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March Sadness

This post has been coming for awhile, and it now seems like the best time to do so...
So, here goes...
Division I Basketball is getting more and more difficult for me to watch and support. 
Just like I once laid out regarding my ethical feelings towards the NFL (and really, football, overall), thus is the same credence and feelings I have developing for Division I Basketball - mainly the NCAA's approach to it. Now of course, my feelings aren't something new as many share my thoughts and opinions on this - the NCAA is corrupt and college basketball is a sham. But for me, it goes even deeper - certain programs, coaches, and communities enable this exploitation of young men. And yes, many shy away from that word, but that's exactly what college basketball has become, an exploitation of services.
Recent posts

Pondering Picture #85

I took this photo of a banner hanging in the display of the Skirball Center at NYU. I just absolutely loved everything about the words "We Have Never Paid Enough Attention Yet" So improper in it's grammar, yet, incredibly empowering in it's message. Again, loved it.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Roman J. Israel Esq. (2017)

What is it about?
An unusual but driven and idealistic lawyer finds himself in a series of events that forces him to his extremes, and ultimately, to make a decision on what he stands for. 
Who is in it? 
Denzel Washington - Roman J. Israel Esq. 
Colin Farrell - George Pierce 
Carmen Ejogo - Maya Alston

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 3/18/18

3 Up 
1. UMBC - I'm really struggling to watch these tournament games. The games have been entertaining, but morally, I can't stomach the exploitation of these young men (more on that some other time). Regardless, kudos to the young men of UMBC who made history this week. I'm thrilled to see such a program make headlines, and of course, for a coach from the DII and DIII ranks who did it the right way. 
2. UMBC Social Media Team - Yo, whoever is running the UMBC Twitter following their defeat of Virginia deserves a raise. There was some serious shade being thrown, and to be honest, everyone who was in their way in some ways, deserves it. 
3. 2018 Paralympics - Oddly, I watched a tremendous amount of these games and was totally in awe of the athletes. Shockingly, the hockey games were super entertaining to me. So much love and credit to those who participated, and even more importantly, continue to persevere despite disabilities. 
3 Down
1. Florida Bridge Collapse - So sad. I…

Dear Son, Letting In and Letting Go

--25 Weeks Old (Before Birth)--
Dear Son, 
The word is now spreading to more and more people about your existence, or eventual arrival - however, you prefer to look at it - and it feels like a fire that is now out of our control. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but as mentioned in prior letters to you, your mother and I are pretty methodical in how we divulge news about our private lives. 
Truthfully, your mother is definitely more willing to share news than I am, and you'll eventually see that one day. Maybe I'll change, who knows? But the truth is, because of the nature in how I grew up, in the neighborhood that I did, and really, the independence that I had to attain early on, I've always been late to share things with others. That's just who I am. It's probably why I have had this very blog since I was sixteen - to let those thoughts out somewhere.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Coco (2018)

What is it about? 
A little boy aspiring to be a musician is baffled by his family's ban on the art form, thus, enters the land of the dead to find his great-great grandfather to get his blessing. 
Who is in it? 
Anthony Gonzalez - Miguel
Gael Garcia Bernal - Hector 
Benjamin Bratt - Ernesto De La Cruz

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 3/11/18

3 Up
1. Basketball Student-Athletes - I'm not talking the programs, or the fans that support these programs. I'm giving the "Up" to those student-athletes who sacrifice and give their all for an experience they are about to embark on. Good luck to all of those who competed up onto this point, and those moving on in the NCAA Tournament. 
2. Unsolved - This weekend, the wife and I started this latest series on the USA Network about the Murders of Biggie Smalls and Tupac. So far, it has been especially good. Well done, well detailed, and very dramatic. Giving a personal recommendation on this one. 
3. MLS Soccer Sundays - Good to have Soccer Sundays back. And the first weekend, the MLS provided some very entertaining games, including Atlanta FC setting a new record for single-game attendance at over 72,000. Who said soccer isn't big in this country? 
3 Down
1. White House School Safety Plan - I CAN NOT believe our leaders believe gun training for teachers is a viable…

Dear Son, Naming Rights

--24 Weeks Old (Before Birth)--
Dear Son, 
The thought of you is beginning to feel a bit more real. As noted in my last letter you, it's very difficult to feel the way your mother does about you right now. After all, she's feeling flutters and movement from you now, and I'm just left trying (and dying...really, stretching) to be a part of that experience. I can't wait for you to start making movements in which I can lay my hand on your mother's belly and truly feel that interaction. 
For now, I'll wait...
Though, we both noticed this weekend that you might enjoy the sounds of the Notorious B.I.G. For me, that's exciting. While bumping some tunes in the car yesterday, your mom noticed those significant flutters whenever his songs came on. After all, you will be a Brooklyn baby/kid, and I'm excited about that. That's a pretty exclusive club that many may not understand.

And truth be told, I can't wait to share those moments of talking music, shar…

2018 Bucket List #2 - Visit Coors Field

You didn't think I would go to Denver and NOT visit Coors Field did you?

Of course not. The baseball junkie in me wouldn't allow it. And right before I headed to the airport, I dragged my colleagues to Coors Field for a Tour and even they were glad I did. Coors Field is a very underrated ballpark in terms of it's appearance and overall feel. 
Here are some quick thoughts on visiting my 15th MLB Ballpark (of those in existence):

2018 Bucket List #1 - Visit Denver

I had the privilege and opportunity to visit Denver, Colorado this past week. I've never been to Colorado, and really, I've never been to much of the country that doesn't embrace a coastline. I've done both coasts and some areas in between - your Chicagos, Nashvilles, Dallas', and Vegas' - but that's about it. 
So yeah, Denver, Colorado was going to be new and exciting for me. 
Making the trip even more exciting was the fact that I would be presenting at the annual NIRSA conference, a governing body for those that are in my industry of higher education college recreation and wellness. So yes, regardless, Denver was going to be special.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/25/18

3 Up
1. Students of Stoneman Douglas - Man, do these kids have some fire or what? They are fearless, and I love the pro-acttive measures they are taking to get something done after this latest shooting. I do find it interesting how many are claiming that these kids are too young to understand the "nuances" of how this all works. I think these kids get it. And they honestly lived it. 
2. Question to Marco Rubio - Damn. I watched CNN's Town Hall debate on DVR, and in that moment, you saw it on Rubio's face, he knew the question was coming. Kudos to that young man for asking the VERY obvious question of lobby money and the NRA, and how this all plays into the "discussion". However, you know what? Kudos to Rubio who didn't decline the invitation like so many others and faced a hostile crowd that very night. 
3. Baseball is Back! - In a heart-wrenching week filled with politics and debate, it was just nice to have baseball back. And games! There were games! …

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Wonder (2017)

What is it about? 
Based on the New York Times bestseller, a boy with a facial deformity enters school for the first time and has a profound impact on those around him, and those who come across his existence. 
Who is in it? 
Jacob Tremblay - Auggie 
Owen Wilson - Nate 
Julia Roberts - Isabel
Izabela Vidovic - Via

Dear Son, Wild Imagination

--22 Weeks Old (Before Birth)--
Dear Son, 
As the weeks go by, the reality of YOU is beginning to settle just a bit more. I still don't think I fully understand it all yet, or even comprehend the transition that is taking place in my life right now in awaiting your arrival in a few months, but I am appreciating the journey. I am already seeing subtle changes in me, not overt lifestyle amendments - although, I'm sure that's to come - but simply, a renewed vigor of happiness, and of course, an all new mindfulness perspective. 
After all, I see how happy you make your mom. I can't understand this current stage. How can I? I'm not connected to you as she currently is - obviously - but you make her happy. And that makes me happy. And ultimately, it all makes me happy.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/18/18

3 Up
1. Aaron Weiss - It shouldn't be hidden or gone unnoticed - Weiss is a hero. The football coach shielded many students during the shooting, and saved the lives of many students. Again, Weiss is a hero, that should not go forgotten in this entire unfortunate situation. 
2. Emma Gonzales - How frickin' cool is this girl?! Her speech this weekend was passionate, it was raw, but most of all, it was filled with empathetic truth. Emma, and the many students recently involved in this shooting have called out our government, and that is so incredibly commendable. Honestly, it is quite amazing to see the political movement of fifteen year olds calling out the President. But this is the new America we are now in. 
3. LeBron James - Kudos to King James on how he handled the situation between him and Laura Ingraham. He could have stooped to Ingraham's level, but instead his refusal to be "just an athlete" is one that is needed to be heard. 
3 Down
1. Parkland, Florida Sc…

Dear Son, The Beginning

So I decided to start this series because after all, this blog has chronicled my life and my thoughts since I was sixteen years old. And while that is amazing to think about - almost, somewhat crazy to believe - here I am almost seventeen years later as a thirty-two year old man on the verge of having his first child. 
With that said, I wanted to continue that open and honest venture that has been here since day one, and plan to lay out all the thoughts, all of the feelings, and everything in between that will be this venture towards fatherhood. 
I've done similar series in the past such as The Unity Road Writings during my engagement, or even The European Chronicles, tabbing my time through Italy and England. But, this one just feels a little different. A little more personal, if you will, and again, that is rather obvious. [Insert "duh" here].
I have no idea how long this will last, or what will happen, or what I will write about in this open space, but I hope to shar…