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

Daily Dose: 9/7/17

Gucci Mane’s long walk to freedom

3:49 PMJust want to thank everyone who tuned in to Around The Horn on Wednesday. It was a long, fun trip to get there, for those of you who don’t know. Also, I filled in Thursday on The Dan Le Batard Show, if you want to check that out here.

Hurricane Irma is already doing major damage. In the Caribbean, the storm has basically destroyed Barbuda, and 13 people are already dead. This event has brought quite a bit of turmoil to the sports world already, with various games and things having been moved around because meteorologists are calling it basically the biggest storm of all time. In Miami-Dade County, Florida, alone, it appears that 400,000 people are at risk of getting hit by the winds and rain. That Miami Dolphins-Tampa Bay Buccaneers game might not be the only one delayed in the coming weeks.

New York City is an interesting beast. Having lived there when I was 18 years old, I didn’t love it. Before that, having visited and stayed for so many times with family, I had. But now, being an adult and it being a necessary part of life, I can deal with it. But the so-called charm of the city versus what it actually has to offer is always an interesting battle. That said, taxicabs are still the domain of reality when it comes to basically all walks of life. This interview with a New York cabbie who photographed his customers for decades is really a fun one to watch.

Gucci Mane’s come-up is officially complete. We all know the story. After landing himself in jail for his longest stint yet, he decided to make a turnaround. He relied on his girl Keyshia Ka’oir, a fitness-product maven, to help him revamp his life, and now it’s in the clear. According to Fader, Big Guwop has done so well on his probation that it is being terminated entirely in September. To be honest, I didn’t even know this was a thing. What a year it’s been for East Atlanta Santa.

The Los Angeles Clippers are going full Hollywood. That sounds odd, of course, because they’re already in Los Angeles. But when it comes to the bright lights and famous people, that’s usually the territory of the Los Angeles Lakers. But that doesn’t mean the Clips can’t make it happen when they need to. Instead of having the usual scorers table setup, they’ve broken that up to create something they call “star seating.” While in theory this looks like a decent idea, in practice I imagine it’ll be a logistical disaster on many levels.

Free Food

Coffee Break: For all of the things that people had to say about the Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett and everything that happened in Las Vegas recently with the police, there are still plenty of people who have to explain why they’re protesting, to make people happy.

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Snack Time: A$AP Rocky never ceases to amaze me. His newest exploit is a signature luxury line of vape pens that even have the wood grain finish. For the distinguished smoker, presumably.

Dessert: Even though I am one of these people, reading this gives me anxiety.

Daily Dose: 9/5/17

Local billionaire buys Houston Rockets

2:12 PMAll right, y’all, the fun is over. Summer is done, the kids are back in school and it’s time to get cracking on everything that you spent all summer preparing for. But, if you want to hear the last Morning Roast, check it out here.

President Donald Trump doesn’t care if you grew up here. It doesn’t matter to him that you may be one of the most functioning members of society. Nor does it particularly matter to him that losing you might actually hurt him. Trump wants to deport anyone who is here illegally, including children who were brought here by no choice of their own. Officials say that 45 is likely to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy. Beyond the cruelty, some think it’s actually a really short-sighted political policy.

When it comes to disasters, sports can be healing. We’ve all seen how the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt has put his efforts toward raising money for flood and hurricane victims. We’ve also seen games moved around the country as a result of weather damage. But think about the kids on the ground in Houston, who don’t have the opportunity to just up and play elsewhere. Seasons will be destroyed, effectively. Check out this story of one high school whose football team was surprised by former NFL stars Michael Strahan and Deion Sanders to help inspire them.

I’m not really sure where I’d be without Apple Music. Sure, there are a lot of streaming music services out there, but for whatever reason, Apple’s always felt like the one that was most legit and most likely to last in a landscape that was littered with similar sites trying to do the same thing. It also didn’t hurt that its platform was the easiest to integrate with its products. I’m listening to it right now, as a matter of fact. Welp, now the annual Apple Music Festival in London is done after 10 years.

$2.2B can buy you a lot of arugula. The Houston Rockets were just sold to a guy named Tilman Fertitta who, if you don’t know, goes by the title of “local billionaire.” If you’ve been paying attention to their games over the past few years, you’ve seen him on the sidelines. This is particularly strange timing, considering what’s going on there, tbh. I’m not sure that announcing this right now is exactly the PR intro that Fertitta wants to the rest of the NBA world. Anyway, here are the details.

Free Food

Coffee Break: When you’re overseas, navigating your way through another language can be a tough go. But with these earbuds, you can basically just speak and hear your own language, thanks to the built-in real-time translator. I can see this having both good and really bad sides.

Snack Time: I’m not huge on dressing in disguise to pull pranks, but this bit with Kevin Hart in old-man makeup with Trey Songz and a friend in the back seat is full-blown hilarious.

Dessert: Don’t tell your wife you’re going to do one thing, then do another. Homey learned the hard way.

 

Your spades game needs an upgrade

The 1998 Deck are the cards to get you there

2:04 PMWhen I learned to play spades, I was just a kid. It was in Laura Spelman Hall in Atlanta, where my older sister went to college. That was back in the early ’90s, when posters of Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas were on her and her roommates’ wall, and long before we knew rap was about to hit a heyday like nothing we’d seen before. It was just me keeping score while sitting on footlockers and changing tapes when the side needed to be switched, all while watching the game.

Spades is obviously the game of choice for most of us, until you graduate into these bid whist streets (it’s the game, but with a kitty!) later in life. Which deck you use, though, typically isn’t a huge deal. Some folks play where the deuce of diamonds is the highest spade, others use jokers in different ways, whatever works. But show up to the cookout or kickback with Khia Jackson’s new 1998 Deck, and you will be very much putting on for the culture.

Jackson’s cards feature hip-hop legends from the ’90s as the face cards, which is brilliant. For all the nostalgia nonsense we have floating around these days, these are genuinely dope without feeling like you’re stuck in a bygone era. The faces on playing cards are old as the hills anyways, so might as well give them an update. By the way, if you want a deck, you can buy them here. Or, if you just want to support the cause, you can check out her Kickstarter here. There’s even a mixtape to go with it.

I can just see the old dad rap heads now yelling about running bostons while yelling out their favorite lyrics from college and high school. Check out this interview that Mass Appeal did with Jackson, who’s been a prolific creative for some time now.

Daily Dose: 9/1/17

Serena is in labor … how cool would it be if she gave birth during the US Open?

1:48 PMHey, all. We made it to the end of the week. If you have big plans for the holiday, please do try to enjoy them safely. It’s the end of summer, so live it up. As for the tweet below, you have to see this tweet first. And the first reply.

If President Donald Trump has his way, he will deport millions and cripple the economy in immeasurable ways. All for the sake of doctrine. He’s set to decide soon on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), better known as dreamers, who were protected under laws instituted by President Barack Obama. Why would you kick out people who had no choice in the matter and are doing everything they can to make this country better? Well, reputation, of course. But good news, I guess: POTUS says he has a big heart, and will use it in this case.

The rescue effort is obviously still on re: Hurricane Harvey. One of the toughest parts about natural disasters is that all sorts of people pop up out of the woodwork claiming that they want to help. Really, all they’re trying to do is take your money in the name of goodwill. Heck, even the Red Cross has issues with this. But, clearly, there are all sorts of groups that need everything from diapers to computers, so every donated piece counts. Here’s a list of places that can point you in the right direction to assist.

We all remember Philando Castile. The young man from Minnesota who worked in a school lunchroom who was shot and killed by a police officer who was scared of him. Mind you, Castile was obeying the law in every way, doing exactly what the cop told him to do, and he was shot anyway. In front of his girlfriend and her daughter. One of the things he was known to do was pay the school lunch debts of kids at his school so they could eat without embarrassment. Now, with the Philando Feeds The Children fund, anyone can contribute.

🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨ALERT🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨 SERENA IS IN LABOR. Look, when this was news in Beyoncé’s case, I was excited. But Serena Williams is my favorite athlete of all time, and if she has a baby during the actual US Open, thus crushing all other news coming out of that tournament, it will be one of the biggest owns of the tennis world, ever. Then, imagine if sister Venus Williams wins the tournament, AND DEDICATES THE WINS TO HER NEWEST FAMILY MEMBER. I cannot wait for this to happen. I legitimately can. Not. Wait.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Police do some pretty despicable things, but forcing nurses to act against their own interests or risk the threat of arrest is foul, unethical and should be illegal. This clip of a nurse getting dragged away because she wouldn’t administer a blood test to an unconscious patient is really hard to watch.

Snack Time: You might think that the Amazon-Whole Foods merger is just a big money grab from Jeff Bezos, but it might actually have some real-world effects that make a difference, for the better.

Dessert: Behold, my second favorite video of the week.