Monday, August 23, 2021

You Can Pull For Sha'Carri And Criticize Her, Too

The one thing about social media that a lot of us absolutely hate is that it makes people think that they have to choose a side.

Well, guess what?  You don't.  

It's perfectly okay to fall in the middle on things.  In fact, most of the times, that's the best place to be on most topics.  In a lot of arguments, there is truth and good points being made on both sides.  It's just a shame that our emotions drown all of that out and we leave so many debates without learning a single thing.

I'm a fan of Sha'Carri Richardson the track star.  Despite her flamboyant hair and nails and her brash attitude, I'm good with her.  I grew up on Muhammad Ali's trash-talking and got to enjoy Florence Griffith-Joyner's flashy style as well, so this is nothing new to my world.  Bravado makes sporting events that much more interesting to me.

Having said all of that, I was one of the people who criticized Sha'Carri for her last place 100m finish in the 2021 Prefontaine Classic.  Of course, a lot of people were upset with me because I didn't support a "black woman" who had a bad day.  A lot of those people probably don't watch sports very much, so their opinions are not necessarily informed ones.  It doesn't mean that they can't have opinions and that I can't learn from them, but I think that they were coming from an emotional place and not an informed one.  So, allow me to lend some context to the hype that built up to Saturday's disaster for Sha'Carri:

Just about everyone who is aware of who she is knows that she was suspended from the Olympics for testing positive for marijuana.  It was a very unfortunate situation, but she was dealing with so much at the time with the death of her biological mom.  I think that she was just trying to cope and got caught, but I thought that she handled her interviews on the morning talk show circuits very well and I looked forward to her return to competition after the Olympics.

Once I saw the first Prefontaine Classic commercial on TV, I got excited to see that she would finally get a chance to race against members of the Jamaican team which has been dominant in sprinting events for years.  Then a few hours later, I came across a video Sha'Carri posted showing the new blonde hair and a quote that said that she's "not playing nice".

Wait. What?  You're calling out the Jamaicans unprovoked?  Why?

Let's put some things in perspective here: Sha'Carri's official fastest time ever is slower than the fastest times that two of the Jamaican women have posted.  She essentially trash-talked women she's officially never run a faster time than.  That's like a boxer who has had 5 fights calling out Floyd Mayweather who is undefeated in 50 fights.  Yeah, there's a chance that you could win, but...

Again, I love trash-talking.  It hypes things up and makes the event that much more attractive.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the ratings for the Prefontaine Classic were higher than the Olympics just from Sha'Carri's presence.  Everyone wanted to see what would happen.  

I expected her to finish 3rd or 4th, but by no means did I ever think that she would finish dead-last.  Sha'Carri indirectly challenged the Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal winners into a metaphoric boxing match and her last place finish was the equivalent of a boxer tripping and falling on the way into the ring and knocking themselves out.  With that comes criticism, but it doesn't mean that everyone who criticizes her hates her.  The two are not mutually exclusive despite what so many believe.

We just expected her performance to match her bragging, that's all.  

As someone who watches track and field regularly, I've seen great sprinters have horrible performances before.  No big deal.  This wasn't considered an upset in the world of track and field anyway because very few who watches the sport regularly expected Sha'Carri to win.

But a lot of her critics got fuel for their fire after hearing her interview afterwards and argued that it was a worse performance than her race.  She was clearly upset (which was understandable) and cursed on national broadcast television.  She defended her poor performance by touting her previous events and saying things like, "you know what I'm capable of".

No, not really.  Not yet.  Dominating in college is much different from dominating as a pro against world opponents. 

None of the eight ladies who finished ahead of Sha'Carri were critical of her in their post-race interviews.  In fact, the Jamaican ladies who finished 1-2-3 wouldn't even comment on her when given a chance to rub it in Sha'Carri's face.  Why aren't they not getting any credit for being gracious winners?

Some people on Facebook were saying, "when's the last time you ran a 100m race?".  Uh, never.  But that's kind of an immature argument when you consider that most of us criticize things we've never done.  How many of us have opinions on politicians, but have never run a branch of government?  

Others came at me on Facebook saying that I criticized a black woman and that was foul.  I'm not sure where the argument of "not supporting a black woman" comes into play when every woman in the event was a woman of color.  Criticism of a braggadocious behavior knows no color.  Sha'Carri can't sell wolf tickets and then be surprised when wolves show up.  

It's unfortunate that this was the time she ran one of her worst races as a professional.   We all have bad days and don't perform well at something, but we're fortunate that it's not usually on a national stage.  However, here comes the "but"...  Sha'Carri made the spotlight even brighter by putting her confidence on display for the world to see prior to the event.  She did some things that could be deemed as being disrespectful to her opponents and that comes with a price if you can't back it up.

I remember when Muhammad Ali lost to Leon Spinks in the late 70's.  It was a devastating and humiliating loss for him, but he bounced back.  And that's what made Ali so great.  He always bounced back from a defeat.

I think that Sha'Carri will, too.  I fully expect her to be a medalist in the 2024 Summer Olympic games in Paris.  I also expect her to be much more competitive in the next match up against Jamaican runners.  She just needs to mentality get back in the game and the improvements will happen.  She was the second-youngest person in the event, so her ceiling is still high.

I will continue to pull for her, but if she runs her mouth and doesn't back it up, I'll continue to criticize her for it as well.  Because we all need to held accountable for what we say and do.  Unfortunately, most people on social media don't understand that which makes them incapable of separating someone's actions from the fact that they personally like the person.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Simone Biles Withdraws From Olympic Events

Not that it matters, but let me first start off by offering a disclaimer: by no means do I want to sound insensitive in discussing this. 

Athletes are different these days. Well, people overall are different because the athletic world is just a microcosm of society.  However, the greatest gymnast I've seen in my lifetime is not participating on the highest stage and it's disappointing. The reason doesn't matter. 

Regardless if it would have been due to a physical injury or something of that nature, to not see the best at a competition not perform in a once-every-four-year event is disappointing.  It's like listening to Phil Collins performing "In The Air Tonight" and your power cuts off on your sound system before the drums can kick in.  All that build up with no conclusion.

And I feel let down because this is all new to me in the world of sports.  I'm from a generation when athletes stood out because they "found a way" to compete on the biggest stages despite the pressure or pain that came along with it.  

Muhammad Ali is considered the Greatest of All-Time by many boxing fans, but he lost 5 times in his career.  Serena Williams is considered the GOAT of the tennis world, but she's lost in a major event championship 10 times in her career.  So, they're simply not great because they won a lot.  They're great because they continued to come back after a loss.

Whatever athletes like Simone, Naomi Osaka, Kyrie Irving and others may be going through, I hope that they can work through it.  How I feel is inconsequential to them, as it should be.  The media is tough and social media critics are relentless.  I'll never know the pressure they may feel just for being who they are.  But I will say this: 

It's okay to lose.

We need to instill that mindset into younger people sooner rather than later.  What made Ali the greatest boxer of all-time to me is not that he won a heavyweight championship.  It was the fact that he lost the championship belt multiple times yet continued to fight until he won it back.  His perseverance is what made him the GOAT in my opinion.  The same goes for Serena.

Something needs to change.  We need to say "no" to participation trophies.  No more celebrating someone's presence as being enough.  We have to teach people how to take an "L" and be okay with it because no matter what you do in life, failure is going to rear its ugly head multiple times.  You will lose at something.  

The word "life" even starts with an "L"!

We all go through things in life that a lot of people may not be aware of at the time.  And although it sounds like I'm bashing Simone, I'm really not.  I don't blame her one bit in this because I truly don't know what she's going through.  Her story isn't done yet.  She's still the greatest gymnast I've ever seen and I hope that she has a comeback story like an Ali or Serena.  

It's the system that I hate.  I question the system that has been in place for at least a generation that says "not participating" is the route you take when things get hard instead of a focus on helping people cope prior to getting to that point.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Recipe For Successful Dating

How do you date successfully? See what Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Marrie Lobel, Suzie and André have to contribute on the discussion. Hopefully you will learn to ask the right questions after hearing them give their two cents!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Bee Strong!

I need your help!  

Please visit and help support a friend who is set for thyroid cancer surgery.  

You support can go a long way towards helping her get through her upcoming recovery.

She has t-shirts, coffee mugs and more available and the proceeds will be used for support during the cancer treatment process.

Please read the picture and take a few moment to visit the store.



Monday, June 14, 2021

The Double Standards of Sex

There are a ton of double standards in the world when it comes to men and women, but the double standards of sex seems to get people riled up the most. 

When a guy is having sex with a bunch of women, he’s just "being a guy". But when women have sex with a bunch of dudes, she’s going through a "hoe phase" or a "hot girl summer". 

Fair or foul? 

Check out the opinions of this group of people and comment with your conclusion.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

To Bonnet Or Not To Bonnet?

...That is the question!

Well, it's not a question in my mind.  I flat-out hate seeing people out in public with bonnets on.  Then again, I guess it doesn't bother me as much if it's late at night and I'm in the grocery store at 11 PM, but people at the airport?  C'mon now.

I understand that things happen and sometimes women have to "run out" to the store quickly and get something.  Rather than taking the time to do their hair, throw on a wig, wear a cap or something they grab the bonnet and make their way to the store.  

However, I'm not talking about those women.  I'm talking about the women who literally travel in bonnets or wear them on a regular basis.

What happened to representation?  What happened to trying to always look your best whenever possible?

And when comedian, Mo'nique, tried to advise women of how classless it looks to regularly wear bonnets in public, she gets slammed.  Now, it didn't help that she was in a house robe when she shot the video, but old school generations are on some "do as I say and not as I do" stuff.

She talked about instilling pride and dignity back into women and got dragged for it.  I honestly think that she was just trying to help and social media abused her for having an opinion on how women can improve themselves.

There's not a shortage of women on social media telling other ladies "know your worth" or "he ain't good enough for you" and things of that nature, but let a woman challenge other women to improve upon themselves and she will get canceled or muted.  Apparently, it's a violation to give a woman constructive criticism or the hard truth these days.  You'll regret it if you try.

Look.  Wearing a bonnet doesn't make a woman a bad person.  That's not what anyone is saying.  But perception is reality, like it or not.  If you choose to look as if you were too lazy to do your hair then don't get mad when people assume that you are in fact a lazy person.

If I wear a clown suit to the airport then guess what people will assume?

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Relationships Are Like Chicken Sandwiches

Before you say anything, no, I haven't completely lost my mind just yet.  I know that the title seems a little crazy, but hopefully, I can convey my point without someone committing me to a mental institution.

Maybe I should have said that "relationships are like fast food restaurants that sell chicken sandwiches".  Meh, that doesn't really flow off of the tongue.

Anyway, let's take Chick-fil-A.  By no means is CFA what I would consider a "sexy" fast food restaurant.  Their restaurants are on the conservative side with no flashy colors or logos.  They don't do gimmicks in order to get your attention, but they keep a line of cars around the building in their drive-thrus.  They attract their customers with consistency, great customer service, and solid food.  They don't open on Sundays because they believe people should have a day off with family.  I guess that makes them thoughtful as well and also shows that they don't focus on money.  

Now let's take a look at Popeyes.  Like CFA, they focus on chicken, but at one time they weren't really known for having a chicken sandwich like CFA.  In the late summer of 2019, they released a chicken sandwich that took the country by storm.  People were lining up around the block for this chicken sandwich.  There were even fights over it.  They'd finally achieved the attention that CFA was getting.  

But, it was temporary because they still didn't focus on the customer.  You didn't get the same friendly service as CFA.  They would run out of food in the middle of the day due to lack of preparation.  You would sometimes wait 30+ minutes to get your food.  

Popeyes had figured out a way that they could get you, but they couldn't keep you.  And because of that, there are no longer lines around the building to get a Popeyes chicken sandwich.  Their success was short-lived.

Now McDonald's, Burger King, and even Taco Bell have joined the chicken sandwich war to try and get a piece of the action.  Really Taco Bell?  I won't even get into any of those places.

Okay, so I said all of that to say: people seem to follow the same path when it comes to relationships.  You have the consistent, always-friendly and reliable person who is just like Chick-fil-A.  You know exactly what you're going to get when you deal with that person.  They may not be the flashiest or the sexiest pick, but they will always come through for you and give you what you need.  Because you are their focus.  You are their priority.

Then you have the person like Popeyes who hits you like a ton of bricks when you first meet them.  Everyone seems to want a piece of them.  They look the part and sound the part at first, but then you find out over time that they're not all that.  They're inconsistent.  They take you for granted and seem to act like they're doing you a favor.  And they're definitely not focused on you or your happiness.

Lastly, you have the people who are like McDonald's, BK, and Taco Bell.  Monkey-see, monkey-do.  They will do whatever they can just to be noticed although most people will leave from them with a bad taste in their mouth.

So, I guess the moral of this blog post is: be more like Chick-fil-A and less like Popeyes.

Okay, maybe I do need to be committed to a mental institution.  SMH.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Men Judge Your Social Media

Okay, so we've seen countless ladies post memes that say things like, "the memes I post on Facebook are strictly for entertainment. And if you don't believe it, then that's on you." And they expect you to ignore the thirst trap photos, drama-filled rants, and posts about them claiming that they're single. 

The truth is: men judge women by their Facebook post, regardless if ladies thinks that is fair, accurate or not, we just do. 

And as a man, I don't want the trouble that comes along with someone who is beefing on Facebook with people or someone who posts cryptic updates just to try to get some type of reaction or response. And don't get me started on a thirst trap photos. I mean, those same women will complain about guys in their inbox. I mean, come on now. Are you serious? If you put honey on the kitchen counter, then expect to get ants. That's just how that works. 

Inspirational quotes in the morning and thirst trap photos at night will definitely get you attention. But from whom? But hey, I'm not an expert. I just have an opinion. So let me share the opinion of another and get his two cents. 

He's the host of the Hard Parking Podcast: society and culture first, the car stuff comes second. It's essentially a non-automotive automotive podcast. It's a dope show that I enjoy. And it can be found on Anchor, Apple podcasts or just about anywhere podcasts are found. From the Grand Canyon State of Arizona, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Jhae Pfenning

Jhae, let the people know your two cents on women in our Facebook posts. 

"I don't know man, I think it's difficult in 2020. Because the landscape is so different than when I was growing up. I think now, if ever it's more acceptable, but I don't think they're gonna attract a guy who seriously wants to date him. I think about this, because because I can't even imagine life as a woman on social media. You don't have even have to look good in do to slide in your DM. I can't imagine what some of these girls are doing. Are they doing it to themselves? Yes. 

But I think about, I used to be a bouncer. And one of the things as a bouncer is, it's so difficult. So if a girl comes in, she's hanging out with her friends. And you're like, 'man, there's something about her, I want to know who she is, I want to know her more. She's kind of quiet sticking to herself. Sticking to her friends. She's not out there dancing or whatever, not acting a fool most of the time.' 

Even if they allow you to talk to them. They're not going to give you the time of day, if you ask them out, they're not going to take you serious because the stigma is, since you work at the club, and you a bouncer, you're asking every girl every night, the same thing. You're taking girls home all the time. And I can just say for me, that was never the case. I know there's some people out there telling these stories, and this happened to them. For me, that was never the case. 

And so if a girl is putting herself out there on social media, doing all these quotes, these inspirational quotes, these motivational quotes. 'I just need a guy', 'I don't want a guy's gonna lie to me', you know, all that kind of shit. 'Find a guy who's going to be truthful for you and make him your king', girls who do that. 

Then they posted these extremely sexualized photos of themselves and they know what they're doing. And then they're like, 'I need a man'. No one's gonna take him serious. Because the stigma is, you're just doing it for attention. You can't crowd-source a relationship. That's what dating apps are for. 

So 'no', no one's gonna take him serious. It'll be rare. The really good guy that they really want to get is not gonna take him serious."

You heard the homie, Jhae. The guy that you want. That man? He won't take you seriously. You'll get the attention of "guys", but guys are a dime a dozen and they're in it just for a good time and that alone time. 

If you want a "man", then whether you like or don't like what Jhae and I are saying, you may want to pay attention to what you post on social media, because men are judging you by it. Fair or not, it's reality.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

What Is "A Good Woman"?

One of my FB friends posted something today that asked all men to describe a "good woman" and all women to describe a "good man".  

Of course, guys started talking about good sex, cooking, swag, yadda, yadda, yadda.  It definitely reinforced why some guys make horrible decisions when choosing a mate.  

The superficial things that we may crave as men have nothing to do with her being a "good woman".  Her ability to cook, clean, or do whatever domestic chores that we traditional men tend to enjoy means nothing either.

A "good woman" is someone a man is proud of each time he enters the room with her.  Not for what she may bring to the table in looks and style, but for what her presence does.  She has an aura of royalty and regalness about her.

Here is my response to the post on Facebook on what I think a "good woman" is:

Someone who pours her heart into everything that she does. People admire her and want to be like her. She makes people around her better in some way. Her name brings about a sense of pride and not shame in any way. She would be respected by the lowest of the low as well as the highest of the high. Being a good woman has absolutely nothing to do with a man, but everything to do with herself.

In my opinion, being a "good woman" has absolutely nothing to do with what she can do for me as a man.  It has everything to do with her reputation being worthy of respect.  

Friday, January 8, 2021

Misleading Photo Leads To Firing?

We jump to conclusions on everything these days.  It's easy to do.  We're so bombarded with negativity that we assume everything that we see is bad.  Even without context.  

Case in point:  check out the photos below.  This man was identified as being part of a violent attack on a black woman in Los Angeles.  It appears that it was reported to his employer who apparently relieved him of his duties.  

Here's what really happened: News clip.

If you were able to click and view the link above then you will see that the man was actually carrying the woman to safety.  She even stated in the interview that she may have been killed had he not taken her out of harm's way.

Now, you can argue that this man being a part of this mob in the first place may have justified him losing his job.  You may also argue that being maskless was irresponsible, too.  However, we all have a right to protest.  Regardless of if you disagree with him or not, he is well within his rights to be out there as long as he's not trespassing or causing harm to anyone.

Just because a picture says a thousand words doesn't mean that any of those words are true.  

We have to condition our minds to seek context.  To not trust our lying eyes without our brain having some input.  Whether it's in a situation that may have cost this man a job or even something of a more personal matter involving a loved one, always seek context first!

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