Madonna’s got somethin’ to say

“So…y’all better vote for fuckin’ Obama okay? For better or for worse, we have a black muslim in the white house okay? Now that is the shit! That’s some amazing shit. That means there is hope in this country.”-Madonna

Listen, I’m not a guy who gets really heated about politics. For better or for worse, I usually steer clear of left vs. right debates. Such a great phrase, ‘for better or for worse’. It’s almost as good as, ‘may or may not be’. Anyway, I’m usually too busy wondering whether Reggie Bush is going to suit up on Sunday, and if not, who the hell I’m going to put in my flex spot. But this was just too much. What is she doing up there? Is she on drugs? Here’s the harsh truth about Madonna, and it’s the same painful reality that applies to almost every celebrity out there, male or female.

She’s fun to look at. She’s beautiful. Or was at least. Madonna is not the international superstar that she is because of the thoughts and ideas she has organically generated. No no. She is famous because she is a beautiful piece of heavenly sculpture, and because she has a great voice. Madonna fanatics will have my head for this, but it’s the truth. Madonna shares little to no realities with 99.99% of human beings on this planet. Think about Madonna’s everyday life. Other than breathing and eating and sleeping and shitting, what does she have in common with most people? She’s an international celebrity, and tons of respect to her for doing that, because there’s no way it was easy. But does her life apply to Obama or Romney’s proposals? Sadly, it does not. She can have her beliefs and her ideas, but when it comes down to it, Madonna does not have the strongest connection to American life. And regardless of your views on politics, these are some of the most moronic words uttered on television in recent memory. And that is saying a ton. Like I said, I don’t usually get into this kind of stuff, but this was just so far over the top I couldn’t ignore it.

I also couldn’t help make a connection to a popular comedy movie, where a very similar situation occurs. You can put the pieces together here.

Cause uhh, if voting kicks ass, and Al Donnelly kicks ass, you put em together…you got some KICK ASS SHIT 

Aren’t we all wondering what Obama is doing as he watches this sort of thing? I’ve got a feeling he’s burying his frustration in a pink bottle of Pepto-Bismol while stifling an anxiety attach and staring at a hand-gun on his desk, while Joey B treats himself to another piece of oreo ice-cream cake.

Nice work Madonna.

 

Question of the Day: Where is Andre Nickatina

What happened to this guy? Andre Adams. Aka Andre Nickatina, Aka Dre Dog, aka Chuck T, aka The Kahn, aka King Nicky. The Technique Teacher.

I’m in the fast lane/ the cash lane/some think it’s a bad thing/ hittin em off with the C&H pure cane/ I get stuck in ya membrane/I’m like a pimp at a party when you say ‘look at them reins’

Let’s be completely honest. The dude could easily be dead. I once heard he played a show at a USC frat party for a kilo of coke. Sounds like the antics of a dedicated artist… or the antics of an extremely unstable person. Either way I miss him. He was one of those guys that everyone knew about, yet never really blew up. That’s probably(and by probably I mean definitely) due to the content of his lyrics.

I don’t want to call Andre a ‘one-trick pony’, because that’s a stupid phrase and I don’t particularly care for it, but it fits here. Not a ton of diversity from our boy in terms of lyricism/substance. There’s also an element of simplicity to his raps, but people seem to like that stuff today. But I’m still confused as to why he didn’t become any bigger. ‘A Yo’, although not one of my favorites, was a pretty popular song, and I would think that anyone who did any sort of research would have been pleased with his other stuff.

With no apology/ t-t-technology/ some brotha dissin’ me/ or even thinkin’ he

Who cares. I don’t. With his disappearance, he leaves a strong legacy. A small, controlled, and appreciated legacy. He was a staple to the Bay Area hip-hop conglomerate when Bay Area hip-hop was popular…for like a year. I think an argument could be made for Nickatina being the most grounded, well-crafted/witty rapper in that genre. I think it was probably a bit easier to shine when your geographic competition included The Pack, and Too $hort. So why did he fail to achieve the popularity of some of his co-horts?

Well, I don’t think it would be completely outrageous to assume there were some work ethic issues. I don’t want to say at a certain point it becomes an intelligence issue, but I’m thinking there probably were some bad decisions made at a certain point. And by ‘some’ I mean a ton, and by ‘a certain point’ I mean probably daily. If the guy plays shows for coke, I would doubt there is much regulation in terms of his income. Did he have an agent? I mean, probably.

“Hey Jay, me and the boys are gonna do a show at SC tonight.”
“Okay, well we didn’t talk about this. What are they offering.”
“Well they said they don’t have money, but a homie moves coke and he’s gonna take care of us.”
“…….so just the coke”
“Yeah.”

Andre Nickatina is probably just one of those guys who made a few million, which in turn equaled he and his homies chilling pretty tough for a couple years. And they were probably happy. Definitely some crazy stories from that era. But I’d think that by now, Dre Dog is upset he chose to take his 25 friends to Jamaica instead of going on tour and writing new material. He has completely fallen off, leaving us with the smallest taste of what could have been a much more powerful incumbency.

Boss of the Week: Brian Stann

I’ve decided to do a new segment by this title every week. And I’ve chosen Brian Stann as the subject of its inaugural post. That means Brian Stann is exceptionally extraordinary, and if I were to have a ‘Team Boss’ post somewhere down the road – Stann would undoubtedly captain the squad.

As UFC 152 approaches, people are beginning to chatter about the fight that, in my opinion, will be the most entertaining on the card. Michael Bisping – the incessant trash-talking Englishman and former Ultimate Fighter season 3 winner, vs. Brian Stann – the battle-tested Marine turned UFC fighter who some are already calling, Captain America.

Stann played middle linebacker at Navy. Let’s start right there. And you know he hit like a cement truck. He transfered from the Navy into the Marine Corps and completed two lengthy tours in Iraq before pursuing MMA much more seriously. Stories show that Stann had an extremely violent experience in Iraq, and he doesn’t like to discuss the details. He came home, started a family, and began developing his martial arts. This turned out to be a wise decision, as he finds himself in prime position to battle for the middleweight belt. A convincing victory over Michael Bisping would likely convince UFC President, Dana White, that Stann is ready for a shot at The Spider, Anderson Silva.

Some people really struggle with the UFC, in that it seems as though all the athletes are lewd and classless meatheads who can’t understand anything halfway sophisticated, and are paid extremely well to simply hop around inside a cage and attempt to kill another human being. And as the loser bleeds from his mouth and nose on the canvas, the winner hops on top of the cage and throws both his middle fingers to the crowd. Either that or a horribly exaggerated throat-cutting gesture straight into lens of a camera. Both of which are advertised in full high definition to millions of equally idiotic fans jumping around the bar, ripping Jager Bombs and double fisting Heinekens. I could carried away there pretty easy. The point is, there is an unfair archetype of ‘The UFC Fighter’ that stretches all the way from how he behaves in the octagon, to how he lives his life. I admittedly sometimes question the validity of the sport when I watch Brock Lesnar flip off the crowd and tell Joe Rogan he’s going to go “get on his wife.”

Brian Stann brings an encouraging new outlook to the sport. He refers to his opponents as, fellow warriors, and never bad-mouths anyone. He has the upmost respect for everyone he fights, and is always quick to make amends after its all said and done. That’s because Stann not only loves to fight, but he appreciates and respects that love in other people. He knows that Michael Bisping is a passionate fighter and that he has a family to feed and that his wife is watching him. He still wants to knock Bisping out in the first round, but his agenda is not to dishonor and disgrace the man’s name. You would never hear Stann say anything lewd or inappropriate about someone else. You’ll hear him state his own straightforward opinions. “I think Mike has good punching power, but as far as punching as hard as I do? Nobody does that in the middleweight division.” Honesty. One piece of the sport that people really really struggle with, are those last 3 or 4 shots that land on an opponents face after he is already unconscious. f you watch Stann fight, you’ll see that he never does more than he has to. And he’s had plenty of opportunities. Before, during, and after the fight, the guy is all about respect.

And it’s the contagiousness of this attitude that is so important to the sport. That is, assuming people don’t want to see Josh Koscheck mouth off about how tan he is and how opponent’s girlfriend wants him. Because even Michael Bisping is having trouble talking bad about Brian Stann. Michael freaking Bisping. One of the biggest smack talkers in the game. It’s extremely hard to talk junk about someone who’s sitting right across the room saying the nicest and most respectful things about you and your skill-set. And if you do, you’re going to be fighting in front of a bunch of people who really really want you to lose.

So UFC 152. This Saturday Night in Toronto. The story is great. There is no fighter more English than Bisping, and as we’ve already discussed, there is no fighter more American than Stann. The fight also coincidentally or not, lands on the 100th anniversary of The War of 1812 – a battle found primarily in Canada between the USA and British Empire. If I haven’t made it abundantly clear by now, I like Stann to win this fight. The guy has extremely heavy hands, and will have the entire crowd chanting USA USA USA before the halfway point of the first round. Bisping will be the favorite, and I like Stann as the underdog with nothing to lose. Some could argue Bisping is on his way out, and look for Stann to come out swinging hard and heavy. Cause for concern will come when the fight goes to the ground, which it undoubtedly will if Bisping feels any sort of danger. But Stann brought in two-time All-American wrestler, Raymond Jordan into camp with hopes of strengthening his ground game. Either way, it’s going to be an entertaining piece of television, be it a first round KO or a split decision.

Brian Stann. I’m calling him Captain America. Respect & Class. It’s why he was a Marine, it’s why he was captain of the Navy Defense, it’s why he’s extremely involved in Hire Heroes USA – a not-for-profit organization that helps veterans find employment, it’s why he is a UFC knockout machine, and it’s why he’s our Boss of the Week.

“I think the preconceived notion of me is that because I was in the military, I’m all for war and conflict…Some of my fondest memories were rebuilding schools, opening stores on the streets of Iraq, and injecting more money into the economy to help families. Some of my fondest memories were fighting for people I’ve never met.” —Brian Stann


Shaun White Gets Bombed and That’s Okay

Apparently X-Games/Olympic/Extreme sports icon, Shaun White, was arrested early Monday morning (aka late sunday night) for getting hamboned and making some bad decisions. Here’s the story, as reported by the all-faithfull, TMZ. Here’s the thing about TMZ. As much as we all hate the idea of TMZ, TMZ is great. They don’t care about anything except exposing celebrities for how idiotic they sometimes(usually) are. It’s completely unfiltered, and more often than not, truthful. From allegations that Baltimore Ravens pro-bowl defensive end, Terrell Suggs sustained a potentially season-ending achilles injury during an off-season game of pick-up basketball(which he has denied, but everyone knows are true); to pictures of country singers face down, ass-naked in the middle of the street. TMZ is extremely diverse in its subjects, and loves loves loves to watch/capture important people do really stupid things.

Back to White. TMZ reports:

  • Shaun White is blasted in his room, and proceeds to trash the hell out of it. This makes quite a reasonable amount of noise, which in turn attracts a number of hotel guests. It’s 2am and people usually don’t appreciate drunken 26 year-olds making loud noises and breaking things.
  • Hotel Staff is called to the scene.
  • White, when confronted by Hotel Employees, promptly pulls a nearby fire-alarm. He also manages to smash a hotel phone.
  • The entire building is evacuated. At 2am.
  • Guests are pissed.
  • White attempts to flee the scene of the crime, but is chased down by a ‘concerned citizen’ who attempts to apprehend the X-Games gold medalist.
  • The X-Games gold medalist assaults the ‘concerned citizen’ and keeps running.
  • The ‘concerned citizen’ catches up to the intoxicated White, and returns the favor by shoving White into a nearby fence.
  • White smashes his head into a fence post and subsequently is sent into a state of blurred incoherence and overall delirium. Game, set, and match: Concerned Citizen.
  • The Police get involved. Report includes a description of White: ‘Appeared to be extremely intoxicated, and reeked of alcohol.’
  • White is taken downtown, where this picture is taken.

So let’s recap. Here’s what Shaun White did

1. Got drunk.
2. Broke a hotel phone
3. Pulled a bunch of fire alarms

He didn’t

1. Kill the bellhop.
2. Sexually assault members of the maid staff.
3. Light the building on fire.

The bottom line is this: It’s a funny/slightly unacceptable story that will more than likely be blasted wayyyy out of proportion. When people hear ‘Shaun White Get’s Arrested in Nashville”, their minds more than likely travel to a pretty dark and unfair place. But the snowboarder in the black-leather butt huggers has my condolences. In a world that is so full of people with his level of stardom doing things that are so much worse, White has played it pretty cool. This guy has been in the spotlight since he was like, 10, and I can’t think of any major screw-ups. That’s pretty admirable when you take his image and crew into account. Snowboarders don’t have the best rap when it comes to aligning with social norms. He’s also a skateboarder, which helps tremendously. I mean, the guy looks like he should be playing keyboard for Def Leppard, but has still managed to have (arguably) the biggest influence on snowboarding since Terje started throwing McTwists in Sweeden. Shaun White is the reason 75% of kids that snowboard have the following as their facebook profile picture.

Ahh yes, it is the chairlift selfie, complete with face mask(usually gangster bandana) and dark(usually mirrored) lenses. How many of these have you seen? Alone on the chairlift, what should I do? Oh yeah, take a picture of myself because I look super sick.

Point: Shaun White.
And let’s not overlook the giant pink elephant taking a deuce in the corner: Shaun White is ridiculously good at snowboarding.

there’s also this, which was pretty funny.

Monday Night Sports Cocktail

An exceptional selection of options this evening. By exceptional I mean 3. I’ll break each one down.

US Open Men’s Final: Novak Djokovic(SRB) vs Andy Murray(UK) Djokovic was my original pick to win this whole thing, and I’m standing by that. Here’s the thing about Novak: he’s from Serbia. And I’m not entirely sure why, but I just don’t really like Serbians. I think it has something to do with the moronic Serbian fans who keep yelling “SERBIAAAAAA” in-between every single point. I knew a Serbian kid in college who played on the water polo team and spent his free time trying to convince everyone how awesome Serbia is. “Nonono you don’t understand. Serbia is toughest country ever. We are raised as warriors. Descendants of ancient Sparta.” Says the kid wearing pink booty shorts and drinking a protein shake. As horribly uninformed as that quote is, I can’t help noticing similarities between it’s implications and Novak Djokovic. They seem almost identical. There is no rattling this guy. And as he battles Andy Murray in this first set tie-break, he seems extremely grounded. This match is ridiculous btw. It looks like they’re playing on the set of Twister. How awesome was that movie btw. The wind keeps screwing up Novak’s toss and he keeps apologizing to Murray, which surprises me. He would be more accurate, judging on Novak’s appearance, if instead of apologizing he just looked over at Murray’s girlfriend and let some horribly demeaning comment fly and then smiled demonically at Murray before promptly striking an ace.

Like I said earlier, I predict Novak will win tonight, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Murray wins the tournament. Murray is great, and part of me thinks this is his time, but the other part of me thinks he’s just not quite there, and whines too much. Either way, Andy just won the first set, and this is shaping up to be a great match, because you know Novak will only play harder and harder..kinda like a Spartan or something….(dumbest thing I’ve ever heard)

BTW here’s the primary reason I doubt Novak has any interest in Murray’s lady. I present, Jelena Ristic

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders

The guy everyone will be watching tonight will surely be Darren McFadden. Run DMC. The speedy tailback is amongst the most dangerous and explosive runners, but has spent a decent amount of the past 2 seasons on the bench with a myriad of different injuries. Some have just surrendered him into the ‘guys who will never amount to anything because they’re always hurt’ category, while others(including myself) think this may be his break-out season. He has shown shown flashes of ridiculous talent, and expect him to get a truck-load of opportunities tonight at the Oakland Coliseum.

People will also be wondering about the status of San Diego sophomore running back, Ryan Matthews, who is staring at a season of pretty formidable expectations. He broke his collarbone in the pre-season, and after a quick recovery, is hoping to get involved tonight. A gutted SD receiving corps will be spear-headed by veteran tight end, Antonio Gates, who will surely be looking to dunk one over the goal-post tonight. Phil Rivers is rebounded from his worst season in years(career?) and many have pinned him as a declining talent.

Could be exciting. I’ll take Oakland tonight in a game that I doubt many people will watch. It starts at 10:15 EST. It just doesn’t seem like a game that’s going to rake in viewers, and in all honesty, it really surprises me that ESPN selected the games they did for the first MNF of the season. SD v Oakland and Cincinnati v Baltimore? Seeing as ESPN cares only about how many people are watching their channel, and not about the quality of their material, this seems unorthodox. I would’ve predicted a Cowboys/49ers or NYFG/Saints line up. Not 2 games that 1. actually matter and 2. involve quality teams.

nice work.

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens

The brutal and cruel AFC North division will begin it’s heated rivalries tonight when the the Ravens play host to sophomore quarterback, Andy Dalton (aka the RED RIFLE) and the Cincinnati Bengals. Everyone seems to think this is going to be a great game, but I’m gonna take the Ravens in a fairly one-sided contest. I think that we’re going to see a considerable decline in the play of Dalton, who quietly had quiet a productive rookie season and took his team to the playoffs for the first time since anyone can remember. The Bengals have somehow inched their way out of that ‘eternally damned’ NFL franchise group that includes the Jacksonville Jaguars, the St. Louis Rams, The Miami Dolphins, and the team that has been the worst team in existence for the past thousand years: The Cleveland Browns. It  literally makes most young children cringe to hear the words, ‘Cleveland’ and ‘Browns’ in the same sentence. Regardless, Cincinnati is no longer in that group, thanks largely in-part to the chemistry developed between Dalton and his young rock-star wide-out, AJ Green. I imagine we’ll see plenty of them tonight. On the other side we’ll get a steady diet of Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, and break-out candidate WR, Torrey Smith. Apparently he’s primed for a huge season. We’ll find out soon enough.

Andy Roddick. All-American.

I had the opportunity, the privilege to watch Andy Roddick play a match in his final tournament as a professional tennis player, and it was incredible to say the least. Before I get into the details of the match, I’d just like to discuss briefly how big of a deal this was to me, and how big of a deal it should be to all of America.

Growing up as a tennis player, it was only natural that my favorite player was and still remains Andy Roddick. How does any 16-year-old kid not completely idolize this guy? I honestly wonder about that. What is there not to like about his game? Sure, kids can venture off toward the stylish/trendy/more skilled players. It was easy for kids on the team to admire and aspire to be a player like Roger or the up-and-comer Novak Djokovic. But when you’re a high-school tennis player, and there are girls in the stands watching you, it’s images of Roddick that flick through your mind. You don’t want to outsmart an opponent. You want to dominate an opponent; you want an opponent to fear you. I’d be willing to say that Andy Roddick is the primary reason why about 95% of male high school tennis player’s first serves never go in. And who cares if it doesn’t go in every point? Not me. Because I know it will at some point, and when it does, that clown across the court isn’t gonna touch it. You almost hope that he manages to get the strings on it, because that means you’ve got an overhead coming your way and an opportunity to spike it into the seats right next to that blonde who sits next to you in chemistry.

Andy Roddick, from Austin, Texas. He wears American flags on his shoes. He serves like a deer rifle and he doesn’t waste time in between points. Three bounces, twirl racquet, BOOM. repeat. The original poster-boy of then rising racquet powerhouse, Babolat, I’m of the opinion that Andy should take home at least 40% of that company’s annual earnings, with another 30% going to Nadal, and the remaining 30% equally distributed amongst the possibly brilliant and surely pretentious French owners. Because I’m convinced that without Roddick’s influence, that company (which is now jockeying for the top racquet company on tour) would still be making most of it’s profit on squash racquets and vibration dampeners. Speaking of vibration dampeners, what kind does Roddick use? Oh yeah, he uses a rubber band. That’s just who this guy is. If he doesn’t like a call, the chair ump is going to hear about it; if he doesn’t like a question, the journalist is going to hear about it. He doesn’t play fancy, he doesn’t accessorize with unnecessary sponsors, and he has a strong history with dating extremely attractive women. Past members include but are in no way limited to: Mandy Moore, Maria Sharapova, and Paris Hilton. That streak ended with his current wife and 2010 SI Swimsuit Cover Girl, Brooklyn Decker.

Yeah. She’s… in shape. It’s all part of the point. Andy Roddick doesn’t just wear the flag on his shoes, he has become an international symbol of this country. And after a brief look at his resume, what’s not to like?

The reason I was inspired to actually sit down and write this, is that a few nights ago, I had the opportunity to watch Andy Roddick battle Bernard Tomic in Flushing Meadows. I use the word ‘battle’, although the more appropriate wording may be, ‘an explosive bludgeoning’. And it’s unfortunate that 19-year-old Bernard Tomic had to walk into the machine-gun fire armed with nothing more than a headband and a complacent smile. I don’t know if I can recall a more one-sided match. Like a matador under the raining roses of Madrid, Roddick is in true form under the lights at Arthur Ashe. The crowd vibrating with anticipation, and exploding with every ace. Roddick won in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 and a debilitating 6-0.

He continues his final US Open tonight, against the lanky Argentine, Juan Martin del Potro. At 9th in world, Del Potro represents the most imposing challenge thus far, and will be the favorite on paper. But it would be foolish to think that Roddick can’t win this match. Roddick can beat Delpo, and did just that in their most recent meeting. The crowd, the emotions, all the intangibles will belong to the American, and he will look to take heavy advantage of that. It will be as it always has been; Andy’s serve will dictate the match.

Regardless of the outcome Tuesday night, Roddick will leave a unprecedented mark on American tennis. The fiery, hard-hitting Texan has pushed the sport into the deepest and most distant corners of this country, and has made the sport desirable for an ex-high school football players like myself. He’s changed the sport’s image from the cashmere draping, champagne sipping, white-collared snobs; to a overhead-smashing, f-bomb dropping, model-dating rock star. With the conclusion of the 2012 US Open comes the exit of an American Icon, and a true international representative that has become a legend in the sport – never stepping foot on that court without our flag wrapped tight across his back.