Saturday, January 27, 2007

Serena Williams Wins Australian Open reports that "unseeded and ranked 81st, Serena Williams won for her eighth and most improbable Grand Slam title Saturday, beating Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-2."

The article goes on to state that Serena Williams becomes only the second unseeded woman to win the Australian title in the Open era; Williams came to Melbourne Park with only three matches at a low-key warmup tournament after missing most of last season because of a knee injury. She was in top form, dismantling Sharapova in 1 hour and 3 minutes. Click here to see ESPN story in its entirety.

plez sez: Go on with your bad self, Serena Williams. You were ready to play when it counted. You have silenced your critics and it is obvious, that you are back!

Incidentally, this is my 100th blog post. One hundred threads out of a rich, colorful, and vast tapestry that is plez's world. I really didn't think I would be around this long. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and contributed to plezWorld!

Friday, January 26, 2007

MLK, Jr Day On Campus

The Smoking Gun reports that students at the University of Connecticut Law School and Tarleton State University in Texas decided to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in an unamusing fashion. The UConn Law Student party featured guests with gold teeth, do-rags, Baby Phat fashions and throwing up faux gang signs. Kurt Strasser, the law school's interim dean, told the Courant, "I hope the students will come to realize that pictures that are put on the Internet are likely to be available to potential employers, clients, and parents."

The event at Tarleton State University featured Aunt Jemima, various takes on gang apparel while guests chowed down on fried chicken and drank malt liquor. The Smoking Gun reports that one of the organizers noted that the party was started a few years earlier "because one of best friends is black or African American, whichever you deem politically correct, to be his day not to dishonor him."

plez sez: My, my, my! I've seen a few diatribes about this incident for other Blacks. Am I offended? Yes, I am. Am I surprised at the audacity of people to have these kinds of racist parties and then post the pictures to the Internet? Nope.

What does surprise me are the Black people who get all upset when they see white people mimic the very stereotypical behavior that many of us deplore. I'm more upset with the pants sagging teenagers, gold-teeth wearing athletes and rappers, shuckin-and-jivin' pimps and hustlers, and scantily clad video ho's who provide the fodder for these events.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Blacks in Football - January 2007

I remember hearing about how Doug Williams engineered the Washington Redskins win in Super Bowl XXII in 1988; I had to hear about it because I had to work that evening and missed the whole game. It was a shock to have a Black man as quarterback in the biggest football game of the year, so shocking that my father flew from Virginia to San Diego to watch the game even though he didn't have a ticket to the game (he paid a scalper a couple of hundred dollars to get into Jack Murphy Stadium).

Fast forward 19 years and history strikes twice! Two weeks ago you had two Black quarterbacks leading their teams in the Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game. Chris Leak led the University of Florida Gators over the Ohio State Buckeyes who were led to an undefeated regular season by Troy Smith.

And in two weeks, Tony Dungy, head coach of the Indianapolis Colts will match football wits with Lovie Smith, head coach of the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Three years ago, Lovie Smith was passed over by the Atlanta Falcons in favor of the untested Jim Mora; he was quickly picked up by the Bears. Seems like poetic justice that the Bears are on their way to the Super Bowl, while the Falcons missed the playoffs and fired Jim Mora after a second lackluster season.

I'm not that big on "The First Black to..." lists, but these are two pretty momentous and significant events that will undoubtedly change the complexion of college and professional sports. Both positions - head coach and quarterback - have been reserved in the past for "intellectual" types (nudge-nudge-wink-wink!) while Black athletes have been traditionally relegated to more athletic pursuits and assistant coaching roles.
Myth 1: One should not waste the boundless athletic ability of a Black athlete on the quarterback position, when he could be running pass routes or running down speedy running backs.
Myth 2: Black men didn't have the management skills to run the successful and disparate operations required to be a successful head coach.
In four short weeks, it appears that these two myths have been debunked. It is only a matter of time before we'll see two Black quarterbacks in the Super Bowl (go Michael Vick)!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Message from Barack Obama

Barack Obama sent me the following message when I signed up at his Presidential Exploratory Committee site.

Dear Plez,

Thank you for signing up to our email list.

Running for President may be a step that I take, but it is a journey I cannot hope to complete without the energy and talents of people like you. A glance across history and my own past as a community organizer on the streets of Chicago has taught me that sweeping change never comes from one person or program, but always from the will and passion of countless voices, working and fighting and marching towards that better place.

This is your chance to lead that change, and I encourage you to participate and ask others to join our effort.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to continuing our conversation in the weeks and months to come.


plez sez: I hope runs. I hope he wins. Lord knows, America need him!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Miami Dolphins Looking at Chan Gailey?!?

The Georgia Tech Sports Blog reports that Tech Head Coach Chan Gailey (and ousted Falcons Head Coach Jim Mora) have been shuttling back-and-forth to Miami to interview for the top job with the Dolphins. Gailey also interviewed for the Pittsburgh Steelers' opening, but it is doubtful that he is in the running for that one any longer.

plez sez: What the...?!? Who in their right mind is going to pay a head coach millions of dollars when he hasn't proven himself to be a bona fide winner? Chan Gailey appears to be a nice enough fellow, but NICE doesn't win championships. Let's take a stroll down the 2006 Yellow Jacket Walk of Fame:

  • Back in 2002, he tapped a first semester freshman - Reggie Ball - to lead the team against the heavily favored Auburn Tigers in his first game and Tech surprisingly won. Two years later, Reggie Ball pulls off a similar feat at Jordan-Hare Stadium!

  • He's had five winning seasons and five bowl appearances, but has never beaten Georgia (not even this season when UGA was playing a freshman QB and Tech was using a slumping 4th year starter - Reggie Ball).

  • Our running back (Tashard Choice) has his way with Notre Dame in the first half and then the run gets abandoned in the second half of a close loss.

  • Obviously in a slump or a funk, Chan sticks with Reggie Ball in the ACC Championship game, which was a losing effort in a field goal-fest.

  • The tight ends (Michael Matthews and George Cooper) have maybe 2 or 3 catches all year and no touchdowns... for the entire season! On a radio call-in show, I heard Chan Gailey say that passes to the tight end are not part of his offense.

  • Tech had the best wide receiver in all of football (in Calvin Johnson), yet the team could go several quarters in some games without getting him the ball.

  • He stuck with Reggie Ball for four years, then jettisoned him for the final game of his college career for "academic performance", even though he's the same Reggie Ball who led the team to its best record (9-2) under Gailey and an opportunity to play for the ACC Championship.

  • Finally, in the Gator Bowl, Tech fields Taylor Bennett, who lights up West Virginia for over 300 yards passing in a losing effort. Why wasn't Bennett used when it was obvious that Reggie Ball wasn't up to snuff against Georgia and Wake Forest? In both games, a half-time adjustment of quarterbacks would've yielded a win for Tech.
Chan Gailey never was a good match for Georgia Tech and it would be almost too convenient if the Miami Dolphins offered him a job. Even though, it would be late in the coaching carousel for Tech to find a quality replacement, with Chan at the helm, it's doubtful that we'd find ourselves back in the hunt for an ACC Championship next year anyway.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Michael Luther King was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. His father will have both of their names changed to Martin Luther King, Sr. and Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. will attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, become a Baptist minister, world-renowned civil rights leader, and an advocate of non-violence. His efforts, beginning with the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 (spawned by Rosa Parks refusal to relinquish her seat to a white passenger) and continuing for the next 13 years, will fundamentally change civil rights for African Americans and earn him a number of honors and awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize (1964), Medal of Freedom, and the NAACP's Spingarn Medal (1957). He joined the ancestors on April 4, 1968 after being assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

plez sez: This is always a somber and reflective day for me, as I have a vague memory of the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. I was a young child of 6 years old, but judging by the reaction of my parents, I could sense that something terrible had gone wrong. It would be but a few years later that I would realize what a great man he was and what we (and I mean all of us, Black, white, Jews, and gentiles) had lost. The first paper that I wrote in the 4th grade was about my hero, Martin Luther King, Jr.

No greater man has stood at the cusp of change and ushered it in with such grace. And the Civil Rights Movement that he helped to birth has taken nary a step forward since that fateful day in April, nearly 40 years ago.

I challenge you to name another person in the history of this nation who has sacrificed his life for a vision of betterment for all people. Martin Luther King, Jr. stands out in my mind as the greatest American who has ever lived.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

White House: Cannot Rule Out Attack of Iran

Well, you probably didn't hear it here first, but I cannot believe this news is coming out so soon after George Bush's ill-received war escalation speech. But CNN reports that on today's "Meet the Press", National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley said the White House is not planning military action against Iran, but refused to rule out the possibility.

plez sez: This kind of news just makes me ill. As if we haven't done enough damage to Iraq, we now have to turn our sights to another country with whom we probably do not want to tangle. What is going to stop Syria from joining in to help Iran? What is going to stop the insurgents who we cannot control in Iraq from deciding to assist Iran in defending itself from the marauding Yankees? And of course, we'll have another faction in Lebanon to decide to start lobbing bombs back into Israel.

Note to the White House: We are not going to divert attention away from the Mess in Iraq by attacking its next door neighbor!

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, we're going to have a military presence in the Middle East for a LONG TIME to come, so we should be looking for ways to make the situation more tenable for our troops, rather than antagonizing our occupied country's neighbors. We may as well go for the gusto: send another 150,000 troops to Baghdad, secure the city, fix the place up, and come up with a plan for how we're going to occupy that joint (comfortably) for another 50-60 years!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

plezWorld Reviews "Stomp The Yard"

My wife and I just got in from viewing the movie "Stomp The Yard" with a sizable portion of South DeKalb County at the Stonecrest AMC 16 (the place was sold out). Cute movie. Neat stepping. Respectful of traditional Black Greek Letter Organizations (fraternities). Nice dancing, a lot of it was too recent for a forty-something like me to appreciate (krumping? clowning?).

Here's an excerpt of a review from
"When DJ (Columbus Short), a troubled youth from Los Angeles, moves to Atlanta to attend Truth University, he discovers "stepping," the age-old style of dance traditionally done in African-American Fraternities, where teams demonstrate complex moves and create rhythmic sounds by using their bodies. DJ's raw talent and hip-hop inspired moves quickly place him at the center of a fierce rivalry between two fraternities, the winner of which will be determined in front of a sold-out arena at the annual stepping championships. But before he can help his teammates, he must battle his own demons and learn the true meaning of brotherhood."
plez looks at the look. This movie was obviously directed by a music video director (Sylvain White), from the opening sequence to the finale, I felt like I was watching the extended-remix version of a music video. Lots of quick shots, inventive overhead shots, and the ubiquitous super slo-mo shot of some very intricate and creative dance moves. I was completely lost at the beginning because I had absolutely no context on the whole "dance/fight/street gang" opening sequence where - I hope I don't ruin it for anyone, but... - DJ's brother (played by music artist and teen heartthrob Chris Brown) gets a bullet to the dome! I'll be honest, that was the most shocking part of the movie.

plez looks at the plot. Basic Hollywood boilerplate: guy overcomes his circumstances, faces his demons, gets the girl, and wins the dance-music-stepping-singing-drumming-spelling-yougettheidea competition at the end of movie. Hey! That sounds a lot like "Drumline" meets "You Got Served" meets "School Daze." If you liked those movies, you'll like this one. If you never heard of those three movies, go see "The Pursuit of Happyness" again, because this movie ain't for you!

plez looks at the frats. I have to admit that I carry a lot bias with me: I am a member of a traditionally Black fraternity and when I was in college, I stepped on numerous occasions (I still have my very first red and white striped cane from my pledge days). It is obvious that the writers were members of Black fraternities as the rival fraternities were models on traditional Black fraternities... down to the step routines! I really enjoyed when the pledges were introduced to the yard, because I know two of the guys who played pledgees in the movie, they are blood brothers and were members of the fraternity chapter that I pledged at Georgia Tech (Yo! Wassup with the cameos Larry & Lamar?!?). The one problem with the fraternity members is that most of the guys are WAAAAY past their college days; some of these guys were 30-something! The main antagonist was played by Darrin "Dance Grooves" Henson who is pushing 35 years old... although he is a great dancer and choreographer, you will instantly recognize him and realize he is much too old for his role.

plez looks at the stepping. I never stepped like that... and if I was 20 years younger, I still don't think I could step like that! To the trained eye, it was obvious which fraternity the movie producers belong to: "their" fraternity won the competition and just about every step routine in the movie was a variation of "their" steps... and their fraternity's name begins with an "A" and ends with an "A." I'll leave it at that.

plez sez: Good music. Nice dancing. Innovative and creative step routines. At times, the costumes were a bit contrived, especially the "Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation" outfits that one step team wore in the competition at the end of the movie. The dialogue and plot was adequate to move the audience from the dance/fight to DJ going to college to his pledging a fraternity to the step competition. If you are familiar with stepping, then you will find the movie at least tolerable.

I give "Stomp the Yard" a GO SEE; the stepping is quite interesting and plezWorld knows 3 or 4 of the extras. Check it out!

January 14, 2007 - "Stomp the Yard" debuted with the top spot for MLK, Jr weekend! CNN reports that "the dance flick "Stomp the Yard" was a step ahead of the competition at the box office, debuting as the No. 1 weekend movie with $22 million."

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bush's New Iraq Plan: Increase Troops

In a nationally televised speech last night, President Bush presented his "plan" for the war in Iraq. You'll notice that he didn't present a plan to END the war in Iraq, his plan basically called for an escalation of violence (with warlike casualties) in an effort to secure Baghdad. By his way of thinking, if we secure Baghdad, then by caveat, the rest of Iraq will just fall into place for his puppet (Nouri al-Maliki)

Excerpts of Bush's 01/10/2007 speech:

"Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents, and there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work."

"This is a strong commitment. But for it to succeed, our commanders say the Iraqis will need our help. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels. So I've committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq.

The vast majority of them -- five brigades -- will be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs."

"This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. Yet, over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents. When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas. Most of Iraq's Sunni and Shia want to live together in peace. And reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make reconciliation possible."

"We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped army, and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi forces, which remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq. ...and Secretary Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq."

"In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and defend us. These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary - and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time. They serve far from their families, who make the quiet sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table. They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty. We mourn the loss of every fallen American - and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice."
You can read the entire transcript of his speech here.

plez sez: At the end of Bush's speech, I could only wonder how much crack they had been smoking in the War Room when they came up with this plan! The obligatory Democratic responders and ex-military talking heads on CNN and PBS were basically wondering the same thing. They all talked about how an extra 20,000 troops would be like "spitting in the wind" to fight a fire and this plan will have a minimal effect on driving down the number of incidents of violence in Baghdad.

There were a few other things in his speech (or missing from the speech) that raised that raised my ire:
  • Bush never talked about WHO we are supposed to be over there fighting, because the "insurgents" are a fluid group of Sunni, Shiite, Kurdish, Al Qaeda terrorists with no formal structure. Our troops are in a quagmire of a civil ware without a defined enemy to focus upon.

  • The President did admit that only Iraqis can end the sectarian violence. So why do we need to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq for a problem that our military cannot solve?

  • Bush will never admit that even though Saddam Hussein was a murderous bully, he did keep the Iraqis in check! With the state that Iraq finds itself in these days, we'll NEVER be able to withdraw our troops or Iraq will fall into anarchy. Those 20,000 troops along with the 150,000 already there are in a Korea-like situation (we've been in South Korea for over 50 years).

  • There is no timetable for withdrawal because we will not be able to leave... see my previous comment. I don't think we should have INVADED Iraq, but now that we are there, I see no possibility of an exit strategy. Bush's speech was his maintenance plan while we continue to prop up their paper government (remember what happened when the Shah of Iran cut our puppet strings?).

  • George Bush has never been honest with the American people:
    (1) he invaded Iraq on a false premise (and I believe he knew it was a false premise of WMDs when we started the bombing),
    (2) he won't admit that he had a personal vendetta against the leader of a sovereign nation and had him removed from power (remember, Saddam Hussein tried to snuff out Bush 41 and Bush 43 vowed that he would avenge the failed attack),
    (3) he let his "fat cat" friends profit from the war (start with Halliburton and work down from there),
    (4) he said we were winning (and had won) the war when we weren't even close,
    (5) he has allowed a formerly stable nation to wallow in instability for over 3 years,
    (6) he has had a blank check (drafted by a Republican Congress) to be a warmonger with no tangible results,
    (7) he hasn't even had a whiff of Osama Bin Laden since the World Trade Center crumbled on September 11, 2001 (question: why didn't we bomb and invade Afghanistan for harboring Bin Laden?), and at last count,
    (8) he has sent over 3,000 Americans to die for NOTHING!
If the Democrats want to find something to do for their second 100 hours on the job, they need to launch a thorough investigation on this Mess in Iraq and begin impeachment proceedings if what I allege is true.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Bobby Petrino - Atlanta Falcon's New Head Coach

ESPN reports that Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has accepted a five-year, $24 million offer from the Atlanta Falcons to become their new coach. Petrino met with his Louisville players Sunday night to let them know he was going to Atlanta. The Falcons scheduled a formal announcement for Monday at 2 p.m. ET.

Petrino said he was leaving for what "I truly feel is the best job in the National Football League."

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank moved quickly to replace Jim Mora, who was fired after 3 seasons as the head coach. Mora's first year was spectacular with the Falcons making it to the NFC Championship game, but the last two seasons have been lackluster with the Falcons unable to make it the playoffs. The production of the offense and Michael Vick (this year, he topped 1,000 yards rushing - a record for the quarterback position in the NFL) was spotty and lacked any consistency. Last year the team started out 6-2 and fell to 8-8 before missing the playoffs. This season, the team started out 5-2 before falling to 7-9 and missing the playoffs.

plez sez: I guessed that Jim Mora would be biting the bullet after such a dismal season (well, dismal for a team that had so much talent and promise). The jury is still out as to whether this coach will be able to nurture and exploit the considerable talents of Michael Vick, who is easily the most exciting quarterback in the NFL!

In addition, this team is going to have to find some more talented offensive lineman who are able to protect Vick. For the past two seasons, he's been getting slaughtered while trying to hang out in the pocket with such an inept group in front of him: the group could not pick up a blitz if their lives depended on it, Vick rarely had more than 2 seconds to drop back and throw a pass, and the run support for Warrick Dunn simply disappeared late in the season.

It appeared that Jim Mora tried to be friends with the guys on the team. As such, I couldn't see evidence of him being in control of the team or laying down the law when it came time for them to produce. A football coach needs to be a strict disciplinarian; if Bobby Petrino cannot separate himself from being a member of "the team," then a similar fate awaits him!

Lastly, there have been a slew of good college coaches who couldn't cut it in the NFL and high tailed it back to college after a couple years: Steve Spurrier (Redskins), Pete Carrol (Jets?), Chan Gailey (Cowboys), Nick Saban (Dolphins)... and even Jim Mora (Falcons) got in hot water a few weeks ago for joking about wanting to go back and coach at his alma mater!


Friday, January 05, 2007

Kappa Alpha Psi Founders Day

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. was founded on January 5, 1911 on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

plez sez: Congratulations on 96 years of Achievement to all of my Fraternity Brothers!

Achievement in every field of human endeavor.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Truth About Black Men

A Public Service Announcement by the cast of "What Black Men Think"


plez sez: The video speaks for itself... very eye-opening and interesting perspective that addresses a number of myths about Black men.

[hat tip: Black Male Appreciation]

Monday, January 01, 2007

plezWorld Top Stories of 2006

It seems as though everyone has a year-end "Best of 2006" list, so it only seems fitting that plezWorld follow suit and enter my top 14 stories for the year that was...

14. Losing teeth

Not a big deal outside of plezWorld, but my little girl is growing up. Five 5 years old and already sporting 5 new teeth; I can only imagine what is going to happen next year.

13. Trans-Atlantic Plot Foiled

I travel for my job; I'm in an airport twice a week, every week! That plot to take explosives on-board some planes and blow them up over the Atlantic Ocean has completely altered the way we travel. The evening of August 10th, it took almost 10 hours for me to fly home.

For several months, travelers were unable to carry any LIQUIDS, CREAMS, or GELS! You don't know frustration until you are on a late night flight to a strange city and all of your toiletries (toothpaste, hair stuff, lotion, shaving stuff, and deodorant) are confiscated at the airport. I curse this War on Terror with every time I have to remove my shoes before walking through the detector!

12. New iPod for Christmas

In the past 2 years, I've had 3 iPods (iPod mini, iPod Nano, and iPod Shuffle). Well, my wife outdid herself when she got me a bad ass 80GB Video iPod. I can save every song that I have on CD to this thing... and it even has my name engraved on the back! Thanks, honey!

11. Death of Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King filled the shoes of Martin Luther King, Jr. with grace and class since an assassins bullet brought his life to an end in 1968. With her death on January 31, I feel that the Civil Rights Movement has officially ended.

10. Democrats Take over the House and the Senate

Back in August, I predicted the demise of the Democratic Party and here we are a few months later with them kicking the Republicans to the curb - the mid-term elections were on November 7. So much for my career as a political prognosticator! But with George Bush's War in Iraq going so poorly and a "do-nothing" Congress for the past 6 years, the Republicans made themselves an easy mark. If George Bush can figure out a way to weasel out of Iraq before the 2008 elections, it will be interesting to see how much control the Democrats will be able to retain - I don't recall much in the area of ideas coming out of this group except their dissatisfaction with the War in Iraq.

9. Saddam Hussein Verdict and Execution - November 5/December 29

I'm not a big fan of the War in Iraq; I don't even think we should be over there handling a Bush Family Vendetta! But I'll handle that alittle later in this post. Saddam Hussein was a bad man... yada! yada! yada! There are a lot of bad men in this world, there are a lot of bad men in this world who kill and maim lots of innocent people... but the US isn't there doing some shadow government's bidding, either.

It's a good thing that he is gone, but when placed in the balance of life, Hussein's death doesn't come close to to the 3,000 US troops who have died while serving in Iraq!

Saddam Hussein was executed on December 29, 2006.

8. E. coli in the Spinach

There's some e. coli in my spinach. What gives here? No more spinach salad... for a long time! And the same thing goes for Taco Bell.

7. Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl without Reggie Ball

Reggie Ball is a senior at Georgia Tech and he has been the starting quarterback since his first game as a freshman. I find it more than alittle strange that after 4 years of blood, sweat, and tears for this team, he'd be jettisoned for "academic ineligibility." He's not the most popular guy on the team and I would venture a guess that there's a good chance that he isn't even the best quarterback that they have, but to strip him of the opportunity to play in the final game of his career at Georgia Tech (this isn't the pro's) has taken disloyalty to a new low!

Georgia Tech announced that Reggie Ball was academically ineligible on December 22, 2006.

6. Senator Barack Obama in the Spotlight

Should he run? Or shouldn't he? I'm not that impressed with Hillary Clinton: she is plastic, predictable, and a politician. She has none of the charisma of her husband and I don't think she'll find enough votes to win any states outside of New York (and maybe Massachusetts). Barack Obama is engaging, charismatic, photogenic, and seemingly pragmatic. He comes across as reasoned and balanced. Some say Hillary and Barack would be a killer ticket... I'd rather see him on the 2008 Presidential Ticket with John Edwards.

5. The Atlanta Falcons Fly South in November

After a 5-2 start, the Falcons gravitated to their old ways and ended the season at a miserable 7-9 (losing their last game to the NFC East Division Eagles who played backups for the entire game). The skid began with losses to the Lions, Browns, Ravens, and Saints. It looks like Head Coach Jim Mora should put the house up for sale. If the head coach isn't fired, the Falcons should look to deal Michael Vick to another team, because it is clear that the coaching staff has no idea how to make this guy a winner (even though, he had his best years under former Head Coach Dan Reeves).

4. Year of the Blog

I started this blog on February 14, 2006 because I had to register with to add a comment to a friend's blog... and as the old saying goes: The rest is history! I had no idea that 10 months later I'd still be at it. It has been a BLAST and I've learned more from this and other blogs than I'll ever see in a newspaper or on the nightly news. This is definitely the wave of the future and I can see how Time Magazine selected me (and you) to be its Person of the Year.

3. 3,000 US Soldiers Killed in Iraq

I was in the airport a few months ago and watched as one of our soldier's caskets was loaded on my plane in Philadelphia. His body was undoubtedly on its way to its final resting place. The tears welled up in my eyes to think that a young man's life was snuffed out in his prime while he was over in a foreign country fighting a war without reason. This young man was some one's son, some one's father, some one's husband, some one's friend. I have no idea why we're in Iraq, and I'm sure he didn't know why he was going to die in Iraq, because only George Bush knows why we are in Iraq... and it ain't about WMDs, or Al Qaeda or Osama Bin Laden or liberating the Iraqi people. My stomach churns and the tears flow just as freely today as they did that fall morning. Three thousand lives is a high price to pay whatever the reason.

As of December 31, 3,000 soldiers have died in Iraq.

2. Death of James Brown

I was helping Santa Claus with my daughter's Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve when I saw a short blurb on CNN about the death of James Brown. He was a musical icon and genius who changed music. He was a flawed man, but a giant in the music industry. I love music and I probably listen to more James Brown and James Brown influenced music than any other genre. I'm going to miss the Godfather.

1. Hank Johnson Victory for US House of Representatives

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) essentially gave Hank Johnson her seat in Congress when she rumbled with the Capital Police on March 29 at a security checkpoint. The officer claimed that he didn't recognize the congresswoman without her legislative lapel pin and tried to stop her to verify her credentials. The ensuing weeks of embarrassment to her constituents moved many to oust her in favor of Hank Johnson during the Democratic Run-off on August 8.

Hank Johnson made the top of my plezWorld list because I've probably devoted more space to this subject than any other during 2006. Well, here's to 2007... Blog on!