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

Daily Dose: 12/19/16

Why would anyone play in a bowl game they didn’t have to?

2:30 PMWell, hello there. We’re back from Atlanta, where the Air Force Celebration Bowl went down and Grambling State University won the HBCU national championship by the score of 10-9. I’ll have a lot more on the trip coming up this week.

Just so we’re clear, the Electoral College was created to appease slave owners. That said, Monday’s vote to officially ratify what happened on Election Day is what it is. The Russia situation created some drama, in that many electoral voters wanted to know more before casting their ballots. There were people who thought that the results might actually get reversed, but that is highly unlikely, alas. Which means, for the second time in my lifetime, the person with the most votes will not get to be president. ABC News has the details.

By now, you’ve hopefully seen Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. If not, I don’t know what you’re doing with yourself. It’s only the most popular movie in the country. What are you, out working, or trying to live some fulfilling life? You should be in a theater worrying about fictional space heroes. In all seriousness though, this film was a real departure from the rest of the series. In a good way, if you ask me. FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey explains how they came to where they are regarding the story of the universe.

Shoplifting is a thing people do. For some, it’s about the thrill of the steal as much as it is the need for the goods. But during the holidays, it’s an especially prevalent issue for obvious reasons. Back when I used to work in retail, they’d try to make us be quasi-police officers about the merch, and I refused to do it. Some multinational clothing company’s bottom line is not enough for me to scrap with a person over. VICE‘s Tim Usher put together a bunch of stories from people about the times they stole and maybe got away with it.

Bowl games do not matter if you’re not playing for it all. That’s the difference that creating a playoff system has made. The matchups that are not the big ones, quite literally, do not matter, so for guys who have a chance to do something at the next level, there is no incentive to play. You could get hurt, basically. So, Louisiana State’s Leonard Fournette has said he’s not playing. People were needlessly mad. Now, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey is doing the same. As they say, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. ESPN reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: The University of Minnesota’s football team has ended its short-sighted protest, because players figured that sitting out of football activities for something related to sexual assault is stupid. No, seriously, all they did was read the police report and shut down their little standoff. Yep, life’s bigger than football, folks.

Snack Time: When a plane went down, killing a large portion of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer club, it was a devastating blow for soccer. But some people survived. You don’t have to speak Spanish to get this emotion.

Dessert: Read this tweet. Wow.

The Chicken Connoisseur

The ‘Pengest Munch’ is back

and still eating more chicken

5:54 PMBy now, you know who the Chicken Connoisseur is. We talked about him on the All Day Podcast. He’s an internet celebrity now and he’s got people proudly eating chicken in public and on camera with no fear of repercussions from ignorant onlookers. In short, he’s a hero.

His newest video just dropped and my man knows that his life has changed. What do you do when you become a 23-year-old YouTube star food critic? Keep doing what you do, pleighboi. The man born Elijah Quashie has stepped up his kicks game, and per usual, the production values are on point. Also to be noted, MY MAN WEARS GLOVES ON TELEVISION. Handwear game is quite strong.

Back to the latest video, though. Dude is legit famous. People are taking pictures of him in chicken spots, he holds and drinks from soda cans with his pinky up and tucks his napkin in his shirt because he’s just mobbin’ like that he’s actually wearing a necktie. When I eat chicken, I wipe the grease on my pants, if you were wondering.

Anyway, you can check it out for yourself to see the ratings from Sam’s in Woodside Park. But come on, someone, anyone, bring this man to the United States to rate food. What on earth are we waiting for? He’s a ready-made star.

Daily Dose: 12/16/16

‘Star Wars’ got bars?

11:57 AMGood day from Atlanta, kiddos. I’ve been doing my best to find as many spots as I can from FX’s Atlanta and check them out. Let’s just say that the most important one, I got covered. As they say: Lemon. Pepper. Wet.

Today’s the day. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released nationwide, ushering in an entirely new generation of fans to a franchise that will probably outlive us all. I’ve had many things to say about this product over the years, and that hasn’t changed today, either. I wrote a review, but more importantly, we need to know what the cast has been up to. Riz Ahmed is that dude, and if you didn’t already know, homey likes to kick flows on the side. He told Good Morning America all about it.

Donald Trump has a huge problem on his hands. Let’s put aside the state that we’re in as a nation with this man getting ready to walk into the White House. For him, reputation is everything. And now that it’s become more clear that Russia might have been involved in affecting the last presidential election, the White House, and specifically President Barack Obama, ain’t playing. Basically, Trump is acting like this is all a smear campaign, truth be damned. Alas, the truth matters. ABC News reports.

Police killings have become something that we actually pay attention to, in recent years. But what’s even scarier is that, for years, the government basically had no real idea of how often this happened. Seriously, it just wasn’t particularly paid attention to. Think about that. Thankfully, we have newsrooms willing to do that work in this country. Now, the feds are finally trying to catch up on this information themselves. It’s about time, frankly. FiveThirtyEight’s Carl Bialik explains how they finally have a decent idea of what’s really going on.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers football program is a mess. Earlier this week, 10 players were suspended as a result of a Title IX investigation into a circumstance involving a sexual assault. With the Holiday Bowl coming up, this was a serious blow to the team’s chances of winning a football game, but hello, the accusations are EXTREMELY problematic. Now, the whole team is not participating in football activities, as if the players are being discriminated against. Um, no, they’re not. Here are the details. Get your squad together, Tracy Claeys. This is shameful.

Free Food

Coffee Break: As I mentioned before, your boy is in the ATL for the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl taking place Saturday. Conveniently, Gucci Mane’s new album The Return Of East Atlanta Santa also dropped today. You can be like me and listen to it while you read this, just like I did while I wrote it.

Snack Time: Obama is one of the most popular figures on earth at this moment, and what he looks like is well scrutinized. So, you should probably check out this GIF of him aging over the course of his lifetime.

Dessert: James Corden does one thing really, really well. He sings in cars. For Christmas, he brought the best.

Charleston church shooter found guilty on all charges

Dylann Roof will defend himself during the sentencing phase in January

5:14 PMThe man who walked into a Charleston, South Carolina, church and massacred nine people has been found guilty by a jury in the federal trial on the shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. This case had enough twists to make a reasonable person believe that, even with a confession on video, Dylann Roof might somehow walk away scot-free. That didn’t happen. He was found guilty on 33 counts.

Roof, 22, plans to defend himself during the next phase of the trial: the sentencing process. Because the death penalty is on the table, he will quite literally be arguing for his life. To be clear, this wasn’t just a case of a kid who was misguided with a gun and snapped. This was a long-planned, thoughtfully orchestrated decision that came complete with a manifesto. If you’ve forgotten exactly what his deal was, he’s one of those guys who’s so obsessed with the concept of supremacy that he believes that any situation in which black people are allowed their own agency is an instant threat to all white people everywhere.

He is the type who thinks that racism is only equal to calling people the N-word or burning crosses on front lawns. The type of person who doesn’t understand that his own home state had one of the biggest slave ports in the country and is still a place where the legacy of those atrocities is not exactly well-addressed. Without getting too far into normalizing the depths of his racism, his goal was to start a war between whites and blacks. And as a FBI agent told him after he was brought in for questioning, he failed.

“Only a fourth to a third of people in the South owned even one slave. Yet every white person is treated as if they had a slave-owning ancestor. This applies in the states where slavery never existed, as well as people whose families immigrated after slavery was abolished. I have read hundreds of slaves narratives from my state. And almost all of them were positive,” Roof once wrote.

Worth noting has been the resiliency of not just Charleston, but the church community specifically that was ripped apart by a murderous racist. Some of them have been present throughout the trial, even though it’s been difficult to even look at Roof’s face. It’s easy to forget that there were in fact three survivors in this situation. Here are some reactions.

Some news agencies chose to use the specific phrase “white supremacist” in describing Roof. Others didn’t.

For many black people, there was a natural gut reaction that is clearly rooted in years of systemic racism and oppression not only holding us back, but not being adjudicated correctly when it takes black lives.

At one point, the judge said that there were victims on both sides, a spurious categorization that we can only presume comes in the fact that Roof’s life is effectively over as we know it, as well. Either way, people noticed.

https://twitter.com/knflkkollective/status/807395678775373825

https://twitter.com/EdmondScofield/status/809499533423935488

https://twitter.com/clintorious_BIG/status/809499728689774592

Ultimately, no verdict will bring back the nine lives lost on that awful Wednesday.

The sentencing phase begins Jan. 3, 2017.

Daily Dose: 12/15/16

Bundle up, America. It could save your life

10:00 AMWe’re headed to Atlanta for the second annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl between Grambling and North Carolina Central, the respective SWAC and MEAC Champions, on Saturday. Hopefully, I see an invisible car.

If you haven’t noticed, in most of America, it’s cold outside. Not like, “Oh, it’s cute, let’s put on our boots and go grab some gingerbread lattes” cold. More like, “If you do not have a safe situation, you might die out here” type of chill. It is December, of course, but when these snaps hit, for a lot of communities, it’s tough to just get up and be ready to deal with things like whiteout conditions. This has become far more than a local weather story, it’s affecting most of the country. ABC News reports.

The naive part of me wants to question why people don’t believe in science. But because it’s pretty clear that science falls in direct contradiction to the ability to make money on a large scale, I completely understand why it’s in a lot of people’s short-term best interest to ignore the fact that what they’re doing will hurt later generations. That’s why so many of these cabinet selections by Donald Trump scare so many people. Those folks don’t care. Scientists are speaking up about it, however. FiveThirtyEight’s Maggie Koerth-Baker reports.

Remember when Kanye West visited Donald Trump? Yeah, it was just Tuesday. Many were disappointed by the choice on both sides, but ultimately, it probably hurts Yeezy more than The Donald. You can expect that to be a staple of the cold open whenever the next Saturday Night Live airs. In the meantime, the president-elect is quite earnestly telling people that there is no formal chain of command within his ranks, at this point. Yikes. Anyway, VICE‘s Desus and Mero offer their thoughts on Ye dropping in on the next U.S. commander in chief.

The ritual of hazing in Major League Baseball is well-known. It typically involves players dressing in drag or some other form of costuming considered ridiculous, designed to embarrass and presumably instill some level of solidarity among the guys just getting up to the show. Did it feel archaic and pointless? Sure. Was there also some level of bonding involved with it? We’ll guess so. But because MLB no longer wants its spring training outings associated with fraternity practices, the league is ending it. ESPN’s Doug Glanville offers his take on the decision.

Free Food

Coffee Break: No matter what you think of memes in general as a comedy source, you certainly have favorites. So, what if I told you that you could look through 350 odd days of them from this year alone. Would that be something you were interested in? Lucky you. Obviously, the fun thing to do is pick your birthday then share it.

Snack Time: As an extreme radiophile, I get bizarrely geeked about certain aspects of the industry/business that most people don’t care about. Some, however, overlap greatly. Radio Garden is one of the coolest things ever.

Dessert: If you’ve ever wanted to spend the holidays with will.i.am, we’ve got you covered, fam.

The All Day Holiday Gift Guide

if you want to get something for the tastemaker in your life

3:30 PMIt’s that time of year, kiddos, where people start wondering if the folks that say they love them plan to make that fact known through the giving of presents. Some will swaddle them in shiny wrapping, others will stick them in bags with tissue paper, or if they’re like me, they’ll use newsprint to bestow the goods upon you.

But however you plan to acquire said items, the question of what to get is always a tough one. For kids, it’s simple. Yet, once you hit a certain age, the concept of wish lists is a tad more gauche, even though companies allow you do to so with a little less shame than a handwritten note. Anyway, maybe you want to impress the person you’re giving to beyond the usual. Maybe they need to know that your gift is actually next level. If so, this list is for you.

Soundbreaking on PBS

This documentary series is one of the most complete and exhaustive looks at the recording industry that digs far deeper than just the basic celebrity lives and careers of musicians. It’s a deep dive on the actual science and process of documenting sound and specifically music. There are nine approximately hourlong episodes, including all sorts of extra material that’s far more enriching than your average DVD extras. If you have an audiophile or someone who enjoys the history of music, it’s great.

The California Sunday Magazine

californiasundaymagazine

If you’re a reader type, finding a good piece of pulp to dig your hands into is a tough one. Few people subscribe to newspapers anymore, but the concept of longform journalism and writing hasn’t gone anywhere. The California Sunday Magazine is exactly what it sounds like, and with only six issues a year, it’s a great gift to someone you care about who loves to curl up with a good nonbook.

Mevo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAze1wH9TGc

Is someone in your life looking to become a YouTube star? Look no further than Mevo, the camera that allows you to basically create a professional-quality program, without all the hassle of a television studio. Of course, almost every computer in the world has a camera now, but Mevo is different. You can shoot multiple people in multiple places, with just one unit. Your kid is ready to shine on Facebook Live, folks.

• BAPE x Adidas collaboration

bape-adidas-originals-stock-list-1

I don’t get super Hypebeasty about things, but my word, look at those kicks. Seriously, that’s about as fly as it gets. If you can get your hands on some of these to give to the quasi-sneakerhead in your life, you will have done them a great favor. There’s a whole collection of things behind this line, the latest in the collaboration between the two designers has produced one great pair of shoes. They come in different colorways, but the green camo is bananas.

This amazing vanity

This is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a vanity mirror. It’s also an operating system. From a utility standpoint, this is actually a legitimately tremendous idea, not just something cool to show off to your friends. I’m not a huge mirror guy, but I probably would be if my tweets would be scrolling across the top and weather updates were in front of me. Of course, this isn’t a real thing yet, but you can bet that this guy is going to get his idea stolen by Apple, or someone, soon. There is a legit market for this.

Line Phono turntable stand

View this post on Instagram

#linephonointhewild @jonisdangerous

A post shared by Line Phono (@linephono) on

When it comes to turntable setups, most vinyl enthusiasts are very, very serious. Because the fun of collecting is just as much about the nesting and process as it is about the music. That’s why people go out of their way to find obsolete technology. It’s the music equivalent to smoking a pipe. People have entire rooms, separate articles of clothing and all sorts of tools to partake in the habit. Anyway, this stand has it all, and it comes in a natural wood variety that if you want to paint and customize, you certainly can. Here’s a fun record to play first.

Black Card Revoked

If Cards Against Humanity isn’t your thing, we’ve got something for you. Those awkward hours where you’ve got to sit around spending time with family or in-laws can progress from the usual Uno/Spades/Bid Whist matrix and branch into something that actually works great as a team game. We’ve thrown a couple of these questions out in the newsroom at The Undefeated and it almost always started a tremendous back and forth. Makes a great stocking stuffer.

A Very Big Freedia Christmazz EP

Big Freedia poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at the 2015 Summer TCA's at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 31, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

Big Freedia poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at the 2015 Summer TCA’s at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 31, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

Maarten de Boer/Getty Images

When this project dropped, I quite literally listened to it all day. If you don’t know who Big Freedia is, you can catch up here, but more importantly, where on earth have you been? When it’s time to dance, she’s the one to go to. Anyway, her take on a couple of Christmas classics is enough to get you twerking, singing and laughing all at the same time. I might not play this in front of my mom, but you better believe that if my office has a holiday party, I’m hijacking the aux cord to rock this. It has a song called Santa Is A Gay Man, which makes it the best Christmas album of all time.

Daily Dose: 12/14/16

Bill Cosby is well aware of what’s happening in the courtroom

11:15 AMIf you’re wondering what to expect from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I’ve got you covered. Here’s my review. Also, we taped another episode of the podcast Tuesday. You can download or listen here!

The Bill Cosby trial has been moving forward. On Tuesday, prosecutors argued in court that Cosby’s many accusers should be allowed to testify in the case against him in Pennsylvania. Of course, the comedian’s lawyers plan on telling the judge that each of the women involved are of ill repute, the oldest tactic in the book. If you’re into courtroom antics, however, read this. Things have been getting very testy. ABC News profiles the 13 women looking to take the stand. Also, Cosby completely knows what’s going on, despite what his lawyers say, apparently.

Weird how life works out. Back when he ran for president, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that he wanted to eliminate three government departments. He famously forgot the name of one of them, then said “oops” live at a debate. It tanked his candidacy because people just assumed someone that uninformed could not hold the highest office in the land. Now, who’s the stupid one? Donald Trump has tapped him to be the secretary of energy, meaning he would be leading the U.S. Department of Energy. ABC News explains this turn of events.

The situation in Syria is awful. If you haven’t been paying attention, the battle for Aleppo has highlighted how complex the conflict is there and basically left regular civilians running for their lives in all directions. It’s gotten to the point where people on social media are basically saying goodbye to the world via their networks, which is just an incredibly scary concept on so many levels. VICE‘s Tim Hume breaks down why Aleppo won’t be even close to the end of this war.

We love Richard Sherman. Not only because he’s a tremendous cornerback, but because he speaks his mind on a wide variety issues, be it things in America, or things that involve his job and the league that he plays in. On Tuesday, in criticizing the purpose and effectiveness of Thursday night games, he used a word that should be in the dictionary. If you’re a fifth grader, that is. And I say that in a complimentary way. Sometimes you have to break out the kids’ vocab to make a real point. ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Rock, paper, scissors (or whatever you call it) used to end quite a few battles. I had a friend once tell me that it was how he and his wife would determine who had to get out of bed to console the baby when he cried at night. Anyway, if you want to see the highest stakes version of the game, ever, check this out.

Snack Time: We love a good story of espionage and sneaky tactics, but this tale of a former Wake Forest coach sharing information with opponents is a genuinely bizarre one. Who knew Demon Deacons football was so serious?

Dessert: What were you doing with your life during freshman year? Probably less than this guy.

#BlackTwitterVerificationQuestions take over

Twitter is definitely ready to make it flourish

11:00 AMOn the commute home Tuesday night was when I first saw it. I didn’t look up from it once on my bus ride until I fell asleep. When I woke up, I walked and read it. The hashtag — #BlackTwitterVerificationQuestions — which, if you don’t get it, refers to questions one might be asked in order to be verified on the beautifully ethereal yet very real megalith that is Black Twitter. I’m only halfway joking.

The best part is that not all these questions are just a history lesson quiz from #onhere. Some are just things one might have been able to casually pick up if you follow/know enough black people. The “McDonald’s money” question comes to mind for that latter category. Anyway, this entire thread is such an incisive look into the hyperspecific moments that make up so many great stories. Of course, huge shouts to Temecula on that note. I was certainly no expert at these, but take a look for yourself.

Here are some of our favorites.

The variety on these is crazy wide, though. Then, the guy @WeNotSocks started reposting backlash, which definitely provided a laugh, considering how ridiculous the whole premise was in the first place . There’s a lot of hate out there for the basic concept of Black Twitter that when it actually is recognized for moving the needle, so to speak, they freak out. Can’t have nothing.

https://twitter.com/BuddyNoLove/status/808843143605092356

Back to the fun.

Seriously. It made my night.

https://twitter.com/JimiEarly/status/808843962496720896

I can’t stop laughing.

All Day Podcast: 12/13/16

Instagram Live, Kanye West’s meeting with Donald Trump, and a discussion on fried chicken

6:21 PM

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed

It was quite the day on the All Day Podcast. Right before we taped, photos and videos were released on Twitter of Kanye West visiting President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower. Apparently, they simply talked about life. But, we’re not buying that. So, we speculated what they really talked about, and the bonus: We evaluated the dap Trump gave West.

Instagram recently launched a live video feature. To be honest, I’m not here for it. What I am here for, however, is fried chicken, and there’s a guy across the pond, known as “The Chicken Connoisseur,” who makes hilarious YouTube video reviews of that food we all know and love. For us, his recent internet fame resurfaced an age-old question in the black community: Would you ever be filmed eating fried chicken? The answer for one member of the podcast crew is “Hell to the naw naw naw.”

Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at allday@theundefeated.com.

Kanye West visits Donald Trump

then explains his actions on Twitter

5:45 PMscreen-shot-2016-12-13-at-3-24-33-pm

When video first hit social media that Kanye West showed up at Trump Tower on Tuesday morning, blond hair and all, there was an audible groan from Black Twitter. Peoples’ phones instantly blew up, and next thing we knew The Life of Pablo creator was dapping up the president-elect in his lobby. To be clear, Jim Brown and Ray Lewis also made appearances there Tuesday, but for the moment, we’ll stick to Yeezy.

No. 1, this should surprise no one. He stood onstage and said he’d vote for Trump and, if you think about it, these two probably have a whole lot more in common than most people are willing to admit. But perhaps more importantly, none of us really knew that Ye was out of the hospital, and the fact that this was the first place he showed up in public was rather troublesome. Folks were very unhappy and concerned.

There’s just no real way to judge what any of this means. West tweets about tons of things, and if he really thinks that this situation will give him more sway pull with the new administration, so be it. Let’s not forget that James Brown is the one who walked into the White House (with Al Sharpton) and lobbied then-President Ronald Reagan to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. Brown was also pretty tight with former President Richard Nixon.

We’re going to presume that this little encounter involved them getting over that whole incident back in 2009 where Trump wanted to boycott West because of that infamous stage crash on Taylor Swift. And let’s just assume that the little irony of the song about that incident, which sparked a video featuring a fake Trump backside, is now just water under the bridge. This is all rather odd.

https://twitter.com/MisterParch/status/808776806501412865

Back to the vaunted NFL stars, however. Brown went so far as to tell CNN that Trump has “his admiration,” whatever that means. We all know Lewis’ stance on Black Lives Matter. On the surface, there are so many questions: Why are any of them there? Is it a coincidence that the three black men all showed up on the same day? Probably not.

Brown is easily the most surprising of this bunch to show his face in this scenario. Then again, this is what he does: presents himself when he thinks there’s a problem that can be solved. Perhaps most interesting about this is that #2024 tweet from Ye. He famously declared that he’d be running in 2020, but if he’s pushing that back four years, maybe it’s because he wants or foresees a two-term Trump presidency. In which case, his similar refrain might become more of a battle cry.

No one man should have all that power.

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ — a true action movie

Forget about the Force, the newest installment is here for the fight

3:22 PMHow do you create a surprise ending to a story you already know? By not telling the audience when it will be over.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which hits theaters Friday will be a different experience for many fans of the franchise, who pride themselves on rigid ties to loose concepts of historical canon and feel entitled to a near out-of-body experience every time they utter the two words that George Lucas turned into an empire.

Rogue One is not that film. It’s a movie that’s cleaner, smarter and more mature than any of its predecessors and doesn’t waste time setting up long parables of myth to connect miniscule dots in the galaxy to one another. If you’ve never seen a Star Wars movie in your life, but have a rudimentary understanding of the Force, you will thoroughly enjoy the Gareth Edwards-directed film.

What you also get is the first glimpse into what Disney had in mind when the company announced that it plans to release a film from the franchise every year. The simple psychological difference between “the next Star Wars” and “this year’s Star Wars” will be enough to knock the luster off of the brand for many. But what you get with Rogue One is an action movie that probes the Z-axis of the Star Wars universe, without a care as to who it offends or lets down.

The acting, just like in The Force Awakens, is a drastic improvement on anything we’d seen from Episodes I through VI. In terms of storyline, it’s FAR easier to follow than any of the others. Viewers are not forced to tangentially learn new planet and system names that will eventually become important. They’re captioned on the screen, so not only can you identify them, you know how to spell them, too.

Clearer than any point made by its creators is its lack of concern for making this feel like some nod to the old. There are Easter eggs, yes. But they are far more deftly tucked in and highlighted, while not being the ham-handed efforts of old that were obviously there as catch phrases for people just looking for familiar faces. For a movie based on a single line of another film, it’s phenomenal.

Felicity Jones as Jyn Urso is almost the best cast character in the entire series to this point. Forest Whitaker manages to undertake the role of Saw Gerrera without making you feel ridiculous, and Donnie Yen as Chirrut Îmwe will be coming to a Halloween costume near you, very soon. We need not even point out how absurdly on point Genevieve O’Reilly is as Mon Mothma.

But for a fan of a certain age, this is the installment that will test your loyalty the most. The brand is no longer for you. If you have children, you’ve probably done your best to instill your Skywalker or Sith values in them as best as you could. Yet, the characters we’re presented with here push the boundaries of the good/evil binary. While we’ve grown accustomed to loving the pageantry and pomp of a certain part of this universe, the more genuine exploration of the grit and grime proves to be far more intriguing than one might think. Palace grandeur need not apply.

Pound for pound, this is probably the best action movie of the series. Standing alone, it works best as a film that needs no others. We’re bereft of lightsaber battles, but if you need that at this point, you’ve got plenty to draw on. Rogue One is the movie for the part of your life when you decided what you liked is what was cool, not what everyone else told you it was. This isn’t the flick for nerds clinging to textbooks or jocks memorizing playbooks. It’s a tad more refined, but not quite slick. To use an obvious metaphor, it’s the kid who went on gap year and traveled the globe before coming back to the night-before-Thanksgiving function with way better stories than your freshman year at state college.

Which is the point when you realize this story is just plain more interesting than most of the others, anyway. So, if you’re expecting that land where the Force ruled all and you got at least one gargantuan display of it per movie, you won’t get it. You’ll see a legit suspenseful thriller that right when you let your guard down hits the hyperdrive and puts you right back to your childhood.

Daily Dose: 12/13/16

Jay Z flips Phil Jackson’s ‘posse’ comment to praise LeBron James

9:50 AMWant to thank everyone who tuned in Monday night to ESPN Radio to hear Domonique Foxworth and me fill in for Jalen & Jacoby. It was a fun time, and hopefully they’ll be more of that in the future!

Welp, the inevitable has happened. Donald Trump has quite literally picked a cabinet member who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The actual CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson (whom Saturday Night Live’s Michael Che joked had the most oil tycoon name ever) has been tapped to be Trump’s secretary of state. He, of course, has no formal diplomatic experience, but as this tweet points out, there’s an argument that an oil company head has dealt with more countries than your average global diplomat. ABC News reports on the announcement.

We’re getting to that point of the year when weather becomes a big factor on the East Coast. Say what you like about various regions’ ability to “deal” when it comes to bad conditions, the fact is that bad weather creates treacherous conditions for people who don’t have the ability to just gas up the four-wheel drive SUV and bunker in the house for a couple of days. As the Christmas holiday comes up, the latest winter blast could be a source of major havoc. Basically, look out for your loved ones. ABC News’ weather team has the latest.

If I asked you who the most dominant player in the NFL was, who would you say? There’s a pretty good argument for Ezekiel Elliot, what with him tearing up the league on the ground and his Dallas Cowboys squad having the best record in the league. There’s also a good argument for David Johnson, who seems to be able to do almost anything on the field as a running back, but whose Arizona Cardinals are not as successful. Yet, there’s also the homey Le’Veon Bell who went berserk on Sunday. FiveThirtyEight’s Chase Stuart makes the case.

Jay Z is not here for the games. On Monday night, at a ceremony to honor the Sports Illustrated Sports Person of the Year, Shawn Carter took to the stage to speak and introduce LeBron James, who won the honor. He didn’t just extol the virtues of the Cleveland Cavalier, he made a very specific reference to e Jackson’s posse comment, which you’ll recall at the time, was way out of line. It was a pretty cool moment from one mogul to another, and one that showed a genuine amount of respect between the two. ESPN’s Ian Begley reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: When Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks and writes, people listen and read. That’s really all there is to it. So, you might want to take some time to check out his latest piece, titled My President Was Black, which also will likely be the first and last time that a Young Jeezy lyric is channeled for the cover of The Atlantic.

Snack Time: Child sex scandals are not anything new to the globe, but as we learn more about human trafficking over time, we find different places where its evil has thrived over the years. One such place: English soccer.

Dessert: This new Kehlani/Little Simz video sends an important message — know what you bring to the table.