What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

Daily Dose: 10/25/17

Robert Guillaume and Fats Domino die at age 89

2:53 PMWhat up, gang? Hope your week is going well. I was lucky enough to see Benjamin Booker at an NPR Tiny Desk Concert on Tuesday, so I’m quite happy about that. There will be more TV for me later in the week. Stay tuned!

We’ve lost two special ones. First and foremost is Robert Guillaume, the incredible actor whom you likely remember from Benson but may know from Soap if you’re older. Or, if you’re like me, you remember him from his iconic performance in Lean on Me. He was also the first black man to play The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, in case you weren’t aware. He was 89. Secondly, there’s Fats Domino, who was a legend in his time, in the world of early blues, rhythm and blues and, of course, rock ‘n’ roll. He was 89 as well. Which sorta trips me out.

It looks like North Korea is officially ready for some action. After various threats from President Donald Trump went unanswered, now the rogue nation claims that everything they’ve said, they mean. Which is to say that they just might decide to test a nuclear weapon above ground, which is clearly a very catastrophically bad idea on a few levels. No. 1, escalating the use of nukes is a terrifying prospect, and secondly, who knows what that could trigger, reactionwise, from other nations across the globe.

For my money, Speed will always be a great movie. Mainly because I was a kid when it came out, and the ridiculous premise and even more madcap action are forever etched into my brain as what an exciting movie is supposed to look like. Starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, it managed to gross $300 million, which is about $200M more than I would have guessed, at minimum. There was a sequel, but that didn’t do much. But, the people want to know. Does this flick actually hold up? The answer might surprise you.

Lonzo Ball is basically the story of the NBA. Everywhere he goes, opponents are bringing their loudest woof tickets because that’s exactly what his father, LaVar Ball, does. To be clear, this is all completely ridiculous. LaVar is just a dad supporting his son, but half these dudes in the league are so irked by him that they’re taking it out on Lonzo, which, while expected, is still stupid. Now, the Washington Wizards’ Marcin Gortat is tweeting at the Lakers star, and the Los Angeles team is not taking too kindly to it. Grow up, everyone.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Combat Jack is one of the most important people we have in our culture. His hip-hop podcast has been a stalwart in the community, and his role as host and creator is unparalleled. He revealed this week that he’s been diagnosed with colon cancer, and we’re all praying for him.

Snack Time: If you weren’t paying attention, the Los Angeles Dodgers left Curtis Granderson off their World Series roster. Probably a smart move, but it also likely means that he’s played his last game in the major leagues.

Dessert: OK, David Stern, we see you. Still not automatically invited to the cookout, just yet.

Daily Dose: 10/23/17

POTUS bickers with Gold Star widow

4:12 PMWhat up, gang? Happy Monday. It’s another Around The Horn day in these streets, so that’s a good thing. Also a good thing? Guess who’s back in these streets, kiddos? You guessed it. The gawd.

David Letterman is a comedy legend. When I was a kid, I spent many a night staying up way too late to watch his television program, which I’d argue is the greatest of its kind of all time. He was thoughtful, random, kind, but mean when he needed to be, for people who deserved it. This weekend, he received the Mark Twain Prize for comedy, which is a well-deserved award. A bunch of his comedian colleagues spoke before he accepted the award at the ceremony, and they all had quite a bit to say about the president.

Speaking of the president, the circumstance regarding U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson has moved from uncomfortable to shameful. When a soldier is killed, condolences from a sitting commander in chief are not out of the ordinary. It’s certainly not a requirement, but how each president does it is up to them. Trump has found a way to now be in a war of words with a Gold Star widow, in public, no less, which isn’t a good look for anyone involved at all. She sat down with Good Morning America to talk about it.

In New York City, you gotta watch your back. Why? Because a sucker is born every minute. Meaning, people are constantly trying to con you out of your money, one way or another. Some people do it the ski mask way, as it were, some people do it via Wall Street banks, and some people just ask. Seriously. These “friendly thieves” are roaming the city, looking for drunken idiots or otherwise unsuspecting people, befriending them, then just requesting their possessions. Pro tip: Do not give these people your money.

It doesn’t appear that Eric Bledsoe will be playing in Phoenix any longer. The 27-year-old point guard straight up tweeted that he wanted out of the NBA’s desert squad, and now, it looks like he’ll get his wish. To be clear, the Suns are garbage. And have been for two seasons. This wasn’t always the case, but various botched personnel decisions have put them behind the eight ball, and now their best player is done. It’s unfortunate, because they could have had something going out there, but that franchise is a mess.

Free Food

Coffee Break: R. Kelly’s history with young women, so-called R&B proteges, and girls in general is extremely disgusting and problematic. It’s a long list of offenses that somehow have not landed him in jail, but now one of former artists is speaking out. In long form.

Snack Time: There are crazy plays in high school games and THERE ARE CRAZY PLAYS IN HIGH SCHOOL GAMES. This high school volleyball play is 100 percent bananas.

Dessert: Apply for this job. Thank me later.

Daily Dose: 10/20/17

Lupita Nyong’o speaks out about Harvey Weinstein

1:35 PMAll right, folks, Friday’s a busy day. Got Around The Horn at 5 p.m. on ESPN and am doing radio from 4-7 p.m. EST. Should be a fun one, kiddos. Tune in where you can.

Lupita Nyong’o is not one to be played. Now that the Harvey Weinstein accusations are all out in the open, various actresses have come forth with stories about times they encountered him and were either assaulted or insulted in some way, and she’s no different. Well, except for the fact that when she does it, it happens in The New York Times, because she’s got clout like that. Her story is not necessarily all that different from many others we’ve heard, but it is another example of exactly how shameless this man was in his predatory pursuits.

Y’all know how it is in the club. You meet some people who claim to be this, that and third, and you take it with a grain of salt because people will do anything to get what they think they want out of people they just met. So you don’t go into any public entertainment space necessarily expecting to meet royalty, but hey, you never know. That’s exactly what happened to one woman in Washington, D.C., who found herself an Ethiopian prince just chilling in the spot one night. I guess Coming To America is a real-life tale.

Halloween is right around the corner. Some of us have already changed out Twitter display names to “spooky” monikers, and I’m seeing decorations around my neighborhood for the oh-so-frightening holiday. And if you’re the kind of person who enjoys ghost stories, this is your time of year. But, because it’s 2017, we don’t all sit around and read scary books or just watch movies — we’ve got podcasts to freak us out, hands-free. Check out this list of horror shows guaranteed to give you your fill of the creeps.

We’re all rooting for Teddy Bridgewater. When he went down with an injury a while back in practice, it set back the Minnesota Vikings franchise quite a bit, and because of the nature of the problem, some people thought he might never play again at all. Now it appears that he’s beat the odds and is somewhat close to playing shape, or at least that’s what he’s telling the public. The onetime franchise quarterback says that he thinks he can actually play this season, which, frankly, would be nothing short of a miracle.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Tiny houses are a thing, and I don’t really know why. For whatever reason, people really enjoy cooping themselves up in the smallest possible spaces as their homes, then brag about it to everyone, as if it’s somehow saving the earth. Just kidding! Good job, folks. Now, take a look at their kitchens, also miniscule.

Snack Time: I had no idea that the world needed what’s being billed as a “Netflix for bedding,” but, apparently, here we are. What an interesting service.

Dessert: Here’s some dope raps to take you into the weekend. Safety first, kiddos.

All Day Podcast: 10/19/17

Kweku Collins live from All Things Go Fall Classic, and the NBA is underway early

10:10 AM

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Every once in a while, a festival comes to D.C. that I enjoy enough to get out to and talk to an artist or two. Last week it was the All Things Go Fall Classic, which features music of all types, in its fourth annual installment. The story of how it got started is a fun one, with four friends who just decided to take their music blog of the same name and make it a show for everyone to enjoy.

While the three-day event featured the likes of Vince Staples and Young Thug, I caught up with Kweku Collins, a rapper from Evanston, Illinois, who doesn’t like to categorize his sound, the same way he doesn’t particularly love to pigeonhole his identity. Of mixed race, he exudes the type of charm that we’re seeing out of more and more artists of his age (he graduated high school last year) regarding acceptance. He reminds me of a Logic type, if I were to make unnecessarily blanket comparisons of mixed dudes on the mic.

Kweku Collins on stage during All Things Go Fall Classic 2017

Doug Van Sant

After that, we hit the hardwood with The Undefeated’s Mike Wise at Wednesday’s season opener of the Washington Wizards, who were taking on the Philadelphia 76ers. They’re both relatively young teams, with the Zards being the elder statesmen in that relationship. We went around the league, talking about the Celtics and their woes now that Gordon Hayward is hurt and exactly what to make of the Western Conference.

Lastly, we discussed The Undefeated’s newest list of the Top 50 Players in the NBA re-imagined, which takes a look at how one might change the list that was originally created in 1996. With help from longtime NBA and basketball minds, our latest breakdown has more changes on it than you might think.

Enjoy!

Daily Dose: 10/19/17

Waffle House and football: An American tradition

1:36 PMAll right, gang, Thursday’s another radio day. I’ll be filling in for Bomani Jones on #TheRightTime from 4-7 p.m. EST. We’ll be talking baseball, a decent amount of football and, of course, NBA hoops.

Creepy clowns are a hot topic in this space. We’ve been over all the reservations we have about how clowns have hijacked the modern entertainment genre. We’ve discussed the fact that the concept of their evil has unfairly stigmatized those trying to do good. And we’ve even talked about how it’s amazing to think that this bit actually worked for a while, even if cold cases are being reopened decades later. My view on this has always been the same: If a clown is creeping you out, sometimes you gotta let the hands fly. That’s exactly what one kid in Florida did.

Remember the guy who shot and killed his daughter’s boyfriend? The white guy who decided that taking up arms was the best way to avenge his apparent honor being besmirched? Yeah, his little girl was dating a black person, and he claimed he did what he did was in self-defense because she had run away from home and was living in a “crime-ridden neighborhood.” It’s worth noting that dude is an ex-cop. Well, he was convicted of manslaughter after various mistrials, which in itself is scary. His sentencing is next month.

Waffle House is an American treasure. Open 24 hours, always serving breakfast, the restaurant chain’s mere existence is exactly what makes this country great on multiple levels. The last time I was in one, I ended up arguing with a buddy for a good 90 minutes over how I chose to eat my meal, which was funny for obvious reasons. That said, in the South, they’re more than just eateries. This story about the establishment’s relationship with college football is nothing short of magical.

I’ve said this before, but Donald Trump would be a perfect NFL owner. A decent amount of visibility without necessarily having to be in charge of everything, a clearly profitable business group that sort of runs itself, and the ability to boss people around and act like you’re controlling everything when, in fact, the people you’ve hired are more likely the brains of the operation. He tried to get in the league, but they wouldn’t let him. Now, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner is doubling down on his comments about Trump, calling him jealous of the NFL.

Free Food

Coffee Break: I thought the catfish trend had come and gone, but apparently not. It’s pretty nuts to think that people are still getting away with that nonsense in the year of our Lord 2017. But it happens, and in some cases the person whose fake pictures are being used actually ends up being the one you land. What a wild tale.

Snack Time: Grace Jones is an incredible human being. The Jamaican singer’s life story is pretty incredible, and now there’s a new documentary coming out about her life.

Dessert: If you’re looking for some musical motivation, these beats should hold you up for the afternoon.