Hey gang, college football is back (almost), and every week I will be bringing my picks (mainly through the use dumb jokes) along with those of some of the other staff members. So, let’s get this thing cranked up! Play the video above for maximum nostalgic effect and good feelings!
“One thing about T-Mac: I have everything here that I want, and am happy with it so I don’t go out that much. I have my own chef, I don’t have to go out to shoot a basketball or workout; I have my friends and my family here. I’m real simple, you know? …As far as going out to bowling alleys and just doing fun things, I don’t do it ’cause I’m lazy. There’s the truth, I am lazy.”
– Tracy McGrady (ESPN.com, January 27, 2005)
On Monday, August 26, former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady announced his retirement from American professional basketball rather unceremoniously on ESPN’s First Take. The NBA career which had come in like a lion went out like a crippled lamb, sustaining itself off the morsels of much more powerful, hardworking creatures. The seven-time All-Star and two-time scoring champion, a prep-to-pro guard-forward whose mercurial wizardry and innate natural basketball ability brought him comparisons to Jordan and Gervin at various points in his career, simply moved on from the game to which he had committed the previous two decades of his life, at least nominally. Read More
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is known to be somewhat of a weird bird around NASCAR. He’s a little too shy, a little too awkward and a little too goofy. But that doesn’t mean he is without endorsements. Being the son of a racing legend (RIP), his name generates attention just because of the association. Dale is nowhere near as successful as his father, in terms of the competitive arena, but he sure knows how to make that endorsement deal money.
Going into the weekend, college football fans thought they had seen the worst of the worst when Purdue released the video for “You Oughta Be Proud”. I would give you the link to that abomination of a college team based rap anthem but it was so bad that the publishers of the video have tried to remove it from existence. People thought there was no hope for these rap anthems. “You Oughta Be Proud” and “Dawg Bite” both represented rock bottom and just when you thought the craze was over, a video has popped up that has Kendrick Lamar’d other proud fans to step their shit up.
Let me start off with a simple sentiment: if you’re not watching Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, you’re doing it all wrong. Netflix has been nailing it with their original programming and OITNB may be their best series yet. It’s dramatic, it’s hilarious, it has forbidden love, a guy named “Pornstache,” a theme song by Regina Spektor and a cast that is freakin’ adorable on Instagram… basically, everything it takes to make a show critically acclaimed and popularly successful.
It feels like everyone is talking about OITNB (or maybe I just feel that way because I’m talking about it all the time to anyone who will listen), and for good reason. There’s a ton of interesting discourse to be had regarding the criminal justice system, the prison system, the LGBT community, the dynamics between inmates and correctional officers in a women’s prison, et cetera, et cetera. But the real draw of this show is its characters. I could write odes to the adorable, lovesick CO John Bennett and rants about the psycho, Jesus-obsessed Pennsatucky and essays on the enigma that is Crazy Eyes. But what’s even more entertaining than the characters themselves is their relationships with one another. The show explores so many different facets of female relationships. There are romances, there are fuck buddies, but most of all there are some truly awesome besties in Litchfield Federal Prison. Here are some of OITNB’s most excellent womances (like a bromance, but for girls. Get it?):
“The first game you got in on this court right here and played like a bum, you was a bum.” – Richard ‘Pee-Wee’ Kirkland, from NBATV’s The Doctor
From its humble beginnings as a playground for New York City’s P.S. 156, Holcombe Rucker Park has become the singular epicenter of layman basketball, particularly streetball and its derivatives, as well as a proving ground for rising stars and established legends alike. Located at the corner of 155th St. and 3rd Ave. in East Harlem, Rucker Park grew from one man’s vision of getting kids off the streets when it was opened on February 23, 1956. When Holcombe Rucker established a basketball league for the neighborhood children when he worked as a playground director in the Parks & Recreation Department for the city, he could not have anticipated the symbolism which the park attached to it would eventually carry. Perhaps no single place on earth is more closely identified with a sport than Rucker Park is with basketball, and for good reason. The people there are more passionate about basketball than most political revolutionaries, and without the unnecessary violence. Mostly. Read More
This past summer, pop radio beat listeners to death with Daft Punk’s return from Studio 54, Robin Thicke’s perceived predatory tendencies, and Miley Cyrus’ problematic appropriation of black culture. But the heavy radio rotation of the aforementioned songs seemed to reveal that these were summer simmers rather than jams; a few mild tracks rather than ones that brought any real heat. Yet, in the background, three buzzworthy trios released hits that are the lead ins to their highly anticipated September debuts. CHVRCHES, London Grammar, and HAIM all have different pop stylistic approaches that use a semblance of electronic instrumentation to get there.
Have you heard? Kendrick Lamar is the King of New York. Yeah, he crowned himself on a track with Big Sean and Jay Electronica. Did I mention that he dissed them but not really dissed them on the same track? Yes, it’s true! You should aspire to be Kendrick because he’s one of the best. So go back to the studio, lames. Perfect your writing because K. Dot will not be stopped.
To be the absolute best at something, anything, in a city of eight million people takes a certain combination of skill, will, balance and, in most cases, luck. However minor that area of greatness is, once you are the best, that is it. The key piece of the puzzle seems to be that bit of luck. For an artist, it means having your works seen by a prominent critic and earning a prestigious exhibition at one of the better museums in Manhattan. For musicians, it means playing a great show in front of someone who matters, whether it be an agent, a producer, a club promoter or a famous bassist. For everyone else, it simply means working hard enough and being consistent enough to succeed in a given field. Health is a big part of consistency. More on that later. Read More