While You Were Avoiding Michael Vick Stories. . .

An article by ESPN's Jemele Hill reminded me of some obscure, not as well known stories that have not received a whole lot of attention in the media because of mainstream (mostly white) America's fascination with turning Michael Vick into the new O.J. And because this is supposed to be more than just a sports blog I would feel remiss if I didn't try to cast more attention on them.

One of the stories that she mentions is the disappearance of Stepha Henry. Stepha Henry is an attractive 22-year old recent college graduate from NY who went missing during a Memorial Day weekend trip to Miami that was to celebrate her younger sister's 16th birthday. She was last seen getting into a vehicle with a man on her way to a popular Miami nightspot. This story has received a good deal of national attention, the story of her disappearance has been highlighted by MSNBC and America's Most Wanted among others, but has failed to generate the kind of publicity that other similar well known cases have like say for instance, Chandra Levy or Natalee Holloway (who for the record just happen to be white). There are a lot of areas of this case that would probably be looked into a lot more closely if it were receiving the kind of scrutiny those other cases I mentioned did. Let's hope that eventually it will and before it's too late for Stepha.

Another story that needs scrutiny by the media, especially these days in this society, is the case of the "Jena Six" in Jena, LA. Website 'While Seated' has a good summary of the facts of this case. In a nutshell six black high school students have been brought up on various charges including conspiracy to commit murder for responding to racial harrasment (including physically violent confrontations) they experienced for trying to put an end to some of the segregation era traditions at the school they attend. This story really does a lot to illustrate how prejudice and racism are still very alive and well in this country, particulary in Louisiana. If you think this viewpoint has no validity, you need to read up on it.

Also forget the mainstream (white) national media, where are our own leaders and media outlets on this???!!! Everyone from BET to the NAACP has issued public statements regarding Vick but I haven't heard a peep about Jena, LA. I'm starting to feel what Jason Whitlock has been saying.

Herbie Goes to China

Bucks finally sign Yi. This is a most unexpected and pleasant surprise. I guess it does help your team in certain situations if your owner is a United States Senator (I think even a senator from Wisconsin can exert some type of political pressure on the appropriate Chinese officials). I think most NBA fans had pretty much forgotten about the Yi issue with all the fallout from Vickgate, or figured that the China man would just be sitting out this season until he could reenter the draft. But I've been keeping up with Yi's individual play while his Chinese national team has been getting beat down in the EFES World Cup tournament. While as a whole the teams play has generally been subpar Yi has been holding his own (of course NBA caliber comp is a different story). Props to my fellow blogspot brother Just Another Bucks Fan for letting us know we had hope before the official word was out.


Time for some more 'Quickie' style

Seems like there's suddenly a lot going on in the sports related world this week so once again I must adopt the writing style of the old 'Daily Quickie' column that used to appear on ESPN.com written by Dan Shanhoff . (one of my favorite blog sites too)

Latrell Sprewell's yacht gets repossessed. See!!! He did need the money!!! Seriously I've always liked Spree as a player, coach choking aside. Being from the same city and remembering the great Milwaukee Washington High basketball team he was on I've always had a soft spot for him as he managed to get drafted out of Alabama (same year as Bob Horry) as a defensive specialist. From all accounts except for ESPN's Chris Sheridan he's a nice enough guy so I hope he hasn't squandered all his NBA earnings. But I understand he does have his own car street racing business.

Jerome Bettis admits to faking an injury, in Steelers training camp in 2001 in his new book. Hmmm wonder what his former teammates think about that. I think it's what Bettis probably meant it to be: an intriguing anectdote.

The 53 dogs seized in the Michael Vick case are on a deadline to be put to sleep!!?? and the people from PETA are in approval of it. I may not be in sync with the popular opinion but isn't this a tad bit hypocritical?

"There's no dispute over who owns the dogs," said Daphna Nachminovitch, a spokeswoman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "Obviously this is not going to be a process where someone steps forward and says, 'This is my dog, can I have her back, please?' "

"These dogs are a ticking time bomb," she said. "Rehabilitating fighting dogs is not in the cards. It's widely accepted that euthanasia is the most humane thing for them."

So basically PETA is in favor of doing the same thing to these dogs that Vick & Co. would have supposedly done if say they had failed to perform well enough to win fights? Where's all the compassion for these animals that supposedly led to such strong outrage when these charges were revealed? Would Vick be looked upon more kindly if he had been 'euthanizing' the dogs in a humane way instead of apparently torturing them to death?

The idiot Sonics co-owner who spilled the beans on the current owners real intentions gets fined 250 g's by the NBA. Could this be a sign that Stern is not going to let Clay Bennett slip thru the cracks even though he's still dealing with the fallout from the Donaghy scandal? I for one think it would set a good precendent with NBA fans if the commish stepped in and basically forced a deal to be made.

Tyler Donovan will start at QB for Wisconsin. I think Bielema made a good choice here. Atheletic junior Allen Everidge (transfer from K. State) might be more successful in the long run but Donovan is a fifth-year senior who has paid his dues and performed well in spot duty. He's an accurate passer with better-than-you-think mobility. I think he will happily surprise a lot of people this season.

I'm starting to come around seriously believing/hoping in the Brewers season. I actually was anxious watching their loss to Arizona last night where the Brewers had control until the 7th. This is such an unusual feeling Milwaukeeans aren't used to being in the middle of a heated pennant race. I'm hesitant to get emotionally involved and yet as a loyal Wisconsin sports fan feel I must, but if we go on another 8 game losing streak I'm going to be disgusted.

Speculation on the possibility of Mike Holmgren replacing Bob Harlan as team chairman. Not coach and chairman, just chairman. That might be a real good fit as Holmgren has always been a pretty good judge of talent.


The bell tolls for thee, Michael Vick

So this is how it ends??? If I was a fan of the Falcons like I am the Packers, I would be devestated. As far as QB's go Vick was far from perfect but he was the guy who made the Falcons even relevant. But wow, just a few months ago people were saying that once again the Falcons looked pretty good for the upcoming season. Their wide recievers were finally supposed to be developing (even though Finneran is out for the year again), Jerious Norwood was supposedly looking improved . . . and then bam! Just like that the whole complexion of this team has changed. Are they pass first or run first? When they need a big play who does it go to? What are their strengths now as a team (do they have any)? A good SportsGuyism would be to say that this is like when you were in high school and your boy had a girlfriend who had a smoking hot best friend and you finally rigged it (without being too obvious) to where you guys were all going out on a double date so you could make your move but then the best friend backs out at the last minute so your boy's girl brings her 14-year old sister instead.

I can't believe that 5 years from now Vick will be pretty much irrelevant to the NFL. Given the way his career was headed he was going to be regarded as another Randall Cunningham at the worst and who knows after he got a little older he might have actually turned into a complete QB. Now he's going to be like . . . I can't think of any other player whose career had so much potential but burned out so quickly (except maybe Sterling Sharpe but totally different circumstances). He'll probably end up being better known for his demise. A talented athlete who never grasped the intracacies of playing QB in the NFL (ESPN and other sports sites are already starting to talk about his career in this light). No more will we hear sportscasters narrating his highlight footage in awe as he easily eludes would be tacklers and slings the ball at an impossible angle for a 60-yard completion. What's even more sad is the toll it will take on his reputation. Here was a young black man in Atlanta, GA drafted no.1 (first black QB ever taken no. 1 overall) and in posession of millions of dollars yet you never heard a peep in the news about him getting arrested and a club, stip club, etc., or being pulled over with drugs early in the morning, or any kind of domestic violence situation. He was involved in a large number of charitable activities that were generally unreported in the media (positive news about black athletes = boring) unless it was something he didn't show up for. Now he will just be another ex-con looking for a job. Speaking strictly as a fan, just doesn't seem right.

And I'm not saying he didn't bring all of this on himself or that his alleged treatment of the dogs wasn't horrible (I'm a dog owner), but can everyone at least concede that this is regrettable? Why is he being attacked as if he's behind the 9/11 bombings or has been secretly funding Al Quaeda, or like he somehow deserves to have his life in shambles, his means of supporting himself and his family taken away, and to be publicly ostracized for making a mistake and getting involved in an activity that was illegal but not really looked down upon publicly by anyone prior to this?

I'm not the kind of fan who likes to hold Moral Court and try to hold someone who is basically just like me to some type of higher standard because they have a more athletic frame and can run faster in full pads with a linebacker chasing them. So I will mourn the death of Michael Vick: the football player and hope that in time Michael Vick: the person will find redemption.


Green Bay Packers 2007: A New Hope? Starring A.J. Hawk as Luke, Aaron Rodger as Hans Solo, and Brett Farve as Obi Wan Kenobi

I kind of didn't post on the Packers preseason win last week on purpose for a number of reasons. First for the purpose of the sports posts on this blog I am adopting the persona of 'Mr. Wolf' in 'Pulp Fiction' who while I wouldn't necassarily charachterize as a pessimist, he's the kind of guy who never counts his chickens before he fries them up and eats them.

As such Mr. Wolf says hey it's only the preseason, wait til it counts to get excited. So the kid Rodgers finally had a decent game, it's about time. Let me know when he has a great game. Besides he was the only real bright spot besides them winning the game. The offense as a whole still sputtered and the secondary continued to give up big plays. They did manage to win but so what? We need to see some progress not continually hear about the potential to gel.

The game this week was one Mr. Wolf could sit down and watch while enjoying a nice cup of coffee. The first team offense seemed to be clicking right away. I was particulary encouraged by the running of Brandon Jackson and the blocking of the offensive line which seemed to be in pretty good sync. For once the defense made big plays instead of giving them up. A.J. Hawk's play stood out and gave the Wolf a little hope that his high draft status last year would yet be justified. Aaron Rodgers looked like he took another step in the right direction in his development as a player. The Wolf is beginning to be able to see the leadership abilities Rodgers showed at Cal coming out a little, at least with the second team. Yes it's only the preseason but we're a little short on wins lately so we'll take it. Who knows how many more we'll get.


The Sun Won't Come Out

Speaking of 'Bamboozled' I'm linking to a good read over at Supernegro about the history of minstrel shows in America. A must read if you have no idea what a minstrel show is or how it impacted the dynamic of race relations in this country.



"In 2005, according to the Census Bureau, there were 864,000 black men in college. According to Justice Department statistics, there were 802,000 in federal and state prisons and jails." Does that fact surprise you? Are you used to negative statistics that constantly reiterate the common notion that there are more black men in jail than in college? Maybe you should check out some more facts on commonly held misbeliefs at whatblackmenthink.com. This blog is the brainchild of brother Janks Morton, whose interview I caught the other day on 'Keeping It Real with Homer Blow' broadcast on Milwaukee's concious black radio station WNOV 860 AM. His message is a call for the African American community to come together as a people and stop looking to anybody or anything else in any way, shape, or form to lift us out of the predicament we find ourselves in. He also has a documentary that he has produced on this topic that he is currently previewing all over the country. What seperates this work from others on the same topic is how the brother clearly breaks it down and makes links between aspects of society that are often overlooked by other studies. Don't be the last on the bandwagon.

Real Hip-Hop Heads, Supernegro has a link to Public Enemy's latest single (even if you had no idea, act like you know). Nice to see Flav go back to basics.

Always Something New

I'm introducing a new feature to this blog, I'm calling it History vs. HIStory. Every week I'm going to try to highlight a different obscure fact or topic in Pan-African history by posting a link to a credible information source related to the topic. The links will be about stuff that is definitely not covered in the average high school history class. I think I will start with the Mau Mau's because I just watched 'Bamboozled' again last night (a very underrated Spike Lee movie that was not hyped up in the media, I wonder why;)) and I love that part of the story line. Hopefully this new feature will start sparking some debate and information exchange around this piece.

Fantasy Footballers have you checked out YouTube's Fantasy Files where potential NFL fantasy picks showcase their talents? Even if you don't use it for consideration on your draft choices it is must see. Check out Jason Campbell's file


Around My Horn

Barry finally hits 756. As an African-American I am proud of him (as I was when he broke the single season home run record). What most makes me proud for him is the humility and respect he has shown when addressing the media during all the hype leading up to this moment(no matter how much they try to bait him), not at all what you would expect if your impressions of him as a person were solely based on media accounts and had never seen him in public.

Also I may sound naive here but can I ask the media, if this guy is so conceited and ego-centric and owes his head size to his sense of entitlement is he really smart enough to be a massive steroid consumer and have avoided any kind of positive test ever? Is there ever going to be anything more than conjecture and assumptions in the case against him? I know there's lots of so called "damaging testimony" from all kinds of people but will there ever be any hard cold CSI style undisputable evidence? Just a random thought from a very casual baseball fan.

Side note: I ran across this photoshopped Bond's rookie card at profootballtalk.com

Interesting read at the leader comparing Barry's career trajectory to Mickey Mantle's. Interesting to me because as a casual baseball fan I never delved to deeply into the details of his (Mickey Mantle's) career.

This just in out of nowhere: Penny Hardaway signs with the Heat. Knew they were desperate for help but damn. So now the Heat has Shaq, Walker, GP, Eddie Jones, Penny . . . this is like the where are they now roster for former mid to late '90's NBA All-Stars who you thought were already out of the league (they should have went harder after G. Hill). Although in all seriousness Penny should have been on my Coulda Woulda post (just didn't come to mind). He was one of the best guards in the league no question once upon a time(remember he was supposed to be the next Magic). The combo of him and Shaq quickly took Orlando to the NBA finals, but then Shaq wanted to leave and the knee problems started . . . oh well Memphis State fans still love him (that's right Memphis State ho).

Looks like Mike Alstott's career might be over. Sad to see AllState go (one of the great natural nicknames in the NFL, see Berman is good for something). Did you know that he is the Bucs second all time leader in rushing yards but only has slightly over 5,000? (James Wilder is No. 1) Have the Bucs ever had a big time running back? But he has to be considered one of if not the greatest fullbacks of all time right? HOF worthy? (I bet he gets in eventually).

Meet Ted Thompson; Packer GM/extreme dumbfuck. The Green Bay Packers have over $13 million in cap space left and I have a question for Ted Thompson: what the fuck are you waiting for?!! Our starting running back is projected to be a guy who didn't start on his college team until his last year. We could some veteran talent at almost every critical position on offense and defense. We have a chance to aquire a still very talented Randy Moss at a very reasonable cost and pass. Ted, guess what . . . the draft only happens once a year you dumbshit (and you're not doing so hot with that either). And you know what else I've heard? Teams can actually add players to their rosters at other times during the year! It's called free agency, you might want to look into it before we look into buying out your contract.


It's About Time

The first preseason USA Today/ESPN coaches poll is out and the Wisconsin Badgers are ranked seventh. Good shit. It's about time we get some respect (even the majority of sports blogdome ignores UW athletics). Now we just have to back it up. No unecessary losses to overmatched opponents who win cuz they were more hyped up. And no late season losses just when we get near the top of the polls (Wisconsin doesn't get enough respect nationally to ever be considered for a no. 1 ranking). Though if we have to lose once or twice I would prefer it be in the beginning of the season. That would still give us time to make up ground by running the table thru the Big Ten schedule. Like many writers have said, that's what really makes college football so popular. If you want to play for a national championship you can't lose more than 2 games, and really 1 is pushing it. If you do lose 2 or 3 games you better hope it's early in the season and that your team can go on a streak in their conference schedule that strengthens their case in the voters eyes. Also you need to at least enter the season ranked or you don't have a chance, season's not long enough for that kind of climb in the polls. So right now Wisconsin is starting off on the right foot, to be continued . . .


Biting Styles

Got a lot of thoughts on sports issues running thru my mind that would take too long to post seperately, so instead I decided to bless you guys with a 'Quickie Style' post (the technique of which I am biting off of the author of one of my favorite blogs, Dan Shanoff). Reading the Daily Quickie was really how I got hooked on ESPN.com, it became something that I had to look at everyday (especially after big Wisconsin wins). I really appreciated it after it was discontinued because I've found that the site just seems a little boring now (A.M. Jump does not have shit on the Quickie). So here I go quickie style, but it will take you longer than 2 minutes to read this:

Latest Brewers doings.
They outlasted the Mets last night. Tom Glavine was all set to record win number 300, but the Brewers had their minds set on breaking out of their latest losing streak. Geoff Jenkins hits the walkoff homerun in the 13th hmm . . . possibly we should not trade him after all. Besides he looks almost exactly like Brett Farve, so fans would revolt. Update after losing horribly last night the Brew crew is out of first place (Cubs fans predictions coming true, arrrgggh!!!)

Bill Walsh dies.
Great football mind. From all accounts great man. Thanks for prepping Holmgren before he came to Green Bay.

Larry Donaghy scandal.
This was really big when it broke, but I think it is now being eclipsed in the media with their coverage on Michael Vick. Just out of curiosity I wonder if just the races of the accused in these cases were reversed, would the media coverage be any different? Rednecks feel free to enlighten me.

Michael Vick scandal.
Forget about what color his skin might be, the dog in him, and his notable defenicies as a quarterback for a second and look at him as just a football player. If you are a true sports fan (or just NFL) you have to admit if he goes to jail (looks more and more like he will) this will go down as one of the one of the all time examples of a star professional athelete whose career was over way before it's time. He may not be able to read defenses but he is (was?) still arguably the most exciting player in the league, the most unpredictable X-factor for any team. And one day people will just remember him like they remember Kordell Stewart.

Kevin Garnett and Boston Celtics together in the same sentence.
Talk about the belly of the beast for an African-American. But I think someone of Garnett's charachter will be ok playing in Boston. Paul Pierce has been doing it alright. The other facet to this story is how this puts the East on top. Shaq and Wade, Lebron and the Lebrons? (whatever), Rip and Chauncy, Kidd and VC, Dwight and Rashard Lewis, Eddie and Zach, GA and Caron, and now KG, Ray Ray, and The Truth? I can't wait for the All-Star game, which should be a lot more exciting this year.

Skip Prosser passes.
Great coach by all accounts. Hard to maintain a high profile basketball program in a state dominated by Carolina and Duke but he did it at Wake Forest with a mixture of good recruiting and solid coaching.

Colts to release Corey Simon.
Where the hell has this guy been??!! Are we ever going to find out how this guy went from Pro Bowler, one of the top 3 defensive players in the leauge to becoming the Howard Hughes of the NFL?? Anybody?? I bet if dogs were involved the media would be all over it.

Donald Rumsfeld basically says "yeah we covered up the details of Pat Tillman's death. . . so what?" Did the House committee conducting this investigation really expect Rumsfeld to be apologetic or accept responsibility in any way? Please you want him on that wall, you need him on that wall.

Brett Farve shows some humility.
Just when even I was beginning to think he's been a little too smug lately, he basically admits to the fans and the franchise that if the Packers suck again this season they need to get rid of him while they can still get something for him. And he says some other mostly optomistic stuff, but that's the part that caught my attention. I'm a loyal fan but they just did not do enuff in the offseason to get over the hump. I'm interested to see what his attitude is like come that last game in December.

How'd I do Shanhoff (or anyone else who cares to comment)?