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Dear Cazenovia, Thank You

Dear Cazenovia,  At one time in my life,  I barely knew you existed.  My mind raced with imagination, wonder, and curiosity at your interest... with jusssssst a bit of confusion.  Where is that?!! Your small-town vibes seemed foreign.  This bright lights kid from Brooklyn never felt more alone than in the spaces and quietness of your essence.  Our first year felt as predicted, opposites connecting. Sometimes, grinding. Screeching.  Unsure your generous offer would suffice a return.  MY presence, in all of its strength and impact,  caved in on me, fast,  exposing the real world beyond my world's greatest city.  Yet, you called me back,  if you make it there, you can make it anywhere, Ironic. Your forgettable locations, gave me unforgettable moments, where I struckout grown men by learning from a kid's TV show found this debatable voice hidden within, and, experienced stories I carry with me, forever.  It's just babies and memories from here on out, just babies and memories.
Recent posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/14/23

3 Up 1. Pulitzer Prize Winners - In a time when books and literature are being banned or discouraged, it's great to celebrate those that produce this straightforward content that spurs the mind like no other - congratulations to all of the authors, writers, and dope content producers who earned Pulitzer Awards this week.  2. COVID Over - Wow. In 2020 and 2021, I didn't think the end of COVID - at least the urgency - would feel like this. So well...anticlimactic. But here we are. The emergency is over. That's a good thing, right? So why doesn't it feel as I thought it would?  3. Miami Heat - Look, as a Knicks fan, I have no love for the Miami Heat. However, even knocking out my boys, I have to give credit where credit is due - the Heat is remarkable. A roster of seven undrafted players making to the Eastern Conference Finals is every bit of what "Heat Culture" is described as being.  We often throw around "superstar" too often in Basketball. Jimmy But

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 5/7/23

3 Up 1. Rock and Roll Inductees - Congrats to a few more names who made their way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this week. The Hall continues to its direction of some unorthodox inductees (is Rock and Roll dead?), but regardless of that debate, you can't deny the quality of artists getting the nod.  2. Bad Bunny - Yo, this dude had concerts, made appearances, participated in the Met Gala, and then on Saturday night performed at WWE's Backlash in his hometown of Puerto Rico in what was an absolute banger. Bad Bunny is immensely talented. Also happy to see him break through so many barriers as a non-English singing artist.  3. NBA on TNT - It's already public knowledge, but giving this crew some love again, especially during the playoffs. They remain the absolute pinnacle of in-studio sports television. The complete opposite of the trainwreck that is ESPN's coverage.  3 Down 1. Dallas Mall Shooting - We're so desensitized. All of it, is so immensely heartbreaki

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 4/30/23

3 Up 1. Harry Belafonte - A legend passed away this week. And it goes to show you how important learning about these icons often disappears following a brief moment of reflection. The stories of Belafonte go well beyond his talents and abilities as a performer. There were so many stories this week of his instrumental guidance during the civil rights era. RIP to an absolute legend.  1a - Jerry Springer - While at it, Jerry Springer also left Earth this week. Known for his television show that gripped daytime TV and defined the 90s, Springer also had a political career as a Mayor. Culturally defined and influenced by Mr. Springer.  2. Jimmy Butler - Jimmy Butler absolutely went off this week - this also, unfortunately, carried over into Game 1 against my New York Knicks. Playoff Jimmy is impressive.  2a. Drew Maggi - Another sub-"UP" is the story of Drew Maggi. Maggi grinded it out for thirteen years in the minor leagues. This week he not only got a call-up, he was able to notc

Knicks Advance: "Is this what it feels like when your team wins?"

It's a been while since I've ranted and discussed my New York Knicks. Just checking the archives on this site, there was a time in my life when this platform served as therapy through some extraordinary years of ineptitude and failure.  But, here we are, headed to the second round of the NBA playoffs for the first time in a decade. And with that, squaring off against a familiar foe in the Miami Heat.  I can go on and on, but at this moment, I find myself with the same feeling I did as a young kid in 1999. You know, the year the Knicks made a run to the NBA Finals as the #8 seed. I'm not saying we're headed to the big stage, but there is joy there. A youthful, enthusiastic, innocent joy in this fandom that I haven't had in a long time.  Is this what it feels like when your team wins?  Some other quick notes and thoughts:  - I'll get this out of the way - you just have to love the "fans" who hop aboard once things get going. That used to annoy me. But wi

On The Other Side of 'The Heavy'

The world feels like a heavier place these days.  I wonder if it's my own circumstance (just a me problem?) - the way I constantly look at the world for my son, and through my son. Or if it's the constant - what feels like, never-ending - negative news (and crazy people!) that is always there. The always-updated feed with 'happenings' leaves you wondering if these crazy things happened in the past - maybe we just didn't know?  Or, if it truly has become as heavy, and as out of control as it feels.  Lately, I've been thinking about the story of Ralph Yarl. I've been thinking about everything that worries me about the story in regard to our society's climate. I've agonized about how easy Ralph could be my son if we continue to move in this direction as people. I also feel on the inside (with severe empathy and experience) for the weight carried by today's children of color. I know the weight of attempting to disarm yourself. I still do. Yet, I wond

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 4/23/23

3 Up   1. "Gardening" Under Water - It's always doom and gloom when it comes to our planet. However, on the weekend of Earth Day, it was really cool to learn that scientists are creating new opportunities to replace coral reefs in the oceans. Of course, coral reefs combat CO2, which is super helpful to us all.  2. Boxing - I've long stated boxing needs some sort of update. Just my quick take, but the sport gained a huge win this weekend with the Davis vs. Garcia fight. Great stuff. Great fighters. Good fight.  3. Jim Fullan, Grandfather Student-Athlete - So much credit to Fullan who is retired, and is now pursuing his dreams as a...student-athlete! Fullan enrolled in a local community college and made the team and is now playing college baseball. That's pretty damn cool. I hope the athletic trainer is ready to go... 3 Down 1. Gun Use - Every week that goes by, our obsession with guns becomes sicker and sicker. See the two sub-categories "downs": 1a. Ra

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 4/16/23

3 Up 1. JustCARE - The issue of homelessness, and in some cases, affordable housing, remains an issue around the nation in various areas. The approach of the JustCARE program on homelessness camps is an interesting read, and quite frankly, a refreshed approach to tackling the issue.  2. Tampa Bay Rays - How does this franchise do it? They're off to a hot start to the MLB season. Who saw this coming?  3. Greg Popovich - Kudos to Popovich for his gun control comments. It's quite interesting the leeway that Popovich has to make these comments so freely and so confidently in a world where every notable figure is criticized for anything attached to politics.  Nonetheless, I appreciate Popovich's continued use of his platform for such causes.  3 Down 1. Mass Shooting in Kentucky -  We continue to just live in a country where this is normal. It's unbelievable how we refused to address the issue.  2. Dalai Lama - Sure, he apologized. But come on! What kind of shhhhhh did he

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 4/9/23

3 Up 1. Easter - He. Is. Risen! I'm always a fan of the Holiday for its feeling of renewal and rebirth.  Happy Holidays to those who celebrate, along with those of other faiths celebrating Passover and Ramadan. 2. Astronaut of Artemis II Missions - Thi is a cool story. Four astronauts, commander Reid Wiseman, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialists Christina Koch and Jeremy Hansen will fly around the moon for 10 days in November. So cool.  3. Endeavor - Giving the "Up" here to the company for acquiring WWE and its plan to merge it with UFC. They WILL own the largest sports entertainment company (worth $21 Billion). That's some stuff... 3 Down 1. Catholic Clergy of Baltimore Sexual Abuse - Certainly NOT the news you want on an Easter weekend. But I continue to wonder why the Catholic Church continues to operate in such a way? The cover-ups? Why?  2. Extreme Weather - Not only have we seen extreme weather in California and surging water out West, but tornadoes al

WWE Wrestlemania 39 (Sunday) Review: "Two Matches That I Cannot Wait to Rewatch"

While I grew tired of the super long Wrestlemanias that were 6+ hours in length and very much prefer the two-night format, it still is rather strange to gear yourself up for another night of action. Especially, when Night 1 was so incredibly fun with a lot of tremendous moments. Dare I say, there is a hint of it feeling less "special" when there are two nights. But eh, such is the tradeoff. With the record-breaking revenue generated, I doubt we'll ever get back to one night.  But eh, whatevs.  Night Two was a mixed bag in my opinion. Not many "moments" or good feels - possibly because it's Night Two - but the in-ring action was absolutely awesome. Specifically, two matches that I cannot wait to rewatch.  With that said, here are my thoughts and reactions to Night Two of Wrestlemania 39:  - Before jumping into the card, the following must be said - Samantha Irvin is THE BEST in-ring announcer in pro wrestling, RIGHT NOW. I also think second place is not very

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 4/2/23

3 Up 1. Women's College Basketball - From the epic semi-final that was Iowa vs. South Carolina that crushed it in the ratings to today's awesome drama that was Iowa vs. LSU, women's basketball earned some much-deserved respect in the mainstream sports media. Shout out to all in today's game - loved it.  1a. Confident Women - I'm not jumping on a hot take regarding Caitlin Clark and Angela Reese. Both are super confident women who talked trash and balled. Give the women the space to do it, take it, and express it - like we do the men. Much respect to Clark and to Reese as well.  2. Wrestlemania - An amazing two nights for the WWE. Just epic storytelling and overall solidifies the greatest live event in entertainment. No one does it like the WWE.  3. Pandemic Over (?) - So, I'm not sure if anyone has officially, officially ended the pandemic - if they did, I definitely missed it. However, with the Senate voting to overturn the COVID-19 national emergency order, is

WWE Wrestlemania 39 (Saturday) Review: "Night One Was Awesome"

I've been looking forward to Wrestlemania and that is largely due to the great stories the WWE has running into this year's Showcase of the Immortals . Of course, the wrestling world has been lit on fire for everything that has been The Bloodline, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens...and now, enter, Cody Rhodes. The WWE also has done something that hasn't felt like something they've done in previous years (I could be wrong, just not remembering as I punch the keys here) in stringing some really good shows together heading into Wrestlemania. And they kept that going tonight. Night one was awesome. There were a few matches that I wasn't sure I would be into, but I found myself completely immersed. Maybe it's just Wrestlemania and we're all letting our guards (and heightened cynicism for review) down and just enjoying it. I wish we did that more as wrestling fans.  Nonetheless, the following are some quick thoughts and reactions to Wrestlemania Saturday:  - Let's s

Predictions and Wild Guesses for the 2023 MLB Season

The Major League Baseball season snuck up on me. It really did. From the success of my New York Knicks, the crazy March Madness results, and everything that was the World Baseball Classic, suddenly opening day was upon us. Truthfully, I wish it were like that all the time. Spring Training, the mundane product it can be at times, can feel like a sludge until games mattered.  Nonetheless, here we are!  I'm super interested in the new rules to help move games along. I'm also interested to see how the on-the-field product changes, more so how it becomes more entertaining. The game does need it.  There's not much else to say in this introduction. I'm happy to dive into the baseball season. As always, below are my wacky predictions and wild guesses for the 2023 MLB season.  --- STANDINGS (WINS) AL East Yankees - 93 Orioles - 88 Blue Jays - 87 Rays - 82 Red Sox - 77 AL Central Guardians - 91 White Sox - 85 Twins - 83 Royals - 74 Tigers - 70 AL West Astros - 101 Angels - 90 Ran

Final Thoughts on World Baseball Classic 2023

I've always thought the skepticism around the World Baseball Classic was silly. Dating back to 2006 when a young me adorned a college dorm room with buddies, lauding the tournament concept, the World Baseball Classic was just as important.  It never grew. It never increased in awesomeness. It never "got better".  The truth has always been that we - the United States of America - didn't respect it. For whatever arrogant belief we had, maybe because baseball is the fabric of our culture and yes, we're pretty good at it, our country struggles with the international concept. Unlike the rest of the world, the club comes before the country representation, which is strange considering our belief in socially accepted feelings around exceptionalism and requisites for patriotism.  I'll digress here... Whatever.  The World Baseball Classic is one of the most significant additions to the game and the sport. In this 2023 edition, we - as Americans - are beginning to not on

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 3/26/23

3 Up 1. Aid Workers Freed - After six years of captivity, an American aid worker who served as a missionary and as a humanitarian aid worker was freed in Niger. The story is one that surely places life in perspective.  2. Shoehei Ohtani - Ohtani sure is fun on the big stage, huh? MLB has one of the most entertaining athletes on the globe. Let's hope they can capitalize on that.  2a. Team Japan - I won't get into the wars of baseball here, but it sure was fun to watch Japan's approach to baseball throughout the tournament. There's a lot to be said about how they play the game, more so, how they teach the game.  2c. World Baseball Classic - Ohtani vs. Trout to end the tournament. You couldn't have drawn up a better script. I completely expect the next one to be just as good.  3. Adam Sandler - Say what you want about Sandler - fan or not - receiving the Mark Twain Prize for his almost-three decades of work is pretty remarkable. I actually had the privilege to meet Sa