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Daily Dose: 4/19/17

Aaron Hernandez found dead in jail cell

12:33 PMI had to write about Kendrick Lamar. That last video just moved me to the point where I couldn’t hold it in.

When someone writes a book about Aaron Hernandez’s life, it will be fascinating. The former New England Patriots tight end apparently killed himself Tuesday night, providing an end to one of the most bizarrely violent episodes in recent history involving the NFL. He beat a double murder charge last week and Wednesday morning was found dead in his jail cell. Hernandez had quite a few run-ins with the law; it was a pattern dating back to his college days at Florida. It’ll be interesting to see what the NFL says about this, if anything at all.

Speaking of the Patriots, things are getting more awkward. Back in February, a bunch of guys from the Super Bowl-winning squad said they did not want to visit the White House as part of their celebration. It’s obviously a tradition that’s well-worn and in the past, and quite a few athletes have said no to the invitation for various reasons. In this case, many were political. But a big shocker comes today. Tom Brady won’t be attending. He and the president are apparently friends, but Tom’s got family obligations, it seems.

Tennis is an exciting sport. The back-and-forth rallies, the grueling grind of facing off against one opponent for the duration — it can be a workout. Sort of like another activity. What happens when the two things come together? Well, you get one of the most hilarious YouTube videos of all time, and a bunch of sportswriters trying to come up with a way to make jokes about it. The match was between Frances Tiafoe and Mitchell Krueger at the Sarasota Open, which instantly just became a far more popular tournament.

The Cubs won the World Series and are still doing the most. First they held a rather extravagant and excessive banner raising, which people sat through the rain and cold to see in person for who knows what reason. Then they had a separate ceremony for the ring unveiling, because in 2017 you can’t just win a title and act like that was the goal all along. Now they’re trying to do everything they can to prevent those rings from becoming cash cows for everyone else besides them. Follow the money, kiddos.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Redman is my favorite rapper. This has been the case since I was in high school, so don’t come at me with your foolishness. He’s also a very funny dude who’s found himself in a couple of movies. He keeps it notoriously real on many fronts. Listen to him break down his top three roles.

Snack Time: I’m enamored with the science of extremely basic things. Tying your shoes is a pretty simple concept, but here’s a question — why do they ever become undone? Some engineers found the answers.

Dessert: Weird how when you get out and talk to people who actually live across America, they can tell you great stories.

Daily Dose: 4/17/17

Fearless Girl is more important than Charging Bull

2:48 PMWe did The Morning Roast three the hard way again this week, with me in Bristol, Connecticut. Why was I there? Because Aaron Dodson and I hosted a Jackie Robinson Day radio special Saturday.

A lot of people smoke weed. Your librarian, your doctor and likely your local police chief. This is just a fact of the matter in today’s America. You know why? Because from what I understand, marijuana usage makes people happy and makes them feel better. It helps people with seizures. It helps people eat. It helps people sleep. Which is why Canada is getting ready to legalize it. It’s also why various states have decided that criminalizing its sale isn’t worth their time. Meanwhile, fun fact: More than half of Americans have tried it, according to a new poll.

The guy who created the Charging Bull statue is not happy. His name is Arturo Di Modica, and he claims that a little girl is compromising the artistic integrity of his work. When someone erected the Fearless Girl statue across from Charging Bull, the world came to celebrate the former, which is a pretty dang good symbol for where we are in this nation and world with feminism. Di Modica’s taking the whole fight to court, and it’s pretty embarrassing from a self-awareness standpoint. Whether it’s a corporate stunt or not, it’s worked. Deal with it.

Here’s the thing about the White House Easter Egg Roll: It’s for children. As in, little kids come to the South Lawn for the purpose of finding items left around by a fake rabbit to celebrate a Christian holiday, and it’s an officially sanctioned event. Point being, in the overall scheme of things, it matters not and is strictly a ceremonial event for fun. Unless you screw it up. But because this group feels the need to reaffirm its existence every second of the day, the president says things like this to a group of non-adults. Awkward.

The Atlanta Hawks are afraid of the Washington Wizards. Every team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference is afraid of the Washington Wizards. Fans of the Washington Wizards are afraid of the Washington Wizards. By that I mean everyone knows they’ve got talent. They know they’ve got talent, and they know that you know that they know that. So they’ve taken a fun strategy in the playoffs: Beat people up and talk mega trash. I could not be more here for it. Paul Millsap is complaining because it’s too physical. News flash: Get used to it.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Hey, if you play a superloud, screaming maniac on TV, don’t be surprised when people think that’s who you are in real life. Alex Jones, that InfoWars guy who you only hear about when he’s going nuts about the conspiracy theory du jour, says it’s all an act, but his ex-wife thinks he’s crazy.

Snack Time: A coming-of-age movie on a Caribbean island that involves a goat? Sure, I’ll give them some money. They need it to get it done.

Dessert: If you still weren’t in the mood for baseball season, just watch this.

Daily Dose: 4/14/17

James Baldwin’s papers find new home in Harlem

9:56 AMQuick announcement: On Saturday from noon-2 p.m. EDT, Aaron Dodson and I will be hosting an ESPN Radio special for the 70th anniversary of Major League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day. Should be a fun one, kiddos!

The United States dropped on a bomb on Afghanistan. It’s still not really clear why. According to officials, 36 ISIS fighters were killed, but judging from the size of the bomb, who knows how many other people died in the attack. The bomb has a nickname — “Mother of All Bombs” — which in itself is a bit scary as a concept, both the title and the shorthand for explosives. It’s the largest non-nuclear device of its kind used in combat. Here are the details on exactly how it was deployed.

How much of James Baldwin’s work are you familiar with? In the new movie I Am Not Your Negro, the legendary author’s last work is explored through the eyes of today’s news and societal progress in America. But that’s just one movie that reflects one unfinished book. He had plenty of other published works and private papers, which will soon be on display at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, thanks to his estate. In general, the concept of being important enough to have “private papers” is pretty dope.

If you’re into weed, Canada might be the place for you. Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made good on a campaign promise to legalize recreational marijuana use in the country with something called the Cannabis Act. It’ll be up to each province to figure out how it wants to regulate things, which will lead to some interesting political discussions across that country. But it’s not all bongs and vape clouds. The penalties for breaking the rules will be pretty stringent, considering that growing and smoking it will no longer be illegal.

It always interests me what non-playoff NBA teams do once the tournament starts. Plenty of teams miss a chance to get a title and the panic that ensues is intriguing. For example, the Orlando Magic fired its general manager. Granted, it hasn’t been to the postseason in five years. And the Los Angeles Lakers sort of screwed themselves by ending their season on a winning streak, but they say they have a plan in case they don’t get a top 3 pick. But come on, it’s the NBA. There’s no way they don’t find a way for Lonzo Ball to end up at the Staples Center.

Free Food

Coffee Break: The greatest American comedy of all time, for my money, is Coming to America. Now that a sequel is officially in development, some people are nervous about how it could affect the legacy of the previous film. Good news, though, the original writers are actually back on board.

Snack Time: You know your cable news network has a branding problem when a local station, in Boston no less, doesn’t even want your name in its broadcasts.

Dessert: The new trailer for the Dear White People Netflix show is incredible. Can’t wait for this show.

 

Daily Dose: 4/13/17

Maxine Waters will not be undersold

12:30 PMI’m still upset about Charlie Murphy. Know that when Domonique Foxworth, Mina Kimes and I first started The Morning Roast, Habitual Line Steppers was a show name that we strongly considered calling the program. RIP.

The first time I heard Maxine Waters’ name, it was in a song. As a high schooler in the 1990s, I was massively into Rawkus Records and basically everything they released. One such project was the Lyricist Lounge tape, and there was a track called “C.I.A.” with KRS-One, Rage Against the Machine’s Zack de la Rocha and Last Emperor. It was peak rap/rock if you even want to get into all that, but whatever. “I want all my daughters to be like Maxine Waters” was one line from KRS. Anyway, she’s the only one in Congress truly standing up to the president.

When black women disappear and nobody bats an eye. We know this. On the totem pole of “people whom society considers important,” they are lowest. Now, we have a very disturbing tale of another black woman whose life ended under questionable circumstances. Sheila Abdus-Salaam was the first black woman to serve on New York state’s highest court. She was found dead on the bank of the Hudson River. She was from D.C. and graduated from Columbia Law School. This is a really sad story.

Just so you know, “grooming” is a word for animals. When you go get your hair cut, you are not being groomed. Anyway, some people take this SUPER seriously when it comes to their dogs. And for as much of a “do you” person as I am, folks who decide to make absurd caricatures of animals creep me out. If you are paying people money to dye your dog’s hair, that’s weird. Sorry, it just is. But because I feel that these monsters need to be exposed, here’s a bunch of pictures of wackos doing psycho stuff to animals that have no choice.

We all know how we feel about Gucci Mane. In short, he’s the gawd. Now that his life is in complete makeover mode, people forget about Goon Guwap. The streets will never forget his contributions. On that note, let us never forget the time that someone orchestrated an elaborate hoax that involved him saying, “I might be” to a judge when asked whether he was guilty of a crime. That’s what came to mind when Carmelo Anthony was asked about getting traded by the Knicks and he said, “They might.”

Free Food

Coffee Break: You know how Fox News is constantly doing all those “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE DOING ON SPRING BREAK?!?!?!” segments? Now Bill O’Reilly is the one going on spring break since advertisers are pulling out of his show left and right.

Snack Time: I feel like there are life-changing GIFs that come out every week. Maybe I’m too attached to that medium. Or perhaps this is just the golden era of GIFs and you can never take that away from me! Check it out.

Dessert: When this movie comes to your town, go see it. Trust me.