Friday, February 27, 2015

Josh Hamilton's Recent Relapse Great Lesson in Human Vulnerability


It's tough to read and hear about the recent speed bump which came up in Josh Hamilton's life. It is no secret that the naturally gifted slugger has had his fair share of battles with substance abuse in the past, and continues to struggle to keep his life free of the addiction. Especially, when one considers how truly talented and gifted he is as a baseball player, the issue which continues to plague his life adds to the overall sorrow and sympathy from fans and others for Hamilton and his family. 

Since the news that Hamilton suffered a relapse in his sobriety, one that is said to be very dangerous and a very big deal, many have reflected on Hamilton, his career, our society's outlook on those dealing with substance abuse, and how we treat, support, view, and deal with them. Some as close as his friends, are looking at the slugger's recent situation and calling for Hamilton to retire in order to save his life. 

Forget baseball, his contract, his upcoming suspension, and anything related to his professional life. Those who are focusing in on this and attempting to dissect the Angels' decision to give him his current mega contract based on this is being ridiculous. Not the time.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Dome Pondering Movie Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

What is it about? 

An Indian family settles in France where they open up a restaurant across the street from a well-known and upper-class restaurant. What began as a bitter feud spurred the realization of a dream for all included. 

Who is in it? 

Helen Mirren - Madame Mallory 

Om Puri - Papa

Manish Dayal - Hassan

Charlotte Le Bon - Marguerite

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/22/15

3 Up

1. Cornerstone University - After what started out as an idea, the Cornerstone University new baseball field has dorms built into the stadium allowing their players to literally live at the baseball field. This my friends, is so, so, so, so awesome! I hope many other smaller school follow this trend. 

2. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao - Well, we can gripe about this being too late and that how the sport of boxing treats it's fans, but we'll just be happy this gets done. It'll be the highest grossing boxing event ever. And it should be intriguing. I'm also calling it now, we'll probably get a rematch somewhere down the line. 

3. Customized NFL Helmets - I'm such a sucker for sport uniforms and equipment. These latest customized helmets done by Deeyung Entertainment are pretty interesting. Not a fan of all of them, but many of them are really cool. 

3 Down

1. New York Knicks/Carmelo Anthony - What a mess! From having your franchise player play in the all-star game when he needs surgery, to delaying said surgery until it affects your next season, the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony are a complete and utter mess. And oh yeah, the team's on-the-court product stinks. I can't honestly say the last time I've watched a game. 

2. Sterling Gibbs - I know kid do stupid things at times, but the elbow Gibbs threw was uncalled for and unnecessary. 

3. Anderson Silva - Silva, once heralded as a prized fighter, now busted for PEDs. The issue is becoming a growing problem for MMA, and you have to wonder, how many other sports that haven't been as strict as baseball currently have, or will have, the same problem. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Gone Girl (2014)

What is it about? 

When his wife disappears, the situations goes public and then becomes an issue for a man when the spotlight is turned on him as his innocence is questioned. 

Who is in it? 

Ben Affleck - Nick Dunne

Rosamund Pike - Amy dunne

Neil Patrick Harris - Desi Collins

Tyler Perry - Tanner Bolt

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A-Rod's Apology Full of Nice Penmanship and Emptiness


I have to say, it wasn't the same without good ol' Alex Rodriguez in the fold of things. Sure, it worked out that A-Rod had to take his suspension while Derek Jeter got his sendoff from the game without any controversial distractions, but that is all over with. For some, the Yankees weren't looking like the Yankees heading into 2015 without the stars and stories that usually surrounds them. 

But ahhhhh, my man, A-Rod, back to save the day and to give us all what he provides best - controversy. It's no secret I consider Rodriguez to be the most interesting and fascinating athlete ever in my lifetime. There is a reason the man is in the DP Page of Fame. Quite honestly, the only fame-anything he may ever be a part of. 

So what's the deal with this apology?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stoudemire's Knicks Legacy: Disappointing, Unfulfilled, & Expected...But Much Respect


Five years ago, Amar'e Stoudemire signed a huge 5 year, $100M contract, allowing Knicks fans to exhale a little bit in their hunger to walk away with anything during the prized free agent class of 2010. You know, the year this sorry organization that I gave my heart too, pretty much forfeited two years of basketball prior to that summer in another misguided attempt to rebuild.

As I stated on this very blog the day we signed Stoudemire, I wasn't overly thrilled with the signing, due to the obvious warning signs. In fact here is what I stated: 

"And although he is not the acquisition every Knick fan wants, and although I originally did not warm to the idea of acquiring Stoudemire when it was first rumored, today I am excited – very excited. 
Albeit, I will admit, I am worried about his knee. I am worried about his interior defense and rebound production. And yes, I will definitely miss the one shining light in a dark era that was David Lee. However, the one sole reason I have warmed to Stoudemire as a Knick is simple – he wants to be on the big stage. He wants to be here. He wants a piece of this great city of New York." ("The Knicks Are Back")

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dome Pondering Celebrates 1200


Another round of posts. Another hundred clicks of that "publish" button. Another set of words yours truly delivered on various topics. Looking back on the last hundred posts, here are my favorites of them all. Enjoy!

Top Five Post of Over Last 100

1. The Struggle Back to Dependence - 9/5/14

2. Craziness is Like Heaven - Three Years of Marriage - 9/24/14

3. So Sad, So Damn Sad: Quick Thoughts on Mike Brown/Ferguson Situation - 8/15/14

4. So Sad, So Damn Sad II: Quick Thoughts on Mike Brown/Ferguson Situation - 9/26/14

5. Pondering with Plumtree: Having Fun: Pondering From #TNANYC 1/7 & 1/9 Tapings - 1/9/15

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/16/15

3 Up

1. Walking Commuter - James Robertson who walked 21 miles each way on his daily commute to work to earn a living, received a car from a local dealership. Reading Robertson's story is amazing and reassures you the hard work some put into their daily lives. 

2. Zach Lavine - After years of duds, Zach Lavine brought the dunk contest alive with some athletic and spectacular dunks that left us all in awe. Lavine did it all with ease, which was even more impressive. 

3. Suits - I don't watch much television, but Suits is a personal favorite of mine. The show has tremendous acting, with even better writing. Big fan. Big, big fan. Recently got around to the latest season and already anxious for more. 

3 Down

1. Jackie Robinson West Situation - I touched on this earlier this week, but this whole situation regarding the Jackie Robinson West Little League team just flat out stinks. Such a shame to see the efforts of these kids, at no fault of their own, completely tarnished. 

2. Brian Williams - In an age where respecting the news and how we receive it becomes less and less credible, it is released that Williams fabricated and embellished stories in the past during his broadcasts. 

3. Kenny Smith Commentary - I actually like Kenny Smith's analysis when he is in studio, as he is a part of my favorite studio panel in sports, Inside the NBA. However, Smith has a knack for trying to over do it whenever in a public setting. His commentary, which was also aired in-house, was absolutely atrocious. It really was. At one point, he challenged Chris Berman for worst All-Star Game personality. He was trying too hard, and it very much hurt a lot of the broadcast. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Everyone Loses in Disqualification of Jackie Robinson West


Although I work in the field of sports and recreation, and the expansion of said field is due to the burst of interest and overall growth of sports in our culture which very much supports my career, I am deeply saddened to learn what has become of the Little League team from Chicago - Jackie Robinson West.

It's quite easy to really jump on what is clearly the obvious in this situation - that adults ruin youth sports. And it's very true. From the overbearing parents, the loud, obnoxious coaches who aren't qualified to instruct the game but simply mimic the over-aggressive stereotype they see on television, or even yes, the outlets who place an unlikely and unnecessary burden on children at such a young age, it all can be very tough to watch from afar. Kids aren't kids anymore too often in youth sports. It's no longer 100% recreation. 

With that said, one of the greatest sports stories of 2014 is now considered a controversy, and really, a sham because of a rival local coach who blew the whistle (shame on you, sir), Jackie Robinson West directors and officials who submitted a false zoning grid to Little League Baseball (shame on all of you!), and of course, everyone else involved in covering, exposing AND now exploiting all of it.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/8/14

3 Up 

1. Saved by the Bell Reunion on Jimmy Fallon - I was never a big fan of Saved by the Bell. In fact, the show bothers me a bit. However, the reunion and skit Jimmy Fallon executed on his show was funny, entertaining, and very well done. Kudos to all involved. 

2. Grammy Awards - Most years, the Grammys, at least to me, are bothersome. However, this year's edition provided many performances from a good mix and array of artists. A very entertaining show which cut out the attempt at comedy fluff, and gave music fans what we love, music. Also, congrats to Sam Smith who cleaned up as expected. 

3. Jalen Reynolds Dunk - This dunk was pretty sweet. I really feel sorry for the poor guy attempting to defend this and had no idea what was going on. 

3 Down

1. ISIS - These sure do know how to remain evil. The terrorist group now has issues with Jordan, among the long list of countries, and are now resorting to other forms of torture and execution for prisoners. 

2. Warren Sapp - I've never been a fan of Sapp. Great football player, but as a person the guys is a class A jerk. Over Super Bowl weekend, Sapp was arrested for soliciting prostitution and terminated from his duties for the NFL Network. 

3. North Korea - Not only did they issue a threat towards the United States of "final doom", but have recently fired test missiles. Evil continues on...

1 What the Heck?

1. High School Final Score - How a final score of a High School game can end 2-0, and the only basket was sore in the first fifteen seconds is beyond me. Who watched this game? Who played? Who coached? What the heck? Who officiated this game? 

Friday, February 06, 2015

Syracuse "Self-Imposed Ban" is Disingenuous


Disingenuous is the only word that comes to mind whenever I think about the recent "Self-imposed ban" by the Syracuse University Athletics department. Even as a member and a professional employee of the NCAA umbrella, it's the kind of situation that bothers me so much about the NCAA, and some collegiate sports specifically, basketball and football. The schools which do very little to educate or prepare it's student-athletes on the merits of the program while cheating and breaking the rules of the governing body it is under. 

I'll try not to get on my soap box on this one, but let's be honest, there are a lot of schools out there who break the NCAA rules, not just Syracuse. I'm not naive. However, in respect to the many friends and family I have in the Central New York area who love SU Athletics - and they should - the University's conduct in these findings are gross, negligible, and outright disrespectful to their fans and community.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 2/1/15

3 Up

1. Super Bowl 49 - After a complete dud last year, this year's edition of the "Big Game" gave us quite the game with an ending (more on that in a bit) that gave us enough controversy to offer a riveting finish. 

2. Sarena Williams - Another Australian Open, another Major Title Win. Her 19th, and Sarena continues to win, win, win, and win. One of the greatest athletes of my lifetime. 

3. Bottom Line Scroll - This one was recommended by the tag team partner - here is a pretty funny video of a little boy who was attempting to stop the bottom line scroll on the television. 


3 Down

1. Pete Carroll - Pretty obvious, right? Who OK'ed a pass play on the goal line? Why don't you use Marshawn Lynch? That pass was probably the worst play call I've ever seen in a big game in my lifetime. 

2. Failed Teacher - Another blackeye on our education system, especially here in New York City. A teacher who has had low evaluation ratings and has had failing students for six consecutive years, will keep her job and her lofty $84, 500 salary. Ugh. Our country needs true education reform. 

3. Snowstorm Critics - Those of us here in NYC lucked out after Juno didn't pack as much as anticipated. However, those who decided to criticize weather forecasters, meteorologists, and city officials are just ignorant. You got a day off, and safety precautions were taken. Chill out.