Wednesday, August 18, 2010

THE DR. LAURA AFFAIR - Is she racist?

The title of this blog might be misleading.  I'm not a proponent of Dr. Laura.  I hate her show for the most part.  It's such a holier than thou platform.  However, in light of her show, which has now been made famous for what people are calling Racial Rants, I will re-post some comments I made after Don Imus was forced temporarily off the hair for using the term "Knappy-headed Hos."

First off, I agree that Dr. Laura DID NOT call anyone the N-word.  She didn't call Jade, her caller that name.  Nor was she the first to bring it up.  Jade brought up the N-word and asked Dr. Laura what she thought of it.  And Dr. Laura pointed out it's confusing to tell someone now they can't use the N-word simply because they're not black.  I have no idea if she's racist.  However, I do hear what she's saying and have many feelings that echo those sentiments, which I simply label as frustrating.

For your reference, here is the actual segment from her show.

Here are some of the points I made in the blog about Imus:

There's a reason the Asian, Latino and Jewish communities don't walk around calling each other chinks, spics and kikes. The reason, we don't want to propagate the worst of our language into the common terminology of society. I can only speak for myself as a Jew and say we don't do it in our community because once you do it, the word loses its degrading meaning and sooner or later, someone else is going to use it too in a way you don't like. It's common sense.

Many record executives and producers, many of whom are black, have profited nicely off of music and artists who flaunt and celebrate the worst in society. They use the word nigger and ho to describe each other in the most vehement ways possible. These records and videos and artists are distributed not just to blacks, but to all communities. Thus, sadly, these terms are now common to all. And the terms are not only degrading to blacks and women, but to all of us. Don't give me any of this shit that there's a difference between the word 'nigga' and 'nigger'. They're both awful. And it's mostly, and I say mostly, the black community's fault for tolerating such language from its youth. I'll tell you one thing -- my future son or daughter ever comes home and says nigger, or spick, or hos, as a way to tell me what's going on in their lives, I'm giving them a talking to.

I used to have a joke in my standup about how I never understood any amongst the black community referring to a fellow member as a nigger. Could you imagine a Jew walking down the street and yelling to his friend in the distance, "Hey, Penny-Pinching Heeb, how's it going?".......

....Imus is an entertainer, who has made his name pulling stunts like this. Much like Howard Stern and other shock jocks, he chose to make a shocking statement against the Rutgers women's basketball program. But the words he chose are words that other black entertainers have made a part of the daily lexicon. And the double standard is that it's okay if a black man calls another black man a nigger because they understand it. No one else can. Well sorry folks, that double standard won't fly anymore. Whites, Asians, Latinos -- we all can listen to Power 106, or buy Flavor Flav, Wutang Clan or Eminem's music. Yes, there is power to the ferocity of their lyrics, and they're artists making a statement. And they should be free to do so. But they have to understand that that statement is the reason words like nigger have made their way into the mainstream of young Americans' vocabulary. And unfortunately for racial relations, it's here to stay.

It is my belief and I stand by it, that the culture that has developed in Black neighborhoods (or ghettos or the 'hood, as they're often called) espousing the usage of negative and forbidden terminology as a means of affection is, pardon the direct phrasing here, FUCKED UP!  And they need to start admitting as much.  There is never a good way to use such a negative word as the N-word.  Never.  I don't care if you tell me I don't understand.  I know what it means.  And I know it's not a word that Blacks want in the mainstream conversation.

How are you going to explain to a 10-year old white child, consuming the music of Dr. Dre., Eminem, Tu Pac, Old Dirty Bastard that he isn't part of that audience?  Because the truth is, now he is.  He doesn't understand the historical significance of the race riots back in the 50's and 60's.  He doesn't get the usage of the N-word during slavery all the way up until Blacks got their freedom.  All he hears is rappers using it as cool lingo.  What do you tell this white child? 

So is Dr. Laura racist?  I don't know.  I just know I have the same frustrations about those who run down the street calling after their friend by calling him a N***ER, or having a friend of mine who just happens to be black include me in his group of N***ERS, but then turn right around and freak out when the word is used by a white guy.  The solution is simple - remove the word from the mainstream again, and I guarantee we won't have this issue.

Feel free to voice your comments. Is the N-word okay for use in American society, or in any society? Has the word changed from a nasty derogatory slandering of the black culture to a word that should be used as a fun, hip, modern way to say you're my brotha, homey, or friend?

Monday, August 16, 2010

A PERFECT FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT - Having all players healthy!

The most basic definition of a perfect fantasy football season is winning your league.  The most basic definition of a perfect fantasy football draft is having players that can still walk come opening day.

The NFL has been considering for some time shortening the pre-season to two games from four or five, and lengthening the season.  Considering the onslaught of injuries after the first full week of pre-season, they may have a point.  After a full week of games, here are the players of consequence already out for extended time or done for the year.

WR Larry Fitzgerald - Sprained MCL - Week-to-week.

Week-to-week?  Never heard such a thing.  Ever sprain a knee ligament?  Excruciating.  Don't believe much less than 4-6.  And reinjuring it by bringing him back too soon could hurt his season exponentially.

WR Michael Jenkins - Shoulder - Out until at least Week 1

Do we hear the call for Brian Finneran or Harry Douglas?

DB Dominque Foxworth - Knee - IR Out for the season
S Ed Reed - Hip - Doubtful to start the season
DB Lardarius Webb - Knee
LB Sergio Kindle - Skull Fracture - May miss the season

Defense is already a mess in the secondary.  Should give the offense that much more of a chance to be in the kind of shootouts you pray for in fantasy.  If Kindle's injury was due just to bad luck and not a night of debauchery, is anyone else worried about a top draft pick that can't walk down the stairs?

RB Fred Jackson - Broken Hand - Will miss all of pre-season
RB Marshawn Lynch - Ankle Sprain - Will miss all of pre-season

Both the top two rushers for Buffalo went down on the first preseason series in the first preseason game.  Hello Mr. C.J. Spiller.  Welcome to the RB1 Slot.

WR Earl Bennett - Hammy - may miss a good part of the preseason.

Devin Aromashadu is looking better every day.  In a Mike Martz offense you're no longer reaching to grab him as a viable WR2 with breakout potential.  Now you just have to measure how your league opponents view him.

WR Antonio Bryant - Knee - Out indefinitely. 
RB Brian Leonard - Foot - Out indefinitely
Of course, if I had watched Cincy signed T.O. I might have my knee swell up too.  Cincy has kept Leonard around because he's got a strong work ethic and finishes plays.  His loss means more time for Benson and Scott.

RB Montario Hardesty - Knee - Might miss the preseason
WR Mohamed Massaquoi - Hammy - Day to day.
QB Colt McCoy - Sprained thumb - Day to day
LB D'Qwell Jackson - Pectoral - timetable is 3-8 weeks.

Hardesty's knee is not getting better.  Means to keep an eye James Davis.  Harrison's had problems with health and the powers that be. 

WR Dez Bryant - High Ankle Sprain - 4-6 weeks
TE Martellus Bennett - Ankle - Out until Week Three of the preseason

Bryant will have an impact this year, but losing time in camp will slow his progress.  I wouldn't draft him but might try to acquire him for the last eight games of the season depending on the relative health and usefulness of the other Dallas receivers.

RB Correll Buckhalter -- Back - Out indefinitely
RB Knowshon Moreno - Hammy - Likely out the preseason
WR Demaryius Thomas - Foot - Word is to temper expectations.
LB Elvis Dumervil - Torn Pectoral - Out until at least December

The Denver running game again is in shambles.  Considering the foot injury is a repeater for Thomas, you need to do more than temper expectations -- sit on them.  On the plus side, Tebow has the speed to be an RB and threw the ball very well.  Just saying.

CB Al Harris - Knee - Doubtful for season opener.
LB Clay Matthews - Knee - two weeks

This defense was getting good.  Losing Harris isn't something they wanted but wasn't totally unexpected considering he's 35.  Matthews they need.

RB Ben Tate - Fracture Ankle - IR - out for the year.

Think Arian Foster is of value, just look where Steve Slaton is being drafted.

TE Dallas Clark - Leg
C Jeff Saturday - Knee - Surgery

One thing that is nearly certain - regardless of Clark's injury he's not likely to equal last season's monster output.  However, as long as he'll make opening day he's going to be in the Top Five.  Saturday's injuries keep mounting, and as the leader of this line, this is not someone the Colts can afford to lose for significant time during the season.

WR Mike Sims-Walker - Shoulder - could miss the entire preseason
WR Nate Hughes - Shoulder/Torn Labrum - IR Out for the year.

Oh well, it wasn't like the Jacksonville receiving corps was highlighting your draft.  Keep an eye out for someone to emerge.

QB Brett Favre - Ankle - Who knows?
WR Sidney Rice - Hip - Likely to miss the preseason
WR Percy Harvin - Migraines - Returned to practice today
OT Steve Hutchinson - Probable to return Week 1

Nothing new with Favre.  This relationship is the most blatant case of unsportsmanlike abuse between franchise and player ever witnessed.  They're using each other to win and forget everyone else.  Rice's hip injury has lingered a little too long that it has made me dubious of him making it through the year.  Harvin returned today...let's hope it was really about losing his grandmother.  Hutchinson is still among the best linemen in the league.  Favre needs his blind side protected, even with that quick release.

DE Ty Warren - Hip - IR Out for the year
WR Torry Holt - Knee - IR Out for the year
OT Nick Kaczur - Back - Might miss the entire season

The Patriots don't look at the loss of veteran tackle Kaczur lightly, and neither should you.  He was suppose to play LG this year, due to Logan Mankins holdout.  This could force the Patriots hand to get Mankins signed.  Torry Holt down, Julian Edelman's stock up!

RB Lynell Hamilton - Knee - IR Out for the year
DB Darren Sharper - Knee - Will miss preseason
LB Clint Ingram - Knee - Will miss preseason

The discussion about Pierre Thomas persists.  Where do you draft him?  I wouldn't be surprised to see New Orleans add someone like Brian Westbrook.  And I do think Reggie Bush will get some goal line carries and see more rushing duties.

WR Steve Smith - Groin - Will miss a few weeks
TE Kevin Boss - Hammy - Will miss a few weeks
WR/RS Domenik Hixon - Knee - IR Out for the season

Never like hearing groin and 'tweak' in the same sentence because a tweak always tries to make a bad pull or minor tear sound OK.  And the Giants lose their return specialist, fourth wideout in Hixon.

QB Charlie Fry - Hand - No timetable
RB Darren McFadden - Hamstring, Day to day
WR Chaz Schilens - Foot - Limited in camp

"I guess they just want to find out some more about what's going on in there because I can't throw a football," Frye said. 

No offense Charlie, but we weren't sure you could throw a football when your hand worked.  McFadden will find himself soon losing out to Michael Bush if he doesn't get it into gear, and Schilens seems to be another Deion Branch, perennially hurt.

RB Mike Bell - Calf - Questionable

Surprise, surprise, Bell is injured.  If McCoy can avoid becoming Brian Westbrook Part Deux in the injury department, he should provide huge numbers.

WR Limas Sweed - Achilles - IR Out for the season
OG Willie Colon - Achillies - IR Out for the season

Sweed's hands were really the problem, which is amazing considering he snagged everything at Texas.  The Steelers losing an offensive lineman continues to prolong the agony that has been their front five.  Maurkice Pouncey will hopefully develop quickly.

WR Michael Crabtree - Neck - listed day-to-day but likely out until Week 3 of preseason.
OG Eric Heitmann - Fracture Left Leg.  Out 6-8 weeks.  Might return Week 2.

They lose Glen Coffee to the Lord and now an interior lineman, and Michael Crabtree is struggling.  Singletary certainly has his work cut out for him.  While writing this, Brian Westbrook lands with the 49ers. Oh well, Anthony Dixon, life was good for a few days eh?

WR Stafan Johnson - Ankle - IR Out for the season
DB Cortland Finnegan - Groin - Out for a few preseason games

Stafan Johnson can't get a break....well he did get a break, in his ankle.  Unfortunately, he'll miss the season.  Tennessee needs Finnegan as he can be a shutdown corner when he's healthy.

WR Malcolm Kelly - Hammy - Day to day
OT Mike Williams - Blood Clots - Out for the season

Keep an eye on Devin Thomas.  McNabb's still has the ability to hurl the rock and someone has to step up opposite the streaky Santana Moss.

The injury onslaught has been ridiculous, particularly at the RB position.  Seeing as how these guys are training all year round now, I'm beginning to pose the question, how much training is too much?  Sure, the game has gotten bigger and faster, but the guys skipping training camp, Brett Favre, seem to do much better.  More to come on this in the future. 

In the meantime, follow the advice Scott Engel and I preached -- wait as long as you can for your draft.  The team you save may be your own.