“What’s with these sports moves?”
Growing up, there weren’t that many sports shake-ups regarding franchise moves. But, just in my small time as an adult, I have witnessed a few moves that were odd to me as well. There were the Vancouver Grizzlies to Memphis, Tennessee and the Charlotte Hornets to New Orleans, then Hornets to be renamed to Pelicans. Don’t forget the expansion team in Charlotte called the Bobcats. And how about the move from Seattle Supersonics to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Now that’s just the NBA, don’t get me started on the NFL. In the past couple of years St. Louis Rams moved back to Los Angeles along with soon to be San Diego Chargers to LA. Oakland Raiders are now moving to Las Vegas. Well, why the moves?
In my opinion, the main reason for the moves are because of financial opportunities. Oakland Raiders might be able to make more money in Vegas than Oakland. Or how about the Supersonics leaving Seattle; could it be that more revenues are being generated in Oklahoma? Because to us as the fans, we just want to see our favorite sports teams play. But to the front office of these organizations, it’s a business like any other multinational organization. They are profit maximizing firms that must adhere to their bottom line. But, it is all about money for the moves? Or could there be another reason for the changes?
There is another reason, and that is that issues concerning the stadiums can run in excess of a lot of money. For instance, the team owners don’t own the stadium where they play. So there are a lot of tax dollars being allocated to these stadiums, and that means money from tax paying citizens. And if you’re a franchise that has not been winning games, you might have to move. People will grow to resent the organization because their money is being spent on a non winning team. Now, you ask, how does winning effect the economics of a city. Take Cleveland for instance, when Lebron James went to Miami, the city lost a lot of money. But later recouped money once he returned. Why, because local businesses were making money due to the Cavaliers winning. Places such as restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and hospitality services.
The third option for moves, are to build a new loyal fan base. When the Seattle Supersonics moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City Thunder, a new base was created. There is a whole generation that doesn’t even remember the Seattle team. And with the past few seasons making the playoffs, they have emerged in this new city as a basketball powerhouse. Could this be the direction more franchises go for? How about certain teams that should move? How about the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo, New York or how about when the New Jersey Nets came to Brooklyn, New York. Some of these places should move and it’s for their own benefit. More people are willing to jump on board, and the reach is not only in the city, but nationwide; along with global building. Trust and believe, Brooklyn, New York is a much bigger market for basketball than the state of New Jersey.
So overall, what now? Will we see even more moves in the years to come? Some of these teams are still in smaller markets. Markets that are not as attractive to people as the bigger places. Los Angeles is better than St. Louis and Las Vegas is better than Oakland. Now, not all moves are good, but for whatever the reason, dollars and cents are the bottom line. And will be the reason for changes unless there is a better deal for other reasons to stay.


“Know what you’re saying when you say it.”

“These men today ain’t worth nothing.” This is the statement made by so many women in today’s society. They walk about society with the feeling that so many men in our country have lost a sense of chivalry. That being a gentleman has been replaced with the idea that having more women is better than one. Well, what is it; is there something to what is being said about us as men? Or is it just smoke being blown into the air? Nothing more but just more complaining about what men won’t do. I have a few theories as to the real reason this is taking place.

First off, when women say men are lame, think about what you’re saying. And what I mean by that is men don’t approach just anybody. Now, I know you’re thinking, that’s not true.  Yes, you’re right, initially it’s ecstatic. But when it comes to trying to date, you’re wrong. There are two reasons why this guy is talking to you. One is that he sees an aspect of himself in you. The other is that you are a vessel for bullshit. You are a safe haven for his irresponsible. He sees this and tries his best to maneuver his way into the situation.

Well, if true, how come it happens over and over again? The answer to that is that you are an insane person for starters. What do I mean by insane? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome. Yes, you may meet one, two, even three, but after this you should start to notice a pattern. My best guess is that you do see a pattern in the guys you date. Whatever your reason for keep getting the same guy each time, it’s not a conspiracy. There is something in this person you like, or something you’re hiding.

Which brings me to my next theory as to why women are getting in unhealthy situations with guys. Women are taught that they make guys better. Now if you meet a guy, and he’s already in a good position, where does that leave you. Or better yet, to an extent you are choosing bad. Because if you choose bad and it goes bad, then hey, what did you have to look forward to anyways. But if you choose good and it goes bad, people start to look at you like the lemon in the situation. It hurts the whole mindset that you make me better because now everyone is looking at you like how did you loose this situation.

In the end, women are emotional. And a lot of times you say things in the moment that you feel mean something. Then once you break it apart, there is some logic missing. And the logic is that there are too many people on Earth for there to be so many not good guys. Mathematically it’s not possible. But when you purge yourself of all feeling, the reality comes out. Whatever the case, when you make profound statements, just be able to rationally explain what you mean.


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“Ever think to ask how we get this feeling?”

“I’ve been here before.” “This place seems familiar.” “I know this place form somewhere.” We have all had a stricken case of Déjà vu when coming in contact with someone or people in a certain place at a certain given time. The feeling of recognizing a specific place that you yourself have never been before but you know it is an ominous occurrence. But the real question is why are we stricken with Déjà vu. There so many cognitive reasons as to why we feel this way, but I on the hand have a different perspective.

In my humble opinion, maybe we have been here before, but not us personally. Which now you’re probably asking yourself, what does that mean? Well, maybe Déjà vu is a hereditary trait you get from your parents. Could it be that DNA you get from both parents settles in the brain? Could that further mean, that whatever experience your parents have had in life had gotten passed into your DNA? This would mean that the feeling you have that we know as Déjà vu, could actually be your parent’s experience passed to you. Your brain is trying to make sense of why you know this place.

For example, it could be something really mundane like your father getting hit at a football game in high school. And now here you are, playing on that field and feeling like, man I remember this play. Why do I feel like I know what’s about to happen? Now, if the play comes your way, that feeling is only heightened. But if the play formulates into something else, you tend to forget the occurrence. The occurrence only stays with you when what you think you know actually happens. But, this is still a theory of mine. Could there be another reason we experience Déjà vu?

What if it’s not something that’s biological, but sporadic? Could it be that the human brain is so active, that it starts to rationalize situations as familiar and not random? Our brains are constantly moving as we eat food, text, and watch television all at the same time. So could something potentially have been triggered in the moment to make us feel like we know this situation. But really, all it really is a bunch of random events that trick you into thinking you have experienced this before. Maybe this is some type of glitch in our brains, that accidentally makes us react to the familiar situation. This would mean our ancestors experienced Déjà vu acted on it. This phenomenon could have led to a costly mistakes.

Whatever the reasons we feel Déjà vu, it has baffled the minds of people for the longest. In today’s society we have all these meanings, but like I said before, our ancestors didn’t. So here we are, still not being able to comprehend why our brains are making us feel one way, even though we know it’s not real. Maybe it’s much more simple than the complex answer we’re looking for. It might be something real, or maybe something as simple as nature keeping us focus and aware.


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“We don’t want to meet, but we have to do something.”

As president elect, Donald J. Trump enters the White House, he is still being met with criticism. But now he’s recently encountered something else. Why, well it’s due to the recent statement he made against civil rights leader John Lewis. Lewis, an activist who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement, has been, yet another individual who has made a push against Donald Trump. Trump is being criticized for what under normal circumstances would have been a simple throw away statement, has added to his already villainous persona. In addition to the criticism, numerous people have met with Trump in an attempt to connect to Trump regarding issues in America.

A few of those people have been public figures from the African American community. From hip hop artist Kanye West to former professional football players Jim Brown and Ray Lewis, and now comedian Steve Harvey. All of whom have faced criticism by the African American community for meeting with Trump. Now, outside of Kanye West, the others have played pivotal roles for years in making the lives of Black people in America better. Jim Brown has a program called, Amer-I-can, which aims at helping those, especially from the Black community, reach their full potential. As well as Steve Harvey who put together an annual retreat for young Black males who don’t have fathers in their lives.

So if these men have done so much, why are they receiving such flack from the Black community. Or better yet, why are we so hard on each other as a people? I am not a Trump supporter, yet it does not stop me from still standing behind these men in their attempt to create a joining of the minds. I understand the frustration of a lot of people, but in my opinion, he is the president now. You can not like him, wish he would have lost, or even not acknowledge him for the next four years. But rationally, what these men have done; isn’t that what you should try to do? Now, from a political standpoint, given the way our government is structured it’s going to be tough to get anything passed. But why is there so much frustration in trying.

On the side of the people, it is understood where their frustration comes from. Trump has indeed said a lot of things that he has been unapologetic about; some of which he shouldn’t have said or should have rephrased. So from that standpoint I understand the outrage. He has also publicly verbally attack the current president Barack Obama. A move that most have felt was because of President Obama’s ethnicity. Even with him stating he didn’t do it for those reasons, tensions still flare. But my only question to us as Black people is what should we do?

If Steve Harvey, Jim Brown, and Ray Lewis are attacked for attempting to reach out, then what. It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t position. Because if we don’t reach out, then we’re not using our platforms to try to bring about change. But if we meet up, then we’re soft shoeing and selling out. But like I said before, he is the president now. And how these men handled the situation is how you’re supposed to. You probably are asking why. The reason being, Black people have always had things held over us. You don’t vote, don’t expect to bring about changes. You don’t go to school, don’t expect to have a better quality of life.

Now I’m not saying what they did is a sure thing. But the fact that they did meet and he did offer to work with them, means leverage for the Democratic side. For a sitting U.S. president to have a private meeting with these men, and not even make an attempt in office speaks volumes to the party. Their meeting shouldn’t be necessarily about what he is going to do, but better yet getting a public statement out of him. Like I said before, no matter Democrat or Republican, anything is hard to get pushed through the system. But creating the dialogue sets precedent. Even Dr. King had to sit at the table with Lyndon B. Johnson who had no intentions on aiding the Civil Rights Movement. Lyndon even openly made controversial statements regarding Black people. But nonetheless, the conversation had to happen because Lyndon was the president.

In the end, we as Black people have to create some type of balance. If we don’t want to meet with the president, nor vote, then be prepared to not ask. We tend to ask for stuff from the very people we don’t want to converse with. We’ll push back against these men who met with him, but then what is the proper way. You can protest, then what? You can riot, then what? You can stay angry, then what? Because at the end of the day, when he leaves the White House, he’s still a billionaire. But our situation is unchanged as well. So as uncomfortable and irritating as it may seem, he his the leader for the next four years. And some form of conversation must be had because staying mad is not a viable decision.


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“Ever think big, but can’t find your way?”
The phrase seeing is believing is such a real statement. But seeing is not enough, you have to be willing to execute on your plans. And this is where most people get stuck in their pursuit of their dreams. They have all these visions, but are either not quite ready or don’t fully believe. Why is that; why is believing in yourself so hard for so many people? Well, there are a number of reasons why it’s so hard for people to follow through with what they want out of life. I can think of a few right off the back.
The first is the most obvious, and that is that we fear the failure. No one wants to set themselves up to fall. Especially if the fall is really hard. We don’t want to step out into the world and risk losing big where we can’t recover. It’s almost like we want to tailor make life so that we know right off the back how much we will lose. This way we can be comfortable with the outcome enough to pursue. But the reality is that we don’t know if and when we’ll lose. Nor do we know how hard we may fall. So this keeps us from following our dreams.
Another reason why believing in self is so hard is because we are afraid that most won’t see the greatness in what it is we’re trying to achieve. The hardest pill to swallow is that you see genius and they see a waste of time. Imagine if Thomas Edison never was successful and someone else came along behind him and succeeded. You’re talking a lifetime of hurt and pain, just to see someone stroll right in and win. Which leads into our third reason why we find it hard to follow dreams.
The third reason is because pursuing a dream someone else is pursuing and watching them win and you lose. Watching them win makes you realize how you wasted your time. They are reaping benefits that you seem to feel should be coming to you. And that not only makes you resent yourself, but that person who has done well. Your inner disdain is outwardly shown by your failure to rise to the occasion. Now, this is where I come to my fourth and final reason why you don’t follow your dreams.
You know what, maybe you’re just not that good at what it is you want to accomplish. You think in your mind you’re good, but knowing when to throw in the towel is pivotal. We as humans have a hard time with this because we think just because I feel something, means it truly has value. And the reality is that not all feelings mean something. So in the end, people have a hard time following their dreams because of the unknown. We want to know everything; from the risk to the successes. But these are unmeasurable. You have to trust in yourself and work at it. So taking a leap of faith is necessary, but whose willing to take that leap. I will say, those you take the leap are always the most successful in the end.


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“Why broadening your horizons could help you grow?”

Coming from a small town, I moved to New York City back in the 2011. The city was in Wisconsin with a population of 78,000. Very few people take it among themselves to leave their surroundings. But as for me, I wanted more: to see more, experience more, strive for more. The comfort in living in small town USA can be almost like a crutch for a lot of people. The daunting task of removing yourself from your environment can be tough. Another reason for not leaving is that you don’t want to be the person who leaves. Then you’re forced to come back because you can’t make it in the big city.

Well, let me put it to you this way. As a person coming from small town America, there are a lot of people in your surroundings not surviving anyways. So what’s it to you to put yourself out there and try. We are all so caught up in what someone else will think and not ourselves. I’ll tell you from experience, that just making the move is a lot more than anyone else around you would do. You made the initiative to jump from a small place to a big place. Most are far too afraid, so you’ve already defeated the odds just doing that much. Now, as far as success is concerned, what do you aspire to become.

For me it’s writing. Now I know what you’re thinking, you can write anywhere. But living in New York City is an inspiring location. Whether its venturing into the heart of Manhattan or staying around in my Harlem neighborhood. There is also so much to do in the outer boroughs, or better yet New Jersey is right across the river. Coming to this city for graduate school, I sort of threw myself into the mix. What’s funny is that I never visited New York until I came for graduate school. That is a major risk because what if I didn’t like the city.

But what happened is that I fell in love with this major city. And when I say major I mean major. Coming from a 78,000 population to a metropolitan population of 25 million with over 60 million tourists is a quantum leap. People have told me, I never would have made the leap. But I guess that’s what separates me from them. I am not afraid to step into a new surrounding. I’ve even contemplated moving to another major city; maybe Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Miami. So you ask me, how do you overcome such fears and move away.

Well for starters, I came for graduate school and stayed in campus housing. That was a great way for me to start in a new city. I had a roof over my head and food in my mouth. This helps when moving anywhere new. But even after grad school ended, then what? Well, next I am a more fearless person. I’m not afraid of failing in my pursuit of what I want in life. Which is what it takes to live in a bigger city. You have to put yourself in harms way sometimes so that good things can happen to you.

I also had a support system from back home. This also doesn’t hurt when moving to somewhere new as well. Having loved ones who believe in you can really help. You see, in the end, fears and the unknown keep people from leaving their surroundings. No one wants to fail, or at least fail to hard. But you have to jump off of cliffs. You have to trust yourself and believe that eventually you’ll glide safely to the ground.


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“Why we run from the doctor, even though we need it.”

Ever since the days when Black men were used as guinea pigs for medical experiments, we still have a problem visiting a physician. The most well known experiment conducted on Back men was the syphilis study, where we were used to see the effects of the transmitted disease. There has always been this engrained fear for us as Black men to go to the doctor’s office. Even if it’s for a slight checkup. Because in the back of our minds, there is still this morale and ethical conduct that we don’t feel doctors have among themselves. We still think that doctors are behind the scenes conspiring to hurt us. But ultimately, we are hurt, but it’s not from going to the doctor’s office.

We are ultimately hurt because we don’t go the hospital for routine checkups. Me myself, I don’t go unless I am very much so in pain. This could mean a progression of some sort into something worse when it could have been dealt with early. But that feeling still lingers in the backs of our minds. Well, what can be done so that we can overcome that fear of going to the doctor’s office. Because at this point our health depends on it. Since not only are we paranoid about the doctor’s office, but on top of it, the food we eat tends to be unhealthy as well.

One of the ways to get us healthy and fear less, is our relatives, maybe a child, going to the office with us. With someone present, this decreases a lot of the fears. Having that support system makes us feel at ease. Or better yet, your spouse could serve as someone that would make you feel a lot better. Another suggestion is to research good doctors who have been successful with other patients, This way you’re able to have more trust in visiting the hospital.

In the end, no matter what we do, we can’t continue to be afraid. Especially when we’re predisposed to so many illnesses. Although the historical aspect still leaves us frightened, further holding off from visiting a physician will only hurt us in the end.