Archive for July, 2007

So We Hate Vick Because He’s Black… Not Because He Kills Dogs

July 28, 2007

According to Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports fame, black people love Michael Vick and are clamoring for the man to get his due process, while white people universally hate him and want him to fry.  Cornell West says race matters, and sometimes it certainly does….  but not in this case.  Michael Vick was indicted on some of the most heinous animal abuse and animal cruelty charges I’ve ever seen.   Give him his due process.  Give him his trial.  Based on the complaint and the evidence that exists, the case appears quite strong.

The dogfighting, dog killing, dog abusing behavior is absolutely disgusting.  Vick could be black or white, and I would still feel the same way.

What about Tim Donaghy?  People are pretty disgusted with him right now.  What about all the heat David Stern is taking for letting a crooked ref call games well after we knew he had a gambling problem and owed the mafia tons of money?  Is there a racial divide there, Wetzel?

Get real.  Some people like to create racial animosity and racial drama where none exists.  Vick is a scumbag.  I’d feel the same way whether he was white, black, red, brown, or purple.

JP

Thug Nation

July 19, 2007

Allen Iverson.  Pacman Jones.  Michael Vick.

Is it just me, or has the thuggery escalated, really hitting its stride mid-summer?  In the past few weeks, there’s been an explosion of violent, lewd behavior by some of our nations most famous athletes.

Never mind that Michael Vick is a marginal passer who isn’t capable of playing quarterback in the NFL (unless he’s running the option).  Never mind the fact that Allen Iverson routinely skips practice because he’s a superstar and “It’s just practice.  I mean.. we not talking bout a game… it’s just practice.”  Let’s get real.  Iverson and Vick are, essentially, at  the end of their respective careers.  Vick remains a tremendous athlete, but he never had the leadership ability – or the arm – to take his team to a Super Bowl victory.  Iverson is scrappy and can score in bunches, but his work ethic and his capacity to lead his team – “It’s just practice” – have long been questioned.  Jones, however, is still incredibly young, and extremely talented.  He could still have a brilliant career in the NFL….. if he stops acting like a stupid thug.

Yes, Michael Vick was indicted in federal court last week.  The charges?  Everything dog fighting.  Gambling on dog fights.  Trafficing in an illegal enterprise – of dogs – across state lines.  Animal cruelty.  The indictment is disgusting.  Vick, you and your crew better stay away from my dog.  That’s all I have to say.

When I was teaching middle school in the Bronx, I had a brilliant 6th grader named Felix Hernando De La Cruz.  Yo Felix!  I still remember you kid!   This guy was a true champ.  He was cool.  He was a lady’s man.  He was a good student.  And he wrote a research paper about dogfighting, or, as he liked to say, “fighting your dogs”.  At first, when Felix told me that he wanted to write a paper about “why people shouldn’t fight their dogs”, I was a bit confused.   You get the image.   But Felix quickly clarified it for me.  Apparently, the kid had two pits, both adopted and rescued from the underground world of cruelty that is dog fighting.  Felix, do you remember if you adopted those dogs from some quarterback in Virginia named Vick?  Thought so.

As it turns out… Vick DOES fight his dogs.  He body slams them until they’re dead.  Way to go Vick.  You’re such a tough guy.  You are such a real man.   But Vick, you have enough problems.  Maybe you can buy your way out  of jail time, or maybe not.

Allen Iverson,  stay out of Light and Rain.  Because if I’m in the VIP section, and you send your bouncers up to kick me out, I’m probably not moving.  Sure, you’re welcome to have a seat and drink some of my Grey Goose.  But I’ll warn you in advance that I’m not a big fan, that I think you’re a thug, that I believe you DID – in fact – “brandish it”, and that I hope, after you leave the NBA, you go on to do something productive with your life (call David Robinson.. a real MAN.. maybe he can give you some guidance).

Pacman, you’re young and stupid and like the strip clubs way too much.  If you’ve got half a brain, you’ll stop emulating the Michael Vick’s and Allen Iverson’s of the world, and you’ll find a professional athlete mentor (we all need mentors).  I recommend Braylon Edwards (again, a real man…. we don’t hear too much about Braylon getting involved in fights at strip clubs… probably because he’s too busy donating tons of his money to charity and trying to help the youth in Cleveland).

All you fools need to MAN UP.  NOW.

Man vs. Wild! bear.jpg

July 16, 2007

bear.jpgWow! It’s like I’m discovering new role models and heroes left and right these days. First, it was Pistorius, the brilliantly fast sprinter who DOESN’T HAVE LEGS! You can read more about him below.

Then, just this weekend, my younger brother – AKA The Big Guy – introduced me to Bear Grylls. Bear is the star of the Discovery Channel’s hit show Man vs. Wild. Now, I’m not a huge fan of most television. In fact, I don’t have a tv at my apartment, so I only watch tv when I’m back home, visiting my family. Well, this weekend, I sat down and watched 3 episodes of Man vs. Wild. This guy, Bear, is clearly a MAN AMONG MEN! He is a champion. He’s fearless, he’s optimistic, he’s confident, he’s alive. He’s everything that men should aspire to me.

If you are thinking about attending the Man Up Now Core Transformation in September, I would advise you to watch a few episodes of Man vs. Wild.

Remember, transforming your core is about HEALTH. Your HEALTH has three essential components:

1) Physical stress

2) Chemical stress

3) Emotional stress

You have to regulate those stresses in order to feel AMAZING. Ask yourself a simple question: How do I feel? Do I feel amazing? Do I feel good? Do I feel ok? Do I feel horrible? If you aren’t feeling good to amazing, then there’s something wrong.

We SHOULD BE SURVIVORS. WE should be more like BEAR GRYLLS. We should be able to survive in the wilderness. We should be able to overcome obstacles. True health is about maintaining a fundamentally positive mental and emotional orientation. It’s about being physical well and strong. It’s about keeping our bodies free of chemicals that will harm us.

There are no quick fixes. There is no silver bullet. This is a WAY OF LIFE. This is a LIFE LONG COMMITMENT. But if you’re ready to commit to TRUE HEALTH, then you can take the first step to transforming your life at the MAN UP NOW CORE TRANSFORMATION.

JP

Refugee Nation

July 12, 2007

We have deserted 30,000 people.

It’s not that they don’t appear on the front page of the New York Times. It’s not like we don’t hear about them on TV. It’s not like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita happened a decade ago. There is, in a sense, visibility without recognition. We say, through our actions, “Yes, we see you. You are there. You are struggling mightily. But we do not recognize you. You are foreign to us. You are other.”

I have lived a privileged life. I have made it. Mine is the American dream. But for as good as this country has been to me, it has dealt far less kindly with others. There are 30,000 people displaced, living in trailer parks called Sugar Hill and Renaissance Village, the new ghettos. Let’s talk about realities. Let’s talk about responsibility. Let’s talk about bootstrapping. Live in a ghetto 18 miles from the nearest grocery store, 25 miles from a rural small-town economy that isn’t hiring. Two-hundred kids crowd the concrete jungle of the trailer park. There are no schools. There are no doctors. There is no hope.

So we move on. We think, “That’s not my problem. Let them deal with it. Self responsibility. Boot strap. Find a way.” We say to ourselves, “That only happens to poor people, because people like me, we have money. We have means. Those people… it’s their fault. They got themselves into that situation in the first place.”

Rich people move back to New Orleans. The ones up near Tulane, hell, they never left in the first place. Their houses are untouched, undamaged. Even middle class homeowners can return to the Big Easy, on The Road Home. But when you’re too poor to own a home, you’re just screwed. You’re poor, and it’s – seemingly – nobody else’s problem. There’s a pattern here. From a national perspective…..

We all rally together, after Katrina, and give some money. We promise to bring New Orleans back. The Saints come marching home, and suddenly, we act like nothing ever happened. All those Katrina refugees… we simply abandon them. This is a pattern.

Our government has a habit of refusing to admit mistakes, and refusing to take care of those citizens who are victims of its own ineptness. It’s high time we change that.  We’re all in this together.  Let’s act like it.

Inspiration

July 11, 2007

The fastest thing on no legs. Oscar Pistorius is the man. The guy is a true champion. He’s set paralympic records, but that wasn’t good enough for him. Now, he has his eyes set on an even bigger prize: the 2008 Olympics. I’m rooting for this guy all the way.

Read about him here: Link
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