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

Daily Dose: 7/11/17

Baseball is set to celebrate itself

12:20 PMAll right, kiddos, I’m headed off to Minneapolis Tuesday for the X Games, which should be fun. I’ve never been there, and I hear it’s nice during the summer. Should be a fun time.

Welp, we’re about to find out just how much the Trumps like each other. There are some families who will go to jail for the squad. And there are some who will throw each other under the bus, even at the highest level. Now that it’s been revealed that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, with full knowledge that there was an attempt to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, somebody’s going to have to say something. And if President Donald Trump is willing to throw his own son under the bus, he’ll do it to anyone.

For whatever reason, a police officer is suing Black Lives Matter. And by “whatever reason” I mean twisted, racist logic that allows people to assume that black people are to blame for every single thing in the world. After some guy ambushed a bunch of police officers in Louisiana, they’re blaming DeRay Mckesson for inciting violence against police. If this suit is successful, what that basically means is that if you speak out against police brutality, you will have to pay for it. Which is foul. Here’s a breakdown of this ridiculous situation.

There’s old and crotchety, then there’s just plain mean. When you’re a kid and some old guy yells, “Get off my lawn,” it sounds like everything else you hear from an adult: Stop. But what you also hear is that you should get out and do something with your life instead of sitting inside letting your brain rot while staring at the internet. So when a kid decided to mow his 68-year-old neighbor’s lawn, he thought he was doing him a favor. But, since no good deed goes unpunished, that neighbor called the cops on him.

The MLB All-Star Game is Tuesday night in Miami, and if Monday night’s Home Run Derby was any indication, this should be a pretty incredible game. In general, the Midsummer Classic is hit or miss, which prompted the league to tie it to the World Series for so many years. But if you like baseball, it is fun, if for no other reason than the pageantry. I couldn’t tell you who won one in any given year, but I do watch every year. Some guys, though, make the team entirely too much. Check out this look at who are the all-time leaders in undeserved honors.

Free Food

Coffee Break: As someone who watches a lot of television, I have a lot of experience with remotes. A bad remote setup in a house can make the viewing experience a real drag, and with so many different devices out these days, it’s getting more difficult. For nostalgia’s sake, the history of the universal remote is a fun one.

Snack Time: If you’ve been thinking about getting solar panels for your home, you might want to hurry up and get on that. Because, yes, power companies are doing everything they can to put this practice out to pasture.

Dessert: It’s Amazon Prime Day. Try not to drain your wallets too much.

All Day Podcast: 7/7/17

A cartoonist, a cartoon historian and a cartoon character?

5:35 PM

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed

When I first set out to make this week’s pod, I hadn’t really put a whole lot of thought into the thread of subjects. To be quite honest, I really just shoot for what comes to mind and interests me, then go from there. Rob King, ESPN’s senior vice president of SportsCenter and news, was in town, so I thought it was a good time to sit down and take a look at the life of someone who makes one of the network’s flagship programs go.

As it turns out, King was a cartoonist as a child and through college, which was what he planned for his career in journalism to be. Instead, he ended up in Philadelphia, where he ran the sports desk and eventually moved over to front-page duties. Long story short, he’s a fun and experienced guy, and the conversation indicated as such.

From there, we go a different route into the world of JAY-Z. A buddy of mine posted a story from a blog called Cartoon Brew that I had never heard of to that point. You can read it here. It breaks down the imagery in the video for “The Story of O.J.,” which basically turns quite a few stereotypes from old American cartoons on their head to create an entirely new framework through which to see the short.

Amid Amidi is the author of the piece and an animation historian who’s authored many books on the topic. He’s admittedly not a huge hip-hop fan, but my man knows comics, so you should definitely check that out to hear him break down the animation world.

Lastly, with LaVar Ball penning the cover story for the latest issue of SLAM magazine, which features his sons on the cover, I had to speak on it. He writes from the heart about what his entire life plan has been for these boys, and after all this stuff regarding their success, I genuinely got a little emotional. LaVar is such an inspiration in my eyes, and I hope that after hearing today’s pod, you’ll understand why.

Enjoy!

Daily Dose: 7/7/17

Venus Williams’ Wimbledon greatness continues

4:03 PMThis week of radio has come to a close, but this time I filled in with Izzy Gutierrez on The Dan Le Batard Show. If you want to listen to all three hours, you can do that here, here and here. Summer holiday week radio, kiddos.

Trump and Putin met for a long time today. They were supposed to sit down for only a half-hour or so, but the meeting stretched to more than two hours, which is leading all sorts of people to speculate about what they actually discussed since they finally had some privacy. If you believe that these two have been in cahoots all along, this doesn’t exactly bode well. But, then again … well, actually, never mind. Lord knows what went on in that get-together, so here’s what we at least think we can deduce.

When I take Amtrak to NYC and back, the computing situation is always dicey. Wi-Fi is always tough, so expecting to get any work done is never realistic. But some people take things next level when it comes to trains. Talking in the quiet car is one thing, but this woman in the U.K. is a complete hero. She brought her entire iMac on to a moving train. Why anyone would do this, iHave no idea, but props for pulling it off. Seriously, what on earth do you have to be working on for this to be required? I’ll never know.

People who don’t clean up after their dogs are monsters. It’s gross, unsanitary and, in many cases, illegal. There are various ways to confront people who do this. The No. 1 seed in that tournament is to simply approach the person and say, “Hey, get it together.” Or, you can put up a bunch of passive-aggressive signs around your neighborhood with goofy cartoons on them. But one person wants to know if it’s worth going all the way to the wall with, by ratting out the offenders to the apartment building authorities. Short answer: no.

Venus Williams is still fighting the good fight. She beat Japan’s Naomi Osaka in straight sets, leaving her as the only champion left in the women’s draw at Wimbledon. Of course, little sister Serena isn’t playing because she’s having a baby, but it should also be said that Venus is the oldest woman to ever enter the draw at the All-England Club. When it’s all said and done, it’s hard to overstate how great she’s been, particularly at this tournament. She’s won more trophies at Wimbledon than at any other Grand Slam tournament, and I’m rooting for her to keep rolling.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you don’t like Lil Yachty, I don’t know what to tell you. The kid exudes positivity, makes bangers and has his career together, but there are still people in these streets hating on him as a mumble rapper. He calls himself the King of the Teens, but what happens when he hits his 20s?

Snack Time: Blac Chyna has filed for a restraining order against Rob Kardashian. This is a stunning development in the K clan, as he decided to go full-blown revenge porn on her, which is never the right move. What a mess.

Dessert: Here’s an A$AP Rocky song to take you into the weekend. Happy summer.

Daily Dose: 7/6/17

Chauncey Billups didn’t need the disrespect in Cleveland

10:59 AMIf you missed me Wednesday with Ryan Hollins on The Dan Le Batard Show on ESPN Radio, you can check out the podcast here. We’ll be doing it again Thursday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., so check us out!

Rep. Steve Scalise is back in the hospital. After a man decided he was going to shoot at elected officials who were practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game, the Louisiana representative was battling for his life. He was out for a while, but his status was never really understood to be in the clear. Meanwhile, a representative from Kentucky is using this opportunity to try to loosen gun laws in D.C. while keeping the Capitol itself protected since, clearly, guns are dangerous. What a craven move.

President Donald Trump is headed to Hamburg, Germany, for the G-20 summit. If you don’t recall, the last world trip he took caused all sorts of issues because he doesn’t particularly play well with others on the world stage. He first stopped in Poland, where he indicated that no one really knows what happened regarding the U.S. election, which is bizarre. Anyways, over in Germany, where this showdown is set to kick off, people are dressing like zombies in the street. For me, as far as artistic protests go, this one is awesome.

I’m slightly scared of glasses. For years, I never had any problems with vision. Then after years of looking at television and computer screens, it was clear that I needed help to see. But because of vanity, I’m yet to actually cop a pair of lenses, and because of physical capability, contact lenses are not an option. I seriously have no idea how people jam those things in their eyes every day. But, for one person who did, a scary result came of it: Her eyes went rogue. This seriously scares me silly.

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner is really trying hard to screw this up. After the team got to the NBA Finals, he decided to fire his own general manager, which is insane. After that, he went after Chauncey Billups — you know, the former NBA star. Apparently Billups is looking to get into the business and figured a team that already had a few stars was a good start. But Billups doesn’t exactly need the job, per se. So Dan Gilbert lowballed him, creating a really awkward situation. Not good in Cleveland.

Free Food

Coffee Break: If you’re in Nashville, Tennessee, next week, I have some instructions for you. As soon as you arrive, or right now, go to the venue Basement East. Then stay there until July 12. Why? Because the Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard has a new band called Bermuda Triangle, and they’ll be performing. It should be incredible.

Snack Time: If you haven’t seen the video version of JAY-Z’s “The Story of O.J.” yet, it’s on YouTube. Peep below. But if you aren’t familiar with all the visual representation in the short, check out this breakdown.

Dessert: Statik Selektah and Joey Badass have some new bangers out. Perfect for midsummer chillin’.

The Ball family empire expands to Facebook

with a new reality series about their lives

4:15 PMWe are one step closer to the Balldashians ruling the entertainment world. Back when LaVar Ball and his band of boys and brothers burst onto the national scene, it was clear to some of us which route they were taking. For those who could see clearly what the father of Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo was doing, the next step was obvious: reality TV. Now, with the launch of a new docuseries set to debut on Facebook, that plan is coming together.

I tried to tell you all about the Balldashian Empire awhile back on ESPN Radio. We’re not quite there yet, because in my fantasy world, the logical extreme must be played out. We must have an actual partnership between the two families. Be they business or love-related, or both. It’s gotta happen.

Many people seem to believe the Kardashians are career-killers, as evidenced by quite a bit of historical fact. Heck, Rashad McCants even went so far as to openly blame Khloe for his inability to make $70M in the NBA. That’s, of course, completely insane. McCants averaged 10 points a game in the league. Now, he’s chilling comfortably in Ice Cube’s BIG3 league.

This isn’t some stunt from Facebook, either. This series, which will highlight the Ball family, is the second installment in the company’s as-yet-launched original programming lineup, according to Deadline. Meaning, this ain’t your uncle making FB Live videos of himself singing Peabo Bryson songs in his Cadillac on the way to Bible study. They’re talking about competing with the Netflix- and Amazon-type operations of the world.

The past week has been fruitful for America’s Foremost Basketball Family. The new Lonzos (aka the ZO2s) dropped in Independence Day colors and people genuinely liked them, as if that was somehow a surprise. Now they’re inking deals with the majors when it comes to video content.

People tried to act like LaVar was insane when he said Big Baller Brand was going to be worth $1B. Well, you know how many users Facebook has worldwide? You guessed it.

Daily Dose: 7/5/17

On July Fourth America, we were reminded of who we really are

10:16 AMHope everyone’s holiday went well. I spent it listening to Luther Vandross records with a buddy of mine, which was an extremely fulfilling experience. It might be a Quiet Storm kind of summer until the weather gets colder.

If you want to know why being black in this country is tough, let me explain. It’s not only that when we are killed by police officers for no reason, those officers often don’t get fired, and walk free. But afterward, the government will spit on our graves, too. Take for example the case of Philando Castile, in which a man was shot and killed in front of his girlfriend and her daughter, ostensibly because the officer was just plain afraid of black people. He went free. Now, the judge has written a letter of support to the jurors who let him off. What a country.

Speaking of the United States, Tuesday was July Fourth. So, as a result, NPR decided to tweet out, over the course of the day, the words of the Declaration of Independence, the document that everyone is actually celebrating when it comes to busting off fireworks and shoveling hot dogs down their gullets. Well, as it turns out, some people have no idea what that document actually says, because people don’t pay attention to history. Shocker. The way this played out over the day would have been funny, if not so painful to watch.

Sticking with our theme, let’s go to Florida. All across the South, and plenty of other places for that matter, there are all sorts of places and streets with names of Confederate officials. We won’t get into an argument about heritage versus hate, because there isn’t one. But in one town, city administrators have now decided that they aren’t going to take a poll from the public on the matter before they vote to remove street names from the Old South. We’ll see how it goes.

There are few things more American than eating contests. Only in this country do people line up to watch other humans shovel as much food into their mouths as quickly as possible — and they put it on television. This year was no different on Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. Personally, I can’t watch. They make me barf just thinking about it. But Joey Chestnut is the master of his domain and has now won 10 titles. They’re going to have to start thinking about renaming the contest after him. Here’s a recap of the day.

Free Food

Coffee Break: When you shut down a public beach, then show up there with your family, you can expect people to mock you. That’s exactly what went down in New Jersey with Gov. Chris Christie. The pictures of him sitting on an abandoned beach are hilarious. Then, someone made a sand sculpture of it. God bless America.

Snack Time: What happens when you try to kill wasps and you have no idea what you’re doing? Well, of course, you accidentally blow up your garage … with fireworks.

Dessert: Behold one of our greatest national treasures. Chance the Rapper.

[protected-iframe id=”d23a364b8936bd2dcfa5fde7bb01e1f5-84028368-105107678″ info=”https://www.npr.org/templates/event/embeddedVideo.php?storyId=533112160&mediaId=533254901″ width=”600″ height=”338″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no”]