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Daily Dose: 9/25/17

Prayers for Puerto Rico

12:25 PMHappy Monday, kiddos. If you missed #TheRightTime on Friday, I explained why I feel that extending the nets at MLB ballparks will drastically affect the experience of any baseball game. Take a listen here.

President Donald Trump officially launched his beef with the NFL on Sunday. He did the usual throwing out of Twitter broadsides, and the league’s players responded much in kind. Even New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said that Trump was doing too much. But one guy who works at the Buffalo Bills stadium was so mad about national anthem protests that he quit his ACTUAL job at the facility. That aside, let’s be careful how we use the word “unity” surrounding what the NFL is doing now, because, well, it’s not even really about that.

It’s a sad day in Nashville, Tennessee. And not because Vanderbilt got absolutely destroyed by Alabama, or because the Tennessee Titans couldn’t pull one out against the New England Patriots. A masked gunman entered a church parking lot and shot and killed someone and injured a handful of others inside the church. Obviously, this could have been a much bigger tragedy, but thankfully a church usher stepped in to confront the gunman. It’s not yet clear what the motivation for the shooting might have been; there will be a civil rights investigation.

Puerto Rico is part of the United States. In case you weren’t aware of that. Because some people aren’t. The island territory that’s brought so much to the culture, from music to sports to fashion, etc., is so completely devastated from Hurricane Maria that it’s starting over from scratch. Their crops have been completely banged out, the place is nearly unrecognizable, and now they’re worried about the status of a dam, whose failure is apparently imminent.

Everybody loves Darren Sproles. The little man who managed to make it in the NFL for so long after being a star at Kansas State was such a genuinely great story in terms of his success in hanging around the league. But on Sunday he was dealt a blow that will basically end his career, which is awful. The Philadelphia Eagles running back broke his arm and tore his ACL on the same play, ending his season. He was within earshot of 20,000 career all-purpose yards. Sad.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Baseball has a long season, so you’ve got to run a lot of short-range bits to keep yourself entertained when you’re on the road. You can mark down “Blue Jays players wearing Blue Jays players Snuggies” as an instant classic.

Snack Time: Offset has been doing a whole lot in the past year, and that doesn’t even include Cardi B. But, since you need it, here’s a list of his best guest verses of the year.

Dessert: Never forget the Little Rock Nine.

Daily Dose: 9/22/17

Sammy Watkins sides with Kyrie Irving on flat-Earth theory

2:45 PMSo my plan to get the most appearances without a win on Around The Horn backfired worked, yay. On Friday, I’ll be on Outside The Lines at 1 p.m. on ESPN and hosting #TheRightTime on ESPN Radio from 4-7 p.m. EST. What a week.

Have you ever had crazy neighbors? You know, a couple of guys on the block who just can’t stop upping the ante on whatever nonsense feud they have? Right now, that’s President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. After Trump lobbed a couple of threats their way in front of the United Nations, Kim has clapped back, saying that the U.S. will pay for said antics. Nothing like nuclear escalation to get the weekend started. Kim also called Trump a “dotard,” which I guarantee is a word you didn’t know on Thursday.

Your boy tweets a lot. Like, to the tune of over 100,000. Why? Because sometimes I don’t want to actually talk to the people around me about things, but do want to know what the world thinks. I got more local stuff to talk about with my people. But for each person, what the site means to them is a different thing. For some, it’s just a fun distraction. For others, it’s a way of life. But me, for example, I try not to tweet on Saturdays. Now, apparently, scientists can predict when you’ll die based on how much you tweet. Awesome.

Infidelity is a tricky subject. On the surface, how people feel about the notion of monogamy is one steeped in all sorts of social, religious and patriarchal shame. But, beneath that, because of what we’ll call polite society, plenty of people cheat and just get on with their lives. Whatever you may think of this is on you, but there’s a very real slice of society who believes that cheating is better than breaking up and causing other problems within your life. Sex is power, after all. Anyway, apparently women are cheating more than ever, to which I say: good for them.

Since this apparently needs reiterating, I’ll say it: The Earth is not flat. It’s 2017, and even though we’ve got people of all sorts who don’t believe science in various capacities, to think that we’re walking around with folks thinking that if you go too far you can just fall off into space is ridiculous. Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving has exposed himself as an idiot on this front, and now Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Sammy Watkins has joined the club. This never ceases to amaze me.

Free Food

Coffee Break: When I was in high school, there were people who drank Perrier and people who drank Pellegrino. Now, Starbucks is set to start its own drink rivalry. There are people who drink pumpkin spice lattes — many of them, at that. Now, get ready for the maple pecan latte.

Snack Time: As an absolute fan of radio, I’ve always tried to share stories about the industry that make me smile. More often than not though, it’s the opposite. But this local London station is one of the best on earth. Legit.

Dessert: Read this story about a New York jewelry store with a hip-hop following. Perfect start to the weekend.

Daily Dose: 9/21/17

The NHL goes to China

11:03 AMAll right, kiddos, the busy week continues. Thursday I’ll be doing Around The Horn again. But I want you all to know that my NHL Fantasy Hockey League “Pivot to Ilya” is now happening, which makes me very happy.

If you’re wondering what’s going on with health care, I’ll tell you. No. 1, it seems that quite a few lawmakers and their constituents don’t understand what insurance actually is. The most basic explanation is this: You pay to help other sick people get treatment, in order to bring overall costs down for everyone, because one day that could be you. Your money goes toward peace of mind and a stable system. So this notion of “I shouldn’t have to pay for sick people” is basically the most selfish thing ever. And stupid. We’ll see where this latest GOP health care bill goes.

The problem with “comply or die” policing is simple: If someone has a legitimate problem understanding you, they’re likely going to die for no reason. One such person was the victim of that type of policing in Oklahoma City, where a man was killed after not complying with police commands. Why wasn’t he doing so? Well, he was deaf. The fact that a department doesn’t have the capabilities to apparently understand that, never mind deal with it, is really scary.

LeBron James isn’t just out here playing ball. While many are still only paying attention to his exploits on the court and in the locker room, everyone else has noticed his business acumen. We’re all familiar with his media mogul growth recently, but it’s not just viewers at home who’ve been noticing. This week, he participated in Bloomberg’s inaugural Global Business Forum by being a part of the introductory video shown to countless world leaders and CEOs. That future Dwayne Johnson/LeBron James presidential ticket is looking great.

The NHL played a hockey game in China this morning. Yes, that China. Why, do you ask? Well, it wasn’t just a one-off gimmick. The league is looking to grow its market there for the same reason everyone else is. There are just too many people to not even try. The Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks faced off in Shanghai, launching what the NHL hopes is the first of many to happen in the future. Their investment in the country is one with interest also shared by the nation, which is hoping to make it a big thing by the time it gets to the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Injuries are a part of sports, so much so that on any given day, I’d say anecdotally that injury reports make up at least a third of all sports news in the U.S. But while the games roll on for the spectator, for the athletes you’re never the same if it happens in a way that everyone can see.

Snack Time: Look, a lot of guys in sports talk radio are blithering blowhards who scream about nerds because they think it’s cool. But this dude’s insinuation that the Pythagorean theorem is somehow complicated is hilarious.

Dessert: If you’re wondering what Hassan Whiteside has been up to this offseason, well, it’s pretty simple.

 

All Day Podcast: 9/21/17

Long drive golfing, plus Kobe and the rap game

10:03 AM

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On the show I sat down with Troy Mullins and Maurice Allen, who are World Long Drive Champions, and both are black. If you’re not familiar with the sport, it’s basically an offshoot of golf that involves the driving range. Think of it as competitive Top Golf. The conversation ranged from what it’s like being black in the golf world to how they see the sport growing in the coming years.

The two have fascinating backgrounds. Mullins was an athlete at Cornell University before she decided she might want to get into U.S. diplomatic work. Allen was also a former college athlete who took up golf, basically as something to keep him occupied when he wasn’t pursuing his career as a chiropractor. They’re both extremely interesting people, golf aside.

To finish the pod, I did a story from Los Angeles with a group of guys known as “Signature Tracks.” You might know their work from some of the music production they’ve done with reality television. Those sounds you hear on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Real Housewives series don’t just make themselves. It was a fun look into the world of music from a different angle than usual.

Perhaps most interesting about them, though, is their connection to Kobe Bryant. Having worked with him on his rap album, they had the scoop on exactly why it never came out, as well as an interesting anecdote on exactly how he went about his business when it came to the rap game. The answer might not surprise you, but is remarkable to hear.

Enjoy!

Daily Dose: 9/20/17

Jay-Z tells the NFL ‘no thanks’ on Super Bowl

2:09 PMAnother busy week, but it’s been a productive one. My streak of appearances on Around The Horn without a win continues, and I hope I can make it all the way to breaking the record. Wish me luck.

Mother Nature is talking to us. In the past few months, the natural disaster rate globally has been astonishing. Stateside, you might only have these hurricanes on your radar, but it’s more than that. Mudslides in Sierra Leone have killed hundreds of people. An earthquake in Mexico has also taken numerous lives. Now, Hurricane Maria is sweeping across Puerto Rico. It’s just the latest storm to hit the Caribbean, where many islands have already been battered beyond belief.

Here’s how racism affects everyday life in the U.S.: If you don’t have to deal with it, you have the luxury of not understanding how its detritus still hurts people. So when the president of Lipscomb University invited black students to his school to discuss their experiences, he put cotton stalk decorations on the dinner table and didn’t even understand why that might be problematic. Reminder: The basic goods of American commerce (cotton, sugar, etc.) were exactly what slaves worked to create for free. Yes, people get sensitive about it.

Jay-Z has better things to do than play the Super Bowl. Various artists have turned the league down when asked to perform on its biggest stage, which is an interesting situation. Perhaps as interestingly, Justin Timberlake also said no, considering the two were rumored to be performing together. Whether this is directly attributable to, say, the Colin Kaepernick situation is for speculation, but, man, it would have been awesome if Jigga had performed “The Story of O.J.” at that game.

Speaking of Kaep, he’s getting some more shine this week. The Root has put out its annual list of the 100 Most Influential African-Americans, and the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is No. 17. If you’re wondering who’s at the top of the list, it’s Jordan Peele, who is not exactly a controversial pick but is certainly a refreshing one. I’m happy to say I’ve got a couple of friends on this bad boy, which is always a cool feeling. I’ll never make this list, ha, but that said, if someone wants to invite me to the party to celebrate these folks, I’ll gladly go.

Free Food

Coffee Break: I don’t have children, but I do remember the value of Toys R Us. Just going there and seeing the sights was always a marvel, and now the company is fighting bankruptcy. It appears that, basically, there’s no need for brick-and-mortar toy stores anymore — and, of course, tablets. Sad day.

Snack Time: Hypebeasts do the most, which is why they are what they are, and we love them for it. Check out this new couch, which I would not sit on if I had to.

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Dessert: Boxer Jake LaMotta, who was portrayed in the legendary film Raging Bull, died Wednesday at age 95.