Tuesday, May 27, 2014

AB.com Monday Open Mic.

Okay, here's my promise to you guys. New posts everyday this week. I'm even taking requests. Drop the link and I'll write it. I'm serious. And also starved for blog fodder. Feed the beast!

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Houston Man Sues Stripper To Get All His Singles Back.

I've said it several times here: I just don't understand why people blow good money at scrip clubs. I don't knock people who frequent such places, it's just not my thing (obviously because I'm MARRIED!) and never was. That said, it's understood that the women there don't actually like you, nor are they willing to sleep with you. They simply do those things in an effort to extract whatever loose bills (or credit cards! TIP DRILL!) you might have in your wallet. A Houston area man apparently didn't get the official Don't Fall In Love With A Stripper Memo™ and is now suing his favorite exotic dancer.

[Editor's Note: Uhhhh, am I the only one who got a distinctly manly "Tara From Sons Of Anarchy" vibe from "Nomi Mims"? Please tell me I'm not.]

Seriously Mr. Wallace, just drop this lawsuit and move on with your life. Please.

Question: Does this simp guy have a legitimate lawsuit? How does Nomi get her "booty and boobs back"?!? How long before this dispute is neatly resolved on a very special episode of Judge Mathis?

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Ghost Of Michael Jackson Saved The Billboard Music Awards From Abject Mediocrity.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, my wife and I ended up watching the Billboard Music Awards 2014 last night. When I say "for reasons unbeknownst to me", what I actually mean is that I didn't know 90% of the artists that "performed" last night. I mean, seriously, who the hell were these people? So pop/rock artists just pick their names out of some Random Band Name Generator or something? Maybe it says more about my 40 year old musical tastes than anything else, but I found the overabundance of soft rock and country music performances a little offputting. They coulda just renamed this the "Sh*t You Only Hear At Gold's Gym/On Budweiser Commercial Awards" and kept it movin'.

Anyways, I'm a huge Michael Jackson fan, like approximately 65% of the rest of the world. Seeing MJ in concert was on my Bucket List until he unexpectedly bought the farm a couple of years ago, so the dream was deferred. But lo and behold, thanks to the magic of CGI, Cyber MJ showed up at last night's awards, reminding us that while this hologram gimmick was cool with Cyber Pac, it was bound to eventually just end up being corny/creepy. That day just arrived.

I sure hope you caught that, because the litigious folks at ABC/Disney are gonna yank it from Youtube any moment now. Cause Cyber MJ's gotta go on tour sooner or later to keep paying off all his creditors. Hit play already!

When a computer generated hologram is the highlight of your show, you know you done f*cked up (right?).

Question: Who was better: Cyber Pac or Cyber MJ? Did you find the Billboard awards every bit as lame and boring as I did?

AB.com Monday Open Mic.

Believe it or not, I'm actually not all that busy today for a change, but I just can't find anything blogworthy. Maybe soon...

Anyways, here's your blank slate. Fill it with something.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Jay-Z's Sister-In-Law Beats Him Up In An Elevator, And A Few Other (Very) Random Odds & Ends.

Somedays, I have a bunch of pointless stories that don't deserve their own blog posts, but prolly bear mentioning anyway. This is such a day.

Beyonce's younger, far less talented sister beat up Jay-Z in an elevator.

Ouch. Jay-Z didn't retaliate. Clearly the man has matured.

The NFL drafted a gay guy. The gay guy kissed his boyfriend. The world was not happy.

Ann Coulter wrote something really stupid about the FLOTUS. A bunch of idiots on Fox News one-upped her.

Some idiot who owns a gun store down in Texas wrote something really dumb about Obama and Mexicans. #RealMerica

Donald Sterling says "the b*tch set me up" . Ahhh, the ole' dog ate my homework excuse for racism.

My team's down 3-1 in the NBA playoffs, which essentially means I'm one more loss away from no longer caring about the NBA playoffs.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What We Can All Learn From the Financial Highs and Lows of the Pro-Athlete

Everyday we hear about an athlete filing for bankruptcy. A Sports Illustrated Report from 2009 stated that 78% of NFL players go bankrupt or experience major financial hardship after just two years of retirement, while 60% of NBA players go broke after a reported five years. Most people assume the reason these players lose all of their money is because of purely stupid decisions that the rest of us would easily sidestep. Sure, in some cases that sentiment may hold true, but the issue has many more layers. In fact, we can all take a lesson in financial decision-making from these athletes’ riches-to-rags stories.

Lesson One: Live Below Your Means

Like the lottery winner, these athletes seemingly get money tossed into their laps without warning, preparation or the proper guidance. I, myself, have never been handed a large sum of money, especially not one worth over a million dollars. But I can say this: when you’re young and receive money, you want to spend it. It’s a simple fact and oftentimes there’s nothing wrong with it – just don’t forget about your bills.

The difference between the average 20-22 year old and a professional player is that the pro isn’t spending $20 here and $100 there on bar expenses. No, the professional athlete is dishing out tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on literally anything he or she can imagine. Guys end up blowing wads of cash on multiple cars, Rolexes, houses for themselves and family members, clothes, furniture, and so on. Some of these items may be purchased with the best intentions, but the other stuff is mostly for show.

So what does this mean for you? Don’t get caught up in measuring your success based off of material goods. For some, this means splurging on the dream house or car, while others like to indulge in smaller status symbols that quickly amount. Don’t think of your credit card as a safety net, and approach purchases with the mindset of addressing the true “needs” rather than spending excessively. For example:

• Do you truly need the latest smart phone technology if the model you currently own is in perfect operating condition? Be honest with yourself on whether you’re existence is lacking without the extra bells and whistles.
• What about your morning cup of jo? If you’re goal is to simply be more awake, do you need to splurge daily on that $6.00 latte from the café, or would an affordable but reliable coffee maker like this one from Cuisinart give you the same dose of caffeine?
• If what you need is a timepiece to tell you what hour it is, a simple yet well-constructed option like the Invicta watches found here will suffice; a blinged out alternative worth $10,000 isn’t going to be any more efficient at telling you it’s currently three o’clock.

The angle I’m getting at is remarkably simple, but often overlooked or cast aside: make reasonable, responsible purchases. Don’t buy things simply to keep up with the Jonses or just because you can.

Lesson Two: Be Thoughtful About Who Handles the Money

Another major problem among misguided professional athletes is that they allow their buddies to manage their finances – or even worse, they trust a friend of a friend who knows a guy that is an accountant. First of all, I wouldn’t trust my own mother to take care of my paychecks, so I certainly wouldn’t trust unqualified friends (no matter how close to me) to handle the millions of dollars I’ve worked my ass off for.

In a National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) study, altogether players lost more than $42 million between 1999 and 2002. It doesn’t matter your line of work; this should be a wakeup call. Never, I repeat NEVER, give someone the power over your money if he or she hasn’t shown demonstrated success in accounting or a similar financial background.

For the average person today, it’s never been easier to locate a capable advisor; just start by looking online and doing a little research using online resources and directories like Accountants World. On the other hand, all athletes have agents and fellow players who should be more than reliable in suggesting finance management professionals.

Before you make that next big financial decision, consider the true value of what you want to buy: think of the long-term gains versus the short-term desires. Do background research and place the appropriate people around you to facilitate a safe financial future.

Question: Would you be able to restrain yourself from blowing through a $5 million signing bonus?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Do Black Athletes Ever Have Fathers?!?

[Editor's Note: I am married. I have a daughter. I woman gave birth to me. I don't hate women. I don't hate single mothers. I don't hate women who have to go it alone because some man was too much of a b*tch to stick around and raise his own damn kids. This post isn't about any of that. It's about the media's obsession with perpetuating a stereotype of black men as absentee fathers. If you can't draw the distinction between the two, please close the browser right now because this is not the post for you.]

Yesterday, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant accepted the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award and gave a very emotional speech about his mother. You may have already seen this, but if not, here goes.

This was touching, I think any human being with a soul would concur. So was this poorly disguised Cadillac ad/tribute to his single mom by NFL QB prospect Teddy Bridegewater.

And yeah, who can forget Lebron James tribute to his mom a couple of years ago?

And of course, we spent the entire March Madness/April listening to the story of Shabazz Napier's mom, and seeing the camera cut to her every 4 seconds.

Showing Napier, and showing his Mom happened with such alarming frequency during UConn's run to the national title that it damn near bordered on creepy. And it made me wonder: What exactly is the media's fascination with showing black athletes raised by single mothers?

Is there some ulterior motive at play here? That level of adulation/obsession is seldom if ever displayed when black athletes have two parents, and it's darn near never given to white athletes, unless they happen to be the parents of a family of players (ie: The Zellers)[1].

What the hell is up with that? Is the whole "Momma we made it!" angle just a shopworn journalistic shortcut? Or is there something more devious at play here? When 50% of black kids (which is granted, not an ideal number) are being raised in households with two parents (married or otherwise) it's hard for me to believe they can't find more examples of kids whose fathers[2] were actively involved and instrumental in their achievements.

Here's where it really gets icky though (cue the angry comments!): I can't help but notice a serious double standard at play in all of these stories. Many (not all, but many) of the women in these stories had other children by other men (See the Bridgewater story) that they never married. These women are (rightfully!) hailed as saints who helped their children beat the odds and achieve their dreams, even if in some cases (ie: Lebron James' mother) those women weren't always present and had their own issues. It's hard for me to find any scenario in which a man who made poor judgement calls and had a sh*tload of kids by women he didn't commit to would be heralded in an equally favorable light. I've never, ever seen that. Not to get all Tommy Sotomayor on ya'll, but something about that double standard really, really rubs me the wrong way.

Anyways, just wanted you guys thoughts on this admittedly convoluted and ultimately trival observation.

Question: Does it seem as if the media promotes "raised by a single black mother" stories to advance some ulterior motive? Is that simply an easy journalistic trope, a reflection of where things are in society, or an underhanded way of advancing stereotypes about Black America?

[1] The Currys would obviously be the exception here, but even in that case 90% of the media attention is given to the mother. Albeit for entirely different reasons.

[2] The obvious exception: when the father was also an athlete. See also: The Currys, Glenn Robinson Jr, Tim Hardaway Jr. I almost see that as an equally shopworn journalistic shortcut.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

AB.com Tuesday Open Mic.

How about those Wizards!!!!

So yeah, I'm happy today. So happy I forgot all about this blog. Anyways, here's your blank slate. Fill it with something.

Question: What's on your mind today? Drop some links, start a convo.