My mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general; if you become a monk, you’ll end up as the Pope.’ Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.
What NFL Free Agency Means for Fans
This is the time of year where certain players from each teams get to see other people, to test the market and see their value. If the price is right, they go where the money is. The first few days of NFL free agency has seen a lot of key movements: Super Bowl winning wide receiver Anquan Boldin is now a 49er. Minnesota Vikings’s Percy Harvin is now with the Seahawks, giving Russell Wilson more weapons to spread out the field. Tom Brady taking less money (allegedly) didn’t free up enough cash for the Patriots to keep their loyal and dependable wideout Wes Welker, as Brady’s go-to receiver was shipped to the Denver Broncos in a two-year $12 million deal; while Anquan Boldin was sent to San Fran for the equivalent of a ten piece nugget and a Kardashian. The Philadelphia released under-performing corner, Nnamdi Asomugha, but if they don’t find some reputable Olinemen either in free agency or the draft, Michael Vick will yet again spend more time on his back than his feet.
What does free agency tell you about the NFL? Free agency simply reminds players and fans that this is indeed a business. If you’re a Patriot’s fan and you’ve been rocking that Wes Welker jersey for years, guess what? You’ll have to find another player’s jersey to rock for at least two years. Just ask Colts fans where’s their beloved number 18 Peyton Manning jersey. If you’re a Ravens’ fan, enjoy last season’s Super Bowl win because free agency has resulted in the dismantling of your team. Six starters from last year’s Super Bowl Ravens are gone, including team revered leader, the now retired ESPN-bound Ray Lewis. Before you get happy about still having your future Hall of Fame safety, calm down. The Ravens franchise interceptions leader, Ed Reed is currently being wined and dined in Houston. Heard it’s hard to resist that southern hospitality, and the possibility of Reed remaining a Ravens is slimmer than Taylor Swift’s waistline. With the moves the Ravens have made in free agency, it’s clear to see they have no plans to sniff the playoffs this season.
Let’s face it. This is not the NFL of old where players were lifers. Free agency is a gut-check for fans. Seeing your favorite player now in another team’s uniform can be traumatic. It’s like your spouse leaving you and marrying your neighbor. Every Sunday, you have to look at what was once yours that is never coming back. Yeah, free agency is real for fans. But general managers do what’s best for their bottom lines, and that’s okay because it’s not personal. It’s just business.
The Problem with ‘Today’
For 60 years the Today show has been American’s go to morning show and until last year, Today has held on to the the number spot, leaving all other morning shows in the background. Times have changed. Unfortunately Today hasn’t and there lies the problem.
Yes Katie left, replaced by the delightful Meredith Vierra, leaving Ann Curry in the news anchor seat. While we’re on this subject, lets get one thing clear: Ann Curry was never co-host ready. She’s a beautiful and lovely lady who deserved to remain in that anchor desk. Ann’s greatest professional downfall was of her own making. The worst thing she could’ve have ever desired was to be a co-host. She lacks the personality, quick wit and self-confidence to sit in that co-host seat. It may sound harsh but that’s just the facts. Ann was great bringing the news and doing special feature reports that complimented her style. She was the Picasso of the anchor desk. Why trade that for the couch? Al Roker has contentedly remained America’s go to weather guy and America’s all around good guy for a reason. That’s his lane. Ann’s lane was that desk not the couch. Sometimes in life you have to find what you’re great at and be content. Always improve and get better but never long for anything greater than your best. It doesn’t exist. Ann Curry is no Katie Couric and wanting her seat is what got Ann off the Today show, not Matt Lauer.
Back to the problem with the Today show. What Today lacks is diversity, not just culturally or in front of the camera. Today lacks diversity in perspectives and ideas. They hire the same people from the places with the same ideas. Even Matt Lauer today told the Daily Beast that the show’s content “isn’t up to par.” He’s right. Their content is stale and out of touch with America. Their celebrity fascination is revolting. Going on air with Kim Kardashian’s mother instead of joining the nation in a live moment of silence for 9/11 victims and families, not cool. And Savannah Guthrie should still be a White House correspondent. I mean it’s kind of asking too much to expect America to tune into a chick who can’t even make up her own bed. Bring in diverse producers with fresh ideas and passion for people, producers who are connected to the pulse of a multicultural America. Oh, and get Savannah off the white couch and back to the White House. That’s her lane.
Parenting Grown Children
No matter how old your kids get, they will do dumb things. As you watch your children enter adulthood, you will find yourself wondering who the heck their parents are. I mean there’s no way these bad decision makers came out of you or even grew up in your house. On most days, you won’t even recognize them.
There’s something about being able to eat whatever you want, come home whenever you want that make your grown kids lose their minds. There are some adult kids who realize with freedom comes responsibility. Then there are those adult kids who believe that you’re the cause of every bad thing that’s ever happened in their lives.
Parenting grown kids require lots of patience with them and yourself Once your kid becomes a legal adult, meaning they can vote, drink and choose not to pay their bills, your role now is more consultant than mommy. Face it, you can’t make your grown child do anything he doesn’t want to do. The sooner you recognize you’re a consultant in their lives, the quicker you’ll resist the urge to be their fixer. Let your grown kids make mistakes. Heavens know you have. Yes you want them to learn from your mistakes and make better choices than you did at their age, but remember how many of your parents advice you didn’t follow and you turned out well.
Stop hovering. Keep out of their personal business unless they decide to make it your business. Even in that case, resist the urge to be the authority on all the issues of their lives. Let them figure it out. Oh and don’t get attach to any of their mates. And when they blame you for the state of their lives and unhappiness, remind them the statue of limitation on that excuse expired at age 15 or the day they made their first bad decision.
Don’t worry yourself to death about what they’re doing or who they’re doing it with. After all, if you’ve taught and model good behavior, humility and honesty. Just continue to be a source of sound advice, honesty, and a firm foundation of encouragement and warning. As you sit in your empty quiet and peaceful nest, remind them they’re free to make choices and they’re equally free to handle the consequences on their own..
Free Advice to Anne Hathaway
First of all, never wear anything that puts more attention on your body parts than your beauty. If folks want to see breast and backs, let them go to the poultry aisle in the supermarket.
Secondly, never ever apologize to strangers for what you choose to wear. Give that apology to those who know and love you, your family.
Thirdly, never cater a speech to avoid negative responses and displeasure from random people. Always choose authenticity over plastic. Every actor knows that an Oscars acceptance speech is the one moment in an actor’s life he or she shouldn’t act.
Fourth, stop trying to please everyone and stop trying to make everyone like you. They never will. Plus it’s human nature to have a few haters. Get used to them. Use them as motivation not stagnation.
Fifth, after all you’ve endured, the ups and downs and in the betweens. After almost marrying a felony con artist, you’ve married the man of your dreams and finally won an Oscar. Learn to live in the moment and enjoy it. Don’t crowd your special moment with the opinions and expectations of others. You worked hard to get here. You deserve to be here. Enjoy being here.
How to Stay Healthy With No Health Insurance
1. Surround yourself with funny people
Everyone knows laughter is medicine for the soul. Plus a great sense of humor is a poor person’s Prozac.
2. Avoid sick people
If they will cough in your face, they’re not your friends. People who will show up to dinner parties and work knowing they’re sick wish you dead. Avoid ‘em.
3. Avoid your drama loving friends
Nothing breaks down the immune system quicker than some Real Housewives drama. Avoid it. Avoid the drama queens. People looking to stir up trouble are worse on your immune system than a New York City subway handrails.
4. There’s nothing Tylenol and tea with lemon can’t cure
Always keep Tylenol, tea and honey around. They’re affordable and will keep your head free of aches most nights.
5. Befriend a doctor or nurse
Talk about friends with benefits! When your BFF is a doctor or nurse, you can get great medical attention without the high price or long wait.
Marriage is Work People, Thanks Ben
Marriage is not for the lazy or the complacent. Marriage is work. Special thanks to Ben Affleck for keeping it real when it comes to marriage. The most touching moment of the Oscars was the Argo director’s heartfelt show of gratitude to his wife, Jennifer Garner. “I want to thank you for working on marriage for 10 Christmases. It’s good, it is work, but it’s the best kind of work, and there’s no one I’d rather work with.”
Many people have criticized Ben’s speech, hinting there may be some underlying issues in his marriage. I can assure you those folks are either not married or don’t understand marriage. Marriage is work. It’s not easy. There are times you want to quit, give up, leave. If you’ve been with your spouse more than three years and you’ve never had to work on your marriage, it’s time to gauge the temperature of your commitment. It may be colder than you think.
Unlike countless romantic comedies, in real life, it doesn’t end with a kiss or a big wedding. After the kiss and the cutting of the cake, real life happens when the work of marriage begins. You don’t run into the sunset. You run into bills, kids, communication and validation issues, arguments, disagreements and disappointments. How you handle those are the work of marriage. In a world where most quit, those who stay reap the rewards of working on their marriage. Those who leave to find greener lazier pastures, only go to find you can’t avoid the work of marriage in their next relationship.
In the made up world of Hollywood, a man kept it real and exposed the hard truth about marriage. It’s work, but it’s the best kind of work. Thanks Ben.
News Flash First Lady Obama, America Needs Your Attention
Nearing midnight Sunday, I was trying to keep my eyes open during the Oscars bore-fest in hopes my favorite film of the year, Argo, will take home best picture. I was unpleasantly surprised to see the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama via satellite give an empty mini speech before announcing this year’s best picture. Draped in a silver gown and surrounded by uniformed marines, Mrs. Obama invoked herself and politics into Hollywood’s biggest night. This capped off a week of Mrs. Obama doing mom dances with a dragged out Jimmy Fallon.
Watching the First Lady on screen, I’m somehow inclined to believe Mrs. Obama is either completely clueless or careless about the powerful position she and her husband hold. Unfortunately, when it comes to important observational critiques about the First Lady, I’m in a minority with most African-Americans. I saw Facebook friends falling over themselves watching her viral mom dance clip. A few years ago, the First Lady’s jamming at a middle school to kick off her Let’s Move campaign also went viral. News flash Mrs. Obama, America has real problems that need attention too. Seriously. I’d like to see the First Lady draw attention to important issues instead of drawing attention to herself.
Rev. Dr. King, a minister, husband, father, with zero political connection or power brought attention to social injustices at the risk of his life and did something to change those injustices. Flash forward to today, where two of the the most powerful people in our country and in the world are African-Americans, what are they bringing attention to or impacting?
In FLOTUS world, all is well with America. American children just need to move and get fit. Honestly, I don’t mind the cameras following the First Lady around. I just wish the cameras followed her to Detroit where a reportedly more than 100 schools have shut down within the last four years. I wish the cameras would follow her to Philadelphia where nearly 30 schools are set to close within a year and thousands of children aren’t learning and are dropping out or to Camden where kids can’t even step outside to play because of daily gun violence. I’d like the cameras to follow the First Lady to countless juvenile detention centers where children are locked away and prepped for prison instead of being treated for lingering mental health issues. I’d like the cameras to accompany Mrs. Obama to countless homeless shelters housing women and children with no place to live or to urban and rural areas where joblessness have crippled families and communities. Unfortunately, the cameras only goes where First Lady Obama.
As African-Americans, we’re so excited to see people of color on television that we’re often just satisfied with just seeing them on TV. But I’d like to not only see the First Lady of the greatest nation in the world on television, I’d like to see her doing something impacting with that position and power. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see that. On the bright side, a film that brought attention to real problems in this world won. Congrats Argo.
1. Don’t Call Your Ex…
…His hot new girlfriend is liable to answer his cell, and you’ll feel more lonely and thirsty. Awkward!
2. Don’t call your parents…
…unless you want to hear the five million and one reasons why you’re still single, starting with you refusing to eat your vegetables at…
Five Right Ways to Enjoy the Super Bowl
1. Pick the Right People
For me, there’s nothing worse than watching the most important football game of the year with folks who know nothing about the sport and are completely clueless about the game. Watching the Super Bowl with people who don’t know a sack from an interception or a first down from a touchdown would annoy the hair off my big toe. But I understand for most of the country, the Super Bowl is about the event, the gathering, the parties. If that’s you, then stick with clueless non-football people who are totally oblivious to what’s happening. For me, it’s about the game. Therefore, I need to be around people who know and love the game and can share in my unrestrained bouts of joy, frustration and glee.
2. Pick the Right Place
Where you watch the game is very important to how you’ll experience the game. Even if I had $2,300 to purchase the cheapest Super Bowl tickets in new Orleans, I’d still choose to watch the game on television. I prefer to be home with family and a couple of friends who know and love the game as much as I do. Some folks love to watch at a sports bar. That’s great. Just be prepared for random, drunk, loud and smelly dudes to be part of your Super Bowl experience. If you choose to watch it with your parents on their 19 inch television, just be ready to sit right in front of the telly to see the plays and obey your parents no noise rules. If you choose to watch it at the home of friends with a large TV and small football IQ, be prepared to miss the game as you spend the entire time tutoring them on the game as you explain what’s happening minute by minute.
3. Pick the Right Party
Ask yourself: “Do I want to dance or do I want to watch the game? Do I want to hear all about people’s problems and issues or do I just want to watch the game?” To enjoy the Super Bowl, you have to choose the right party. Not all Super Bowl parties are created equally. Some are just for mingling. Others are an eHarmony meet-up where ladies attend to find a man. Others are like Golden Corral where folks are just there to eat till the food is gone. Set your expectation and then choose the Super Bowl party that will meet those expectations. There’s nothing worst than just wanting to watch the game but you can’t because Debbie Downer and Donna Downtrotter have decided to monopolize your time with their 99-hundred problems.
4. Pick the Right Food
The Super Bowl is about the game and the foods. NFL will provide the game, but you have to provide the right foods. This is not a time for Thanksgiving meal. Super Bowl foods are finger foods you can eat while watching the game. It’s about choosing foods that you can eat quickly and foods that digest easily. There’s nothing like eating the wrong food and missing the game.
5. Pick the Right Emotion
Be prepared that your team may lose. That’s right. There are two teams in the Super Bowl and only one can win. Before watching the game, have an honest conversation with yourself and rehearse your emotions. There’s nothing worse than busting your friend’s TV when your team loses, spending Super Bowl night in jail all because you lost it and hadn’t anticipated that perhaps your team, though favored to win, may lose.