Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2021

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. 

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. 

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

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/26/21

3 Up 1. Mia Mottley - The Prime Minister of Barbados delivered a genuine speech at the United Nations General Assembly that brought some realness and groundedness for our political leaders around the globe and their approach to COVID. A must-watch if you haven't seen it. Also, Mottley recently lead the island of Barbados in denouncing Queen Elizabeth as head of State and vowing to lead the country into a new era. Big moves, quality leadership.  2. Lewis Hamilton - Hamilton not only continues to dominate Formula-1 racing, but he now has made history as the only Formula-1 driver with 100 victories. The dude doesn't get enough love.

Small (or Big?) Moment Lessons

I drove the car home staring at the rearview mirror - or what felt like it - for the majority of the time.  I wanted to make sure that he knew that I was talking to him, and giving him my full attention on this. It was serious - not too serious, sorta serious - but the moment felt like my first test of what will be a series of indefinite small moments - vital, crucial, imperative opportunities. Small enough in the moment, but hopefully strung together enough times to make a difference.  Parenting, right?  Upon picking my son up from school, a complaint was brought to my attention that he was, and I quote, "maybe just a bit too rough with the girls in his class". While I took in the criticism and prepared my mind for addressing the issue with him, the administrator followed it up by stating, "it's not violent or malicious, he's just a boy in a class with all girls. And he's bigger and stronger than all of them."

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/19/21

3 Up 1. U.S. Gymnasts Call Out F.B.I. - It wasn't too long ago many had various opinions on Simone Biles and her decision to step aside during the Summer Olympics. Yet, here we are a few weeks later and Biles along with her former U.S. Gymnastics teammates, Aly Raismann, Mckayla Maroney, and Maggie Nichols, all testified about the abuse they faced at the hands of Larry Nassar. If that wasn't brave and courageous enough, they called out the FBI for their lack of effort. All of these girls deserve so much props - and yes, so much strength.  2. Kevin Richardson - The remarkable story of the exonerated five will live on forever, however, it is their story of what they've done since being exonerated that continues to change the narrative. Kevin Richardson received an honorary degree from Syracuse University and will have a scholarship in his honor. Kudos to Richardson, and especially so, Syracuse University. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/12/21

3 Up 1. September 11th Reflections - The time of the year always brings about a bundle of emotions. This year, the nice round number of 20 brings a milestone of remembrance and reflection. Here is to everyone who shared their thoughts, performed ceremonies, and honored the victims and heroes who should forever deserve it.  Just a quick note, here were some of my thoughts on 20 Years After 9/11 . 

20 Years Since 9/11

It's certainly surreal to think that it's been twenty years since the horrific events of September 11th, 2001. 20 years ago is a long time (I was sixteen), and is a round-reflection number for what was, has become, and still is in regards to the hurt, scars, emotional damage, and overall life-changing effects that day brought us.  I decided to read some of my thoughts from a post I wrote ten years ago for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. There, I shared my personal experience and story from that very day ,  as well as some other thoughts on questions that remained unanswered at the time - and in many ways, still so to this day. Today, I punch the keys on a few more thoughts on 9/11, now twenty years removed from a day in which I burst through the exit doors of Canarsie H.S. in Brooklyn, NY, and ran home terrified.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 9/5/21

3 Up 1. Emergency, Sanitation, and Utility Workers - These guys deserve the week and quite possibly, the month or year. Their efforts in rescuing those who were trapped, in ushering away debris, and reconnecting immediate needs such as power, subway systems, and more, are immeasurable and highly honorable.  2. Higher Education Workers - This is a selfish "up", but sooooooooo much props and love to everyone and anyone who works on a college campus adjusting, pivoting, and just doing whatever it takes to get this semester off the ground. Good luck to everyone across the country. 

Pondering Pictures #107

A kid from the '90s

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/29/21

3 Up 1. 13 United States Soldiers - Nothing dominated the news world this week like the terrorist attack that killed 13 US soldiers in Afghanistan among many others. The humanization pieces of those amazing soldiers have been tough to endure, but also, have been a great reminder source of the sacrifice that is exhibited daily - even if we aren't a perfect union. THAT deserves the top spot this week. All of those soldiers deserve the top spot. My prayers tonight will go to the loved ones of each of those thirteen soldiers, and the many others killed or injured from this attack.  2. Air BnB for Afghan Refugees  - More Afghanistan fall out that has become good - Air BNB has pledged to provide housing for 20,000 Afghanistan refugees. That's pretty cool, and really, a simple reminder of how far simple humanity from corporate America can go. If they want to...

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/22/21

3 Up 1. Health Care Workers - I know we've moved away from this because we thoughts on the current pandemic seem to be waning in urgency, but we're throwing ALL health officials back into the tops spot this week. With extreme surges in Florida and Texas and various rural areas throughout the country in small hospitals, there are plenty of health care workers tirelessly offering their services to save lives.  Yes, lives that didn't have to be in peril...but that's another discussion.  2. CM Punk (and Pro Wrestling) - How cool is the pro wrestling scene right now? CM Punk's return to pro wrestling (of course!) was the crowning moment as it was just so cool. The kind of moment every wrestling fan loves. This weekend we were given so much of that awesomeness in the industry with so many shows and offerings. Enjoy it all pro wrestling fans!

CM Punk's Return - Perfect Timing for the Symbol of Anti-WWE

Looooooooook in my eyes, what do you see?! The lyrics to Cult of Personality, especially that first bar,  never felt so fitting for CM Punk as it did last night.  For the most part, everything that is CM Punk's return to wrestling last night at AEW Rampage ties directly into my latest thoughts on pro wrestling - the company is making it must-see destination television, an element desperately needed from pro wrestling.  Last night was incredible as again, it was another moment that made wrestling feel alive - with a wild and energetic pulse. It was one of the coolest moments in pro wrestling that you knew was coming, expected, anticipated, and it was everything and more. Again, MUST-SEE television. That's hard to do.  For me, it wasn't just Punk's return to pro wrestling, but the mere presence and voice of his inclusion in today's space. We know that Punk can deliver on the microphone - probably his best and most signature attribute. We also know that yes, he can

Dope Sports Threads: Nike City Connect Uniforms (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Well, we finally are at the end of the first round of this experiment - the Nike City Connect Series - for a sport that does not embrace ideas and initiatives like this very easily. I've said it when I started reviewing this series - it has the potential to be very cool, but handling the traditional aesthetics will be the key in this idea not only flourishing but surviving.  With some really cool designs unveiled this summer, and an EXTREMELY conservative approach to the designs for those teams like the Giants and Dodgers (review to come in a bit, I promise), it is fair to say that this has been a success.  Want further proof? Check out this article that discusses the mindset change by teams with traditional aesthetics such as the Yankees who are now "aggressively pursuing alternate jerseys". 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/15/21

3 Up 1. Field of Dreams Game - I shared all of my thoughts on this event earlier this week, but it must be stated again, MLB (especially those who worked on the event directly) deserve sooooooo much props for the flawless event that it was. MLB has something special in this going forward, it's up to them how they decide to proceed.  2. Orion Jean from Texas - The week has been a tough one with so many world issues flooding our news timelines. This story out of Texas is the kind of story we need more of - there are so many people doing GOOD work out there, even ten-year-olds! God Bless you, Orion.  3. AEW Rampage - Another pondering topic this week - pro wrestling is on fire and much of it has to do with the company that has ALL the buzz - AEW. Rampage, their second show debuting this past Friday night, was just a big part of what the industry needs - and from rumors, we're getting even more awesomeness this week.  3 Down 1. Afghanistan - The reports were built all week long

Appointment TV: Pro Wrestling NEEDS This Again

I've had my share of thoughts on pro wrestling's status over the past few years. At best, in some form or expression, pretty much every pro wrestling fan has. The topic has been discussed ad nauseam and is one for concern because yes, the industry is in decline despite the various options and bigger-than-ever-money deals in effect. With rapidly declining television ratings (of the traditional...outdated kind), but even more so important, with the damning fact that the average age of the pro wrestling fan is rising at the levels of concern that mirrors climate change.  As much as we argue about its existence or reality, or prevention - the problem is here and is growing.  I've shared in the past that contrary to popular belief, or what we experienced during the early stages of the pandemic (i.e. no fans, taped shows, limited access to relied upon stars), pro wrestling had a significant opportunity to capture old fans, casuals, new fans, and so much more . Especially when for

Thoughts on MLB at Field of Dreams Game

"You'll REALLY like the film. It's a great baseball movie that touches on the father-son relationship - just...just a really good film."  Those were the encouraging words of my father-in-law in regards to the film, Field of Dreams, on the weekend prior to the MLB at Field of Dreams game in Iowa. There were among the few recommendations or positive reviews that I received as the fever pitch (no pun intended - and a terrible movie about the RedSox and Baseball - blah) built toward the game. I, a baseball fan, never saw the movie, or really, had little interest in it.  I finally watched it based on the nudges, excitable remarks, and surprisingly shocked reactions when I mentioned that I never saw the film. And of course, because it would be nice to have SOME context to why the game was special. For me, the film was. well,  it was just there. Good movie - great script for sure. I guess I just never got caught in the romanticizing of baseball that the film elicits for me.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/8/21

3 Up 1. Allyson Felix - After winning her 11th (!!!) medal at the Olympics, Felix is now the MOST decorated Track and Field athlete in history. That's pretty awesome especially considering that she passed the great Carl Lewis in doing so. So much props to Felix - and here is to hoping that she inspires younger track and field athletes to come.  2. Olympic Reactions - One of my favorite things about these 2020 (or 2021) Olympics has been the raw emotion from athletes in victory and in defeat. Some of those that have stood out are the United States Men and Women Basketball teams, The French Men's Basketball team, the US Women's Volleyball Team, the Jamaican 4x100 Women's Relay, and the Japanese Baseball team. So much emotion - so much good stuff.  3. King's Disease II - Maybe this is a personal bias, but eh, whatevs. Nas' latest album, The King's Disease II is an absolute joy, especially for those with a bit of an appetite for that 90s-2000s flavor. Just a go

Dope Sports Threads: Field of Dreams Uniforms | NBA 75th Anniversary Uniforms

I am a fan of Major League Baseball finding new ways to add intrigue and marquee attractions to what can often feel like a long and mundane season in August and September. I've long believed that baseball has the season of summer at its whim for creativity, and there are so many opportunities to use that to its advantage.  Well, enter the Field of Dreams game. Sure, it was canceled last year because COVID ruined everything and 2020 was just the worst. However, we're on for 2021 and the attraction not only is shaping up to be really cool, but baseball went the extra mile by giving us special uniforms for the game!  So many of us often get on baseball for its lack of marketing, but this is one of those times we have to offer it up to the league - well done.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 8/1/21

3 Up 1. The Olympics - Despite the shotty coverage of events (is it me, or has the coverage been awful?), the Olympics have provided some amazing stories, moments, and achievements to relish. From Katie Ledecky's dominance, the emergence of Suni Lee, the NEW fastest man on earth in Marcell Jacobs, the outstanding Jamaican runners, and so much more - it's been a wild ride already.  2. Kyrie Irving - Do some consider him weird? Yes. Do I understand that many are lukewarm on his antics, or just overall vibe? Of course. Polarizing, maybe? Sure. Regardless of where you land on Kyrie Irving, the guy does back up his beliefs not for the approval of you and me, but for what he believes is right. I respect that. That's real. We saw this as he brought clean water to a Pakistani village, as well as infrastructure for solar-powered energy and other modes for help. That's pretty awesome.

Simone Biles Withdrawal: It's On Us

I sat on this topic for a few days because I could not understand what was beneath the surface of the hysteria that is Simone Biles and her recent withdrawals from events at the Tokyo Olympics.  Here we are on one of the biggest stages in sports - the biggest for niche-interest sports like Gymnastics - and suddenly the greatest gymnast in the world, our own fully spirited American, being torn down, ridiculed, debated, and on the backend of undeserving backlash.  There were the low-hanging fruit remarks - I go to work every day. I can't just quit because I want to!! You just have to love the remarks from those who easily want to compare themselves to Simone Biles but are unable to understand her experience. We all have hardships. But imagine naivete to compare yourself to an Olympic Gold medalist?

Pondering Picture #106

  Slow it down. Focus in. Take in all of it. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 7/25/12

3 Up 1. Free Lunch Program in California - At one time in my life, I was a kid that survived on free or heavily-reduced lunch at school. I also remember doing the same in the summer as my elementary school provided free lunch even when school was closed - this was so clutch. THIS recent program being launched in California to provide students with FREE lunch is awesome and will provide a lifeline for so many children who need it.  Also, it'll remove the stigma that is a free school lunch, as well as the well-known gorilla in the space that are immigrant students not having access to food out of fear of completing the necessary application. Tremendous job in getting this done by all involved.

Giannis, So Much Respect | Other Thoughts From 2021 NBA Finals

It's so hard not to fall under all of the good feelings that is the Milwaukee Bucks recent NBA championship. I'm sure that you've read, heard, or have thought for yourself all of the redeeming qualities and narratives that have sprung from this story - most notably the validation in the small market organization that prospers through organic acquisitions and a superstar that felt it was important to make the road his own. Or as we have come to call it, "not take the easy way via a super team".  I too fall under the spell of that love for the story - all of it. Including the appreciation and gravity pull to the journey of a kid with a humbled and underprivileged past who now shares NBA Championship memories and bragging opportunities with his brothers. Three brothers in the NBA! Take a bow Moma and Poppa Antetokounmpo!!

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 7/18/21

3 Up 1. Shohei Ohtani - My dude was WORKIN' this week as the world focused on the amazingness that is Ohtani! He participated in the Home Run Derby. Picked up a win as the starting pitcher for the American League. And oh yeah, lead off the game hitting for the AL. He does it all!!! And of course, he capped it off by donating his $150,000 Home Run Derby check to Angels employees .  Baseball, get behind this dude as much as possible. Please. We are all begging you.  2. Lovecraft Country Leads - Jonathan Majors and my girl, Jurnee Smollet (always been a fan!) made history as both were the first two black leads to be nominated from the same show for an Emmy award. Of course, we can dive into the craziness that is this first, but whatevs.   I've yet to see Lovecraft Country, but I've heard nothing but good things. Can't wait to eventually dive into it. 

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 7/11/21

  3 Up 1. Zaila Avant-Garde - The world was introduced to Zaila Avant-Garde, the 14-year old who became the first black Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion. Not only did she etch herself in history, we were privileged to learn of her amazing talents as a basketball player, and that she also holds a Guinness World Record for a dope ability to dribble multiple basketballs at a time. Now, Zaila is enjoying the spotlight and the college scholarship offers roll in. Again, she's just 14! Go on girl.  2. Sports Week - A big UFC fight. Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup. The NBA Finals. COPA America Finals (and Messi finally getting his International victory). EURO Finals and Italy taking it back to Rome. Wimbledon Finals. USA Basketball. Everything that was Gerrit Cole's moment on Saturday for the Yankees. And so much more! It was a great weekend to channel flip and find something terrific that sports bring and give us.

Dope Sports Threads: Nike City Connect Uniforms (San Francisco Giants) | Team USA Basketball Jerseys

As noted at the beginning of my reviews of the Nike City Connect uniforms series, I was slightly concerned about the kind of aesthetics (and the impact on historic aesthetics) that this series would open the door to. Providing the Marlins and Diamondbacks of the world with new threads were fine, but when we start talking Giants and Dodgers (set to come), and then really opening the flood gates over the next few seasons with City Connect uniforms for all, that's where this series had to make its stamp.  With the Giants, these uniforms stayed right in the middle - enough to not make me overly concerned, but not enough where I was impressed. Quite frankly, these uniforms feel like Nike channeled that same exact concern, and shied away from doing too much.

The Pondering 10 - Yankees Fandom Annoyance

I'm a New York Yankees fan. If you haven't gotten that already from this blog, then the surprise declaration gives you a small set up for this latest Pondering 10 post. Yes, the Yankees are having a challenging year, and there are so many discussions and breakdowns that can be had that are productive, beneficial, and enlightening to why this season is unfolding the way it is.  You know what is not helpful? Yankee fans antics. Ironic, huh? I've long since realized that I'm associated with this fan base than can be overbearing and at times, super annoying. However, none more so than this year. Listening to sports radio, Yankees Twitter, and talking-head television has made that more clear than ever before.  With that said, here is my Pondering 10 on my Yankees Fandom Annoyance:

Dome Pondering Movie Review: American Son (2019)

What is it about?  An estranged interracial couple reunites in a Miami police station in order to help find their teenage son.  Who is in it?  Kerry Washington - Kendra  Steven Pasquale - Scott Jeremy Jordan - Officer Larkin Eugene Lee - Lt. John Stokes

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 7/4/21

3 Up 1. July 4th Weekend - It surely was nice to have a holiday weekend that felt somewhat normal-ish. Yes, there is still so much to unpack regarding feelings around "independence celebrations", but regardless, the weekend provided a small ability to gather, see others, and do something un-pandemic-like.  2. Chris Paul & Shohei Ohtani - I'm giving both of these dudes an "Up" this week. Ohtani gets it because well...the guy is freaking awesome! He's pretty much a video game-created player come to life with his performance as a hitter and pitcher this year. And of course, there is Chris Paul, the 36-year-old who is finally - FINALLY! - going to play on the game's biggest stage of the NBA Finals. His emotion was awesome to see, and it's easy to root for a guy like that who endured the grind.  3. Fast and Furious 9 - We all pretty much laugh at the evolution of these characters, their abilities, their purpose, and well, even the outright storylines

Would You Rather: Questions 171-180

After a few fun editions of the Would You Rather series that focused on the NBA, I take a swing (ah ha!) at some questions geared toward Major League Baseball. Enjoy!  171. Would you rather have Tatis, Soto, or Acuna for the next ten years?  This might be one of the easiest questions in this entire ordeal. Why? Because this is a can't lose!! Regardless, while I love Acuna (major save-face preface) and Soto is unreal (another one), I'm going with Fernando Tatis Jr., the coolest player in baseball at the publishing of this post.  172. Would rather have Beiber, Cole, or deGrom pitch a must-win game?  deGrom then. deGrom now. deGrom forever.  Miss me with the hate if you think I should go with Cole as a Yankees fan.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 6/27/21

3 Up 1. General Miley Response to CRT - Critical Race Theory has been completely bastardized and misunderstood for the sake of political gain and influence over the past few weeks. Quite frankly, I'm convinced many don't even truly understand the concept. However, the recent remarks from General Miley on the application of the theory are some that should be sought after and watched.  2. Gabby Thomas - Thomas is an amazing athlete who the country will soon get to know much better once the Olympics begin. For starters, Thomas will be an Olympian. But wait! She is also a Harvard graduate. There's more! She is close to completing a Master's Degree in Epidemiology. Damn! Just all sorts of amazing accomplishments for the young (and obviously gifted) Thomas. 

Dope Sports Threads: 2021 MLB All-Star Game Uniforms

What. The. Effff. Is this?  No seriously, what are these putrid, unimaginative eyesores that are parading themselves as All-Star jerseys that athletes will place on their bodies for aesthetics in front of a mass audience?  Major League Baseball unveiled these - whatever they are - this week for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game in Colorado. A product of Nike, MLB also decided to double down on...this, by also announcing that this upcoming All-Star Game will be the first where these designs will not just grace the Home Run Derby festivities but will be replacing the long-time tradition of the teams wearing their own uniforms in the actually All-Star Game. Uhhhhhh, yeah. Imagine seeing your favorite player who made the All-Star Game wearing these...ugh.  I understand that the All-Star Game and everything that was its branding guide for the 2021 All-Star Game had to be re-done rather quickly due to the relocation of the event from Atlanta to Denver.  But come on. These could be so much better. 

Dear Son, You're a King Now?

 --- 3 Years --- Dear Son,  Happy Birthday!!!!!! On this day in 2021, you are now three years old. The Ace experience continues to endure with long days and short years, but every milestone along this journey brings me great joy, tremendous pride, and an overwhelming sense of growth not just for you, but also, for myself.  I sit here punching away at the keyboarding thinking about you entering your fourth year of life, and how much has changed in you over the past three years. Yes, you're only three, but there are days in which you wake up and I am just shocked at how much you grew overnight! There are days where your mother and I look at you in amazement and wonder - uhh, is Ace all of a sudden ready for High School? Of course, we expect more of those moments to come (obviously you will change), but regardless, each one of those split-second finite moments where we see a new evolution of you trotting down the stairs, or fearlessly climb a jungle Jim, or suddenly move a heavy otto

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 6/20/21

  3 Up 1. Father's Day Weekend - Always an awesome weekend! Much love and celebration to those who do the unquantifiable and incomparable as dads. And of course, the same wishes to those who are standing in as dads, and of course, let's remember those who changed our lives as dads. Happy Father's Day to all of you!  2. Juneteenth Federal Holiday - Well, the unofficial celebration that has been known within a black culture is now a federal holiday. Despite the classic American debacle of granting a new day for federal observance while said holiday is not allowed to be taught in several states,  we'll stay positive. After all, the establishment is not the end goal, just part of the process. And of course, it is a serious step forward. Regardless, I hope you had a chance to reflect on the day this past week.  3. Rachel Scott Gutsy Question - Yoooooooo!!!!! So much kudos to ABC News' Rachel Scott. She stood up, looked Vladimir Putin dead in the eye after her substantia