I debated on writing this for several days because I like to focus on the fun side of sports. It’s a joy seeing the underdog triumph or the world’s best player in their respective sport put on an all-time performance. Sports can be a place of hope, inspiration, and humor. There are just so many positive and dope things about athletics you tend to get lost in it. Like all things, though, there are ugly sides to it. Sure I could get into sports figures that have committed various crimes, the corruption of sports betting, and how bad ESPN’s First Take is now, but I got a bigger fish to fry.
The NFL is trash for the Anthem Rule, and as a black man I would be doing a horrible disservice if I didn’t talk about it.
Before I get into this, here’s what the Anthem Rule is, straight from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:
The 32 member clubs of the National Football League have reaffirmed their strong commitment to work alongside our players to strengthen our communities and advance social justice. The unique platform that we have created is unprecedented in its scope, and will provide extraordinary resources in support of programs to promote positive social change in our communities.
The membership also strongly believes that:
1. All team and league personnel on the field shall stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
2.The Game Operations Manual will be revised to remove the requirement that all players be on the field for the anthem.
3. Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room or in a similar location off the field until after the anthem has been performed.
4. A club will be fined by the League if its personnel are on the field and do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
5. Each club may develop its own work rules, consistent with the above principles, regarding its personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
6. The commissioner will impose appropriate discipline on league personnel who do not stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem.
What. The. F**K?!
I was cool on protesting the NFL last year because I just didn’t feel the need to boycott the league because Colin Kaepernik wasn’t given a job. I agree that it’s bulls**t that he’s unemployed simply due to the fact that the Browns went 0-16 and I know damn well Colin could’ve gotten them one f*****g win. We should be boycotting the existence of the Browns, if we’re being real. I respect his cause and I still wish he had a job, but I wanted to still enjoy the sport I’ve grown up loving. Then Ole-Boy-In-The-Big-House-That’s-White said something reckless last season about players protesting and all around the NFL several players started taking a knee during the Anthem, but that was out of defiance instead of social injustice. The original cause for the National Anthem protest became diluted and it ruined what Colin initially set out to do. THIS was actually in the NFL’s favor because they flat out cower away from social issues that don’t favor white people. Truthfully speaking, they could’ve ignored it and moved on at that point because people made it about buddy in D.C.
But they didn’t. They decided instead to just f**k all the way up.
The NFL just told us that money is more important than justice, the freedom to protest, the opinion and lives of black people (which account for about 80% of the players in the league), and that they’re afraid of that dude in D.C. If you think this move was about the “respect” of the Anthem and not about advertisers threatening to pull out, you’re crazy. So since the NFL has picked a side, I guess I have to as well. I’ll still follow the league for the sake of Hot-Take Hotep, but I’m not watching the games.
We have to make them do better.
The Infinity Gauntlet is Out to Erase “The Land” (With Jordan Cryfaces!!!)
Both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals were nuts.
First I have to commend the Boston Celtics on a phenomenal season. Game 7 of the ECF is all you need for proof that superstars matter in the NBA more than anything. If Kyrie and Gordon were there for that game, Cleveland doesn’t make it out of the East. It’s just that simple. The purpose of the superstar on a talented roster is to close the door on any kind of comeback or to provide the spark for a comeback in any game. The Celtics never really had that in this series and in the end the only true star on the court bounced them out of the playoffs. LeBron capped of an incredible series with another outstanding performance, and punched his ticket to another ass-whoopin’ from Golden State (as well as his 8th trip to the NBA Finals, but whatever).
Speaking of the world-destroying dominance, the Dubs survived a Rockets team that surprised me with just how closely they matched up with Golden State. I’ll just say it… Golden State would’ve lost if Chris Paul didn’t get hurt in Game 5. Without him to run the offense and temper the team, Houston just started doing dumb s**t. Harden actually showed up, but he wasn’t the same player that he is with CP3 out there helping him out. In Game 7, after a pretty solid first half from the Rockets, GSW just turned tf up on them and I don’t think that same situation plays out in that way if Chris is out there being Captain America.
So here we are again. For the fourth (and likely final) time, Golden State and Cleveland will meet in the NBA Finals. It’s either going to be really exhilarating or depressing affair, and that all depends on who you’re rooting for. If LeBron can take this wack ass team and beat the Warriors he’s the greatest player I’ve ever seen. I mean I’ll become a full on LeBron fan if that miracle happens. Seeing as how we don’t live in that alternate timeline, this thing is over before the first tip-off. Golden State is going to annihilate Cleveland. I think it’ll take five games, but a sweep is very much in the realm of possibility.
What’s interesting is where we go from here. LeBron is clearly leaving, right?
Oh yeah and Roseanne SUCKS, so this is hilarious and I have to share with you guys.
J2 recently went back and watched that first episode of “Black Mirror”. It’s still SMUT!!!
If the title wasn’t a dead giveaway, I’m going to spend some time in this edition of HTH talking about LeBron “The Kang” James. Let me preface this by saying I am in no way, shape, or form a LeBron fan. I just can’t do it. I despise the constant badgering of his super fans already and I can’t be a part of that club. Seriously they are the most insufferable group of fans outside of the Beyhive, Cowboys fans, Saints fans, and Nintendo fans. There’s either an abundance of over-praise or an abundance of excuses when it comes to all of the mentioned fan-bases. With all that being said…
LeBron is cold as a muff***a.
This man is in his 15th year in the league and he’s playing better basketball now than I’ve ever seen him play. In the 2018 playoffs he’s averaging 33.7 pts (on a .550 FG%), 8.7 rebs, 9.0 ast, and just 3.8 turnovers. Russell Westbrook can only DREAM about that level of efficiency. Listen, there’s no way in hell the Cavs are going to win the championship but the way he has this awful supporting cast playing they could definitely fool you into thinking they have a shot. LeBron James does make the players around him better. Anything beyond that narrative has to stop. His basketball IQ is too high for him to be a detriment to any supporting cast. This team should be at home right now but James simply will not let this slaw ass squad lose!
As I’ve stated before, Cleveland is going to win this thing in 6 games and send Brad’s modem rebooting ass home before being sent to the Upside Down by Golden State. At this point we’re all just along for the ride to see what kind of ridiculous game Bron is going to have next against a Celtic team that is finally missing their stars. Kyrie and Gordon would’ve made a massive difference in this series. I could make a case that the Cavs would’ve been swept with both of those guys on the floor. Kyrie is a cold-blooded closer while being a game changer that would prevent James’ dominance from taking the Celtics completely out of a game. LeBron better enjoy the East while he can because if for any reason he decides to stay in the conference and go to any team outside of Philly, it’s a wrap for him making it to the Finals.
The Celtics are going to be a significant problem in the East for a long time…
Team Rocket is Blasting Off Again…
I still don’t Trust James Harden, but that “f**k you” dunk on Draymond Green in Game 4 of the WCF made me want to. This series is interesting because of how up and down it has been as far as the Warriors are concerned. If Steph played like the REAL Steph and not Earth-2 Steph then this series would’ve been over. The Rockets are a great team but it takes so much for them to get a win over the Dubs you start to wonder just how far ahead Golden State really is. In both of Houston’s wins Durant and Curry had rough shooting nights. Man how often is that s**t going to happen?
This series is tied 2-2 and I still have the Warriors winning per The Infinity Gauntlet, but the Rockets have made the playoffs fun again. The conflict over in the East is dope, too, but the inevitability of an NBA Street-style gamebreaker in the West gives the Rockets/Warriors match-up a more theme park-like feel.
Oh… The Suns are totally going to f**k up that #1 pick.
Jemele is Great. Fox & Friends Still Leaves More to be Desired
Shout out to Jemele Hil for being named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalist. Jemele has always been dope to me. I still hate that she and Michael Smith agreed to do the evening edition of “Sportscenter”, as their previous show, “His & Hers”, was far superior and allowed them to just kick back and speak their minds. Of course the mass audience of “Sportscenter” caused ESPN to buckle to the pressure of white outrage due to Jemele’s comments on that-fella-that-sits-in-that-big-white-house, leading to the censoring of both Hill and Smith. This lead to the departure of them both from ESPN television (and if Smith has popped up since then, I must’ve missed it) and it appears that they’re out here living their best life now.
And about that white, tearful outrage. Well it lead to “Fox & Friends” incorrectly saying that Jemele was unemployed when they berated the NABJ for honoring her. And of course, in true Fox “journalism” fashion, they cleared it up later, but not with nearly the same amount of enthusiasm.
This is America…
J2 actually came up with a concept similar to Django Unchained in 2010. It was about a boy who was taught the ways of the ninja by a butler, who was to be played by Jet Li. The name of this tale was “N***a Assassin”. This is not a fabricated story. Ask me about it.
Any place that looks like this and is called a "club" gotta have some underground fights going on
Japan does NOT play about overstaying on visas. It’s not like some countries where you can kinda, sorta go over time a few days (or a few weeks) and it’s all good in the hood. Naaah fam. If you suppose to leave Tuesday, January 8th...you better leave Tuesday, January 8th. Otherwise you might stay a few years getting to enjoy their world class prison system, if you’re not lucky enough to be politely escorted out their country, and asked to never come back again. Now I am not saying I knew the exact date my visa expired, but uuuuh..Ya boy definitely knew the date I was expecting to leave Japan, was not the day the great country of the Rising Sun wanted me to leave. It’s hella funny to think about now since I am back in these Tokyo Drift streets, but baaabeeeee when I tell you I was feeling like I was in a Mission Impossible movie for a minute trying to make moves out the country.
God’s plan though since it allowed me to travel to Vietnam, and see what Southeast Asia has to offer. Specifically I traveled to North Vietnam and had my main hub of hedonistic holiday in Hanoi (say that 10x fast) the capitol of Vietnam. Now for those interested in traveling to Vietnam, let a brother help you out with a few tips and tricks. First, and most important: Motorbikes rule the streets, and everyone drives like Dom from "Fast and the Furious" just called them "Family". You see that image above like the most interesting Mario Kart race is about to go down? That's Sunday easy traffic. Usually, they don't even stop fam. If it's green they go. If it's yellow they go. If it's red...they go faster, and use humans walking like obstacle cones. This is real life Frogger and there ain't no extra lives biiih. It will take any sane person a few days to get use to it, and probably a few more days to not even blink when you cross as you yell "YOLO!"
I guarantee you if I sent this to Cherry right now, she'd get the woman equivalent of half chub.
Second, Vietnam is really, really inexpensive. Even compared to other Southeast Asia countries it's hard to beat the Dong (hehehe). As of this writing 1 USD equals to almost 23,000 VND. Meaning when I felt the urge to splurge on some Western food after missing good cheeseburgers while in Japan (sorry Japan, but when it comes to burgers ya'll lacking severely), for all you see above I spent maaaybe $10. This is like opulent spending of money for food in Hanoi. Compared to this local meal below:
I might have spent $2.50, and honestly...that's still low key expensive lol. I mean it's absurd. Hell, even lodging is inexpensive. Hostels charge anywhere between $2-$5 a night depending on where, and almost all still offer free breakfast, drinks, towels etc. Hotels, you might spend $10-12 a night for 4 star treatment. I wanting to sleep in a bed made for mini gorilla size men like myself, ended up renting an ENTIRE PENTHOUSE APARTMENT FOR A WEEK...$60 bucks. Balling on a budget has new meaning when you're in Vietnam.
Seriously, these guys were cool. Always found me some how and just wanted to talk and practice their English.
Lastly, brothers and sisters of the black magic, We are completely an unknown for most Vietnamese. You will either need to have thick skin, or walk with a sense of Black Folk ambassador diplomacy because you will be walking, talking entertainment to them. Not a day went by I wasn't asked to take pictures, practice English, hold a baby, and yes the biggest no no...to touch my hair. Correction. They didn't ask, they just did it. Unlike the Japanese who are polite with their "WTF?" moments when they see me, the Vietnamese in general do not give any fawks. They will stare, follow, point, and some even ran...but hey I am in their city, eating up all the good food, dancing with their women, breathing up all their air so who am I to judge lol? Jokes aside, most of it was just learning experiences and explaining stuff that they just don't see or interact with on the reg, and I get it, and hopefully you can to if you go since it's really a beautiful country with some good people. In fact, part 2 I'll share things to see, where to hang, and what not to do at 5am in the morning when you don't speak the lingo.
Once got lost on an island, before it became cool to do so on popular tv shows
So, Childish Gambino dropped a wonderful video for his song, “This Is America” (that you can find a dope ass piece about the video on this very site) and Black America lost its collective mind. There have been plenty of comments, videos, and articles breaking down the myriad of messages in Donald Glover’s brilliant work. Some people don’t care much for the song (I don’t think it holds up very well without the accompanying video), but the adoration for the music video appears to be unanimous. Or at least it appeared to be unanimous.
SUMMON THE HOTEPS!!!
Of course the Hoteps came through like an aggressive, angry, cocoa butter flood, and brought up the fact that he has a white girlfriend and due to this he is not worthy of being “woke”. The narrative soon shifted to what it means to be black enough to deliver positive messages and subtext for your people. I’ll just put it out there now: F**k anybody who believes that bulls**t. It makes no sense to dismiss someone because of the skin color of who they love. That essentially turns you into the thing that you hate and that pattern of thought should not serve as a means to disqualify a person’s opinion or position in their community. Something interesting happened over the course of the 2,000th Great Social Media Ragnarok that dramatically shifted the argument. Some people adopted the theory that black women don’t want the black male geek.
I immediately called bulls**t.
As a dark-skinned big fella who loves himself some Spider-Man, I checked off all of the boxes that would prevent me from getting play according to a popular perception of the world during the 90’s and most of the 00’s. For a while I did hide the geek that lied beneath. Think of it in the way the Bruce Banner tries to hide The Hulk, but with WAY more success and WAY less rage. The biggest things I had going for me growing up was that I knew how to hold a conversation and I had black knowledge on my side.
Then “Iron Man” dropped. Then “The Incredible Hulk” dropped. Then “Thor” dropped.
All of a sudden, a lot of black women were interested in super heroes, but they didn’t know a lot about it.
BLACK MALE GEEKS WERE FINALLY A F*****G THING!!! Keep in mind that this was around the time Rick Ross, a dark skinned big man with a beard, had ebony queens seeking out dark skinned big men with beards. It was my opportunity to be my ENTIRE self when talking to women about the things I liked. I didn’t have to end my description of myself at “…and I like sports, of course.” Now I could end with “… and I’m a huge comic book, God of War, Dragon Ball Z, Samurai Jack, and wrestling fan.” The paradigm had shifted dramatically and we had inherited the Earth.
Because of my experience with this, I couldn’t grasp the notion that black women wouldn’t go for a black geek in 20-f*****ng-got damn-18. My wife wasn’t into all of this Marvel/DC s**t until my web-slinging, tombstone piledriver using, Kamehameha throwing ass introduced her to that universe. Dating is hard, especially for millennials, but not to the point where I had to hide my geek level. It’s something that just wasn’t my reality. I originally came into writing this piece thinking that I was just going to roast geeks who still couldn’t get with some Ebony Ecstasy and blamed their geekiness for their lack of game.
Hell I posted a meme on the NJL FB page kinda-sorda pointing to the fact that people who believed that ish couldn’t close the deal because they weren’t attractive enough to the target demographic.
Then you see testimonials like this and think there’s no way in hell black geeks aren’t getting it in:
“It was like 4am and I was with my cousin. We’d gone out to Nitelyfe of all places and some dude she was seeing at the time wanted to go to iHop, I just wanted to go home so my attitude was hella salty. He invited a friend to, I guess, keep me calm but I was pretty much ignoring the poor fool. I was drunk, tired, he wasn’t attractive to me at all and I’m not nice enough for small talk. Pretty much sat there on mute while we waited for our food. I can’t remember what happened but I remember chuckling and saying, “OK Quinn Blackwood.” Under my breath. He kinda leaned back and looked at me and said, “What you know about Anne Rice?” Now I’m pretty much looking at him the same way asking the same question. We start geeking out because she’s apparently our favorite author. Everybody at the table is giving us that look non-geeky people give when two of us unexpectedly find each other in public and start having a conversation they can’t follow. I think I decided I was going to screw this unicorn of a man the moment Anne’s name exited his mouth because how many dudes do you know that go to Nitelyfe AND read shit like Anne f*****g Rice?”- M
Dawg if Anne f*****g Rice out here getting people *insert long-ass inappropriate, graphic, COUNTRY descriptions of sex* then just imagine what Batman and Iron Man are getting ninjas out here! When being a black geek and dating, confidence is definitely a key trait. Without it, you ain’t s**t. There are black, strong, smart, THICK geeky women who want to talk to you about the end of the Dragon Ball Super Tournament of Power or why the Nintendo Switch is an abomination in the presence of Odin.
YOU JUST NEED TO BE BETTER!!!
Or do you? The more I researched this topic, the more I learned about the other side of this coin. Apparently some people are trash enough to still tease and roast others because of the things that they like.
I didn’t expect to write this much about this topic, but I guess I have to split it up. Come back for Part 2!!!
J2 remembers the first time he was disrespected. The event occurred when one of his friends tried to tell him that Barney was a better show the Batman: The Animated Series. Legend has it, they’re still in the Shadow Realm singing that damn Barney song.
I know in Vol. 3 I told y’all I didn’t have any faith in the Toronto Reptars (not a typo) nor the Philadelphia L’s (also not a typo), but I STILL picked the respective teams to at least get past a Cavaliers crew that just isn’t that good and a Celtic team coached by some dude I randomly saw walk by my cubicle when I worked for the-company-who-shall-not-be-spoken-of. The moment after that piece was published something in the pit of my Soul Stone told me, “J2, you need to go back and change that s**t because you know damn well that Toronto is about as reliable as Goku is as a present father, and the Sixers got to hold all of the L’s that Meek Mill has amassed.” Toronto got swept and it was so bad that they got 2017-18 Coach of the Year Dwane Casey fired. Not a PREVIOUS COTY, but the CURRENT COTY. Just think about that for a second.
Think about it just a little bit more…
And although DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry absolutely wasted Drake’s time, a lot of the blame for why Casey is without a job goes straight to LeBron James. He came into this series with absolutely no fear of the Barney’s from Canada and took them to the woodshed. It was nothing short of hilarious at first, but during Game 4 I flat out got pissed. Toronto is nothing and the coach wasn’t the problem. They came out and chose to do what they’ve done for maybe the past 3 years and be witnesses to LeBron’s greatness.
On the flip side, Brad Stevens aka The Tech Support Savant put together the troubleshooting guide on how to effectively beat some young buck ass over the course of the Boston/Philly series. He made Ben Simmons’ passing ability a virtual nonfactor. Embiid did what he does for the most part, but those young guys over in Boston had the right amount of magic to just go out and get it done. Brad don’t give a damn who you have on your team nor who he doesn’t have on his, you’re going to get this fundamental basketball, son. Watching him coach masterfully for full games is a thing of beauty. The Celtics are going to be f*****g dangerous next year.
Photo Credit: Masslive.com
If Only Kyrie and Gordon Were Healthy
I picked this as my Eastern Conference Final last year, long before Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward made the jump to Bean Town. I also predicted that LeBron would not go to his 8th consecutive NBA Finals, but it looks like injuries may keep that prophecy from coming to pass and prevent me to ascending to the pantheon of negroes that kinda-sorta know what they’re talking about. I’m picking Cleveland to win this series in 6 games, but you all can’t know how hard I want to pick this young Celtic crew to add another notch to this incredible season. I mean look at Game 1. The Celtics played a phenomenal game that left LeBron and the LeBronnaires searching on the ground for their mouthpieces. LeBron won’t play that bad again and the Cavs will pull this out, but take a second and imagine:
The REAL NBA Finals (With Infinity War Spoilers)
It’s finally time for Houston to face off with Thanos, and it’s just a matter of if the Dubs are going to win with a Rapture-inducing finger snap or if they’re going to tag that ass in the same way that the Hulk got tagged. If Game 1 is any indication, the Rockets may be engaged in an exercise of futility.
Harden and CP3 both had a good night and still lost by 13 points. Like… What can you do?
This series may come down to Harden keeping his head in the game. When you hit Harden in the mouth he starts to act just like Hulk in “Infinity War” and refuses to appear again. GSW’s defense is capable enough to throw the punch that would land in the aforementioned proverbial mouth, so we’ll see how that goes. Chris Paul has fit in way better than I thought he would with Harden, and maybe that’s what he needs to keep the Crimson Beard on task.
Golden State vs. Houston may end up going 6 games, but the Infinity Stones have been gathered and it’s about time the NBA starts to “not feel so good.” Too soon? Too savage? I’m sorry, y’all (not really).
J2 created the dance choreography for the “This Is America” video. You’re welcome. I’m woke AF!!!