Monday, July 5, 2010

The LOSS that always STINGS

I was coming in from out of town during the first weekend of July when I a Three Doors Down song broke me down. The name of the song was, "Here Without You." I am sure it was written after losing a companion, girlfriend or something like that. But all I could think of was Lorretta Hill (my mother).

"...Everything I know and everywhere I go. It gets hard, but it won't take away my love.... I'm here without you baby but you're still on my lonely mind. I think about you baby. And I dream about you all the time. I'm here without you baby. But you're still with me in my dreams. And, tonight it's only YOU and ME."

Those were two of the many lines of the song that broke me down. I've had my moments where it's been harder to deal with the loss of my mother, who left us on May 7, 2010. But my birthday was tough. I tried to cloud my sadness with activities, people and so on. But at the end of the day... or weekend, I still didn't get that call from that sweet lady... saying, "I Just Called To Wish You a Happy Birthday. I love you. What do you want for your birthday?"

That was my mother, always giving and thinking of others... even during her last days. I've tried to be stoic and continue to move forward. And, I am doing pretty good if you ask me. But underneath it all. I still hurt. I am still in pain. And, tears are streaming down my face as I type these words before you.

Just keeping it real for my blog. I haven't written anying on here in a minute, and I definitely felt the need to release. I hope you don't mind.

Seriously, when I lost my mother I felt like I lost my guide. What I mean by that is, coming up I didn't do things like try hard in school, sports and others necesarily for myself. I did it to please my mother. There was nothing like bringing home a good report card, or awards for achievement to show off to my mother, so she could then brag about me to family members from out of town and friends. Hell, when I won my first of many regional journalism awards (about seven years ago) my mother was the FIRST person I notified.
She thought I was ready to take on the world and become the world's greatest journalist. And even though I've always been a print and moderate sports talk radio guy, my mother would always ask me when I was going to be on TV.

(Smiling as I type) Those were days. I know she's still looking down and smiling at some of the good things I may be doing. I hope she's turning her head during some of the not-so-good moments in my life. Ultimately, I hope I'm still making her proud.

I love you, mom.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kobe/ Nike ad controversy is bogus

I've read a number of reports, and seen a few news outlets broadcasts news of a controversial advertisement by Nike.

In the ad, NBA stars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are posed beside each other, all cut up and looking ready for a battle. In fine print by Kobe's image it reads: "I'LL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO WIN GAMES. I DON'T LEAVE ANYTHING IN THE CHAMBER."

That's the dialog that seemingly has the NBA commissioner upset with Nike. That's the commercial that has analyst saying that it was poor taste by the company to release that commercial at this time, so soon after the Gilbert Arenas gun issue. That comment has some people saying that Kobe should've known better than to use that "gun lingo."

First of all, I thought it was great writing. Really, that's all it was... it was great writing. As a writer I understand the process of trying to come up with phrases that represent what I want to deliver without using simple statements. You try to use your intelligence a little sometime. Nike used a great Metaphor. I guess Nike could've easily had Kobe saying, "I don't have anything left after a game. I give it all I have." LOL.

Besides, why is Nike or Kobe supposed to dumb it down simply because Gilbert Arenas and another suspended NBA player made a stupid decision with a gun, and has the NBA all worried about its image? I mean, come on. We watch violent movies. Some of us listen to violent music, and enjoy watching sports that lead to injuries and pain. But it's wrong to use words like bomb, kill, shoot, blitz, war, combat, battle and "chamber," to name a few.

I thought it was silly when the slashing of the throat gesture was banned a few years ago. You know, that gesture that basketball players used to use to imply that a team was done, or the game was over?

I simply feel like the Nike ad controversy is a bit much. I didn't think anything of it until I started seeing so many people fire off.

Remember what Kevin Garnett said during the playoffs in 2004? During a heated series with the Kings, Garnett said, " This is for all the marbles. I'm sitting in my house loading up the pump, loading the Uzis. I've got a couple M-16s, couple of nines, couple of joints with the silencer on them. A couple of grenades, I've got a missile launcher. I'm ready for war."

He apologized for that.

And I UNDERSTAND why. But Nike or Kobe shouldn't have to apologize for great writing and use of expression.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Gaines Adams death sad

It's always sad to lose someone, whether it's in sports or life in general. The recent death of Chicago Bears defensive end Gaines Adams, 26, falls along those lines for me.

The former defensive end, who was struggling in the NFL, died of cardiac arrest in South Carolina on Sunday. I think that was his hometown. He reportedly had an enlarged heart, which is said to be a common thing among bigger athletes. Pro basketball player Eddie Curry suffers from the same thing.

I'm definitely shocked and saddened by the loss. I haven't talked to him in about two years. I still have his number in my phone from an interview I did with him while he was at Tampa Bay, where he was drafted with the fourth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. But I was actually thinking about calling him after he was traded to the Bears for a second round pick. I wanted to know if he was more motivated to do well in Chicago after a sub par start to his pro career. I never called.

I still say that Adams was one of two defensive linemen that I witnessed win a game. I'll never forget a game against Wake Forest where Clemson was down by 14 points in the fourth quarter and Adams started an amazing comeback after blocking a punt and then returning it all the way to the house for the score. Clemson went on to win that game 27-17 in 2006.

"Two years in a row, playing in this stadium, it brings us trouble," Gaines said to me after that game. "Everything was going their way in the first half. Part of the second half, but we just kept fighting."

The battle with his heart was seemingly a fight that Gaines couldn't win by himself. My heart goes out to his family, teammates and friends for the loss.