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Dome Pondering - 2017 Year in Review

Well, here we are closing yet another year. 2017 was freakin' weird in so many ways, and the thought that it is coming to a close is quite relieving. Like, really, really relieving. After all - for me at least - 2017 provided an unusual everyday grind, like no other in my lifetime, that defined it.
Politics. News. Terror. Society. Fill in whatever it is, 2017 offered something daily. 
Regardless, we're at the finish line, and like always, we're wrapping it up with the biggest post of the year on this tiny slice of the internet - the Dome Pondering Year in Review! The 12th of it's kind! Imagine that?
Recent posts

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/21/18

3 Up
1. Women's March - I'm happy to see this movement wasn't just a reactionary thing to last year's happenings, but one that continues to move forward. It's a continue reminder that the fight for equality for us all is still ongoing. 
2. Aly Raisman - Raisman stood up land et the world know what was done to her and how corrupt USA gymnastics currently is. She really left it all out there, and it was quite eyebrow raising. It was also just as sickening to hear what has been going on, and what has been covered up. 
3. Tom Brady and the Patriots - Give the man his due. Brady is 40 years old and still winning. I don't care for the Super Bowl all that much anymore, but I recognize and respect the greatness. It's a once-in-a-generation deal, and I appreciate it. 
3 Down
1. Government Shutdown - Ugh. Come on...I don't care whose fault it is, this is a disaster. 
2. Deportation of Jorge Garcia - Look, I'm going to say something I'm sure will divide tho…

Dope Sports Threads - NBA New "City" Uniforms

I'll just say it - my expectations of Nike's takeover of the NBA's aesthetics hasn't been as great as I expected it to be. Sure, some of the designs and concepts have been cool, but with that has come some issues regarding the the durability, honoring tradition for some teams, and of course a pet peeve of mine - too many teams wearing colored jerseys at home. Which means, road teams wearing WHITE! I'm not a fan.

In fact, for teams like the Nets who have made this their "thing" in wearing black for all home games, it's been annoying. But I get it, road jerseys with colors sell better than the home white ones. Which is obvious, but still...

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/14/18

3 Up
1. Minnesota Vikings Win - It was the most football I've watched since last year's Super Bowl, and I'm actually glad I did. I watched the remaining 1:57 from a dinner establishment, and it was rather riveting. Such a cool moment for Stefan Diggs. In so many ways that entire scenario was rather unreal. Almost movie-like. 
2. Don Lemon - Whoa! I think it's safe to say Lemon is not a fan of the President, and really, in some ways, become a voice for people of color under this current administration. His words on Thursday night were fierce, true, and authentic on how many POCs felt after the President's comments. It's a sudden change from Lemon's reputation following the Ferguson riots. 
3. Mark Wahlberg - Sure, it took some public pressure. And sure, it may even look like a PR stunt. But still, Wahlberg did the right thing after news broke he earned $1.5 million and Michelle Williams earned $1,000. A donation in her name of the entire $1.5 million was the…

Pondering Picture #83

"Shitholes." 
Look, I've tried to be fair with the President. Some countries and their current conditions are exactly that - shitholes. Very poor conditions. He's nothing but honest and blunt in his assessment. 
However, his comment is just another in a continued (rather excessive) pattern of actions that alienates and divides, and continues to marginalize people of color. After a while, you learn it's not about immigration reform for this administration, but rather, the "kind" of immigrant here that will making this country "Great Again."







Sunday Sundown Rundown - 1/7/18

3 Up
1. Wrestle Kingdom 12 - The annual January 4th wrestling show from Japan was once again awesome. From top to bottom, the card delivered and set the bar extremely high for the rest of the industry to follow in 2018. 
2. Oprah Golden Globes Speech - It was interesting to watch Hollywood deal with the demons of their industry which were revealed this past year. At some point, some of the comments felt a bit forced, but Oprah in all of her Oprah-ish glory deliver the speech of the night calling for transformation and gender equality. She killed it, as Oprah does. 
3. Sterling K. Brown - Brown made history tonight becoming the first black actor to win lead actor drama category. On top of that, Brown's speech about intentional black characters being written for was authentic, and one that resonated greatly. 
3 Down
1. Cold Weather - Ummm, what is this weather? Why, why, why is it so cold? Not a fan. At. All. 
2. Steve Bannon vs. Donald Trump - Look, who cares? The Left grasping at t…

Wrestling's Next Big Era - Don't Insult Your Fan Base

I think we have found the new phase (and craze) in professional wrestling. And it's a simple one - in-ring wrestling. That sounds pretty obvious, but the product that New Japan Pro Wrestling is offering is now setting the tone of excellence within the industry, and this fan - a long time supporter of NJPW's style - is very invested. 
As stated in previous posts, 2017 was a rough year of pro wrestling, well again, for me it was. Most products here in the states felt blah - or just insulting. And quite frankly, that's the best part of NJPW - that it isn't insulting. It doesn't need to alienate it's fans with over-the-top presentations, or even, rehashing styles and philosophies from the past (ala Attitude Era, ECW, etc...) like the way some American fans attempt to do. Everything in New Japan just feels organic and dare I say - wrestling just feels fun once again. 
But for most pro wrestling fans, these thoughts and feelings aren't a surprise to read. NJPW i…

The Pondering 10 - Most Fascinating Things of 2017

As always, it's the end of the year, and around these parts, that means we reflect, award, and close the year with two signature posts, beginning with this one. Of course, the other being the traditional and biggest post of the year, the 12th Annual Dome Pondering Year in Review (look for it very soon!). 
With all of that said, I'll ponder on some of the most fascinating things to me in the crazy year that was 2017. And what a weird and crazy year it has been!

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/17/17

3 Up
1. Black Women in Alabama - First, thank you. You saved us all from witnessing another downfall from decent standards in America. And of course, I hope this movement continues to move forward as there are many black women, if unified and mobilized, and seriously change many things in this country of ours. 
2. Black Thought - Ok, so the 10 second freestyle this dude ripped off earlier this week was not only insanely talented, but he delivered some truth. Super impressive, you know, if you're into hip hop. 
3. Giancarlo Stanton - Giving the new Yankee the nod here for his honest thoughts in his Yankee introduction. Some may not like it, but I found it refreshing, especially when much of what he said is something all baseball fans are aware of. 
3 Down
1. 49% in Alabama - While the Alabama victory was nice to see, as I stated in my post regarding the Doug Jones win, who in the world are these people STILL voting for Roy Moore? It just shows you the mindset that is still out there…

How Did We Get Here?! - Thoughts on the Alabama Senate Race

It's amazing to me that we've come to a point in our nation where the elected senate seat of Alabama - yes, Alabama - hinges on the complete and utter bottoming out of our values. 
Alabama! Folks, in my best Allen Iverson impression - we're talking about Alabama! But here we all are, unified by the indecency and craziness that has occurred from Roy Moore, combined with the current reality (and penalty?) of what happens when we do not mobilize and take action for progress. Regardless, Doug Jones won the senate seat for Alabama. We can all exhale, at least for the next few days. 
Here are some quick thoughts on last night's senate race results:
VOTE AGAINST THE BAD GUY
Truthfully, I'm not overjoyed, but more so, relieved. It's truly an awkward place to be. Rather, it's a feeling based in a greater sense in validating an understanding of avoiding the worst rather than truly even knowing who Doug Jones is. I'm pretty sure many are in line with place of bein…

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/10/17

3 Up
1. Brian Cashman - Yes, I was one of those crazies that followed the breaking story of Stanton to the Yankees on Friday night into Saturday morning - until 4:00am to be exact. I still can't believe it's real. More so, can we give credit to Brian Cashman, who continues to prove doubters wrong in his wheeling and dealing? The rebuilding was one year, and well, that included being one win from the World Series. Just Crazy. 
2. Get Out - I finally got around to watching the Jordan Peele film, and it's absolutely amazing. So thought provoking in so many ways. A great film, and ironically, one that has me thinking about visiting the in-laws in a week or so. Just kidding...sort of. 
3. Supergirl - This girl is 16 and already can squat way more than I could. Such a crazy story, but an inspirational one. Definitely give it a read. 
3 Down
1. Roy Moore - "I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery..." SMH. Yet, we still hear…

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Get Out (2017)

What is it about?
A Young black men spends the weekend at his white girlfriend's parent's house. What happens next gives way to a thriller, but more so, a microcosm of race relations in society. 
Who is in it?
Allison Williams - Rose Armitage
Daniel Kaluuya - Chris Washington

Defending the NFL - I Just Don't Get It

Yes, I don't watch football. Well, not anymore. 
I've been completey sober for two years, not counting that one hiccup in watching the Super Bowl in February. 
So yeah, I'm not into football. I'm not particularly fond of the sport's connection to CTE issues, it's blatant obstruction or disregard for science expressing it's connection to football, nor its handling of various matters over the years. And that's even before Colin Kaepernick decided to shake the core of our nation's reality my simply dropping to a knee. 
I actually don't even care for the sport, really. The NFL is rather gross in all that it is, and has been for a long time. And for those touting college football and it's culture - excuse me. I was born, raised, and currently live in the North East. I have friends and colleagues in the South and across the country who revel in those sagas that exist only for and around Saturdays in the Fall. But, not even college football intere…

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 12/3/17

3 Up

1. "I'm Not Racist" - Even though music videos are no longer a thing, this one should be, and I'm glad it went viral. Rapper Joyner Lucas wins the week with his latest track, "I'm not racist", but even so, with his powerful music video for the track. Definitely a must watch - just be prepared for some language, but mostly, some truth.

2. Shohei Otani - Look, he may have spurned my Yankees today, but the courting process has been super interesting. There is something to be said about this backwards process, and of course, Ohtani who knows exactly what he wants in this process. Also, much props to the guy on giving up the millions he is in this process too.

3. Royal Family - I'm not one for this stuff, but I do think the idea of Mehgan Markle breaking down barriers, or in the very least, really making things less white, less classist, and less typical of the royal-culture. It's actually pretty cool.

3 Down

1. North Korea Missile - The idea tha…

Lauer's Awful; NBC News Not Without Blame

Why am I not surprised? This may come as a shock, but I've always found Matt Lauer to be a bit smug. I'm not sure what it was - maybe it was the tea leaves that could be read during the whole Ann Curry debacle - but the guy never emitted good vibes for me. And to be honest, I always found it rather questionable the amount of money ($20M per year!) he was being paid to anchor the TODAY show. 
But really, what makes this all so hard and to take and comprehend are the details in the aftermath of it all. More so, the amount of damaging signs that were so incredibly available and known to those within NBC News. We've all read and heard the despicable actions that Lauer committed and imparted on the culture at NBC, but I've found it hard to believe that no one knew. 
I understand that work cultures are difficult and dynamic, and often, the power of communication and politics is a vicious system to break. Especially when your job and career are at stake - and indirectly, you…