PHILADELPHIA (JSC) — What’s Good Y’all. I hope I remember how to do this.
To say that 2018 has been a god-damned adventure is putting it mildly. It’s been one of the weirdest years of my nearly 39 years of life. I can say — without question — I have had more “WTF” moments (both good and bad) than one man should have as an adult. It’s been nuts. I’ve also noticed that it’s been three months since I posted anything on this page. I even fell behind on posting updates on JSC Radio! That’s how wild, stressful, and weird that 2018 has been. Some of this, you guys know about, and I won’t rehash it here. A lot of it you don’t so I’ll explain here.
If you haven’t noticed, this post is going to be very unfiltered and uncensored. At this point, if you’re jarred by a few dirty words, you can leave now. I sincerely no longer care at this point. Either you like me or you don’t but you’re reading one way or the other.
Continue reading Where the hell have I been in 2018?
PHILADELPHIA (JSC) — What’s good people! So, somehow, we made it to 50 Episodes — FIDDY! — of the People’s Podcast. But this one is going in a completely different direction from the rest of them.
For the first 49 shows, most of them have had some kind of intro or compelling hook or fun tag. This one’s a stone cold commentary that goes back to my roots. It’s threefold. I’m defending my friend (Jemele Hill). I’m defending my chosen profession (journalism) and I’m defending my people from the silly scourge of “#StickToSports.” The idea that “sports is an escape from everyday life” is a laughable lie. The thought that we have to “keep politics out of sports” rings hollow when most of the major sports stories of the last 100 years have been “political” in nature — Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, John Carlos & Tommie Smith, The 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, The 1980 Miracle On Ice, etc. — and have shaped the face of sport around the world. To say otherwise is intellectually dishonest and disingenuous.
So here’s Episode 50. A commentary that refuses to #StickToSports.
Remember, JSC Radio is on Soundcloud, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play! The show is also on Twitter at @JSCRadio!
A New Episode drops every week — usually on Thursday or Friday. Continue reading JSC Radio Ep. 50: Stick To Sports
PHILADELPHIA (JSC) — Hey Now! What’s good, People! The People’s Podcast is back this week after taking last week off for a needed vacation. It’s time for Episode 41 and for the Second straight year (JSC Radio wasn’t around in 2015), it’s time for the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The rubber match.
Remember, JSC Radio is on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play! The show is also on Twitter at @JSCRadio!
Going forward, expect there to be an update every week when a new show drops — usually, but not always — every (other) Thursday. Continue reading JSC Radio Ep. 41: Final Destination 2
♠ Addition by Subtraction ♠
“What do you mean I’m fired!?” — Wayne Fontes, joking after his dismissal as Detroit Lions Head Coach in 1996
LAKEWOOD, N.J. (JSC) — I’ve been fired three times in my life. The first time was from a cashier’s job at Target in 2004. It was a gig that I took while I was in broadcast school at Specs Howard. It was a decent enough gig. I made a little extra money while trying to set myself up for my first job in the “business.” The day it happened, I was honestly kind of “meh” about it all. It was never something that I saw myself doing long term, but I was admittedly pissed off at the situation that was created to get me out of there. The second time I was let go was in 2008. That was from a radio station in Flint and I saw it coming. They were in the process of making changes to the station’s format and I was one of a number of people cut loose, including the program director. I charged that to the proverbial game of radio. Plus, I was in the process of starting graduate school at Wayne State University. This one was a net gain overall, truthfully. Over the next five years, I went on a run that saw me appear on NPR, MSNBC, and ESPN Radio, a run where I covered everything from high school softball to a World Series; from municipal elections to Presidential elections; interviewed community leaders to Olympic Gold Medalists. I felt, and still feel, that I’ve paid my dues and earned my stripes in this business. So when I was fired for the third time on April 1, I had to reassess and question whether I still had a place in this business and, really, what I’m doing with my life. The answer has been a resounding Yes. Let’s Go.
Continue reading Success Is Certain: Losing a Job and Gaining a new Focus
♣ Back In The Days When They Used to Really Ball… ♣
DETROIT (JSC) — Greetings people. It’s another Thursday and after a crazy week, I’m back at you guys with another edition of #TBTonJSC. After last week where I blogged about my love for 80s TV Theme Songs — I still can’t get The Greatest American Hero out of my head — I’m staying in the 80s with this week’s check in. In the midst of shuttling through the various 80s themed gems I found myself cycling through old NBA Games and Intros from the 70s and 80s. For the youngsters out there, for most of the 1970s all the way through the 80s and ending in 1990, the NBA was on CBS. All of the great moments of the greatest decade in NBA history were on the Eyeball Network. It wasn’t flashy. It wasn’t grandiose. It was just great basketball. With the NBA Playoffs at full peak, I think it’s appropriate to show love to the home of the NBA during my Childhood. You know, back when it was FANtastic. Let’s Go. Continue reading #TBT on #JSC (May 16, 2013): FANtastic Voyage
♣ Believe It or Not… ♣
DETROIT (JSC) — Greetings, people. It’s once again time for another edition of #TBTonJSC. This week, we’re talking heroes. In the couple of days that have passed since Charles Ramsey became the most hilarious hero this side of Darkwing Duck, I got to thinking about what this week’s #TBT would feature and it immediately hit me. Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a child of the 1980s (Not to be confused with being an 80s Baby — I was born in 1979). One of the best things about having grown up in the 1980s were the TV shows. In many cases, the shows had some of the greatest theme songs ever. Often the theme would be better than the show. Whether it was Diff’rent Strokes, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., Dallas, The Thundercats, or one of the numerous variations of The Cosby Show, TV came very strong. The TV of the 80s is why I think today’s television stinks. One 1980s show, however, had arguably the best theme ever: The Greatest American Hero. The actual name of the song is Believe It or Not. It got as high as #2 on the Billboard charts in 1981. It was legit. I was much too young to have seen much of the show’s original 1981 to 1983 run. I was just 4 years old when it was cancelled. In terms of the show itself, truthfully, it was straight basura on wheat toast. The premise of it was that this English teacher is visited by aliens and given a suit that gave him weird super powers. Unfortunately, he loses the instruction manual (!!!) and has to figure out how the damn thing worked for himself. The fact that show lasted two years, in my opinion, was that kick-ass theme song. Anyone who is over the age of 30 already knows how that song starts. Welp, in honor of Charles Ramsey, this week’s #TBTonJSC is the first of what will be many great TV theme songs from the 1980s. Let’s Go. Continue reading #TBT on #JSC (May 9, 2013): Hero Worship
♣ Apparently Getting It Right isn’t what sells these days…♣
“In Journalism, there has always been a tension between getting it first and getting it right.”
— Ellen Goodman, 1980 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — In the Fall of 1980, an incredible piece of writing hit the front page of the Washington Post. The story was so incredible that it held the city and country on the edge of its seat. It was a piece called Jimmy’s World. It was written by Janet Cooke, an extremely talented Black writer who spoke multiple languages and went to some of the best schools in the world. The story was about an eight-year-old boy in Washington, D.C. who was a heroin addict, often shot full of smack by his mother’s live-in boyfriend. The boy was a product of a rape. In the aftermath of the story being published, people in DC were aghast and outraged. Dr. Alyce Gullattee, who was the director of the Institute of Substance Abuse at Howard, claimed to know the boy and his family. DC Mayor Marion Barry claimed that the city knew Jimmy’s identity (irony abounds on that one). The story was so riveting that it was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. On April 13, 1981, Cooke won the Pulitzer. On April 15, 1981, she admitted she made the entire damn thing up. From start to finish, it was all a lie, from the boy, to the family, to the name. Hell, she even lied about speaking multiple foreign languages, and attending Vassar and the Sorbonne. She gave back her Pulitzer and was forced to resign from the Post (Then-Executive Editor Ben Bradlee wrote in his book “I can’t explain now why I let her resign rather than fire her on the spot for the grossest of negligence”). She became a pariah in the industry, never to be heard from again. No paper would ever think of hiring her. That was 1981. In 2010, she’d have been given her own blog and one hour special on Fox News. Let’s Go.
Continue reading Fair & Imbalanced: Why Journalism is Being Held Hostage…