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Archive for August, 2009

What’s It Gonna Be Favre

August 24, 2009 Leave a comment

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The saga fit for reality television starring Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings continues to be the box office hit this week, but the coming out party for Mr. Favre was less than stellar. No. 4 completed 1 of 4 for 4 yards, he looked rusty and confused. But whose fault is it that Favre was forcing his muscles to work? Brad Childress has been the coach obsessed with this over the hill quarterback. He has centered his whole team around this 40-something year former gunslinger. I say former because Favre’s best days are obviously behind him. It’s such a pity that the show Hard Knocks did not take their show to the Vikes this season, because it would be quite a hit with the behind the scene starring with Favre his “forced to be disciples”.

Maybe it’s my paranoia, but the tension was even visually obvious in the practice huddle. I am not kidding you, the first few days of practice that we were privileged to see courtesy of the NFL Networks, was quite revealing. You could see the faces of the other quarterbacks looking a bit dazed from the mere presence of the “thief” who arrived in the dark to steal their thunder.

But as the world turns, I am taking a front seat to this action packed saga. If the Favre who showed up talking about having butterflies before the game, continues to have this lack-luster display of talent, fans and talking heads will boot him out of town. During his debut as the ‘self-made” starter in Minnesota, Mr. Favre was upstaged somewhat by Tavaris Jackson who threw a “perfect game” or so said his own head coach “Brad C”. Childress ought to be ashamed of himself, no wonder he seem to be talking with his head down these days.

Poor Jackson, he lost the chance to be the starter when Brett was parachuted into town, and given the golden spoon without any training camp torture. But Jackson was not asking anyone to feel sorry for him, as he let his arm do the talking on Friday night. With rumors swirling that Jackson will be traded before the start of the season, I sure hope that he goes to a team that will utilize his services right away.

In comparison to Favre, Jackson really did showcase his arm and accuracy, Jackson’s quarterback rating for the game was a 158.3, which is the highest number attainable by the byzantine formula that calculates that statistic. He completed 12-of-15 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns, including a 64-yarder to Darius Reynaud in the third quarter. And if teams were looking at this game to see if they might want to trade for Jackson, he didn’t do anything to hurt his case.

But seriously, is Brad C on some special meds on that short yellow bus? How could you want to trade Jackson, who even had the better 8-game stats last season in comparison to the “gray-haired” one Favre.

What if Favre get butterflies next game and has 0 for 9? Will Jackson be a serious contender as a starter? Or will Childress and the gang install Favre as the starter just to sell the tickets? Lots of questions Brad C! I really believe that Favre will be the Vikes’ “rain-man” and/or cash cow during this experiment and “the chosen”, which was anointed to save the team from empty seats this season, might put up numbers, sell tickets or simply retire at season’s end. After all it is a recession, and the teams need to make money.

So seriously Brad C, what’s it gonna be? To be or not to be is the question for Favre and Brad C.

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Usain Bolt Lightning And Thunder

August 22, 2009 Leave a comment

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I have to admit that I am sentimental when it comes to former Jamaican sprinter Don Quarrie, but no one can not deny Mr. Bolt for his talent and abilities. When I first heard of Usian Bolt, I was amazed of the fact that he was a 400m runner who wanted to switch to the sprint double. I was drawn to that story, because I was a track and field athlete in high school who actually moved from running the 400m to the sprint double. In fact its quite an adjustment from 400m to the 100m and 200m, and this takes getting used to.

At the last Olympics I could not help cheering for Usain although he was going up against Asafa Powell – and it can be said that I am an unapologetic “homer” when it comes to “Safa”. But in life, you have to appreciate greatness and recognize talent for what it is. So maybe you call it bandwagon jumping, but I call it loyalty to my roots or part of it so to speak.

Usain Bolt is this once in a life time phenomenal athlete that I believe have several more record breaking performance in him. He runs with such ease and unlike the other sprinters in the past, he manages to stay loose. You might be wondering how sprinters from this little island cranks it up race after race to finish on top. But Jamaica’s track and field stars are born at the elementary and middle school level. Athletes are able to determine their strengths and weaknesses at an early age.

Whether there is another specimen like Usain Bolt, one will never know until a few years from now when “Lightning” exits stage left, and in my ideal world become a high flying wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles. Bolt’s record breaking sprint double at the recently concluded World Games will just be another measuring stick for his next race, as I feel he has a 9.4 seconds in him for that 100m.

So lets put out hands together and cheer for this freak of nature sprinter from the little island of Jamaica, not at all forgetting Asafa Powell and his contribution to the history books as well.

Brett Favre, His Legacy And The Pursuit By Brad Childress

August 18, 2009 Leave a comment

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I guess the latest news to hit the sports airwave today is still not sitting well with me. But maybe I am just a bitter sports fan who rants too much about issues that bothers me. The return of quarterback Brett Favre to the NFL, and more so the Minnesota Viking could be one of those very reasons that I get grumpy as a sports fan.

Frankly speaking I thought that I was way over this Brett Favre saga a few blogs ago, but obviously not. Here I am again like the “retired” and “unretired” quarterback Brett Favre blogging away on the day’s breaking news.

Over the past three weeks, I have made some pretty bold statements about the status of old Favre, one of which, was that he was just laying low until training camp got down to the wire. Maybe I said that just to compensate for any emotional response I would have had, should the old guy decided against his retirement for just one more time. It seems as though I should always bank on my gut feelings, because it saved me from screaming and/or swearing today, when I heard of the news.

Over the past four years, Brett has retired so many times, I am simply afraid to check on the meaning of that word, which if, my memory serves me correctly has a certain ring to it – like done, finished, dismissed, over and I could go on and on.

The continued pursuit by Brad Childress of this old guy Favre, made me think, that Childress was just interested to sell tickets instead making the playoffs or earning the respect of his team. Is Brad Childress some kind of fool, who would forego the option of bringing in good candidates instead of an old guy who has seen better years. Isn’t a head coach supposed to be a leader, be trustworthy, the injector of confidence, the motivator, the philosopher and a doer?

So when did we downgrade the coach’s role to be the cheerleader, the groupie, the follower, the blind and the dumb. How could the owners allow the head coach, to call the shots based on his childhood dreams and not his adult ambitions. Have the Minnesota Vikings ownership and front office lost their ever loving minds?

Brett Favre will be punishing us for the next one or two or three or four years, because he neglected to venture in the post career planning business. He will be forcing us to lose our sports fan religions, as we will be cursing the TV sets, our fantasy leagues, our friends and other fans, for having to watch him get beat down on Sundays and Mondays.

Which leads me to the his press conference and a certain tone which he took with the reporters today. Favre was not his old warm and fuzzy self, it was as if he was chosing to be on the defense instead of offense. He told one reporter that anyone who had questions about his on again off again decision to play, should simply not watch him play. A bit brassy, from the tearful Favre who has given a few too many press conferences about his retirement.

While I do not know how it must feel being one of the other quarterbacks on the team, I know they must have heard voices in their heads from the first day of camp. How could they not have been chased by the ghost of Favre? When in my opinion, Favre was just essentially told to lay low.

And to futher add insult to my grumpiness, I had to sit there and listen to Favre telling “John Public” that he is still nursing a rotator cuff tear with heavy build up of calcification. Hmm, sounds like the team brought him in for tickets sales rather than for throwing touchdowns.

At the end of the day it will not matter, who watches Brett Favre and the Vikings, but the truth shall be told that Favre and only Favre owns his legacy, at least he was clear enough about that fact during the press conference.

So as we wonder off, waiting around for the preseason game on Friday, lets hope that Favre will be the Savior the Vikings needed, so that next year, coaches with less than stellar teams can have the chance to call Mareno, Moon, Elway, Montana and Kelly out of retirement. And one thing those guys will have to do for me, is to show up for their press conference as cocky as Favre was today.

The Brad Childress we saw in that press conference today should also know his faith at the end of the season, as he is now playing on the last two year of his current contract. If he does not return, will the jock-strap chasing of Favre, be the sole reason, he will be asked to retire?

And so, here is my official retirement for this Favre saga, I will need a one way ticket to blog heaven, where I can write about all things sports, be less grumpy and certainly for a winning season for my Eagles.

An Earnest Prayer To The Football Gods

August 13, 2009 1 comment

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Dear Football Gods:
I am a humble fan, whose only sin is being guilty of trash talking with my friends. And since you know everything about me. You do know that I secretly curse Rich Eisen and Jamie Dukes if they are not given a thumb up to the Eagles.

But since this is officially opening night for preseason football. I thought I would send up a special prayer for my injury-proned Eagles. If I see anyone else hurt on my favorite team, I swear I will apply for special exemption to play in this league.

I have been reading, tweeting, blogging about all things NFL for the last several months and hope that you will not hold anything against me for the blunt statements I have made about the players union, league office and yes the infamous NFL Commissioner.

In all fairness, I am a football activist and I hope that you have already deciphered that. I call the plays like I see them and god forbid, if there is any injustice. Players have been called out, and even coaches.

I am taking full responsibility however, if karma is what has gotten to the players on the Eagles. I will endeavor to be a careful fan. I will vow not to get caught up in the proverbial hype. I will spare the announcers and networks talking heads my wrath on game day, and will be civil even to my children for cheering for the Cardinals and Falcons – seriously though – will I get punished if I don’t even regard the Falcons as a real team. Lol.

There is something new, in case you do not have Internet service up there in football heaven. I have been given the opportunity to do a sport radio segment on Australian Sports Radio and my show streams live on the Internet on Saturday evenings. I have gotten positive feedback and is holding my own.

This year, the golf gods have decided to give me a pass and a temporary excuse, until January – yes that’s it, if I don’t play golf early on Saturday or Sunday mornings, there will be no golf at all. I have decided however to “tivo” all things Tiger Woods.

Finally, I pray Michael Vick gets a new home soon, that Stallworth rehabilitates himself, that TO scores about 16 touchdowns, that Haynesworth get double digits sacks, that Derrick Brooks gets a contract as it might be his final year. Just a few more wishes, I hope Eli finally signs his deal, LT with be back being successful this year, Reggie Bush will be injury free and Brett Favre stays retired. It will be nice to see John Gruden in the booth for MNF, and hopes that Howie Long changes that hairdo.

In closing. I give thanks that Donavan McNabb got a contract extension, sad that Brian Dawkins has left us and really hope that Michael Crabtree will sign his deal before the lock out. Good luck to that D-Man at the NFLPA: DeMaurice Smith and I hope that Roger Goodell will take himself lightly.

Have to run, I forget to change my ringtone to the Eagles fight song and that’s Andy Reid calling me to talk about the Jim Johnson playbook I bough on eBay. Are you ready for some football….la la la la.

Michael Vick vs. Donte Stallworth

August 12, 2009 1 comment

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I will be hard pressed to accept the fact that Mr. Stallworth is allowed to be reinstated and Mr. Vick has to sit and wait. I have always regard myself as a great legal mind, thanks to my teachers, the attorneys I have worked for and the extra seminars that I have attended.

But I have been following the Stallworth story since day one, and for some reason I think he is being handled with care and Michael Vick, who has completed his sentence, is subjected to a slight case of double jeopardy.

I am just curious to know whether Stallworth proved a certain level of “remorse” when he met with Roger Goodell, after having only served 24 days in jail. I want to know whether his crime is in anyway less than the crime committed by Vick. After all a human being died here.

I am not blaming Stallworth for moving forward with his life, by seeking to prepare for re-entry into the NFL. At this point I have not seen any statement released by the League office regarding the Commissioner’s meeting with Stallworth, no one even bothered to let the inquiring minds know if the level of remorse displayed by Stallworth met the same threshold as Vick’s. Again after all an innocent man lost his life here.

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While it remains to be seen where Michael Vick goes, I am still not comfortable about the open-ended reinstatement granted by the NFL, will he be able to go to training camp, play in a pre-season game or sit out six games? Will the concise version of his reinstatement, please stand up?

Stallworth on the other hand, who has had prior infractions with the law, should be allowed to at least complete a year on probation before he seeks reinstatement, as it will give him a chance to be fully complaint with the “good behavior standards” outlined in his probation. Vick on the other hand has completed his sentence and should be given a chance to make a step forward. While I know for a fact that both men mean well, we cannot hold them at different standards.

A crime is a crime, regardless of statutory guidelines; the NFL should provide equal footing for the players to be rehabilitated. How will there be any precedence, if Vick is treated differently from Stallworth, when their crimes are equally repulsive?

Am I to believe that the league is over its head with legal issues facing the players and the benchmarks by which punishment is administered? Maybe it’s a good time for the Players Union to put their feet down and open a dialogue – seeking to educate players on conduct policies and holding the league responsible for making sure that the right and privilege cliché remains in effect with clear and concise precedence.

Harder They Come Movie Sparks Interest In US

August 12, 2009 Leave a comment

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The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in association with Jan Ryan, Robert Fox and Michael White are proud to present, for the first time in the United States, the Theatre Royal Stratford East and UK Arts production of the internationally acclaimed hit musical THE HARDER THEY COME, opening August 29 in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House. Direct from London’s West End, THE HARDER THEY COME will offer audiences a peek into the journey of an aspiring reggae star as depicted in the 1972 international breakthrough film that caused a reggae music explosion heard around the world.

Hailed by Time Out as “a real thrill…the band is tight, the clothes are right – it’s a sure-fire smash hit,” THE HARDER THEY COME features a cast of 16 Jamaican-born performers and tells the story of young singer Ivanhoe Martin (played by Rolan Bell) as he arrives in Kingston, Jamaica with dreams of becoming a reggae star. A corrupt and drug-fueled music industry drives him into a fast and furious life as Jamaica’s most-wanted outlaw and most-celebrated underground star.

Reggae music star and pioneer Jimmy Cliff starred in the ‘70s film of the same title, which catapulted the island’s signature sound into a globally recognized and respected genre, turning Jimmy Cliff and reggae music in general, into an international sensation. “With top-class acting, singing and dancing, [this] superb production faithfully distils not just the movie’s music and characters, but also, somehow its soul” (The Standard).

“The Harder They Come made music history, introducing the world, and the United States in particular, to reggae music. Miami, in the summer of 2009, will be long remembered as the epicenter of cultural history as we host the U.S. premiere of this hit musical at the Adrienne Arsht Center,” said Adrienne Arsht Center President and CEO, M. John Richard. “With three international stage productions to enjoy this summer, including the return of last summer’s smash-hit Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz and the visual spectacular Fuerza Bruta, South Florida has a world of entertainment options that reflect the diversity of our resident community.”

Accompanied by a killer band of outstanding reggae musicians, the cast performs all the classic songs from the film soundtrack, including “By the Rivers of Babylon,” the title song, and the unforgettable global phenomenon, “You Can Get It If You Really Want.”

The film of THE HARDER THEY COME was written, produced and directed by the late Perry Henzell. Perry also wrote the book for the musical, which was originally produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East and UK Arts. The West End production, which comes to Miami is directed by Kerry Michael and Dawn Reid and produced by Jan Ryan and Robert Fox.

THE HARDER THEY COME The new smash-hit musical based on the legendary Jimmy Cliff movie that turned reggae into an international sensation!
A hard-driving, irresistible musical celebration! Young singer Ivan Martin heads to Kingston with dreams of becoming a reggae star, but a corrupt and drug-fueled music industry drives him into a fast and furious life as Jamaica’s most-wanted outlaw and most-celebrated underground star. Accompanied by a killer band of outstanding reggae musicians, the cast performs all the classic songs from the film soundtrack, including “By the Rivers of Babylon,” the title song, and the unforgettable global phenomenon, “You Can Get It If You Really Want.”

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. Education & Outreach is funded in part by The Children’s Trust. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from private and corporate contributions to the Performing Arts Center Foundation of Greater Miami Inc. through its Visionary Society Membership Program and Major Gifts Program; City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency; American Express Company; Arison Arts Foundation; Dade Community Foundation; ExxonMobil Inter-America Inc.; Funding Arts Network; Southern Arts Federation; The MAP-Fund, a program of Creative Capital, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

About the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
The Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is Miami-Dade County’s largest ever public/private-sector partnership, comprised of an $150 million private capital campaign conducted by the Performing Arts Center Foundation and public funding drawn primarily from the County’s Convention Development Tax revenues, as well as the City of Miami Omni Redevelopment District Community Redevelopment Agency. Greatly enhancing the artistic and educational opportunities in South Florida, the Adrienne Arsht Center will have significant and long-term economic benefits for the city and the region.

For additional information, please contact Suzette Espinosa at 786.468.2221/sespinosa@arshtcenter.org and/or
Suzan McDowell 305-576-3790/suzan@circleofonemarketing.com

Rashard Lewis And His Elevated Testosterone Levels

August 11, 2009 3 comments

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If you care about your future as a pro athlete, should you be aware of the
substance(s) you take in your over the counter vitamins? Should you also be aware
of the substance(s) listed on your league’s list of banned substance? The answers
to both questions should be an overwhelming yes.

As an agent who cares about my client and their reputation, I usually dispense harsh words reality to my clients, which sometimes make me persona non grata in their books. But honestly I really don’t care if they accuse me of being zealous, over protective and too cautious, because when they lose monies to fines, I do too. Not only that, I am always available for comments, if the media shoots me a question about my clients, so it would be in my best interest to lay that ground work for a positive comment instead of damage control.

There seems to be a growing trend with the NFL players taking banned substance, and even though the fines and penalties are pretty steep, it seems to continue. But when I learned of the Rashard Lewis incident, I was totally taken for a loop. I also found out that he is the 6th player of all time to have tested positive for a banned substance.

Lewis is like superman on the court, his energy level is always high, and during last season’s playoff he was a force to be reckon with from downtown. It was rather pleasing to see a player like him coming of age at the right time. So how did this happen, how does he fail a drug test due to elevated testosterone levels?

Players make a lot of money and sometimes are not affected by the steep fines attached to these mishaps, but money is money and losing $1.6m, as he is supposed to this season is a bit steep for my liking. Obviously the team has issued a statement echoing their support for him, but I hope they will feel the same way when he is missing for 10 games. What is it worth though, risking the loss of $1.6m only to say that he did not know about the supplements being on the NBA list of forbidden substances.

Is that enough by Lewis’ standard, or am I just the over-bearing, over-zealous and persona non grata agent. At the end of the day, I am proud of those undesirable accomplishments. At least my clients get to keep their cheddar. A serious concern of which, Lewis and his agent should have.

The off season acquisition of Vince Carter and the Magic parting ways with Hedo leaves a lot hanging on the shoulder of Mr. Lewis, and with his mammoth salary, he needed to double down on his knowledge of the specific ingredients of the supplements. Heck, he already has the talent for the Magic’s investment, lets educated Mr. Lewis as to the dos and don’ts of substance abuse. Of course this goes to every diuretic taking NFL player out there in steroids land and god forbid the rest of the NBA.

I am just curious to know how many other NFL or NBA players are consuming vitamins that might cause this kind of result. Note to self Lewis’ agent, please print your client the list and get busy with him, as far as the list of substance goes. Another reminder to agents and players disclosure is crucial on both part, and all of this ill could and will be averted. When in doubt simply Google it.