On the Collusion of NFL teams against Colin Kaepernick

On the Collusion of NFL teams against Colin Kaepernick
M.D. Wright

You overly dense people grind my gears.

Incapable of nuance.



Can’t ever stay on topic.

Always looking to deviate from the main subject when it is “too uncomfortable” for you to want to discuss.

This Colin Kaepernick situation annoys me to no end. Fans will defend their team employing guys who have literally killed another human being, severely beaten women, and committed other violent crime, but will attempt to lump Kaepernick’s RIGHT to protest and object to social injustice (while being labeled “Anti-American — when the very thing he’s PROTESTING AND OBJECTING TO is Anti-American in and of itself!) as “bad, distracting behavior.”

You’ll support a rapist, a murderer, a serial abuser, but as soon as someone comes through to speak on something that upsets the status quo, you’re up in arms about it?

And then to support the clear, league-wide collusion taking place?

One-third of these teams’ STARTING quarterbacks aren’t better than Kaepernick. Never mind none of the backups, outside of maybe one or two even being half as good or equally as good. That man carried the least-talented team in the NFL for most of the season. No defense, busted up running backs and a bunch of #3 WRs and still put up better numbers, by measure, than guys like Goff, RG3, the $72 Million dollar (!!!) man, Kessler, arguably Bortles, and WHOEVER suited up for the Jets last year.

Cowards who try to put words in the mouths of the military, who have collectively and repeatedly stated that they stand by Kaepernick’s right to protest and kneel (though he said he would not do either going forward, as he has clearly made his point) are of the same cloth as the aforementioned. “He’s offending the troops!” They say. The troops, “I may not necessarily agree with some of his methods, but he has the right, and I support it” (general response).

These people want him to be “Anti-American” so badly, but the bottom line, the antics of these savage, rogue police officers and others who perpetuate and mete out incongruent “enforcement” are the ones who are, at the core, ANTI-AMERICAN by violating the rights of citizens and crossing over from enforcement to judiciary on the spot.

If you can take down everyone else — including those who have rifles and other weapons aimed at you during a standoff, WITHOUT killing THEM — you can surely take down someone unarmed (and we do not mean the phantom cell phone or the wallet you instructed them to reach for, and claiming “I feared for my life”) Black person without incident.

But people don’t even want to admit that these types of disparate scenarios are problematic, so what are we even doing?

Fan response here locally in Maryland to the Ravens (a team that has employed a man who was an accessory to murder, a violent domestic abuser, and a man who has killed a pedestrian with his car) is laughable at best. Even Joe Flacco spoke glowingly about Kaepernick, and these smegma-brained, crab-cake guzzling bozos blew right through Flacco’s endorsement, just to fulminate and perorate all this DRECK I’ve heard from them locally over the past few days.

All over the mere MENTION of CONSIDERING Kaepernick as a backup.

I’d say the same for Michael Vick and the Virginia Tech honors that are upcoming, but he brought that on himself and I don’t support him until he stops licking boots.


On #BlackWomensEqualPay

On #BlackWomensEqualPay
M.D. Wright

I’m not big on feminism, because much of what we see today has broken away from logical rhetoric and gone to the extreme. The absurd.

But I have always been about equality. And I don’t mean pithy nonsense where double standards are frowned upon except when beneficial to a certain group.

The #BlackWomenEqualPay thing is one of those things. It is a nuanced and multi-layered issue that cannot be addressed in superficial, black and white terms. If your IQ is lower than your heartbeats per minute, you should not wade into the discussion at all, as there are a multitude of social, economic, cultural and institutional factors that have to be addressed in order to bring this to fruition (not that this deters the many morons on Twitter and other outlets).

The disparities in pay between men and women in general have been an issue for as long as all of us who live and breathe today have been alive. There’s no denying that. It is a problem that should have never been.

We can’t go back and undo the past where women were barred from the general workplace, and then only (begrudgingly) allowed in due to the expansion of Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity.

Side Note: I have always said, if you must enact legislation to get an employer to act a certain way that they would erstwhile NOT, you are almost going to see just as much inequality in its enactment, and still put those who you supposedly seek to “aid” at a competitive disadvantage. And we still see this today in 2017.

White women, on the whole, have experienced some gains in the workplace, and increases in pay. It’s still not even 80 cents on the dollar for their (White, and sometimes Asian) male counterparts, but it is a long way from what it was in 1970.

Black women, the group with the greatest increases of the college-educated and gainfully employed, don’t even earn the 80 cents on the dollar of White (and again, sometimes Asian) male counterparts. For years, Black men (in the same occupations) made more than Black women. Black men — those who haven’t been systematically barred from anything non entry-level — still earn more for the same jobs that Black women do. This is an obvious problem. The rectification isn’t so simple, because it involves a group surrendering or forfeiting the gobs of income they receive (often on the backs of those who do real work for substandard pay) in order to make the pay floor equal.

Moreover, since the immediately aforementioned ain’t happening anytime soon, another dynamic has emerged: Black men — particularly those who possess a wealth of professional experience and academic superiority — are viewed as “threatening” and are constantly phased out of the marketplace. Masters, Doctorates, top certifications, you name it. Outside of government agencies, you are seeing fewer Black men in roles that aren’t fully subordinate in every facet. Instead of paying Black women more, Black men just get relegated to substandard occupations — often far below what is commensurate with both their previous occupations, and what their professional and academic portfolio would dictate — or not be hired at all.

Those who earn more than their counterparts who only earn 80 cents (or less) on the dollar for the same work are least affected, but in exchange for Black men being marginalized, more Black women have been hired in more prominent roles in the past 15 years. It is congruent, because more Black women have completed Bachelors and Masters degrees in that timeframe than at any other time prior.

What this produces is another spur dynamic that creates tension among Black men (who still support equal pay for Black women) and some Black women (not all) who use the aforementioned dynamic to assert certain attitudes (we’re not delving into this too deeply here, because this is an entirely different subject altogether) when they are in positions where they serve as gatekeepers of sorts when Black men are seeking to reenter the workplace. Excluding the incarcerated, no-good types with no education or ambition and solely focusing on the group of Black men who have been sacrificed so that Black women could be fairly treated in the workplace (instead of others giving up their already undeserved and exorbitant compensation to make equal pay for White women, Black women AND Black men), you now have a dynamic where there are people who are sidelined, who can do most people’s jobs in their sleep under the influence of quaaludes, while those who have the jobs either door mediocre work in them, take them for granted, complain incessantly about the job (while doing nothing to deserve promotion), get compensated out of balance compared to those who do the job at a superior rate — aided by a sure belief that they must work 10 times as hard to get just as far (i.e. Black women, and the few Black men that are “tolerated” and not relegated to the sidelines) — and it just begets a vicious cycle.

Another Side Note:
Black women need to realize that with all the feminist propaganda you see and hear, your concerns are not included. They may be incidentally addressed, but if you think for one minute that the unique concerns of Black women are addressed in mainstream feminism, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s more likely to be one of them Metro-North trains that derails once every six months and not the promised oasis that you’ve been sold on for so long.

Don’t really want to hear about people’s outlier and small-frame anecdotal situations which MIGHT be contrary to this, these are merely generalities; meaning they are more often true than not.

Thank you.

On the Yanks Acquiring Sonny Gray…

On the Yanks Acquiring Sonny Gray…
M.D. Wright

Didn’t want to have to give up Mateo, but we have a glut in the outfield for YEARS to come (and Yanks fans are STILL — albeit delusional — clamoring for Trout AND Harper; FWIW, I think the latter will be here this time next year or next winter, Trout? Probably never), but they only gave up Fowler and Kaprielian to get Sonny Gray. Not too bad, honestly.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have done this, but getting Clint and the emergence of Judge and Hicks has made losing Mateo an easier pill to swallow.

You can’t count on guys who have yet to play in the majors to come back from two respectively MAJOR injuries. If Fowler and Kaprielian were healthy, no way Cashman does this.

Issa Rae, In All Her Splendor, Got Me Thinking…

Issa Rae, In All Her Splendor, Got Me Thinking…
M.D. Wright
Issa Rae is GORGEOUS.
Her interview on the Breakfast Club this morning got me to thinking, though. She’s one of those rare frankly honest women who doesn’t sugarcoat her past and present actions, or attempt to justify them with some garbage that insults everyone’s intelligence. I respect that. But while she didn’t express the following (my thoughts, the following) about herself, it sparked a thought about what I have observed from so many women nowadays.
So many “talk” about wanting to get married. Yet, their actions don’t align with such. The so-called “hoe phase” (many people have one, that phase lasts longer for some than others, always by choice, I might add), is one thing, but if you spend 12-15 years after high school living like that, while telling the world that you want to get married, what are you doing?
Sure, there are men who don’t care about your past (yours truly, one of them — as long as it IS your PAST, and not your PRESENT, lest we have zero FUTURE), and there are men who either don’t want kids at all, or already have them and want no more, but if you get with a man who wants kids, and you didn’t stop “hoeing” around until you were 34, 35, what are you doing?
I couldn’t care less how someone lives their life. If it doesn’t directly affect me and I’m not being violated in the process, I got no hell to send you to, and have nothing to gain by harshly judging you. However, if your actions are disparate with your stated objectives, you are going to get looked at side-eyed more so for that, than the mere fact that you are in a “hoe phase.” You don’t have that much more time to bear children once you hit your mid-30s. Who is that fair to?
And the others nowadays, who also profess a desire to marry, effectively selling (expletive) to the highest bidder. They say that, but will ignore the type of men who actually will provide that for them. They go and force something to work with someone who they perceive to be “stable” and have everything in order (before they, the woman, even come into the picture… which is objectionable to the nth degree, but I digress), and don’t dare call them out on this. Worst yet, all the stringent “standards” go out the window when they meet a man who is “ready-made” versus the ridiculous standards that they set (and don’t even meet THEMSELVES) for guys who aren’t “there” yet.
The issue with this is such:
You who think this way are averse to going through anything. You made bad decisions with men before, and now shut down anyone who remotely reminds you of those bad decisions. That’s not how life goes. First off, money comes and goes. Fortunes turn. Seasons change. Trials and tribulations are inevitable. When you go exclusively for guys who you PERCEIVE to be “ready-made” and “got it all together,” what is your course of action if (and often when) trials befall him — and by extension, YOU — are you just going to up and leave and hitch your wagon to the next gravy train of ready-madeness or are you going to realize that you’ve been going about it the wrong way all along?
But what do I know, it’s not like i don’t understand human psychology and sociology on an expert level or anything.

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Prospectus: Nashville Predators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Prospectus: Nashville Predators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
M.D. Wright

The Cup will be in the building either in PPG Paints Arena or Bridgestone Arena. We will conclude what has been one of the more exciting — if not surprising in many ways — seasons in recent memory in the NHL. Will it be the champions from 2016, in the Pittsburgh Penguins, or the first-time Stanley Cup Final visitors, the Nashville Predators?

Let’s get right to it.

You know what you are going to get from the Pens offensively. Sidney Crosby can play on a line with anyone; whether it be Connor Sheary, Jake Guentzel, even a slug like Chris Kunitz, who scored two goals (including the series-clinching goal vs. Ottawa in the Eastern Conference Finals) and be productive. The same goes for Evgeni Malkin, whose line mates are juggled quite often (although Phil Kessel is a constant). The “HBK” line was not going to sneak up on anyone like last year, and Kessel has skated more with Malkin than Nick Bonino and Carl Hagelin — who missed a good chunk of the final month of the regular season and first half of the playoffs.

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The fourth line of cagey veteran Matt Cullen, Bryan Rust and whoever Mike Sullivan believes best suits that line on a given night (albeit mostly due to massive injuries) rounds out the forward group.

What you don’t know is what you will get from the Pens defence. It has been mediocre at best, to downright ghastly at its worst at times in every series thus far. It bled shots against Columbus (who simply could not finish, as they got no puck luck and Marc-Andre Fleury was just as lucky as he was good all series), it bled even more shots for all seven games against Washington and somehow Fleury’s combination of being good and extremely lucky resulted in an odd number of posts, crossbars and guys missing point blank shots. Against Ottawa, the Sens were smothered as Sullivan went to a heavy forechecking/relentless pressure approach as the series wore on. It took its toll on the Sens, who blew a golden opportunity to put a stranglehold on the series and eventually ran out of gas in double overtime in Game 7.

They have to be better against Nashville, whose defence runs circles around the Pens’ in all three zones (particularly when the Preds play a 1-3-1 neutral zone trap, which they are sometimes wont to do). Are the Pens blue liners capable of being better in a series where time and space will be at more of a premium than any of their previous series thus far in the playoffs? They better be, for the Pens’ sake.

Who will start for the Pens? Mike Sullivan loves to employ gamesmanship, and probably won’t announce his starter until game day. It will almost certainly be Matt Murray, though.

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Murray has been solid for the most part since taken over Marc-Andre Fleury, who had a nightmare midway through the conference finals. It was bound to happen for “MAF.” He had a pedestrian-to-almost bad regular season statistically, and somehow stood on his head all playoffs until that point. Murray backstopped the Pens last year during their playoff run, and there is a level of comfort the Pens seem to have with Murray in goal. He won’t have it easy against the pound-pound-pound Preds; the type of approach that has made Murray look bad in losses and shaky even when he did not surrender shots that were “labeled” to find the back of the net — like the end of Game 4, where the Sens were relentlessly peppering Murray with shots and simply ran out of time late — which will be what he will be up against with his defence bleeding shots in front of him. He will have to stand on his head again like last playoffs in order for the Pens to hoist the Cup once more.

The Preds took three major blows to their forward group during these playoffs. First, they lost speedy winger Kevin Fiala in the conference semifinals against St. Louis in what was a freak collision into the end boards. A broken leg resulted. Though the Preds won the series, it tested their depth to a degree against the Ducks. Later in the Ducks series, centre Mike Fisher suffered what many believed to be a concussion during a collision with Ducks defenceman Josh Manson, who looked like a second-baseman turning a double play with a baserunner bearing down to break up the play; kneeing Fisher in the head as he leaped over a pile of bodies in a desperate attempt to clear the puck in front of John Gibson. A tough break for the Preds, who still overcame Fisher’s absence to win the series.

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The injury that causes some questions where there would erstwhile be few heading into this series is the one suffered by Ryan Johansen. Johansen took (and dished out just as much of) a beating while matched up with Ducks centre Ryan Kesler for the most part in the conference semis. However, it was a rather innocuous knee to Johansen’s upper leg which led to compartment syndrome — necessitating emergency surgery and thereby ending his season — that actually did him in.

Fisher is likely to play when the Final begins, and Colton Sissons — who helped seal the series versus Anaheim with a hat trick, and played top line minutes in that Game 6 — will be ready. Youngster Frederick Gaudreau has stepped in admirably to help down the middle. The Preds still have plenty of forward depth, and Craig Smith should also be available for the series, as well. Despite the craftiness and sly tactics of Crosby and Malkin, the Preds are not at a decided disadvantage down the middle or on the wings.

Filip Forsberg was dominant against Anaheim. Guentzel, who is tied with the Ducks’ Jakob Silfverberg in playoff goals with nine, has tailed off since the conference semis. In fact, he was barely visible for much of the series against Ottawa. For all that Guentzel did versus Columbus and Washington, Forsberg did just as much as Guentzel had in the first two rounds in the back end of the St. Louis series and throughout the Anaheim series alone, following his typical slow start in playoffs. Viktor Arvidsson will have more room to operate against the leaky Pens D, as well.

Smith, Colin Wilson, a mixture of Harry Zolnierczyk/P.A. Parenteau and Austin Watson are good depth players who do the dirty work in each zone. The keys to this series for the Preds up front will be the play of Forsberg, Arvidsson, former Pens winger James Neal and the aforementioned centres. If the Preds can hold serve on draws, they will be in good position.

The Preds boast the best defence in the NHL. We said the Capitals did during the regular season, and metrics backed that up, but the Caps D went to mush immediately once the playoffs began. The Preds shut down, shut out and swept the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, stifled the Blues (Preds are 7-0 went leading after the 2nd period in these playoffs; while employing a mixture of pressure and neutral zone tactics), and matched the nastiness that the Ducks are known for with their own brand of physical hockey, while displaying skill at key moments. This was something that the Ducks could not match; despite a decided advantage down the middle with all-world Ryan Getzlaf and Kesler on the last change in the home games (Ducks had home ice advantage). Kesler turned into a fourth line-type player and left his offence at home, which is where he is today as a result.

The Preds won’t get any shifts off against Crosby, Malkin, Bonino or Cullen’s lines, but they are the team best equipped to slow down the Pens, while generating offence of their own.

The first pairing of Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis combine speed, skill, coverage and high hockey IQ to limit opponents shots on goal, while generating a great deal of offence themselves. Josi serves as both the quarterback for the first power play unit and a sniper on his off hand side, as well. It will be intriguing to watch this pairing face Crosby (mostly) and Malkin (occasionally).

Also facing those two lines, and occasionally the Bonino line (barring last changes by Sullivan in the Pens’ home games), Mattias Ekholm — who has been stellar by every metric these playoffs — and the electric P.K. Subban contribute the same qualities that Josi and Ellis provide, but are bigger and more physical, as well. Ekholm is 6’4″ 215, and Subban is 6′ 215. The Pens, when they do manage the neutral zone, will still have a time against this pairing. Matt Irwin and Yannick Weber have been a steady third pair that doesn’t “beat” their team.

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Pekka Rinne has been the best goalie in these playoffs. He will need to maintain that level of play for the Preds, because the Pens are sneaky in the offensive zone. Rinne, when he did surrender goals against the Ducks, did so on shots that the Pens love to attempt from all types of angles. On one hand, the long layoff (a week) should figure to help the 34-year old netminder, but when you’ve been going as well as Rinne (1.70 GAA, .941 SV% in playoffs, following 2.42/.918 regular season) you almost want to get back to it as soon as possible.

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Peter Laviolette is the best coach in the NHL right now. Mike Sullivan is gaining steam with his historic run since taking over behind the Penguins’ bench 18 months ago. Both coaches have won Stanley Cups. Sullivan’s done it with a stacked roster. Laviolette did it with a bunch of savvy veterans and young players such as Eric Staal and goalie Cam Ward in Carolina in 2006. He’s also led the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2010 and now has the Preds here, as well. He knows what he is doing.

The Preds will be ready.