Saturday, August 15, 2009

Vick A Polarizing Figure In Philly

If Michael Vick thought that he was a polarizing figure in Atlanta, his signing with the Philadelphia Eagles has set off a firestorm of controversy and judgement from fans of the team. The The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that fans are passionate in their support or opposition of the move. Dissenting opinions include the following:

"When I heard it," said Bill Fey, who is active in Gloucester County politics, "I nearly drove off the road. . . . How can you sign a guy who hangs dogs from a tree and shocks them?"

It's amazing to me that fans in Philadelphia forget that they support a team that represents a city with the nickname "Kiladelphia". I can in no way condone what Michael Vick has done, but America is supposed to be country of second chances. How about letting Vick succeed or fail in his return to the NFL on his own merits.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Michael Vick "60 Minutes" Clip!

This is a clip of Michael Vick's appearance on "60 Minutes" tomorrow. The interview with James Brown was initially highly anticipated, but since Vick has now signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, and even practices today, it's all anti climatic. The clip does reveal Vick to be a more humble man, but only time will tell if the humility is real.

Vick Signs 2 Year Deal With Eagles!

Michael Vick has been given a second chance at a career in the NFL with an unlikely ally, the Philadelphia Eagles, who already have an established quarterback in Donovan McNabb. The logic behind this makes plenty of sense. The Eagles are a well established team with a solid management team, and very experienced coach in Andy Reid who has coached in 5 NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl.

While many would want to stir up controversy between Vick and Donovan McNabb, Vick got in trouble in the first place because lack of solid mentoring. Who better to mentor Vick than arguably the greatest black quarterback ever in Donovan McNabb. McNabb has benefited from a solid upbringing, and while he may have plenty of critics in Philly over the years, his national profile is as solid as any quarterback in the league. McNabb lobbied for this signing and gave his blessing to it, and will do his best to help Vick reestablish his life first and football career second.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Suspending Stallworth For The Year Was The Right Thing To Do!

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell did the right thing in suspending wide receiver Donte' Stallworth for the year after Stallworth was convicted of DUI manslaughter in June. Stallworth received a 30 day sentence after reaching a financial settlement with the family of Mario Reyes, who he accidentally killed on March 14 in Miami.

Stallworth, who signed a 7 year $35 million contract with the Cleveland Browns last year deserves to lose at the minimum several million dollars of pay. Since he was already a fringe player, and will be 29 years old when he's eligible to be reinstated, Stallworth's career could be over.

Please! No Jackson 8!

Diane Dimond has written extensively about Michael Jackson over the years, and now is a correspondent for "Entertainment Tonight" in the wake of Michael's death in June. Dimond's crack reporting apparently has uncovered cracks in the Jackson household as they figure how to unfortunately capitalize financially on brother Michael's death. In an article written for the The Daily Beast , a company called AllGood Entertainment apparently has a standing offer for all of the remaining siblings to perform in 10 concerts that would pay the family $12 million with $1 million up front. The money break down by family member is listed below:

Janet Jackson — $4 million
Jermaine Jackson — $1.5 million
Jackie Jackson — $1.5 million
Randy Jackson — $1.5 million
Marlon Jackson — $1.5 million
Tito Jackson — $1.5 million
La Toya Jackson — $500,000
Rebbie Jackson — $250,000

It's obvious from the pay disparity that Janet Jackson is the key to this potential fiasco taking place. If this story is true, then Janet is no doubt receiving plenty of pressure to participate. A word of advice for Ms. Jackson, focus on your new cd, and let your brothers and sisters fend for themselves.

Is President Obama Doing Himself Any Favors!

I know that President Barack Obama feels that he's the best person to be the "point man" for promoting his Health Care Reform, however, speaking to forums in controlled environments is truly giving supporters the wrong impression on the opposition that's growing for the reform that's apparently contained in the 1,000 page bill.

While Obama appears ready to "go down with the ship" on this issue, surely he has to realize that after only 6 months on the job that there just may be bigger issues to deal with under his watch. Although he was elected pretty easily, surely he has to realize that perhaps Middle America is still not prepared to see a black man push a reform bill down their throats that they passionately oppose. While it's true that we may need Health Care Reform, is it worth it to potentially sink a tenure after 6 months. I still think this would be better served as a year 3 or 4 issue, just hope it's worth it to our president and that arrogance isn't his potential downfall.

Remorse Would Be A Good Look For Vick!

I found this interesting post from ProFootballTalk in which Michael Vick made the following statement to a basketball camp in Hampton, VA on Tuesday "allowed someone who didn't have my best interests at heart to take all that away from me." Vick appears not to be taking responsibility for getting himself into the dog fighting mess, or maybe too much is being perceived by the statement. Surely Vick has gone through all types of emotions while essentially losing everything. He's getting an opportunity for a second chance, so hopefully he can let go of the past and move on to a potentially productive future.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kourtney Kardashian Pregnant!

The New York Daily News reports that Kourtney Kardashian, 30 is pregnant with her first child. Kardashian is not ready to disclose the identity of the baby's daddy, so I guess have to wait to watch her new show with her sister Khloe' which debuts on E! on Sunday.

Jermaine Jackson Trying To Be Relevant Again!

Page 6 reports that Jermaine Jackson is working with Larry King's wife Shawn to hold a birthday celebration for Jermaine's late brother Michael Jackson on September 26th in Vienna. Usher and Lionel Richie are confirmed performers. However, Jermaine's own sister Janet hasn't even agreed to sign on as of yet. In fact it's questionable whether this celebration will even come off:

The original promotional materials, which sought sponsors willing to pay up to $3 million, listed President Obama as "confirmed talent" as well as Al Pacino, Colin Powell and Richard Branson. But a White House source said the president is definitely not planning to attend. World Awards producer Georg Kindel, who's also part of the project, hinted that Madonna would perform. But her spokeswoman, Liz Rosenberg, said, "It's not true. She's still on tour."

An executive involved in handling Michael Jackson's estate said, "We have nothing to do with it. It's all Jermaine." Another insider said, "It's sleazy."

It's common knowledge that Jermaine at times was jealous of Michael's success. It's a shame that he's gaining visibility on the death of his famous brother. Some people will do anything to stay relevant.

Lowery Awarded Medal of Freedom!

The Rev. Joseph Lowery was one of 16 recipients who received the Medal of Freedom today from President Barack Obama. Rev. Lowery is a civil rights pioneer who has served in the civil rights movement since the 1950s and co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King. President Obama called Lowery a "giant" of the civil rights movement. Lowery, who is 87 years-old stated that he was "humbled" by the award. Thanks to the Atlanta Journal Constitution for the link.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rapper Baatin Memoralized!

Rapper Baatin was memorialized today in a Detroit church in a service attended by about 200 mourners according to the Detroit Free Press. Baatin's body was found on a Detroit street on August 1, and the cause of death is still undetermined. Baatin had suffered from mental health issues prior to his death.

Chaka Khan Doing Good Deeds!

It's hard to believe that Chaka Khan is 56 years old, but cool to see Chaka thriving and giving back to the less fortunate. The New York Daily News reports that Chaka rang the opening bell for NASDAQ Marketsite in Times Square this morning. She was in New York to promote her Chaka Khan Foundation which she started 4 years ago in Los Angeles to help inspire and empower at risked middle school students. Her goal is to expand the foundation into other cities. It's cool when celebrities use their influence to impact the less fortunate. Chaka Khan is truly doing a good deed.

Is The Fame Really Worth It?

Before signing on to "Real Housewives of Atlanta" Lisa Wu Hartwell was the unknown wife of NFL journeyman Ed Hartwell. The first season of the show saw the couple enjoying their sprawling mansion in an Atlanta suburb. Season 2, which is 2 episodes old has seen the couple getting romantic in that sprawling mansion convincing everyone watching that all was well in the world of the Hartwell's.

In America there is a fascination with the rich and famous, especially when hard times hit. Well the Hartwell's apparently have hit a rough spot as their home that was purchased in 2005 for $2.9 million, was sold in foreclosure last week for $1.9 million. Wu Hartwell told the Atlanta Journal Constitution “Why throw around $30,000 a month and wait for the market to come back if it comes back?” While the couple has apparently moved into another home that they own that sits on 10 acres, hopefully they can handle when fame and misfortune collide into national headlines.

Michael Jackson Movie Gets Green Light!

The New York Daily News reports that a judge cleared the way for a movie depicting Michael Jackson rehearsing for tour that never was due to his death on June 25th. The movie is schedule to premiere on October 30, pending approval by Michael's mother Katherine Jackson. Sony paid $60 million for the film rights, but Jackson's mother Katherine and his 3 children will retain 90% of the profits.

Tiger Woods To Be Fined For Criticism of Official!

Tiger Woods will be fined for his criticism of a tour official who informed him and playing partner Padraig Harrington that they were playing too slow during Sunday's final round of the Bridgetone Invitational. Woods went on to win the tournament after Harrington triple bogeyed on the 16th hole.

Section VI-D in the PGA Tour's player handbook says, "It is an obligation of membership to refrain from comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage tournaments, sponsors, fellow members, players, or PGA Tour."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is T.O. A Future Hall of Famer?

NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens made his preseason debut with his new team the Buffalo Bills last night during the annual preseason Hall of Fame Game last night. At 35 years of age, the debate can be made whether Owens is Hall of Fame worthy. Owens always plays the good soldier when he first arrives with a new team, but over time he eventually wears out his welcome by complaining about the lack of passes being thrown to him or throwing temper tantrums on the sidelines.

Owens' talent and statistics are definitely Hall of Fame worthy, but the extra baggage that he brings will probably delay any entrance into the Hall when he is eligible 5 years after his retirement. With his career clearly winding down, he still has a chance to regain some much needed credibility if he can prove that he's a changed man with his new team.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Is Vick Video Really Post Prison?

This is a video of Michael Vick and Young Jeezy that was posted on YouTube on August 7th. Vick is seen with Jeezy and a few buddies just hangin' out in the street. It's hard to believe that Vick would allow himself to be filmed in any environment that would cause alarm to would be employers. View and judge for yourselves!

Robert "Tractor" Traylor Couldn't Escape Family & Environment!

I found this very compelling article in the Detroit Free Press on former University of Michigan basketball standout and NBA player Robert "Tractor" Traylor. Still only 32 Traylor most recently has played basketball overseas. A former number 6 draft pick in the NBA, Traylor's mother Lenora was a crack addict and prostitute, leaving him to be raised by his grandmother Jessie. He has a cousin, Quassan Lewis who was one of the biggest drug lords in Detroit. Traylor allowed Lewis to purchase two buildings in his name, which resulted in money laundering charges. Once a millionaire, Traylor lives in a modest home in a Detroit suburb, with hopes of once again playing in the NBA.

It's not surprising that given his upbringing Traylor couldn't maximize his potential. Only 32, he still has a chance to maximize what's left of his basketball ability. His mother has apparently kicked her drug habit and lives with Traylor and his family. Traylor appears at peace with his decisions, but feels he didn't reach his full potential. Hopefully seeing his mother clean and sober fills the void that basketball couldn't for him.

New Appraoch To Policing Camden, NJ!

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on the new approach to policing in Camden, NJ which appears to be wearing the police officers down as they work to keep crime under control in one of the most violent cities in the country. The number of officers is down 37 compared to last year from 403. 63 of the 364 officers are either on suspension, family or medical leave or awaiting retirement. Also 100 grievances have been filed against the department by officers who aren't allowed to take lunch breaks. So while homicides are down in the city, it's obvious that officers are wilting under the pressure of a department that has been run by the state of New Jersey since 2003.

Bloomberg Giving Obama A Pass On Raising Taxes!

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave President Barack Obama a pass on potentially raising taxes on the middle class today on "Meet The Press". Bloomberg stated:

"The president has to deal with the reality, and some of the things are beyond his control," Bloomberg said. "He makes commitments and he tries to live up to them, and I think the courage of being able to say, 'Look, the world is different than I anticipated or what it was before, and I'm going to have to face that,' it's fine."

If President Obama is going to indeed raise taxes on the middle class it would be smart to do it within the next year. It would give him 2 years to deal with the heat and economic recovery. Bottom line is that health care reform will probably result in increased taxes for the middle class despite White House denials. Thanks to the New York Daily News for the article.

Are Will and Jada Teaching Scientology At School?

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith opened the New Village Leadership Academy last year denying that it had ties to Scientology. The New York Post Page Six reports that the couple replaced the head of the Academy, Jacqueline Olivier with a woman who has studied Scientology. Explanation for the change appears to be a difference in teaching philosophy:

A rep for the Smiths told Page Six, "Jacquie is no longer at the school for reasons entirely unrelated to curriculum. She is an excellent educator and fully embraced the school's secular and open-minded approach to innovative teaching methodologies."

But an insider told, "Her position was becoming untenable as she did not agree with Study Tech and felt uncomfortable with it." Foster was described as "more 'in-line' with their thinking."

At the end of the day do the Smith's really owe anyone an explanation?