Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Oakland A's Pounce on AL Champ Tigers

The Oakland A's are showing that they can hang with the elite AL teams.  Today they blasted the 2013 AL champion Tigers 14-4 in Detroit.  With my NL Giants just trying to end the season on a not so low note, the Oakland A's are enjoying the title of bay area baseball darlings and this year they own that title outright.

As much as I wanna see the Oakland Coliseum dressed in full football attire for Sunday Raiders football, I'll tolerate the infield dirt if it means the A's are still fighting for the fall classic championship. Its a remember the 70's moment in Oaktown, and A's colors are flying everywhere.

I plan to watch and support the Oakland A's all the way down the yellow and green brick road that leads to their World Series appearance.  On their best day, no team in either league is better.  Let the A's find their late season rhythm and the bay area just might be celebrating back-to-back baseball championships.

Let's go A's.

Trivia: Who can claim the title of only designated runner in major league history?

50th Anniversary March On Washingston Speech

Today marked the 50th anniversary of the civil right's movement MARCH ON WASHINGTON.  President Barak Obama spoke and from what I heard on the radio he highlighted not so much Martin Luther King the man, but the man's dream of a future America.  As President, Barak Obama understands that some of the dream's promises have been met but much remains still a dream with hope of becoming a reality.  We should remember that in 1963 there were still "White People" and "Colored Folks" water fountains, bathrooms and theater seating, not to mention unequal employment, housing and healthcare.

The President urged Americans not to give up on fulfilling that wonderful dream of a great American who hoped one day that all Americans would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Its sad and unfortunate that some Americans still cannot envision such a dream and find any and every opportunity to bash the ongoing hope and message of all beings created equal, and that here in America all are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Here's one reportage that I came across where in talking about President Obama's speech today, the young reporter uses a sly, sarcastic, delivery in steering listeners away from the President's message of continued civil rights legislation and equal opportunity for all.  The young man simply missed the message and instead edited his story with footage of the President's speech that could easily be misconstrued when viewed in part instead of whole.  Such is the enemy that divides in order to conquer.  When all else fails, manipulate the truth with a smirk and a sly smile and a soundbite.

But we Americans have learned and are well prepared for such low-level tactics.  Know the enemy!  He looks like a lamb, sounds like an intelligent teacher, but definitely carries the smell of a wolf separating the flock in order to prey on the weak. If I've learned nothing else from browsing information on the internet its to never trust one source and always seek out the full story in order to get a glimpse of its truth.

Article: Wall Street an elusive dream for black Americans

Monday, August 26, 2013

Raiders Conference Call - Sweet!

The Oakland Raiders exclusive conference call-in today was a good thing.  As a season ticket holder I had access, but was only able to catch pieces throughout the hour long event.  

The parts I caught were nothing special, basically Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen enlighteninng fans to how they're putting together a team of great football players who'll compete for championships. The fans asked smart questions and the GM and Coach did a great job explaining their vision for Raiders Football without too much avoidance of the issue at hand; this season.  

It had a family feel to it, with fans being so patient and respectful in their questioning that one might have thought it was staged.  It was a far cry from the accusations and criticisms I thought would surface in the call.

I was proud of the respect and integrity the fans showed in their questioning.  The Raider fans just wanna see change they can believe in, and I think the conference call established a good foundation for the team leadership and those supporting it to acknowledge each other. The Raiders organization didn't have to do it. I don't think any professional organization has ever offered a conference call-in to their fans. We raiders fans recived a duly earned privilege today, and we are grateful.

What the call-in shows is that owner Mark Davis and the rest of the organization truly believe in the changes being made and want committed Raiders fans on board and informed.  Hats off to J.T. The Brick for hosting a kick a$$ hour of a Reggie and the coach meet, greet and answer session.  

What the call-in also shows is just how far Mark Davis has steered away from the road Big Al had paved.  Mark wants to win just as badly, but he's doing it by trusting those he's chosen as leaders and making sure the fans aren't left in the dark.  Right On Raiders, Right On! 

correction:  my bad, looks like the conference call-in idea wasn't a Raiders original.  Seems the Sandog Chargers General Manager had a 45-minute conference call with their fans a few months back. Oh well, no harm no foul. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor Got Game

The Oakland Raiders might not have named their starting quarterback yet, but there's a strong wind a blowing with the name of Terrelle Pryor being whipped around.  In Friday night's game against the Chicago Bears Pryor showed all the reasons why he should be starting quarterback.  Granted, if the offensive line were stronger maybe other Raiders quarterbacks would step up and deliver, but such is not the case.

The Raiders offensive line struggled and faultered not only to protect the quarterback, but to open holes for runningbacks.  Finally, when Pryor took over he gave the Bears fits with his running ability and seemed to lift the entire team up off the canvas.  Yes, they were being knocked down repeatedly by the Bears in all phases of the game.

I and many of the Raiders fans say start Pryor, what have we to lose this season? We're a team picked to finish last not in the division, but in the league.  Pryor brings excitement, determination and a committment to just win baby!  Is it really so important as to how he gets it done so long as the team competes and doesn't lay down?

I vote Terrelle Pryor as  starting quarterback of these Oakland Raiders.  To me it seems he's earned the start while the other prospects have shown they cannot handle an offensive line leaking defensive pressure. Pryor has seen nothing but pressure since the supplemental draft that brought him to Oaktown, but that's a another story for another season. Today, We Got Pryor! 

note: Please Raiders, just put in #85 Sam McGuffie and let the little whirlwind do his thing.  Returning punts, kickoffs, wide receiver, split back.  Or just partner him up with Pryor and watch the QB/WR tandem florish.  He's West Coast Welker I tell you.  You won't know what you've got until you take him out for a spin.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bay Area Bolts

Give us an earthquake and we sigh with relief as if just escaping a close call. A few snow flurries or thunder and lightening and we watch in awe like little children at a circus.  Such were the many San Francisco bay area residents last night who stood outside unafraid, watching the rare lightning show illuminate the dark skies.  It really was a thing of beauty.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Man Behind The March - Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, pacifism and non-violence, and gay rights. In the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, Rustin practiced nonviolence. Wikipedia

I stayed up late last night mesmerized by a documentary on Bayard Rustin. Who knew that this man, so intelligent and way ahead of his time, was the organizing force behind the March On Washington in 1963.  Mr. Rustin was arrested for refusing to leave the white persons's seating only section of a bus years before Rosa Parks.

What was so fascinating about this man was his honesty, drive and perseverance to steer humanity toward more peaceful and non-
violent ways of protesting injustices. Whether confronting inequalities in labor, housing, public transportation  or healthcare, Mr. Rustin was there not to just join the movement but to help organize and steer the cause toward a goal for the greater good. And to think he began as a conscientious objector to being drafted in world war II, spending three years in prison for his refusal to kill another human being.

Though too late to meet Mahtma Ghandi, he traveled to India in 1948, a year after that country gained independence from Btitain, and was welcomed by its leaders.  Mr. Rustin's life is full of fight and resistence.  He was always the man in the background of large movements for social change.  He debated with various leaders and overcame charges of being a communist and sexual pervert.  He was openly homosexual at a time when it was illegal to be so.

Throughout the documentary there would be footage shown at a protest and there you'd see Mr. Rustin on the platform behind a main speaker or waiting to speak himself. When the Vietnam war came around it seemed he may have compromised his non-violent position and went along with the Johnson administration, but his strategy was to make sure that when black soldiers came home from the war that they'd have all the social services, educational and job opportunities equivalent to their white brothers returning home from serving their country.

Bayard Rustin challenged blacks and whites to step outside their own skins and see the beauty of all humanity. His debate with Malcolm X was a classic example of the battle between integration and seperation from a black peoples standpoint.  His mentoring of Martin Luther Kng was crucial in helping the young civil-rights leader steer through the turbulent times and accomplish greatness.

At one time in my understanding of the history of civil and social change in America I may have viewed Mr. Rustin as a sellout and weakling.  But having more life experience under my belt, as well as, interactions with a wider range of persons of different ethnic, political, religious and sexual preferences, I must say that Bayard Rustin the man is one deserving of the title Leader For Humanity.

Peace and Blessings to a man who helped make it possible for me, a black man, here in these United States of America, to see past the limits my country still imposes on peoples of color.  It is because of courageous men like Mr. Rustin that I, through non-violent actions, hope to always question and challenge othe evils of civil and human injustice.  Lord give me the courage to be true and righteous.

Bayard Rustin

Saturday, August 10, 2013

T-Shirt of the Month

This is for my engineer cousin who agrees that the majority of Americans nowadays let technology do their thinking for them.

Exhibit 1: Raiders 19 Cowboys 17

With the Oakland Raiders first exhibition game of the 2013 season in the books, we fans can let out a sigh of relief.  The young team has some fight and bite in it.

The upper tier of the Coliseum was sporting a new black tarp imprinted with a Raiders shield.

As it glistened in the night lights the tarp gave the place a kind of "new stadium" feel to it. And believe it or not, the Coliseum seemed louder with less seats as the place was on fire with fans of both teams pumped to see some football.  The Raiders and Cowboys both delivered some good exhibition football; and the crowd went wild!

While the Cowboys seemed to get their passing game going early, it would be the Raiders with the eye catching touchdown that brought the place to a roar. Penn State QB Matt McGloin teamed up with San Diego State WR Brice Butler for a spectacular 30-yard throw and catch.   There were other throws and catches by other quarterbacks and receivers, but this one was the highlight that left everyone wondering who McGloin and Butler are.  Well folks I can tell you in a nutshell, they're Raiders, pillaging just for fun.

“I’m the kind of person who knows I have to buckle down and get to work,” the 23-year-old McGloin said.

"I am 23-years old and I have been waiting on that moment my whole life," Butler said.
The Raiders came away with a win full of impressive examples of things to come for the new season; a blocked fg attempt, a sack of Tony Romo, an interception, 4 of 5 field goals made, open offensive play calling (read option), and most of all for anyone with a silver & black history, few penalties (4).

I left the game feeling as if just maybe this could be a turnaround year for the Raiders. I'm not expecting anything historic, just entertaining, competitive, week to week improvement as opposed to the familiar dropoff of production midway through the season.  Last night's game definitely supports my hopeful expectations.

Here's to the Raiders fans from L.A. that I had a blast at the game with. May you guys be safe on the roads and blessed to attend many more Raiders games.  And how about that John Vella guy? Cool huh? 

"And on the seventh day, God made football"

Shoutout to Raiders WR Andre Holmes who had a good game.  Keep working it Holmsey, the drops at training camp must've been a fluke.

Monday, August 05, 2013

A Training Camp Visit

And so it was that I made my first visit to a Raiders training camp practice.  The Good was no possibility of injuries due to non padded practice and no contact.  I did see second year wide receiver Travionte Session limping around badly during practice, but for all I know it could've been a bad bunion that was irritating him.

More Good was the explosiveness of Jacoby Ford, Jeremy Stewart, Marcel Reece, Rod Streater and Brice Butler. Those were the players I had the opportunity to catch more action glimpses of.  There really wasn't any Bad, other than not getting a chance to see rookie RB Lativius Murray who's nursing an injury. The explosive rookie out of UCF  battled injuries in college.

On a day that began with overcast Napa skies a beautiful sea of silver and black clad fans ended the training session cheering their team under blue and sunny skies. It wasn't as fun and explosive as I'd hoped, but seeing the Raiders up-close and running plays was really a summertime treat.  We all miss footbal, Raiders Football.

Free agent quarterback Matt McGloin showed the poise and smarts that got him a look-see, while draft pick Tyler Wilson had some nice zip on his throws.  Can't say I saw much of Matt Flynn. As for Terrelle Pryor, I want to see him give the offense that extra weapon with his running ability. He looked as good as any passing.

No pads, therefore the Defense were nothing more than bodies on the field, but it was good to see C Wood out their dressed in black. Just a great day, thanks Raiders.

Oh, almost forgot the ugly; rookie receiver Andre Holmes entertained the crowd with his repeated drops and dejected body language.  Couldn't blame "Hey Holmes" for everything, a few of the balls thrown his way were off the mark.  But on a day when all receivers seemed to be snatching every pass gracefully out of the skies,  Holme's misfortunes were animated. At least "Hey Holmes" now knows should he make the team what to expect from Raiders fans; their expectations of players wearing silver and black are nothing short of excellence.  

The fans had fun cheering and jeering Holmes throughout the training day session, but come the regular season dropped passes are seldom forgiven.  Work it out Holmey, work it out!

I was impressed with #85, free agent rookie wide receiver Sam McGuffie.  He has quickness, toughness and you can smell his fearlessness on the field returning punts and/or kickoffs. Something a bit Wes Welker-like in this young man out of Rice.  I hope to see him play this Friday when the Dallas Cowboys come to Oakland.  McGuffie is definitely one tough Mick I'd like to see make the team.  He's ol'skool football, I like'em!

 More on McGuffie -
McGuffie became a YouTube star during his High School days. Most notably for hurdling over a defender, stepping on his back and continue running for the touchdown.

Win, Lose or Tie!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Rise Raider Nation - It Never Gets Old

When I first saw this ESPN masterpiece I damn near cried while cheering it on before the televised game.  I got choked up because I was watching at my parents house in New york, missing my brothers and sisters in silver and black.  Its one of those moments that reminds me just how committed I am to my team and my nation.  

I just laid out my gear for a visit to the Raiders Napa practice facility tomorrow.  It may sound crazy to non-sports fans, or those fair-weather types, but I'm getting that emotional craze just looking at my shyt. Ya' Feel Me!

Win, lose or tie I'll always get emotionally charged when reminded of our Oakland Raiders. I can't imagine being any other way about them.

Can You Dig It!