Talent Trumps All

The headline applies to the performance of Michael Vick.  Go to jail, come back, redemption story.  Plaxico may or may not have the same fate, but you cannot deny this, talent trumps all.  No matter how heinous the crime, if you have talent, you can always get another chance.

In other news…

the anit-Yankee sentiment in post-season awards continues.  Andy Pettite lost the ’96 Cy Young to Pat Hentgen, yes, Pat Hentgen.  Mariano Rivera once lost out on the Cy Young to Bartolo Colon.  Hideki Matsui was ruled out of winning rookie of the year since he played professionally in Japan (after Ichiro was able to win it despite also being a pro in Japan).  Derek Jeter was once beaten out by Justin Mourneau for the MVP because a Chicago sportswriter was the only writer to vote him outside of the top 2 (he put him outside of the top 10 as a matter of fact).  When asked why, the writer said it was because he was tired of seeing the Yankees win all the time and wanted anyone but a Yankee to win the award.  Nice.  Way to be impartial.  Today it continued when a pitcher with a record of 13-12 beat out CC Sabathia who led the league in wins and led his team to the ALCS.  Good job sabrematrecians.

I’ll be at MSG tonight to see some good basketball.  Not the Knicks, my Terps are in town.  They play the Pitt Panthers who feature 3 guards who can all shoot.  It may get ugly since the Terps view the 3 point line as a forcefield that keeps them away from opposing players.

God speed.


You spin me right round baby right round

This week, I heard some great spins.  Not from the politicians but from sportsmen.  Charlie Villanueva is a forward for the Detroit Pistons.  Charlie suffers from a disease that prevents him from being able to grow any hair.  This is important when you play against Kevin Garnett, one of the most notorious trash talkers in the NBA.  I used to work for the NJ Nets.  During my time there, I would get to walk around near the court up to and during the games.  The trash that KG would spew was not to be heard by children.  Now that KG has been a Celtic for a few years, his hard nose play and childish demeanor has grown bitter and stale.  He has long been a player to trash talk to get into a player’s head and try to take them out of their game.  KG went against Villanueva last week and allegedly said, “you look like a Cancer patient”.  I won’t get into if it was right or wrong for Villanueva to post it but I will pose the question to you.  Love to hear your response.  The reason I bring this up, was after this was made known what KG said, his publicist or he, decided to address the matter with a “prepared statement”.  KG said, I did not tell him he looked like a Cancer patient, I said he was a cancer to his team and to the NBA.  He went on to say, I would never make fun of someone with Cancer as I have a friend currently going through the disease.  Realllly?  The guy has never been suspended for fighting and has been thrown out less than 5 games for double technical fouls.  KG has been thrown out of 5 games in the past 2 years and suspended 1 for throwing a punch.  Please stop with the spin.  I love the fact that there is no way he could have said what he supposedly said because he knows someone going through Cancer.  That’s like the ol’ adage, “I cannot be racist, I had a friend when I was growing up and he was ____”.

The spin continued today despite irrefutable evidence.  Freddie Roach is a long-time boxing trainer and former boxer.  Freddie, like  Muhammad Ali, suffers from Parkinson’s disease.  The disease causes noticeable shakes and can lead to facial distortions when a person suffering from the disease speaks.  Antonio Margarito faces off against Roach’s fighter Manny Pacquiao this weekend.  Check out the video below to see how sensitive Margarito and his team was.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DrlrjXHKdw&feature=player_embedded

This coming from a guy that was once banned from boxing for lacing his fists under his gloves with a plaster-like substance.  His response to the irrefutable video evidence?  “I was not making fun of Freddie. It was just that when I was shaking my hands, I was just saying, ‘Man, I’m really scared,'” said Margarito.

“I think that people misunderstood that. That’s what happened,” said Margarito. “It was a misunderstanding. I have nothing against anybody. I have nothing against Freddie Roach. I respect him as a great trainer.”

Doesn’t sound like he was trying to convince himself of that answer at all.  I would use these same excuses 20 years ago when I was a kid and got in trouble.  They didn’t work then and they don’t pass the sniff test now.  Where would we be without publicists?

Happy Veterans Day and a special shout out to my Marine Corps pops. This birthday boy celebrated his birthday, the Marine Corps’ birthday and Veteran’s Day all in the same week.  Semper Fi Meat.


Midterm Elections

I’ve lived in the D.C. area for 10 years in my life so I had developed some strong political beliefs.  With that said, I want to talk about the State of the Union leading up to Tuesdays midterm elections.

In January of 2009 President Obama took office.  I recognize this as a monumental accomplishment to elect an African-American president.  I also recognize this as one of the worst developments for the health and well-being of our country. 

To say I am against the current state of our country would be an understatement.  For the record, I am a moderate and undeclared politically that has beliefs that fall on both sides of the political divide.  It’s important to knowing why I vote the way I do to know that I have also been a salesperson ever since I graduated college.  More than 50% of my compensation is tied to my performance.  Accountability matters to me and has been ingrained regularly. 

In the days leading up to the election, I saw the ways the popularity contest unfolded on TV like many others.  I saw Saturday Night Live shape people’s beliefs system with endless jabs at the age of John McCain.  It came to a head when on a Thursday night SNL special, the hosts of Weekend Update, Seth Myers and Amy Poehler ripped McCain time and time again, going after his military record, age and his unfamiliarity with Facebook.  It got so painful to watch that even my wife who voted for Obama was questioning what she was seeing. 

Fast forward to today.  The things that sicken me about our President include his unrelenting push for Universal healthcare.  I understand there are some flaws in the current way we receive healthcare in our country, but when the bill gets voted down time and time again, maybe you should take a step back and reevaluate the timing of it.  But not this President.  His answer to the criticism on his bill is to put more fluff in the bill to sway the voters against it.  Maybe this will help the country, but there are fatal flaws I see with Universal Healthcare.   Not to mention this has been tried in Massachusetts and has failed but I digress.

1. It starts with the fact that despite how great Obama says this bill is, he excludes himself and the others of Congress that drafted this bill from being subject to the rules.  That’s right, it is so great he wants no part of it.  This is just a joke.  Do as I say, not as I do.  Trust me folks, this is where the lack of confidence in our current regime begins for me.

2. You have a universe of people this bill can help.  In the unwavering efforts of our President to push this bill through, he “forgot” to shore up his lack of an immigration policy.  So, as one of the 80%  or so of this country that is employed, you have an unending amount of people this bill can help.  As people cheat the system, avoid paying taxes and reside in our country illegally, guess who picks up the tab on this blank check?  Any of the remaining 80% or so that have a job.  A blank check is the only way this bill can work and an unending amount of funding is the only way it can work.  Can you see the inflation we are heading towards?  This is all the evidence that people need who question Obama’s inexperience, but then you can also get into his foreign policy (Israel and China come to mind).  That is a story for another day. 

3. You have record unemployment, a failing economy and uncertainty on Wall Street, yet you believe now is the ideal time to roll out a Universal Healthcare plan?  No matter where you fall on this debate, you could question the timing.  Hey, somebody has a re-election to win though.


You have tried to float the economy by bailing out mismanaged companies, being the first President ever to fire a privately-held companies CEO (Chrysler) only to force them to accept bailout funds then replace the CEO with your own hand-picked successor.  Guess who is another group of people that are immune to the Universal Healthcare bill?  The UAW (automobile union).  Coincidence?  There’s no way our President would bribe a car union right?  Remember the Cash for Clunkers program?  Guess which year the Automobile industry had their most profitable year ever?  2009.  Hmmm.   

The Cash for Clunkers program was pitched as an environmental program.  It would get thousands of cars with poor gas mileage off the road and replace them with more efficent automobiles.  But all that oil eventually got directly poured into the Gulf.  Guess which President has overseen the biggest man-made environmental disaster ever to affect the US?  Obama.  He decided to move forward with Off-shore drilling.  He decided to hire BP.  BP messed up, but how much credit does Obama get for hiring the company that messed up?  Zero.  I won’t get into the controlling of the media that came after the efforts to get the oil leaked stopped in just under 4 months.  120 days to stop a leak when you have shown you know how to sign a blank check is pathetic.  Really, 3 weeks after millions/billions of gallons of oil leaked into the gulf, it was ALL GONE!  Amazing.  But, just in case you don’t believe us, don’t worry about it.  How many reports have you seen since the gusher stopped?   I’m guessing you won’t see a report that depicts the damage in the Gulf.  If a business owner hires someone that kills a bunch of employees, wouldn’t you at least question the decision makers process?  No.  Couldn’t Obama, at a time when the US could use every job it can get, hire an American oil company? (BP is a British company) 

Writing people checks to stimulate the economy didn’t work as people came to depend on the crutch the government offered with the auto program.  2010 will serve to show the drop off the auto industry has seen since the clunkers program.  What did Obama do?  Role out the homebuyers credit.  Guess what that did?  Stimulate the Real Estate portion of the economy until the program ran out.  Then the bottom fell out.  So much so that in the days leading up to these midterm elections, Obama decided to stop all foreclosures.  Ah yes, rewarding people for not paying their bills, just another positive to love about our President.

These are just some of the reasons I cannot wait for Tuesday.  All the blank checks Obama writes are about to be slowed.  The unrelenting control of the Democrats will end.  Not even Jon Stewart can stop it and I could not be more thankful that sanity is about to be restored!

 Hope and change is coming!