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Rittenhouse Trial Thoughts: "Correct Verdict Doesn't Equate to Justice"

The alert came across the screen on my phone and I didn't even address it. Not even a flinch from me to tap it for more details. The news alert read on the home screen "Rittenhouse Not Guilty" in the short blurb that illuminated my phone for my eyes to see, for my mind to absorb, and for my feelings to remain unmoved.  I expected it. Much like many others did.  I turned on the TV to the usual cable networks for a little bit, flipping between their coverages to get the pulse of the nation - or at least, how each political side expected to present, explain, or even spin the narratives that come from the occurrence.  I watched clips of the moment - seeing Kyle Rittenhouse's body tremble as each count was read. I watched him collapse as the final "not guilty" rang throughout the courtroom, unable to control his limbs, incapable of holding together his breathing, and clutching the lawyer desperately who just literally saved his life. 
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Thanksgiving 2021: 5 Things I'm Thankful For

The season is upon us we all begin to reflect on the year, explore our deepest thoughts and feelings of gratitude, and express appreciation for the truer, more meaningful things in life.  I would be lying if I didn't admit that I am so incredibly excited for this holiday season. The combination of wanting the rest from what has been a demanding and exhausting semester (shout out to everyone in Student Affair realms and in Education around the country - hang in there), seeing these holidays through my son's eyes as he now understands and appreciates them, and my experiences over the last few years (losing my dad and the effects of the pandemic), all of it makes for an anticipated Holiday season - Thanksgiving included. I'm not quite sure what it is, or why the sudden feeling, but the need to express gratitude is even more abundant this year in my heart than it is has been. I have tried to remain more mindful over the last couple of months - being more present, spending energ

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 11/21/21

3 Up 1. COVID Boosters - Look, I'm not getting into vaccinations and whatnot...I'm over the discussion for 2021. However, I still find it remarkable that we not only have vaccinations for what we experienced not too long ago, but further science to help the cause.  2. MLB Covers Minors Housing - This was a long time coming. Say what you want about the changes to the minor leagues (reduction of franchises - some even closing), but the improvement of the pipeline is soooooooooo crucial if the sport is serious about improving its diversity and inclusion efforts, as well as attracting (and competing for) top talent. Plus, it's just the right thing to do. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 11/14/21

3 Up 1. Infrastructure Bill - Well, after waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and...waiting - the Infrastructure Bill was passed by the house and is expected to be signed into law this coming week. The bill has bi-partisan support - nice to see both sides playing nice. It's also nice to see these issues finally addressed.  2. U.S. Opens to International Travelers - Whatever your thoughts have been, are, or will be on the COVID pandemic, it doesn't matter as it really is heartwarming to see so many reunited because of international borders, COVID, and everything else that has happened over the past 18 months.  3. Tik Tok Hand Signal Rescues Missing Girl - This story is just wild. Social media may have its proven drawbacks because we've abused it - but it's stories like this that have made it invaluable in real life.  3 Down 1. Kyle Rittenhouse Cross-Examination - I spent my commutes home from work following this case, especially the day in which Kyle Rittenhouse took the

Dope Sports Threads: NBA 75th Anniversary City Editions

As the NBA turns 75 this year, the ultimate opportunist that is Nike decided to unveil "new" (notice the quotations for some teams) jersey designs that would celebrate the city AND the history of each franchise.  As described by Nike, "Each 2021-22 Nike NBA City Edition team uniform represents the ultimate basketball moments mixtape – a compilation of the franchise’s greatest hits through the years in every design." Quite frankly, putting together a jersey that encapsulates each team's greatest moments sounds super awesome, and the kind of creativity that I'm here for.  Nike's release also stated,"Beyond some of the more obvious design elements, the uniforms include many subtle touches (“easter eggs”) that highlight pivotal moments from each team’s history." Alright, that's pretty dope! 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 11/7/21

3 Up 1. NYC Marathon Runners (and Winners) - Every year I marvel at marathoners - especially those who run the race in a ridiculous amount of time. The kind of time that one couldn't travel through all five boroughs if you gave them a car to do so. I'm lucky to have known several people who completed the marathon this year, and once again am in awe of winners, Albert Korir and Peres Jepchirchir.  2. Candidates of Color - Election Day was this week and it was especially interesting for me to see who remained motivated in the voting process following 2020's Presidential Election, and what the landscape will be as we head into midterms. 

Baseball's Turbulent Season - Quick Thoughts from the 2021 World Series

Well, baseball is finally over and if you thought the Atlanta Braves would be holding the commissioner's trophy at the end of the season, you are the biggest liar on earth, or you should probably be connected to something much more important in life.  This season was OK. That's not saltiness from the way the season ended for my New York Yankees, but truly, this year's baseball season just felt like a year of turbulence for the sport that made its way to the World Series in the way this 2021 season could only do. MLB just continued to do great things, but yet, willingly smash itself in the face with choices that diverted the attention away. World Series included.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/31/21

3 Up 1. Netflix's Maid - Easily one of the best series I've ever seen. No hyperbole - I loved EVERYTHING about this limited series - it's been a long time since I've felt this way from a screenplay. Margaret Qualley was absolutely fantastic. Just pure beauty in this performance. Please watch Maid for its art, but more so, for its insight into domestic violence, poverty, and the will of the human spirit.  2. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees - The R&R HOF over the years has expanded it's "Rock and Roll" definition, and thus, we got an awesome collection of inductees this year, including some of my faves - Jay-Z, LL Cool J, and the Foo Fighters. Congrats to all. 

ROH's "End" Deserves More

It's only right that I start this post with the code of honor... :::handshake::: The wrestling world was delivered a blow the likes of a Nigel Mcguiness European uppercut when Ring of Honor Wrestling (ROH) let the world know via a Tweet that it would be ceasing operations for the foreseeable future. While the "taking time to reimagine itself" line offered more cryptic thoughts than reasons for optimism of a revamped product - because well, who shuts down for several months and releases all of its talent? - the random announcement felt more like the final punctuation period on what surely will be an entity that deserves more for it's contribution to pro wrestling.  That final punctuation felt as flat, as emotionless, and as sudden as the kind of statement that rings true, but is so cold in its delivery - basically, dead upon arrival.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/24/21

3 Up 1. Science and Research - Look, I'm not trying to get into any debates or start trouble with this selection. I'm just giving props to the men and women who continue to develop these vaccines - and now approved booster shots - that help fight off this terrible virus that has plagued over the past 18 months. Some countries still don't have an option when it comes to vaccines - we're onto booster shots, and can "choose". Perspective and privilege are needed sometimes.  2. Col. Wang Yaping - Give it up to Yaping who in six weeks will become the first Chinese woman to walk in space. OF course, she is receiving tons of backlash from the media - but hey, did we expect anything else? 

Predictions and Wild Guesses for the 2021-22 NBA Season

For the first time in as long as I can remember, my New York Knicks have become a bit of a sanctuary for my sports fandom. Everything that has been the New York Yankees summer, and recent elimination, just begs for a proverbial turning of the page. The NBA season is that new chapter.  The Knicks season is a bit of a conundrum, as they've gotten much better, BUT, so did the rest of the Eastern Conference. I'm feeling confident, but I'm also anxious for more good basketball and hoping that last year wasn't some fluky gift to us Knicks for our patience prior to last season.  Whatevs...nonetheless, here are my predictions for the upcoming NBA season.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/17/21

3 Up 1. WNBA Finals - The WNBA playoffs are definitely going to be in the running for my Sporting Event of the Year Award. What a series! The Finals were capped off by an amazing game before a raucous crowd in Chicago. Kudos to everyone, especially the amazing story of Candace Parker returning home and winning a chip. Major props to Courtney Vandersloot.  2. New 2022 Quarters - Get ready for your money to diversify - well just a bit. But it's a start! Beginning in 2022, the US quarter coins will feature trailblazing American women such as civil rights activist; astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation's first principal woman chief; Adelina "Nina" Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico's suffrage movement; and Anna May Wong, the first Hollywood film star of Chinese American descent. 

Shoulda, Woulda - Ehhh: Thoughts on the Ending to the 2021 Yankees Season

I've waited to write this post. After all, it's been a tremendously emotional season...well, for the fan base that is.  For me, everything about this year's Yankees playoff run - or exit - was expected. This team, was as complex and complicated of a team as we've seen in a long time. Bad? No, I wouldn't say that. And I know that may trigger some in the fan base - but bad teams just don't make the playoffs in baseball. However, this team was incredibly flawed - to a glaring fault. Rooted deep, deep, deep in a philosophy that currently drives the organization and has now proven to be fruitless - and even more so year after year.  So no, I never expected this team to do much other than possibly surprise me with a deep playoff run. We've seen glimpses of this team's conflicting identity by running the bases, moving runners, getting timely hits, and looking somewhat threatening to the rest of the league. And yet, we've seen this team play terrible defense

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/10/21

3 Up 1. Moderna Vaccine to Low Income Nations - In a world where the idea of "pandemic" now feels like a state of mind or the privilege of belief, Moderna has decided to aim its efforts in getting at least 1 billion doses to low-income countries the COVID vaccine. I'll save the "vaccine" chat for another time - but this is pretty awesome by Moderna. And oh yeah, highly needed.  2. Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi - Two absolute legends of the WNBA had some legacy-cementing moments this week. Parker lead her hometown Chicago Sky into the WNBA finals, and Taurasi, was named the GOAT of the WNBA by fans. Because well, she is. Congrats to both.  3. Netlfix's On My Block - For the second week in a row I'm putting a personal - and admittedly, biased - selection in the "Up" section. One of my favorite shows by Netflix, On My Block , released its fourth and final season, and yes, I binged it on my daily commute home. Gonna miss the crew from Freeridge.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/3/21

3 Up 1. Frances Haugen - The mystery of the Facebook whistleblower was revealed on 60-Minutes and Haugen furthered the knowledge bombs on the Global crisis that is Facebook. Yes, most of it we know, and some of it were jaw-dropping reminders of the regulation of this powerful source, but most salient was Haugen's courage and conviction towards what is right, just, and for the good of all. Not something we can say is a priority for Facebook.  2. Tom Brady - I'm no football enthusiast, I'll catch the sport in glimpses, but even with that said, how can we not marvel at the greatness and specialness that is Tom Brady. Now the all-time passing leader in yards passed, Brady is still giving defenses fits well into his 40's as he chases an eigth ring. EIGHTH?!?! Insane.  3. Dear White People - A favorite show of mine wrapped up after a long-awaited return from the pandemic. Justin Semien's Netflix series adaptation of his earlier movie was the kind of film so desperately n