The Last Days of the NFL

I think we are witnessing the last days of the NFL.  I don’t think it will die out in a year or two or even five.  I say give it ten to fifteen years and the NFL as we know if will be history.  I don’t think any boycott on either side of the national anthem debate will hurt the NFL.  They are way too big for that and I doubt the sincerity of those that claim to be  boycotting.

I think the demise of the NFL is going to come about because of today’s young athletes.  When I say young I mean 10-17 years old.  Children are always listening and they are hearing and seeing the conversations adults are having about the flag, patriotism and police brutality. If football doesn’t fascinate an American boy in his youth the passion will probably never be there and that will affect the fan base and NFL recruitment.

I grew up in the Detroit area and I have vivid childhood memories of Detroit Lions games being viewed in my home.  I recall one game when I was around three that I was watching with my dad and he threw a shoe at the TV.  (If you know anything about the Detroit Lions you can understand my father’s frustration.)  My mother was a Detroit Lions fan when they had their 0-16 season.  And I remember many Thanksgivings being ruined because of the way the Lions performed on national TV.  These memories never leave a person.

I live in Kansas City now and I’ve developed a fondness for the Kansas City Chiefs but the Lions are always going to be my team and the Chiefs are my backup team.  But if  the adults around me as a child weren’t interested in football or were angry at the NFL I don’t know that I would have much interest in the sport as an adult.

As a Black woman if I was the mother of a young son I don’t think I would encourage him to play organized football.  I’m not sure I would encourage my son to play any sport for anything other than exercise and socializing.  I’ve felt this way for years due to the rough nature of football and the fear of my son suffering permanent brain damage due to concussions.  But I don’t think that pro sports is a good career choice for Black men anymore.  Despite the money, fame and passion for the game I don’t think it’s worth it.

Black men in the sports world are treated terribly these days.  Cam Newton is one of my favorites and he has been treated like garbage by fans and the media.  My favorite Chief Marcus Peters gets dragged on social media after ever game despite being a key player on a 5-0 team.  He has consistently sat down for the national anthem this season and does not explain his reasons for doing so.  I think he’s smart for that because he would be criticized for anything he said.

I’ve read stories about high school athletes being kicked off of their football teams for taking the knee.  I saw a different story about a high school student that protested during the anthem and he was bullied on social media for it.  I see no reason to encourage a young Black boy to participate in organized sports.  There’s nothing in it for them unless they swallow their pride and become a prized animal of sorts for another man.  It seems that America wants its pro athletes to perform for them,  take the pictures but keep quiet like one of the horses in the Kentucky Derby.

I saw a documentary on TV once about football and concussions.  An expert on the program said that if a small percent of American mothers refused to let their sons play football it would change the game.  I can see many American mothers refusing to let their sons play football because of the national anthem controversy regardless of the side they fall on.

But if Black women refused to let their sons play ball or if Black boys decided to take interest in the arts or choir or horticulture the NFL as we know it dies.  It will not survive.  In ten years I will be fifty two.  I will probably still be alive and completely coherent.  I will remember men, athletes, performers named Neon Deion Sanders, Barry Sanders, Megatron, Tyreek Hill and Odell Beckham that lit up the football field.

The field of athletes that feeds into the college system and into the NFL will be weakened if American Black boys are disinterested in or hold disdain for the NFL and their fans.  There won’t be many if any exciting, charismatic athletes like those I mentioned earlier in the future.  And even if there are a few they may not have much competion which leads to the downfall of America’s favorite sport.

There are some good White football players.  There are some great White quarterbacks, some good defensive players, kickers and punters and then there is Gronkowski and the man who makes my heart go pitter pat, Travis Kelce.  But the NFL’s personality, style and soul has come from Black men and they aren’t going to find it again outside of Black Americans.

Without African Americans the league will be much slower, more reserved and honestly dull.  No one, not even the fake hillbilly patriots are going to watch that.  But the NFL juggernaut will go down without a fight.  They will do something to try and reclaim their brand.  In the future the NFL will probably be like gladiator matches in ancient Rome.  They will probably release wild tigers into the stadium in order to speed up the slow pokes.

Or perhaps they will draft athletes.  By that I don’t mean “Yaaay, I’m a first round draft pick so now I’m gonna buy my mama a house!”  I mean please show up to this office at the appointed time or face consequences Marquiese.  Marquiese will probably end up wrestling tigers too.  In an ever increasing callous society that is infatuated with violence and doesn’t love people I think it could happen.  At that point the NFL will be desperate for ratings and will do anything to recoup lost revenue.

I’m sure the NFL is at the end of its golden age.  I’m going to enjoy it while I can and watch it’s slow downward spiral.  I can’t be alone in having resentful feelings toward these controlling racists that demand that Black men salute “their” flag.  I can’t be the only person that is appalled by the way so called fans talk to athletes on social media.  Even with the promise of fame and riches it seems like a dead end and I wouldn’t want any son of mine entertaining hateful Neo Nazis or aveage Americans, it’s getting hard to tell the difference, while sacrificing his body.  Nope, I’d rather my son be a dentist.

I’ve always enjoyed sports because it’s objective.  There beginnings, religion, political and social connections were irrelevant.  Athletes earned their spot in the NFL because they were the best and the team managers wanted to win.  Now athletes are getting picked off because of their beliefs.  The league won’t be as competitive and everyone that actually knows the sport will be aware of it.  The NFL, just like American democracy itself is another institution that is suffering because of America’s commitment to racism and White supremacy.

Travis Kelce’s 87 and Running Walk the Walk

Capture+_2017-06-14-13-43-01-1-1Last Thursday I attended Walk the Walk in downtown Kansas City, MO.  Walk the Walk is a fashion show that is sponsored by Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce that benefits a children’s charity called Operation Breakthrough.  I learned about the event on Travis’ Facebook page and decided to go.  I like to go out to various events in the city and I thought it would be fun to be around and maybe meet Travis Kelce.

I have had a crush on Travis for about two years now.  I think it all started when I saw him Hit the Quan in the end zone that one Sunday a few season’s back.  So I decided to test God’s will and see if it is in His plan for us to be together.  I figured I had to put myself in position to be hit on by Mr. Kelce.  Well evidently Travis isn’t my happily ever after because his girlfriend was there.

After buying my ticket for the event I found out that Travis had one.  I felt a little cheated and I thought about not even taking the time to go.  But I decided to go and support the children.  Why not?  It’s something out of the ordinary to do and it was a charity to benefit underprivileged children after all and not spinsters looking to date much younger professional athletes.

If you’re thinking about going next year and you would like to meet Travis you should.  He makes himself accessible and he works the room.  He’s not shy at all and is quite the talker.  After the fashion show he said that he would stay around to meet everyone and take pictures.

I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity.  He’s in a relationship now and I didn’t want to embarrass myself by fan girling out too bad.  I’m unsure of how I would have reacted if I made direct eye contact with him.  If he was unattended I may have had something to say but with his date in the room I had nothing.

But anyway, it was a lovely event that supported a great cause.  Drinks and finger foods were served and the fashions were nice.  I would actually considering going again next year regardless of Travis or my relationship status.

The Las Vegas Raiders

So the Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas.  The Raiders are not my team so I’m not very interested in what they do.  I don’t care for Las Vegas so I don’t have much concern about what happens there.  But I don’t think this move to Vegas is a good idea.  And I don’t think anything good will come of it.

First of all, this move is just plain douchey.  Raiders fans are some of the most passionate and loyal in the NFL.  I feel bad for the Oakland fans.  This is a slap in the face by the Raiders management.  I’ve only been to the airport in Oakland so I don’t know much about the city.  But it seems like a hometown kind of town.  I bet if you polled adults on the streets of Oakland most of them grew up in Oakland.  It seems blue collar and a little bit gritty.  In other words, it’s my kind of place.  The Raiders are leaving Oakland behind for an artificial tourist town with a large transient population.

Vegas is OK.  You can have a nice vacation there and it may be a great place to retire but it has no character.  There’s no soul to Vegas.  It will be interesting to see if the Raiders will actually gain new fans in Las Vegas.  Seeing as how most of the population is transplanted from outside of Nevada the new Raiders may be a tough sell.  The impression that I have of Nevada outside of Vegas is that it is made up of people that want to live off the grid and take little interest in pro sports.

The city of Las Vegas is planning on building the Raiders a glorious new stadium.  There is something about it that is a bit creepy to me.  It’s like something out of the “Hunger Games”.  The NFL is relying on public funding to help build this stadium.  This happens all over the country and it always upsets me.

The NFL has plenty of money and I don’t understand why they need to turn themselves into high class welfare cases in order to build or renovate their stadiums.  Their excuse is that the team will help the local economy.  That’s true but I don’t think any city’s economy can be based on a sports franchise.  And if the Raiders are really interested in helping a local economy they should be concerned with what they are doing to Oakland’s economy.  Oakland could surely use the financial boost more than Vegas does.  I don’t see why Las Vegas needs the help.

I think the move to Vegas is going to be a big problem for a lot of the athletes.  People pass judgment on pro athletes when they misbehave but they are young, rich, popular and privileged.  I think a lot of them do well in their lot in life considering the temptations that are thrown in their faces.  If I was one of them I sure would have been a holy terror.

So the Raiders want to take their team that is made up of young men that are probably on average aged 27.  The town is known as Sin City and prostitution has been normalized and is legal in parts of Nevada.  Other NFL teams will have to pass through Vegas when playing the Raiders.  Does the NFL really think there will be no drama resulting from this move?  To me it’s really kind of cruel.  The NFL is setting these young athletes up for failure.

For years pro sports didn’t want sports franchises in Vegas because they were worried there would be a conflict of interest between the gambling business and sports.  I don’t understand what changed other than we live in a world where politicians and business leaders have less integrity than they had even a decade ago.  The Raiders had a great season last year but wouldn’t it seem a little fishy if they made it to the Superbowl next year?  A lot of fans already suspect that the NFL is rigged.

Anyway, I hope this all turns into a disaster and I want to see the Raiders try to return home to the bay with their tail between their legs only to find out that their once loyal fans now support the 49ers.  I hope the good people of Las Vegas replace all of their flunky politicians that act in the interest of big business instead of acting in the best interest of the tax paying citizens.

My Analysis of “Catching Kelce””

I know I’m way late. But I was a bit busy. In fact I didn’t even see the finale of “Catching Kelce” at the time it aired a few weeks ago. I had to have my mom DVR it for me and I watched it several days later. For those of you that don’t know, “Catching Kelce” was a dating show patterned after the “Bachelor” where Kansas City Chiefs tight end looked for love from a group of fifty starry eyed NFL wife hopefuls. I thought about trying out for the show myself but I am far too old. Yes, I looked into it.

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travis-and-dog

I’ll skip right to the end. He picked a young woman from Kentucky named Maya Benberry. I was glad that he picked Maya because she is Black or at least mixed or something. I always cheer on Black people regardless of the contest. It could be the Olympics, a pageant, pro sports, political election or game shows. Before you label me a racist keep in mind that Black women are the least likely demographic to get married. And if you’ve ever watched “The Bachelor” you know that the Black women rarely even make the qualifying round. I’m a Black woman so I support Black people especially women. And regardless of race, if I was a betting woman I would always put my money on the long shot. Black girls are the long shot in everything.

maya

So I’m really glad to see a handsome prosperous bachelor choosing a Black woman but I kind of wish he hadn’t picked that one. Maya was actually one of my least favorite people on the show and even from the field of Black women on the show I think he could have chosen better. I hope Travis is happy because I love him but I just don’t see it. But hind sight is 20/20 and I think she was his favorite from the start. The heart wants what the heart wants I suppose.

My favorite contestant on “Catching Kelce” was Cee Cee from Michigan. I thought she was super cute with a bubbly personality. She was light hearted, funny and didn’t seem to take the show too seriously. But I will say that the idea of Cee Cee and Travis operating as a couple gave me pause. If you are familiar with Travis you know that a pairing between him and a somewhat vapid party girl that enjoys drinking whose friends refer to her as “the Reckless One” may not be the best help mate from an athlete that was once described as having character flaws. Nonetheless Cee Cee was the greatest and I wish her well in life.

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I was also fond of Avery. I saw a lot of myself in her. Avery has a reserved personality and was a bit mysterious. I think that Avery is an old fashioned woman that expects a man to earn her love, attention and affection even if you are an NFL star. She didn’t compete heavily with the other women for Travis nor did she dangle her body in front of him like Christmas ornament. I can tell that Avery wants to take her time in order to get to know a man.

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People these days like instant validation. They don’t want to take the time to search a person’s mind and heart. The focus is usually sexual gratification, personal validation or ownership. That’s why romance is rare in these modern times. I don’t believe you can ever really fall in love with a person without learning their mind, heart and soul. Intimacy takes time but most don’t want to invest the time. Even Travis said that Avery was a lot of work because of her somewhat aloof personality. But maybe he was right. She might just not been that into him.

The two girls left standing at the finale in Kansas City were Maya and Veronica. They were two of the most competitive and assertive women on the show. They also both have huge boobs. The lovely blonde Veronica from New Jersey was the runner up. I liked Veronica. She seemed like fun and I think she would have been a good pick for Travis. I’m not concerned for her in the least. I’ll bet she ends up marrying one of the Philadelphia Eagles. She would probably like that better anyway.

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Anyway, congratulations to Travis and Maya. I hope the two of them get married and turn the wedding into an E! channel special. I will be sure to tune in. But if it doesn’t work out I hope that there will be a “Catching Kelce II”. I know how difficult it can be to date in Kansas City. I understand Travis. So if there is a “Catching Kelce II” I hope they relax the age restrictions.

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Derrick Rose’s Problems

I like Derrick Rose.  Not as much as I like Lebron.  I don’t have a crush on him at all.  And I’m not even a Chicago Bulls or New York Knicks fan.  I just like Derrick Rose.  He seems like a super cool guy to me.  He’s the type of cool that only a Black man can be.  That type of cool is often replicated but never quite duplicated.  He seems like the type of guy your cousin would bring to a family cook out and everyone instantly liked him.  If she stopped bringing him around everyone would ask “Whatever happened to your guy that you brought to the cook out?” for years to come.

He’s a Chicago neighborhood that grew up on the rough side of town and became the pride of the old neighborhood.  Derrick Rose always seemed natural and down to Earth to me.  He was just a simple Chicago boy turned basketball star; no more or less.

Derrick’s career seemed promising at the start but he suffered injury after injury.  Some of the injuries caused him to sit out entire or part of more than one season.  Poor Derrick Rose couldn’t get a break.  There was a time when I thought Rose my be the unluckiest man on the planet.  I felt bad for him and I wanted to see him come back and play well.

Rose was recently traded to the New York Knicks and I thought his career may have a chance to rebound.  But rape accusations from a former lover made him headline news for something other than his performance as an athlete.  I am terribly disappointed in Rose.

There is no real way for him to ever recover from this incident.  The parts of the story that are agreed upon by both parties make Derrick Rose look like complete garbage.  He claims that he thought he had consent to have sex with the woman because she sent him a text message.  I don’t remember what the text said but it did not say come over here and have sex with me.  It was something to the affect of “Sure, come by for a visit”.  And somehow Rose took that to mean that sex was a sure thing.  My advice for all men is to get verbal, objective confirmation of consent before having sex with a woman.

Rose and the woman accusing him of rape were not the only people involved in this sordid tale.  Two of Rose’s friends were in on the act too.  So superstar Rose and two of his flunkies went to this woman’s house with the intentions of all three of them having sex with her.  I didn’t think that was real.  Who does that xxxx?  Evidently Derrick Rose and his flunkies do.

Where’s the romance, intimacy, friendship, flirtation or sex appeal?  That is just trash!  One would think that Derrick Rose would have enough romantic offers that he wouldn’t need to share women.  His buddies may not get the attention that Derrick does but surely they could develop enough of a personality so they would have to split a bit of sex three ways.  Come on guys have some standards.  Where is your pride?

Derrick won his court case and he doesn’t have to pay his accuser the boat load of money she was demanding.  But his character and career are tarnished in my eyes.  When it comes to situations like this I figure you may not exactly be guilty of what you’re being accused of but you probably did something you had no business doing.

I will never see Rose as the super cool guy from Chicago who’s talent and dedication to his sport earned him fame and fortune.  From now on I will see him as a sexual deviant that despite being a grown man does not understand what it is to get consent from a woman for sex.  Now he’s just blechkk!  This latest trial of Derrick Rose makes me wonder if foolishness is the cause of his problems.  You blew it Derrick.

 

 

 

My dear Colin Kaepernick

colin_kaepernick_kneelingMy dear Colin Kaepernick,

I’ve grown to love you so much since NFL pre season 2016.  I had heard of you before then but I really took no interest in you.  In fact, I found you to be a little annoying.  There was a time when you irritated me so bad with all your kaepernicking that I had to unfollow you on Twitter.  You and your fans were driving me nuts with that foolishness.

The main reason for my apathy towards you is nothing personal.   It’s just that you play for the San Francisco 49ers.  And although San Francisco is a lovely city, the 49ers are just not my team.  I enjoy calling them the 69ers for fun.  The most memorable moments about your Superbowl appearance was Beyoncé’s half time show and the power outage that happened in the third quarter.  If it makes you feel any better I don’t give a rip about the Baltimore Ravens either.

But Colin you have shown the world your heart.  It’s as big as the sky and it shines like jewels.  You, like so many other people in America and around the world have been touched and troubled by the injustice and violence that the legal justice system deals Black Americans.  You, like so many others are tired of the killings, the excuses and the lack of accountability when a Black man, woman or child is killed by an agent of our tax funded, democratically elected government.  But most of us are nameless, faceless and have no voice or power to challenge our government in any way that can bring about meaningful change.

Colin you could have lived your life in the ivory tower that wealth and fame provide.  You could easily ignore the plight of Americans with skin tones similar to yours and sequester yourself among other wealthy celebrities.  The problems of average African Americans are not really yours, Cam Newton’s, Odell Beckham’s or Dez Bryant’s problems.  But you took an interest in matters concerning Black Americans even though you have absolutely nothing to gain.  The people that you are standing up for can’t offer you anything.  Your selfless attitude is rare in this world.

When you were asked about your stance on police brutality and the national anthem you spoke your truth.  You didn’t back peddle or sugar coat your message.  You were direct in everything you said and you never backed down even when people began to threaten your life.  Your career is at a crossroads and a lot of sports fans are predicting your demise.  But you are standing up for what you believe even though it could impact your career in a negative way.  That takes a lot of courage Colin.

You said you weren’t going to stand for the national anthem again until you see change in this country.  You seem to be standing by your word.  I don’t see a lot of that from people.  Most people say and do whatever is convenient and whatever will serve them best in that moment.  Your stance shows that you are a man of convictions.

Don’t ever listen to the criticism and vitriol of the naysayers.  You have a big heart, a good mind, truthful and you have the courage to stand by your convictions.  A football career, material possessions, fame and fortune can be lost or taken in an instant.  But your true treasure can never be stolen from you.  You are truly a wealthy man.  You are in my prayers and you will always be in my heart.  Go 49ers!

 

 

Why I Love Gabby Douglas

Simone Biles is the gymnastics star of the 2016 Olympics.  She performed beautifully and is as cute as she can be.  The story of her road to Rio is an inspiring American dream that will bring tears to your eyes.  Simone deserves to be the belle of the ball.  But I absolutely love Gabby Douglas.  She is a mature champion that has represented our country well.

During the Olympic trials I could tell that Gabrielle had changed since the London Olympics.  She has matured and become a young woman as opposed to the bubbly, eager girl we met in 2012.  Gabby Douglas is reserved, poised and focused.  She carries herself like a sophisticated lady that is in Brazil to win medals, not entertain or be anyone’s pet.

Gabby Douglas is a refreshing change from many of the young women that are paraded in front of us and lauded as celebrities.  She is not a young woman that is on TV or in magazines for the purpose of arouse men.  She is not there to be funny or cute.  She is there to win.

There is something a little steely about Gabrielle Douglas this go round.  But I love it.  I see the same character in Russia’s Aliya Mustafina.  Aliya competed in the London Olympics and has probably completed her gymnastics career.  She and Gabby are not little little girls any more.  They are veteran champions with youthful, beautiful stalwart exteriors.  God bless them.

It seems that Gabby Douglas has been criticized during the Rio Olympics.  I don’t take Twitter jabs very seriously because I know that people will complain and find fault in anything.  The criticism of Gabby Douglas is rooted in sexism and racism.  American culture wants Black women to be clowns on some level.  Attractive young women are asked to be bimbos.  Black Americans prefer to put light skinned women with European features on a pedestal.  Gabby Douglas is none of that but still successful and there are some that hate it.

All I can say is watch out Simone Biles.  Today you are America’s sweetheart.  Enjoy it because you deserve it all the spoils of victory.  But I hope the fickle American public will be kind to you when you when you compete in Tokyo in 2020.

The Reason I’m a Sports Fan – Shannon in Kansas City

It’s time for the NFL Playoffs.  My favorite team, the Detroit Lions didn’t make the Playoffs and my second favorite team the Kansas City Chiefs lost in the second round which ended their season.  Watching sports on TV or in person has become one of my favorite past times.

Sporting events are one of only a few examples of wholesome programming on TV.  Almost everything on television these days is a vapid reality show, a show about murder or something that I consider to be demonic.  I enjoy a few of the Real Housewife shows but all of the subsequent casts have saturated the airwaves with manufactured images of selfish, mean and sometimes violent women.

There are dozens upon dozens of TV shows about murder.  “CSI”, “Forensic Files”, “Snapped”, “The First 48” are all compelling series but geez Louise don’t people get tired of stories about people killing other people.  I sure do.  And all of these shows use graphic and explicit images.  I get it.  He got his throat cut.  I don’t need the bloody visual thank you very much.

Almost everything else on TV is somehow demonic and dark sided in nature.  I don’t have much interest in zombies, vampires or people that communicate with the dead.  At least I’m not interested enough to watch a weekly series about these subjects.

So much of American television programming is devoted to the occult, violence and reality TV that glorifies people for behaving in a way that would never be accepted in day to day life.  It’s great to see a celebration of youth, strength, fitness and hard work.  That’s what sports competitions are to me.

In a largely sedentary country with an obesity problem it’s great to see physically fit people using their bodies to reach accomplishments and earn a living.  Seeing athletes on TV inspires me to get off the couch and move around.  And they all look great.  I have to say that some professional athletes are made of stardust.  Stardust is the active ingredient in all of our dreams.

I think that athletes are so glamorous.  They are young, rich and have the world by the tail.  I love it and I wish it was me.  I know that they are only human and they have personal struggles like we all do.  In fact, when you follow the careers of athletes you know that a pro career is full of struggle.  But I don’t know any of these guys personally and I only know what I see on TV and in the stadiums.  And it is absolutely lovely and inspiring.

Professional athletes are great role models for children and all the rest of us.  They are young, prosperous, athletic and in the prime of their lives.  Many of them came from disadvantaged backgrounds and now they appear before crowds of thousands and millions on TV.  The real stars are attractive, articulate and have a lot of personality.  I sure want to be like that.  I’m constantly working on it.

I’m glad for the NFL, NBA and MLB.  There would be very little worthwhile to watch on TV without it.  And they give us young stars to admire that will one day be legends that we remember with fondness and pride.  In a world filled with divisions the camaraderie amongst fans transcends race and economic background.  It is a thrill to watch a man fight for his pride and childhood dreams.  There is nothing else like it.  I love it!

#ChiefsKingdom #OnePride