Yesterday while I was in the serious zone writing about George Floyd, police brutality, and how weird it is we don't have a word for negative anniversaries, I was thrown slightly off course when I got a text from my mom.
I guess she was going through some old documents and found an accident report for an incident on September 12th, 1995, when I was just 44 months old. To put how long ago that was into perspective, just three days earlier, the Sony Playstation was released in North America (we're now on PS5). Seeing something dated that far back regarding yours truly fucked me up for a second. Obviously, I know I was alive, but I can remember like at BEST 8% of my life before 2001. There's just something about seeing a document about a specific moment in my life that I have zero recollection of. I used to think playing through a concussion my sophomore year and repressing years of emotional trauma (lol) were to blame for my awful selective memory, but now there's a possibility my brain was damaged due to a violent act that I was on the receiving end of.
Part of that 8ish% I remember is using a typewriter to type my "how-to" essay (on how to Pogo Stick) in like 3rd or 4th grade, so I think it's safe to assume that Day Care Centers in 1995 Rhode Island were still using those as well. I doubt a place with cots also had a computer with word processing capabilities. Check out this font; it's like a "create mode" IG story came to life!
Holy shit, there is a lot to unpack. But, I have a handful of takeaways.
I've known that I'm a fucking weirdo for a WHILE; I mean, who else is making memes like this?
But I guess I've been a documented weirdo since at least the mid-90s. Sick! I never stood a chance at being normal. I know interacting with girls has never been my swag (as much as I'd like it to be), but ya boi was grownlin' at bitches before he knew how to read. It's a miracle I don't own ferrets.
I need to know if this was my first instance of growling. I feel like if this were something I was doing on the reg, it would've been addressed in the report.
Getting bashed in the head with a boulder cannot help for cognitive development. I love how Kate Banks started writing the name of the girl who PEGGED my upper cheek with a 1/2 to 3/4 inch in circumference rock, then just crossed it out and kept going. 90s manilla paper wasn't cheap!
My handwriting analysis skills tell me this lady 100% wrote "3/4 in around" then wanted to undersell how big the rock was to not worry my parents by adding parentheses and "1/2" because it makes zero sense to use parentheses in that situation. Also, what happened when she was writing cheek? Did she think it was three Es?
I've been known to let a sentence run on for longer than FDR's presidency, but I am super confused by this next part.
Did I hold the ice pack until nap time, then the nurse held it for a 1/2 hr, or was I just being extra and the nurse held the ice pack the whole time? Knowing me, I'd say the latter is -250 on the money line. However, in the margin, it looks like it says, "We watched him for signs of a head injury," which worries if they did let me go to sleep. Again, not ideal for a growing boy. I was about to say whatever this nurse was making, she deserves more for holding that ice pack for so long, but now I'm not so sure.
The least shocking part of the entire document:
Of course my dad didn't pick up. Probably out there being too busy providing for his family to care about their well being. Classic 90s dad. If he did he would've definitely taken the side of the crossed out girl since I was being a weird little fuck. Also, I know I'm not exactly a wordsmith with my blogs but what kind of sentence is "The girl who threw the rock was talked to and sat away from the children for a while." Was the term timeout invented in 1996? Was she trying to hit a word count? "Was talked to?"
I already tried to look up Kate Banks on Facebook to get more information but considering that's a super generic name, and we're approaching the 26th "anniversary" of this stoning; I'm guessing she's either married and/or dead. If you know of any 28-30-year-old women from southern Rhode Island that had/has a cannon, please reach out to her so we can get reconnected. This sounds like the makings of a great how I met your mother/missed connection story.
Song: Powered Up (2021)
Artist: Cobra Man
Even though Cobra Man blue balled me on IG, I still fucking love this band. They should be HUGE.
But not more than I love Florence Welch and + the Machine! If it weren't for World/National Redhead day, I would've shared this power disco anthem on the day of its debut like a proper trendy internet person. Maybe if they kept that story up, they wouldn't have gotten bumped for a fake holiday.
Cobra Man has scored multiple W0rble skate videos, and Powered Up leads off their latest project, "Worble III." If you like what you hear, check out their first two albums New Driveway Soundtrack and Toxic Planet. My all-time favorite Cobra Man song is "Living in Hell."
After nearly a quarter-century in the National Football League, Adam Vinatieri has officially retired.
Vinatieri went undrafted out of North Dakota St. in '96 and played in NFL Europe before playing with the New England Patriots from 1996-2005 and the Indianapolis Colts from 2006-2019. When Adam went unsigned during the 2020 season, the writing was on the wall for a now 48-year-old, but the three-time All-Pro and member of the NFL's 100th Anniversary Team made his retirement official today on The Pat McAfee Show.
Adam Vinatieri wasn't just a kicker, he was a football player.
Vinatieri retires as not only the all-time leading scorer in the 101-year history of the National Football League, but he is a four-time Super Bowl champ (most ever by a kicker). He's not a champ in the way Juwan Howard is.
Adam Vinatieri has a laundry list of historic kicks under his belt. The 2001 Patriots hold the record for fewest points scored in the postseason for a Super Bowl champion (60), and Adam scored 24 of them. In case you're eight years old, there have been three game-winning kicks in Super Bowl history, and Adam has two of them.
Adam might be the Carlton Fisk of football. Sure he played more time away from Boston, but everybody remembers his career from New England. He was one of the most important pieces of the first Patriots dynasty. Five years from now, he'll be the 3rd ever full-time kicker inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Congratulations on the best career a kicker has ever had. Way to sit on the fence, Joe!
My Friend Wrote An Article About the Anniversary of George Floyd's Murder That I Want to Share With You
As you're likely aware, yesterday was the one year "anniversary" of George Floyd's murder. Before I get into the seriousness of this topic, this is still DOL and my brain will not let me move forward without addressing this. I've had this take long before George Floyd's untimely and unjust death, but I feel so weird/uncomfortable using the term anniversary for tragic/negative/catastrophic events. The dictionary definition of the word mentions nothing about tone simply "the date on which an event took place in a previous year" but I always associate (and believe many other people do too) the word with positive things like a relationships, graduations, key milestone, etc. I think we need a negative alternative to that word for negative situations. It's wild to me we use the same word to acknowledge weddings and natural disasters. With the 20th "anniversary" of the 9/11 attacks a few months away lets see if a linguistic can figure something out. I'm just the idea guy.
In over five years of blogging on DOL I've written hundreds, if not thousands of original pieces and reactions to the world around me, but I've never had the pleasure of responding to something someone I personally know wrote until today. Maybe pleasure isn't the right word given the circumstances, but my friend and high school advisory-mate Sapphire wrote this article on Linkedin yesterday about the one year anniversary of George Floyd's murder, her reactions and how this country has since responded. I want to share what she said with as many of my readers as I can.
via: Shapphire Reel's Linkedin
One year ago today, a girl lost her father. And now that girl will grow up with the constant reminder of his death as the world remembers George Floyd as a martyr rather than what he truly was—a man and father simply trying to exist in the world and provide for his family.
One year ago today, I watched in horror as George Floyd was murdered and saw my own father/uncle/cousin under Derek Chauvin’s knee. So many similarities—Black, almost bald men with a criminal past.
One year ago today, I was reminded that I have so much more to do with my own privilege. As someone who is white-passing but is Black, Native, and white, I can be in spaces and people “didn’t even know I was Black or Native”. I must speak out louder.
One year ago today, I was reminded of the times I was followed around in stores because I was not just white, but also Black and Native. I was reminded of the time a cop tried to ID me when I was 13 years old but didn’t try that with my white girlfriends. I was reminded of the time a cop told me “to go back to the Black town” a town over. I was reminded of the time a teacher told me “so your Dad’s the Black guy in town I always hear is causing trouble—for your sake, I hope you don’t cause me any trouble.” I was reminded that I've had countless encounters with authority and racism but walked away with my own life because my skin is light.
One year ago today, I, and many others of color, spilled our hearts and revisited our traumas in front of our entire company—begging for a serious conversation around race in the workplace.
One year ago today, many unwillingly and willingly had their eyes opened to the truth of what is going on in America.
One year later, ask yourself: seriously, how much has changed? To me, not much. This isn’t meant to be a slight on the work and progress that has been made. But I can tell you that I, someone who “looks white”, still encounter just as much subtle racism and pushback from oppressive supremacist structures as I ever have. I have faced more discrimination in the past year than in I have in my adult life due to speaking up for people who have been discriminated against. I have been told to “show up differently” because I am a proud, LOUD, and outspoken Black, Native, and White woman who will not hide the truth from anyone nor will I bend my own morals and authentic self in service of supremacy.
Why do I choose to share this on LinkedIn? Because this is what some of your coworkers of color are thinking today yet leaving unsaid. Because after a lifetime of constant attempts to educate in the face of more discrimination and adversity, we are tired.
And we need you to still pay attention and speak out. Performative statements from individuals and corporations on LinkedIn mean nothing. Words without ACTION mean nothing. We must all continue to strive to be better. Your Black coworkers need you. Your Asian and Pacific Islander coworkers need you. Your Native coworkers need you. Your Latino coworkers need you. Your coworkers who are Indian and are watching their country ravaged by COVID need you. Your trans, non-binary, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, pansexual coworkers need you. Your coworkers with disabilities need you. Your older coworkers need you. It really isn't that hard to show up, listen, and then go apply that in your own life.
Rest in Peace to the Eric Garners, Michael Browns, Tamir Rices, Freddie Grays, Sandra Blands, Philando Castiles, Botham Jeans, Atatiana Jeffersons, Breonna Taylors, Ahmaud Arberys, Daniel Prudes, George Floyds, and countless other names of the world. We thank you for what you’ve given, although you should have never had to. And I hope your loved ones find some solace.
All I want to do in my life is leave a positive legacy. I know am a flawed man, but I am trying to become a better and more understanding person every day.
Whenever I die in the next 36 hours to 75 years, I want people at my "celebration of life" to remember me as a good person who made people laugh and wanted to make life better and more enjoyable for as many people as possible. Of course, I can't speak for anybody other than me, but I know for a fact I am a better man than when the pandemic started.
It's unfair to put all racial issues in America on the shoulders of George Floyd, and Saph is 100% correct that he was a man and father simply trying to exist in the world and provide for his family. George Floyd is not Thích Quảng Đức. Unfortunately, he's just one man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and paid the ultimate price. So while it's "encouraging" to see the "positives" that have come out of this tragedy, it's vital to differentiate between a murder victim and a revolutionary.
George Floyd didn't wake up one day and decide to sacrifice his life for a cause. A crooked cop murdered him. A cop THAT FUCKING KNEW HIM. A cop who would've gotten away with it had it not been for cell phone footage. The police report said Floyd died as a result of a "medical incident during police interaction." We cannot forget these facts.
In death, George Floyd has represented what is entirely wrong with this country, but he is just one man. For every George Floyd whose death was broadcast for the world to see, countless others will never get the justice they deserve while their killers go to work every day.
I know cops have a difficult job, and I empathize with the hate they're dealing with; I truly do. I feel bad for the good cops out there trying to make a difference in the world, but there is an issue in the current state of policing in this country that has to be addressed. Whatever is going on is not protecting and serving. I think people just want a fair shake. You shouldn't have a gun drawn on you just because you say "ax" instead of ask. I understand cops have demanding jobs where they need to make difficult decisions instantly, but as the aggressors in the vast majority of these situations and the professionals, they should be held accountable when necessary. If a surgeon makes a mistake that ends in their patient's death, they can get sued and lose their job. Lawyers can get disbarred. All people want is accountability. Hold cops to the same standards as every other job on earth and I guarantee you we'll see less dead civilians. Qualified immunity has got to go. It shouldn't be controversial and or even "political" to say that. What if school bus drivers could get DUIs on the job and just keep driving? It blows my fucking mind that people are arguing that a knee restricting George Floyd's breathing for nine minutes and 29 seconds wasn't the cause of death. If we can't agree that it was unjustified and unequivocally wrong, what are we even doing trying to exist as a society? If someone throws an egg at the ground and it cracks, nobody says the egg cracked because it wasn't fertilized.
It bums me out that Saph feels like not much has changed since George Floyd's murder, but I can't say I'm surprised. Being woke was the flavor of the week, and a lot of people moved on. There was a lot of performative justice last June and the months that followed. Putting #BLM in your bio isn't going to change a thing if that's where you stop. I know I could do more, I want to do more, but one thing I have certainly done is change the way I act and think. I knew there were problems in this country before George Floyd, but it took his murder for me to truly get it and see the issues that POC have been begging us to pay attention to for generations. I was naive. I'm oversimplifying it, but that knee to his neck was the wake up call I and millions of others desperately needed. If seeing a man get choked out for nearly 10 minutes isn't going to change your mind and influence how you act and think from now on, nothing will.
I hate to admit that I used to be someone who didn't think white privilege was real and that if black people were just "respectful" to the police, nothing bad would happen. Over the last few years since leaving my privileged, almost exclusively white, rich, beach town, I have seen glimpses of how the world actually works, but I know I'm still super-sheltered to even harsher realities.
COVID has been the most eye-opening experience of my life. It's been miserable but necessary. I used to believe this was the greatest country on earth, but now I'm not so sure. There's potential, but not until we have systems that work for all, not just the super-rich, cis-gendered or white population.
I want black children not to have to deal with racism before they can tie their shoes. I want trans kids to be their authentic selves without ignorant bigots hiding behind a book using their "family values" to destroy their time on earth. I want women to get paid the same as men. I want non-binary people to be allowed to exist and be a part of society without being chastised. I want all people regardless of race or socioeconomic status to be able to vote without barriers. I want our schools to be allowed to teach the truth and without fear of a school shooting. I want all people to be able to exist without the fear of some lunatic blowing their brains out. I want justice for ALL.
A year and a day after George Floyd's murder, I know I can say I have improved as a human from the lessons I've learned from this tragedy. I have friends and family that have as well; unfortunately, I also have friends and family that have used this as an opportunity to double down on being a bigot.
Over this past year, I've listened, learned, and grown from this tragedy and the countless other senseless deaths that have come from law enforcement. Have you?
If you enjoyed this piece please check out some blogs I wrote last year:
-Where Do We Go From Here?
-This Michael Che Bit on Black Lives Matter is Relevant AF
-I Wish the Rooney Rule Didn't Need to Exist
-Some Telling Stats About The Future of the United States of America
Big thank you to Sapphire for sharing her experiences and allowing me to post her serious and important article on my sports-centered, shitty joke ridden, basically Mac DeMarco appreciation website. Listen, grow and try to be better than yesterday, we're not asking the world.
Song: Ship to Wreck (2015)
Artist: Florence + the Machine
Album: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Happy National Redhead to Florence Welch, the redhead sub at my school (whom I have a huuuge crush on) that I had an entire fly-down conversation with today in the parking lot (I'm 99.4% sure she heard me mutter "MOTHER FUCK" to myself after I noticed) and all other redheads across the globe! I've surely used this as a SOD before, but sadly, there's no way to tell when! This is one of my all-time favorite Flo performances. I love the energy and how she rocks the hell out of that hat!
When the NFL announced that they're loosening up positional-based jersey number restrictions, it felt like a moment to applaud the NFL for making a positive pro-player change. As a number guy, I've been keeping my eye on all the players taking advantage of this rule. Yesterday, my beloved New England Patriots dropped a fake CD to break the news of who's rocking what. Other than Tom Brady's Karen rant on IG, there hasn't been much backlash to the ruling; as long there's a distinction between eligible and ineligible, I don't see the big deal. Let players express themselves and be more marketable!
The only problem with the NFL making this change is that they couldn't hide their No Fun League tendencies for too long. The league requires any player who changes their jersey number for the 2021 season to buy back the entire catalog of their jerseys/t-shirts. (And no, teams aren't required to buy back jerseys when they cut or trade someone!)
For some players, that's not a big deal. Kyle Dugger didn't need to buy back a few thousand #35 jerseys because they simply don't exist, but for Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith, like the Bloodhound Gang's 4th album, there was a Hefty Fine involved for shaving 45 digits off his jersey.
Jaylon Smith signed a 5-year $64M extension with $35.5M guaranteed in 2019, so he's by no means in the poor house, but I just cannot help but laugh at the prospect of someone spending "mid-six figs" on a number they can get for free next year.
Still, I can't help but play out a fake scenario where someone in his family or friend group reached out for some financial help and got turned down (for whatever reason) only to see a headline about Jaylon spending, let's conservatively call it $350,000 on worthless jerseys. "Oh, you can buy #9, but not cover my full room and board a private university!"- Jaylon Smith's fake cousin, who he's never met. That's fucking hilarious to me. It might not be accurate in this situation, but I'd bet my life like a shitty Imagine Dragons song that there is someone in the NFL who said no to helping out an estranged relative but dropped a few hundred thousand on a number.
Think about this for a second; I know money isn't real, but this dude spent "mid-six-figures" on a fucking number THAT HE CAN GET FOR FREE NEXT YEAR. Of course, again, this was complete conjecture, but that scenario is hilarious to me.
Song: Badfish (1992)
Album: 40oz. to Freedom
R.I.P. Bradley Nowell.
Not only is 2021 going to be the BIGGEST NFL season ever with a 17 game schedule, but thanks to relaxed uniform number rules, that's not the only change fans will have to get accustomed to.
While Tom Brady thinks single-digit linebackers will be worse for football than the publishings of Dr. Bennet Omalu, we need to remember that football and all sports are games. Games are supposed to be fun, not ruined by billionaires worried about saving $50.
After a busy off-season full of record-setting spending, the Patriots have many new faces in-house, which means new numbers. In the age of social media, where memes are king, I assumed teams would get their creative juices flowing for posts revealing new digits. The Patriots have the DOL Seal of Approval with this back of a CD (compact disc) styled graphic.
I love the creativity! It brings me back to the days of going to Strawberries to check out the latest CDs. Maybe if they didn't hire loser clerks who told my mom to not buy Tenacious D's self-titled debut album because "the rest is nothing like Tribute" and "inappropriate for a 5th grader" after I convinced her to look past a Parental Advisory sticker, they wouldn't have gone out of business. A sale is a sale, bucko!
We see that free agent signing like Jalen Mills and Matthew Judon are taking advantage of the new rules, wearing #2 and #9, respectively. Ja'Whaun Bentley (51 to 8) and Kyle Dugger (35 to 23) changed their numbers, but only Bentley's wouldn't have been allowed under the previous rules.
Of all the number news, my biggest takeaway is that two-time Super Bowl champ, Tyler Gaffney is back on the Patriots. Whaaaaat? I had no idea until this post. I didn't even realize he retired to play baseball like the newest Jaguars TE until further Wikipedia research. What a career path. Not bad for a guy who has played zero career downs. Watch him rush for like 700 yards this year.
I guess even with more numerical possibilities we're still doing repeats until the real games start.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
As New "#1 Ticket Holder" for The AFL's Fremantle Dockers, Kevin Parker Wrote an Anthem/Fight Song For the Club (Of Course You Know EXACTLY What I'm Talking About)
Whenever you see "AFL" in a headline, it's easy to assume the article is about the American Football League, but sadly that innovative league no longer exists due to the 1966 NFL-AFL Merger that went into full effect upon the conclusion of Super Bowl IV. If you need to scratch that AFL itch, I've got a five-part documentary that you're going to LOVE.
Of course, in modern times, when one speaks about The AFL, one is referencing Australian Football League. Us yanks know it better as Aussie Rules Football (I thiiiink?), and thanks to COVID and YoutubeTV streaming rights, I've watched a fair share (maybe 37 total minutes) of this chaotic game.
Over the weekend, Fremantle Dockers of the AFL gave Kevin Parker of/who his Tame Impala the honour of #1 ticket holder. I know you know exactly what that honour bestows, but so nobody feels left out:
It's essentially a symbolic gesture given to a club's biggest fan; picture Jack Nicholson or Spike Lee with a participation certificate (I actually love that idea and smell a future blog topic). Over the weekend, Kevin made an appearance at Perth/Optus Stadium to take in the honours.
In this clip, Kevin explains how he became a Dockers supporter and the connection he has with Fremantle.
Obviously, there is some aspect of music in American sports. We've all heard "What I Like About You" and the super-canceled Gary Glitter during timeouts before, but few teams in any of the "big four leagues" have official team songs/cheers/fight songs/team anthems/fill in whichever term you like the best. The Patriots have "Our House" by Bon Jovi, but that shit is not exactly connecting with fans under 52 years old; I'm super jealous that Dockers supporters get Tame Impala for their team track while we're stuck with confused Giants fans.
What we experience as fans is nothing like the chanting and singing that goes on in European soccer, or this case Aussie Football. As part of his "duties" as #1 Ticket Holder, Kevin Parker wrote (and possibly performed..not really sure..I've seen conflicting reports, but I'm assuming it is) a new hype song for Fremantle Dockers or FREO as supporters know them. I dig it! It sounds like it belongs in an 80s movie training montage.
It looks like the lads loves it!
I needed a team to fill that R*d S*x filled void in my heart, I think I just found them. #ForeverFREO
Song: One Another (2017)
Artist: Mac DeMarco
Album: This Old Dog
"Mac DeMarco is the most underrated songwriter of his generation." - me.