Former Jackson State great Robert Brazile finally gets into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
‘Dr. Doom’ played 10 seasons for the Houston Oilers
1:20 PMJust over a decade ago, around midsummer, the division of ESPN that oversees the MEAC/SWAC Challenge reached out to a handful of black college greats with an opportunity to be in the 2010 class of MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends.
The award, established in 2009 as part of the early-season historically black college and university (HBCU) game, was established to honor trailblazing football giants who put in work — with no TV exposure and less-than-adequate equipment, but with a work-twice-as-hard passion for success.
When reached by phone at his home, one of those awardees, Jackson State University great Robert Brazile, responded with the kind of glee and gratitude befitting enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“I’m so honored,” Brazile said of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Legends award, which was also given to Grambling State University icon and former Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams that year. “To even be in the same room as some of the other awardees is the ultimate honor for me.”
For all he’s done — in college, in the National Football League and for HBCUs — Brazile should hardly be so humble.
Recruited as a tight end at Jackson State, Brazile — who had size, speed and agility in an era when all three were rare — moved from offense to defense in his freshman season after three linebackers suffered knee injuries. How serendipitous for a player who’d end up finishing his college career with 33 wins, two Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) titles, All-American honors and a trip to the Senior Bowl.
The NFL’s Houston Oilers selected Brazile with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the draft, two picks after Walter Payton, Brazile’s college roommate who finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting in a year when Ohio State running back Archie Griffin won it for the second straight season.
Brazile’s star, not to mention Payton’s, would shine even brighter after he reached the pro ranks. Nicknamed “Dr. Doom,” the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Brazile played 10 seasons, all with the Oilers, and was voted to seven consecutive Pro Bowls (1976-82). He was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1975 and a first-team All-Pro selection in both 1978 and ’79. He was also a catalyst on those Oilers teams that advanced to the AFC Championship Game — teams that lost twice to the eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Over his career, he had 147 consecutive starts.
For decades, actually almost 35 years, Brazile has waited for his opportunity to receive his gold jacket and enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That wait ended in 2018, and Brazile’s name sits alongside enshrinees Ray Lewis, Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher and Brian Dawkins.
Surely, if anybody had reason to shout, “ ’Bout damn time” from the mountaintop, it would be Brazile.
“I say it was travesty that he had to wait that long,” said Elvin Bethea, a seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker and the Oilers’ all-time single-season sack leader, who was inducted into the Hall in 2003. “All the people that went before him, not that they weren’t outstanding, but Brazile? He came in and was Rookie of the Year. He set a foundation that he just kept building on. Why it took him so long to get in is a question many should have. . . . It happened late, but it happened.”
Brazile, now 72, is just as giddy to get that call as he is to get any call that shines a light on HBCUs, his family and his career.
“I’m like the Boy Scouts — I’m prepared and ready to go,” Brazile told The Houston Chronicle last week. “My parents are 86, and I’m so happy and grateful they’ll be with me this weekend. They’ve been such a big part of my life, and I’m so blessed they’re able to share this honor with me.”
More icing on the cake for Brazile was the presence of Walter Payton — in the form of Payton’s son, Jarrett, who attended the awards ceremonies as a correspondent for WGN-TV News in Chicago.
Said Payton: “He said that seeing my dad and I hug back in ’93 [when Payton was inducted into the Hall] was one of his proudest moments because he knew my dad was deserving of the honor and one day he knew he would be here in Canton himself.”
Feedback worth waiting for.
Drake is sticking with Jordan and Nike — 3 moments that pretty much prove it
This week, the rapper basically dispelled every previous report that he’d join Adidas
11:16 AMRemember the speculation? That Drake might end his endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand to join Adidas? A few months ago, the Toronto rapper was rocking three stripes in Instagram pics, and courtside at Raptors games, every chance he got. Bow Wow thanked Drizzy for sending him Adidas gear. And even ESPN’s Nick DePaula confirmed that Drake and his team were “far along in negotiations with Adidas on a comprehensive endorsement deal.”
Well, Drake and Adidas are seemingly over before they started. Somewhere along the line, a deal fell apart. Maybe it was because Michael Jordan’s son trolled the musical artist on Twitter for wearing a brand outside of Air Jordan. Or maybe Pusha T’s diss track of Drake, “The Story of Adidon,” went too far, and ruined the plan for a future partnership. Regardless, it appears that Drizzy is remaining with Air Jordan — and the brand’s parent company, Nike. Here are three reasons we think this is so, all coming from the man himself.
An OVO x Drake jersey?
Drake took to IG to tease a potential collaboration between Nike and his record label, October’s Very Own (OVO), for a basketball jersey as a nod to his June-released No. 1 album, Scorpion. He posted the caption “On Road 18/19 🦂,” perhaps hinting that the jersey will go on sale during the upcoming “Aubrey & the Three Migos” North American tour. Peep the scorpion pincer details on the chest’s OVO logo. This jersey is swaggier than some worn by NBA teams.
Air Jordan 5s in the “In My Feelings” video
— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) August 3, 2018
Drake wore a pair of “Fire Red” Air Jordan 5s in the new visuals for his culture-shaking No. 1 track “In My Feelings.” The music video for the song dropped Thursday night, and in it, the mother of Drake’s love interest, portrayed by the legendary Phylicia Rashad, tells him, “I want you to get your Jordans off my walkway!” Coincidence? We think not.
Drake’s Line on “SIcKO MODE”
— LUIOFFICIAL (@LUIOFFICIAL1) August 3, 2018
A few hours after the release of the “In My Feelings” video, Travis Scott dropped his long-awaited ASTROWORLD. Drake is featured on the album’s third track, titled “SICKO MODE,” and one line sticks out. Jesus Christ, checks over stripes / That’s what I like, that’s what we like. Yup, Drake ain’t going anywhere. He’s sticking with the swoosh and Jumpman logo over the three stripes.
Cori Bostic is Florida A&M’s first female drum major of the Marching 100
She’s following in mom and dad’s footsteps as marching band alums
7:28 AMThe Florida A&M University Marching 100 has diversified its band leadership and made history by adding its first female drum major in the program’s 72-year existence.
Cori Renee Bostic, a 20-year-old junior broadcast journalism major from Decatur, Georgia, was appointed during FAMU’s annual band camp and will be heading the Marching 100 alongside two new drum majors, Joshua Honore and Marquel Bowen, during the upcoming band season.
News of Bostic’s historic appointment broke Tuesday and was confirmed by FAMU president Larry Robinson after he retweeted the news and added a congratulatory message.
Congratulations Cori Bostic! You're marching into Rattler history! https://t.co/zav0ujYHel
— Larry Robinson (@LRobinsonFAMU) August 1, 2018
“Our band leaders represent the diversity, dedication and academic prowess of our band scholars,” FAMU band director Shelby Chipman said in a statement. “We are excited about the opportunity to electrify Rattler fans/supporters near and far, as we also prepare to march in the Jan. 1, 2019, Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.”
Before the announcement went viral across social media platforms, Bostic shared the historic moment in a family group chat with a simple text: “I made drum major.”
“Cori is the oldest of 8 children,” said Lenise Bostic, Cori’s mother. “All her siblings in the family group went wild! She was very calm, but when I talked to her she and I both just screamed on the phone.”
Cori Bostic’s quest to become a drum major began long before she even stepped foot on FAMU’s campus. According to her parents, Cory and Lenise, Cori became enthralled with FAMU’s band after watching them perform at a game. Her love for music began early in life, and she began playing the oboe in fifth grade before switching to the piccolo during her seventh-grade year at Southwest Dekalb High School in Georgia.
Cory and Lenise are both FAMU alums who were members of the Marching 100, so it was no surprise that their musically inclined daughter would follow in her parents’ footsteps.
“She asked her [father] if she could be a drum major and he said, ‘If you work hard, yes,” Lenise Bostic said via email. “Both her [father] and I were in the 100 and we knew there had never been a female named to the position, but we have always supported her dreams. When she found out during her senior year that no women had ever been named a drum major, she told us that she would be the first!”
And Cori Bostic would do just that. According to Tiffany Ardley, Cori’s Delta Sigma Theta sorority adviser, drum major tryouts had taken place back in April. Friends and family had awaited this news for months. As the announcement began to spread across social media, Lenise and Cory Bostic couldn’t contain their excitement.
“We are elated,” Lenise Bostic said. “We are always proud when our children set a goal and work hard to achieve it. Cori is setting an excellent example for her younger siblings. We both marched in the 100. We have gone to homecoming each year and march in the alumni band. It was extra special her freshman year when we marched with her on the field. This year will be even more special as she will be leading us on the field. We are very proud of her.”
Get to know Tyler Mitchell, the photographer Beyoncé hired for Vogue
The 23-year-old Atlanta native will be the first black photographer to shoot the magazine’s cover in 126 years
12:57 PMWho knew Beyoncé was as good a photo editor as she is an entertainer? When she was given creative control over Vogue magazine’s all-important September issue this fall, she did something that several magazines still do not: She hired a black photographer to shoot the cover image. This marks the first time in the magazine’s 126-year history that an image created by a black person will grace its cover. Take a minute to marinate on that.
And Beyoncé chose well. Tyler Mitchell is a highly creative and ambitious photographer from Atlanta who now resides in Brooklyn. Despite his young age, he has already photographed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting survivors for Teen Vogue, Lil Uzi Vert for The FADER, curator Kimberly Drew for i-D, Ashton Sanders for Office magazine and Vince Staples for Dazed.
The historical significance of this moment cannot be overstated. While print and digital publications have made it more of a priority to hire black writers (although progress in this arena has also been slow going), too often, the people shaping visual narratives are white, cisgender men, while the unique perspectives and talent of people of color are often pushed to the side and ignored.
Here is hoping that more celebrities will use their clout and platforms to encourage magazines to hire photographers of color to shoot their covers. And, more importantly, here is hoping that more photo editors follow Beyoncé’s lead in their hiring practices.