Professional All-Star Games: A joke or what?

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Fans have been asked to PAY and sit through “All-Stars” games for the NFL, MLB and the NBA for far too long and get nothing in return. The attendance at the NFL Pro Bowl saw decreases through the years when it was held in Honolulu but attendance increased when it was held in Glendale, Arizona and Orlando, Florida in 2015 and 2017, respectively. I am not a fan of the NFL Pro Bowl because there is too high of a propensity for players to be injured playing in a game that doesn’t mean anything.  With respect to the NFL Pro Bowl, it is my recommendation that the players be given a lettermen jacket and a check.  Stop requiring the players to play in a game that could result in them having a career ending injury.

The MLB All-Star game was a joke initially because there was no incentive to win and if there was a tie, the game could end in a tie, which resulted in fans crying foul. In an effort to prevent tie games and provide additional incentive to win, MLB reached an agreement with the players union to award home-field advantage for the World Series to the champion of the league that won the All-Star Game.  After several extensions it was agreed that awarding home field advantage to the winning league would remain in place until 2016.  Starting in 2017, home field advantage in the World Series will go to the league championship team with the highest regular season win-loss record.  I wonder if this change will cause the game to go back to having tie games and the players not having an to incentive win.  Only time will tell.

The NBA All-Star game is a total joke and something needs to be done sooner rather than later. Fans spend a lot of money during All-Star weekend and are not getting a return on their investment.  The skills contest, 3-point shooting and dunk contests are absolutely horrible.  Why don’t more players participate in the contests? Why are only four players participating in the dunk contest?  Yet, during the “joke” all-star game several players are dunking like crazy?  Why didn’t Steph Curry and James Harden participate in the 3-point shooting contest?  The all-star game is supposed to be the elite of the elite in the league and they should give the fans something to cheer about.  Instead, they are boring people to tears and charging fans a fee to see them be the Harlem Globetrotters.

Some fans of the game are saying the players are afraid to lose because it could impact their brand. Really, I thought being a competitive basketball player was their brand and more importantly their job. If that’s truly the case, these players are selfish and don’t need to play in the All-Star game.

Fans pay to see a competition, not men patting each other on the back and feeding each other’s egos. If this continues, my recommendation is to give the NBA All-Star players a lettermen jacket, a check and let them be on their way as well.  There is no need for fans to pay to see weak performances.

 

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The Formidable Final Five: Team USA Women’s Gymnastics

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09: (L to R) Gold medalists Alexandra Raisman, Madison Kocian, Lauren Hernandez, Gabrielle Douglas and Simone Biles of the United States pose for photographs with their medals after the medal ceremony for the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

I can’t say enough about these five young women.  I’m so proud of how they’ve handled themselves from qualifying to represent the United States, to their complete domination of Women’s Gymnastics at the games in Rio.

Marta and Bella Karolyi have done an outstanding job with women’s gymnastics in America.  If it were not for the Karolyi’s, the women would be suffering like the men.  Although the young ladies decided on the name “Final Five,” I believe it’s only fitting to add a little punch to their name, hence the reason I’ve added “Formidable” because these young women are truly a force to be reckoned with.

We’re all familiar with Aly and Gabby from the 2012 Olympic squad but Simone, Laurie and Madison bring an entirely new level to the sport.  Simone has become American’s darling little super power.  She has routines that rival male gymnast and that’s saying a lot.  She exudes a confidence that is unmatched, as do the other members of the team.  I had to write about these amazing young women and what they’ve done to enhance women’s gymnastics.  

Simone had the opportunity to bring home five (5) gold medals but it was not to be.  That’s fine because she is only 19 years old and barring any injuries over the next four (4) years she can do it in the next Olympics.

With all of the praise that is going out to these young women, something does need to be clarified and that is, in order to qualify for the individual all-around competition, a gymnast must perform on each apparatus.  The media would have us to believe that Laurie was slighted in some way and that’s why she wasn’t selected to compete in the all-around competition. 

Laurie did not compete on the uneven bars because the coaches made the decision to bring Madison in to perform on the uneven bars because she is one of the top performers on this apparatus.  Therefore, Laurie was not eligible to compete in the all-around competition, nothing else.  She wasn’t slighted.  By doing bringing in Madison the USA slaughtered the competition and it was a great decision.    Laurie is only 16 and has plenty of time to improve in this area so don’t worry, she will a beast on the uneven bars as well.

Once again, congratulations to the “Formidable Final Five.”

1RAREGRL

How Do We as a Nation, Stop Police Brutality?

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Images of policemen then and now.

Let me start by saying that police brutality is not a new problem. It has been around since the free world realized that there had to be some kind of law and order or we would end up in lawless societies.  What came with the establishment of “lawmen” was an abuse of power by some men who never had any power until they were given a “pistol” and a badge.  This bad behavior is perpetuated by the few and that has never stopped.  There will always be bad apples in any organization but in the police force, where there is a reasonable expectation of protection it can’t be tolerated or accepted.

Fast forward to today and why we’re seeing so much of it. The answer is simple, we’re living in a technologically advanced society where anyone with a phone, tablet or camera has the ability to record these acts of violence and murders by some police officers.  Prior to advancements in technology, these police officers were getting away with murder, no pun intended, but their bad behavior is being exposed exponentially and they don’t know how to handle it nor does the rest of society when we see the graphic images.

There are over 800,000 police officers across the nation and the majority of them are not bad. Unfortunately, the violent acts of a few have cast a shadow of doubt on the many and it’s not right to judge every police officer by the bad officers who should never have been hired on the police force.

Several groups are saying that communities should establish committees to oversee the police departments. A number of communities already have these oversight committees in place and we’re still seeing this kind of police brutality so that’s not the answer.  Actually, I believe the answer is relatively simple and those of you reading my article right now are probably shaking your heads and going, she’s kidding right?

I’m not kidding. The answer to stopping police brutality, is restructuring the process for becoming a police officer and it has to start with: “How To Weed You Out, Not How You Get In.”  When individuals apply for the FBI, CIA, Navy Seals, Delta Force and other elite law enforcement agencies, their goal is to weed the bad apples out, which should be the same principle applied for community police forces.  The background and mental health checks are extensive, it’s my understanding that scenarios on how to handle difficult situations require exceptional critical thinking skills and the list goes on.  The weeding out process that takes place with these elite law enforcement agencies must be pushed down to community law enforcement agencies.  Again, becoming a police officer should be about “how to weed you out, not how we let you in.”

Another way to stop this criminal behavior is they should be terminated and stripped of all of their benefits immediately. It is not enough to terminate them from the police force there must be other consequences that come along with it so that the next officer thinks long and hard before engaging in criminal conduct.

We have seen time and time again, where it is almost impossible to convict a policeman of murder when the people on the jury are staring the evidence in the face. It is time to pass a law that all acts of violence perpetrated by a police officer are to be tried in federal court.  It is time to take the trials for police officers out of the hands of ordinary citizens because it is obvious that the average Joe is just not capable of making a reasonable decision.

I’m going to digress for a moment, if anyone has ever sat in a jury pool you know that most of the people called to serve are not the sharpest tools in she shed. I recall going to do my civic duty and when I saw the people in the pool and listened to how they responded to simple questions or watched how they followed directions, I thought to myself, “wow, if you are a jury of my peers, the justice system is in trouble.”  It is truly frightening to see and listen to some of the people selected to serve on juries.  A lot of them are just not ready for prime time, I’m sorry but it’s the truth.  Hence, the reason police officers are acquitted time and time again for murder and it’s time for that to stop and the only way to do that is to remove these trials out of the local jurisdictions and send these cases to federal court to be tried.  Federal prosecutors are much better equipped to handle high profile cases and the jurors are sharper and tend to be able to process what is being presented better.

In summary in order to stop police brutality we need to do the following:

  1. Change the hiring process to include more comprehensive mental health testing, more extensive background checks, include critical thinking scenarios etc.
  2. The hiring process must be patterned after more elite law enforcement agencies like the FBI, Navy Seals, CIA, Delta Force etc.
  3. The hiring process should be more about weeding people out, not than letting them in.
  4. Terminate officers for misconduct and strip them all benefits immediately.
  5. Must have completed more than a high school education.  At a minimum anyone applying to the police force must have completed one (1) year of college.

1RAREGRL

 

Be Wary of the Media: Hatred, Racism and Racial Divide is Big Business for Them

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Images of Dylan Noble and Alton Sterling both unarmed and killed by the police.

God gave his life willingly as a symbol of how much he loves mankind. He was well aware during His death of what would come to pass by way of man’s hatred because he experienced it at the highest level.

Although 99.9% of my blog is about sports, there are times when I will write about issues that are confronting us as a nation. The media is a huge factor when it comes to stirring the pot and keeping anger, hatred and racism alive and well in this country.  Police brutality is nothing new but the media needs a news story to sensationalize for ratings and they need a mechanism that will continue to widen the gap of racial division in this country.  Does the ugly face of racism exist?  Of course it does and guest what? It will always exist in some people because there are those people who can’t live without needing someone or something to hate in order to make themselves feel better.  I say to those people, go with God because He has something in store for you.

The media thrives off of this ugly underbelly. The media has an underlying agenda and that is to keep up the racial tensions, strife and resentment in this country.  Have you ever asked yourself why are there so many images of black people being killed by police officers and why there are so few images of the same thing happening to white people?  It makes you wonder if people of other ethnicities are being killed in the same manner.  Well, let me tell you they are but the media uses selective judgment of what images to show because it would not be to their advantage to show these images of police brutality against white Americans because they could not continue to fan the fire of racial divide.

It is the media that caused Micah Johnson to snap. It’s my belief that this young man already had some underlying mental health issues that were compounded by the negative images he was seeing and as a result he snapped.  Not one time did the media investigate and report on his mental frame of mind.  Instead they labeled him as being with “Black Lives Matter,” which he was not.  Keep in mind that the Sandy Hooks shooter, Atlanta church shooter, the Colorado theatre shooter, the Columbine shooters and most recently the mother, in Texas, that gunned down her two daughters in the street to punish her husband were all labeled by the media as having mental problems.  On Monday, July 11, 2016, Larry Darnell Gordon, took a service revolver from a bailiff while he was in the courtroom, killed two bailiffs and wounded a police officer before he was shot and killed by a police officer.  How many of you saw the story about Dr. Rachel Wellner, the cancer surgeon, who clipped an NYPD officer because he was giving her a ticket?  Dr. Wellner to this day remains defiant and believes she was right.  All of these individuals are white so the media down played how they labeled them and how much coverage their crimes received.  Ask yourselves why the selective reporting?  A person with a gun killing people, is a psycho with a gun killing people regardless of the ethnicity.  However the media doesn’t play fair when it comes to maintaining their goal of keeping hatred, anger and racial divide alive and well in this country.

Dylan Noble a 19 year old young white man in Fresno, California was shot four times and killed by the police during a routine traffic stop and his parents have asked for the records associated with his shooting because they’re wondering just like the family of Alton Sterling how something like this could happen to an unarmed individual. Did the media splash this young man’s face and murder all of the news? No they did not and that’s because they don’t want Americans to see the ugly truth about some police officers.  The media’s selective reporting is causing a lot of problems this country is encountering.  For instance, they reported that “Chick-fil-a” required it’s employees to wear “Back the Blue” t-shirts, which had people up in arms and ready to boycott the entire company.  What they failed to report was that this was only one restaurant.  “Chick-fil-a” is a national chain and the restaurants are franchised so that was one owner but it doesn’t represent the entire chain and that wasn’t done by all of the chains.  This is the manipulation of the media and all of us need to think long and hard about the judgments we make based on the misinformation disseminated by the media.

The media no longer reports the news.  They tell half-truths, sensationalize stories for ratings, spew unwarranted opinions and try to get society to believe what they’re saying, which is a big problem, especially when there are so many small-minded people who are lead by the opinions of others.

If you are a true believer of the Word of God: All Lives Matter and as soon as we take up that cross we can start to make real strides toward change.  The NAACP made change because it was about people of color.  Yes, it grew out of a need to assist black people confront racism in this country but ultimately a greater good was served.

There is an old saying that goes like this: “Be aware of the dog bringing the Bone.”  This saying sums up the media perfectly.

1RAREGRL

The Republican Presidential Debate

I know that my blog is about sports but I watched the Republican Presidential Debate and was not impressed with the questions, answers or the behavior of the candidates, one of whom who could very well become our Commander and Chief.  Therefore, I was compelled to stray from my normal blog and give you my thoughts about tonight’s debate.

I watched the Republican Presidential Debate and the best thing about it was Donald Trump talking about how he took full advantage of the laws of this country when he filed for bankruptcy 4 times, which is really sad but he didn’t run from the question. Also, there were too many candidates on the stage in order for it to be effective. The media has become a circus. How do they expect candidates to really talk about what their plans are when you can only hear from a select few and it was obvious they focused on certain candidates. They tried to attack Donald Trump, didn’t work. Then their strategy was to attack the President and the current administration, in my opinion that’s stupid, the questions should have been geared to what are these candidates bringing to the table.

One of the most inane comments came from Jeb Bush, who said the country is divided and we need to pull the country back together and it’s because of the President and Hillary Clinton. What world is he living in? The country was divided when his father and brother were in office. The people in the audience clapped loudly, people stop believing in sound bytes and end the hypocrisy.

All of them want to dismantle the IRS, Social Security, put education back in the hands of the states, repeal the Health Care Act but they plan to increase jobs. Well how many jobs will be lost when all of these systems are dismantled?

Jeb Bush, claims that when he was Governor of Florida he increased jobs and improved education more than any state in the country. Really? If what he did for education in Florida produced people that can’t convict a man that killed an unarmed boy or a woman that killed her two year old daughter, I shutter to think what that educational system looks like. These people are completely unrealistic in their thought process. Some of the questions from ordinary people were just plain STUPID. For instance, one woman asked what they plan to do so that Christians are allowed to speak their minds about gay marriage. One candidate said he does not want his marriage or guns in the hands of the government but that’s not really answering the question, right? I was shouting at the television saying silly lady your opinion is your opinion but don’t use God as a way to be cruel to people because their life style is different. When is someone going to say that.

There was only one question asked about what’s happening in this country to Black people when confronted by some of these crazy police officers. The question was asked to one candidate and his response was more training. That is the dumbest answer and a sound byte. How about the FBI will be sent in to investigate these police departments like what was done in Ferguson and rid the departments of the bad apples. Let’s be real a lot of these police officers engaged in this violent murderous behavior would be criminals themselves “but for” becoming police officers.

How about a question about the Mental Health system Ronald Reagan destroyed? As a result of his madness, we are dealing with people walking into schools and movie theatres taking everybody out. He destroyed the mental health system but we had to take care of him when he became one of the people he didn’t care about.

Why don’t we want everyone to have health? Early in my traveling days I met a husband and wife from Russia who were doctors while I was on vacation in Spain. I was probably 25 years old. When I found out they were doctors I said to them, “why don’t you move to America, you can make much more money?” They said we would NEVER move to America because you all don’t believe in taking care of everyone that’s sick. I never forgot that but it is so true. Think about how insurance companies and management companies dictate to doctors how they should treat patients. There was a time when doctor’s managed their own practice but these insurance companies and management companies are all about managing budgets and not health care for the sick.

My recommendation for everyone is truly look inward don’t vote for someone because you’ve always done it, think about the old, the sick, the disenfranchised, uneducated, the poor, the rich, the educated, jobs etc. and really pray for deliverance and ask God for wisdom and to heal your heart. We are never going to right every wrong but we can make this is an even better country if we start being honest.

1RAREGRL