Raiders waive DeAngelo Hall

Maybe it was that first game (on Monday night of all occasions) where he lost his manhood to super rookie receiver Eddie Royal of the Denver Broncos. Or maybe it was the fact that he could never play man defense, getting prime time coverage in Atlanta in the Cover-2 defense the Falcons employ. Or, Al Davis could just be as crazy as I’ve been trying to tell you for the last five years.

Without an announcement, the Raiders waived Hall, thereby eating $8 million in losses. Can we say, bust?

Election day ethics worries

Gwen Ifill was wrongly accused of partisanship before the vice presidential debate.
Gwen Ifill was wrongly accused of partisanship before the vice presidential debate.
As a black journalist, I now know how black women feel every day. There are two strikes against black women, as they say. One for being a woman and another for being black.

As election day nears, and as we’ve all witnessed the accusations that 90 percent of journalists are for the DNC and 90 percent of black people are for Barack Obama, I watch stunningly as colleagues and young journalists (like myself) are accused directly and indirectly of being the “liberal elite” as well as helping undermine the Republican party.

I disagree wholeheartedly with both notions.

I’d like to declare myself as an American first (can I do that?). I was born here, so I have my claim and stake in matters. I’m from San Francisco, a middle class black neighborhood (although gentrification is changing that). There are three generations of the Berry family from San Francisco. From the bat, most take the connotation of a San Francisco native as a liberal. I disagree with that as well.

The inherent problem with these arguments (against black people, journalists, and San Franciscans) is the assumption of values. It’s a fallacy of a short and shriveled argument, used time and time again to alienate, discredit or disenfranchise a particular group. Lately, it’s been all the journalist bashing by the GOP. We’ve seen it in on the campaign trail when black people were openly questioned as to whether they can cover the Presidential campaigns fairly. The context of Obama’s “bitter” comments in San Francisco fueled a firestorm. All for what? To prove what point?

You can take away two things from this sort of thinking: There is a double standard for black journalists and San Francisco is a punchline for Republicans.

I honestly believe that while journalists, those practicing and teaching the craft, understand that there is no such thing as objectivity, the masses do not. Furthermore, while journalists consider themselves purveyors of truth and fairness, the masses do not understand the imbalance against bad politicians this social contract generates. They don’t even understand the importance of fairness while maintaining the truth — however inconvenient it is to any particular candidate.

That’s right, I’m putting the blame on bad politicians for what appears like a one-sided press in their damnation of Republican and Democratic candidates. (I’m a firm believer of ” It depends on who’s side your on.” I’d like to say candidate bashing and gratification goes on for both sides.)

Two simple examples you will see on the campaign trail every single day: 1) John McCain = George W. Bush. Not true. While both candidates voted on party lines, only one is tied to an unpopular President. 2) Obama is not a socialist. Our country is. The income tax, implemented in 1913 through the ratification of the 16th amendment, redistributes the wealth more than Obama ever could.

As you probably already know, both sides already have defended themselves against these sort of gray area claims that actually have half truths to them. And the media has reported on it. But then there comes the polls of excessive negative stories on one candidate over the other. And therein lies the reality of fairness.

If one candidate’s party and campaign “throws the kitchen sink” at the other, there’s bound to be more negative stories about the distortions of truth and outright lies in the aforementioned sink. It’s the nature of the beast. Complaining about it is just a natural reaction.

Whereas the accusations of the lack of impartiality, or in actuality fairness, by black journalists is more outrageous in my mind. Would a white journalist ever be accused of covering a white candidate in the same light? It hasn’t happened before and I dare say that in many minds it’s irrelevant. The hypocrisy laced insinuation is racially based and therefore moot.

Lastly, San Francisco is known for many things. Diversity being the most prominent, in my mind. How can a city known for its diversity — of thought, culture and race — have its minority political party be so disregarded by folks in the country? I believe reputations last longer than the truth that bore them.

How much value do you put in journalism?

How much is this rag tag industry I love worth to you? How much do you value the daily proposition at hand?

Today, now more than ever, we’re at a cross roads. No, I’m not writing about our country; I’m writing about the media. To be specific, I mean the uninfluenced, open dialogue platform that is the medium which you are consuming right now — journalism. Specifically newspapers. The analysis of the slow death of this industry is endless, and really ruthless in a lot of respects. On one end, we’re watching as newspaper companies are bleeding from their self-inflicted wounds (McClatchey or Tribune) and on the other we’re watching under-capitalization put the dagger right in the back of broken communities (MediaNews). In the middle, the economy has tanked so far as much to put a strain on many a consumer, businesses and etc., for even the most solid papers to scream uncle. But in the end, we continue to circle the wagons right back to where we started. How much is knowledge worth to you?

Can you quantify how often it is that you depend upon what journalists provide? What a sports journalist provides? Do you know exactly what I do for a living? (Think cave-man like: I both hunt and gather news.) Look, the fat cat days of the ’80s are over. We know that. We are no longer working on a surplus budget in which we can throw money at coverage or people. Furthermore, industrial and philosophical change has divided the best of newsrooms.

Anyone with an ‘old days’ story will tell you that.

But the value of news, the information, the dialogue and the watchdog role is still paramount — at least in my belief. Who is going to follow the standards, set by editors long before me, to verify your sources thrice over? Who’s going to be fair?

I hope to explore that here. That and more.

Mavs and Cowboys to co-host all-star game

From the Wire:

Associated Press — The NBA All-Star game is coming to the new Dallas Cowboys stadium in 2010 and plenty of good seats are available — more than 100,000.

Living up to the old adage about doing things bigger in Texas, the Dallas Mavericks and Cowboys are collaborating on hosting next season’s showcase event. It will be among the first major events at the soon-to-be-completed, $1.1 billion facility in nearby Arlington.

And, if all goes according to plan, this event will set the record for the largest crowd ever to watch an NBA game, shattering the mark of 44,735 set at the 1989 All-Star Game, not-so-coincidentally held at another Texas-sized venue, the Houston Astrodome.

“It’s totally outrageous,” NBA commissioner David Stern said.

Just wait until he hears Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s idea about putting the record out of reach.

“If we can get people to sit on each other’s laps, it could be 200,000,” Cuban said, laughing.

The 2010 All-Star weekend is being hyped as a collaboration between teams and cities. Some events will be held at the Dallas Convention Center, with the Mavericks’ arena hosting the rookie game on Friday night and the Saturday night festivities, which include the 3-point and dunk contests.
The marquee game will be Sunday, with center court right at midfield of the football stadium.

“We’ve got complete flexibility with the configuration,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “That’s what we spent a lot of money on, to adapt it to these kinds of events.”

The Cowboys also are trying to lure Final Fours. They’ve already landed the 2011 Super Bowl, as well as the Cotton Bowl, starting Jan. 1, 2010.

You can start voting for the NFL pro bowl

The ballot is out for those that are interested in voting for the Pro Bowl. You know, I always love to vote for these things but I rarely ever watch. It’s guaranteed every year I’ll catch the NBA All-Star game (and some of its festivities), I’ll tune in for a couple of innings for the MLB All-Star game, but I’ll never even come close to watching the Pro Bowl. I don’t even know what channel it comes on.

Either way, I’m voting for Adrian Peterson.

Warriors fall short in opener

The DeMarcus Nelson experiment didn’t turn out so well in the Warriors’ first game. He played sparingly, only 14 minutes, and scored six points in his time on the court. He only had two turnovers, but it’s clear from the numbers Don Nelson is not favoring him.

Here’s what the AP had to say:

Oakland native DeMarcus Nelson was the Warriors’ starting point guard, parlaying a strong training camp into the chance to become the Warriors’ first undrafted free agent rookie to start on opening night since the club moved to the Bay Area in 1962. After Stojakovic hit three jumpers over him in the first three minutes, Nelson was pulled for Azubuike — but he returned with a handful of strong plays in the second quarter, finishing with six points in 14 minutes.

On the other hand, it appears Corey Maggette is reinvigorated in the Bay. He dropped 27 points and had eight rebounds.

(I feel like I can just read from the box score and make all kinds of assumptions.)

But the end result is still the same. Warriors lose 108-103 with Chris Paul dropping the go-ahead layup with 19 seconds left.

I’m pretty sure the W’s and Kings are hopeless

I still miss Baron Davis. But Ron Artest, not so much.

I imagine Davis’ gaping hole in the Golden State Warriors’ lineup will only get bigger as we jump head first into the NBA season. But as Don Corleone would exude, “Fugghet about ’em.”

There are slim hopes for Northern California teams and even slimmer hopes of maintaining the progress seen in the last two years at either the Sacramento Kings or Warriors. It’s setting the stage for either a huge surprise or the most precipitated duds in a basketball season since before Rick Adelman and Don Nelson (the second time) ventured the west coast.

Unfortunately, I have an end of the world approach when I look at my favorite teams. I looked at the San Francisco Giants before their season started and figured they’d touch 110 losses easy. I sized up the A’s and realized they were trying to lose — astonishingly. I looked at the 49ers and Raiders and still have yet to recover from all the wild shaking of my head.

(I’m still in a daze after the last few weeks. October has been rough.)

But where I was off in my assessment (+15 losses for the Giants), I was spot on in my evaluation of the talent. Or, I should say, the lack thereof. Let me not venture into the realm of absurd punditry but go so far to say that the Warriors will unequivocally be a red herring in the Western Conference as they get up and down the court with the Hornets, Spurs, Lakers, Mavericks and Jazz but get down on themselves because of a lack of a go-to player for two months and an inconsistent low post defense. The games
will be exciting, but the end results will be hard to swallow. There’s just no way to defend against Yao Ming, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitski, Andrew Bynum, Greg Oden and the formidable Carlos Boozer without addressing the issue.

Can Andris Biedrins, Ronny Turiaf and Anthony Randolph measure up? Their play will be the deciding factor in the Warriors’ success.

The Kings on the other hand, are have little going for them other than Kevin Martin. But you know that already. So I pose this question to faithful Kings fans: Who do you trade to get better fast?

You know that’s the only way to turn things around now, right. You also should know that trading is going to be tough because of all the contract bricks the Maloofs have been laying, there’s not much wiggle room.

Kenny Thomas, thanks to his $9 million salary and inability to crack the lineup, looks like a good option. But with his salary, he’s almost impossible to move. Sort of like Brad Miller. The overwhelming feeling is that the Kings are stuck with a lineup of role players and heavy contracts for at least a couple of years before they can get enough capital to go heavy in the free agency market come 2011.

In the interim, they have to hope John Salmons, Spencer Hawes, Francisco Garcia and Jason Thompson make impacts on the court every night. The young guys have to step up while the franchise is in such a delicate state of dismal, turnover and renewal.

The problem is they’ve already traded their tradeable pieces, with Mike Bibby and Ron-Ron sent packing last season. Now we have to sit around and wait till the Kings “figure it out” for two years and hope that some good comes of it.

Reminds me of those A’s.

I think I’ll pass. I can’t keep investing time into franchises that refuse to have a win now mentality. And unfortunately for Sacramento’s sake, they’re handcuffed for two years.

I’ll check in with the W’s two months from now after Monte Ellis returns and see if there’s something worth cheering then.

Singletary fills us in on his philosophy

In his first game at the helm of the San Francisco 49ers, coach Mike Singletary showed us what kind of job he would do. He benched J.T. O’Sullivan for his 17 turnovers, including three in Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks, and sent Vernon Davis to the locker room for being “nonchalant” about causing his team yards after a penalty.

But who is better to explain Singletary than Singletary himself.