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

Daily Dose: 7/12/17

The MLB All-Star Game was a major success

10:43 AMIn case you missed it, I filled in for Bomani Jones from Minneapolis on Tuesday. Of course, it was MLB All-Star Game day, so we talked quite a bit about the Midsummer Classic. Here’s the show: Hour 1, Hour 2, Hour 3.

Donald Trump Jr. thinks he’s slick. Once it became clear that he sat down with someone who claimed to be with the Kremlin, he decided to get out in front of things and drop the emails of correspondence himself. Meanwhile, the Russians are getting tired of constantly seeing themselves on American television. Junior went on Fox News last night to try to explain himself, and that didn’t exactly go very well. His basic defense was “I’m not very good at collusion, so my bad.” His father, the president, was pleased.

Everyone loses when the family feuds. Those were the words of Jay-Z on his most recent album, but it sometimes applies to black media. Take for example the recent case of Dr. Umar Johnson, who made an appearance on Roland Martin’s TV One show. I guess Martin felt like he needed to bring Johnson β€” who, by the way, I find extremely harmful and ridiculous β€” to task, but in the process he embarrassed everyone involved. Here’s a fact-check of all the wild claims that were made during this televised shouting match.

When I think of Halloween, I think of … Michael Jackson? Not quite, but I guess if you want to throw Thriller into that mix, then you’ve got pretty much everything you need. I feel like every Oct. 31, MTV or some other channel runs that video on a loop for the night, which makes complete sense. But outside of that? The King of Pop is not particularly ghoulish. However, CBS has created an animated special that will feature his music and a storyline involving his dance moves. This will probably be pretty popular either way.

The MLB All-Star Game was fantastic. The Home Run Derby was a huge hit. There were all sorts of new players in the game, and because it didn’t “count” for anything for the first time since 2003, players got to have fun. Fox also did a great job with the broadcast, allowing Alex Rodriguez to roam the infield between innings to talk to players, and at one point players were mic’d up talking to the broadcast booth while on the field. But the best moment came when Nelson Cruz straight up took a picture with umpire Joe West before an at-bat. So much fun.

Free Food

Coffee Break: You never want to hear the words “iceberg breaks off in Antarctica.” You also never want to hear that in the same sentence as “size of Delaware.” Adding on “maps need to be redrawn” to that means that something has likely gone very wrong. Something has definitely gone wrong.

Snack Time: Don’t ask me how this is possible, but somehow, the people trying to make a live-action version of Aladdin are having trouble finding actors to play the lead roles. Every. Single. Side eye. In. The. World.

Dessert: Sevyn Streeter knows how to party, folks. Take notes for your summer ragers.

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.

The only reason Eric’s still around is because he’s black

Classic case of dating game affirmative action

10:52 AMProps are due for the people working behind the scenes on The Bachelorette. They can craft a teaser like nobody’s business and have millions of people running full-speed to their TVs at 7:59 p.m., tripping over LEGO bricks and last week’s laundry to get a sneak peek at the drama about to unfold. Thing is, the teasers rarely deliver, and Monday night was no exception to the glaring disconnect between the teasers’ A-plus editing and the downright confusing editing of the show itself.

Case in point:

OK, maybe that’s what the show was going for when it duped us into thinking Peter, aka gap-tooth bae, had Rachel crying her eyes out. Who would have guessed that he was just telling a weirdly vague story about the time he broke a girl’s heart? But here’s what I’m really getting at:

The running joke all season has been the success of Matt and Adam, the shadows of the competition. For real, who are these guys? Every week Rachel has given each of these two men a rose, and every week we’re left wondering what she could possibly see in these men with whom she’s spent a total of two on-screen minutes. But then this oh-so predictable episode aired, and both men were sent home. Good riddance, right? Except, not so fast.

Our girl Rach, knowing what was to come, seemed visibly upset as both Adam and Matt brought up sweet memories of them together that we have never seen. Like, legitimately cute moments. Matt actually seemed like a cool guy, and Bachelor nation wept as he got into the limo (with the champagne flute, what a legend), but we didn’t know why we were weeping! We don’t know this man! If the editors on this show are going to include crazy heartfelt moments like that, they need to give us the backstory, full stop. Do better, ABC.

At the end of this (again, insanely predictable) episode, Bryan, Peter, Dean and Eric are the last men standing. The first three make sense. Eric, though? Rachel is as annoyed by him as she was with Josiah (remember him?), but he stays. After Bryan, Peter and Dean got their one-on-one roses, I’m sure Rachel could have just ended right there, but she had to give one more out to one of three equally unappealing prospects. Heck, why not pick the black guy? Keeps the dream alive for everyone hoping a brotha wins.

Highly doubt that will happen though. Can’t wait for these hometown dates.

Daily Dose: 7/10/17

Blac Chyna speaks out about Rob Kardashian

12:24 PMMonday is July 10, 2017. Aka 7/10/2017. That’s a palindrome. Palindromes are really cool to me. That is all.

If you haven’t been paying attention, President Donald Trump and his people know Russia well. How well, we don’t exactly know, but a lot of people around the administration have been spending a whole lot of time trying to explain it. Turns out, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer very soon after his father clinched the Republican presidential nomination, which is dicey. Meanwhile, Trump is sharing vacation slideshow videos of his vacation, aka the G-20 summit, which is not a leisurely getaway by any stretch.

Rob Kardashian has violated Blac Chyna. There’s no way to deny that, but how the rest of this plays out will be very messy. The Kardashians are known for subsuming people into their circle and then spitting them out, be it in good taste or not. But this is different. Rob is sort of known as the problem child, the son who simply couldn’t cope with the life the same way his sisters do. And he decided to go the revenge porn route to apparently shame her for what happened in their relationship, which is not cool. Now, she’s speaking out.

The phrase “if money was no object” is always fascinating to me. Mainly because I’ve never once in my life been in a situation in which that was the case, so to hear it thrown around so casually is funny. And with an economy that scares people, with soaring costs for things like college, health care and housing, there’s a reasonable question to ask if you’re a young adult: When should I get it together? The weird thing about growing up is realizing how many people really never do. The staff at Vice decided to ask the people they knew who did it best: parents.

We don’t get to see the Obamas very often in public these days. Ever since they left the White House, it’s been scarce. And good for them, for that matter. With all that’s going on in Washington these days, if I were just getting out of that mess, I wouldn’t be making any appearances, either. But if you tune in to The ESPYS on Wednesday night, you’ll get to see Michelle Obama on your screen. She’ll be honoring Eunice Shriver Kennedy, which means that we’re in for an absolutely classy speech.

Free Food

Coffee Break: There are such things as bad ideas. You know what’s almost always one of those? The concept of randomly blowing things up to “see what happens.” And you know what’s especially bad? Doing that with actual things in space. So “what would happen if we blew up the moon?” is not exactly a reassuring question.

Snack Time: I have a long-standing theory about umbrellas. Basically, they’re useless. They’re not worth keeping, and they don’t keep you that dry. So this story about an “umbrella-sharing service” should make you laugh.

Dessert: This video will put you in a good mood. No doubt about it.

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.