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In defense of Bill Simmons

I’m going to talk about sports, but only sort of. This really isn’t about sports as much as it is about the role of journalists in the age of digital media and social media. Bill Simmons got suspended this week for nothing more than doing what we will be getting back to doing here in October (WDDIJcast and The Wrath of Ruthless have been on vacation due to …well due to needing a production break honestly). He spoke his mind on his own podcast about the situation, and used the circumstantial evidence including the very public stature of the NFL to come to the reasonable conclusion Roger Goodell is lying his ass off about the Ray Rice video.

Here’s what he said: [soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/169016474″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”150″ iframe=”true” /]

Now, does that sound like this was his opinion? Or does that sound like he was making a legal conclusion? Sounds like opinion right? Exactly. This is Simmons non-ESPN podcast. But the power fo the NFL caused ESPN to change tactics on 2 separate things. What’s that? What else did they do? Well they went from supporting their guy, to offering him up to the altar of NFL. Take a look below.

 


What you see there in the highlighted section is a direct reference to Simmons comments, not long before they decide to suspend him from all ESPN work for 3 weeks. Now I’m not going to throw Stephen A. Smith under a bus but he got 1 week for just positing that women should be careful of provocation in general. Hell Michelle Beadle even publicly derided him for the comments the same day on air on ESPN. But somehow calling Goodell a liar, based on what information Simmons has, on his podcast, is worth a 3 week suspension. Bullshit.

And I’ll tell you why its bullshit. Because Roger Goodell isn’t an NFL player. He isn’t an NFL owner. He’s supposed to be the voice of reason and authority in the NFL and supposed to be a neutral arbiter of the rules and punishments based on those rules. The very idea he might have swept this under the rug is worth investigating further. The idea he might actually be more corrupt than Paul Tagliabue And in the face of what all we know, despite the spin ESPN is doing literally right now on First Take and The Herd, Bill Simmons cannot be the only one who thinks he is lying.

SO why suspend him? ESPN brought back constantly controversial Keith Olberman who just recently took aim at all the hyperbolic exuberance and celebration of Derek Jeter. They’ve let columnists come back after all kinds of incidents in recent time (Dan Lebatard I’m looking at you). But above all what message does this send? It says that if you say bad words about the NFL, ESPN will defend the league over your ability to give your opinion on an opinion based medium. No wonder Jason Whitlock’s “black Grantland” isn’t up and running. No wonder a certain former ESPN face is still inexplicably on NBC Sports Network.

Because if you say anything that might make them mad you’re out for almost a month. Put this in perspective. You can talk about the NBA, MLB, or make crazy disrespectful statements about futbol aka Soccer live on THE SPORTS REPORTERS but nope, say a bad thing about how shittly Gooddell has handled this matter, and imply based on everything the entire public knows, that Gooddell is *SHOCKER* lying to coverup how little the league gave a shit one of their stars gave his fiance a Mayweather piece in full view of a camera, and you have to sit in time out and not get paid. We come to reporters like Simmons to give opinion. If I’m listening to a podcast, I don’t expect to hear the same things I hear on ESPN shows. If I wanted that, I’D WATCH THE ESPN SHOW!

But this is scary for the average person. Not because Simmons is some everyman held down by corporate power. But because this is similar to how the 24 hour news networks roll. Fox News has an agenda. And anytime their hosts and contributors get out of that agenda they are mysteriously off air with replacements until they are back on message. MSNBC has an agenda and quite famously when Olberman, and of course Cenk Uyger deviated into something not the same as their agenda they were gone.

Sports should be the one area where there isn’t an agenda other than sports. And perhaps the constant conflict of interest that ESPN has by being so intertwined with the NFL is turning the objective nature of Sports into the agenda that Gooddell and the league has of “Protect the Shield.” I just expected better of the so-called World Wide Leader in Sports. #FreeBillSimmons I’d say more but I don’t want to be banned from the internet by the NFL and well…WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE!

 

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Weddings, Reunions, Dental vists, and SHAKE UPS!

So you may have noticed someone has been missing a lot lately. You may have even noticed when he goes missing he doesn’t always explain why. Well…yeah no real explanation, sorry for that.

 

In other news I have been gone meeting old friends, getting massive dental work, and being best man in a wedding. Shout out to Superfans Chris and Ania Moncrief(aka Superman and Lois Lane) who celebrated their love in the classiest of weddings this past weekend.

 

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

You crashed both the wrong and the right wedding.

But that Shakeup word is here again for good reason. 

 

Things are about to get interesting. Not only has WDDIJ been dealing with the …well Hilarious nature of advertising negotiations, but as you may have noticed we’ve lost a few authors. These things are not points to worry over. Trust me. In fact, the very way you view WDDIJ is about to change for the better.

 

In a short explanation, we’re doing an overhaul.

Why?

Because at 5500 views, we are little less than halfway to the year two viewership goal, and its only been 3 months.

In short, I’ve been short sighted.

 

To remedy that, I had to get to work.

And believe you me, the work is paying off.

Launching this fall is our interview series “Imperial Dreams”

Launching sooner rather than later this summer is a new format to the website

And Look for some shake ups in the staff as well.

Nothing drastic folks, but we want you to have a great experience.

And we want you to come to us for more of your daily content.

SO we need to be a place you want to come to.

And since I’ve been slacking on that. It is time to pick up the pace.

Of course I could tell you so much more, but as you know…

WORDS DON’T DO IT JUSTICE!

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Entertainment and You

Entertainment and You

Is entertainment a form of control used to keep us dumb? First let me say ‘get that tone out of your voice’. This is not a conspiracy theory that I’m stating here, though really i could see how it would all tie into the evil plot used by those shadow organizations to keep the masses in line. No what i’m suggesting is something simpler, but the meaning carries the same weight, if not heavier. Take a list of your favorite TV shows, the ones that you watch faithfully. The ones that you record, watch on NETFLIX, HULU and random streams all across the net. Now add up the ‘time’. You’d be surprised how much of your ‘time’ (if your like some people i know) is being wasted on programs that hold absolutely no real significant meaning in your life.

Everyday i boot up a game and play it for a couple of hours. None of these games have taught me much of anything. The argument for hand eye coordination might be valid, but there have to be more physically demanding ways to improve such a thing without slouching on a couch yelling at  people over a tiny microphone. But still i do it. Still i sit and play my games, marveling at the story, the graphics and maybe even the gameplay when i find something interesting enough. But that does not change my opinion of this subject, out entertainment comes at a heavier price than money.

Perhaps i am being too harsh on such things, maybe just a little too tightly wound for my own good so I’ll elaborate my opinion.

Bioshock. Now there was a game worth its salt. The story was solid, the gameplay had a small but potent twist on first person shooters and the world was vibrant enough to such you in with wonderfully dark character themes. I would dare say that out of all the games i can remember playing; Bioshock was by far one of the best when it came to story….well at least with FPS types. But what did i get out of the disc? Have i gained any knowledge that would benefit me? I didn’t burn enough calories to warrant sitting on my but for a good six hours. I didn’t earn any sort of real achievements  (XBOX Achievements don’t count). The sense of accomplishment was minimal, it wasn’t like i did something that made me better than before, nor was it a task rumored to be impossible. Infact, the whole point of playing the game, of making the game, is so that you can hear/experience the story. Failure in that regard will never be the end result unless you simply give up. Could you imagine the game with no checkpoints, no do overs, and no redemption feature? The chances of success would be so small that only a few would reach the goal, and that my friend would not do for the companies.

So here are the pros of playing and beating Bioshock, at least the pros that carry over into the real world. You witnessed a stimulating story that sparked a small part of your creativity, and now have been introduced into a concept you might not have ever thought possible before. Pro, you’re problem solving skills are still sharp. Nothing else matters. Not the difficulty (unless it effects the ending in a drastic way), not the completion rate(again unless it effects the story), and definitely not the in game achievements. So with three pros we naturally move onto the cons.

Now i can’t say that these cons are the same for everyone, that truly depends on you (just like the pros i suppose) but this is based off of me, so I’ll just use my own list. Con, i just gained excess fat from not burning the calories necessary for the food and drink I’ve consumed. Con, my eyes are just that much more stressed from staring into a screen for a prolonged period of time. Con, i gained no relevant knowledge that will serve me well in my day to day situations. Con, i believe that I’ve simply wasted what is perceived as time.

There could be more cons, and arguably more pros, but i don’t believe the pros will ever outweigh the cons. Sometimes, i understand, entertainment is needed in order to deal with the stress of life. Perhaps the true enemy here is over indulgence, a trait it seems most Americans share. If we limited the time we took to play around in our hobbies or stress reducers we could more than likely live with a better sense of balance. Like all things it seems, balance is the key to true happiness. Take some time and think about it, yea?

Flatlines, Fun times, and The Rebirth of Cool

Really quick, I want to say our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by the severe storms and tornadoes that have ravaged the midwest. Specifically Oklahoma recently, and especially those who have lost friends and loved ones. Words Don’t Do It Justice is just a blog, but our hearts go out to you.

So I was away for a bit there. A long bit. I’d tell you we had a ton of traffic while I was out, but that’s a lie. Basically, I’ve been moving and unloading and starting up the study time for the bar. But I’m not alone around here at WDDIJ and Ronin and our guest bloggers have really been picking it up while I’ve focused on the chaotic bits of leaving Orlando and Graduation. Thanks for all the well wishes, and requests that I do not leave Orangeland. I wanted to address those before I get into a topic today. I know I know you miss my actual topics. Well I’m back to them after I stop this stalling of an introduction. Yeah, yeah, get on with it.

So why is the rebirth of cool in the title here? That’s the point today. I was writing a post that I decided not to publish on Chris Brown’s Fine China and its impact on R&B culture as both a song and video and Justin Timberlake’s Suit & Tie came on in that beer commercial. Oddly enough that was followed by the folks at What The Flick doing the review of The Great Gatsby. And some other less important things followed. But what was staring me in the face was the idea that we just might be coming into the return of classic cool.

Here’s what I mean. For whatever you think about hipsters they, like folks like myself have an unnatural love of the fedora. It may be the one thing they don’t annoy me with. Mad Men is still somehow going strong in its 6th season. Add that to the above mentioned stuff, as well as flicks like trance and hell why not toss in THE Ruthless Wonder’s return to KC to add to the mix and you have the rumblings of the more adult cool kids like me grew up seeing.

Now I’m not saying everyone is about to start sounding like we are extras in Casablanca and the Maltese Falcon. Pump ya breaks youngin. I’m saying there seems to be a backlash against the more juvenile swag, in favor of cool. These two things are not the same. Swag does shots of Ciroc while Cool has Bourbon. But that is no reason to hate Swag for being what it is. No, instead I’m saying it seems acceptable to be publicly cool again.

You just couldn’t be reserved, calm, fashionable yet not exactly trendy a while back. Heck not even recently to a certain point. Think about your wardrobe. Think about where you dine out. Think about your own mentality. For a while if you were between 18 and 40 and wanted to go out at all you were Turnt up/wavy/faded/whatever you like. It was the minority of people doing upscale evenings in classy fashion. Professional or not, all races, both genders, and anyone who might possibly be young enough to get in a club. It was pounding music, pounding drinks, and what have you.

And I hate to say this but we owe the ability to separate when we get that wild versus when we want to just kick back chill and look awesome to the oft maligned Bobby Bottle Service.  BBS made it possibly for you to look distinctly cool by getting over priced bottles(seriously I paid 200 for a Ciroc bottle that we all know is under 25 at a liquor store, but F it. GRADUATION!) and having a place to sit and look important. And while many a douchebag gym rat/”promoter”/”rapper”/”local celebrity”/dude tricking off to impress some woman out of his league/guys trying to live the dream above their means/…recent Law graduates have clearly embraced it making any place to stand and chill or sit and chill for a moment at a club cost some kind of premium, they have made it cool to not pack the dance floor so hard whether you can dance or not, that dancing equates to bump, “sorry man,” grind chick, slightly move arms, bump, “sorry man,” hand in air, bump, “sorry man” on repeat.

You can in fact call ahead most places buy a couple of bottles(shouts to the friends who don’t make me pay full price), have a table reserved, and then walk in through the velvet rope look cool and chill the whole night. maybe dance a bit and sing a long. Invite that Blonde Bombshell or Caramel Cutie over to your table to join you and the fellas with her friends and let’s face it. That’s cool. It was cool when you could do that in the 80’s, it was cool in the 70’s it was cool really at all points but it was such a minority of the party going public that did/could do it. Now I’m going to save the molly popping and raving and the European vacation stuff for another post but public Cool is back. Because I dare you to try to do that in a t-shirt and shorts with some J’s on. In any city, in any state. Yeah, thought so. Bobby Bottle Service has helped force us all to bring back a much more cool sense of style. And musically…let me save that for another day.

I’m just happy about it folks. And my JD. And coming back to the Almighty 816, but still got love for the 913. This may be the last happy post for a bit from your favorite super villain. But no more WDDIJ flatlines. I promise. Stay tuned for big news from us as well. And yes I will keep blogging through bar prep. This is my break time from studying.

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Ruthless Grab Bag

So today’s post is going up later than usual. Blame it on the celebration after my last final exam at any school anywhere. Today is going to be shorter but I’m going to cover a few things. First up is not Jason Collins.

I write poetry as a hobby/outlet and have for about 20 plus years at this point(I have never felt older than that sentence). One of the themes I always have liked and at some point started making more of an abstract unreal thing versus my personal emotion on paper is the post breakup feeling. From time to time I’ll repeat that inspiration is for suckers. I can’t take credit for that ruthless line, a poet who visited a class I took said it. But I use it to mean that I don’t have to use my life as the background for what I create. So when I first heard Ray J’s “I Hit It First” live on The Breakfast Club I was laughing like everyone else.  It was easy to make fun of, and I assumed it leaked, or was a parody, or it would just go away. When I saw the video though I had to get a hold of Roddi to make sure it was real.

What possesses men to do this? What leads us down this inexorable path of idiocy? I’m not certain. But it does create an interesting question from here. Is this the new ex boyfriend theme song? I think it just might be. It is just stupid enough to not be quickly forgotten. When that I hit I hit I hit I hit section of the hook comes it you are disgusted with yourself for listening and also want to join in. The song is dangerous. It must be stopped. But on a more serious note what does this say about R&B culture right now? I’ll save my I miss the 90’s music rant for some point after Roddi gets up and running. Feel free to bug him on Facebook about it. But I tend to think that only in our current climate of R&B could this have happened. I’m not going to say I wouldn’t have expected this out of Ray J, Look at his previous songs. But that he could release it now and not get laughed out of every radio station and in every part of media for it says something. I just don’t know what.

 

Second topic isn’t Jason Collins either

I was reflecting and writing the other night. Thinking about how certain people can’t evolve passed certain things about them. Me included of course. And I couldn’t really put it into words. It was at that moment that I happened on the news report of a woman who drove an hour to pick up a guy who had random sent her a text message. She didn’t know him. He just said his name was DJ. She and he had sent a few messages and bam she came to get him on a street corner and they went to the beach. After which he carjacked her at gunpoint. Now they caught him so no worries about a tragic end to the story. But when the TV news crew was interviewing her she said I wasn’t thinking about doing anything with him. Yes she meant that in the no sex fashion.

Now I’m not about to get up here and slut shame some woman who just got carjacked in Florida when I’ve just finished law school. That’s piling on and against my general Rules of Ruthlessness(In stores 4th quarter 2015). My problem with this story is “WHO DOES THAT?” I know I wrote that in caps but this was appallingly stupid to me. She got a random message. Not a message from a friend of a friend. A message from a random dude who was nowhere near where she lived. This wasn’t a Facebook message, not an email from Plenty of Fish, OK cupid, Match, or E Harmony. This was a regular old in your phone text message from a guy who later called himself DJ. I don’t know too many guys with just DJ as a first name. Based on the strength of these messages she drove over an hour to pick this broke dude with no car to hang out? Why does that even begin to seem logical? Why is it even sound correct? Why wasn’t her internal mental faculty screaming at her to not do this, turn the car around, have a friend come with her, go do something else? Well I can say that “The Thirst” would be a good explanation, but she says it was. Instead she’s an absolute grade A idiot. And an idiot who’s lucky to be alive and not being used as material for the next CSI: Miami. I can already hear Caruso saying “Looks like she had a long strange trip.” *que sunglasses*  YEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

 

Guess this means the last one is Jason Collins huh?

So I did want to stop and get in on the Jason Collins bit. I think it is difficult to come right out and say anything about your personal life that seems out of the norm. Especially in sports. I will be surprised if any athlete ever comes out as being a submissive for a dominatrix. But I digress. Collins is a non-spectacular but solid contributing player. It might best be said he needed to be the one who did it first. He takes pressure off of any star player who might be in the same situation. But this could have gone far worse than it did. I think I was surprised that some much of the talk went to his game and talent on the court as opposed to his lifestyle. But another factor does weigh in there. Jason Collins was never a personality in the NBA. He did his thing on the court, and didn’t get crazy out in public. Being an upstanding journeyman player helped make this easier.

What do I mean? Well let’s say we have a situation where a player is seen as a troublesome presence. To not make it seem like any particular player let’s say we have a star athlete who is seen in strip clubs and hip hop parties. Hosts massive celebrations for his birthday. Isn’t the best talent in the league but lives like Lebron on a much more reduced salary and endorsement deals. Now say all of this was a smoke screen to make you think he’s out here hooking up with new women all the time. When the reality is his agent’s assistant or his PR guy is really his lover. If that fictitious down low guy came out and said I’m gay, even now, it would be shocking. Every single paper in the US would cover it. There would be massive amounts of public support and hate. He would be mobbed everywhere by reporters. But that is because the lifestyle wasn’t one that said he was anything other than just another sex crazed, party hard, money wasting, star athlete. Jason Collins isn’t that. And I hope he gets picked up for a new team in the off-season. I don’t believe people in today’s society should have to do the kinds of things for their personal life the way Jackie Robinson had to for being black. Your personal life is your personal life. Unless I want to be apart of it, it isn’t my place to judge, or keep you from it. But if you are going to have an ambassador for gay basketball players then he seems like a good candidate. Professional, humble, honest, and no big character flaws. Maybe it would be better if he was more successful, but like I said. I think that is the thing that has helped make this go so smoothly.

 

Hope you enjoyed the Ruthless Grab Bag. Don’t know when I’ll do it again. Tomorrow look for Ronin’s return. Until then I have packing and celebrating to do. I’d tell you what kind of celebrations were planned but Words Don’t Do It Justice!

 

– THE Ruthless Wonder

Martin, Malcolm, and Jackie

42

That title isn’t a cheeky attempt to rewrite the important parts of history. Nor is this about making sports accomplishments be on par with social justice. I could write about these things. I could explain why Jackie Robinson is a big a forebearer for the civil rights movement as Medgar Evers and W.E.B. Dubois. But I’m not here to do that today. I picked that title up there for one reason. That was how I grew up. One of the things I talk about most from my childhood is my Parents and how their focus on things like school and reading and truly knowing information made me who and how I am today. There would be no Ruthless Wonder to bring to you if reading and understanding what I read wasn’t as important as it was. What I don’t often talk about is how they chose to present certain topics to me. Considering their upbringings, there wasn’t the all consuming wish to teach me the Civil Rights movement from the angered, militant, Africa first perspective. As far as I can remember Dad really only talked about things briefly when he and my aunt were growing up. And Mom barely had any major issues for being the first black graduate when Missouri Southern became a 4 year school and coming up to KC to teach right after the riot.

Where my parents were concerned I got the important bits, got to look deeper to find more when I chose. And at times there were things like I remember on a day he had off Dad took me to see Malcom X because it was so important. Mom and I saw things like Rosewood. And I remember vaguely watching most of Roots as a kid as a family. It didn’t make sense then but it made sense as I got older what they focused on. I got to meet a ton of black history. Whenever they could pull it off I met someone who was somebody. Nowhere was that more impressive than getting to meet tons of ex Negro leagues baseball players. I grew up with Aunt Barbara and Uncle “Woody” Smallwood in my life as much my Godparents and my actual aunts and uncles. I became fascinated with the negro leagues players even more so than current players. I met tons because of Dad and Uncle Woody. And so as not to forget anyone let me just say that by the time the Museum had moved into its current location I had met enough to have signed baseball cards, baseballs, posters, and I think there are a couple hats and t-shirts back at Mom’s house right now.

I’m a Kansas City kid for all intents and purposes so despite liking the look of the Birmingham Black Barons logo with its diamond topped cane, or the very cool look of the NY Black Yankees, or even my desire still to get a Josh Gibson Homestead Grays jersey, I am and was a KC Monarchs fan(Imagine that. A super villain likes something with the word Monarch in it). Which gets me to that 3rd man in the title. When I think about childhood heroes and civil rights I find myself thinking about those 3. Because honestly they shaped a lot of my opinion. So you may be asking how does Jackie Robinson fit in here? Because I’ve always felt I’ve taken something slightly different away from Jackie Robinson’s story than most people. In many ways my temperament is similar. True honest to goodness injustice and racism gets me into a mode to want to decimate the unworthy as it were. I have more than a few “confrontations” when the issues came up and I was younger. And their age didn’t matter. I’m pretty sure there is a former teacher who wishes he hadn’t spouted off his little theory in high school. But one of the things I pride myself on is being able to handle the slings and arrows when I was supposed to perform.

I’ve always attached to the idea that Branch Rickey had Jackie Robinson not respond to the racists and critics in the beginning. He knew and could appreciate that what he was doing was history in the making. But he also knew that there could be massive and credible Blowback should the initial debut be marred with controversy over Robinson’s response. Imagine if he’d taken a shot at any of the racists at the beginning. Those in opposition would have had all the fuel they needed to kick him out of the league and prove right their racist theories. But Robinson was keen and genius for accepting the idea. That in the end is the real test I thought. The idea wasn’t going on out and playing in the environment that is hostile. The idea wasn’t proving he had the skill to be in the league. The idea was do you possess the depth of character to turn back the vile, despicable masses foaming at the mouth to tear you limb from limb with nothing more than a tip of the cap, a smile, and a wave of the hand? That is profound and grand in nature. Something so much so that it became a major part of who I was and am very quickly and with little need to re-read his story over and over again.

So Friday I went to see 42. A long overdue tribute bio-pic on his story. And going into it I thought about the place Jackie Robinson holds in my pantheon of black political thought. Not because he used non-violent protests to make fundamental changes to American Society. Not because he defended the stake of black America in America by any means necessary. But because he was a reactionary figure who also knew how to hold it in and perform. How to put people in their collective place without laying a solitary finger or unkind word on them when the time was necessary to do so. Even before Martin and Malcom Jackie was both of them. And he played sports.

That brings me to the movie. Now I’m not even going to try and type something up that reaches the level of the film critics I enjoy. But there is something about this movie that may not really be apparent for people without a certain balance to their upbringing. The film is sweeping and epic. It tells a tale of Jackie Robinson worthy of ancient Khemet, Greece, and Rome’s heroes. A few things that aren’t really important, but made me happy were the amazing rendering of the classic ballparks and the accuracy on the Monarchs’ uniforms and hats. But the big thing I felt during 42 was the part that was missing. My parents. Granted it was possible but almost insanely  irresponsible to go home and see this with Mom. Dad on the other hand was impossible. They hit some great notes. The overwhelming nature of what the man was being asked to do coming to a head as he smashes apart his bat in the tunnel from the dugout. The towering shot he hits off the racist pitcher who caught him in the face earlier in the year.

But these notes are mere child’s play. 42 goes right for your heartstrings/feels/emotions/whatever you want to call them. You’ve seen the trailer where he is walking down the tunnel with the jump cuts and the bass slams. But the version you see on the big screen is so far from that. Same tunnel, same set up, but it’s a deliberate walk to slowly swelling music as the lighting makes you keenly aware of exactly how epic this moment is. And then the sound of his cleats hitting the steps as he walks out into the sun. Field of Dreams and The Natural seem like beer league by comparison. Now unless you’ve been mainlining KKK materials for the last 60 years you know how the story goes. And seriously why would you be on this blog if you were? But I think the film makers made a smart choice in cutting things off where they did. I know this gets a lot of criticism, but I think as a film concept it works so well because it is so tightly written, directed, and acted. And you couldn’t get that without extremely limiting how much you cover of his life much less his moment in history.

In the end this film is about a moment in history. A moment where good sense and our better intentions provided for a moment that you can point and say America lived up to the ideals we shout from the rooftops. I wouldn’t change much. Maybe some more Monarchs footage. Maybe some more on how Wendell Smith gets involved in the first place. Sidenote: Someone get Andre Holland more work. Dude was great. Anyway. I was a kid again for those few hours. If you’re a parent, especially a Dad take your son to this. If you love baseball go see this. If you want a moment or two where you can believe again that humanity can do great things go see this film. Close your small business for 3 hours and take the staff. Invite your church members or your favorite classmates. I realize I sound odd having such a reaction but I will admit that THE Ruthless Wonder got hit right in the feels by this one. Yup that’s the real end to this post. 42 did exactly what it is supposed to do. Covered exactly what you would expect it to cover. And if there was a flaw it was easy to toss away as “movie magic” instead of glaring inaccuracy. Go see it. I’m going to watch a bit of baseball today so I can see all the players wearing 42. Because when it comes down to it. Words Don’t Do It Justice.

42-movie

This blog brought to you by the Letters J and R and the number 42

–          THE Ruthless Wonder

I also want to point out you can contact the museum to visit or purchase from its store by clicking this link

6a00d8341c527353ef0115708ba385970b

And it is located at:

1616 E 18th St

Kansas City, MO 64108

(816) 221-1920

Weekend with Ruthless: Sports, Suits, Stupid Decisions, and Saldana

Image

There is a TV documentary that came out not so long ago that I love. Like I love watching myself as played by Gabriel Macht on Suits. I love it because of the wake-up call I fervently hope and pray it caused athletes, entertainers, and some friends and relatives of mine to have. That documentary is the ESPN 30 for 30 series entry “Broke,” and it can change lives. So when I first got a good look at Broke, I, like I’m sure most people who have seen it had some complex emotions. On the one hand the image of Andre Rison trying to sing as they talk about the money he owed for the record label he started was funny. And because as a Chiefs fan I remember when he was our friendly neighborhood Spiderman. But I also felt anger. And let me expound on that.

I didn’t hate Bad Moon Rison for blowing his money on that equipment, or for the other money he had wasted, or for leaving the woman he had an argument with inside his house so she could burn it up. [Sidenote: R.I.P. Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, we could use her in rap game right now.] No. I was mad because no one around him had any courage to tell him to do otherwise. No one was handling his affairs. No one was being the buffer zone between his agent and his wallet. And most certainly for a lot of that time no one had his back in legal matters. Now this post isn’t about to turn into “Why you need to hire my firm.” I’m not done with law school yet number one. And number two, we didn’t start this blog for job opportunities.

My issue with Rison and everyone else who is or was at times as deep in debt as I am with these law school loans was that despite their notoriety they didn’t get just one person to go to work vetting the people who handled things. You trust your agent because he’s your agent. Okay fine, but your agent shouldn’t handle your DUI case, or your businesses, or any of the matters that do not deal with negotiating with teams, the league, the player association, or your sponsors/endorsements. And on that last one your lawyer(who again should be someone else), should make sure any deal the agent does is actually doing what he is telling you.

Trust and loyalty is demanded in the blah blah blah, yeah I hear you. But the reality is once you hit a certain point in any arena, legal or not so much, you need someone making sure your mind isn’t too focused on thinking “I’M SO FREAKING AWESOME!!” to make the right decisions on the people around you. So while watching Broke, I see all of this at its most extreme. Froyo shops, car washes, paying the mortgages of  6 different people some friends, some family. Curt Schilling and his game studio are the only one I really felt sort of sorry for, and not all that much. Despite being glad he was feeding into my gamer habits, he should have had someone who wasn’t so in love with being in his circle that they could say “Are you sure you want to get in bed with the government? On a loan? For a Triple-A game release? Worth more than the studio itself?”

It also goes for the average person as well. How many people do you consider friends who honestly never give you an idea that is a good one? How often do you look up to find yourself dealing with personal fallout and you could have avoided it by listening to that friend who told you what you needed to hear but didn’t want to? Listening to the right person at the right time can lead to personal achievement goals being reached. The wrong info, from the yes men or women you left in your circle could leave you broke like the these guys.

Now I could be super cynical and say everyone needs a character like Louis Litt from Suits around, but let’s be realistic here. Everyone needs to take a breath and make an honest assessment of what they are about to do. Should I really spend $150 dollars on new gym clothes and a gym membership? Or should I just buy the gear and start doing things on my own before I take the leap? Should I toss more money at fixing my current money pit, heap of a car? Or should I go ahead and live a bit under my lifestyle and spend the money to get something that won’t break down every month like this one? I make 56k a year, should I live like it and have no chance for vacations and nights out? Or should I back it off a bit and live like I’m on a 35k budget and be able to drop everything for a weekend in Vegas?

I don’t pretend to know the answers for you personally. I am just a blogger after all. But every time Broke comes on I watch it. I watch it because I don’t want to have my personal success turn bad due to decisions I could have made otherwise. And because seriously, Andre RISON thought he could sing. That is event television people. Now if I could just get Zoe Saldana to hire me, I’d be able to work that Ruthless charm over some trial prep…lol maybe I’m the one dreaming too much.

–  THE Ruthless Wonder