We had one of our shortest podcasts to date this past Sunday, but as they say, time flies by when you’re having fun. Week 3 of the NFL season was another brutal one for NFL fans. As a Saints fan, and having the Atlanta Falcons as our main rivals, I grew up watching them find countless ways to lose. To have them lose 2 weeks in a row with both losses being 15+ point leads that were blown in the 4th quarter, just gives me a chuckle and reminds me of their classic losses. There was 4th and 1 in overtime, and Mike Smith is scared of Drew Brees; in 2010, Brees throws 2 interceptions in the 4th quarter and the Saints still win the game. Of course, there is everyone’s favorite, Super Bowl LI 28-3 collapse. Oh Falcons!
I’m not going to let my Saints off the hook, the Falcons are underperforming and my boys aren’t too far behind. We can say Brees is beginning to show his age, or the absence of Michael Thomas has weakened our attack. Whichever issue is limiting our explosiveness, something has to change before things get out of hand. Aaron Rodgers looked amazing against our defense. Bombs were being thrown downfield with ease, while our offense looked predictable. Hopefully this nightmare can end against the Lions on Sunday.
The bigger disappointment came on Monday Night Football between the Chiefs and Ravens. This was supposed to be a classic back and forth between last year’s Regular Season MVP, Lamar Jackson, and last year’s Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes. Instead, the Chiefs offense and defense decided this game in the first half. The Chiefs defense has made extraordinary strides to keep up with their offensive counterparts this season. During the broadcast, one of the commentators, Steve Levy, brought up a key point from his conversations with Ravens Offensive Coordinator, Greg Roman, he wanted to find out what his offense was made of if they fell behind in the game. I don’t think he liked what he saw that first half and I don’t think Lamar has shown enough in his career on the national stage that he can rally his team to a comeback victory.
After 3 successful weeks of football, the NFL fell victim to several players and staff testing positive for the coronavirus. The Titans and the Vikings were the first teams this season to have players test positive. The game between the Steelers and Titans will be postponed to a later date. Vikings are going ahead with their game against the Texans as scheduled. Cam Newton has also tested positive for the coronavirus, ruling him out for the start against the Chiefs. I hope this doesn’t get out of hand and that the NFL is taking the necessary precautions to get this under control. Roger Goodell is still the commissioner, so NFL fans should hold their breaths.
The Lakers closed out the Nuggets to reach the Finals, and their cake walk to another championship against the Heat has been met with mild turbulence. The Lakers have gone up 2-0 against the Heat, while the Heat have lost Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic to injuries. At this point, the Heat are getting outclassed by the Lakers. While many will discount this year’s Finals because of the pandemic, a chip is a chip in my book. We will remember what happened across all sports, but the grind to when a championship remains the same. The last man standing with celebrate in the spoils of victory.
The Heat getting to the Finals is being called a team that is ahead of schedule. Being a 5th seed making it to the Finals was a great story and example of a team looking for that missing piece which happened to be Jimmy Butler. His previous stops with the Bulls, T-Wolves, and the 76ers didn’t give him the best reputation. What’s funny is that I always thought of Jimmy as the metaphorical Jimmy from the movie White Men Can’t Jump. One of the taglines from the movie was ‘you don’t hear Jimmie’ referring to all-time great guitarist, Jimmie Hendrix. None of these previous teams could hear Jimmy, and finally the Miami Heat heard him loud and clear.
The other thing that needs to be considered, is Lebron James’ migration to the Western Conference. Which of these teams in the Eastern Conference will step up to the mantle in his absence? The Bucks were ahead of last season, going from a 7th seed to number one in the league. Next season will be an interesting one for the Eastern Conference with a healthy Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back for the Nets. Are the Celtics one piece away from being on top? Will the Warriors return to their top tier status with a healthy Klay Thompson?
Perhaps the bigger question, what will come of the 76ers? One the big shockers, was the firing of Doc Rivers from the L.A. Clippers. The 76ers were in the interview process for a new head coach with Mike D’Antoni as the leading candidate. When news of his firing broke, Doc Rivers made it known that he was not taking a break from basketball for a while, and the 76ers wasted no time with the interview/hiring process. Doc has some work to do with this team. Joel Embiid needs a fire lit under his lazy ass, and Ben Simmons needs a jump shot. They are All-Stars that need to be turned into Killers. The Process is over! It is time for the Transformation.
Finally, let’s end this blog where it feels like our world is ending, and that with our clueless leader, Donald Trump. The first Presidential Debate happened this past Tuesday, September 29, 2020 and it was, by all accounts, a universal disaster. Trump was a bully who refused to participate according to the debate rules. To his base, his performance was superb and fit in with the narrative of the man who plays by his own rules.
Prior to the debate, he announced his Platinum Plan that would help black business owners get access to more capital and help create new black businesses tax. It will create opportunities for more black home ownership, with better policing in black communities. Of course, this is a last-ditch effort to win some of the black vote, an afterthought if you will. During the entirety of his term, there was very little that he did for minorities. His divisiveness undid the strides that were being made to unite this country.
The Black Dollar has always been the pulse of this nation. It sets the trend in many of our financial corridors, but most black people do not see this nor do we educate ourselves on how capitalize in these areas. Too many times we have seen in our own history, where we’ve had our own and the powers that be have either taken it from us (Tulsa riots of 1921) or we’ve deserted our own once more options were made available to us (Civil Rights Act of 1964).
The latest battle for the Black Dollar was when black businessman, Byron Allen, filed a lawsuit against the Comcast, the largest cable provider in the U.S, due to racial discrimination. They would not pick up several of networks that he owns, and they rejected idea to create a black college football network. Having grown up in the state of Louisiana where 6 HBCUs reside, the enormity of black college sports is severely underestimated.
The annual Bayou Classic fills up the Mercedes Superdome for two nights with the Battle of the Bands and the actual football game between Southern University and Grambling State University. The football game gets a national audience the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Last year, I took my family to see the National Battle of the Bands at the NRG Stadium in Houston. It was another packed event where I witnessed monetary success of the black college atmosphere. Byron Allen’s lawsuit went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) where it was ruled against unanimously due the weak threshold of discrimination. SCOTUS found discrepancies within reasoning of Allen’s appeals in the lower courts. Subsequently, Allen dropped his lawsuit, and Comcast now has a Black College Xperience on their Xfinity platform.
In a grandest sense of irony, Trump revealed early Friday morning, that he and the First Lady, Melania Trump, tested positive for COVID-19. After months of playing down this virus, and taking little responsibility for leading a nation through this pandemic. I pray for him and the First Lady’s recovery, but hopefully his supporters can take this pandemic more seriously. The recklessness displayed by Trump and his administration may have cost lives. The number people who have tested positive for COVID-19 after coming in contact with him is slowly growing in number.
We’re living in a time where we can no longer underestimate the financial capability and scientific potential of what we’re capable of as nation. It is this narrow-mindedness that keeps us behind the rest of the world. Get out and vote on November 3rd. Let’s remove these outdated politicians and bring in some new ideas to move this country forward.