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Can I get a chance?

Posted: March 15, 2013 by arayegee in GBLT, High School Sports, NCAA

Today I learned a few interesting things.

1. Transgender refers to someone whose identity differs than the biological sex at birth

2. Transsexual is someone who has transitioned or transitioning from one sex to another

3. A transvestite is an archaic term, but now refers to one who cross-dressing. A transvestite does not necessarily have to be homosexual or bisexual.

I got this info from Sterling Washington, who also let me know that DC Public Schools are in the processing of writing legislation that would allow transgender students to participate in sports specific to the gender they identify with. In laymans terms, if 17-year old Paul wears a dress and sees himself as a Paulette, he would be able to play on the girls high school basketball team. I think what DC has done to create equal opportunities for the GLBT community is rivaled only by San Francisco. Creating an environment where people can feel respected and included in whatever they choose to do is great, as long as its not hurting anybody. Which is precisely why I think this is a terrible decision.

Let me be clear: this isn’t a hate bashing article.  I’ve played with gay teammates and I’ve coached gay players, and I view them the same as I would view a white NFL running back or an albino squirrel: initially perplexed, but quickly accepting when I realize you’re just going about your business.  How a person lives off the field doesn’t bother me as long it doesn’t affect the rest of the team, but there’s a big difference between my experiences and what DCPS is trying to do.

My gay teammates and players still identified as men, both biologically and emotionally. Outwardly, they weren’t the ‘flamboyant’ type often portrayed on reality TV or gossip blogs. Dressed like a normal guy would, too. You wouldn’t catch them in dresses or heels. At the end of the day, they were men playing on a men’s team…and they happened to be attracted to men.

A transgender teammate? Now thats a little tricky. Emotionally and psychologically, I could identify myself as a woman. But my self-identity isn’t going to change my 6 foot 2, 215 pound athletic frame. If I was a high school student and asked to play for the women’s basketball team, I’d average 45 points a game and thats not because of my high basketball IQ or skill. I have a genetic advantage over everybody on the court, and that would be the case with most men who played a sport designated for women.  Im not saying that I think a man is going to automatically dominate every woman’s sport simply by showing up, but name me a sport where naturally being faster, stronger, quicker, and having less body fat is a disadvantage.  Allowing this to happen is bad news for everybody involved.  Lets say Paulette, my imaginary case study athlete, is actually a dominant basketball player, good enough to earn college scholarships…scholarships that were initially intended for players who were born women. What if one of those overlooked women happened to be one of Paulette’s teammates? The recruiting process for every sport is a virtual meat market, and there’s not many better ways I to stand out as a college prospect than being a biological man competing against biological women. I cant see how that isn’t an unfair advantage, and I’d really like to talk to someone who can argue against that. Yeah, there are gender reassignment surgeries, but its very unlikely that a high school student can afford that. Even if they can afford the pills, who says they’ll take them? If that athlete is aware of their genetic advantage, WHY would they take them?

The locker room situation is going to be the icing on the cake. How comfortable will athletes feel showering and dressing around their transgender teammates? God bless the coach who has to deal with a locker room full of teenage guys and their first experience with a transgender male. Its a recipe for disaster, and according to DC  Human Rights Act, you have to allow a transgender male to use the mens bathroom. I see bullying and sexual abuse written all over that. No sir.

You want your daughter getting posted up by her?

You want your daughter getting posted up by her?

Look, I’m all for inclusion, but exclusivity is why we created Title IX.  If we are basing gender on one’s identity, we are falling into a slippery slope. As we grow as people, we begin to change how we view ourselves, and its usually unexpectedly. Who’s to say this won’t happen for a transgender athlete that suddenly wants to play women’s soccer after an identity crisis. Make the men sports for the men, and the women’s sports for the women.

 

This past weekend, I watched an Major League Lacrosse matchup between Denver and Long Island. Lacrosse was one of my favorite sports growing up as a kid, and its always brings back a fresh sense of nostalgia every time I get to see it on TV or in person. The game was in its earlier moments, and a Denver defenseman delivered a huge hit on a Long Island attack man. My reaction to the play didnt even come out before yellow laundry hit the field. Was the hit high? A little, so by the letter of the lacrosse rules, the call was legit. But once the play-by-play announcer made a reference to “the league taking a stance for concussion prevention”.Once the c-word came out of his mouth, I turned the channel.

I fully support the various league powers who are making the necessary steps to protecting players, particularly in the NFL. Every employer should make it their priority to protect their employees. Financially and morally, it seems like common logic. The problem with this logic is that the NFL, much like the MLL and the NHL, is no common sport.  They are some of the last sports that are truly contact sports, descendants of the times gladiators used to fight to the death in the middle of the Coliseum. In no way do I want to see some guy in the middle of Soldier Field with a spear fighting an actual bear (maybe they should do that during halftime, or whenever Chicago’s offense is sputtering*), but many fans and current players seem to be against turning their league into a watered down version of the sport they were introduced to as kids. On that same historical context, football used to be played with leather helmets. Players were not the physical specimens they are now, but that didnt stop them from hitting their opponents full speed. Hockey players, some going with the old school helmet that has no facemask, go full speed into each other constantly. Changing a few rules, and throwing out suspensions is not going to change the culture of a sport that is predicated on violence. Medical concerns be damned, when you sign up for boxing, and you get hit in the head, you write that off as an occupational hazard. The same thing should go for other contact sports.

What this new “concern” over concussions has marred several sports that thrive on their fans’ thrill [lust] for violence. NASCAR fans go to races to see crashes. Boxing and UFC fans go to matches to see knockouts. Football fans go to games to see….touchdowns? Lets not fool ourselves here. If scoring was the first thing on football fans’ mind, they’d be basketball fans. The “Jacked Up” Segment of Monday Night Football Countdown was a collection of the biggest hits.

How do you make football, or any contact sport, safer? Unless you change the very complexion of the sport, you cant. The same reason you cant make boxing any safer or politics any less corrupt. For goodness sake, we are talking about professional sports. If this concussion fiasco gets any worse, then we are on the verge of having to sit through  seasons of contact sports that are officiated by referees who are hair-trigger happy with throwing that dreaded helmet-to-helmet

flag. Its no wonder flopping became such a problem in the NBA soon after the competition committee made increased scoring a priority. The game was being played too rough. People dont want to see low scoring games, that won’t fill up arenas. We need to appeal to a broader audience.

This hit is legal. It also mirrored the hit I saw in the DEN/Long Island game. Shame.

News flash, NFL: if you gain a huge mainstream audience, but lose your hardcore followers, you have about a 5-10 year window of prosperity before your company completely folds on itself. Its happened with the NHL, the WWE, even with countless musicians. It will happen to you as well.

Im not saying take the necessary precautions to keep the players safe, but don’t mess up the integrity of the game. Calling a flag on any play that seems dangerous looking is complete overkill. Monitor the aggressiveness, but do not eliminate it. If you want to keep your head concussion-free, then I suggest you not play football. And if you want to remove the risk of concussions in football, lacrosse, and hockey, the only way to do that is remove the helmets entirely.  And even then, its still a possibility. Its a physical sport. I suffered a concussion a month ago in flag football.Flag.

We watch these sports subconsciously because they are our modern day super heroes. They are doing something, enduring things that most people on the earth can’t. When that playing field is leveled, what were once superhuman performances seem pedestrian. And damnit, Im not paying to watch pedestrians play.

Before you watch The Avengers, read this first

Posted: May 4, 2012 by arayegee in NFL

Its 3:24 on a Friday morning, I have a seemingly insurmountable things to do starting at 8:30 am, which includes an early morning workout that at this point might be skipped, and I still have taken time to write this post up. I will be pissed for making this decision for quite possibly the entire weekend, but it must be done.

I Just left from the theaters to see Marvel’s The Avengers, and me and fellow ManCaver DontbeSkerritt both agreed about 20 minutes into this film that it was already in the ranks of best superhero movie. This movie has a running time of two hours and 23 minutes, which gives you an idea of how small a sample we are working with.  The people reading this blog are likely fans of these big budget action films, or you might just be a young lady who’s trying to figure out why her man is literally foaming at the mouth to go see this movie. Either way, you want to keep reading on.

This movie was magnificent. Everything that you would expect out of a movie like this it delivered threefold. I went into the theater worrying about the scores in the NBA playoff games. I left not giving a crap if I even saw highlights. I wont give away any spoilers, mainly because there really aren’t any. Its a superhero flick, if you don’t know by now that the good guys eventually win, then you’re a moron.  What I will say is that every superhero’s power is on full display from start to finish.  Thor was going bonkers with that hammer, the Iron Man had a plethora of different projectiles weapons coming out of every part of his suit, Hawkeye and Black Widow for not have any superpowers had some pretty cool highlights throughout, Captain America and that shield did damage, and The Hulk kicked a whole lot of ass.

You might consider this a blog made purely on the thrill of the moment, or that this movie was just another hook to get us into watching an endless amount of sequels. You might dismiss this as just another guy movie you have to go to because he sat through Say Yes to the Dress or Khloe and Lamar a countless amount of times. You might think the pedestrian storyline is just a set up for the CGI guys to have a field day with the protagonists powers, or that the whole movie was just an elaborate form of propaganda used to validate the government’s need for nuclear arms (that’s for the Conspiracy Theory folks out there).

Well, Mr. or Mrs. Critic, here’s the thing about all that.

Shutup.

It was great.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 92% fresh tomato rating. The other 8% forgot to pick up their 3D glasses because they were too tired or stoned. But I don’t want you to watch it because I said it was good, or some website did. Go watch it yourself and you can tell me what you think. Dont worry, Ill wait.

By the way, try getting there early. The previews are quite cool. I have a feeling many will be frequenting the theaters this year.

..Oh yea, on a quick sports note. Rest in Peace, Junior Seau. You were a hero as well, on and off the field.

Saaaaaame ole Redskins

Posted: March 15, 2012 by arayegee in NFL

Before I go ham on my team (as I did last year) about their terrible decision making, let me applaud them for their trade to get the #2 overall pick in this year’s draft. I cant wait to wear a  RGIII jersey to work. Unless, of course, the Colts are pulling of the coup of all time and pick Robert Griffin III and leave us with Matt Leina—- err, Andrew Luck.

But free agency, once again, turns out to be the undoing of a franchise that has been historically awful in this category.  The acquisition of three notable wide receivers is a direct result of RG3 hype, which at face value looks great. But lets take a step back and look at what the ‘Skins really got.

Pierre Garcon

If your prize free agent acquisition is a #2 receiver who has never gained 1000 yards in a season, known for his average route running and iffy ball catching abilities, there is a problem. Yes, he’s 27. But that’s the problem, Pierre is in his prime and is all he has to show for playing four years with Peyton Manning and understudy to Reggie Wayne is a very pedestrian body of work. I like the guy, but there is no way you pay a second rate receiver this much money. Is second rate a bit harsh? I tell you what, name the top 20 receivers in the NFL, and I dare you to put Pierre Garcon in that list.

 

Josh Morgan

Great player at Virginia Tech, decent player in the NFL. In his four years, he has 1764 receiving yards. Was he having a decent season before he got injured in San Francisco last year? Absolutely. Over 5 games, he caught 15 balls for 220 yards and 1 touchdown. Which rounds out to be about a 3 catch, 44 yard player. Ok. San Fran wanted him back, but thats only because Braylon Edwards was older, always injured, and wasn’t a good fit with their offense. If both of these players were at full strength, who do you think the Niners would really want to keep?

"I dont do this catching thing much, but Im sure its enough to get signed by your team."

Eddie Royal

Granted this guy hasn’t officially signed, but I will still give my two cents. Royal is probably the most complete receiver of the three, but giving him the eye test I experience deja vu.  5’10, 185 slot guy who can play, and would work well in Shanny’s offense. But he just adds to the crowded depth chart of #2 receivers again, and if he gets signed and becomes the best wideout, then the same WR issue in DC are just renewed: a #2 (Santana Moss) masquerading as a #1.

Much to the joy of then-Raider, now-Redskin CB DeAngelo Hall, Eddie Royal will be in DC.

‘Wide receiver by committee’ is a term often used to describe a marginal group of wideouts who are on a potent offense. I can guarantee that of these ‘committees’ there has been a clear cut #1 WR.

2011 – Giants – Victor Cruz

2006- present Saints – Marques Colston

Patriots 2007 – Randy Moss

Patriots 2008 – 2011 Wes Welker

Just to name a few. The other common denominator between teams that succeed with a so-called ‘WR by committee’ is that they have all-world quarterbacks to get them the ball.  So here’s to hoping that Mr. Griffin becomes the QB that Washington hopes he will be. If you ask me, all that money to get three marginal receivers couldve been spent on a straight up STUD in free agency. Couple that with the fact that this year’s WR class is loaded, I really wonder what the front office is thinking.

Mark Calaway: Twilight of an American Hero

Posted: February 29, 2012 by arayegee in Wrestlemania, WWE

His government name may not ring a bell, but his stage name is one of the most recognizable in the history of sports entertainment. His slow walk down to the ring is as ominous and spine-tingling as the man himself. And his music is unmistakable. When that bell gong rings, its no question as to who is coming out. Since Stone Cold’s retirement, The Rock’s bolt to Hollywood, and Triple H’s new corporate role, Mark Calaway, better known as The Undertaker, has held the torch for what is remaining of  the infamous Attitude Era. For the past twenty years, he has been respected by his peers, feared by his opponents, and revered by the fans of the WWE.Since his WWE debut in 1990, he has been a dominating force in the wrestling industry. A 6’10, 300 pound giant with the agility and grace as a luchador and as powerful as anyone to step into the ring.  Countless World titles, Heavyweight championships, and Tag Team titles fill his resume.  His undefeated Wrestlemania streak of 19 wins and 0 losses is considered one of pro wrestling’s greatest accomplishments. To put it into perspective, his Wrestlemania victory total is equal to the amount of games won by the Washington Redskins over the past 3 seasons.

Many people wondered if The Undertaker would ever slow down. His finesse, his work ethic, his brutality, his aura were unshakable his entire career. He’s wrestled and defeated the likes of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, King Kong Bundy, Ric Flair, The Rock, and even CM Punk.  Had you seen him in 1994, you would have thought, in 2011, he’ hadnt aged a year. He has been THAT dominant.

The way the entire arena would go dark, and as the lights came back on, he would appear in the ring, staring down his helpless, unsuspecting prey.  The way he’d roll his eyes in his head, taunting his enemies.  The way he could  revive from a vicious beating in the middle of a match, deliver his own beatdown, and walk off victorious.

Wrestlemania 27 proved to be the first time we saw The Undertaker unmasked as Mark Calaway. The match, now on Youtube, was against an aging Triple H, and it started off just as violently as it ended.  (FYI: Wrestling isnt fake, its scripted. Just like the NBA was for the past 15 years. The athleticism, the talent, the precision, and the pain, is real. ) The Undertaker prevailed, but was carried out in a stretcher. He took punishment that you could tell he wasnt ready for, and  within minutes of the match, everybody knew it. The Deadman was a mere mortal in the ring, and his usually ice cold demeanor was replaced with a one of desperation.

This Wrestlemania 28 Hell in a Cell rematch against Triple H will likely be the last wrestling match of Mark Calaway’s historic career. His end, win or lose, will be the end of the the Attitude Era as we know it.  Those of us in our early to mid 20s grew up watching will no longer recognize the faces in the ring after this epic event. Both Triple H and The ageless “Phenom” has seen better days, and their 46 year old bodies know it. In fact, Id bet that ‘Taker’s body has known it for sometime now, its us that’s getting the late memo. All that the Undertaker has left to fight for is the preservation of his hallowed streak, and judging from last year’s fight, hes willing to go past what his body can take. Whatever happens in this match, lets pay homage to the Deadman.

“She Wasnt With Me Shooting In the gym!”

Posted: January 23, 2012 by arayegee in Current Events, NBA

The title for this post came from an Aubrey Graham line. This, combined with the fact that this blog has nothing to do with the actual  game of basketball, slightly blows me on several fundamental levels.

Last Friday, instead of pre-game excitement over the NFL conference championships, I logged in to Twitter and found myself reading a slew of tweets that could’ve started the biggest gender war since Susan B. Anthony n ’em.  What caused this uproar? Kobe and Vanessa Bryant’s impending divorce, his alleged $75 million shell-out to Vanessa, not including alimony and child support . I politely and diplomatically (I cant emphasize those words enough) asked what both sides thought about the situation, and several women responded (vented, however you want to see it) as such:

“it’s a lot of things that happen in life that just aren’t fair. like how men who sleep w mad women are so cool but when a woman enjoys sex w more than a couple guys she’s a hoe….and when a rich athlete cheats & has no prenup she gets half—- lol. there’s lots of things that aren’t fair, so lay off of Vanessa!”

“men fail to realize that when you mess w our most prized possession (or hearts) we (some) will go after yours (your money)”

“Why why y’all so passionate anyways? half y’all don’t got more than the women u lay up w so trust me, you prolly won’t have #kobeproblems

“breach that contract there are penalties. like breaking any contract. get over it. he shouldve had a prenup”

“vows r a covenant relationship between u, ur mate n God. The moment u break that covenant u should pray material possessions r all that go. Sin. Painful child birth. Multiple langs. Fire. A flood. All consequences that came bc of a broken covenant.

” I don’t feel sympathetic for Kobe at all. Maybe I don’t agree with giving 75mil and 3 mansions, but Vanessa Bryant certainly deserved a lump sum…People (mainly dudes) are sayin that Drake line “she wasn’t with him in the gym” True. She also wasn’t with him in the bed with all those women that got him into the place. What’s killing me the most are the men who are callin Vanessa a hoe & gold digger. She is his wife. Mother of his 2 kids & even stood by him when he was accused of being a rapist.”

“Im not a fan of giving up 50% of your assets that wasn’t acquired together due to divorce, but I also don’t support letting someone walk away scotch-free for consciously & selfishly breaking up a marriage. Pay up! And unfortunately for Kobe, in the state of Cali…that can be up to 50% of your assets. Maybe he’ll make better decisions next time.”

“a) when you are valuable you protect your worth. he’s the fool for not having a prenup.
b) “you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym” devalues a wife’s role.
c) break my heart, i break your pockets –PERIOD.
d) WHY is Vanessa getting 1/2 so surprising. It’s what happens when you get divorced. even if her 1/2 is MILLIONS.
pea brained niggas are tripping. and are probably single. or dogs, themselves.”

It was all good a week ago.

This goes on for a while, but you kind of get the gist of it. Womenfolk have no remorse when it comes to Kobe’s adulterous ways. In the words of a 90’s California gangbanger, COME UP OUT THEM POCKETS, CUH!
The men, on the other hand had a different perspective.
“kobe got some secrets he willing to pay for…”
“She only ‘reconciled’ after the rape for a bigger payout down the road’
“If she knew about all these women, why didnt she leave earlier. #paperchasinhoe”
anytime a woman get a nice lump sum of money like that with no argument or prenump….its bonifide hush money. #iwonderwhy
“”B*itch, you wasnt with me shooting in the gym!” x about 1000, seriously.
As if she wasnt out here doing her thing on the side too. Smh”
Im not writing this blog to come to some resolution for each side, nor will I try to the role of relationship guru.  We all know what “The Three C’s” are, and if you dont, then read about it.
What I do notice is that women are concerned about the actions of the men, and men are concerned about the motive behind the reaction from the woman.  Personally, I think Kobe should have listened to his parents when they said to not marry the girl in the first place, that he was too young and immature. In Vanessa’s case, nobody really knows her motives, but something is quite fishy when you wait this long after so many alleged women. (109 women is okay, but 110? Oh, thats my breaking point, Kobe. This marriage is over.) Its weird that neither side made much mention about the kids. But I guess money talks the loudest in this situation, right?
The reason I really wrote this blog is to show how assumptions truly make asses out of us all. We dont know that Kobe slept with over 100 women, we just read about through unverified stories. We dont know how much hes paying Vanessa, we just saw a number and ran with it. Same thing happens in the Tiger Woods/Elin fiasco. We dont really know if Vanessa made a home for Kobe, loved him, nurtured, supported him and their children. She might have been trifling. For all we know, the entire marriage could have been as Hollywood as Kim Kardashian’s, just longer. The fact is that we really dont know, but judging from these emotionally charged quotes, we really do care.
Caring passionately about something that you know little about is how terrible things happen.
ManCave rule #913: Do not talk what you do not know. Violation of these rules will result in immediate BTTK status or worse.
Lastly, before I finish off, this was the one response I got on Twitter that resonated with me.
Alimony doesn’t heal a broken heart.

For the past decade, the world has gone crazy over one vampire film series. You know, the one with the teenage male vampire and a high school girl falling in love. And the vampires’ reaction to direct sunlight isnt death, but a sparkling of the skin. And the werewolves arent humanoid, freakishly strong, blood-chilling killers, just enormous huskies. And the love interest of the protagonist vampire isnt another vampire, but a high school girl. Considering the fact that vampires live for hundreds of years, this is extremely creepy. Meanwhile, purists of both horror creatures have been given a respite from the Twilight bonanza with Underworld, a action series about the history and war between the vampires and werewolves, known as Lycans.

In Theatres 1/20/2012

If you havent seen the first three films, let me sum them up for you quickly. Girl vampire kills lycans. Lycans kill vampires. Girl vampire meets male. Male becomes lycan-vampire hybrid. Girl vampire and hybrid fall in love. Each side wants to kill them. They beat everybody to the punch. Its like Twilight, only realer, darker, sleeker, and sexier. Oh, and very generous with the blood spilling.

Im leaving out some key characters, substantial plot development, and a WICKED prequel film (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans), but its there.

The fourth installment of this film series, Underworld:Awakening comes out on Friday, where the main character Selene (previously mentioned girl vampire, who’s basically Laura Croft with fangs) finds herself captured by government officials who find out about both vampires and lycans. They, in typical human form, want to study them, utilize them to the fullest extent, then kill off both species. Selene breaks free and tries to get to the bottom of this conspiracy, all while looking for her long lost lycan love, Michael (the male lycan-vampire hybrid).

For those who think this movie might be one of those series that gets worse with each sequel, dont worry. The first three movies have gotten better along the way, and even if it does suck, at least you get to see Kate Beckinsale in a bodysuit. If you have the time, watch the first three movies before you hit the movies Friday. It’ll get you caught up on the storyline and if youre in the DC area, you wont have to sit through a Wizards game.The one the

Fellas, if you take your girl to see this, just know you might have to sit through a rom-com in return. I can pretty much guarantee that the ladies will either love this movie or hate it with a passion. So, plan accordingly and get Just Wright next week.

Heres a preview of the upcoming movie, along with an intense fight scene showing Selene  fighting a hybrid vampire and Michael fighting a pretty savage werewolf. Enjoy, and Ill see you at Magic Johnson theater! Get your popcorn ready!