Please Support Devan and the PG Storm in the National AYF Championships

As A Blogger, I haven’t been on my job, but please do not let that stop you from supporting the fine work of  one of my sons.  Devan, who occasionally is referred to on this blog as Mid-Ink is a Cornerback for the PG Storm Cadet Football team. On December 1, they will be going to Orlando, FL to play in the 2012 American Youth Football National Championship

Thanks to the help of many, he is very close to his individual goal.  Please take time to donate any amount of money…even 1 dollar makes a difference.



P.O. Box 4906, Upper Marlboro, MD 20775




Dear Prospective Sponsor:

My name is Devan Parrish and I am a member of the Prince George’s Storm Youth Association’s Cadet Football team.   My football team has a strong possibility to compete in the 2012 American Youth Football National Championship, which will be held in Orlando, Florida, December 1-8, 2012.  The cost of travel and related expenses for the 21 players and 5 staff members is approximately $20,000.

Prince George’s Storm Youth Association has been in existence since 2002 with great leadership, volunteer coaches and staff, parent participation, and community support.  The Storm’s mission is to offer a range of quality athletic, educational and outreach programs as a vehicle to: impart Christian-based principles, empower and develop youth leadership, cultivate a fun and safe environment for youth, and strengthen and build strong communities.  As one of the longest-running, independent youth organization in the state Maryland, Prince George’s Storm has achieved various levels of success during its ten year history.

I respectfully ask you to make a donation today.  Your contribution will go a long way to help make our dream a reality.  We take pride in being a team of hard-working young men between the ages of nine and eleven, who excel both on and off the football field.  My teammates and I work hard in the classroom, participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, and serve as youth leaders in our community.  Please contact my coach at  if you would like additional information or go to  to learn more about the Storm.

Please help support Devan and his team in this effort. Whatever you can donate would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the Storm’s Rally page.  If you want to donate you can find Devan’s picture and click donate.  For Devan to receive the credit you have to use his name when you type in the comments section.  So basically, you can just say “Go Devan!” or something like that.
Many Thanks….


Devan Parrish #10 and the PG Storm (2012 Maryland State and Atlantic Regional Champions)


Happy Jackie Robinson Year

So, I turned 42 yesterday.

Forty-Two years old.

42 isn’t a number that jumps out at anyone as an age to ponder.

Every birthday brings about a certain amount of introspection.  This year, the run-up to birthday number42 consisted of basically pondering if 42 really even matters.

Between watching my sons grow up and my own memories of birthdays past, I find myself intrigued by the significance we place on certain birthdays

Childhood is an exponential experience where each birthday is monumental, because you haven’t had very many and it never gets old to have your own holiday. (To those of you born on actual holidays, yeah…I am sorry about that)

Once you hit 21, only the round numbers stick out.  Even as the evolution of humanity has changed what it means to be thirty, forty, or fifty, those numbers maintain a certain gravitas. Even the 5s (25,35,45,55) gain cache by marking the halfway point between round numbers.  So wither a random year like 42?

The only thing Significant about 42 is Jackie Robinson, and that is rather kitschy. But as an acknowledged baseball guy…That’s what we are going with this year.

This is my Jackie Robinson year. And it begins tomorrow, since I was born at 11:35 pm EST.

The Eight Year Itch

On March 14, 2004 I got off a greyhound bus in Dallas Texas with 95% of everything in the world I owned. I was determined to start over and make shit work once and for all.


On March 14, 2012 I will get on a US Airways Plane with the clothes on my back and little else, going back to the city of my birth, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


I am not coming back alone.


I am bringing my Mother to Texas.


Twenty years after she told me she was leaving Pittsburgh the first time to move to Maryland, we are Driving a UHaul truck out of Pittsburgh and not looking back.


She returned, but that was because her mother was still there.


Grandma is gone now. My mother is finished with Pittsburgh.

Her oldest son and her youngest grandchild are here.

It won’t be easy, it won’t be boring. It is time for me to do my diligence as the oldest child as my mother strolls gracefully into the dawn of her twilight. She is in good health, I look forward to helping her add back the years working two full time jobs took away from her.


The older I get, the more I realize my mother and me are similar. We’ve loved, laughed, Bickered, but we have always ridden for each other.


My mother had due cause to write my sorry ass off more than once, but she’s always kept it 100 with me. Death, abandonment, racism, illness, heartbreak, marriage, tribulation, parenting, infidelity, historic success and unfathomable failure have woven their way through our relationship and here we are.


There is almost a guarantee that I will wish this day had never come.


I will expect at least ONE of you to give me a stern talking to when I part my lips to complain.

A Completely and Purposely Hijacked Obituary of Andrew Breitbart

I woke up to the news of the unexpected death of Andrew Breitbart, who died of natural causes at the age of 43.  

I harbor almost exclusively contempt for Andrew Breitbart as a journalistic entity.

I have nothing beyond the perfunctory humanitarian mourning for Andrew Breitbart the human being and those he leaves behind.  I do not know him outside of his professional existence, and I try not to get caught up in being extra judgy on people I don’t know personally.

So this isn’t really about Andrew Breitbart the person. I don’t know that dude.

This isn’t so much even like Andrew Breitbart the Journalistic Entity. It is what it is. And to a large degree…it is over.

Andrew Breitbart is not walking through that door. I don’t have any feeling about that whatsoever. He wasn’t on my reading list and had no hope of making it.

This, ultimately is about David Frum.

David Frum is probably the most reasonable Conservative that I read on a regular basis. While I do not agree very often, I find him almost alone in telling uncomfortable truths about his party.

That said…The bar is low. But Frum meets it regularly enough so I respect him for the most part.


So, when The Angry Black Lady Tweeted Frum’s Obit on Breitbart as a Fair Assessment I didn’t hesitate. And to be fair in assessing Mr. Frum, it was fair…Largely.


It’s difficult for me to assess Breitbart’s impact upon American media and American politics as anything other than poisonous. When one of the leading media figures of the day achieves his success by his giddy disdain for truth and fairness—when one of our leading political figures offers to his admirers a politics inflamed by rage and devoid of ideas—how to withhold a profoundly negative judgment on his life and career?


Frum even Makes note of the specific coded nature of Breitbarts game…calling it exactly what it is…


Because President Obama was black, and because Breitbart believed in using every and any weapon at hand, Breitbart’s politics did inevitably become racially coded. Breitbart’s memory will always be linked to his defamation of Shirley Sherrod and his attempt to make a national scandal out of back payments to black farmers: the story he always called “Pigford” with self-conscious resonance.


Then he Fakes the funk on the Money shot.

Yet it is wrong to see Breitbart as racially motivated. Had Breitbart decided he hated a politician whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower, Breitbart would have been just as delighted to attack that politicians with a different set of codes. The attack was everything, the details nothing.(emphasis mine)


No. Hell. No.


Shit like this, up with I shall not put.

I don’t know Andrew Breitbart’s heart and his heart aint the issue.



David Frum Frames the very nature of Breitbart’s Racially coded distortions and then turns RIGHT around and does what happens WAY too often. He shifts it away from being about the Racism..and gives us some smoke and mirrors.

Thin, wispy smoke and Cracked fun house mirrors at that.

I might have given Frum a bit of a pass if he had bothered to at least Describe what kind of code you hit to Sway people against the sainted Pilgrims. Alas…No such codes were given.

The cold hard reality is, I don’t really give a shit about Andrew Breitbart. I am here to neither bury him nor praise him.

I am here to once again remind people that there is no shame in saying that a racist act is racist.

I am going to pause here, to issue what should be an unnecessary disclaimer.

I don’t know enough about Andrew Breitbart to say that he is a racist. Frankly, I don’t know enough about ANYONE who does the racist shit I spend my time scowling about on twitter to say that THEY are racists. I’m not here to brand People as Racists. If you are here for that…there is a nice operational burner on a Stove over there…way over there that you can cook on. This stove ain’t here for all that. But BEFORE You go Stirring your pot on that other stove…Watch J Smooth.

Now. Where was I?

Ah…here we are. Mister Frum.

Sir? How do you articulate that Andrew Breitbart willfully and purposely engaged in racially coded language for the purposes of advancing his political agenda and then immediately say he WASN’T racially motivated?


If you are willing to engage in Racially coded rhetoric, then you are Motivated by Race. And the power it has to divide people.

I find it interesting that you would identify the spade in Mr. Breitbart’s Garage and THEN point out the parts of his garden that he used it in, only to turn around and suggest that it wasn’t a spade, but some kind of convenient digging apparatus.

It is a spade, Mr. Frum. You said so yourself. Call it a spade. What are you afraid of?

Yeah, I get it…you don’t wanna be THAT guy.


You are okay being the last reasonable Republican in the Media…but you aren’t willing to be THAT guy.

That guy who says that the dead white dude did some racist shit in his life.

Nope. Let the Negro do it.


Fine. Have it your way, Mr. Frum.


Honoring Bravery

Before you hear from me, you have to hear from Jocelyn. 

I tried to Pull out a quote or two to lure you…but I can’t.

You need to Go over there and hear from her. 



I am a person who lives consistently by the credo “the devil is in the details”

That is: I believe that buried in the details of every story are Valuable nuggets of information that lends depth and vision to a story and gives the reader a chance to immerse themselves into stories and find necessary truths and understandings.

Thus, I spend my existence wallowing in life’s gory details.

Except for one critical instance.

I am not someone who makes a Habit of Delving deeply into the Details of sexual assault. I believed that the mere notion of sexual assault was Lurid and vivid enough to make delving into the details unfortunate and…Plain Rude.


I do not believe that anymore.


Over the past year or so, I have found actually making a point to press through the Details of the stories of rape and abuse suffered by people, particularly women, some of whom I know.

Each story moves me closer to rage…but more importantly closer to consistent action.


A friend posted a particularly Personal story and I read it.  Pressing through what is still a natural impulse to eschew the details and focus on support.


My desire is to honor bravery like hers by Making Educating my sons about how they can stop rape.

My plea is that you, as men please do what you can to help on that journey.

If it’s mid January…then it must be time again for The Black Odd Couple

Join the good Brother @WiseMath (aka Wise Naim) and me for another Black and elegant season of  The Black Odd Couple.

This week’s topics are likely to include:

  • The phenomenon that is Blue Ivy Carter
  • The Phenomenon that is Timothy Richard Tebow
  • The phenomenon that is the Republican Party’s complete disenchantment with their presumptive nominee for president, Willard Mitt Romney
  • The Phenomenon that is the marriage between Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. and Michelle LaVaughn (Robinson) Obama and the much discussed book about said marriage and its impact on the White House and America.
  • whatever various Phenomena that we encounter between now and Noon, Saturday Eastern Time.


If you need a sample to refresh your memory on how good we are or aren’t, check out our MLK edition from our first season.

The Grinches That Stole Football



Because Ike Taylor's Day needs a Signature Photograph

In Eleven Seconds…It all fell apart.

I have been watching the Steelers since they had ZERO Rings. That is the single most Frustrating Loss I have ever witnessed.


After I sat in Stunned silence and watched Demaryius Run down the I will forever call it Mile High Stadium (Used to be Invesco until the financial markets crumbled and Sports Authority swooped in and Tagged their name all over the place) stadium I felt the desire to watch another NFL game Fleeing right along with him.

Eleven Seconds. And no more Super Bowl…Didn’t even want to watch.

It wasn’t just because it was Tim Tebow. It was because…the whole thing seemed so avoidable.

With all the injuries…and there Were.a.Bunch. The game was right there. Ben Did what Ben does.

  • Dramatize every Bump and Bruise
  • play his heart out
  • Make the obligatory WTF mistake
  • Find a Way

Even at 20-6 and 23-13…I knew They had it in them.

The defense…What do I say about the defense?

Dick LeBeau showed Exactly what he thought of all the Tebow Mania. Not very much. He rolled the safeties up and played press Coverage on the outside. When it worked…it was text book. But when it DIDN’T? It was worse than anything I have ever seen watching a Steelers Football game.

If the Steelers had any respect for Tebow’s Passing ability, Four to Five of the Seven significant passes he made Would never have happened. Every time he flinched in the pocket, Coverage Broke Down.

Ike Taylor, bless his heart…his game film will be worse than 2 Girls 1 Cup. (No, I’m not linking that)

Which leads me to my final and most Critical point.

When Troy Polamalu gets his Bust in Canton…it Should have Ryan Clark’s head on it also.

Either Troy Polamalu has never guessed so wrong so often in his entire career, or Ryan Clark has spent his career Covering Troy’s ass.

Ryan Mundy played admirably in Clark’s place…but he is not schooled in Covering up for Troy’s freelancing.

If we have learned nothing else as Steelers Fans…it is this. 43 is only 43 when 25 is next to him.

Which Brings me to Mr. Tebow.

I have already reached my quota on Emo Football analysis, so I will spare you the gory details.

But I didn’t see a prodigious Passing performance…I saw a man who capitalized when mistakes were made.

And BOY, were mistakes made.

Ike Taylor, Saggin’.

Beginning at the Beginning… (Or the beginning of the End, to hear the Mayans tell it)

So, you’re a philosopher?

Actually, no. I am an intermittent blogger and non-custodial father…BUT…

Yes. I think very deeply. (Paraphrased from the opening to My Philosophy, 1988)

Now that we have puttered around and disposed of the 2011 holiday season, it is Tuesday January 3, 2012. Today is the first functional day of the new year. Today is the day that you are supposed to get down to whatever the hell it is you said you were going to do differently from last year.

If you are like me (and despite my incessant desire to proclaim some kind of Singular mode of humanity…you are more like me than either of us care to admit), You made a conscious or not so conscious effort to put off whatever sea change you sought to make in your life until the day when society deemed that life return to normal.

And At the dawn…Here we are. So…what did I decide?

  1. Writers write.

    Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there. – Thomas Berger

    I realized that I spend far more time in 2011 telling people I was a writer and explaining why it was I wasn’t writing than I spent actually writing. After Last year’s pitiful performance…I don’t really deserve the title. I am officially on the writer’s hot seat. When Ed Werder is done chronicling the annual underachievement of the Dallas Cowboys he will stand next to the Wendy’s in front of my Building and discuss the tenuous status of my “writer” title.

    I say all that to say the following:

    If I cannot accomplish significant improvement in my productivity within the next week, I will stop calling myself a writer. If you know me well…I expect you to hold me to that.

  2. Writers read.

    If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write. -Stephen King

    I spend the preponderance of my time Reading. As someone who has left the driving to someone else, I spend most of my commutes and my non working time reading the thoughts, facts, and opinions of others, typically in the form of short bursts of text. The reality is, no matter how many of those short bursts of text a single person or a group of people string together, the ability to focus and follow an extended narrative suffers.

    Your experience may differ…but I can say with certainty that my ability to read is suffering.

    This is not to say your ability to read long form communication must be negatively affected by this change in societal communication, this is to say that my reading, and by extension of my writing. This too, must change.

And so…with that…I give you nominal, yet substantive change. It’s what is hot in the streets in 2012.

Mail Bonding

I wrote my 3.0 a letter last week.  It was for his 13th birthday.  Which would be cool if his birthday was in December.

His Birthday is October 14.

I was homeless on October 14, and writing a letter to my son was the exact last thing  I could do at the time. I called and we had the usual conversation on his mother’s cell phone.

“How are you How is school having fun playing football I am proud of you youre getting so big I am sorry I couldn’t make it to visit like I said I would  I am making changes to my life to be in a better place to be closer to you guys please take care of each other and look out for your cousin and your mother I love you so much. ”

Regardless of how up or down my life has been, the conversations with my sons have always been the same.

For my son’s 13th Birthday, I wrote a lot closer to what I felt.

I welcomed him to his first steps of manhood and proceeded to start apologizing for my failures.

That wasn’t smart.  Upon reading the letter, 3.0 was very distraught, feeling as though the pain I was feeling was at his hand, even as I took pains to exonerate them both  (him and his brother) from blame.

Ex#1 was very evenhanded in encouraging me to continue to write to him, but not to go so hard on myself, as it was obvious that any pain I felt hurts 3.0 just as much.

The darndest thing happened Come Monday when I called them for Christmas.

I didn’t talk to him about the letter..i just talked to him

We just talked…about whatever. Music, Gifts, Family, His favorite Basketball player (Derrick Rose) the way his Mother and Stepfather ridicule 3.1 for Picking up and putting down Football teams to support. (He is a Saints fan, largely because no one will allow him to change teams for the 4th time in 7 years)

From a painful letter…a new path was forged.  My birthday isn’t until June, But this is the best present I have gotten in years.