Monday, January 31, 2005

Things I'd Like to See

Things I'd like to see happen before March 1...

1) See Jamie Foxx win an Oscar
2) See Morgan Freeman win an Oscar
3) See Don Cheadle win an Oscar
4) See Marty Scorcese win an Oscar
5) See Morehouse beat CAU...twice
6) Get my W2 in the mail
7) Hang out with Raj
8) A few Hawks games with the fellas
9) Know that JC, Antoy, Te'Iva and everyone else I know passes the bar
10) Syracuse say 'yes'
11) Georgia Tech go on a win streak
12) We win

Monday, January 24, 2005

The Aftermath of the Title Games

Okay, I was 1-1. I have no problem with that record. I was raised in Dallas, Tx. I'm a Dallas kid. I'm a Cowboys fan, a Mavs fan, a Rangers fan, a Stars fan. Having said that, I'm an NFC East fan, a Midwest Division fan, an AL West fan, etc.

I'm very happy that Philly is going to the Super Bowl for a few reasons...

1) I'm very proud for the owner of the Eagles, Jeff Lurie.
In the film Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise as the lead, greats Jeff Lurie, and Cruise says, "I hail you! I hail you!" Lurie responds, "Thanks, but we've got to win Super Bowls!" Since he bought the Eagles, that's what he's been trying to do for the fortunes of his own family as well as the wonderful fans of Philadelphia. And they finally did it. I wish Ray Rhodes could have done it, but it took Andy Reid and Donavan McNabb to do it, and hey it's finally here.

2) The Eagles are from the NFC East.
If you're gonna represent the Conference in the big show, you better be from my team's division. In other words, if you beat us, then you better win it all. It is my sincerest hope that they do win it all in a thrilling way.

3) Donavan McNabb
In a game that pitted two African American quarterbacks squaring off for the first time in NFL history in a championship round of the playoffs, McNabb was simply the better man. He was cool, calm, poised, and truly a champion. Mike Vick will be that way one day. It will happen sooner than thought in Atlanta. I watched this happen in Dallas in the 90's. You field teams that you think will go all the way, and they don't do it until it's their time. That phenomenon just happened in Philly, and now it's going to happen in Atlanta. I'm sure the Falcons are the odds on fave to represent the conference in Super Bowl XL, and why not?

4) Black quarterback in the Super Bowl...
They never disappoint. It's only happened twice, Doug Williams in a win, and Steve McNair in a dazzling loss, but when it happens, the Brothers show up to play, and February 6th, should be no exception.

I'm also happy that Atlanta lost because they needed that. It's good to lose sometimes. It's good to be exposed and see what it is that you should improve on. It's good to know the feeling and taste of blood in your mouth, so that you as a team, absolutely know that you never, ever want that feeling again. Ask Philly how it feels.

I have no comments on the AFC side. The Pats were just AWESOME. Nothing needs to be said, because it will do them no justice, whatsoever.

Friday, January 21, 2005

My Friday Thoughts by Electric Ladyland

Have you ever been to Electric Ladyland? The magic carpet place for you, so don't you be late...

For whatever reason that song is in my head today. The word of the day is 'TEMERITY.'

I'm a member of an organization that was founded to have fun and do good. For whatever reasons, haters from everywhere fear us and do anything they can to tear us down. So I wonder how these people have the temerity to do what they've been doing, and seemingly expecting no retribution whatsoever? Power wears out those who don't have it.

I'm wearing red today for the Atlanta Falcons.

My Syracuse application is due in 12 days, and I am a bit nervous, but so ready to turn it in.

5 years ago, we were gearing up for Super Bowl XXXIV. Man was it cold.

Nobody's mentioned it, (not even me up until right now) but for the first time in NFC history, two black quarterbacks are facing off for the NFC Championship. We can't lose baby! There's gonna be a Black starting QB in the Super Bowl!

I think that next week I'm going to read 'The Catcher in the Rye' or 'The Great Gatsby' again. It's been quite some time, and I want to feel the youthful exhuberance of Salinger's or Fitzgerald's words.

I met and spent a considerable amount of time with Maya Angelou when I was seven years old and my brother was 4. She called us 'handsome, intelligent and incorrigable' I believe. I met her again when I was 8. She dropped the term 'incorrigable.' I met her again when I was 14 and she zeroed in on my appearance and apparent sophistication noting how well I'd grown up. When I was a freshman at Howard, she had come to Metropolitan Baptist Church and was going to be speaking that Sunday. Although we were late, she walked by my friend Benji and I in a receiving line, and looked me in my eyes in front of two hundred well wishers and said, "Joseph, darling...what are you doing here?" We hugged, and I was a minor celebrity for three whole days to four of the most beautiful freshwomen that were in Howard's class of 1997.

I drink far less than I did when I was younger.

I don't smoke cigars like I did when I was younger either.

And I never wear cowboy boots anymore. I've got to do something about the latter two things.

I'm Joe and that's how I see it.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Title Games

Here it is...we're finally at the NFL Conference Championship games. When I was growing up, they were called the 'Title' games. The first one that I can recall was in January of 1982. Dallas lost to San Francisco, 28-27. There was a little pass to the back of the endzone thrown by one Joseph Montanta to one Dwight Clark over the (futily) outstretched arms of Cowboy rookie corner Everson Walls. The rest is history. I cried for a week.

There have been better days when it came to the Title games. I remember fondly in '86 when the Bears won and the snow started to fall in Chicago as they Super Bowl shuffled all over the then Los Angeles Rams. And who could forget 'The Drive', while Cleveland broke my heart and lost to Elway's Broncos in the snow.

But the best title games I can remember were in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996. Because my hometown team, the Dallas Cowboys played in all four of them. In January 1993, while I was on a plane heading from Washington to Dallas, the captain informed us that the Cowboys had defeated the Niners 30-20 and were headed to Pasadena for Super Bowl XXVII. In January 1994, while I was a freshman at Howard, I remember fondly as the Dallas Cowboys defeated those same Niners, this time at home to go to Atlanta for Super Bowl XXVIII. In January 1995, while I was a sophomore at Howard, I remember bitterly as the Dallas Cowboys gave the game away in the first quarter but fought valiantly the rest of the game on their way to losing to the Niners, denying the Cowboys three straight Super Bowl appearances. But then there was 1996, sitting in our den, my father, my brother and me eating well cooked steaks and potatoes and drinking frosty Coca Colas as we watched our beloved Cowboys beat the hated Packers and go to their third Super Bowl in four years. All of that nostalgia leads me to today...

I live in Atlanta, where they love their Braves and nothing else. But lately 'Falcon Fever' has gripped the city something terrible, and I do believe that 'Fever' is rightfully contagious.

Atlanta will win on Sunday, and this is why...
A) Mike Vick will be too much for Philly to handle.
Right now, he is at the very top of his game. If he runs, not wildly, but gets good yardage and still makes good reads and throws some good passes, Philly won't know what to do with him. I also believe that Atlanta will have a few wrinkles that Philly hasn't seen from them and it will show up in a big way on Sunday.

B) Atlanta's D is just as good if not as tough as Philly's.
It's not hard to look and see that both of these defenses are two of the best in this league. To win consistently on this level, one's defense must be of paramount importance (Steel Curtain, Doomsday Defense, Baltimore Ravens '00, '85 Bears). I feel that Atlanta's youthful exhuberance will at first test them, but they will eventually settle down and have a big game and make big time plays. They're defensive leader, Keith Brooking, has been here before, and he won't let them down on Sunday.

C) Without T.O. it simply can't be done.
Freddie Mitchell and Todd Pinkston are awesome. I know this. I play with Philly on Madden. But T.O. got them where they are, and without him, it's not gonna work.

D) History is on Atlanta's side.
The only time Atlanta went this far in the playoffs, they won, on the road in a hostile environment. Granted Minnesota is no Philadelphia, but Philly's lost three of these games in a row, and two at home.

If Philly wins it is because...
1) The elements got to Atlanta.
Being a dome team from a warmer climate can eventually take a toll. And if the Falcons don't adjust, it will be a long, cold Philly night.
2) Dunn, Duckett and Vick were shut down.
3) Jeremiah Trotter has a big day.

Final Score:
Atlanta Falcons 30 - Philadelphia Eagles 24

All we keep hearing about is how Big Ben choked last week. Was it the thumb? Was it because he is a rookie? Who knows. What I do know is that though it all came down to Doug Brien last week, if the Jets had done anything offensively in the first half, they would have won the game. Now, on to the Pats. What a classic meltdown of immense proportions. The Colts were dismantled, disoriented, just plain dissed. It was particularly sad to watch that, but someone's gotta win and someone's gotta lose. Either way, for Peyton to go to the Super Bowl and represent his conference, he'll have to either A) Play at home. B) Play in a warm climate. C) Play anyone but the Pats. They need a D in Indy, and they need one RIGHT NOW. Having said all of that, here we go...

The Pats will defeat the Steelers and here's why...
A) Bellichick is the wizard.
I like Bill Cowher very much. He never quits. In Super Bowl XXX he kicked an onside kick that Pittsburgh recovered, right after scoring a TD. That takes guts and heart, and that's what he's got and so do his teams. However, the Pats only lost two games this season, and have been playing superior ball ever since losing to the Steelers. Bellichick is ready, and he's got his team ready.

B) They will rattle and expose Big Ben.
If you think that the Jets came at Roethlisberger, wait till you see what the Pats have cooking for him. He will be challenged early and often. He will be punished, pounded and beaten up by the end of the game. Even when they go deep in the new 5 wide package, he will pay. He will not be able to make the necesary decisions in time, and it will be to his disadvantage.

C) Corey Dillon.
He will be a very important piece in this game.

D) Tom Brady.
Courage under fire. Cool, calm and collected. He's been there before, and will do all of the right things to win.

If the Steelers win (and I sincerely hope they do) it will be because...
1) Burress had a huge game.
2) Big Ben is the real deal.
3) Home field advantage.
4) Cowher's got something up his sleeve.

Final Score:
New England Patriots 30 - Pittsburgh Steelers 27

Ranting and Raving

My week started on Monday. Don't most weeks start on Monday? Anyway, it was the national observance for Dr. King's birthday. Having been a student every year this has been a national holiday, I figured that I didn't have to go into work. I was wrong. That's right, Clear Channel Outdoor in ATLANTA, GA of all places, was open for work. I have a variety of feelings about that right now.

Moving on...
Inauguration...President Bush won. Let it go. Democrats, Green Party people, independents, get to work and find a strategy to beat Karl Rove. Don't whine and call for an impeachment, do something about it and win. It's been done before, it can be done again. Get up, get out and do something. I got an email telling me not to spend any money today to boycott the inaguration. Why? If we don't have the inauguration we have anarchy, and then who's going to lead? the Radicals? I think not. Suck it up and do a better job next time. I finally unsubscribed to today. Although I was touched that he was still emailing me, I could care less why he voted against Condoleeza Rice. The conservative pundits sure have been pushing that 'Dr.' title of hers lately haven't they? Just like they did for our favorite judge during the Lewinsky trial. Before all of that, who knew old Ken was a 'Dr.'? It's kind of like a Repulblican badge of validity. Bottom line...shut up Democrats and move on.

Back to the inauguration...I got a call from my good friend Lo Murray. He was at the Black Tie and Boots Ball last night. I wish I were there with him. I imagine the food was good, the conversation was great and the sights were beautiful. Nobody throws a party like giddy Texans, I know, I am one. Tonight, my main man Faraji Whalen is going to an inaugural ball to celebrate the armed services. He has told me that before the night is over, he will meet every African American there, and I believe it.

Oh yes, American Idol is still one of the funniest shows on television. And by the way I was 4-0 with my predictions last week. But they were pretty simple. We'll see how this week's predictions go.

I'm Joe and that's how I see it.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Me at 20 and Me at 30

My brother ( writes a great piece about how his younger self speaks to his older self. That cracks me up and truly has me in stitches. So...I'm gonna do it here...It won't be nearly as funny as Jordan's, but I'm gonna give it a shot.

Oh, before I forget...quick shoutout to the Osiris of this Blog thing for me Calvin Miles Smith, III aka Tradition. Also a shout out to DJ C Rich aka Animal Thug, Raj Whalen aka Sebastian Valmont and my main man Chuck Price.

So here it goes...basically this is my 20 year old self speaking to my 30 year old self. So the date is January 14th, 1995. The location is the Howard University Plaza Towers West. Apartment 620.

Me at 20: Man, the Cowboys look good. They're gonna win it all this year. 3-peat baby!
Me at 30: Slow down pally. That first quarter might give them trouble.
Me at 20: Whatever man. The Cowboys have outscored everyone in the league in the first quarter. It'll be a clean sweep by the Boys all the way to the Super Bowl!
Me at 30: What if it rains at Candle Stick Park? The field is already pretty messy.
Me at 20: Whatever man.
Me at 30: So, how are your classes?
Me at 20: They're cool. I'm finally really getting into the major, ya know?
Me at 30: How are those other classes outside of the major? Shakespeare, American History, Black Diaspora?
Me at 20: Oh, they'll be cool. It should be smooth sailing. Shakespeare is a breeze, I had it in high school. And I've been to American History a few times.
Me at 30: Did you buy your books and your meal plan?
Me at 20: Sure.
Me at 30: Are you forgetting that I'm you...then?
Me at 20: Then you already know that I bought a few books and cashed in my meal plan.
Me at 30: How's your love life?
Me at 20: Well...I kind dated a girl last semester. It ended crazily though man. I thought it was gonna be something that would last, but in the end, it kinda faded. I'm through with her though man. She's dating some baseball player anyway.
Me at 30: It's probably best that you let that go. Trust me.
Me at 20: How's your love life?
Me at 30: Up until last week, it was pretty tip top. This past week I hit a few bumps in the road, but we should be alright. I mean, I love her very much. But enough about me, how's Dorian, Jimmy, Tim, Benji, Jeff, Ace?
Me at 20: Dorian's cool. Crazy as ever. He studies all the time. He's playing tennis for the team ya know? Anyway, there's a girl on the team who's always smiling at me, LaShawnn. She's cute and a great player. We'll see. I was just playing catch with my new football in the hall with Dorian actually. Ben is smoking cigarettes now. I don't dig that too much. Tim is Tim. Jeff is under the dillusion that the Niners are gonna beat the Cowboys on Sunday. Ace is still with Breon. We don't seem him as much. In fact, he has my tie and my Garth Brooks cd. Braedan still gives the ill free haircuts and Jimmy is crazier than ever too.
Me at 30: Keep in touch with those guys, you're lucky to have them.
Me at 20: Of course.
Me at 30: What about Willy Ray and Tom and Gene?
Me at 20: Ray is crazy, simply put. He now has his apartment all to himself. Tom and Gene are still the coolest cats around. Gene is supposed to pledge Alpha this semester, so we'll see how that works out.
Me at 30: Can you make me a promise man?
Me at 20: Sure, what?
Me at 30: Be true to yourself.
Me at 20: Always. Why did you say that?
Me at 30: Well, the next coupla months aren't going to be easy if you don't buckle down. You've got to go to class man. Don't get suspended, please.
Me at 20: Please relax. I've got this. I hear you though. I truly do. Don't worry.
Me at 30: Okay. By the way, what do you think of guys from Morehouse?
Me at 20: Morehouse...nigga please. That little school down in Atlanta? No, seriously, I guess it's a good school. It's no Howard. I don't think I could ever go there, let alone like it or love it.
Me at 30: Good to know.
Me at 20: Oh, I almost forgot, how does the 3 J's work out with the Mavs? And how many championships will Shaq win in Orlando? Is Pulp Fiction gonna win Best Picture? Can you believe Bush was elected Governor in Texas? And this Newt Gingrich guy is damn annoying.
Me at 30: I wish I could tell you about those things, but you've got to experience them for yourself. But it's gonna be a fun ride.
Me at 20: You know, I was watching the local Fox affiliate, and a woman named Paula Jones, grotesque looking chick, came on talking about a relationship with President Clinton. It'll probably blow over though, right?
Me at 30: Sure...sure it will.
Me at 20: Well, is there anything else?
Me at 30: Stay off the MD 20/20 and call home twice a week. And yes...GO TO CLASS.
Me at 20: That's it?
Me at 30: That's it.
Me at 20: I got it. I'm gone. Mookie from Do the Right Thing.
Me at 30: I know that.
Me at 20: Just checkin' man. Don't be slippin' on the quotes. Later man.
Me at 30: Be safe.
Me at 20: Go Cowboys!

My NFL Picks for the Divisional Playoff Weekend

Okay, here it goes...

On Saturday in Pittsburgh, the Steelers will defeat the New York/New Jersey Jets. This will occur because of a few reasons...
A) The Jets, while deserving of being there, are not nearly overall talented as the Steelers
B) The win will come not from the phenom frosh Roethlisberger, but the wily vet, Jerome Bettis
C) Even on their best day and in their best game to date, the Jets lost to the Steelers in the regular season at Heinz Field
D) The Steelers have enough MOJO Magic to make it to the Title Game that they'll be hosting anyway
If the Jets are to win it is because of one reason...
A) The total breakdown of Roethlisberger

On Saturday in Atlanta, the Falcons will defeat the St. Louis Rams. This will occur because of a few reasons...
A) Mike Vick at home is a thing to behold
B) The Atlanta D will stifle Bulger over time
C) Despite the far superior receivers that the Rams have, they will once again be no match for the totally healthy Atlanta D
D) The Rams weapons are getting
E) Warrick Dunn and TJ Duckett are going to be a big factor
M) Magic City is back up and running.
If the Rams win it will be because...
A) They stopped Vick. If you stop Vick, the Falcons shut down.

On Sunday in Foxboro, the Patriots will defeat the Indianapolis Colts. This will occur for the following reasons...
A) Steady and slow wins the race...period.
B) Bellichic has had two to three weeks to prepare his guys for this game. He had one week last year, and look what he did to them. Imagine two weeks.
C) Despite Peyton's brilliance, his defense will let him down. There's no question about that.
D) Corey Dillon will be a difference maker.
E) The elements.
F) They have cooler uniforms.
If the Colts win it will be because...
A) Peyton had a flawless game and was not rattled by the Patriots vaunted D.
B) Edgerinn James has big numbers.
C) The D gets to Brady early and often.
D) If they put it out of reach early.

On Sunday in Philadelphia, the Eagles will defeat the Minnesota Vikings. This will occur for the following reasons...
A) Randy Moss was shut down.
B) Freddie Mitchell has a big day.
C) The Minnesota D gets played by Donovan.
D) The Minnesota coaching staff.
If the Vikes win, and I hope they do, it will be because...
A) Randy Moss was not shut down.
B) They can't win without T.O.
C) McNabb has car trouble.

I'm Joe and this is how I see it...

What if this were Joi's shout out and she didn't see it?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

20 Questions by Tom Hagen

Back at Morehouse, in the cozy confines of The Maroon Tiger office, we used to write some hilarious little questions every edition of the paper known as '20 Questions.' I got to thinking that I hadn't seen them in some time, and I wanted to take a whack at them, so here it goes...

1. Is it okay to laugh at Armstrong Williams, in a 'chickens coming home to roost' kind of way?
2. Was what Randy Moss did all that bad?
3. Is it me or are the Philadelphia Eagles almost destined to lose their fourth straight NFC Title game?
4. Why do I still get emails from John Kerry?
5. Aren't 'On Demand' and cable modems the two greatest inventions for couch potatoes everywhere?
6. Do you really believe that Flavor Flav and Brigitte Nielsen are in love?
7. When are they going to have reunions for: 'A Different World', 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air', 'Martin', 'In Living Color' and 'Living Single'?
8. Aren't all the Brothers in America pulling for Philly, the Falcons, the Colts, the Jets and the Vikes?
9. I love watching him as much as the next fan, but isn't it time for Brett Favre to 'Pack' it in?
10. Despite other reasons, aren't you waiting just like me to see what Michael Irvin will wear if he's elected to this year's Hall of Fame class? (other than the fantastically stuntastic Hall of Fame blazers of course)
11. When will you all realize that Jamie Foxx will probably win an Oscar this year, but not for 'Ray'?
12. Am I the only thirty year old male who recently bought Madden 2005?
13. Do you really care that J Lo has a new album coming out?
14. And the title, 'Rebirth'...what's being reborn? mediocrity?
15. Despite all the things going on in the world, why were US Weekly and the Star the top seller at Borders last week?
16. Will Joi see her shout out?
17. I like John Legend as much as the next neo-soul/R&B fan, but was he whining on a coupla those tracks?
18. Is it wrong for me to be excited about the Morehouse v. Clark Atlanta game next month? (knowing I'll be front row)
19. Why did Eddie Murphy make 'The Distinguished Gentleman'?
20. Are you still sleeping?