Thursday, May 30, 2013

Why "Redskins" Shouldn't Be Changed

I'm fairly certain anyone who even slightly follows the NFL knows of the "controversy" over the Washington Redskins' name. If you haven't, here's the brief of it. "Redskin" is supposedly a pejorative used to disparage the Native Americans. The United States Congress is even pressuring Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, to change the name on the grounds that "Redskin" is equally offensive and more deeply rooted in offensiveness than "nigger." The term "Redskin" is apparently one of the most offensive terms in all of mankind's history.

Well, I'm writing to tell you, that it is not. And this will be a choppy rant that won't be as organized or professional as I wish it would be.

"Redskin" was not used to disparage anyone until movies ran with the term. Those movies also do not predate the use of the term for the NFL team. The term is so unused in it's offensiveness towards Natives, that there is absolutely no recording of the term "Redskin" in any manner of offensiveness on the planet Earth. The only "recording" we have is recent interviews where Natives claim they were passed in cars and called "filthy Redskin" or "dirty Redskin" or "stupid Redskin." In absolutely none of these phrases is the term "Redskin" the offensive term, it is the adjective ahead of "Redskin" which is the offender.

"Redskin" was used to define the color of skin of the Native Americans. They were also called Indian for this exact reason... they looked very similar to peoples from the country of India due to the color of their skin. We identify people by their skin color. This opens the door for racism, sure, but we generally see before we get to know a person. We will always be a visual species, and that comes with the mistake of identifying by color.

But "Redskin" isn't used in a derogatory fashion. The only people who speak poorly of the Redskins are fans of other teams, who also hear the same insults hurled at them. The Washington Redskins are a storied and proud franchise who have always represented Natives with respect. I grew up proud to celebrate the Natives, of which I share blood in my own ancestry.

The fact that there is no actual evidence to support the claim that "Redskin" is an offensive term. One very important piece of information I use in regards to support this claim is Sitting Bull's quote referring to his own skin as red. It was their own identifier.

Many use some flawed idea that "red skins" was used to describe the scalps of Natives taken for coin. This is false, unsupported, and not held up in any legal discussion. The scalps of Natives were taken, but they were not referred to as "red skins."

There are far more atrocious representations in the NFL than "Redskins." Names which are factually negative and honor disgusting acts throughout the American history. Such names include Cowboys, Raiders, Buccaneers, Vikings, Bills, and Chiefs.

The first name I want to select from that list is the Buffalo Bills, named after Buffalo Bill, a man who, in fact, collected the scalps of Natives for reward.

The Raiders and Buccaneers represent pirates. In fact, the Buccaneers celebrate the pirate idea in their stadium well beyond the uniform, logo, and name. I shouldn't even have to tell you why pirates were horrible people.

The Vikings fall very much into the same category as pirates. They were pillagers, rapists, and murderers who terrorized much of the Northern hemisphere.

The Chiefs are offensive because they honor only the highest of each tribe. Not every Native was a chief, nor could most of them be a chief. It's always better to honor the whole group opposed to individuals.

The Cowboys are by far the most offensively-named team in all of the NFL. Nevermind the Redskins/Cowboys rivalry, let us just focus on what it means to be a cowboy. "The Cowboys" were a group of outlaws, most famously, the gang that got into the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This group of outlaws were thieves, murderers, rapists, and robbers. The Cowboys also retrieved Native scalps (and Mexican scalps) to redeem for their pardon for various crimes.

But good ol' Jerry Jones has never been asked to change his team's name...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

STOP BLEMISHING HUMANITY


So this Tweet just so happened to scroll down my timeline, and I'm very pissed off anyways, so I'ma take this opportunity to say "FUCK EVERYONE!" Yes, even you, the fuckhead reading this!




SO!? SO THE FUCK WHAT! Smoking pot makes you a violent, dangerous individual!? Marijuana is that bad? Since when? I've never even been talked to in a negative way by someone under the influence of marijuana. Sure, there are people who use it to calm their nerves before going to kill someone... at least, that's how it was portrayed in the movie Menace II Society.

And a picture of a gun? SO!? SO THE FUCK WHAT! I've texted pictures of dogs to friends... doesn't mean I have a dog or that it's my dog.

The media is a bunch of fucking pussies! P-U-S-S-I-E-S! And the investigators who uncovered this information and thought leaking it to the media in order to portray Trayvon Martin as some dangerous menace to society... is a dumbshit cunt.

I'm so tired of these spins put on everything. I'm sick and fucking tired of the media whipping anything into a frenzy. CNN, you're a bunch of fucking jokes for taking this shit and trying to use it against this dead kid, who was DEFENDING HIMSELF FROM A PREDATOR! A FUCKING PREDATOR! WHO DIDN'T LISTEN WHEN A POLICE OPERATOR TOLD HIM TO STAY IN HIS FUCKING CAR AND NOT PURSUE THE YOUNG BLACK MALE! A PREDATOR WHO PURSUED ANYWAYS AND GOT PUNCHED IN THE FACE BY A FRIGHTENED CHILD! A PREDATOR WHO TRIED TO GRAB THE GUN FROM HIS WAIST TO KILL THIS KID AND GOT HIS NOSE BROKEN FOR HIS RETARDED EFFORTS!

People are off their fucking rocker nowadays. I try... I REALLY TRY to have hope in humanity. The reality is, you can't have any. None whatsoever. When I look at any of you with skepticism in my eye... I'm not judging you based on ethnicity, age, sex... none of that. Some normal looking sick fucks do sick fucking things all the time. I'm not going to be the victim of one of those sick fucking things because I was too confident in someone else. As the great Stone Cold Steve Austin used to say, "DON'T TRUST ANYONE!" And I don't. Fuck all of you!



Sidebar, apologies to the family members who read this in shock by some of the language. You all know I'm more composed than this. But everyone has a tipping point, and this was mine.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

2013-14 NFL Predictions

Okay, I was going to wait and do this after the NBA finals, but I just do not care to hold off as I'm positive the Miami Heat are gonna walk about 4 games to 2 over the San Antonio Spurs. But enough about that.




These are simply best-case scenarios (+/- 2 games) for each team. I'm not going through each and every schedule and predicting winners of each game and coming away with a results pool. Injuries and bad calls will dictate several games this season as they do each season. Some injuries may even make a team or two better as they find their diamond in the rough (see the 49ers with Smith/Kaepernick). This is just my, "this is how good I imagine this team COULD be"... records won't add up within division/conference.




AFC

AFC East:

New England Patriots - This is their division. They run this. Without or without Rob Gronkowski. Tom Brady is confident in his arm. They have improved their defense and will be in their second year in the 4-3, so more comfortable with their responsibilities on that side of the ball. Record: 13-3.

Miami Dolphins - I like this young team. I like adding Mike Wallace to the mix for Tannehill's strong arm. The second-year QB is a really good player too. Defensively, I think they have some questions, but they're definitely able to keep pace with other teams in the NFL. Record: 10-6.

New York Jets - Geno Smith is a good athlete. I don't see him being much more than a good quarterback. They also don't have many weapons on offense around him to make things easy on the team. Needless to say, this isn't Mark Sanchez's team anymore. And on defense, I think they're going to really struggle to shut down the high-powered offenses in New England and Miami. Record: 7-9.

Buffalo Bills - What is there to like about this team? Not the QB. Not the RB situation with the injuries that have been occurring. Not WR. Not O-Line. Not the defense. I think we have a team who will be competing for the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Record: 3-13.

AFC North:

Cincinnati Bengals - I like the Bengals. Young team with a lot of upside. Still not in the best position overall, but Dalton/Green are growing together, and are doing a very good job of performing so far. I'm most interested in how the run game advances this season to help control the tempo of the game. With their growth and the decline of other teams in the division, they can take the division. Record: 12-4.

Baltimore Ravens - Yeah, they lost a LOT. And Flacco may be the anti-Peyton Manning (bad in the regular season, great in the playoffs). And they don't have Ed Reed or Ray Lewis for the first time in years. But they still have some hungry beasts on that defense and offensively, Ray Rice and Torrey Smith are still there to change the entire game. They will give Cincinnati a run for their money. Record: 11-5.

Pittsburgh Steelers - Losing Mike Wallace is going to hurt. Pittsburgh doesn't have an awesome WR to help Ben out. The run game is no longer a threat. Defensively, they haven't been Blitzburgh in quite a few years. Maybe James Harrison really did retire when he said that was an option after all of the fines. Polamalu can't stay healthy. This is a team on the decline and may cost Mike Tomlin his job. Record: 6-10.

Cleveland Browns - I said last year if they had some reliable receivers, they could have made Weeden look like a good QB. There were three games I can recall off the top of my head where receivers dropped wide-open, game winning TD's in the closing moments of the game. THREE. That could have etched Weeden into a better class. But I don't expect so much without any threatening WR's. Record: 6-10.

AFC South:

Houston Texans - This is still their division, for at least one more year. Foster is still a machine. The WR's should be healthy (and younger with more size). They still have a very good defense who should return to full health. Texans fans have a lot to be excited about. Record: 11-5.

Indianapolis Colts - One of the things the Texans can't be excited about, is the threat the Colts pose. This is a very underrated team, in my opinion. Luck will be much improved this year. They have a pretty good defense and adding a hitter in LaRon Landry can help a lot. I think they can make a run. Record: 10-6.

Tennessee Titans - If they can't run behind this revamped line, CJ2K might need to pack his bags and hope he can find the fire to prove himself again. I don't like much about their passing offense. Defensively, they can do a lot better than they did in 2012. It's all about MAKING the play this year. Record: 8-8.

Jacksonville Jaguars - I don't know what it is, but I actually liked Chad Henne running this offense. But they're still hoping Blaine Gabbert can be Tom Brady. I don't see that happening. Doesn't help at all to have the problems of Justin Blackmon. They don't have a bad team of athletes, but they've got questionable character and unsure performance. Maybe they'll compete for a top 3 pick. Record: 4-12.

AFC West:

Denver Broncos - This is their division, because they're the only great team in this division, right now. Peyton Manning proved to everyone last year that he still has it. He said he didn't feel anywhere near 100% to start the season, or finish it, but was still one of the most efficient and successful QB's of 2012. Now? He says he feels much better. Critics were proved wrong when he threw deep on both sides of the field. Defensively, they really need to play the pass better. But the offense can outscore anyone. Record: 14-2.

Oakland Raiders - What? Did I really just do this? Yes. Yes I did. Matt Flynn may even lose his starting job to a rookie... something that ended up being a blessing for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. But he may start. But I can see Tyler Wilson being successful. Or Terrell Pryor. Still like Oakland's defense, especially with Charles Woodson back in the silver and black (great nod to make it feel like it is a special place). Health and QB can prove to be the difference for this team. Record: 10-6.

Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs have a new QB who can distribute the football when he is protected. They have a run game. They have a WR. They have an O-Line. They have a decent enough defense. They have Andy Reid, who (take out the last two seasons) is one of the most successful coaches in the league. I expect them to push some teams to the limit. Record: 9-7.

San Diego Chargers - A lot of new faces out there. Philip Rivers (as I've maintained since he was drafted) is overrated and is every bit of what the media loves to accuse Tony Romo of being. They don't have a run game. There isn't a frightening WR in San Diego anymore. I don't like their defense one bit. Record: 5-11.




NFC

NFC East:

Washington Redskins - No, this division has not had a repeat champion in a while. This team DID get on a hot streak to end 2012. QB Robert Griffin III is questionable to start the season. But the Redskins can win a few of their first 4 games with backup QB Kirk Cousins. Alfred Morris is consistent and had one of his best games without RGIII. There are more weapons and more speed on this offense. Defensively, Orakpo is returning to help take pressure off Kerrigan, who will also keep some pressure off of Orakpo, opening the pass rush up. DB is improved (and played pretty well during the winning stretch last year). Record: 11-5.

Dallas Cowboys - Tony Romo is underrated. Dez Bryant is really good. The health of the running backs will be key to their success on offense. Defensively, a lot of players are returning from injury. A move to the 4-3 suits their players' strengths in Monte Kiffin's scheme. They have really good depth at LB and DE. Dallas will be in it come week 17, where the division will probably be decided again. Record: 11-5.

New York Giants - Eli Manning has to prove he can play without two star WR's and make some plays with just one. He has to not force passes to Victor Cruz when he loses confidence in his other WR's. The run game needs to succeed, which means these young backs have to prove they can play with minimal mistakes. Defensively, JPP needs to be everything he was two years ago, and nothing like he was in 2012. Justin Tuck can't have another bad year, or else Mara will never hear the end of "we should have kept Osi." DB is a huge question mark. Record: 8-8.

Philadelphia Eagles - New coach, new scheme, new focus on fast-pace, question marks at QB. Offensively, we don't know what the Eagles will look like. Running the football a lot may not be a huge option as Jackson/Maclin aren't the best blockers on the outside. Defensively... well, first year in a 3-4 following a few seasons of the wide-non...err...9. I think this season is a feeling-out process for coach Kelly. Record: 5-11.

NFC North:

Green Bay Packers - Aaron Rodgers is going to have a chip on his shoulder this year. They have a younger, faster group at WR. They want to run the football more than they have in the past few seasons. Defensively they have some reason to believe they will improve. This is still the team to beat in the NFC in my eyes. Record: 13-3.

Chicago Bears - They could be really bad this year... but I'm of the belief they will be really good this year. I still really like Cutler/Marshall, and if the other WR's can stay healthy, Cutler can achieve some great things. Run game needs to be a focus this season though, which means the RB's need to stay healthy. Forte in 16 games could be one of the best backs in the entire league. Defensively, they could grow without Urlacher's physical deficiencies. Record: 10-6.

Minnesota Vikings - I'm not ready to give up on Ponder yet. Having a veteran WR who has won something can help him a lot. Peterson is an X-Men and if his goal is 2,500 yards rushing, I don't imagine a single defense wants to try and stop him from doing it. Defensively, Minnesota has always been pretty solid. Young DB's have a little experience now. Record: 10-6.

Detroit Lions - Are they better than their record last year? I don't know. Calvin Johnson is the best WR in the NFL right now, like it or not. Stafford distributes the ball pretty well, and Megatron managed to do the unthinkable. Don't like their run game... even if they're healthy. Defensively, Fairley's suggestion that he and Suh are the best DT tandem may be fair, but the rest of that defense doesn't play like they're anchored by the best DT tandem. They really have to step up this year. Record: 7-9.

NFC South:

New Orleans Saints - They're making a return to the top of the division this season with the return of head coach Sean Payton. Drew Brees is just far more comfortable with his head coach on the sideline and not at home watching on TV. I don't expect this offense to stall at all. Defensively, they can be as good as they want to be if they play up to their talents. That's easier said than done though. But they can outscore almost everyone in the NFL. Record: 12-4.

Atlanta Falcons - I still think Matt Ryan is overrated. I don't think Stephen Jackson is any better than Mike Turner was last season at this point. Maybe he is, and maybe that helps mask Ryan's weaknesses. WR is possibly the best group in the entire league. Defensively, they're worse than they were last year, and that was a pretty bad group. I don't have high expectations there. Record: 9-7.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They made some nice additions on defense. Getting Revis, even if he isn't exactly like he was before the injury, is still a major pickup that will greatly help their horrible pass defense from last year. Doug Martin and the WR's are pretty damn good weapons at the disposal of Freeman, who needs to show out this season and not fall apart like 2012. Record: 8-8.

Carolina Panthers - This isn't a team I'm really seeing improving. I don't like their situation at RB. Their WR's still aren't frighting. Cam Newton is literally the only weapon I see on this offense. Defensively, they're just as frightening as they were last year......... not very. Record: 7-9.

NFC West:

San Francisco 49ers - Even if they don't have Michael Crabtree, I still think this team is terrifying to any opponents. The defense is solid all around and regardless of the first half of the Super Bowl, they can bully any offense in the NFL. Offensively, they've got the tools to run more if Crabtree cannot return at all, and they still have some options at WR with the zone-read option to keep defenses honest. Record: 11-5.

Arizona Cardinals - I don't care what you think of Palmer following his days in Oakland. They just need a QB who can get Fitzgerald involved, and Palmer's one of those guys who can do that. It helps a whole lot that they have another big target across from Fitz... a guy I believe can be one of the best in the NFL in a few years, and Palmer may just jumpstart his push to get there. Defense needs to step up and bully people like they started to do last year. Record: 9-7.

Seattle Seahawks - They're a good team, no matter how you look at it. But they're also a troublesome team off-the-field, and sometimes that really hurts talent when the league starts observing a little more closely. I don't really like their group at WR, but Lynch is one of the best backs in the league and will go off again this year. Defense is big, fast, and strong, and they will push people around all year. Record: 9-7.

St. Louis Rams - Bradford has some weapons at his disposal, but still no proven name that strikes fear in the heart of opposing defenses. Austin could become that guy, but that's a big if in my book. The group at RB isn't as intimidating as many, but they've got a good blend and backs usually succeed with coach Fisher regardless. Defensively, I like the talent they have, but they still have to learn to play as an entire unit. Record: 7-9.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Heart-Warming Story

So I lost all my thug today when I was at Starbucks. For all of you not in-the-know or old folk not hip to the slang, losing all your thug means you were softened by something for a moment, emotional.

So this guy was in line ahead of me, and the barista was telling the guy's daughter that she was pretty. The little girl was 7, maybe 8. The girl's "father", ended up telling the following story [paraphrased].

The girl's biological father was diagnosed with cancer, and proposed to the girl's biological mother because he wanted to be married and have a child before he passed away. He ended up dying after the marriage and before the birth of his child.

*sidebar* Thug was already gone at that point.

The mother gave birth to a healthy daughter, but died in labor.

*sidebar* Any remaining thug was absent at this point.

So this guy (her uncle, the mother's brother) took the little one in when both sets of grandparents suggested giving her up for adoption. This guy was 19 at the time, and stepped up to the plate when nobody else would.

*sidebar* Thug nonexistent.

So while I was listening to this story and wiping something from my eyes (damn Starbucks' indoor air quality) he proceeded to tell the barista that he was single, had a few girlfriends but nothing worked out. I was interrupted and asked to place my order. So I did that and was waiting for drinks and heard the girl say, "Thank you, Daddy" when he handed her drink to her.

*sidebar* Did I ever really have thug at this point?

So before he and his niece/daughter left, I made it a point to wish him a Happy Mother's Day; odd how God might put something so humbling in front of you, especially on a day when it means a little extra.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers and single-fathers out there! Even you gay men who have adopted and raise a child or children.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson Retires From Manchester United

As a fan of English football, Sir Alex is someone who I admire greatly. He has contributed to the game significantly and it is a shame, for his team and for the sport, that he is retiring. He definitely deserves to after the many years he has dedicated to Manchester United and I am extremely pleased that he is leaving on a high as I think his legacy deserves that. Not many managers can boast a career quite like Sir Alex's! Whoever steps up to the plate definitely has very big boots to fill. I hope that this person continues to make United into a team worthy of playing and that the departure of their longstanding manager doesn't hinder them significantly, as it'd be a shame to see what Sir Alex has built over many years disintegrate. As a Chelsea fan I hope that United continue to bring it on the pitch, and make Sir Alex proud, but also that the new manager isn't overshadowed by this enormous legacy.

To Sir Alex, thank you for your contribution to English Football and for the players you scouted and helped develop who play(ed) for our national team, you will, without a doubt, be missed.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Student Punished, Charged With a Felony - Yahoo!

David "Cole" Withrow was a senior ready to graduate with honors from Princeton High School in Johnston, N.C. He is an Eagle Scout, did his senior class project on gun safety and was even looking forward to college in the fall.

This is why when he realized he forgot his shotgun in the back of his truck after going skeet shooting over the weekend, he debated between driving back home and being counted as tardy and calling his mom from school to collect the gun.

Deciding to call his mother from the school's front office to come get the gun...

Student Punished, Charged With a Felony After He ‘Tried to Do the Right Thing’ When He Forgot His Shotgun Was in His Truck - Yahoo! News


_____________

I do not understand how a kid who did a project about gun safety forgot he had his gun in his truck, but I'm also upset with the fact that he was honest about it and tried to handle it in a respectable way and still got expelled and charged with a felony.

The article goes on to explain that an administrator at his school also brought a gun onto school grounds, and the Sheriff's Office said that an administrator caught with a gun on school grounds can only be charged with a misdemeanor, but it's a felony for a student. I don't know about you, but that's very disturbing to me........

Psychopathic Traits Seen in Children’s Brains - Yahoo!

Children with severe behavioral problems have a suppressed response to others' pain, according to new brain-scan research.

Researchers examined brain scans of kids with conduct disorder, which is marked by aggression, cruelty to others and anti-social behavior. Some kids with conduct disorder also display what psychologists call "callous-unemotional traits," which means they lack guilt and empathy.

The patterns seen in these children's brains may reveal a vulnerability to psychopathy in adulthood, researchers report today (May 2) in the journal Current Biology. Psychopaths are manipulative and...

Psychopathic Traits Seen in Children’s Brains - Yahoo! News