Life


A lot has been said, written and tweeted about the horrific sex scandal involving former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. The scandal has taken over the media since the allegations were revealed a few days ago. What’s shocking to me is that this scandal was revealed months ago. As far back as April, Mark Madden authored an article for the Beaver County Times alleging that Sandusky’s sex crimes had been swept under the rug by Penn State in the late 1990s in exchange for his quiet resignation.

Madden had connected the dots seven months ago and only now has it caught the attention of the mainstream media? How could it go under the radar for seven whole months? There’s an easy explanation. Sandusky points it out in his column.

“Did Penn State’s considerable influence help get Sandusky off the hook?

Don’t kid yourself. That could happen. Don’t underestimate the power of Paterno and Penn State in central Pennsylvania when it comes to politicians, the police and the media.”

The power of Joe Paterno. JoePa is a football god. Isn’t that the problem right there. A football coach that yields that kind of influence is just sad and scary. That is the culture of college sports in the United States. Something I’ve never been able to understand as a Canadian. A culture that was once galvanizing is now flawed and broken.

When the news of the allegations first broke, it was reported that Paterno was not a target and was legally cleared. Legally, JoePa had done the right thing by alerting his bosses when he first learned of the sex acts by Sandusky. Paterno may have been cleared on a legal basis, but he is just as guilty as Sandusky. Do you expect me to sit here and believe that the most powerful man in the university did not know what was going on? Isn’t it unsettling that Sandusky retired in 1999, in his coaching prime, one year after the first allegation of his deviant acts surfaced in 1998? Am I supposed to believe that Paterno, a powerful man with powerful connections, didn’t call in favors to help clean up this mess in order to protect his own legacy and livelihood?

The minute these allegations broke, Paterno had a chance to do the right thing and resign immediately. In stead in a statement released a few days later, he announced he would retire at season’s end. Personally, I found his statement troubling.

“…I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this  as easy for them as I possibly can.

This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”

Done more? What does he mean by done more? Done more, as in gone to the authorities immediately rather than his bosses? Done more as in stopped letting Sandusky have access to all Penn State facilities as early as last week? Done more as in not help slide it all under the rug to protect his legacy? What do you mean by done more JoePa?

This is a man who just doesn’t get it. A man who doesn’t get the gravity of the situation. A man who doesn’t get that these allegations are bigger than football, than Penn State, than the NCAA, than him. Yet in his statement he is still barking orders to the Penn State board of trustees.

Thankfully the board of trustees finally did the right thing and fired Paterno late last night. The firing of JoePa led to a riot at Beaver Canyon. For the life of me, I can’t understand why. I get these are just kids, of which most are probably under the influence of alcohol and do not understand the seriousness of the situation. They rioted in support of this football god. I wonder if they would still be supporting this god if it was their brother, their friend or someone they knew that had been violated?

JoePa is a football legend with a legacy many would dream of. No Pa, you don’t deserve your legacy anymore.

Let the truth be told from young souls that become old.

From days spent in the jungle, where must one go?

To find it, time is real, we can’t rewind it.

Out of everybody I met, who told the truth? Time did.

I came across this story about Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli today and it put a huge smile on my face. Balotelli exemplifies what it is to be a role model. Truly an inspiring story. Link  to the story is below, it will make you smile.

Mario Balotelli thinks bullying is out of order

Last week I hit a milestone, or so they say. I turned thirty. I honestly don’t feel any different than I did at 29, 28, or 27. I have never really celebrated my birthday much. I have friends who are big on birthday celebrations. Some who treat it like it’s a national holiday. This year, turning thirty did get me thinking. It got me thinking of all the things I want to accomplish this decade. My twenties weren’t what I wanted them to be. I’ve decided to make up for it in my thirties. This decade is going to be, wait for it…

LEGENDARY

This is my bucket list. I must complete everything on this list this decade. I won’t lie, most of this list is sports related. This list is also in progress. I may add more to the list as the days, months and years pass by.

  1. Swimming with Sharks
  2. Start my own business related to my profession.
  3. Meet DJ Premier.
  4. Watch the Toronto Maple Leafs play in every city.
  5. Watch the Toronto Blue Jays play in every city.
  6. Watch the Toronto Raptors play in every city.
  7. Watch the San Francisco 49ers play live.
  8. Watch a Superbowl live.
  9. Watch March Madness live.
  10. Learn how to produce music.
  11. Write a short story.
  12. Teach overseas for a year again.
  13. Visit Brazil.
  14. See the Taj Mahal.
  15. See the Egyptian Pyramids.
  16. Learn to play the guitar.

I would love to hear what’s on your bucket list.

Well… I better get started.

I never thought I would be writing this letter. It’s something I have thought about for some time, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. This is very hard for me, but it’s the right time.

I met you when I was 9 years old. My boys, who were a little older, used to kick it with you in the park. They would sit and listen to you speak for hours on end, taking in every word you had to say. They would say to me “you have to listen to her speak.” Many times they recited your words to me; they had your poems memorized. I wont’ lie, your words were dope. Soon I was there with them, listening to you. Hanging on every word. Finding harmony in your poems.

Your poems were about a life I never knew existed. Even though I never experienced what you talked about, I could feel your emotions as if I had lived it. While many disapproved of what you had to say, more and more were listening to you. It wasn’t long till I fell in love with you. You were the first of the only two loves I would ever know.

We grew up together. Through my teens, you were the only one I would listen to. I would try to learn every one of your poems. Some of my friends would be amazed at how many of them I had memorized. A few laughed at how immersed I would be emotionally when reciting your words. You were with me through most of my firsts, experiencing them together. Through out my teens I found comfort in your words. It didn’t matter what was going on in my life, I always felt like you understood me. I can’t count the hours that I spent alone with you, just listening to you, silently. I still remember this one night. It was a Friday. Me and the boys were a little older. It was my first time drinking. It was dark and late. We were by the jungle gyms. We always hung out there because it was away from the walking path and the lamps. You were there as always, speaking to us. I drank a lot that night. I don’t remember most of it. I do remember your words. I remember how vivid the emotions felt as you spoke. I had never felt them this profoundly; maybe it was the alcohol. I remember reciting along with you; every word as if I had written them. We all did. We didn’t stop, even as we walked home while the sun was coming up.

Through most of my life I always kept current with every one of your new poems. We grew together, matured together, and changed together. As we grew older, so did your audience. You poems were being accepted by the majority rather than the minority. Your popularity was never higher and you were attracting a larger audience. Your poems started to change, the emotions in your words changed. While most of your poems appealed to a broader audience, you still managed to write some for the few of us that had been listening to you from the beginning. Yet, we continued to grow older; continued to grow apart.

Over the last few years I’ve come to realize, your poems are no longer meant for me. They’re for a newer audience, a younger audience. Without realizing it, I started to move on. I still listen to a lot of your new poems, but I would be lying if I told you I felt the same emotion as I did in my younger years. Those you recited to me as I grew up will always be a big part of my life. I still listen to them and even though I have moved on, just remember that I will always love you… Hip Hop.

As for the other love, I’m not ready to write that letter to her.

I haven’t written here in almost 6 months. You’re probably sitting there wondering why. Well I had life to take care of. I got pretty busy working on my masters. Well now that my Masters is completed. Completed it on December 18th, 2009. It’s time to get back to the Internets.

I want to start of 2010 the right way. First be encouraging everyone to donate to the Canadian Red Cross’ Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.

Next on the agenda, is to introduce all you fine folks to a very talented man. DJ SURREAL SOUND. DJ Surreal Sound is an incredibly talented DJ from Toronto. He’s the resident DJ for a party called Hip Hop Love, which is by far the best Hip Hop part you will ever be to. Those of you in the Toronto area, have to check this guy out. I also highly recommend downloading any of his podcasts to jam to. You will not be disappointed.

Erin AndrewsErin Andrews, ESPN sideline reporter, recently has made national news. I’m sure by now most of you know about the peep show hotel tapes of her circulating around the Internet. If not, just about a week ago a video tape was posted of Andrews naked in her hotel room. Andrews was video taped through the peep hole of her room door from the hallway. The video while very blurry is of Andrews, her legal team confirmed. The five minute video shows Andrews doing mundane things such as curling her hair.

Andrews, plans to take criminal action and file civil lawsuits against the person who shot the video and anyone who publishes the video. So sorry fellas, you won’t find the video on this site. Not only because of legal reasons, but also for moral and ethical reasons. Andrews was video taped surreptitiously without her knowledge or consent. She was in the privacy of her hotel room and was violated, wronged.

Andrews, 31, is probably the most well known female sportscaster in North America. She was a Internet sensation before the video. Playboy named her the “sexiest sportscaster” in 2008 and 2009. While her beauty is without question, she is also a very accomplished sportscaster. At ESPN since 2004, she has covered MLB, College sports, and the NHL, very well actually.

While authorities are still trying to find the person(s) involved behind the video tape, it begs the question: What is happening to our privacy? How is it that a man can stand in a hotel hallway for 5 minutes with a video camera and the hotel doesn’t know? Don’t hotels have video camera’s in the hallways for security reasons? If so, isn’t anyone watching these video feeds making sure their paying customers are safe?

Few media members have spoken out about this incident. ESPN refuses to make reference to the situation, citing it has no bearing on her talents as a sportscaster. While some members of the media have spoken out in defense of Erin Andrews, USA Today’s award-winning  sports columnist Christine Brennan seems to have taken a shot her. Brennan via twitter and facebook made this comment:

On the Erin Andrews situation, a quick thought for those who have asked: There are hundreds of women covering sports in this country who haven’t had this happen to them. I wish it didn’t happen to Erin, but I also would suggest to her if she asked (and she hasn’t) that she rely on her talent and brains and not succumb to the lowest common denominator in sports media by playing to the frat house.

That sounds like a shot at Andrews and her coverage of college sports. Andrews who regularly covers college sports has a huge following of college males. With the majority of Andrews fan base being college males, who’s lives revolve around sports, sex and drinking, Brennan’s comments seem to indirectly convey that she was playing with fire. It almost seems like Brennan blames Andrews and what happened to her was inevitable due to her seemingly immature fan base.

I’m not sure how ESPN assigns their reporters, but I’m sure they are behind Andrews covering college sports. ESPN is a business, and a smart business. I’m sure they know of Andrews popularity among the male college contingent due to her beauty and I’m sure they take full advantage of it. Sex sells, ESPN knows this. Maybe Andrews has no choice but to play to the frat house, I wonder if Brennan thought along those lines. Brennan comes off classless, taking a shot at a colleague who did nothing wrong but do her job and did it well; taking a shot at someone who’s privacy was grossly violated simply because of her beauty.

Being that i’m still a relatively new contributor to the internets, I thought i’d pay homage to some of the places around the web that I enjoy. To the few who truly do entertain me, check out these cats below. I’m serious, go check ’em out. NOW. I’ll wait… 

 

Internets

 

Starting in Left Field – Pretending to Listen…: The thoughts and views on life from an up and coming East Indian actress from Toronto. She’s intelligent and insightful, and when she makes it big, you’ll remember where she came from.

Starting in Center Field – Illseed: Truly some of the weirder things that happen in everday life can be found here for everyone to view.

Starting in Right Field – Ta-Nehisi Coates: Truly one of the most insightful minds I’ve read. Everything from Hip Hop to Politics, this man is worth read without question.

At Third Base – On The Fence Sports: A great blog about a wide variety of sports with great insight and a personal connection.

At Shortstop – Bill Simmons: Possibly the greatest sports writer there is. I’m serious. A must read for any sports fan.

At Second Base – Ball Don’t Lie: A great basketball blog with multiple authors, most notably J.E. Skeets who is one half of Toronto’s own Basketball Jones podcast, which is incredibly entertaining. If you eat, sleep, breathe the NBA, you need to check this out.

At First Base – Raptor Blog: The best blog about our horrible Toronto Raptors out there. It’s a great read, with great opinions and theories about all things Raptors.

At Catcher – Otherground HipHop: A blog about HipHop by heads for the heads. Any Hip Hop fan should have this blog on their top ten list. 

At Pitcher – Sports And The City: The Roy Halladay of my blogosphere. Consistently a great read night in and night out. An incredible read for all suffering Toronto sports fans.

I was proud when Slumdog Millionaire was announced as the winner for best movie at this year’s Academy Awards this past Sunday. For anyone that hasn’t seen this movie yet. GO WATCH IT. RIGHT NOW! I’ll wait.

(2 hours later)…

Now, aren’t you glad you listened to me? Wasn’t that just an amazing movie? I’ll be honest; it’s become one of my all time favorite movies. It’s so well done. The story line is original and different. What a different twist to a love story. 

Now I’ll admit, the movie resonated with me more so because of the fact that I was born in India and have lived in Mumbai and even though I left for Canada at 7, I do visit the homeland every few years. It also made me proud as an Indian to see a movie based in India about Indians win the best movie award. In fact, many Indians I know we’re very proud of the fact that Slumdog won. Personally, I loved the movie for the story, and the best part, NO DAMN SONGS. I’m sure that pissed off a lot of Indians. EAT ME! 

After the Academy Awards I was speaking with eyebleaf from Sports And The City. Now he brought up a very good point. Why are so many Indians so gung ho about the fact that Slumdog won? Why is it such a big deal? I started to think about it. It hit me, Indians were just proud of the fact that they were recognized by the western world. I’m sure most Indians haven’t even seen the movie but were probably rejoicing just to see something Indian in the spotlight and being raved about. Now anyone who’s seen the movie knows that the movie, while being an inspirational love story, doesn’t really show many positives about India, or Indian culture.

In reality the movie shows what’s still wrong with India. The divide between Muslims and Hindu’s that live in India, the riots and killings that are religiously motivated, the social divide, the immense poverty. Trust me; you haven’t seen real poverty till you’ve visited the slums in India. How corrupt the police and upper class can be. The fact that so many orphaned children have to rob and steal just to feed themselves. The movie brings all these issues to light and Indians are walking around so proud that Slumdog won the Oscar just for the fact that it was Indian and no other reason.

I’m glad Slumdog won the Oscar because I thought it was the best movie, but I’m definitely no longer proud of the fact that the movie won because it was Indian.  It shows all that is still wrong with my homeland. There is still so much to fix in India. So much work still to be done, yet the Indian government doesn’t care. Indians, why are you proud of Slumdog? What about that movie makes you proud? Are you honestly sitting there and telling me you’re proud that people still get killed because of their religious affiliation? Are you proud of the fact that the police and government are so corrupt? Are you proud of the fact that there is so much poverty? Does it make you proud that so many children have to rob and steal just to so they can have food once a week? This is what you’re proud about? That sickens me. It hurts my heart.

How about we as Indians focus on having the government fix all these issues. Then maybe in the future we can be more proud of the fact that we rid our beautiful homeland with a rich culture of these travesties rather than be proud that the western world gave us an award for a movie. How about the rich start helping the poor and bridge the gap. Gandhi showed our people that no one had the right to tell us we were beneath them, and yet we turn around and do the same thing to our own people. 

It just saddens me.

Hope.  Change.  Honesty.   Those aren’t words I’d normally associate with the US government.   Now, I’m not an American but I’m positive most Americans would have agreed with me, well until January 20th, 2009 that is.    After 8 years of having the world get shitted on by failed foreign policies, failed domestic policies and flat out idiocy, there was for the first time, HOPE.   There was a CHANGE in people’s mood.  There was a belief of HONESTY.  

President Barak Obama is the reason.   He is providing hope to so many around the world.  His reach is beyond borders, race, ethnicity, gender, class.  But there’s something else he’s providing which is vital.  Something else not many people are talking about.   He is becoming a role model, a HERO.

For decades, many African-American and other minority kids had only athletes, celebrities and rappers to look up to. They’re vision of a better life was in a jump shot, a movie, or a mic.   They’re heroes wore shorts, or blinged out chains. 

Their new hero is a different one.  Their new hero is a man in a suit with a Harvard Law Degree.   Now their vision of a better life has been altered.  That might be the single most positive change from the Presidency of Barak Obama.