#MNR: Growth & Development
“Want me to be disrespectful? Pull up to the funeral, spit in his coffin.”
Blessed New Year to all. If you’re reading this, you made it to 2022. Quite a few people didn’t make it this far. Before we get this thing started, it’s imperative that we amend last week’s 2021 RIP roll call and add two absolute icons to the list of the dearly departed: Coach John Madden and actress Betty White. I’m way too young to remember John Earl Madden as a coach, but the record speaks for itself. His regular season coaching record was 103-32-7, which comes out to a winning percentage of .750, an NFL record. He was the winning coach of Super Bowl XI and 1967 AFL champion. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995. He is the only broadcaster to work all four major American television networks as well as the only broadcaster to call Super Bowls on all four major networks (a feat that will likely never be matched), winning 12 Sports Emmy Awards along the way. His video game series, John Madden Football/Madden NFL, is amongst the best-selling games of all time. Betty Marion White’s acting career spanned SEVEN decades. She won a total of eight Emmy Awards and was the first woman to produce a sitcom (Life with Elizabeth). She was best known as the indelible Rose Nylund, the supremely amicable yet often naïve housemate on the classic NBC sitcom Golden Girls (my second favorite show ever). She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was a 1995 Television Hall of Fame inductee. Both Coach Madden and Ms. White left indelible marks on my life, and I will miss both dearly. Salute to the two legends.
No matter how crazy your life may be, you made it to another year. Having said that, carpe diem. We are all given the same 168 hours in a week. It all boils down to how we choose to spend our time. Do everything within your power to make 2022 the best year of your life. Keep grinding.
Trust me, y’all. I try my best to keep any mention of COVID out of my blogs. I swear I do. But it’s virtually impossible to summarize a week without mentioning it. Omicron is currently running through the United States like Eric Dickerson ran through the NFL in 1984. I personally know more than a handful of individuals currently in COVID protocol, including one of my students. This shit is crazy. The one positive I’m taking from this is the fact that all the cases are “mild.” None of the people I know are hospitalized. All claim to have mild symptoms. I read that the nature of the Omicron variant could lead to the transition from pandemic to endemic, making COVID much more like the flu in its impact on health in the future. But it’s all speculation, as not even the “experts” seem to have a grasp on the matter. Sports leagues are suffering because of protocols. Hundreds of NFL and NBA players are currently in protocol, including 170 in the NFL alone entering Week 17. The NHL announced that none of its players will be attending next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing. We’re down bad at the moment. All I’m saying is, damn…can my job return to virtual for a week or three? Can I live?
So, yesterday, I’m watching the Buccaneers/Jets game (I had no other valid option cuz I’m not watching the bum ass Giants). Nothing special. I left with the ladies to go to the grocery store, and I happened to check my Twitter en route. Oh damn. Not AB again. If you didn’t see it, Antonio Brown appeared to quit dead in the middle of the game. He took his jersey/shoulder pads off, saluted the MetLife crowd, and left East Rutherford via an Uber. Of course, social media had a field day. We all did. Shit, it was funny AF. But truthfully, most of us realized that this was bigger than AB being an asshole. We already knew he was an asshole, but this seems to have mental health written all over it, as have many of his actions the past few years. I’m no healthcare professional, but it seems that there is something that needs to be addressed. As a human I’m praying that any deficiency he has be properly resolved, if possible. It would be easy for me to say that he tore his drawz way past any hope of salvaging his career, but sports have proven otherwise in similar situations. I agree with Coach Dungy in that the mental health dynamic must be properly addressed before any other team risks signing him. In full disclosure, new reports are saying that Head Coach Bruce Arians had allegedly asked AB to check in to the game. AB allegedly replied that he was hurt and couldn’t return. Arians in turn allegedly told AB he was no longer a Buccaneer and to leave, so he did. I don’t know how true this is, but even if it is, AB could’ve moved differently. If this is true, there was no need to make a spectacle because he would have been justified in simply exiting stage left. He should have just split (uneventfully) and waited for his agent to hit his line. He would’ve been with another team TODAY if he played it that way. But like I said, this is all speculation. Again, I pray that AB gets any needed services. It’s bigger than football.
As I first mentioned in last week’s blog, I am now fully intrigued by #BXNYC drill music. I’m talking OGz, YGz, SevSide, RPT, all of it. There’s Kay Flock, B Lovee, Dougie B, C Blu, Set Da Trend, Dthang Gz, Yus Gz, and plenty more. They make music, they go on Live and trash their opps’ dead homies, and occasionally kill one another. Some of them are still in high school. Bronx drill is where big guns and bigger personalities cross paths, and I can’t get enough of it. I don’t like the deaths, let’s get that clear. I don’t want to see young men of color killing each other over dumb shit. But as I stated, I am very intrigued by the scene. SevSide (187th St) is above my stomping grounds of 180th St/East Tremont – Watson area as well as above and to the east of Highbridge, the area where I laid my hustle game down flat, but I am familiar with the cross avenues: Prospect, Belmont, Courtland, Arthur (and others), all the way to Third. I know RPT from my homie Nik; her sister is a longtime resident and that’s where her son cut his gums. SevSide and RPT are dangerous areas, though they are often traditionally overlooked when talking about known #BXNYC “kill zones.” But things change. I have no problem with these adolescent boys and young men banging on wax. That’s kinda how this [rap] thing started, and I’d absolutely love it if they kept it on wax. Rah Gz is dead. Kay Flock and Dthang are both on the Island, both currently without bond (Flock for a body, D for a gun charge). Both have dropped Rikers Island phone “home” freestyle disses toward the other (three skull emojis). It doesn’t look good for the home team(s). And now, they’re under the microscope of rap music and even worse, the Bronx DA and Feds. I’m a keep all my fellow old heads posted on the updates even though I’m certain y’all have little interest in listening to the actual music. Ironically, some of it is wavy. Like I said, I’m hooked – mostly on the drama but I’m slowly ingesting the music as well. It may be a cold winter in the X. I’ll keep y’all posted.
That’s all for the first blog of 2022. I’m confident that this will be a prosperous year for myself as well as the UnB family. I feel that this is the year that all our hard work and dedication pay off. I’m looking forward to what the immediate future has in store. It’s cold AF up and down the east coast, so dress warm if you must leave the crib. I’m a see y’all in short time. Love to the world like Jeffrey Osborne dem the bicentennial year.
tymonday.com: @tymonday on Twitter & IG