Tag Archives: Buddy Hield

A new North Carolina law encourages discrimination, and it’s disgusting. A great Trump/”Hamilton” parody. And the Final 4 is set, with one huge surprise

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We saw this in Indiana, we saw this with Houston, and now, we’re seeing it with North Carolina.

State and city legislators are scared out of their ever-loving minds at transgender people actually having rights, and being treated like everyone else.

It terrifies them to such an irrational degree, for reasons I can’t fathom, that they literally make up and change, and override hundreds of years of governmental rules just to stop fair treatment.

In case you don’t know what I”m talking about, last year the city of Charlotte, N.C. passed a measure protecting LGBT people from being discriminated against by local businesses. This law was set to go into effect on April 1, meaning of course it hadn’t even happened yet.

And yet, it was SO scary to North Carolina state legislators that a special session of the body was called, the first time in 35 years, to pass a law blocking local governments from passing anti-discrimination rules to protect gay and transgender people.

This new law, by the way, was introduced, “debated” and signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory in TWELVE hours, by far the fastest anything has ever moved through the N.C. legislature. (Seriously, a bill honoring native son Michael Jordan wouldn’t move that freaking fast.)

The new law establishes a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance that explicitly supersedes any local nondiscrimination measures. The statewide protections cover race, religion, color, national origin and biological sex — but not sexual orientation or gender identity.

Once again, the pathetic N.C. legislators who approved this claim it’s all about “public safety” in bathrooms, and more nonsense. It’s discrimination, and it’s disgraceful, and it is absolutely not what a majority of voters in N.C. are in favor of. And God forbid any city or town in the state want to disagree, well, this law makes that impossible.

North Carolina is a beautiful state filled with wonderful people, a place I came to love in the three years I lived there. But now it is just another state where legislators have been bought and paid for by special interests and rich billionaires, and so once again the will of the people is irrelevant.

Take a look at what the state’s newspapers have to say about this bill, and be at least slightly heartened that major companies like Google, American Airlines, Loews, and the NBA have denounced the law. Let’s hope the NBA pulls the 2017 All-Star Game from the state, and other companies boycott as well.

This is nothing but bigotry, pure and simple, and let’s hope the power of public shaming and corporate muscle makes a powerful sound that ripples from Asheville to Wilmington.

**Next up today, my awesome Aunt Linda sent me this a few days ago and I thought it was pretty damn funny. It’s the hit musical “Hamilton” parodied as if it were about a certain orange-skinned Republican presidential candidate, done by a group called the Rad Motel Sketch Comedy Group. Just a warning, there’s some NSFW (not safe for work) language in here. But it’s really dead-on accurate. Enjoy…

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**Finally today, after an incredible first four days of the NCAA Tournament, the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds had nowhere to go but down. And while the last few days of games haven’t produced as many thrills, they still gave us several outstanding finishes, three worthy Final Four teams, and one that I have no Earthly idea how they’ve made it.

Some quick thoughts on the weekend’s action, which was compelling if not fabulously played:

— Syracuse? Really? A team that lost five out of its last six games down the stretch of the season, a team that many people (me included) thought didn’t even deserve to get a bid to the Tournament, makes the Final Four. Crazy. The way they did it, too, was stunning; Virginia completely controlled the game Sunday, for 30 minutes, scoring whenever it wanted, then suddenly forgot how to play basketball. An epic choke job when the Hoos were on their way to the Final Four.

I hate the guy, but you must give Jim Boeheim credit; The dude can flat-out coach. This Orange team isn’t great and struggled most of the year, but are on some crazy good roll right now, and Boeheim has them clicking. What a tremendous coaching job he’s done. A 10 seed in the Final Four.

— UNC-Notre Dame was incredibly entertaining, the most fun game of the weekend. I have no idea how the Tar Heels suddenly became deadly from behind the 3-point line, but that, combined with their huge size advantage up front, made the difference Sunday night.

— So great, now we get a UNC-Syracuse Final Four matchup, both schools having had academic/grade changing scandals in recent years. What wonderful representatives of college athletics. As one Tweet read Sunday night, “The North Carolina-Syracuse Billable Hours Outside Counsel National Semifinal, brought to you by Bond Schoeneck & King, is set.”

—The Kansas-Villanova game was compelling, even if the shooting was pretty ugly most of the night. The Wildcats are a lot of fun to watch, so many complementary parts, with Kris Jenkins, Ryan Arciadiacono and that Daniel Ochefu kid all meshing so well together. I’d love to see them win the national title.

— Buddy Hield of Oklahoma plays with such pure joy on the court. He can shoot a little bit, huh? What a great college player. Who cares what he becomes in the NBA, it’s great to see a kid stay four years and get so much better.

“Concussion” movie is decent, but should’ve been better. KU fans giving Hield a standing O is another reason I love sports. And Boston Globe reporters deliver the newspaper they wrote

If you haven’t seen this yet, President Obama got highly emotional while outlining new executive orders about gun control Tuesday. He was firm, he was resolute, and most of all he showed why so many of us care about this man: Because he’s deeply, deeply hurt by his inability to do anything to stop the scourge of gun violence in America. This is exactly what you want to see in a President.

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After reading and seeing so much about the concussion and brain damage issue in football over the last 10 years, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t learn anything new by seeing the movie “Concussion.”

And I was right, I didn’t learn much new when I saw the movie last week (though it was kinda cool seeing Alec Baldwin play a real-life doctor, Julian Bailes, who I once interviewed).

Still, I wanted to see “Concussion” because it was an important, necessary film about a true hero, Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered CTE in the brains of several dead NFL players and was roundly rejected and mocked by those in power who should’ve most cared about what he discovered.

“Concussion” isn’t a bad movie; it’s actually pretty decent, probably 2.5 stars in my book. The good? Will Smith was fantastic, as was most of the rest of the cast (David Morse as Steelers legend Mike Webster was particularly great), and I thought the story told was clear, easy to digest for those who knew nothing about this issue and just were coming to a Will Smith movie. The ending is also terrific, rousing and informative.

But the bad? Lots to choose from. For one thing, the movie was dramatically over-simplified, not really getting the players’ side of the issue, current players I mean, into the story.
I also thought there were several characters we knew nothing about who suddenly were thrust into the story: For example, Omalu and Bailes have a heated conversation with a Dr. Maroon at one point, a five-minute scene where Maroon is very skeptical of Omalu’s linking football with brain disease. But we’re never told who Maroon is, why he’s so adamantly against the CTE research. There’s also a young African-American well-dressed guy in a lot of NFL executive meetings who has a bunch of lines, but we’re never told who he is, either.
Then there was the criminal misrepresentation of ex-NFLer, and CTE sufferer, Dave Duerson. His family has been very public in complaining about how the now-deceased Duerson was shown, and 99 times out of 100, I give the filmmaker license to fictionalize certain things, and I don’t care too much. But this was truly horrendous, libelous stuff that director Peter Landesman did to Duerson’s legacy. (My boy Jeff Pearlman wrote a great blog post about this.)

Anyway, “Concussion” is an important movie, and I’m glad it’s out there. I just wish it had been a little better.

**Next up today, this was one of those moments that makes me remember why I love sports so much. Monday night, late into the wee hours of the morning, there was an amazing college basketball game played. No. 1 Kansas and No. 2 Oklahoma staged a three-OT classic that I watched parts of Monday night, then had to go bed on and watched the rest Tuesday morning.

It was a fantastic, fantastic game, filled with clutch shots, fabulous defense, and a crowd at Kansas’ Phog Allen Fieldhouse as loud as you can imagine.

But as great as the game was, it’s not what I’ll remember. It’s what happened about 10-15 minutes afterwards that’ll stick with me. Oklahoma star guard Buddy Hield had just finished a sensational performance, scoring 46 points, the most ever by a visiting player at Kansas. He was exhausted, he was upset about losing, and he’d just finished a postgame interview with ESPN.

Then, as he got up to walk away, dozens of Kansas fans still in the stands stood up and gave him a standing ovation. This is the star of your team’s rival, a guy you booed for the last three hours.

But greatness is greatness, and the Jayhawks fans realized how special it was what Hield had just done. So they saluted, proudly.

Great, great sportsmanship. I love college sports when stuff like this happens.

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**Finally today, I may be biased in thinking this is awesome because I’m an ex-newspaper scribe, but I love this story. The Boston Globe had been having major delivery truck issues last week with their new service, with hundreds and hundreds of subscribers complaining that they never got their papers.

So last Saturday night, every reporter, editor, photographer and other newsroom staffers at the paper decided to do something about it: They went and delivered the papers themselves.

Yep, reporters loaded up trucks and drove around the greater Boston area dropping off Sunday’s paper. Was it a bit of a publicity stunt? Sure. But it still shows the dedication of journalists.

I love it! Nothing like “delivering” your own front-page story.