Friday, November 30, 2012

I'm Not Joking! I Can Give Rita Dominic a Set of Twins...I'm in Love with Her... LKT

Here is what he said to Punch;

“I’ve been dating Rita in my dreams and I’ve always loved to see her movies. When I read her interview, something in me said I should voice out my admiration and affections for her. “If truly her heart desire is to have a set of twins, I can give her that. I have got twins in my genes. It might sound awkward or a joke, but I’m not kidding; nor am I looking for cheap publicity. “I would have approached her a long time ago, but I thought she was already taken by another man. Even if it turns out that she is older than me, I can live with it.  Age is nothing but a number,” he says.

Lol. Rita recently granted an interview where she said she would love to have twins after settling down. LKT sang the famous yahoozee chorus and recently did a song with P Square titled follow follow.

Is it time to panic?

How many times have you heard those words before from others when their team isn't performing as well as they think they should be? Probably a lot.

Yet, in the sports world, sometimes one has just cause to set their hair on fire and run naked through the streets clutching a life-sized blow up doll of one's favorite Muppet, cabbage patch doll, or, in extreme cases, Honey Boo Boo. For example if, before the season started, you went all-in and wagered everything you own, or ever will, that the Lions would win the Super Bowl this season, then -- as they say -- you be in a heap of trouble boy/girl. It is most DEFINITELY time to panic.

Just stay out of my neighborhood. I've got yorkie pups. While they might enjoy looking out the window at someone running by with their hair on fire, that Honey Boo Boo thing might traumatize their innocent little doggy brains for life. And no fatheads of Michael Vick are allowed either. Somehow I think the little tykes know. How else to explain them growling at the TV every time I clicked on an Eagles game? Click over to something else and they'll go run and play. Click Back to the Eagles game and -- zoom --  they were back on the couch growling again.

At that, even we mature 2-legged sports fans, and I use that phrase loosely, including yours truly, might soon have a time to panic ourselves. After this weekend, when the college football conference championship games are played, what are we going to be left with?

The bowl games won't start for a few weeks. Nobody cares about NBA games just yet. The NHL isn't even playing. College basketball? Much hoopla will be generated about that for the next few months over who is ranked at what number and why, but doesn't all that go out the proverbial window when March Madness starts, Cinderella stories and all? For now, it's a non-entity.

The NASCAR boys and girls, fresh off the "Chase", are enjoying what little time off they get every year. They'll be back at Daytona testing things out in January. If you're into watching one car at time, with no fancy paint job, decals, sponsor logos, etc, with interminable stretches before the next one takes the track -- then Daytona Speedway is the place for you in January. Been there, done that, but the museum's pretty cool. Regardless, the Daytona 500 won't drop the green flag until mid-February. Nothing much happening there for a while.

There's probably golf tournaments going on in such places as Abu Dhabi or Kemo Sabe, but few will get interested in that until the Master's Tournament. That's not until April.

Same with tennis. They're playing someplace. Does anybody know where? Does it matter?

Yours truly has been an Indy car fan for decades and wouldn't miss the big race for anything, well, almost anything, because the pure speeds those cars achieve makes NASCAR racers look like they're in slow motion.  But the Indy 500, what's left of it after the infamous "feud" a while back, won't happen until the last weekend in May.

Baseball? Wake me up in September.

European soccer? They seem to come up with a few new teams every week that nobody in the New World ever heard of. Worse, one can plant seeds in the garden, have them germinate and blossom into veggies, and they might STILL be waiting for a goal to be scored. Did I mention boring? Worse yet, those teams we never heard of are probably better than any team the USA can scrape together.

Alas. For the next few weeks we're basically left with the NFL. That's only on Sundays, and Monday and Thursday nights. That leaves 4 days a week with pretty much a total void.

So is it truly time to panic? It depends on how prepared one is.

Following up on that next time.

Accolades As Amstel Malta/ Williams Sisters Tour Ends in Grand Style

The recent Amstel Malta sponsored tour of world acclaimed tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams, to Lagos, Nigeria, came to a much anticipated climax when the two sisters squared off in an exhibition match at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan. The two sisters, who have a combined total of 22 grand slam titles, gave spectators an entertaining display on why they are world tennis champions. The exciting match up ended in favour of Venus Williams who defeated Serena in two straight sets 6-4, 7-5.

The four-day tour of the Williams sisters, in company of their mother, Mrs. Oracene Price tagged “Breaking The Mould” in consonance with the Amstel Malta, a premium malt brand from the stable of Nigerian Breweries plc, was aimed at mentoring and supporting youths, especially young adults with their stories that they can be the best they choose to be. As part of activities for the historic visit, a tennis clinic was staged at the Ikoyi Club 1938 where young players were trained by the sisters on the fundamentals of the game. One of the highlights at the clinic was the performance of a young player who battled with Venus as she lost no serve to Venus William, proving herself to be the best that she can be amongst her age grade.
The visit continued on the second day, with the Williams Sisters hosted to a Gala night. The Gala night was organized to appreciate the sisters and other “mould breakers” in the country. Mr. Nicholaas Vervelde; Managing Director Nigerian Breweries plc presented a gift to Nike Okundaye of the Nikky Art Gallery for her consistency in being a mould breaker in the country.

Also, the Marketing Director of Nigerian Breweries; Walter Drenth, at a press briefing appreciated the sisters’ visit with a gift and described the sponsorship and partnership as an opportunity to emphasise the brand’s commitment to consumers for “being the best you can be” at all times.
“Amstel Malta’s partnership with the BTM/Williams sisters’ Tour” he stated,  “is one that the brand is particularly proud of as it showcases a synergy between what the brand stands for, that is, “being the best that you can be” and, the greatest sisters in tennis history individually and together – Venus and Serena Williams. Amstel Malta is the No.1 premium low sugar malt drink with a rich Amstel international heritage that is filled with refreshment and energy for that youthful person who lives an active lifestyle and needs to replenish lost energy so that he or she can be their best at all times”.

Bianca Takes The Lion Share of Ojukwu’s Estate

The will of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, was on Friday presented to the family with his widow, Bianca, getting the lion’s share.

The presentation by the Chief Registrar of the Enugu High Court, Mr Dennis Ekoh, was witnessed by Bianca, Mr Val Nwosu, Ojukwu’s first cousin, and Mr Mike Ejemba.

In the will, the late Ojukwu identified one Tenny Haman as one of his children.
Ojukwu listed the children as Tenny Haman, Chukwuemeka Jnr, Mmegha, Okigbo, Ebele, Chineme, Afam and Nwachukwu.

The Ikemba gave the Casabianca Lodge at 7 Forest Crescent, GRA, Enugu, two property at Jabi and Kuje in the FCT as well as all his money and personal effects to his widow.

He also said that Bianca should replace him as the trustee in the family company, Ojukwu Transport Ltd, while also giving her two plots of land in his village at Nnewi. He, however, added that if she re-married, the land should be taken away from her.

The first son, Emeka Jnr., got the family house at Nnewi, while the newly mentioned daughter, Tenny Haman, got the Jubilee Hotel located in Zaria, Kaduna State.

The Biafran warlord also shared other landed property in the village among all his children.

Ojukwu listed the trustees and executors of the will to include Bianca, Emeka Jnr and Mr James Chukwuneme.

Reacting to the will, Bianca, who is Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, expressed satisfaction with its contents.

“It was a fair will. This time round, he did not disappoint us,’’ she said.

The ambassador, however, expressed shock at the disclosure of a new daughter in the family, whom she said had never been mentioned by her husband.

None of Ojukwu’s children was present at the presentation of the will.

A man who claims to be Ojukwu’s first son has already filed a legal action in a Lagos court on the will.

Chief Debe Odumegwu Ojukwu who claimed to be the eldest child of the late Ojukwu had slammed a N100 million suit on his father’s widow, Bianca and six others, accusing them of preventing him from managing his estate.

In the suit filed before a Federal High court in Lagos, Chief Debe alleged that the defendants prevented him from performing the dust to dust rites during the burial of his father and also prevented him from managing his estate.

Also joined in the legal battle are Ojukwu Transport Limited, Professor Joseph O. Ojukwu, Engineer Emmanuel N. Ojukwu, Mr. Lotanna Ojukwu, Emeka Ojukwu, Mr. Patrick Ojukwu, Mrs. Margret Mogbo, Nee Ojukwu, the Inspector-General of Police and Mr. Ibrahim Mukhtar, former Commissioner of Police Anambra State, now an Assistant Inspector-General of Police.

Bisi Ibidapo Obey Welcomes Baby Girl

The actress welcomed a baby girl this morning at Reddington Hospital, here in Lagos. The mother and child are said to be doing well.


                                                                     Lord have mercy.

Meet Tuface, D'banj, Femi Kuti, Shina Peters Tonite @ The TOP10MICS Concert Holding @ Eko Hotel & Suites

It will be an unusual atmosphere at the exquisite Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos to night, November 30, 2012 as an unusual music concert which has been tagged the mother of all shows, TOP10MICS takes place in style. 

Produced by entertainment powerhouse, Koga, the concert has been on the front burner these past few weeks as the organisers have been sharing with the public what to expect this Friday as African Queen Crooner, Tuface Idibia, Kokomaster, Dbanj, Afrobeat Icon, Femi Kuti, Juju Star, Sir Shina Peters, Ace Humorist, BasketMouth, popular OAP, Yaw, DJs Jimmy Jatt and Neptune get set to thrill their fans.
The organisers have also confirmed that there would be 10% discount on tickets bought through before the event which means that the audience can now purchase the tickets online for N4, 500 instead of the N5, 000 obtained at all tickets outlet.This !0% applies to the N10 000, N500 000 and the N1 000 000.
This year’s TOP10MICS has been tagged by many as the battle of the young and the old as two of the best from the ‘Old School’ go head to head with those from the ‘New School’.
As it concerns the Friday concert, Anu Awoseyi of Koga Entertainment has revealed that there is more to come for the audience ‘’We have been encouraged by the volume of tickets sold so far. For those fans who would be at the concert this Friday, there is something more to this concert that would separate it from the usual ones, I am not allowed to reveal the specifics now but there would be new twists to this year’s concert, last year’s event was a little predictable but this year’s show won’t be like that from the performance of the headlining artistes to the organisation for the concert’’.
When asked how it has been working on the TOP10MICS project, Anu said ‘’TOP10MICS is a big brand, it has not been easy for us at Koga and even our partners, it is not easy when an organisation decides to stage the mother of all shows but we have been able to break new grounds together because of the team spirit at Koga’’.
To get updates on micro-blogging site, Twitter, do follow the concert @koga_top10mics

Music Act, Orezi Also Joins The 'Tattoo Train'

Nigerian Basket Ball Player Shot Dead in Texas

A former Nigerian national basketball player was shot dead in a botched burglary in Texas before Thanksgiving.Chinedu Onyeuku, 29, and another person allegedly tried to break into a residence on Rio Grande Street in Plano on November 21 and was shot and killed by the homeowner. His accomplice ran away without injury. Police are still trying to track the second burglar.

The Nigeria Basketball Federation posted a statement saying that the 29-year-old athlete played basketball for the team that qualified for the London 2012 Olympics. However, Onyeuku was not on the Olympic roster and did not actually compete.

The statement reads: '[His] passion for playing with D’Tigers was deep-seated and he will be greatly missed. The federation joins his family and team mates to mourn a departed son, father, husband and great patriot.'

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lions' fans and fair questions

Fan loyalty to various teams and players has been around since the dawn of sports -- maybe even before Regis babbled his first words in public. It would probably be a fair statement to say without such loyalties, most sports wouldn't even exist. Sports need fans, and fans need teams and players to root for.

But there comes a time when fans should look in the mirror, ask themselves some questions, and give themselves some honest answers. This means you -- Detroit Lions' fans. Here's a few.....

After they went 10-6 last year (getting blown out in the first playoff game notwithstanding) did you really truly believe in your heart that they were a Super Bowl caliber team? Or that it was going to happen any year soon, for that matter? Do you honestly think you could pass a polygraph test if that question was posed to you?

Few would dispute that Ndamukong Suh is a polarizing figure across the spectrum of the NFL and it's fans. His teammates praise him, while a majority of the other players throughout the league think he's "dirty".

Suh's latest on-field incident of kicking Houston Texans' QB Matt Schaub in the groin is still being debated by many. Was it intentional or not? Nobody really knows the answer to that question except Suh himself. All the rest is just conjecture. (Yours truly highly doubts Mr. Suh is going to walk into the NFL offices anytime soon and submit to a lie-detector test regarding his latest alleged infraction.) In the end, the NFL decided not to suspend him yet again, but levy a $30,000 fine. Was that fair? It depends on how one wishes to look at it.

$30K in Suh's world is chump change. Had he been suspended and lost a "game check", that would have been several hundred thousand dollars. Suh is happy with the outcome, and well he should be, yet some of the Lions' faithful and homer media types still object. They miss the bigger picture.

Even if Suh's groin kick was an accident, somebody got hurt, thankfully not seriously, but "pain and suffering" due to "negligence" were involved just the same. The authorities in the NFL thoroughly reviewed the incident and basically gave Suh a "ticket". The point has been made by the Honolulu blue and silver spinmeisters that either it was intentional or not. If not, Suh shouldn't have been fined at all.

But here's the thing they don't want to consider. In the real world, if you cause an accident resulting in someone else being hurt, the "authorities" are going to look at your "record". If it's spotless, or even fairly clean, than you'll probably be given the benefit of the doubt. It was just an accident. Things happen. But if you've got a long rap sheet of similar behavior, the powers that be normally tend to view you in a different not-so-good light. Chances are, they'll put you under a microscope just looking for something, anything, they can bang you with. Guess which category Suh falls under? Perhaps that's not fair, but it's real and everybody knows it. Further, in Suh's case, ultimately whose fault is that anyway?

So here's the hard question Lions' fans really need to ask themselves. If Suh were playing for any other team, especially a division rival like Green Bay, Chicago, or Minnesota -- would you still be giving him the benefit of the doubt and defending him? Or would you be trashing him every which way you could, and want his head on a (goal)post? 

C'mon. At least be honest with yourself. Mirrors won't tell others, but they have a way of looking back and seeing right through you sometimes.

Tweet of the Day: Between Terry G & Tonto Dikeh

Wizkid, Ice Prince, Davido, Burna Boy At MTV Base VJ Search This Saturday

With just a few days to the MTV Base Nigeria VJ Search auditions, the buzz keeps growing.

After announcing EME Chairman and R&B singer, Banky W, Nollywood’s finest, Funke Akindele, Celebrity OAP, Toolz and MTV Base Creative Director, Tim Horwood as judges for the VJ Search competition, there has also been news that Wizkid, Davido, Ice Prince and Burna Boy will be at the auditions to give their support to the contestants. This is definitely one good way to spice up the auditions.

The entertainment industry also can’t seem to stop talking about the VJ search competition. With superstars like 2face, Davido, Psquare, Eldee, Ice Prince, Banky W, D’Prince, Iyanya, Basketmouth, Waje, Toolz, Brymo, DJ Jimmy Jatt, 9ice, Mo’Cheddah, JJC, Lynxxx, Eva Alordiah, Timi Dakolo and many others taking over Twitter using the hashtag #BaseVJSearch, we can only expect the best from this year’s MTV Base VJ search.

The MTV Base VJ Search auditions will hold at Fantasy Land, Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Registration will begin at 8:00 am on Saturday 1 December.

I Shaved My Hair for a Good Cause - Halima Abubakar

"I was invited to participate in cancer awareness campaign by Waodiva and MTN. They did workshops on cancer, and a lot of survivors attended. I cried when I saw them. It was really shocking that people can go through that traumatic experience. I now decided to take off my hair as a way of honoring them. If you shave your hair, you understand better what it is.

If you have someone that has gone through the ailment, you will understand what I am talking about. They normally cut their hair. Who doesn't want hair? Hair is every woman's glory. Shaving my hair is my own way of supporting the call against the dreaded disease.

Some people keep asking why ı had to do that, ıf you really know me,then u wıll know this lane ı take serıously. Be ıt a movıe or personal lıfe..please remember notıng ıs too small or too much.

I wıll be releasing more ınformations, pictures and vıdeos for  the work ı do that people dont know about because ı love my peace..hehe ok. Am done.....oya ı blow u all kısses and remember to share the sıde of
you '' Halima

Upcoming Actress Bleeds To Death

An upcoming yourba actress, Silifa Ladeji popularly known as Silifonia has died. The pregnant lady bled to death today after her lover physically assaulted her. According to her friend, her lover was in a habit of always beating her.

Doubledutch Out With Olurombi & Pelemo

Stage name is Doubledutch aka Twins Of life recently dropped two singles which can be classified by Ajebo and Moyo (Naija Fm) as “the two back to back music” titled Olurombi (old folk story) and Pelemo (Shina Peters).

The duo started recording professional recording last year, they have couple of “back to back” musics recorded and they are great stage performer too. They proved that to everyone that attend Naija FM comedy and award nite on the 3rd of Nov. 2012.

They shut down the show with the best performance of the night despite the fact they performed along side with other arts like Davido, Tilla man, Eva, Ajebutter22, Omo Akin, Phenom, FlowsiCk and much more The new name Doubledutch’s being tag with now is “the new music indoor Psquare”… Apart from the fact that they are identical twins like psquare, they are also a great choreograph dancer… The duo were born in Lagos Nigeria and have a little musical background experience while they live in hackney, kingsmead estate in London, so don’t be surprise if their Yoruba language is a bit funny.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why Do Nigerian Pastors Shy Away From Talking About Sex?

Why do you think most Nigerian Pastors shy away from preaching about sex? They talk about salvation, prosperity, healing, miracles and others but not sex. Why do you think they don't talk about this?

Unilag Final Year Student Dies of Stray Bullet

Sunday Olaleye before his sudden death
Olaleye Sunday Olanrewaju known as Honorable LAS is a final year Accounting student of DLI in Unilag. He was hit by a stray bullet on Saturday, 24th of Nov. on his way to church at Sango Ota during a robbery incident. His family members have described him as a gentle, easy going man.  Miss. Titilayo, one of his course mates said he was a fine, small but very intelligent and vibrant man. He will be greatly missed by all, she said. He was laid to rest today in his hometown. May his soul rest in peace.

Photo: Car Made Out Of Basket In Ibadan

Click to see more photos.

Funke Akindele Joins Banky W, Toolz As MTV Base VJ Search Judge

Popular Nollywood actress, writer, producer and director, Funke Akindele has been revealed as one of the final judges for the MTV Base VJ Search, Nigeria.

Entertainment industry veteran Akindele, who recently featured on the cover of Genevieve magazine, will join previously announced judges, Banky W, Toolz and Tim Horwood to select the brand new VJ.  The lucky winner of the talent search will become one of the key faces of the music network, hosting programmes on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) and on the MTV Base block on STV.

“I feel honoured to be working with one of the biggest youth entertainment brands in the world. It is very inspiring to be involved in a project like the MTV Base VJ Search which offers such an exciting opportunity for young people who want to break into the entertainment industry,” Funke says.

Hundreds of young Nigerians have already sent in their online auditions while thousands more are expected to turn up at the MTV Base VJ Search auditions, which will take place on Saturday 1 December at Fantasy Land, Lagos. Superstars Ice Prince, Wizkid, Davido and Burna Boy will also be on hand to lend their support to contestants.

The winner of the MTV Base VJ Search Nigeria will follow in the footsteps of veteran MTV Base VJ Cynthia “C-Von” Okpala who triumphed in MTV Base’s first ever Nigerian VJ search in 2007.

For more information on the MTV Base VJ Search, please go to, or follow the conversation about the search on Twitter at @MTVBaseAfrica, follow the auditions in images on Instagram @MTVBaseAfrica and use the hashtag #BaseVJSearch.

The MTV Base VJ Search – Nigeria TV series will begin airing in January 2013.

Video: Upcoming Musician, Elvis Grey Beaten By Unknown Men

Elvis Grey is an upcoming artiste. We learnt he went to perform somewhere and sang his song 'Damilola' with a particular lady on stage. After the performance, it was alleged that some cult guys took him away and gave him the beating of his life because the lady was dating one of them. Watch the video carefully. Do you think he was actually beaten?

Naomi Campbell & Kate Moss Go Topless for Mert & Marcus Interview Magazine Shoot

                                                                      Oh Naomi!

Tonto Wins Nigezie/Beat FM Win A Music Video Promo

Tonto Dikeh has won the Nigezie magic factory/ Beat FM win a music video promo. So she won't be spending a dime to shoot her 'Hi' video.

Marvin Miller. Difference maker

Sadly, Marvin Miller has passed away at the age of 95. Most will remember him as being the driving force behind revolutionary changes in Major League Baseball. Things are a lot different now than they were before Miller arrived on the scene. Some of those changes were long overdue and very much justified, yet in hindsight one is left to wonder if perhaps Miller's original good intentions didn't wind up opening a sort of Pandora's box, from which there appears to be no return. Let's look at some positives and negatives that have came about.

Before the 1960's not only pro baseball, but basketball, football, and hockey were basically caucasian plantations with the owners as the slave-masters. While the owners were raking in the big bucks, the most highly skilled athletes in the world in their various sports were toiling away for chump change. No benefits, no retirement plan, no nothing. Good grief, even the "star" athletes had to supplement their income in the off-season by doing such things as selling used cars -- just to make ends meet for them and their families. That was wrong. It was a fertile ground well deserving of a union seed to be planted and grow. Miller did that. Conversely, these days many pro athletes make more money PER GAME than a lot of "normal" people make over the course of their lifetimes. That's wrong too.

Major league baseball had long held the "reserve clause" over the players. Basically, that meant that even after a player had completed his existing contract, he was still owned by his team for another year. Play for them or don't play at all. Even if they sat out the required year, which the owners knew they couldn't afford to do, no other owner would touch them anyway. Though the term "collusion" wouldn't come about until much later, perhaps that's where it had it's origins. In other words, players didn't even have the right to migrate to other plantations. In hindsight, objective minds would deem that as ludicrous and grossly unfair, but that's the way it was. After years of hard-nosed negotiating, which culminated in a federal court decison, the ridiculous reserve clause was finally struck down.

Miller was behind all that. That cracked the door to "free agency" as we now know it. The down side? Free agency as we now know it. It's out of control. Players have no allegiance to anything these days except the almighty dollar. Hundreds of millions of them. They don't sell used cars in the off-season anymore. Some might very well own a fleet of dealerships serving up luxury models. Something is very wrong with that as well.

In days of yore, there was no such thing as salary arbitration. The owner made an offer and the player had two choices. Take it, or go find another job -- except there aren't any other jobs available in your line of work (insert patronizing sneer and a puff on a big cigar). That was wrong. Finally the slave-masters agreed to a primitive form of arbitration. Both sides could take their cases and plead them to -- the Commissioner of baseball. The Commish was hired by the owners to represent their interests in the first place, so guess which side won those cases? That was wrong too. Marvin Miller was the driving force in getting such salary disputes decided by an impartial arbitrator, which both sides had to approve in the first place. He/she would weigh the arguments of both sides and make a ruling. Few could dispute the fairness of such a procedure.

The down side? That eventually led to hideous creatures rising up from the bowels of hell which terrorize the sports world to this day. I believe the politically correct term for them in modern times is "agents". Sure, the owners always had lawyers and CPAs to look after their money. And yes, it was inherently unfair that their sharks would be talking contract terms with a player, who might have brought his wife or father-in-law along to help represent them, but the pendulum seems to have swung the opposite way somewhere along the line. Now it's the owners getting fleeced. In the end, it's hard to say who's right and who's wrong. Agents can be a despicable bunch but, after all, none of those insane contracts happen unless the owners agree to them. Let's call that one wrong both ways.

Here's what I know. Many moons ago, when I had a job flipping burgers as a high school kid -- with a rattletrap old 1965 Pontiac Tempest as my first car -- I could afford to go to games once in a while. And along with a girl dumb enough to date me -- I did. Lots of them. I saw the Lions when they still played at Tiger Stadium, the Pistons when they played at Cobo Hall, the Red Wings at Olympia, and of course the Detroit Tigers themselves many times. Why? Because even a kid making $1.35 an hour could afford it and it was a good time.

If I REALLY wanted to impress my date, I might even splurge for "box seats" at Tiger Stadium. They were only about 4 bucks a pop, parking was free down the block, and even a couple hot dogs, ice creams, and cokes were manageable on my meager budget. To boot, the players were friendly and would often give autographs and chat with the fans in the box seats before the game. That sometimes had a way of paying dividends with a date later on, but I won't get into that here. Those were all good things.

All that's gone now. No kid will ever know the special atmosphere of Olympia where the Wings played. Nor Cobo Hall watching the Pistons. They now reside in the Palace. The Lions moved to the Silverdome, which now sits vacant, and eventually back to Detroit. Even Tiger stadium is gone, to be replaced by Ford Field, which is right across the street from Comerica Park, where the Tigers currently play.

Guess what? Short of robbing a bank on the way to a game, there's no way a kid flipping burgers at a fast food joint can afford to go to any of it. Further, even if he got away with the bank heist -- which is definitely not recommended -- and was able to get the best seats in the house -- most of the players couldn't cares less about being fan friendly. They're to busy thinking about their next endorsements. And that's just wrong on several levels.

So indeed, may he rest in peace, Marvin Miller was a difference maker and he righted some wrongs.

Yet, in fairness, perhaps in some ways, he was also the original seed that blossomed and ran amok to create the ever-spreading briar patch we currently know as the world of professional sports. Owners still make a ton of money of course, because if nothing else, they're paid billions by the TV people for the rights to broadcast the games. Players have not only been emancipated from slavery, but make obscene salaries, and will gladly endorse seemingly any product, regardless of how ridiculous it is, as long as there's a major cha-ching that goes along with it.

And what are we fans stuck with? Outrageous ticket prices, $6 nasty hot dogs, and $8 a cup for watered down beer. Then you can take them over to the self-serve "condiment" table. If the mustard comes out yellow, the ketchup red, and the relish isn't moving, then you're having a good day. The onions are usually like a Stephen King novel. One never knows what will happen, but they can sometimes wind up being the cause of recurrent nightmares. Ice cream and a souvenir or two for your sweetie? Most people can't afford that, unless they're willing to skip two house payments instead of just one.

These are the demons we sports fans have to currently cope with. Again, to his credit, Marvin Miller accomplished some things that were long overdue.

Yet, yours truly doubts even Miller could have foreseen the possible long term effects of the Pandora's box he dared to pry open. The lid of that box will never be put back in place. But perhaps some year soon somebody will figure out a way to at least put a screen over it, to at least slow down the flow a bit of what's flooding out of it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ndahmukong Suh. Time to go

No, I don't mean it's time for Suh to get going and perform better on the field. I mean it's time for the Lions to get rid of the clown act he has become. As in cut him, release him, turn him loose, and don't even bother with a bus ticket. Suh can afford his own.

Suh was the #2 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft by the Lions. He wound up signing a 5-year deal worth roughly $65 million dollars. So he's making about $13 million a year, with $8 million a year of that guaranteed over the life of the contract. On a lot of other NFL teams, that's starting quarterback type money. To justify a defensive tackle making the same amount of do-re-mi as a starting QB, he'd better turn out to be a dominant force, to say the least. To his credit, Suh has indeed accomplished that feat. The bad news is -- it's for all the wrong reasons.

Let's get real. Nobody knows the NFL players better than the other players. The last two years, Suh has been elected in a landslide -- by a jury of his peers -- as the NFL's dirtiest player. Further, amongst many knowledgable football people, Suh also ranks right up there as the NFL's most overpaid and overrated player. In the humble opinion of yours truly, being thought of as overpaid, overrated, and having won re-election as the dirtiest player in all of football is not a particularly admirable combination to hang one's helmet on.

It's not just his infamous "stomp" of a downed Green Bay Packer on Thanksgiving day last year that caught so much attention. Everyone seems to have forgotten about that car crash out in Portland, Oregon, where Suh was allegedly driving at high speeds, crashed into a utility pole, and turned out to have had a couple mysterious female passengers in the car, at least one of whom was injured, but magically disappeared before the cops showed up. Suh wasn't breathylized or otherwise tested (imagine that), but one of the "ladies" eventually showed up, claiming Suh had bribed her to get out of the car and never talk to the police. Likely smelling money, she eventually did turn up and a lawsuit was filed, but how quickly that seemed to disappear from the radar. PR damage control folks and lawyers can work miracles sometimes on those with short attention spans -- which are most. But it happened.

Now he's embroiled in a civil case over not returning a $100,000 security deposit on a house he rented to others that have since vacated the premises, on a home that some say wasn't worth that much to begin with. If all true, yours truly can't decide who's dumber. Suh quibbling over chump change in his world, or the people that were stupid enough to put up that amount of money in the first place. Especially with a guy like Ndahmukong Suh. Maybe the judge should take them into chambers to stomp and kick all the above in the groin in the interest of equal justice, then dismiss the cases. Works for me.

In the world of professional sports, there's a harsh question that often comes into play. What have you done for me lately?

Lately, the only thing Suh seems to have done that's noteworthy is kick the Houston Texans' QB in the groin. Strangely enough, on Thanksgiving day again. Not only is Ndahmukong not getting any quarterback sacks, he's not getting anywhere close to them. What's worse, Suh is racking up games without making a single tackle on a running back. No sacks, no tackles, no nothing. He's been a non-factor.

Sure, the Lions' apologists will say poor old Ndammy is always double teamed, so his contributions don't always show up on the stat sheet. Yeah? Well, so is Calvin Johnson, but he still makes plays, because the truly great ones find a way. And CJ doesn't stomp, or kick, or crash cars, or try to wring an opposing player's neck like a chicken in a slaughterhouse, or get fined and suspended, and he sure as hell will never top the "dirty" list amongst his peers, let alone two years in a row. There's a whole lot of big differences going on here.

Yet that raises the question -- what would happen if the Lions just severed ties with Suh and kicked him to the curb? Remember, the Lions would still be on the hook for $8 million a year for the guaranteed money through the 2014 season if Suh decided to kick back and do nothing. I dare say even one year with $8M coming in would be more than sufficient to keep most people quite happy and comfortable for the rest of their lives. But we all know it doesn't work that way with pro athletes.

Right now, given his reputation, the bad pub and baggage he'd bring with him, and the money he'd likely command, what other teams would even want Suh? When the late Al Davis was the majority owner of the Oakland Raiders, he thrived on bringing in the "outlaws". Just win, baby, he used to say. Suh would have been a perfect fit there, but Al's passed on to a different kind of Raider nation now. Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots has been known to take in a controversial player now and again, but only on the condition they straighten up in a hurry. If they don't, they're gone -- in a hurry. Not sure Ndummy, oops Ndammy, would last long there. Owner Jerry Jones of the Cowboys loves nothing more than publicity, good or bad. Well, maybe money, but that sort of goes hand in hand with his schtick. He's already got a few otherwise very talented athletes on his team with the IQs of a brick. Might that work?

Of course, there will always be NFL owners with more money than brains, especially football common sense, so surely NS would find a roster spot somewhere. He might even get a raise. Even though they be billionaires, never underestimate the stupidity of desperate NFL owners.

Let's get even more real. The Detroit Lions have been known as losers for a very long time. Despite their little upward hiccup last year, until they got blown out in a playoff game -- not that much has changed. Their head coach is quickly starting to appear clueless again, and the player roster still has more holes than substance. The "front office" execs that couldn't wait to give interviews when the team won a few games last year have once again gone into deep hibernation and, per the last half century, owner William Clay Ford might as well be in the witness protection program, because nobody seems to know where he is or what he's doing. Losers, losers, and more losers.

The last thing Lions fans need is yet another loser laying an additional layer of scorn upon their team.

It's high time for "Suh--eey" to go slop with hogs somewhere else.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fair or foul II

So OK, presumably all the culprits in the Penn State affair have either been charged, are already in jail, or dead. Likewise, at Ohio State, the head coach that presided over the tattoo-gate affair is gone, as are the players that took part in it. For vastly different reasons, both schools are still under NCAA imposed sanctions and, given their won-loss records, would both be going to a bowl game this year. In Ohio State's case, perhaps even the national championship game could lie ahead. Which brings me to the point --- Like the man said, if you do the crime, you have to do the time, but who indeed now finds themselves behind "bars"?

Near as yours truly can tell, it's a lot of coaches and players that had absolutely no involvement whatsoever with whatever may have happened, other than being employed or playing at the same university after the misdeeds took place by others. Is that fair?  Depends how one looks at it.

Purely hypothetically, let's assume you're a current player at either PSU or OSU. Like many other schools around the country, no one would seriously doubt PSU and OSU are steeped in tradition and loyalties. It could be that your grandparents, parents, and even older siblings have a decades long history of attending that particular school -- perhaps even as athletes. Your childhood dream was to eventually follow in their footsteps. Let's further assume you inherited or were blessed with God-given talent, kept your nose clean through adolescence, and through good old-fashioned hard work became a high school star. You got a full-ride scholarship to go play football at that same school and, after all that hard work, finally you've made it to the "promised land". And what do you find when you get there?

Even if your team is really good, and you're a large part of it, you won't be able to participate in any post-season activities, where the real glory is, because other people messed up.

Sure, schools have to be punished when they're caught in wrong-doing, hence sanctions, because if not we might just as well forget the rules and let everybody run wild. I get that. Still, the point remains that most times innocent people wind up serving the punishment through no fault of their own. The list is long of the offending coaches going on to other jobs and star players that willingly participated winding up in the pros making millions while others that come after them have to do the time.

Some would say that if the innocent players are that good, then there will be a lot of other schools interested in their talents, and they can transfer out to stardom elsewhere. In the Penn State case, without even losing a year of eligibility. That sounds nice, but it's also myopic. It's easy for them to lay back and say you've got a choice, but they haven't walked all those miles in your shoes for so many years or generations either. They don't have a clue what you're going through right now, nor do they seemingly care. Further, they miss a couple important points.

You could have gone to a lot colleges coming out of high school, but your dream was to play for THAT college. Going somewhere else after you're already there just wouldn't be the same. You would have no loyalties or tradition at the next school, you'll have to get used to different teammates and a different system, live in a different city/dormitory, learn a new fight song that you never cared about, etc, etc, etc. This is NOT how it was supposed to turn out because you didn't do anything wrong.

Further, if you're THAT good, you might be displacing another guy on your next team and ruining HIS dream of glory that he also worked his entire childhood for. He didn't do anything wrong either. Your new teammates might resent that a bit.

OK, end of hypothetical story. There can be no doubt that wrong-doings have occurred and punishment is warranted. Yet it's also a fact that sometimes the crooks get to move on to greener pastures while innocent others left behind find themselves absorbing the punishment.

So how can that be fixed to be righteous for all?

I suppose scrapping the whole system, complete with the billions it currently rakes in, and returning all the sports to an intra-mural level probably isn't going to happen, though it would cure the problem.

Other than that, beats the hell out of me. Matters this important should be left in the hands of those with ultimate wisdom, and I don't qualify.

Call your Congressperson. Surely he/she will come up with an ingenious idea and act on it immediately. Congress will rally with bi-partisan support behind this cause and you will have been the catalyst to finally break the gridlock in Washington DC. United, with our heads held high, we will move forward as a nation to become stronger than ever. Once again you will be a star.

On second thought, maybe you'd be better off transferring to Podunk State and taking your chances.....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Football sanctions. Fair or foul?

And so it came to pass. Notre Dame and Ohio State finished the regular season as the only undefeated major college football teams. A 2012 pre-season poll had OSU at #18, and Notre Dame barely hanging on at #25. It would likely be a fair statement to say that, when the dust cleared, few would have foreseen these two teams to be the only ones without a loss.

No doubt, Notre Dame will be heading to Miami for a shot at the national title. While remaining "independent", the Irish football program doesn't have to worry about a conference championship game still being in the way. They're in.

In a normal year, Ohio State would play in the Big 10 conference championship game and, if they won that, they'd be in too.

But this isn't a normal year. Ohio State's done for the season. No conference championship game, no bowl game, no nothing. They're not going anywhere because of those pesky sanctions handed down a while back by the NCAA on their program over the whole "tattoo-gate" fiasco during the course of their 2010 season. Though for vastly different reasons, like Penn State, the Buckeyes can't go "bowling" this year. 

A look at Penn State first. Though he still maintains his innocence, most everybody knows Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 40+ counts of criminal sexual conduct with various young boys. He's in prison and will never get out -- at least alive. Other members of that Penn State football chain of command are currently under indictment and awaiting trial. The once beloved icon Joe Paterno was forced out and died shortly thereafter. Some say Joe Pa knew about those atrocities but kept quiet. Others, notably his family, vehemently deny such accusations. So who's right? The correct answer is "none of the above". Only one person knew how much Joe Paterno knew -- and when -- and that person was Joe Paterno. I dare say Joe Pa isn't likely to take a polygraph or give a sworn deposition anytime soon. Bottom line? While everybody is entitled to their own opinion -- we'll never know for sure. It's like Ronald Reagan and the highly illegal Iran-Contra affair a few decades ago that cost countless lives. Was the "Gipper" in it up to his eyeballs and let a mere lieutenant colonel named Ollie North take all the heat, or was he truly oblivious to everything that finally came to light? If one buys into the theory that the boss is ultimately responsible for whatever happens on their "watch", then Reagan should have been forced out too. One had airports and libraries named after him, and remains a beloved figure to this day. The other had his statue torn down at the university he loved and served for decades, and will likely never have his name cleared. In the end, we STILL don't know what happened in both instances. Funny, or maybe not, how that works out sometimes.

Of course, comparing Penn State and Ohio State in their current states of "probation" isn't apples and oranges. Given what happened to get them both into trouble in the first place, it's more like hammers and marshmallows.

Yet, there are still comparisons to be made, on certain levels, regarding neither of them being eligible for post-season play this year. Some may be fair, and some may be foul. It all depends on whose eyes one is attempting to see things through.

This has run on long enough. A closer look at such things and certain attitudes next time.

Detroit Lions 2012 season

Attempting to be objective here, the way yours truly sees it, the Lions are exactly where they should be. No, I'm not talking about the wouldas, couldas, and shouldas the Pollyannas have been feeding the Honolulu blue and silver koolaided masses for over a year.

They would have you believe that but for a penalty here, a dropped pass there, a controversial call, and a few untimely fumbles and interceptions, things might have been different. While we're at it let's throw in special teams' breakdowns, bone-headed coaching decisions, lack of quality depth at just about every position, and attitude problems.

But oh my. Everybody knew they would beat Minnesota and Tennessee, they said. The Lions lost those games. Turned out, the Lions were lucky to defeat the St. Louis Rams in their home opener. Since then, they've beaten a Philadelphia Eagles team that seems to be coming apart at the seams, an average Seattle Seahawks team, and rolled over the woeful Jax Jaguars. That's it. Other than that, they've lost them all. Yes, they've been competitive in most of those games, keeping the scores reasonably close, but instead of finding a way to win, they find a way to lose. Sound familiar?

Unlike college football with their pollsters and computers ranking everybody by every stat known to mankind and software, in the NFL, it doesn't matter. Whether a team wins by one point or 50 -- nothing counts except wins and losses. Good teams find a way to win the close contests. Not so good teams wind up losing. In the Lions' case, QB Matthew Stafford can throw for 400 passing yards, and Megatron Calvin Johnson might rack up 200 receiving yards and a few touchdown catches. Impressive stats. But you know what? Reality check. In the NFL it means absolutely nothing if the other team winds up winning the game.

Last year the Lions did fairly well through the course of the regular season, posting a 10-6 record. They had a weaker schedule, caught a few breaks, some teams probably overlooked them because they were "only the Lions" of course, and presto, they're in the playoffs. Then they were exposed as the impostors they were by the New Orleans Saints in a beatdown. Still, the desperate never-say-die Lions' faithful took that as a good sign. They finally made the playoffs, and better things will come next year. The sky's the limit, and even the Super Bowl might be possible, they ranted. They ignored the obvious.

Second, being a playoff team the year before, in the name of "parity", the NFL would toughen up the Lions' schedule a bit this year. Look at what's happened. The Lions haven't defeated a "good" team this year to date and, other than Jacksonville, were fortunate indeed to defeat a couple of "bad" ones.

So here's a little tidbit you'll never read in the Detroit area papers or see on-line from any of the Honolulu blue and silver beat writers or columnists.

While they will likely continue to try and explain away why the Lions aren't faring so well this season, they never considered another possibility.

The Lions were vastly overrated last year. Their 2011 season was an anomaly, an aberration. A UFO that turned out to be another weather balloon.

Bottom line? They weren't that good then, and now they're getting exposed again this year for STILL not being that good. It's really no big deal. Just another year in the long sorry history of the Lions. To any that may have actually thought they had a shot of going to the Super Bowl any time soon --  those guys on a certain pre-game NFL show have a way of summing it up best.