Daily Dose: 7/20/17
The nation’s eyes are on O.J. Simpson yet again
1:26 PMSometimes you wake up in the morning and you can feel a crazy news day in your bones. At least at this stage of my life I can. Thursday is going to be one of those days, I think.
So, where to start with the president. First off, there was the interview with The New York Times. Rambling doesn’t even begin to describe how all over the place that conversation was, just on balance. Then he said he would have never hired Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he knew he’d recuse himself from the Russia investigation, which is a staggering admission. There’s also a story circulating that the White House is using funds designed to promote the Affordable Care Act to denigrate it.
O.J. Simpson is legitimately back in the news. We all knew this was coming, but it’s somehow still surreal to think that we’re going to be looking at Orenthal, once again, in a courtroom, rapt to find out what his fate will be. It clearly won’t have the same social impact as The Verdict, but this is straight-up huge news across every network. This scenario is obviously opening up some very old wounds for a lot of people, so whatever the parole verdict may be, it will be extremely emotional.
Some ideas are so misguided that you often wonder how they got so far. Such is the case over at HBO, where apparently the adapters of Game of Thrones are going to create another show called Confederate. And it sounds like it plans to be exactly what you might imagine: a world in which slavery is still legal and the South succeeded in breaking away. We need not point out how instantly awful this might become. But the risk of letting someone run wild with an ahistorical reimagining of our past is just one that few of us will trust, overall.
If HBO wants a series about the Civil War so bad, here's an idea – PICK UP UNDERGROUND.
— ReBecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) July 19, 2017
In the past five years, the NBA has made real efforts to expand its footprint globally. Since the Dream Team in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, the league’s popularity has blown up and the league continues to push. The NBA Africa Game, a matchup that began in 2015, takes place Aug. 5. Now they’re heading to one of the biggest nations on Earth: India. The Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant will be the face of that tour. While there isn’t a full game yet, he will be holding camp and basically acting as an ambassador. Very cool.
Coffee Break: I don’t typically freak out over every single leaked still shot from a set or makeup room, but in the case of Star Wars, I’ll make an exception. We’ve finally got a visual of Donald Glover playing a young Lando Calrissian, which is a very tough role to tackle for so many reasons, namely Billy Dee Williams.
Snack Time: Speaking of bad ideas, Atari is putting out a new product that puts speakers in the bill of a baseball cap, meaning the notion of private listening on, say, public transportation is one step closer to complete oblivion.
Dessert: This song blew me away.
Daily Dose: 7/19/17
Russell Westbrook rocks ‘Fight Racism’ shirt
3:03 PMI’ve got a new podcast coming out later Wednesday, and it’ll be a review of my time in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, that town is back in the news because of another police shooting, this time involving a yogi who was shot and killed.
found this the other day pic.twitter.com/rYi6vVtMRT
— fee nom (@PHNM) July 19, 2017
Russell Westbrook has been making fashion statements for a long time. But Tuesday night at Sports Illustrated‘s Fashionable 50 event, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard presented a larger message than just “look at me.” He wore a T-shirt that says “Fight Racism” on the red carpet, and he’s the cover boy. It’ll be interesting to see how this flies in the state he plays in, as opposed to the city he’s from and lives in, Los Angeles. To be clear, Westbrook also likes the way it looks. Obviously.
The president of the United States has a sidepiece. He happens to be the president of Russia. And like in many covert relationships, because he’s not being honest about it, the rest of his world is becoming more difficult to maintain. As it turns out, there were actually a whole lot of people in that Trump Tower meeting that his son had with a Russian lawyer, and the number appears to be going up. Also, the president apparently decided to have a separate meeting with Vladimir Putin and his interpreter at the G-20 summit.
If you don’t know, O.J. Simpson has a parole hearing coming up Thursday. If you’ve forgotten, he’s in prison for a crime completely unrelated to the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. He’s been locked up for pulling a gun on two guys over some memorabilia of his in Las Vegas. Simpson has been incarcerated for nine years, and there are people who believe that he’s likely to get out. I’m infinitely fascinated with what will be the third chapter of Simpson’s life and what he’ll be like if he is freed.
Magic Johnson is extremely high on Lonzo Ball. Ever since the rookie was named MVP of the Las Vegas Summer League and his team won the title, Johnson’s been proved right to an extent. Mind you, Magic was hyping homeboy immediately after the draft, so this is nothing new. And we thought LaVar Ball had a lot to say. Now, the Lakers’ president of basketball operations says those triple-doubles will be coming quite frequently in the regular season too. There’s no question that they’ll be fun to watch next season.
Coffee Break: It never ceases to amaze me how many people the Kardashians are connected to in one way or another. It’s part of the reason that I call them America’s greatest television family. Turns out, the doctor who delivered Beyoncé’s babies is also the Kardashian deliverer, and even delivered Kim herself.
Snack Time: Rae Sremmurd are in the prime of their careers. Hit songs, great videos, sold-out shows. Now they’ve got a comic book featuring their likeness coming to fruition. It’s supposed to hit shelves in October.
Dessert: For whatever reason, I love the A$AP Rocky/Lana Del Rey relationship. They’ve got two new songs.
Daily Dose: 7/18/17
Michael Vick has some advice for Colin Kaepernick
1:55 PMI’m finally back home for more than a day, and I’m very happy about that. On Monday I was on The Ryen Russillo Show, and it was an excellent experience. If you want to hear the show, here you go. Hour 1, Hour 2, Hour 3.
40 Under 40: Sports Media Talents https://t.co/9kvw6R53eI
— The Big Lead (@thebiglead) July 18, 2017
Well, it looks like the latest health care plan has fallen apart, again. The goal of trying to keep America healthy has turned into a political battle that’s genuinely embarrassing on a global level. The GOP’s effort to repeal Obamacare fell short, again, because they didn’t have the votes. This fact apparently caught the White House off guard, which is bizarre, as everyone paying attention knew this wasn’t going to work. Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is calling for a repeal of the whole thing, with absolutely zero plan to replace it. What a mess.
Michael Vick, we didn’t think it’d be you. The former NFL quarterback, who knows a thing or two about image rehabilitation, went on television and gave some advice to Colin Kaepernick on how he might be able to get back in the league’s good graces. He told him to cut his hair. Without getting into a whole rant about how black hair is unfairly weaponized in America, I’ll just say this: Kaepernick’s hair is too important to cut at this point. Should it matter? No. But yes, alas, it does. Damien Woody was not a fan of Vick’s suggestion.
Summer is weird. While the weather is warm, and there’s a sense of elongated laziness and carefree mentality that people enjoy, there can also be a huge downside: depression. Why? Mainly because if you don’t have your life together and are forced to watch everybody else having fun in their seasonal happiness, it can wear on you. But there’s also a physical reason. As it turns out, too much light can negatively affect your body, never mind the actual temperature of the air. The dog days are for real.
Ezekiel Elliott is living his life. The star Dallas Cowboys running back seems to be in the headlines for one thing or another all the time, and it might end up costing him some cash. During the week he was supposed to meet with the NFL about how his offseason has gone, but he ended up getting into an altercation at a nightclub, which just isn’t a good look. Now he’s trying to appeal a speeding ticket. At this point it’s pretty clear the NFL is going to sit him down, even if it’s just for his own good.
Coffee Break: I know you all love Game of Thrones. I don’t watch that show, but it’s not personal, it’s just not for me. I’m a robots-and-lasers guy, not a wizards-and-woods guy, but with the season premiere having just dropped, people are back at it. One question though: Where are all the black folks in this HBO series?
Snack Time: The Magic School Bus was a series of books that as a kid I didn’t admit that I liked, but I genuinely loved. Now it appears that Tracee Ellis Ross will play Mrs. Frizzle in a live-action version adaptation. Amazing.
Dessert: Some things you just can’t make up, kiddos.
‘Bachelorette’ recap: Leave the family therapy to Dr. Phil
Dean’s family visit was the most cringeworthy moment of the whole season
11:32 AMHometown visits are great because they provide a great dose of reality — a nice break from reality TV. Some really organic moments happened Monday night, like this one. I love black people so much:
— The Bachelorette (@BacheloretteABC) July 18, 2017
Eric’s family visit was a great way to highlight the monolithic black community trope and smash it. Eric and Rachel are from two completely different backgrounds, and that was showcased last night in a really authentic way. For example, Eric’s seamless code-switching. Eric took Rachel to the decidedly rougher side of Baltimore, but there was nothing rough about this family visit. Sure, there were some unresolved parental issues (“A lot of men don’t reach for the stars because they reach for the thing next to them: their mother,” is a nice way of saying sorry I never hugged you as a child. Not.) But it was presented correctly. It didn’t turn into a whole therapy session. Maybe it did, but Rachel — and America — were shielded from the more private moments. It’s too bad that Eric isn’t going to win (I think), because his family is an absolute gem.
Give Eric's family their own damn show. Like if Rachel doesn't pick him, give him a show where they help him find a woman. #TheBachelorette
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) July 18, 2017
Bryan’s family though … not so much. It’s not that his family is awful, but his mom was laying it on pretty thick — we get it, he’s your baby, your pride and joy, your precious, blah, blah, blah.
Rachel's laughing but something tells me Bryan's mom is dead serious about killing her #TheBachelorette
— Tierra R. Wilkins (@Yerraaa) July 18, 2017
But family aside, we still don’t know the real Bryan. He’s going to win, I can feel it in my bones. But Bryan, who are you, and why do you like Rachel? When his mom asked him about what he likes about Rachel, he kept it painfully generic. Bryan is in it to win it, but that may come back to hurt him in the long run. He’s been so focused on the hunt, he hasn’t taken time to bare his soul or connect with Rachel on a deeper level. All they do is make out, and I’m sick of it!
Peter is life. Don't mess this up with wanting a proposal immediately.
The world #TheBachelorette
— Shan (@shani_brewsy) July 18, 2017
On to Peter, Rachel’s true love. Unlike Bryan, Peter is taking his time, and his honesty is making Bachelor nation weep into their wineglasses all across America. Peter isn’t putting on any airs about falling in love or getting down on one knee. Gap-toothed bae is taking his time. Rachel, girl, I’m gonna need you to slow your roll and realize what you’ve got in your hands. He’s got a great, normal family. He’s great with kids. And he’s graying better than George Clooney ever could. I wish more seasons of The Bachelor/ette ended like every other dating show: with a date! A real date! A strongly worded commitment, even! But no, Rachel wants a husband.
Remember how Eric’s family issues were edited wonderfully? Well, Dean’s hometown visit was the exact opposite. What a mess for everyone involved. Another shining example of the rather embarrassing job the editors have done this season. Dean has unresolved issues with his dad and is arguably even more stressed about the visit than Rachel is. Having grown up in a stable two-parent household, Rachel doesn’t seem to get it. Poor Dean was forced to rehash his father’s absenteeism on national television in what was the most uncomfortable 10 minutes in the history of the show.
Why are they showing this. This is a very private conversation that does not need to be shown& has nothing to do w the show #TheBachelorette
— Larissa Harsh (@MissLariss10) July 18, 2017
— ray (@itbray) July 18, 2017
And on top of that, he went home! After Rachel said she’s falling for him (and nobody else)! The fact that Dean and his father didn’t hug it out clearly fell short of Rachel’s expectations, because, again, she doesn’t get it. Not everyone has to be BFFs with their parents, Rach. It sucks that Dean had to pay the price, but right now Rachel is focused on clearing the way for Bryan to win, so y’all gotta go at some point.
Daily Dose: 7/17/17
R. Kelly’s latest disgusting scheme is exposed
1:38 PMAll right, all, I’ll be on The Ryen Russillo Show on Monday from 1-4 p.m. EST, which is also on ESPNews if you want to see me while I talk. But, if you want to hear The Morning Roast from Sunday, without pictures, there’s that too.
— Kwani Lunis (@KwaniALunis) July 17, 2017
R. Kelly is a monster. At this point, that’s a pretty irrefutable fact. Long after the urination incident that instantly sunk the R&B singer’s reputation in many circles, he’s still apparently making music, and people are still falling for his grotesque bit. In his latest piece, Jim DeRogatis, a music journalist who’s made a life’s work out of exposing the artist’s acts, explains how Kelly is now basically running a cult for young women. It should suprise no one, but that doesn’t mean it’s not newsworthy. The scariest part is that none of it is really illegal.
If you don’t watch gaming on television, I wouldn’t blame you. But Sunday night I found myself bored while in a hotel room, so I decided to watch the Street Fighter V tournament at EVO 2017. There was a guy who went by the name of Punk, a relatively soft-spoken kid from Philly who was banging people out. But the best part was that they kept showing his mom, who was AMPED in the crowd. If this is how all gamers’ parents celebrate, I’d watch it every single night. Her pride in her son made the whole thing worth it.
50 years ago, Detroit burned. Now, depending on who you ask, the descriptors of the event are different. Some will call them riots. Others will call it a rebellion. And some will call it an uprising because of everything that was surrounding the economic condition of the city at the time. Now, a movie simply titled Detroit about the 1967 incident is coming out, lending new interest to the history of the city. A friend of mine saw it and said it made him physically uncomfortable. Here’s a look back on that time in the Motor City.
The BIG3 is trying, but things are hard. When games aren’t on live, and teams are making trades of players no one’s ever heard of, it can be tough to gain traction. As a gimmick it’s been fun, and everyone’s got an uncle who’s really into it, but right now it’s a sideshow. A good one, though. But when Allen Iverson comes back to Philadelphia and can’t play because of undisclosed reasons, that’s a problem. The 76ers legend was in the building but did not actually participate over the weekend. Bummer. I hope Bubba Chuck is OK.
Coffee Break: Bringing a dog on a plane is such a scary venture. It’s why people go well out of their way to make sure that they can sit right next to them if they are forced to bring their animals to travel. But don’t tell that to ScHoolboy Q, the TDE rapper, who had his canine shipped to the wrong city by an airline. Nightmare scenario.
Snack Time: Guess what? Racism and consistent discrimination actually have real effects on your life beyond just living and dying. A new study reveals that psychological trauma and poverty may lead more black folks to dementia.
Dessert: I’ve been banging this new French Montana album all weekend. Don’t at me.
The Morning Roast: 7/17/17
Let’s talk about the Knicks, X Games, ‘The Bachelorette’ and contracts
11:48 AMMina Kimes was back from assignment, Clinton Yates was back from the Midwest and Domonique Foxworth decided to go to McDonald’s for breakfast instead of the usual bagels and coffee. It was a great show.
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Mina managed to make it to the ESPY Awards, which apparently has a standby list that I didn’t know about until she brought it up. Alas, the person whose seat she took wasn’t a very memorable person, but being in the building is half the fun.
During the show, Roger Federer managed to win yet another Wimbledon men’s singles title, which means he broke a record. Clinton was way more interested in talking about the line judges and those cool outfits they get to wear. Speaking of outfits, the All-England Club ain’t playing when it comes to its all-white policy. Tournament officials straight-up made a team change their underwear, because God forbid anyone show any color whatsoever.
Of course, Carmelo Anthony is still looking to get out of New York, and this time the Houston Rockets look to be the landing spot. This somehow led to a conversation about the Knicks and Melo staying together to appease Kristaps Porzingis, whom you might recall bounced on the team before exit interviews at the end of last season. That led to a show-long thread of broken-home discussions, which, although painful for Clinton, at least provided good show content.
Since it’s summer, the NBA summer league is around, and more popular than ever. The gang discussed how the Ball family is handling the entire situation. More importantly, Clinton and Domonique unveiled their theory of how Lonzo is handling his shoe contract situation, which is very forward-thinking.
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Things got off to a hot start with Showtime’s Brian Custer, who discussed the latest in the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor boxing match, which has gotten ugly on the news conference front. He’s been at all of them, but the most fun part of the interview came when quite a few listeners thought Custer dropped an f-bomb on the air (he actually said the word “buck.”)
No one was more excited than Domonique and Mina to get back to football talk, sparked by the fact that Richard Sherman says players need to strike if they expect to make more money. With both of them being union experts, they broke down exactly why labor strife is not going to work out in the players’ favor when it comes to the NFL.
Clinton was back from Minnesota, where he was attending the X Games, so that’s where Top 5 went. If you’ve never been to one, you know that all sorts of people attend this event, so he looked back at who he ran into while he was at US Bank Stadium.
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As of this posting, Kirk Cousins still has not signed a contract with Washington’s NFL franchise. Which means that if he plays another season without reaching a long-term deal, the team will have to fork over huge cash if it’s looking to franchise-tag him a third time. Clearly, that situation is ridiculous, which gave Clinton, a fan of the team, an opportunity to literally yell and scream about it.
The Bachelorette is down to hometown visits, but first, Rachel had to cut a couple of people. Dean got the short end of the stick on the date front, but Bryan is out here copping Breitling watches with Rachel. Most importantly, Christian Yates is back from vacation in Uruguay and China, much to Domonique’s delight.
Finally, we unveiled a new bit called House on Fire, which Domonique created as a poll question. Basically, it’s the opposite of “1 Gotta Go,” and you have to pick one thing you’d save in a situation if your proverbial house were on fire. The best part of the bit came when one caller decided to blow up the whole construct of the game with a rather brilliant observation.