Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
SERIOUS INJURY--Trainers check on Louisville guard Kevin Ware (5) after an injury during the first half of the Midwest Regional final against Duke in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
by Michael Marot
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A gruesome injury that left Louisville guard Kevin Ware with a broken leg plunged Lucas Oil Stadium into horrified silence, with coach Rick Pitino wiping away tears and shocked teammates openly weeping during Sunday's Midwest Regional final.
Last Updated on Sunday, 31 March 2013 22:49
Category: Sports Written by Dr. Boyce Watkins
by Dr. Boyce Watkins
(YourBlackWorld.com)--I’ve always loved Chris Rock. I don’t respect him because he’s funny, rich or famous, everyone notices that. I respect him because he is also intelligent, progressive and courageous. He doesn’t just give Black people something to laugh about. He also gives them something to THINK about.
This week, while watching March Madness, that multi-billion dollar professional sports extravaganza that pretends to be an amateur sports league, Rock made some interesting and powerful remarks about what he was witnessing on television. Rock, a man who clearly understands the entertainment business, likely found himself confused about how a show can attract tens of millions of viewers without paying its star performers.
Speaking from his Facebook page, Rock had this to say:
“So I’m watching the Kansas North Carolina game on tv .And I notice there are 9 Black players and 1 White player btw the White player is amazing. Anyway I look in the stands and everybody is White. Since its known that college sports is big money, one could come to the conclusion that the nine Black and one White player are playing to put 100 thousand White kids though college. I know no one is getting whipped or beaten but economically college sports are no different than slavery. I know a lot of Black intellectuals will say we can do so much more than play ball and we can .But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t reap the benefits from sports, White kids that go to Syracuse and Georgetown do. These kids should be paid and allowed to get an education for themselves and their families for the rest of there lives. Black people not making money from college sports is like Arabs not making money from oil insane. We have our reparations lottery ticket right in our pocket and were not smart enough to cash it in.”
Everything that Rock says is right on point. The truth about college sports is that the exploitation runs deep, along with serious labor rights violations, in conjunction with operating practices that would be illegal in nearly any other industry in America. Whenever this many fans watch something on television, SOMEONE is getting rich. It’s amazing that those individuals are not the ones actually doing the work.
What I also love about Rock’s remark is that he wasn’t afraid to address the racial elephant in the middle of the room. Many conversations about the unethical nature of collegiate athletics are watered down, focusing solely on graduation rates in a race-neutral sort of way. But the fact is that anyone who follows college sports knows, without a doubt, that black men are typically running the show.
The wealth extraction from the Black community by the NCAA easily exceeds one billion dollars per year. This money could help address failing schools, Black unemployment, urban violence and many of the other issues that plague our community as a result of unchecked poverty and very few economic/educational opportunities. At the very least, it would get a few families out of the projects.
Sonny Vaccaro, the former Nike executive who conceptualized the Air Jordan sneaker, called to tell me about a multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit being filed against the NCAA. The attorneys were licking their chops over the numerous anti-trust violations being committed by the league, which has greedily taken athletes’ images and sold them to video game companies without compensating the players.
The lawsuit, should Vaccaro emerge victorious, could strike a tremendous blow to the toxic cash cow known as the NCAA. But an even faster route to liberation lies right in the hands of players and their families. Should blue chip athletes simply refuse to play without being compensated, then the show (and the money) will all come to a halt. As Chris Rock said, the power is in our hands.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition and author of the book, “Black American Money”.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2013 11:31
Category: Sports Written by Aubrey Bruce
“And now, the end is here and so I face the final curtain. My friend, I’ll say it clear, I’ll state my case of which I’m certain. I've lived a life that's full I traveled each and ev’ry highway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way. Regrets, I’ve had a few, But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption. I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway. And more, much more than this, I did it my way.” (Recorded by Frank Sinatra.) As I sit here again continuing to contemplate how the Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 season will progress, my mind continues to wander back and forth from the players who take the field daily to the “power brokers” that determine who will suit up every day. The Pirates GM Neil Huntington and Field Skipper Clint Hurdle are still in the lab trying to come up with an antidote to the past poisonous bait and trade policies of ex-GM or VP Dave Littlefield. His official title does not matter because in the end he will be remembered by most baseball fans and scribes who chronicle the game simply as a “loser.” When the 2010 baseball season began in Pittsburgh I said then and I repeat it now that if the Pirates weren’t careful, their heads would wind up in the trophy cases hanging on the walls of a few MLB franchises. They began that season by honouring then Pirate outfielder Andrew McCutchen as the 2009 Baseball America Rookie of the Year.
In those days McCutchen still had an innocence about him. I caught him around the batting cage on opening day and he told me that, “Just to be able to wake up and say I’m in Pittsburgh and I’m opening up at home is great. It’s a dream come true for me just because it’s something new. I really can’t map out my No. 1 moment because it’s all been great—from opening day to just being in a Pittsburgh Pirate uniform. It’s all been an honor. It’s all been a dream.” At the time I stated that, “[I hoped] that [his] dream didn’t turn into a nightmare for the Pirates or their fans.” One of the big chunks of the puzzle that was snatched from McCutchen’s possible supporting cast was infielder/hitter extraordinaire Freddy Sanchez.
The San Francisco Giants upgraded their offense in the middle of a hot pennant race by acquiring three-time All-Star Freddy Sanchez from Pittsburgh for “pitching prospect Tim Alderson in 2009.” Sanchez had won the National League batting title in 2006. Sanchez had to change clubhouses to join his new team, which is in the thick of the NL wild-card race. In a few hours he went from loser to winner. The Pirates traded outfielder Jason Bay. He went from loser to winner. In July of 2009 The Pittsburgh Pirates, swapped outfielders successive seasons, sending starting left fielder Nyjer Morgan to the Washington Nationals. The Pirates, spurred to trade because their farm system has been unproductive, acquired Milledge and reliever Joel Hanrahan from the Nationals for the fleet Morgan and left-handed reliever Sean Burnett, a former first-round draft pick. H’mm where in the hell, sorry, I meant where in the world is Carmen San Diego. Well, he is helping Joel Hanrahan get use to his new digs in “Beantown.” Speaking of Carmen San Diego what is “pitching prospect” Tim Alderson doing now days? Ya know the guy that they gave away Freddie Sanchez for. Let’s hope the “philanthropic era” of the Pirates is over and that Pittsburgh “cooks what it keeps.”
Another man who does it “his way” is the head coach for the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball team Jamie Dixon.
According to a press release by the university [Dixon stated that he intends to]; “finish his career at the University of Pittsburgh,” Jamie Dixon reinforced his commitment to Pitt last week when he signed a 10-year contractual agreement that runs through the 2022-23 season. Dixon owns the highest winning percentage in school history (.753) with a 262-86 record from 2003-13. He has led the Panthers to nine NCAA Tournaments in 10 seasons, the most NCAA appearances by a Pitt coach. “Pitt and Pittsburgh are home,” Dixon said. “My family and I feel blessed to be part of such a great institution and wonderful city. It is the people who truly make a place special. I could not be surrounded by better players, staff and administration. These aren’t just people I work for and with every day. First joining Pitt as associate head coach in 1999, Dixon has constructed one of the countries most successful and durable men’s basketball programs. Pitt is one of only seven teams nationally to advance to the NCAA Tournament in 11 of the past 12 seasons (2002-13). That elite group includes Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, Michigan State, Pitt, Texas and Wisconsin. I must be the first to congratulate Coach Dixon for his new deal but I must also reprimand the Panthers AD and the schools administration for signing such a tenuous long term agreement.
In 1999 “little” Gonzaga advanced to the “Elite Eight” in the NCAA tournament by beating No. 7 seeded Minnesota in the1st round, No. 2 seeded Stanford in the 2nd round and defeated No. 6 seeded Florida in the “sweet 16” round to advance to the final eight. The nickname of the Gonzaga b-ball team is the Bulldogs. From Dave Wannstedt to Todd Graham to whomever.
The Pitt athletic department always seems to get bulldozed when it comes to these overpaid, underperforming coaches. Don’t get me wrong, Dixon is one of the best coaches in Pitt and NCAA history in regards to the “regular” season.” But we all understand that it is the post season that brings in the real dough…later
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:12
Category: Sports Written by Bill Neal
:10 Alright, so I get the ball a few feet inside the foul line and I get set to throw the hook shot…You know the shot! No matter who’s on me, that shot is good. Nobody blocks that shot. I’m talking about “ballin” with the best of them over 30 years and nobody. I mean nobody ever…ever…ever—ever…Neal! Neal!…Nnneeeaaalll! What!!! Just stop it man and tell the people the truth. What—do—ya— mean? I’m telling the story just the way it happened. No you’re not. What happened was Kenny Roebuck, aka “Buck” b-slapped your so called hook shot back to 1970 when you first started throwing it. Matter of fact, he didn’t even jump. He just reached up and slapped it. It was nasty. Just nasty. If you needed a reason to stop showing up at the gym . . . now you got it!!
:9 The second best upset in Western Pa. history has to be Robert Morris beating the great and powerful “Oz” aka the Kentucky basketball team. Coach Cal, welcome home mmmaaannn! Oh, the No. 1 greatest upset …you know it, Maz sends one over the wall at Forbes Field to send the Yankees home and win the World Series.
:8 You wanna talk streaks? Here’s some streaks. The Top 10 of all time (you know I do Top 10s):
1. Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak in baseball; 2. The Boston Celtics win 8 straight NBA titles; 3.Cal Ripken’s 2756, baseball games without a miss; 4.UCLA’s 88 game college basketball domination; 5.Brett Favre’s 297 NFL games under center (including the day his dad died); 6.Richard “King Richard” Petty’s 10 straight racing titles; 7. Wayne Gretzky’s 51 straight hockey games with at least one point; 8. The 1971-72 Lakers win 33 in a row on the hardwood; 9. Okay, here’s your Miami Heat, 27 in a row and counting. You happy now?! 10. And one of the most impressive streaks of all time…me going three straight years writing this column and never being wrong!! (Say what??)
:7 Hey ya’ll, guess who the No. 1 golfer in the world is again? I told ya he’s back—Tiger Woods, that’s who—so all you players—play on!
:6 Movie review time. You know you love it. Yes you do! I finally caught up with “Gangster Squad.” If you like seeing lots of people get killed, especially bad guys, then this is your movie…not quite as good as DeNiro’s Al Capone in “The Untouchables,” but close. I give it 3 basketballs.
:5 Indiana to win the NCAA crown. Take it to the bank!
:4 I can’t tell you her name or who she was. All I can tell you is that I saw the finest woman in the world…that’s right, in the whole wide world, at The Savoy, Saturday night. I mean FINER THAN FROG’S HAIR. Yes sir, that’s fine alright! So fine, in fact if she promised me one night of heavenly bliss with her if I hunted you down and did away with you, all I can tell you is you better run and hide cause I’m coming!!!
:3 Quote the Ravens Never More. The Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco and all his millions are done. Ray Ray is gone. Bolden is gone. Reed is gone and a half dozen others are gone. Thanks for the memories you xxxx – xxxx – xxxx!!!
:2 If you’re reading this, it means you still have time to go to your closet and pull out your best dress. Look for “Harlem Nights” R&B classic par-tay being held every last Friday at 3 Lakes Golf Club in Penn Hills (6700 Saltzburg Rd).
With a Feb. opening night of 100 plus old and new school sharp dressers, the party rocked till 1 a.m. with a sophisticated atmosphere, including food, drinks, and the legendary Pittsburgh United Rays Corvette Club. Coming at ya again Friday, March 29 with good weather predicted, 8 p.m.-1a.m., $10 advance and $15 at the door (call 404-721-2174 for advance ticket sales. You still have time.) Cash bar—cash kitchen open till 11p.m.—50/50 raffle—and this month’s special Harlem Night Give Away, you can win the Corvette Club bringing the baddest wheels in town to show off at your cook-out this summer. (Weather permitting and in a 20 mile radius)—And yes ladies and gentlemen a cash prize to the best dressed man and woman—call Five Starr Corporation at 412- 628-4856 for more information. Let’s Par-Tay!!
:1 If you love the game, then you love the game. So you don’t and won’t want to miss the 38th annual W.Pa. High School All-Star Basketball Classic (the oldest H.S. All-Star game in W.Pa.—the grandfather of them all, Sunday, April 7 at Penn Hills High School, co-sponsored by The New Pittsburgh Courier, 100 Black Men of Pittsburgh, Judge Dwayne Woodruff, Jerry Cippinelli, Joe Luvara, Penn Avenue McDonald’s and Chuck Sanders Charities, Middle School Girls Tournament—9 a.m. –noon, Middle School Boys Tournament—12 p.m. – 3 p.m. H.S. Senior Girls City vs. WPIAL— 3 p.m. H.S. Senior Boys City vs. WPIAL—5 p.m. Adults-$5, youth-$2 all day ticket-and you can win $500 cash in the 5 for $500 at 5 p.m., half court shot brought to you by the Penn Hills Democratic Committee and State Representative Tony DeLuca. This is basketball at its finest. For more information, call the Champions at 412-628-4856.
:00 DOUBLE OVERTIME. I’ll put Michael “M.J.” “Your Airness,” Jordan the 2nd greatest of all time one-on-one against your LeBron “King James” any day of the week all day, and “M.J.” destroys him. #1 LeBron doesn’t have the killer in him Michael has and No. 2 Boy you’re forgetting how bad Michael was. He changed the world! And LeBron against the greatest player ever, yep, Wilt Chamberlain…Please! No chance. None. Zero. Forget about it. Now…Run tell that mmmaaannn!!
GAME REALLY OVER…HUH ?!?
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 09:13
Category: Sports Written by Courier Newsroom
AND THE WINNER IS—Titus O'Neil raises his arms in victory after winning a match on Smackdown. (Photo courtesy of WWE)
by Abdul Al-Nakhli
For New Pittsburgh Courier
This past December, World Wrestling Entertainment held their yearly awards show, the Slammys, on Monday Night RAW.
During the show, they award their superstars with distinct honors such as Match of the Year, Superstar of the Year, and Best catchphrase. That night, the latter category went to WWE Superstar Ryback for his phrase, “Feed Me More!”
This didn’t sit well with Titus O'Neil, a WWE superstar and one half of the tag-team, The Primetyme Players,who felt his catchphrase, “Millions of Dollars, Billions of Dollars,” which wasn’t even nominated, was much more impactful with a stronger message.
“One day me and my partner (Darren Young) were riding in his car on our way to a show, and he was driving pretty fast. Because of that I told him, ‘Hey you gotta slow this down, you know what's sitting beside you right? Millions of Dollars!’”
“With that said, we said hey let’s use it the next time we’re on TV, and its stuck ever since. I feel it’s a powerful phrase and it (the phrase) can be used by anyone. Everyone should feel they are worthy and no matter what they do, should believe they are the best and worth millions,” said O’Neil.
This sentiment symbolizes everything O'Neil strives for. The former University of Florida linebacker desires to become one of WWE's high market draws. He believes in becoming one of the best, and striving for excellence in every area of life.
O’Neil signed with the company to a developmental deal in 2008, and appeared on WWE's NXT in 2010, a show designated for the “rookies” on the roster to seek guidance from a current WWE superstar.
After his time on NXT, O’Neil started teaming with Darren Young, making appearances starting last spring on RAW and Smackdown. Paired with former manager Abraham Washington, they were in contention numerous occasions for the WWE tag team championships, and once were the No. 1 contenders for the titles.
The duo, in O’Neil’s opinion, has helped bring a fresh and unique dynamic to the tag team division.
“I definitely, while we (O’Neil and Darren) can't take full credit for the new life in tag team wrestling in WWE,” he said. “We definitely feel we bring something to the table. We truly believe there isn't a team more qualified for a shot at the tag team titles than us.
“Even as a bad guy team, we still get a great reaction from the crowd, whether they cheer or boo us, most of the time more cheers. To me that means a lot to see the fans appreciate what we do and are excited for us, because they want to see good tag team wrestling in the WWE again.”
During the summer of 2012, the group had a slight setback when Washington, after making controversial remarks regarding Kobe Bryant’s infamous sexual assault case on a live broadcast, was promptly released from his contract from WWE.
Without Washington as part of the pact, O'Neil felt empowered to take his career by the reigns.
“We loved working with him (Washington), and when he was released it did set us back somewhat, but it was also an opportunity for us to prove to ourselves and the world what we could really do,” said O’Neil, “It forced us to take our careers and take charge to ensure we would reach the goals we set out for ourselves.”
This time last year, O’Neil set a goal between himself and Young to be on the card of the company’s four major pay-per-view broadcasts. With Wrestlemania 29, WWE's major show, on the horizon, O’Neil is close to realizing his goal.
“I made a goal between myself and Young that I wanted to compete on what we call the Big 4, and so far we have done that,” O’Neil said. “We competed at Summerslam, was on the card for Survivor Series, and I was in the Royal Rumble match. Now we want to compete on the grandest stage of them all, and we hope to challenge Team Hell No! (WWE superstars Kane and Daniel Bryan) for the tag team title.”
This year's Wrestlemania, taking place April 7 from Metlife Stadium in New York, is set to be electric, as WWE Champion Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson defends the WWE Championship against John Cena, in a rematch tagged as, “Greatness vs. Redemption.”
O'Neil, not ignoring how immense this rematch is, has his own predictions on who will leave Metlife Stadium as champion.
"It's a match most never thought would ever happen again, let alone the first time, which goes to show anything can and will happen in the WWE," he said.
"With that said, I'm not sure if he (Rock) is as prepared for the fight he is getting, and with that said, I think this time Cena is going to redeem the loss from last year and once again become champion."
For O’Neil, having a long legacy in WWE is the ultimate goal, and being remembered as one of the elites.
“I want to be remembered as one of the guys that gave it his all every night, and entertained the fans in the process. I have a long career ahead of me and I'm ready for the ride.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 10:12
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