Daily Dose: 8/25/16
Leslie Jones, we got your back
10:20 AMI’ve been in Chicago for a couple of days now in preparation for our town hall conversation about athletes, responsibility and gun violence. I’ll be on one of the panels and hosting an ESPN Radio special before and afterward. Tune in.
Just saying the word “welfare” makes me uncomfortable. It’s such a loaded term that every time it’s used, I have a physical reaction that I can’t explain. It’s sort of like when I hear the word “ghetto” used as a random adjective for things that are marginally unpleasant. Anyway, for the people who are actually on public assistance in this country, things have changed quite a bit over the past 20 years. FiveThirtyEight’s Andrew Flowers explains how these days, the people who actually need the money are not always the ones getting it.
At the height of her career, people have done everything they can to tear down Leslie Jones. As a black women who tells jokes and acts for a living, a lot of people just can’t handle the fact that she’s winning at life. She faced a ton of harassment online earlier this summer, then this week, she was doxxed and all sorts of details about her life, including nude pictures were leaked online. It’s unfair, it’s racist and it’s vicious. Thankfully, some people have come to her side during this painful time.
If you knew there was a new planet that you could live on, would you do it? And I don’t mean like those people who want to go to Mars, knowing full well they would die there, I mean an actual planet like Earth that is inhabitable by humans, that just wasn’t Earth. Well, they found one. Apparently it’s called an “exoplanet,” which is just a really fun thing to say no matter what. People love tackling the challenge of a new neighborhood, imagine how crazy people would act over the prospect of a new planet. ABC News’ Avianne Tan has the story.
There are vicious dunks, then there are full posterizations. There was a time when certain acts of crammage lived in lore like old fairy tales, getting more extensive and ridiculous with each retell of the story. But now that everything we have is on video, a disrespectful throwdown lives on in infamy forever. Then, some high school junior from South Carolina blows up the internet with something insane. Seriously, watch this. Then watch it again, then a third time.
Coffee Break: Olympian Katie Ledecky is the best competitive swimmer on earth. Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is one of the best baseball players on earth. But when it’s time for Ledecky to play baseball, Harper holds her gold medals while she does it. You’re not going to get a role reversal much better for a first pitch.
Snack Time: I don’t know that I’ve anticipated a TV show as much as Atlanta in an extremely long time. It’s going to be black as hell, and for all the right reasons, because everyone who writes the show is black. Yay.
Daily Dose: 8/24/16
Kobe Bryant Day just so happens to land on Reggie Miller’s birthday
12:58 PMWhat happens when “Kobe Bryant Day” falls on Indiana Pacers legend Reggie Miller’s 51st birthday? We go to YouTube and watch footage from the time Bryant and Miller fought on the court in 2002. Don’t worry, they’re cool now. Happy Kobe and Reggie day, y’all!
Olympic swimmer Jimmy Feigen releases statement about Rio incident. Feigen was one of four Olympic swimmers, including the now infamous Ryan Lochte, who was involved in a much talked about incident that unfolded at a Rio de Janeiro gas station during the Olympic Games. Last week, Lochte released an “apology” on his Instagram account, saying he should have been more “careful and candid” in handling the situation. On Tuesday, Feigen released his own statement, admitting to certain details about the situation that were previously lied about. This whole thing is a mess, and hopefully it’ll soon come to an end. Until then, The Associated Press has the details of Feigen’s statement.
Donald Trump isn’t bringing in as many dollars to the Republican Party as he claims. When you think Trump, one of the first things that comes to mind (jokes aside) is money. The businessman turned politician was suspected to provide a major economic boost to the Republican Party when he decided to run for president. But recent numbers show that the Republican presidential nominee isn’t living up to his promise. Though the election is still a few months away, Trump isn’t even close to hauling in the fundraising numbers 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney produced. What does this mean in terms of support heading into the election? AP‘s Chad Day and Julie Bykowicz have the details.
The NFL season is approaching, and you know what that means: time for fantasy football. Personally, I haven’t begun drafting yet, but a few people I know have already made their picks in anticipation of the season. Last weekend, I sat in on a friend’s draft and the top two picks were Cam Newton and Adrian Peterson — weird, I know. For those who frequent these fantasy football streets, you know the key to a solid roster is the “sleeper.” There’s always a list of projected sleepers before the start of the season — some more attractive prospects than others. VICE Sports breaks down the sleepers to avoid come draft time.
Trouble in paradise for Washington Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal? Remember in 2014 when Beal said he and Wall made up the best backcourt in the NBA? Remember when we all somewhat believed said bold statement and began referring to Washington’s backcourt as the “House of Guards” (which adidas even started profiting on)? Well, I think it’s say to safe that for Beal to make such a statement he had to at least get along with Wall. Not necessarily. On Tuesday, Wall came out to say that at times the two guards, who’ve played together since 2012, “dislike” each other on the court. This is not good, especially since Washington just signed Beal to a five-year $128 million max contract. ESPN has the report.
Coffee Break: There’s been a lot of talk about Frank Ocean lately since he released his two albums last week, which I’m still working my way through. Let’s take a moment to appreciate Frank Ocean as a songwriter by revisiting this cover he did for Beyoncé’s I Miss You, a song he co-wrote.
Snack Time: As a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumnus, I’m obligated to share this: UNC freshman basketball player Seventh Woods dunking on a fellow student.
Dessert: James Harden’s shoes got the Stephen Curry treatment on Twitter.
Daily Dose: 8/23/16
Ryan Lochte getting endorsement deals dropped by the day
11:00 AMIn 2015, I graduated undergrad from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Today marks the first day of classes at UNC, meaning it’s the first day of college for the class of 2020. I’m officially old as hell.
Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s fall from grace continues. During the 2016 Summer Games, Lochte and three other swimmers claimed to have been held up at gunpoint after a night out in Rio de Janeiro. Turns out Lochte “overexaggerated” the story, for which he’s taken a lot of heat on social media, and now he’ll be paying the price in endorsement dollars. Four companies that sponsor Lochte have decided to either terminate or not renew deals with him. One of those companies is probably the biggest swimwear outfitter in the world and another is arguably the biggest brand in the world, period. Not a good look for Lochte. ABC News’ Michael Edison Hayden and Paul Blake have the details.
There’s a frequent debate when it comes to Carmelo Anthony. And there are many entry points into the discussion. For example, on Monday in the The Undefeated newsroom, some asked the question, “Was Carmelo Anthony a first-ballot Hall of Famer before he won his third gold medal this Olympics?” The answer is yes. Though he may never win an NBA title — which his fellow 2003 NBA draftees LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have already done — Anthony has had quite the decorated NBA career thus far, and is one of the best scorers the league has ever seen. However, the fact of the matter is NBA Melo might be better than Olympic Melo. I mean, he is the first American to ever win three basketball golds. FiveThirtyEight’s Kyle Wagner has the numbers on just how better Olympic Melo is.
Russell Wilson and Ciara moved their wedding three times. But for good reason. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks quarterback played for North Carolina State University for four years before he transferred to and was drafted out of the University of Wisconsin. Wilson clearly still has love for North Carolina, and wanted to get married to his now wife, singer Ciara, there. But the celebrity couple moved their wedding from the Old North State due to North Carolina House Bill 2, which limits anti-discrimination protections for the LGBT community. (Remember, the NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte because of HB2.) ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia has the details on how the bill affected where Wilson and Ciara got married.
The Frank Ocean wait is over and it appears he’s back on top. After four years since Channel Orange, countless frustrated fans, Twitter jokes and memes, Frank Ocean finally dropped his long-awaited new album last weekend (and bonus: a visual album to go along with it). Originally, the project was supposed to be called Boys Don’t Cry, but the album is named Blonde. To be honest, I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to it yet in its entirety. And while I’ve heard mixed reviews, that doesn’t seem to matter. According to Billboard, the album will likely debut at No. 1 by the end of the week.
Coffee Break: Last weekend, I went to see Drake and Future perform on the Summer Sixteen Tour. So did Undefeated sports and culture writer Justin Tinsley. My seat was on the floor. JT’s seat was in the upper level. So, we bring to you “Views from the rafters, views from the front row.”
Snack Time: For all the Kobe Bryant fans out there, today is the recently retired Los Angeles Lakers great’s 38th birthday. On Aug. 24 (fitting because he wore the No. 24), the city of Los Angeles will celebrate “Kobe Bryant Day.”
Dessert: This GIF of Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez. I love her.
Daily Dose: 8/22/16
Neymar leads Brazil to Olympic gold in stunning fashion
10:18 AMWelp, we’re all done with the Olympics, kiddos. But not before we got in one more episode of Locker Room Lawyer — Rio version, specifically about swimmer Ryan Lochte, who is a liar. Check it out here.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has gotten his week off to a blistering start. My man kicked down the door first thing Monday morning by lobbing insults at MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, meanwhile his campaign manager du jour was just telling folks Sunday that he doesn’t do personal insults. This is all after he legit told a crowd of people that black people have nothing to lose by voting for him. On a more serious note, though, it does appear that the polls between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton are tightening, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver.
The further we get away from Prince’s death, the sadder the story becomes. Investigators are still looking into his death, but the details of his drug use are becoming very clear. And when a person with that much influence and money wants something, they get it. As for prescription drugs, it appears that Prince had a lot of them. An official told the Associated Press on Sunday that they found two dozen pills, counterfeit ones, no less, that contained fentanyl. AP‘s Amy Forliti reports.
Neymar is awesome. That just needs to be said. The 24-year-old Brazilian footballer put the nation on his back during the gold medal game against Germany and willed his team to its first men’s Olympic tournament win. He netted one during the first half on a beautiful free kick that opened the scoring. Then the match went to penalty kicks, the highest of drama. After a save, Neymar had the final kick to win the tournament. He did it. It was a genuinely great moment. VICE Sports‘ Aaron Gordon watched the game with three old Brazilian ladies.
Darryl Strawberry is scared for his friend Dwight Gooden. The two were subjects of the 30 for 30 film Doc & Darryl that chronicled how drugs derailed both of their careers in Major League Baseball. Now, Strawberry thinks that Gooden’s drug use has come back and the former phenom pitcher is in declining health because of his addictions. And not like, oh, this guy parties hard — Strawberry is concerned he may die any day. ESPN’s Adam Rubin details a story that hopefully has a better ending than many people involved think it will.
Coffee Break: I have to say, I love Harambe memes. They are typically sophomoric, disingenuous and absurd, but I’d be lying if I told you they didn’t make me laugh. But now, the Cincinnati Zoo is asking people to chill out with the jokes. That will never happen by the way, but the request seems reasonable.
Snack Time: If you’ve ever wondered whether or not Wu-Tang Clan was a real part of the American collective conscious, all you have to do is ask NPR’s Morning Edition crew.
Dessert: What’s the coolest thing I saw all weekend? It was this.
There’s something strange in the neighborhood
Who you gonna call?
CES is an artist whose worked I’ve loved since I was in high school. An old-school, wild-style graffiti guy for some time, he’s recently rotated his game on Instagram and other mediums. Now, he makes these wildly creative variations on his tag, many of which take on a form of marginally abstract but so functionally inventive that you can do nothing but just look and marvel.
In this particular variation, he takes on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, giving him the Ghostbusters treatment in a piece called “Speechless.” There are so many wonderful things about this sketch, which at even quasi-partial completion is super clean. You get a nice glimpse of his outline work as well, which you can see on the paper outside of the pink marker work.
The stray Sharpies and American flag calendar add a nice touch, too. Not unlike Trump’s health, this piece is astonishingly excellent.
We’re going to need a bigger boat
because MadC is chewing on stupid swimmers
I don’t know where this is from, but if it’s by MadC, it’s likely dope. She’s my favorite artist in the game, but more importantly this is very on brand for the dog days of summer. Of course, there’s nothing cool about shark attacks, but this is excellent can control in depicting that blood spray.
The best part about this post, however, is a comment from philipsteerart. “More bad press for sharks, they really don’t deserve it,” he writes. This dude must hate Sharknado. Shout out to Bethany Hamilton-Dirks, by the way. She’s awesome.
Do NOT try this at home, kiddos
Seriously, just watching this makes us nervous
7:00 AMLook, skateboarders by definition are sort of extremists.
The concept of hurling yourself through the air on a few layers of wood and four wheels is a tad wild to begin with, but these dudes in Hong Kong are going super next level. The first five seconds of this video are enough to make you want to barf if you’re afraid of heights, and if you’ve got the stomach to get to the end, please don’t lose your lunch.
There are no tricks, no jumps, no nothing. Just a kid standing on his skateboard.
We’re going back to Cuba
This time with a surfboard
7:00 AMThe ingenuity of the Cuban people never ceases to amaze me. Once beset with trade restrictions that forced people to basically work with what was already in front of them for decades, they still create and do it well. It’s no different when it comes to surfing. You’ve got to understand that not only was it nearly impossible to find surf equipment for years, it was legit illegal (and still kind of is?) because the government is leery of people paddling to freedom.
With that as the backdrop, think about what surf culture is even like in Cuba. Sure, Havana has its fair share of passers-through now that relations have been eased in many ways, but for the most part, people are straight up building boards from the random stuff they can find wherever they are. Think about that. It’s one thing to keep a car running for, say, 50 years. It’s quite another to construct an object to surf on out of leftover appliance parts.
Anyway, here’s a great story called “Riding The Waves Of Change: Surfers Push To Transform Cuba” by Corey McLean, who was on the island nation for a couple of months, making a documentary called Havana Libre about the surf scene down there.
In Havana, it is much easier than it used to be for surfers to get their hands on modern boards from tourists, but outside the city it is still nearly impossible. To this day, a young carpenter named Yoan Pablo gathers sea trash and foam that washes up on the shores of his community — a small ex-military district sitting 45 minutes by bus outside Havana called Micro X — and cobbles together Franken-boards to get him and his friends in the water. Pablo says that he has to source his resin, a key ingredient in the creation of boards, from over six hours away.
Where there’s a will, there’s a wave.