The Post Game Show

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Random thoughts before A Showdown of Epic Proportions...

Well, it's officially September 30th here on the East Coast, and the Hornet football team is getting ready for its biggest game in quite some time with the 12th-ranked (In I-AA) Hampton Pirates coming to town tonight at 7:30. While everyone has the Hornets pegged for a big time loss, I'm quick to remember 2004, when an 0-4 DSU team took down 17th ranked Hampton 28-23 on a soggy Saturday afternoon in Dover, DE...almost two years ago to the day actually. While I get myself psyched up to cover what could be the biggest win since the Hornets last won the MEAC championship a decade and a half ago, I'm just going to bring you random thoughts from the mind of a DSU student too fired up to sleep.

Fueling my obsession with good live music, I am on YouTube looping Stevie Wonder's 1973 performance on Sesame Street, which is the funkiest of the funky. While I had the video posted on my MySpace profile for a minute, I found a version of better quality and nearly 50 more seconds, and one thing you notice about Stevie, aside from the loud ass gear is his sunglasses. Of course he had to wear them because he was blind, but I swear...those jawns were the original hater blockers. No lie. If you ever get on YouTube (which is great for wasting time and bringing back memories I must say), type in "Stevie Wonder Sesame Street." You will be treated to some good music...and stunna shades.

Does this cutie look familiar to you? O.K., remember Bill Cosby's second show on CBS from the late 90s, early 2Gs? Or how about Eve's Bayou? Yes, that is young Jurnee Smollett, who turns 20 on Sunday, and now starring in The Gridiron Gang with The Rock and Xzibit. While not a big fan of women who aren't old enough to drink (like Hov says "only 21 and older/let another n***a mold her..."), this is just a random observation of beauty on my behalf. What? Yes I would date her, are you crazy?

Walking has done wonders for me. I really need to step on a scale to know for sure, but I really feel good about eating my three squares at decent times of day (thank God for a senior schedule), and then walking around campus, dancing in my room, and just moving around. A co-worker of mine at the Hornet says it looks like I'm losing weight. That's the best news I've heard in a long time.

The Sixers started training camp today. I don't know whether to laugh, cry, break something or do all three. Clearly this team is headed for a repeat of the embarrassing disaster that was the 1990s. And unfortunately, there isn't a damn thing Allen Iverson can do to stop it.

The Phils are threatening to stay around in this Wild Card race until Sunday, and maybe the San Francisco Giants can be of some assistance. The Phils pounded Florida 14-2, and as I look at, the Giants are ahead of the LA Dodgers 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth...PLEASE let the Giants hold on. The Phils would only be 1 game behind LA for the National League Wildcard spot with two to play. It's a long shot, but I guess I can hang in there and cheer them on.

So I caught Deal or no Deal on NBC earlier this evening, and the first contestant was this sista who had her father, mother, and her boyfriend on there with her. Turns out that he wasn't feeling the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing. Homeboy asked for her hand in marriage. In the middle of the show. She tearfully accepted, had everybody in the audience crying, she was crying, he was happy.

And I caught myself saying "love ain't real," yet I had just watched a brother willingly risk his dignity on national TV by asking his woman to marry him. I mean sure the show was taped, but I've been thinking ever since the proposal went down (oh by the way, she won $105,000) that maybe it's just a matter of the right person at the right place at the right time. Only those two know the journey they've been on, and if he was dead serious about getting down on one knee for millions of people to see, and she of course accepted, then maybe love is real and can conquer all.

A classmate of mine will be laid to rest tomorrow morning, the victim of a senseless killing last Sunday. Cameron Hamlin, who graduated from Howard High School of Technology the same year I did (1999), was gunned down Sunday morning by a jealous ex-boyfriend of a young lady he was seeing. Cameron was very popular in high school, played football and basketball, but he never let that stuff go to his head. He was a good dude, loved to talk to everybody and was starting to get his rap career off the ground. Now we'll never know how good he could've been, what kind of productive member of society he was on his way to being. He won't be at any subsequent reunions of our class because of someone not knowing when to let go of a situation. Cameron deserved far better, and hopefully justice will be served, even if it won't bring Cam back. R.I.P.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

25 things for 25 years

Well, in about 13 hours, your boy will be officially 25 years old, and I'm starting to warm up to the idea even though I still have these fears of being a college graduate working the cash register at McDonalds and these feelings of depression and lonliness where as my social life is concerned. However, I'm going to try my best to come up with 25 things for each year I have on this planet that make me happy, that I'm grateful for having, and I guess a memory or two thrown in there.

1. My mother. Even though we've had our moments where we don't particularly get along or see eye to eye on certain things, I know for sure that she's someone I can always count on no matter what. Aside from being the only woman I've known to treat me like I'm actually a human being, she's always been good with advice and just small stuff that mothers do.

2. Journalism. This field has been good to me so far. Granted my worries about not getting a job straight out of school are as real as can be, I still feel like I can be successful and will be successful in sports journalism, mainly because this is all I want to do. Anything less in my life would be failure. Period.

3. I'm alive. I guess this should be first and foremost, but I was reminded at the end of this week that some folks haven't even made it to 24. Even though I think my life is terrible, the important thing is that I still have a life.

4. Sports. Naturally this would be in the top five, mainly because for as long as I can remember, sports has been a part of my life. I played in at least one football, baseball, and basketball league growing up, and the allure of competition, game preparation and just in general being active appealed to me. Now I've gotten lazy and just prefer to be a paid observer with a pen and notepad. But yet and still, sports will always be an important part of my life.

5. Music. "I love Music...any kind of music/I love music/Just as long as it's groovin..." - The O'Jays, "I Love Music," 1976.

Definitely describes to a T how I feel about music. I can identify memories and certain points in my life by the music I listen to and the songs I remember. Whether it's shower singing, rehearsing the dance routines from "If it isn't love," or just singing to sing, music is always going to be something that I'm thankful for.

6. Delaware State University. Yes, I'm coming out of the closet (no homo); I've come to love DSU and what it stands for. Even though it's an unorthodox tradition, the HBCU tradition at DSU does stand strong and proud, despite the best efforts of the establishment to bring it down. As I said in an entry long ago, no one can be sure if I would have the opportunities that I've had at DSU as far as my field goes. An NCAA tournament men's hoops team, a rising football team, and to work with some pretty cool people in athletics...who could ask for more? Although socially it sucks if you're not part of the in-crowd, DSU is definitely a school with a style and pace all its own.

7. My car. Even though having a car is in limbo right now, I'm grateful for the opportunity to have owned and driven a car, finally! If you only knew what the first 23 years of my life were like before I had a car. I hated being on other people's time when I wanted to go somewhere and get things done, and when I had Champ (my 1994 Mitsubishi Diamante), there was nothing like being able to come and go as I please. Whether the good times will continue remains to be seen, but I guess they don't, I can at least say I've had my first car and begin working on the second.

8. Then again, there's nothing really terribly wrong with walking. Walking around this campus has gotten me off my lazy streak, I've rediscovered walking as something fun to do and another way to work off some of the negative stress and energy that I deal with in my life on a daily basis. Besides, a co-worker of mine with the Hornet said to me on Thursday it looks like I'm losing weight. That definitely works for me.

9. Poetry. Granted I haven't written anything in months, and haven't written consistently in at least two and a half years, but writing poetry got me through the tough times in my late teens and helped fuel my drive to become a sports writer, so the gift of writing has been long a part of my life, and if I'm feeling it, I might post something for you guys one day...or not. I like reading other people's writing better than I do my own.

10. Stevie Wonder. Why he isn't higher is beyond me, but considering this is in random order, so he's probably right up there in my mind with my mother and journalism. The man has a song for every occaision you can think of. Crushes, falling in love, falling out of love, wondering what the hell is up with the world (See "You Haven't Done Nothin" from 1974's Fulfillingness First'll think he's talking about Bush but the time says it's about Richard Nixon), and of course, something to get you out of your seat and moving. Some folks I know and I agree that if something happened to Stevie, Black America is taking anywhere from a week to a month off. He's that important.

11. KING magazine. Surely this has about as much redeeming social and moral quality as "Flavor of Love" or any video released by West Coast Productions, but KING takes a look at black women who aren't size zeroes or are mixed with Asian, Indian, or anything other than black. You can definitely find some sexual chocolate in that mag. And as a brother that digs chicks the same complexion as me, Datwon Thomas and the gang gets props for that alone. Well that, and the revealing pictorials of sistas who sing and act.

12. September 25th. Surely it's just another day on the calendar to most, but that is my day of birth, and it's unique for several reasons. I share the day with so many famous folks, such as Will Smith, Chauncey Billups, T.I., Scottie Pippen, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas (how in the hell are two Libras co-existing like that?). Also, on the very day I was born, Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first woman Supreme Court Judge in U.S. History. September 25th is great, is it not?

13. The above date makes me a Libra, the only inanimate Zodiac sign, according to Also further research shows that Libras are charming and romantic while also prone to indecisiveness and insecurity. Those last two? Perfect descriptions of one Chris Stevens.

14. The 2005 MEAC Men's Basketball Champion Delaware State University Hornets. Words can't really express what that team, their story, and their play did for the University as well as the sports editor for the school paper who covered them. I've got to remember to thank those guys for giving me something of significance to write about and allow me to write at my best.

15. The Philadelphia Phillies. This team is REALLY playing with my emotions. As I'm writing this entry (and for those wondering, I started at 1:05 and it's 2:43 now), Jamie Moyer gave up four runs in the first, and the Phils then score seven in the bottom half of the third. Talk about a roller coaster. Oh yeah, they're a half game up on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the wild card race. Of course this game and this season is still in progress. It would be nice for a Philly sports team to make a postseason for a change, and I won't say any names *ahemPhiladelphia76ersahem*.

16. Wheels. Cars, Trucks, Trains, Subway Trains, Trolleys, all things transportation related. I still aspire to own an original VW Beetle, which might be my next step if I don't get Champ back. I used to make house cars out of my mom's chairs and random wheels off of different toys and bikes that were in the house as a youngin'. She used to think I was crazy. Memories.

17. NABJ Indy. Yeah this is low on the list because I just thought of it, but of course that goes up high as well. Although my fellow NABJers seem to think I didn't show my face as much, the fact I was IN Indianapolis in general was a miracle. I had to get over my fear of flying, only to be told by recruiters and editors alike that I needed more feature stories, but the fact is I was there. Baby steps, people. I promise Vegas will be a different story *wink*

18. Comedy. Laughter definitely is the best medicine, which is when when you dig through my DVD collection (if I don't break your hands), you'll find In Living Color and Chappelle's Show prominently displayed, along with my Richard Pryor boxed set of CDs, probably the best medicine ever.

19. My Grandmother. Even though she left us almost three months ago, Susie Stevens was an incredible inspiration in my life along with my mother. Like when I mentioned the times that mom and I didn't see eye to eye, she was the one who would bring our eyes together in the only way she could; great story telling. I know so much about my family history and what my crazy ass cousins and aunts and uncles used to do back in the day thanks to her. But most importantly, I keep doing the right thing in life. That's all she ever asked of any of her children and grandchildren.

20. Reading. Reading definitely does make you smarter, I don't care what anybody says. Just picking up a newspaper daily is better than just saying "I don't know what's going on in the world or anything." I love reading anything from Baldwin to DuBois, to Langston/Zora/Richard Wright, to Omar Tyree, to even Zane, the Brown Sugar series, all kinds of stuff to satisfy my hunger for vivid imagery...even if it is sex.

21. Sex, I may add, is a helluva drug. That is all.

22. So is food. Good cooked food. Granted I'm a fast food demon, but I can really appreciate a home-cooked meal, since I've missed out on a lot of those during my longer than expected stay at DSU.

23. History. I love reading and researching things that happened in the past, especially in this country where black folks couldn't vote without intimidation until 1965. Think about that. My mother was in 5th grade, Dr. King was still alive, even though we had just lost Malcolm X, and the Panthers were another two years away from scaring white people even whiter. Wanna talk about a year I'd like to go back to if they ever invent time machines? 1965 would definitely be one of them.

24. The future. This world is already a screwed up place, but you can't help but think brighter days are ahead, even though the Bible says otherwise. Personally, I feel like once I get my degree in my hand, my life will get somewhat better, so I'm looking forward to what is to come.

25. Me. The saying goes "I'm Me and I'm O.K.," even though I really don't feel that way most times. I can honestly say that everything I've ever gone through, good bad or indifferent, have helped to shape who I am, and I'm appreciative for God giving me the chance to see 25 (Lord Willing, it's still a few hours left, LOL). Hopefully my next 25 years will be as much of a learning experience as they will be years of happiness.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Chris Stevens; Sadomasochist?

I must be. I put myself through so much pain with the opposite sex that I must enjoy being hurt everytime I turn around. It's a frustrating thing to know that in 10 days I'll be 25 years old, and no closer to being treated like an actually human being by women. You never really think that you'd be reaching your mid-20s with no real relationship or first love to speak of, but that is the case with me. And it hurts so damn bad.

I'm still trying to figure out if I've done something in the past for me to be so snakebitten, but I truly can't think of anything. I guess if there's such a thing as multiple lives, maybe I was a vagina-chasing, lying, no-good, promiscuous dog in my last life. And the reincarnation, an average dude living an average life, is paying for the previous spirit's transgressions. Or it could be the fact that I'm not exactly anyone's male model dream leading man or something like that. Over 6 feet tall? Nope. 165 pounds or less? Haven't seen that since grade school. Add darkskinned complexion, eyeglasses, and not enough hair to braid into the mix, and you have me.

Surely people are going to wonder "well, what about your personality?" To which I respond with this simple thought; women care about as much as personality as R. Kelly cares about seeing ID. So while folks can lavish me with compliments about my sense of humor, the fact they like to be around me, and yadda yadda yadda, and as nice as it is to hear them say those things, they are in the extreme minority. While it is true that we men are the more visual creatures, women are far more ruthless about their aesthetic preferences. It's not uncommon for me to be called a "fat, black so and so" or being giggled at while walking across hell...I mean the campus of Delaware State University.

It's almost funny to hear women say that they are tired of men treating them like shit, mainly because there will always be another member of their gender to say "Girl, I feel you." Yet, when these same chicks pick me apart based on appearance, I'm supposed to block it out and keep on truckin'. It's not that easy. At all.

It's so bad, I literally expect women to just fall out and laugh at me. I'm literally bracing for it, and 75 percent of the time, it happens. I guess the control to that experiment is my sense of humor. In Physics class, this one girl found it funny that I was singing "Fifth" in the back of the class when the professor thought everyone had the fifth edition of the book instead of the fourth. So I see this girl again while I'm walking to my second job and she politely says "hey." Nothing mean or ignorant after that. But that's just one fluke experience.

The rest of my life from about 13 on I guess has been one cruel series of inside jokes and sight gags at the hands of women. Yet, I continue to be hopeful that not all women are like this. I guess I must really like pain.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Holla at a playa when you see him in the RenCen

Well cats and kittens, it's been an awfully long time since I've posted here, but I'm back, and with a meaningful post; Detroit. I traveled with a rowdy group of football players, coaches, and distinguished DSU administrators via airplane to the Motor City for our game with Florida A&M this weekend. The experience of a covering a football game at something as large, modern and legit as Ford Field, along with seeing Frankie Beverly and Maze perform after the game, was something that I enjoyed thoroughly and am going to cherish for a very long time.

Some highlights from this weekend getaway include;

- The game itself. There was a lot of questioning going on around the MEAC last season after DSU beat FAM at Bragg Stadium, saying it was a fluke and it wouldn't happen again. Well, it did. Big time. Two quick defensive touchdowns by Detroit native Stephon Hopkins and 2006 MEAC defensive player of the year (I'm calling it now) Russell Reeves ignited the Hornets to a 34-14 win, and DSU is now in FIRST PLACE IN THE MEAC! WHOO-HOO! O.K., so this is the only conference game that's been played so far, but still...good stuff.

- Kelley showing me around the newsroom. She was kind enough to give my clueless ass quick tour of downtown Detroit and a pretty good walk through of her place of employment which is a legit newsroom, with different floors and things of that nature. I really really want to graduate so I can get a job in a big newsroom and just do my thing.

- Frankie Beverly and Maze rocking Ford Field. I've now been to three concerts in my life; New Edition and Heavy D in the Spectrum, January of '89, our 2001 homecoming concert (my first and only one at DSU), and now Frankie Beverly and Maze. Those cats give you your money's worth (even though the whole weekend was free for me), and Frankie can still deliver a song and have women 18 to 80 screaming for him.

- My second flight. Just about two weeks after my first time in the air, I had to get ready to fly again and this time was different because it was less quiet than the trip to Indy, but still no major problems, no freaking out from me, so it was great. I can get used to this flying business.

- My angst of not getting to look at Hitsville. I was pissed all weekend at that foolishness. I told anybody that would listen that I was going to re-enact the Paul Williams/Papa was a rolling stone scene from the Tempts movie. You know the one; "I'ma be a Temptation FOR-EVER!"...Minus, of course, blowing my brains out. Unfortunately, Hitsville wasn't in said plans, but I'll be back, and when I do, somebody will get to witness my foolery at its best.

- Seeing another new city. I can now say that I've seen some of the Midwest and it's kinda cool. I was all southbound after graduation, still have love for the South, but if I had an opporunity in the Midwest, It'd be hard for me to turn it down. Traveling in general is starting to appeal to me, now that there's proof that there's a world outside of Delaware and DSU. And I look foward to seeing it all.

So that's pretty much my life. The life of a sportswriter. Traveling one day, writing a game story the next. And since I've done that already I'm on chill for the rest of the weekend, reminiscing on my maiden voyage to the Motor City.