Sports Goggles

Archive for May 2007

Again: Kobe Bryant and the Snakes Who Fill His Life

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kobe.jpgOn March 27 I originally posted the following report. With the recent Kobe Bryant explosion of comments on the state of the Lakers and more importantly, the truth about the Shaquille O’Neal trade, I am reposting the piece. As it turns out, it was and is the first piece to shed light on what we are hearing and seeing today of the Los Angeles Lakers organization, from Bryant’s perspective, which just today was corroborated by O’Neal in a Stephen A. Smith Philadelphia Inquirer report.

I must say, many people disbelieved my assessment of the behind closed doors happenings surround Bryant: that Jackson and O’Neal, partially on behalf of Jerry Buss and partially out of self-preservation, banded together and savaged Bryant.

Perhaps, with the most recent news surrounding the events of the last three years of Lakers dealings, including ESPN’s Tim Legler stating unequivocally on the ESPN Mike and Mike radio show this morning, “I have no doubt that Kobe is telling the truth,” (concerning Bryant’s retelling of Lakers owner Jerry Buss’ disparaging  comments about O’Neal and the “how” of the O’Neal trade) some readers may have a different view or come to a different understanding of who manipulated the reshaping the Lakers team and why Bryant was cast in the role of villain.


Kobe Bryant.If you just typed “Yes?” “No”? next to the man’s name there’s more than a 50-50 chance a firestorm of comments would ensue. A seven-game Lakers losing streak results in I told you so laughter from those who despise Bryant. A five-game streak of 40 points or more by Bryant accompanied by a five-game Lakers winning streak and those who laughed at the losing streak laugh even harder and claim that Bryant is the most selfish basketball player on the planet.

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Written by dwil

May 30, 2007 at 11:53 am

San Antonio-Utah Game 4: The Spurs Escape the Bushes

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okurmanu.jpgJust a few observations on Game 4…. San Antonio played as a championship team does in a key game. They shut down everyone other than Deron Williams. And the Jazz predictably imploded. Jerry Sloan’s anger is perhaps the only thing that keeps him from inclusion on the league’s all-time very best coaches list. Gregg Popovich, on the other hand refused to excoriate the referees and his players followed suit. While the Spurs attended to business, the Jazz players went crazy. Sure the Spurs attempted 41 free throws to the Jazz’s 20, two in the fourth quarter. But you shoot jumpers, you get get to the charity stripe.

In the first quarter Boozer and Derek Fisher were the recipient of one questionable foul apiece. Each player, in frustration, committed a near flagrant second foul; both spent the remainder of the first quarter on the bench.

The Jazz fans were, well, Bush League. On three separate occasions they littered the court with debris. On two occasions they filled the airwaves with curse-laden tirades directed at the officials. By game’s end they were throwing so much debris on the floor that Popovich would not allow Manu Ginobili or Tim Duncan to be interviewed on the court.

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Written by dwil

May 29, 2007 at 4:52 am

Posted in Uncategorized

OTL on Vick: Truth Is In the Voice of the Mic Holder

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bullterrior.jpgFar be it for me to criticize the amount of work put in to present Sunday’s Outside the Lines report of dog fighting. But. I do have some valid concerns about Kelly Naqi’s story, Bob Ley’s apparent naiveté and Dave Zirin and Scoop Jackson’s misinformation concerning various aspects of the otherwise very valid points concerning issues they presented.


ESPN’s Kelli Naqi interviewed an “informer”; the guy with the shadowed face and equalizer-altered voice who tells all. This particular informer who told Naqi the lurid story about Michael Vick the dog fighter and Michael Vick the dog fighting bettor. According to the informer his dog squared off against Vick’s dog in 2000 saying:

“He’s a pit bull fighter. He’s one of the ones that they call ‘the big boys’: that’s who bets a large dollar. And they have the money to bet large money. As I’m talking about large money — $30,000 to $40,000 — even higher. He’s one of the heavyweights.”

In the year 2000. While a student-athlete at Virginia Tech. Dog fighting. “30,000-$40,000.”

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Written by dwil

May 28, 2007 at 8:03 am

Posted in NFL

Rosie and Elisabeth Hasselbeck Wish You a Happy Memorial Day

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This is Memorial Day Weekend. Though the holiday’s is “officially” attributed to Waterloo, New York, May 5, 1866 it was first derived and observed by freed slaves in 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina (not that far from where the first black slaves were brought to this country) after the Civil War. The celebration and march was held by freed slaves and joined by Union troops.

What was “Decoration Day” became known as Memorial Day in 1882, but was not renamed nationwide as Memorial Day until after World War II. It was made a national holiday by President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1967.

So, with other contributors to TSF doing their thing on the long weekend, some working on projects for next week, some in personal reflection, and some with fam, I want to write this intro and present some vids.

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Written by dwil

May 26, 2007 at 11:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Spotes Notes 5.25.07: Kevin Pritchard is Smart; Bengal-Mania; Mr. Craptastic; Frankly Speaking; Vick Case Takes an Interweb Turn; A Tour Doping Admission; More Bengals Profiling News – The Miseducation of Jemele Hill

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odensex.jpgSpotes” = Sports, as in, “AYo, you play spotes – whaddayou play?”

“I play cricket myself.”


The Light Bulb Just Went Off in Portland

Kevin Pritchard is trying to do what?! According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the mad GM of Portland is working avidly on a masterstroke deal. Pritchard want to take Ohio State center Greg Oden (pictured at right: is this what “one and done” means?) with the first pick. Then he wants to package mercurial power forward Zach Randolph and point guard Jarrett for another high lottery pick and with that pick take Oden’s best friend Buckeyes point guard Mike Conley, Jr.:

“…the discussion is under way, a source close to the team and Oden said Wednesday night, about trading into the top of the lottery for a second draft pick to secure the franchise center’s personal point guard. It would be a brilliant, bold stroke for the Blazers G.M., and here’s the thing: Pritchard has the parts and the imagination to make it happen…

Oden and Conley have been together through AAU and high school ball in Indiana and a Final Four season at Ohio State. Before they even won the lottery Tuesday, the Blazers had done enough research on Oden to understand that to get the most out of this mild-mannered Midwestern prodigy he needs to be comfortable.

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Written by dwil

May 25, 2007 at 5:16 pm

Posted in NFL, Roger Goodell

Update 2: No Evidence to Link Michael Vick to Dog Fighting; Plus, an Interview with John Goodwin of the Humane Society

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vickhouse1.jpgIt turns out there may be no fire. It turns out the smoke was created by external forces hoping to create a blaze in which Michael Vick and to a lesser degree Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Gerald F. Poindexter became trapped.

And it turns out that patience truly is a virtue.

After the talking-to’s by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, after the accusations hurled from every corner of the press and from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), it appears that Michael Vick is innocent, after all. Rather than cave into mounting pressure from the Humane Society and from all corners of the press, Surry County prosecutor (Virginia Commonwealth Attorney) Gerald Poindexter waited until all the evidence surrounding the house bought by Michael Vick for his cousin Davon Boddie to come in before judging the innocence or guilt of Vick.

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Written by dwil

May 24, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Posted in NFL, Roger Goodell

Update: No Evidence to Link Vick to Dog Fighting

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vickhouse1.jpgIt is being reported in the Virginian -Pilot newspaper that  Surry County Commonwealth Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter said that investigators lack the evidence to link Michael Vick to dog fighting:

Gerald G. Poindexter said Wednesday that investigators still lack solid evidence linking Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick – or anybody, for that matter – to dog fighting….

“I know everybody is saying, ‘When are those fools in Surry County going to get up off their butts and do something?’ ” Poindexter said. “But what are we going to do?”

He said there are no eyewitnesses to say there was dog fighting at the property. Until the search was conducted, the house was occupied by Vick’s cousin, and Vick has said he was rarely there. Vick, a Newport News native and star player at Virginia Tech, has since sold the home on rural Moonlight Road for about half of its market value.

More to come…

Written by dwil

May 24, 2007 at 5:07 pm

Posted in NFL

Spotes Notes, 5.23.07: Elijah Dukes – ‘Calling Gary Sheffield’; Keyshawn; Roy Hibbert is a Hoya; Joe Pa is Nice; Giambino Gets Pimp-Slapped; Chris Henry Is Clean

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elijahd.jpgSpotes” = Sports, as in, “AYo, you play spotes – whaddayou play?”
“I play cricket myself.”


Elijah Means, “the Lord is my god”

What’s up with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays young players? First there’s OF Delmon Young throwing a bat at an umpire in the minors last year. Now, there’s 22-year old Elijah Dukes busting into his wife’s middle school classroom and threatening her life with what will surely become an infamous statement:

“You dead, dawg. I ain’t even bullshittin’. Your kids, too.”

This isn’t the first time for this kind of behavior for Dukes. Twice in April Dukes’ wife filed requests for protection against him.

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Written by dwil

May 24, 2007 at 2:33 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Untangling Michael Vick from the Dogs

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vick.jpgI give you one of my tennis rackets. You go to the tennis courts to play against another player. You’re playing horribly. At one point during your match with the other player you totally freak out, smash my racket. In the process you destroy a chair and a bench, and then you take the tennis racket and attempt to throw it over the fence. Unfortunately for you the racket slips out of your hand and it hits the other player, breaking his nose.

A reporter sees you and gets on her celly and calls the police. The police arrive about the same time the ambulance does. The other player is taken to the hospital, but first tells the police that, yes you went nuts, but didn’t mean to hit him in the nose. The reporter, though, says you not only went crazy on the property but purposely hit your playing partner. In the process of questioning you, you tell the police I gave you the racket: they take down my address. The reporter overhears all of this.

About 30 minutes later I’m leaving my house to do some grocery shopping. I’m met outside on the sidewalk by three police cars and five policemen. They want to question me about you. Why? Something about you and a tennis racket and a guy with a broken nose.

Three days later on the 6 o’clock local news the reporter is breathlessly reporting the tennis court incident and demanding that the police investigate and arrest me.


She says that while investigating a local story about a man – you – she saw go crazy on a tennis court she found that the tennis racket belonged to me. She also found that I took the racket to a shop and had it restrung three times.

She breathlessly tells the television audience that it was actually the strings that caused your playing partner to have a broken nose and that I am ultimately responsible for the damage on the tennis court caused by you because the tennis racket was originally mine.

That is the story of Mary Kay Mallonee of Norfolk’s WAVY TV. But more importantly, this is the Michael Vick dog fighting story in a nutshell.


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Written by dwil

May 23, 2007 at 3:42 am

Scoop Jackson: Vantage Point

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scoop2.jpgThis is very long, so let’s get right to it. This is a candid conversation about issues that pain Blacks in sports as well as society. You may have a broad range of emotions when reading this piece. Some of it may anger you, yet in the end this piece can become a catalyst for meaningful solutions to the problem of race relations. These types of conversations need to be inclusive of all races to stimulate progressive change. For all of you who say that we shouldn’t be so political because this is a sports-based site, The Starting Five gives you reality. This is our vantage point. The videos are embedded to give a perspective of my (Michael Tillery) perception of Hip Hop and how it’s presently perceived. We are at a time and age where everything is cross referenced and hard to separate. Sports and Hip Hop mirror society and shouldn’t be judged any differently than culture, Hollywood, politics or anything else that shapes us. Personal interest perception reigns and that, America, needs to desperately change.

Scoop is somewhat of a polarizing entity in journalism. Not personally, but the way he’s perceived. He’s the perfect candidate for an interview such as this. Dwil and I hope people read the whole piece and then try to formulate their total thoughts on the purpose of the interview. We hope you enjoy the read and please be honest in your comments–regardless of their nature. (note: a large portion of the initial conference call interview was rendered inaudible and we’re all sorry about that. However, viewing the interview as it stands, we can’t imagine what the interview would look like length-wise with that initial two hours of conversation edited and included here.) Peace – Mizzo, DWil.


DW: You are from Chicago, correct?

SJ: Yes, Southside of Chicago, born and raised. I don’t plan on going anywhere.

DW: Discuss your early maturation from college into journalism.

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Written by dwil

May 22, 2007 at 12:32 pm

Posted in Uncategorized