Ohio v. Buffalo: Reaction

Yesterday, I covered Ohio baseball’s win over Buffalo.

I enjoy covering baseball at Bob Wren Stadium. It’s a fun and lighthearted atmosphere for warm summer nights like something you would see out of a Chevrolet commercial.

The open-air press box is great for enjoying the baseball atmosphere while still being able to do the job right. However, as I am learning this morning, open-air press boxes may not be my best friend in the near future as we dive headfirst into allergy season.

I hope they’re keeping my seat warm at the Convo.

Warm regards,

–BP

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Are we really still booing LeBron?

Are we really still booing LeBron James? Really?

I guess I don’t get it. Just a few minutes into Thursday’s Heat v. Bulls game, Chicago fans booed LeBron each time he touched the ball.

I can’t believe fans aren’t over that yet. Why boo him? What did he do that hundreds maybe thousands of other NBA basketball players have done in the past?

He left Cleveland for Miami. Get over it.

What is being accomplished by hating LeBron? Does it make people feel that much better?

What people are doing by being anti-LeBron is missing out on one of the best players the NBA has ever seen. You don’t have to be his number one fan, but at least appreciate what the man does. He’s provided us with the spectacle of great basketball and he has an amazing story.

All but maybe 25 percent of NBA fans are taking that gift and crushing it into the dust. Why?

What’s wrong with LeBron having confidence? Swagger? The will to win? What’s wrong?

The bottom line is LeBron James is a great basketball player and a joy to watch. Why spoil it by booing him? Let’s watch and let’s enjoy.

Suits!

Because who doesn’t love wearing a suit, right?

This suit is my one and only. My mother and I bought it off the rack and it needs tailored, but it’s the suit that counts.

I wore this because I was conducting an interview for a story this morning. I was on the reporting trail, but I’m inspired to wear my suit more often.

People respect a suit. Even if yours doesn’t fit properly like mine, wearing a suit shows you mean business.

Show that you mean business. Wear a suit. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

I also wrote this weekend. I fell back a couple more days, but I did write on Sunday. I covered the Ohio v. Northern Illinois baseball game and you can see that story here.

More posts are a’coming. I do plan to catch up to my 365-day blogging challenge. Stay patient.

Peace be with you,

–BP

Athens Half Empty (or Half Full?)

I thought this picture was interesting. A place typically busy and bustling makes for fun photos when deserted like this. For those who don’t go to Ohio University, this was taken from atop the Baker University Center (with my ancient cellphone), a place with typically high traffic. However, with so many students gone for Easter weekend, the town of Athens was left fairly empty. It’s not often you get a chance to see such busy places like this completely empty, so I thought it appropriate to capture the moment.

Peace be with you,

–BP

What happened to Kanye West?

My, oh my how the tides have changed in just a year and a half for Kanye West. It appears the quality of music for Mr. West has taken a dramatic turn for the worst.

In November of 2010, I’d be the first to tell you that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a genius production by West. That album had so much color and depth to the songs that sent listeners into the type of fantasy the title states. It was twisted and dark, but it was definitely beautiful. I think the movie Runaway added to that. It brought a distinct imagery to the lyrics that I think of each time I listen to the album. I think about that story of dark times, love, hate, betrayal, desire and conflict.

But now, after listening to West’s latest releases off his G.O.O.D. Music label, “Theraflu” and “Mercy,” and looking at what Watch the Throne had to offer, I think West maybe nuzzling up to the Billboard bigwigs atop the pop charts.

As I said, Fantasy was brilliant. For the most part, Watch the Throne was good. I think Jay-Z carried that album lyrically, but West’s beats were very well done. Outside of “New Day,” West didn’t have much to offer as far as lyrics are concerned, leaning more toward the Lil Wayne style of money, cash, hoes.

That said, these most recent tracks are woeful. Woeful.

As soon as I heard D.J. Khaled with his signature Alvin-and-the-Chipmunks-like screaming, I knew that “Theraflu” wouldn’t have much to offer. There is no depth to West’s lyrics and the beat sounds like the annoying drone of combined ancient cellphone ringtones.

“Mercy” is clearly trying to expand off the success of “Paris” off Watch the Throne by the sound of its beat. On top of the club-like beat it adds a Mike Jones “Back Then” voice combined with high-pitched senseless babble to the chorus making for an extraordinarily annoying refrain. Again, there is no depth to the lyrics of this song.

The featured artists on the track don’t add anything either. Big Sean hasn’t gotten any better after the minor train wreck that was Finally Famous. Pusha-T is not living up to his potential he displayed in “Runaway.” And 2 Chainz is, well…2 Chainz.

What has been lost in these songs are the stories. Stories make the song worth listening. A catchy beat only goes so far before it gets annoying. Lyrics stay with people because they relate to the emotion. Tell me who hasn’t posted (or thought of posting) song lyrics as a facebook status or in a tweet to illustrate their feelings.

What are the people supposed to take away from songs like “Theraflu” and “Mercy”? Tell me.

Maybe I’m just being stuck in my ways as a traditionalist hip-hop connoisseur, but I miss the old Kanye West. What happened to this?

And this?

I miss when Kanye was the up-and-coming star, putting out tracks with meaning, feeling and emotion. I hope we’re not looking back in a few years thinking: What happened to Kanye West?

Fishing for Fashion: Gunmetal

Gunmetal cufflinks

Men often forget what a great accessory cufflinks can be. A good pair of cufflinks replaces the dim and drab buttons that come stock with a standard cuffed shirt.

A French cuff shirt with cufflinks is easy and allows for a more personalized look for the everyday. Buy one pair to start and then you can start to branch out.

I got this pair in high school for a dance or something and they continue to be one of my favorite things to wear. The gunmetal goes well with almost any shirt/tie combination.

Cufflinks are subtly stunning like a woman’s earrings. Most of the time you don’t see them, but when the light twinkles off them for a quick moment, people notice.

Nike NFL: Where tradition meets excellence

The Seattle Seahawks unveiled their new uniforms for 2012 on Tuesday.

Many traditional fans were flipping their lids the past couple of years leading up to Tuesday’s launch of Nike’s NFL gear. When photos of NFL uniform “prototypes” were “leaked” last year, people were fearing for their favorite football team’s traditions.

Turns out, those images were just the work of some creative design expert who gets a kick out of scaring the NFL’s traditionalists out of their wits.

Tuesday’s reveal left many resting easy, showing no major aesthetic changes in the NFL uniforms with the exception of the Seattle Seahawks who unveiled an entirely new kit (whoops…wrong football).

However, the Nike’s devoted fan club was left waiting for something more.

Some of the NFL jerseys clearly could not be messed with, simply because of the tradition that surrounds them. Teams such as the Steelers, Packers, Raiders and Browns have too much history in their uniforms to make any major changes.

On the other hand, there are teams in the NFL such as the Bengals, Panthers, Eagles, Chargers and Buccaneers who could have made extreme changes to their uniforms to please the Nike contingent.

I don’t think Nike made the right move. Coming from a fan of the company’s work in NCAA football and basketball, there is a lot left to be desired with the unveiling of the new uniforms.

Images similar to this "leaked" last year revealing fake Nike prototypes for the 2012 NFL collection.

Yes, the technology is unprecedented. What Nike has done in the area of performance apparel is unmatched and that part of the new uniforms is what I enjoy. But Nike’s most recent success, or at least a hefty amount of attention, has come from the appearance of the uniforms themselves. The creativity behind the aesthetics of the Nike Pro Combat uniforms keeps people talking, at the very least.

I don’t think it’s in Nike’s best interest to make an underwhelming jump back into the NFL. Many people probably didn’t even know the switch was happening. Now that it has happened, people would expect to see a lot of what Nike does best as far as aesthetics are concerned. Nike didn’t exactly burst onto the NFL scene as I expected, but rather crept into the back door and quietly took a seat.

Nike is too daring to have the NFL stay stagnant. I predict NFL teams will unveil alternate uniforms, much like they did in the NCAA, later into the season. Nike must have been doing what it could not to send longtime fans into cardiac arrest at the sight of their wild uniforms. But, like I said, I don’t think Nike cannot stay this conservative for too long.

For now, Nike fans will live with the satisfaction of knowing that the folks behind the Swoosh are bringing all-new technology to the NFL. The Nike contingent can take solace in that, as history has told us, Phil Knight always has something up his sleeve.