Wednesday, January 02, 2008

plezWorld Top Stories of 2007

Everyone worth their salt always trots out a "Best of..." list for the New Year. I am no different, especially since I've signed up for another Blog-A-Day promotion, except this time I'm in it for the whole year... all 365 days (we get February 29th off for good behavior). So without further ado, for the second year, plezWorld presents the top 14 stories for the year that was...

14. The Artist Also Known as the SugarPlum

Daddy's Little Girl (AKA The SugarPlum) turned 6 a few months ago... and she continues to amaze. Last year, I was amazed at how quickly she lost all of her teeth. This year, the household continues to rock with laughter at her continued antics and budding talent. She has been taking ballet lessons for the greater part of 3 years and piano lessons for about 9 months. And now she has acquired the skill of making presentations before audiences in anticipation of her career goal of becoming a news reporter. And if she sits still long enough, she will regale you with one of her favorite piano pieces.

13. "Come On People" Book Review

I was contacted by the publisher of the Cosby & Poussaint book, "Come On People," to post a book review on plezWorld in exchange for a copy of the book. Having heard a great deal about the Cosby's community meetings and the book, itself, I took the publisher up on the offer. My (uncompleted) book review take a look, by chapter, at the message being conveyed by Cosby & Poussaint: basically, a self-help book to aid the Black community in rediscovering the grandeur and pride that it once had. It is a must read.

12. Picking Winners on ANTM

During Cycle 8 of America's Next Top Model, I let the world in on plezWorld's guilty pleasure. In the process, I picked the winner of the contest. When Cycle 9 was unveiled later in the year, I was write there to pick the winner of that contest. As an ANTM Prognosticator, I'm batting a thousand (1.000)... bring on Cycle 10!

11. Don Imus on the Radio

The sordid details of the Imus Affair provided news and blog fodder for a number of weeks: yeah, he went there and called the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team some nappy headed ho's! To my way of thinking, the reaction (or over-reaction) was much worse than the utterance... Al Sharpton swung into action and soon Imus was packing up his belongings and leaving his radio post.

Al Sharpton got a few more listeners for his sorry attempt at a radio talk show and Imus was back on the air 8 months later. I'm still scratching my head wondering where the righteous indignation sprang from: I'm afraid I hold Black people who set out to destroy the Black community (Black KKK) to a much higher standard than some white crusty old ass fart!

10. Genarlow Wilson

This story captured the imagination of plezWorld because it was complex with a number of layers: this obviously intelligent young man got caught up in the gears of the Georgia State System of Justice and it wouldn't let him go. He was a "victim" of poor judgement: hanging with the wrong people, engaging in the wrong activity, and getting caught on film while hanging with the wrong people whilst engaging in the wrong activity. The good news is that Genarlow Wilson was finally freed from the gears of injustice and plezWorld truly prays that he has learned his lesson and will begin to use proper judgement in the future.

9. Georgia Tech Football

A promising football season ended as it began: on a sour note! We welcomed Boston College to the Flats for a royal arse kicking only to get our little stingers bent!

The season ended with Chan Gailey relieved of his duties, further validation that Taylor Bennett is a nice backup QB, and getting our little stingers bent on a blue field in Boise, Idaho!

The good news is that my friend, Michael Matthews, really got a good start to his professional career with the New York Giants. He is the blocking tight end and has been getting good playing time during his rookie season. I'll be looking for him on Saturday as the Giants travel to Tampa Bay to whip up on the Buccaneers for the first round of the playoffs.

Also, check out plezWorld's College Football Soul Food series.

8. Legs in the Bus - Brainteaser

I have no idea where the traction for this brainteaser came from, but this post gets more hits on plezWorld than anything I've ever written. It is a relatively simple math problem, but these posts continue to get hits on a daily basis.

A friend sent it to me as some junk mail back in October; I solved it and used it while I was posting every day in November. Going back to yesterday and looking at the last 50 visitors to plezWorld, 6 were Google searches for this brainteaser (two were from Australia and one was from Canada)... go figure!

7. Offensive KFC Commercial

My favorite post during 2007 was about this commercial by KFC. My main objection to the commercial was that it portrayed (to me) a negative stereotype of the Black family: it showed a "happy" Black family without a father.

To some, this was a benign fact... but I just felt that was a sad commentary on our society when the role of the father is diminished and/or erased. It is true that most Black households only have a mother, but I felt that it was irresponsible for Kentucky Fried Chicken to glamorize/glorify this fact in their fried chicken commercial. I wrote and called KFC to lodge a complaint.

Since my "rampage," I have not seen this commercial on television... I only hope that it has been retired.

6. Barry Bonds - Home Run King

A warm August night, Barry Bonds jacked Number 756, thus eclipsing Hank Aaron for the most coveted record in all of sports. If nothing else, this event signaled the final salvo of the Steroids Era in baseball.

Should every record of the Steroids Era have an asterisk?

Should any ballplayer of the Steroids Era go into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

5. NaBloPoMo - November 2007

After the first week of November, I began asking myself, "What the HELL were you thinking when you signed up for this?!?"

Well, I'm no quitter and plezWorld successfully posted for every single day for the month of November (even during a weekend when I was on a retreat without Internet connectivity).

It's called National Blog Posting Month... and if that wasn't enough, I've signed up for Blog365!

4. AfroSpear & Blogging

Sometimes you just have to jump in and throw caution to the wind. I joined a group of other Black bloggers to form the AfroSpear (yeah, I've been around since Day One). Some call it a think tank, I just find it to be an interesting consortium of Black bloggers from around the globe who discuss issues that affect the Black community. It has been my privilege to discuss (and argue) about a number of issues, and it seems that our influence has even been felt. Stories such as Shaquanda Cotton, the Jena 6, Genarlow Wilson, Ron Pettaway, Megan Williams, and others have been brought to the forefront as a direct result of bloggers associated with the AfroSpear.

3. War in Iraq

Last year at this time, I was optimistic that the new Democratic majority in Congress would force President Bush to draw down troop levels and begin to de-escalate the war. WRONG! This Congress has laid down and let Bush walk over them while escalating troop levels (via "the surge") and they have continued to fully fund this illegal war... while close to 1,000 soldiers have died.

As of December 31, 2007, close to 3,900 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq (and thousands more are forever scarred by the shrapnel and memories of this war).

2. Michael Vick & The Dirty Birds

I've probably written more posts about Michael Vick than I should have, but this was something that was front and center in plezWorld throughout most of the year. The long and short of it, Michael Vick will spend the next 2 years of his life in prison for operating an illegal dogfighting ring during his spare time from quarterbacking the Atlanta Falcons into NFL obscurity.

During the last 12 months, Vick and his dogs have fired one head coach, caused the next head coach to quit before the end of the season, caused the Dirty Birds to lose three times more games than they won, sent Vick to prison, caused the Falcons to try to recoup close to $20 million in signing bonus money, cause Vick to lose ALL of his lucrative endorsements (worth over $100 million per year), and made a guy who was selling insurance last year look like the savior of the franchise in the final game of the season.

Way to go, Mike!

1. Barack Obama Running for President

I went to a political rally in Atlanta for Barack Obama in April 2007. I was mesmerized by his message and presence. Since that time, I've really upped my support for Obama's candidacy and even contributed some money to his campaign. Latest word has him leading in the polls just prior to the Iowa caucuses which take place on Thursday, January 3, 2008.

Ten months from now, we'll see if plezWorld has picked another winner. Lord knows, we need him!

Well, here's to 2008... Blog on!


Lisa Johnson said...

Happy New Year Plez!! I cannot believe you are doing the 365 day post thing!! I have to hand it to you. It would surely drive me nuts!

It's been a great year on your blog and I've been glad to visit. And by the way, not only are you getting hits from the "Legs in the bus" brainteaser, I've been getting hits from it too! So thanks! : D

Unknown said...

You truly did have a remarkable year in 2007 with your blog ... if not with your football teams!