I absolutely love it! My fan hood has officially begun.

We are the [Undefeated] Champions

Remember how I was in a fantasy basketball league? I went undefeated and won the championship. It was my first time every playing fantasy basketball too. #Beasty


Now I just gotta get the rest of the dudes in the league to #PayUp

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Throwback Thursday: 1998 NFL Draft


This is a little to obvious but whatever. Tonight is the NFL Draft, which as you know I love for multiple reasons. The Colts have the number 1 pick, which they will be using to draft Andrew Luck, after a nonexistent some debate about selecting Heisman winner Robert Griffin the third. The last time they had the number 1 overall pick they selected Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf. We know how that turned out lol. I'm hoping the same doesn't happen this year where one of these dudes (Luck, RG3) turns out to be a bust because I like them both. I'm especially rooting for RG3, despite him becoming a Redskin, because he's a Black QB.

Anyway, the '98 draft was pretty good. When you get past the Manning-Leaf thing you see there were a lot of great players in that 1st round. At 4 the Heisman Winner, perhaps the greats combined college and pro player our generation has ever seen, Michigan Wolverine great, and my favorite player ever: Charles Woodson was selected.

This was also the draft were Randy Moss slipped down to 21st. A lot of teams were feeling real stupid, most notably the Titans who took Kevin Dyson instead. Moss would have gotten them that 1 yard in that SuperBowl...

There were so many great picks in that draft: Fred Taylor at 9, my brother in Blue Hines Ward at 92, Az-Zahir Hakim at 96 and Brooklyn's own Lance Schulters at 119.

Full '98 Draft recap here.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud

Going further back than #the90s this month. I'll be posting things from Black History since it is Black History Month and all. Today were going back to #the60s

No better way to start than with James Brown's anthem celebrating our race. This is a video of him performing it on Soul Train, the iconic show created by Don Cornelius. That show helped promote black culture into the mainstream. Yesterday, Don Cornelius died, apparently he shot himself. Don't feel like that's true and I hope we find out if something else happened.

Don Cornelius is a great person in our history for his promotion of our race. Thanks Don and may you rest in peace.

This song by James Brown let everyone know that we were proud to be black and we were going to let everyone know it.Thanks godfather, may you also rest in peace.


He shouted out Don too.

"I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD!"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Slave Writes Back To His Former Owner

My mother showed me this letter last night that a former slave wrote in response to one he recieved from his former master requesting him to come back to the plantation to work for him. It's great and a perfect way to kick off the shortest month of the year Black History Month. Enjoy.

[Written just as he dictated it.]

Dayton, Ohio, August 7, 1865.

To my old Master, Colonel P. H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee.

Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy,—the[266] folks call her Mrs. Anderson,—and the children—Milly, Jane, and Grundy—go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq.,[267] Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.

Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.

From your old servant,
Jourdon Anderson.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/free-slaves-letter-makes-front-page-news-again--147-years-on-20120201-1qsyh.html#ixzz1lBs9xeK7

That last part about the gun...perfect ending lol.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Returning to School...

My break is over. Been slumming it and bumming it for about 5 weeks but today I return to class...

Only got one thing to say:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Don't Talk About Playoffs

Now that the NFL regular season is over it's time for the playoffs:



That's a special #shoutout to @KingovNy85. During our fantasy football regular season he went 10-1, averaged 140 points a week and demolishing people by 50 points each week. He was the 1st seed for the playoffs and you know who had to face him in the first round? Me lol.

During fantasy season he and I speak every week and prior to our matchup he told me to get ready for my exit. During the first week of the matchup I put up 162.


When he called me the first thing I said to him was "Playoffs, don't talk about playoffs, ya kidding me?" He changed his team name to Don't Talk About Playoffs and proceeded to lose to me by 70 points after another solid week the next week:


So there I was talking all types of shit after knocking off the #1 seed. Karma is a bitch though. I suffered a 70 point beat down in the finals to @CleezyTaughtU:


Congrats to @CleezyTaughtU for going from worst to first and winning it all. #Respect. (Check his site out).

Anyway, the real life playoffs are here after a wild regular season. The matchups are set and it's looking to be a good postseason. What's gonna happen? Here's what I think:

Bengals vs Texans Saturday at 4pm NBC
Houston, you capitalized on the injury to Peyton Manning, but karma is a bitch. Injures have ravished your top 3 QBs and now you have to turn to Jake Delhomme. This isn't is not 2003, when he lead a team to the Superbowl (which was in Houston that year lol). He's 7 years older and spent part of this season on his couch. Good luck with that. 

On the flip side, the Bengals probably would have been better suited missing the playoffs this year if Oakland made the playoffs so that they could get those two #1 picks from the Carson Palmer trade. They would have needed the Raiders to make it to the AFC championship, but crazier things have happened lol. Anyway, the Bengals are a good team but they are a few years (read 1st round picks) away from being a legit playoff contender yearly. They made the postseason but those picks could have lead to a more wins in later postseasons. Whatever, either way they have 2 #1s next year so watch out.

The game will be close. A rookie QB (Andy Dalton) vs a trashy veteran (aforementioned Delhomme) and two good defenses will ensure that. Bengals should be able to handle the Houston run game as long as they don't allow any big runs and make one spectacular play on offense (Dalton to AJ Green or Gresham) to pull out the W.

Bengals 21-17

Saints vs Detroit Saturday 8pm NBC
Welcome back to the playoffs Detroit. Congrats on a solid season and almost going undefeated, well starting 5-0. You did fail in giving the Packers their first L of the year. I thought that was a surefire prediction, silly me.

Saints, congrats on winning the division and ensuring one game in NO because we know that first round travel is a beast for ya. Also congrats on getting the offense on track, on the unstoppable track that is.

This will be a shootout. Points will be put up, two QBs who have thrown 40 TDs = airshow. Megatron will beast it, but Saints have way more weapons, a running game and the sting of that loss last year in their favor.

Saints 42-27

Atlanta vs NY Giants Sunday 1pm FOX
Most intriguing 1st round matchup. Atlanta you over achieved last year and got exposed in the postseason. Convinced that your offense was the problem you traded 5 picks for Julio Jones. Having playmakers at the skill positions is not the problem though, it's Matt Ryan. He is mediocre at best and still hasn't won a playoff game. So he rarely loses at home (26-5), but this isn't a home game lol. Your team is best when it's running big fat Turner all day and he's effective. If not, it's all over for you.

Giants, what a headache you are. for the most part you play to the level of your competition This accounts for the Ls to Washington twice and Seattle and the near L to Miami. This also explains why you beat Dallas twice, the Patriots and nearly beat the Packers and 49ers. You guys play when you want to, and when you want to you guys can really play. It's the playoffs so you guys should want to play, but who knows.

Giants can score points through the air, as long as Eli doesn't get picked and receivers catch their passes. I think they do, Eli stays pick free early and the Gmen put up points early enough to trick Atlanta into think they have to throw to win. Giants have defensive troubles from time to time, but they can usually always rush the passer. These two things together should lead to a few Ryan turnovers and secure the Giants win.

Giants 28-17

Steelers vs Broncos Sunday 4:30 CBS
Broncos, Tebow Time was fun while its lasted but your real colors are showing now. Congrats on making the playoffs but you guys need better QB play. I actually like Tebow but he just can't do it, at least not now.

Steelers have been what we've expected them to be, very good. Their only losses this year have come to high ranked playoff teams. Gotta #respect that. two of those loses were to Baltimore though, costing Pittsburgh homefield in that matchup. The injury bug has also hit them at the worst possible time. A return trip to the Superbowl is in question.

Steelers don't need much from Big Ben or the running game to thoroughly dismantle the Broncos. Defense will shut Tebow down and probably score, maybe twice. Blowout, easy.

Steelers 28-6

If it plays out like this then the 2nd round will shape out like this:

Saints vs 49ers Saturday 1/14 4:30pm FOX
49ers, you've had a great turn around season. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Man, did his thing in guiding the franchise back to the winner ways. Alex Smith you did your best to change people's perception of you. Defense you remained the stout force you've been over the past few year. Altogether you capitalized on playing in a terrible division but also earned some great out of division wins at Eagles, at Lions, vs Giants, and vs Steelers. Good job fellas, 2nd seed, first round bye. Enter the Saints.

Only way SF can win this game is if Frank Gore goes beastly on the ground and chews up so much clock NO doesn't get on the field that much. SF is great on defense, specifically against the run, but the Saints will air it out. After a few early touchdowns, SF will abandon the run game, Alex Smith will return to his original self and throw a few picks/fumble. SF miracle season will be over, Saints to the the conference championship.

Saints 38-17

Bengals vs Patriots 1/14 8pm CBS
Patriots back as the #1 seed after a few rocky seasons of late. Offense super charged as always. Possibly the greatest QB ever, the greatest white receiver ever and two excellent young TEs who may one day be in the greatest discussion as well. Scoring points? Not an issue. Preventing points on the other hand, is a problem. Defense second to last. That and their recent playoff slump may hinder them.

This game against the Bengals will be the perfect elixir though. An easy win for them to get their playoff swagger back. Bengals, you had a good run, but it's midnight.

Patriots 45-20

Steelers vs Ravens Sunday 1/15 1:30pm CBS
Ravens played well for most of the season, including both times they knocked off the Steelers. The defense is still stout and the offense, as long as it is run through Ray Rice, is good as well. The fact that they have earned at least one home game helps them considerably. The week off allows them to rest and get healthy. Against the Steelers these two things will be the difference: Health and Homefield. 

Playing at home will give the Ravens the confidence to finally beat Pittsburgh in the postseason. It may be hard to beat them 3 times in a row, but the Steelers won't be at full strength. The Ravens will be able to get to Big Rape Ben enough to rattle him and prevent him from picking them apart through the air. Ray Rice will make one or two big plays against them probably when Palomalu over pursues or is caught out of place. Ravens eek out a tight one to head to the AFC Championship.

Ravens 23-17

Giants vs Packers 1/15 4:30pm FOX
Packers flirted with perfection. Aaron Rodgers had a ridiculous season, guiding for the most part and offensive juggernaut. The road to the Superbowl goes through Green Bay. Green Bay lost out on the chance for a perfect season but are still in the hunt for a repeat championship so the motivation is there.

The Giants will represent a challenge. They can rush the passer, have a capable QB and have already played them tough once. The Packer defense will play well in this game after having 2 weeks of rest and preparation time. The game will be lower scoring then people expect, but close. The Giants may be worn out (mentally) after 3 consecutive must wins. Eli may not be able to pull of another miracle at Lambeau. A late mistake will lead to a Packer win.

Packers 27-24

Conference Championships 

NFC: Saints vs Packers Sunday 1/22 FOX
Rematch of the season opener. Saints have to travel to Green Bay and play in the cold. They'll remember their Championship appearance at Chicago when they played terrible and be inspired. Brees fueled by his MVP snub and the talk of Rodgers being the best QB in the NFC will out play Rodgers. Both defenses coming of confident performances will force turnovers, but I think the Saints will force one more crucial one which the offense will capitalize on. Close game, Saints pull it out though and head to the Superbowl

Saints 38-34

AFC: Ravens vs Patriots Sunday 1/22 CBS
Classic offense vs defense matchup. Baltimore played well against the Pats a couple years ago in Foxboro so they'll be ready to play. Pats will have their swagger back after dismantling the Bengals. It will be a good game for a while but I think the Pats come out on top because they have more offense and a better QB. Brady will play lights out because of everyone lamenting ARodg or Brees as the new NFL's best. Flacco wont be able to make enough plays to keep up.

Patriots 38-24

Superbowl Febuary 5th 6:30 NBC

Saints vs Patriots

#AllOffenseEverything. Shootout. Flip a coin for the winner. I'll be rooting for the Saints though. I guess I should start planning my Superbowl party.

Don't talk about playoffs.

Sunday, January 1, 2012