The Gabby Douglas Story was the perfect way to end the weekend, an awesome way to begin Black History Month and an amazing way to begin the work week.
The movie debuted on Lifetime on February 1. Gabrielle Douglas “the first woman of color and the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion, and the first American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics as well as being the only American All-Around Champion to win multiple gold medals, thus far.” She did all of that two years ago, when she was only 16-years old. Imani Hakim, most known as the little sister on “Everybody Hates Chris”, portrayed Miss Douglas (14-16 yrs) perfectly on screen – a young, positive, uplifting teen positively influencing other young Black, White, Hispanic and Asian kid’s teens her age.
The film shows people, no matter their age, not to give up on their dream. And if they keep practicing and working hard, that dream will be their reality. This was a turn from the movies involving rape, incest, murder, and other violent themes we usually see on Lifetime. Not to say these movies aren’t just as good, but this [The Gabby Douglas Story] is just one that has a more positive aspect.
Side Note: The Gabby Douglas Story’s debut reeled in over 3.8 million viewers. In case you missed the film, you can watch it in its entirety HERE.
By: LaQuesha Williams, contributing intern for STACKS Magazine
The No. 15 University of Central Florida Knights defeated the No. 6 Baylor Bears 52-42 in the BCS Fiesta Bowl. This was both schools first appearance in the final year of BCS bowl games. UCF was a 17 point underdog coming into the game, led the whole game except when the score was tied at 28. Star Quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 301 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, had a rushing touchdown and ran for a career-high 93 yards for the Knights. Bortles was the Fiesta Bowl MVP and help the Knights become the Fiesta Bowl Champions. Bortles is projected be a top five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Knights Running Back Storm Johnson led the team with 124 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. Knights Wide Receiver Rannell Hall had 4 catches, a game-high 113 yards receiving and a game-high 2 touchdown catches. Bears Quarterback Bryce Petty threw for 356 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and had 3 rushing touchdowns. Bears Running Back Lache Seastrunk led the team in rushing with 117 yards.
Baylor defense couldn’t stop Bortles or Johnson and clearly looked like the underdogs most of the game. UCF is finally on the map with a big-time football program and they have the second largest university in America. Hopefully this win can get them a top ten final AP poll finish and a top 10 recruiting class.
By: Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine
The Tampa Bay Bucs defeated the Miami Dolphins 22-19 for their first win of the season. Bucs Running Back Bobby Rainey scored the final touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Bucs. The Bucs defense held the Dolphins to a total of two yards rushing, the Bucs rushed for 140 yards total. Rookie Quarterback Mike Glennon threw for 139 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
Dolphins Quarterback Ryan Tannehill passed for 229 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Dolphins Wide Receiver Rishard Matthews had a breakout game with 11 catches, 120 yards and 2 touchdowns, both career highs. Miami has lost five out of their last six games after starting the season 3-0. The Bucs became the last team in the NFL to win a game this season and will most likely end up with a top three pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Ashley Pope is a performance enhancement specialist, personal trainer, life and wellness coach and she also plays in the Models Basketball League and Legends Football League. Ashley is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and she has a degree in Engineering Science.
How long have you been a performance enhancement specialist, personal trainer and life and wellness coach and did you take any specific training to become one?
I started the fitness industry in 2001 and got certified first through AAAI, then shortly after through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) to be a personal trainer with the Rush Fitness Complex in Knoxville, TN. I trained four 4 years before becoming a Fitness Manager with them in Chattanooga, then a Regional Fitness Manager in Greensboro, NC. I decided in the fall of 2011 to become a certified in Performance Enhancement Training through NASM and leave my position at the Rush on good graces to pursue bigger sports and training opportunities in a bigger city and build an empire, so to speak. I have big dreams! Life coaching comes with training and over 13 years of working with people on developing their mental and physical approach to achieving results and sticking with them. The world of health and wellness is a roller coaster for most people, and a lot of times individuals need a guide to help them through!
How can people fight obesity and what healthy foods do you recommend to eat?
Being overweight, obese, or unhealthy is truly the result of consuming too many calories and not moving enough. That’s it. Yes, you can get really technical about making healthy food choices, etc. but first you need to focus on burning more calories or energy in a day than you consume. So I would first recommend trying to be more active and get at least 30 min of exercise a day, in some form or fashion. As far as food choices go, I would stick to lean proteins such as chicken, light fish, turkey, eggs, and yogurt, whole grain carbohydrates and non starchy options such as oats, whole grain products, quinoa, beans, tons of fresh vegetables, citrus fruits and berries, and healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil in moderation.
What are the pros and cons of being a personal trainer and performance enhancement specialist?
Some of the pros of being a life coach are that it is very rewarding being a part of someone’s transformation. The look on their face when they hit a goal, or accomplish something amazing they never thought they could do is priceless. It is fun, challenging, uplifting, and always changing. I never was a 9-5 stuck in a cubicle kind of woman! I suppose the cons would be that it can be frustrating when people don’t make the commitment to themselves to change and don’t work to their full potential. It can also be inconsistent, which is hard to plan and deal with financially sometimes.
What interested you about joining the Models Basketball League and Legends Football League?
I pursued playing football and basketball for the LFL and MBL respectively because I grew up playing sports, mainly basketball softball and volleyball and absolutely love being part of a sports team and enjoy being pushed to my limits physically and mentally in athletics. I have watched LFL for a few years and always knew if I had the opportunity to be in a city with a team I would find a way to make the team. The MBL is exciting to me because it allows us opportunities to play in exciting situations and meet great people, and Justina is an awesome CEO and sets up many events, fundraisers, photoshoots, etc. for us to participate in. Plus I have met some really incredible girls in both leagues that I am so happy to call my great friends!
If you weren’t in the fitness industry, what would you be doing?
Hmmm…great question. I would say I would definitely be dealing with the body and wellness in some form or fashion. My degree is actually in Engineering Science/Biomedical Engineering, and at one point I wanted to design prosthesis and orthotics for patients. I would actually love to work more with challenged athletes. I have recently acquired a client who is a sponsored athlete and double amputee of the legs, and he is awesome! He has performed and placed in the Paralympics, and he is a total beast! Great inspiration!
Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
I am a down to earth yet outgoing girl who loves football (watching and playing), basketball, and working out with people so they can achieve amazing mental and physical results! I enjoy spending times with my friends and my dog Camo, and I am so in love with the city of Atlanta and all it has to offer!
How can fans keep in contact with you through social networks?
If you are interested in coaching of any level (I also do motivational speaking and Skype coaching), feel free to email me at email@example.com. You can also check out my blog at 3bqueen.wordpress.com to see some insight into my philosophies…very much into mind, body, and soul development. Also, follow me on IG at ballerchic99, Twitter at queenP51, or Facebook at Ashley LFL Pope.
Interview submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
No. 10 University of Miami Hurricanes defeated the University of North Carolina Tarheels, 27-23 and avoided their first loss of the season. Hurricanes Running Back Dallas Crawford rushed for a career high 137 yards and 2 touchdowns. Crawford also scored the final touchdown of the game with 16 seconds remaining, the Hurricanes still managed to win despite their Quarterback Stephen Morris throwing for 4 interceptions. Both teams had over 500 total yards of offense and the Hurricanes outrushed the Tarheels 234 yards to 105 yards.
The Hurricanes improved to 6-0 and the Tarheels are now 1-5. The Canes are in the picture to play in the ACC Championship game this season. The Canes lost their top Running Back Duke Johnson to injury in the game, after Crawford performance the Canes should have any issues at that position. The Tarheels did have a chance to win the game after moving the ball to Miami’s 28 yard line, Quarterback Bryn Renner pass was incomplete even though the pass was almost caught. The Canes still have to play two teams in the top 20 and if they can won those games they may can play in the BCS Championship game.
Submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
The Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants 27-21 and Giants are 0-6 for the first time since 1976. Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 262 yards, 2 touchdowns, both touchdowns were thrown to Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall. Marshall had 9 catches for 87 yards while Running Back Matt Forte led the team in rushing with 67 yards. Giants Quarterback Eli Manning had another horrible throwing for 239 yards with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions.
Giants Running Back Brandon Jacobs led the team 106 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. The Giants running game has been very disappointing this season and this was their best rushing performance of the season. Bears Cornerback Tim Jennings intercepted Cutler twice and returned one of the interceptions for a 48 yard touchdown. Jennings intercepted Cutler with 1:54 left in the 4th Quarter to seal the victory for the Bears. The Giants running game looks like it’s finally headed in the right direction. Once Eli stops committing turnovers, the Giants should be able to get their first win.
Submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
(via press release)
NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) today hosted investors at its world headquarters and announced its goal to deliver $36 billion in revenue by fiscal year 2017. The company also stated it expects to deliver revenues of $30 billion by fiscal year 2015, at the top end of its previously announced target range of $28-30 billion.
“NIKE, Inc. is designed to win. We’ve never been better positioned to capitalize on the opportunities ahead of us,” said NIKE, Inc. President and CEO Mark Parker. “We have a strong management team and we are accelerating our innovation agenda to create products and services that drive growth in the marketplace, deliver exciting retail experiences globally and expand the capabilities of our powerful supply chain.”
The Company expects NIKE Brand growth across its business portfolio of geographical business units, product types, businesses and categories. Some of the NIKE Brand fiscal 2017 growth targets highlighted at the meeting included:
- Apparel to grow from $7.5 billion to $10 billion
- Women’s business to grow from $4 billion to $7 billion**
- Direct to Consumer e-commerce business to grow from nearly $550 million to $2 billion
Investors and media are invited to view the replay of the webcast and slides from the event at http://investors.nikeinc.com.
Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl Wide Receiver, Julio Jones, will miss the remainder of the 2013 season due to injuring his fractured foot. Jones is the Falcons leading receiver and also is leading the NFL in receptions this season with 41 before the injury. Jones suffered the injury during the Falcons lost on Monday night to the New York Jets. The Falcons have been battling injuries since the season began, newcomer Running Back Stephen Jackson hasn’t played since Week 2. Wide Receiver Roddy White is also expected to miss the Falcons next game or possible more.
Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon suffered a foot injury and expected to be out at least till Week 11. Tight End Tony Gonzalez and Wide Receiver Harry Douglas are going to have to fill the void for White and Jones if the Falcons stand any chance of making the playoffs. Their defense will have to step their game up and shut down their opponents. The Falcons have one of the deepest teams in the NFL, but they have been hobbled by injuries. It look like it will take a miracle for them to make the playoffs and overcome Jones injury.
Article submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
The New York Jets defeated the Atlanta Falcons 30-28 after Kicker Nick Folk kicked a 43 yard field goal as time expired. Jets Rookie Quarterback Geno Smith had another impressive game completing 16 out of 20 passes for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Jets are now 3-2 and have only been blown out in one game so far this season. Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 319 yards, 2 touchdowns, Wide Receiver Julio Jones had 8 catches and led the team in yards with 99 yards receiving. Falcons Running Back Jacquizz Rodgers led the Falcons in rushing and a career high 2 rushing touchdowns.
The Falcons are now a disappointing 1-4 and would need to win at least 10 out of the next 15 games to make the playoffs. The Falcons have the talent to win that many games, they just have to stay healthy. Tight End Tony Gonzalez had 10 catches for 97 yards and Defensive End Osi Umenyiora recorded 2 sacks against the Jets. The Jets Defensive did record two fumbles and both of those turnovers were very costly to the Falcons. The Jets future is looking brighter with Smith at Quarterback. Also, the Jets are capable of making the playoffs as long as Smith doesn’t commit many turnovers and their defense continues to be one of the best in the NFL.
Submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
The Cleveland Browns defeated the Buffalo Bills 37-24 after scoring 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. The Browns went on to score the final 20 points of the game and have won three games in a row. The Browns are now 3-0 since trading Running Back Trent Richardson and making fifth year Brian Hoyer Starting Quarterback. The Browns are 3-2 and that’s their best five game start since 2001, they are leading the AFC North with the best record.
Browns Running back Willis McGahee led the team in rushing with 28 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown, Wide Receiver Josh Gordon led the team with 4 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. Hoyer was injured very early in the game and backup Browns Quarterback Brandon Weeden helped led the team to victory. Hoyer was playing well in the two games he started, throwing for 590 yards with 5 touchdowns, 3 interceptions with an 82.6 Quarterback Rating.
If Hoyer continues to improve, the Browns will have a higher draft pick and that would decrease their chance of drafting their Quarterback of the future. If Hoyer leads the Browns to the playoffs, they may already have their Quarterback of the future and can use those draft picks on other selections.
Article submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
The New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots are off to a 4-0 start. The New York Giants have struggled to a 0-4 start, The Atlanta Falcons, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles are a disappointing 1-3 and the San Francisco 49ers are 2-2 after losing in last year’s Super Bowl. New Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid have doubled the Chiefs win total from last season, Chiefs only won two games last season. Reid and new Quarterback Alex Smith have brought a winning mentality to the Chiefs.
The Saints are 4-0 for the first time since 2009 the year the won the Super Bowl. If the Saints continue to play like this and their offense scores, they should win their division with ease. The Saints defense has always been suspect, not many teams stand a chance in a shootout with the Saints.
The Giants and Redskins both have struggled this season, playing bad on both sides of the ball. Many believe Redskins Second Year Quarterback Robert Griffin III came back to early from season ending injury. Griffin Quarterback Rating has dropped from 102.4 from his Rookie Year to a 85.5. The Giants have gave up 31 points or more each game and are 0-4 for the first time since 1987. Once the Patriots leading Wide Receiver Danny Amendola and Tight End Rob Gronkowski return, the Patriots will be more of a threat in their passing game.
The first half winners of the season are the Broncos, Saints, Chiefs, Patriots, and Seahawks. The losers of the first half of the season are the Giants, Redskins, Falcons, and Eagles.
Article submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer of STACKS Magazine.
Ok. This is beginning to be a bit much.
Shortly after Joe Odom went on a verbal rampage against the Kardashians in the media, his son contacted him with a verbal assault of his own. According to TMZ, Joe says that Lamar called him pissed off about the things he’d said about him and his relationship with the Kardashians. Joe’s remarks didn’t sit too well with his son. So, to retaliate, Lamar is now refusing to continuing supporting his father.
Joe says that Lamar will no longer pay his $2,900 rent and that he’ll be soon kicked out of his apartment. He anticipates being out on the street by the end of next month.
Do you think Lamar’s refusal is justified? I mean, it’s a shame that will allow his pops to be back out on the streets. With Joe’s history of drug abuse, not being in a safe and healthy environment is the last place he needs to be.
No. 9 Georgia Bulldogs beat the No. 6 LSU Tigers 44-41 when Quarterback Aaron Murray threw the game winning touchdown to Justin Scott-Wesley with 1:47 remaining. Murray threw for 4 touchdowns, had a rushing touchdown and passed for 298 along with 1 interception. Former Georgia Quarterback and current LSU Quarterback Zach Mettenberger passed for a career high 372 yards and threw for 3 touchdowns. Georgia out-rushed LSU 196-77 yards, Bulldogs Wide Receiver Chris Conley led the team in receiving with 112 yards and Tigers Wide Receiver Jarvis Landry led the team in receiving with 156 yards.
West Virginia Mountaineers upset the No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys 30-21, after trailing 7-0 the Mountaineers led the rest of the game. The Cowboys had three turnovers and one of them an interception that West Virginia Cornerback Ishmael Banks returned for a 58 yard touchdown. Florida State transfer Quarterback Clint Trickett made his first start with West Virginia passing for 309 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. West Virginia improves to 3-2 and Oklahoma State is now 3-1 and most likely won’t be ranked in the top 15 anymore.
Article submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
The Indiana Pacers signed guard/forward Paul George to a multi-year contract extension. George won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award last season and made his first All-Star appearance last season as a reserve. George was also named to the All-NBA third team and the All-Defensive second team last season. George averaged 17.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.8 steals last season, all were career highs. George played even better in the playoffs last season and was one the reasons why the Pacers took Miami Heat to 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals.
This off-season the Pacers resigned Forward David West, signed Free Agent Forward Chris Copeland, Guard C.J. Watson and acquired Forward Luis Scola in a trade from the Phoenix Suns. The Pacers have one of the deepest teams in the NBA and with Former All-Star Danny Granger returning from injury they should be a better team this season. Guards George Hill and Lance Stephenson both had career highs last season in points, rebounds, assists and steals. Stephenson will either return to the bench with Granger back or Granger will become the Pacers Sixth Man. The Heat are the favorites to win the Eastern Conference again this season and the Pacers are definitely still a threat to them.
Article submitted by Abner Jackson, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Remember M.I.A.’s performance during the Super Bowl halftime in 2012?? Well, despite her performance being good and alongside a pop icon Madonna, just like Janet Jackson’s infamous nip slip, M.I.A. is now being penalized by the National Football League.
The NFL has apparently suing the singer for $1.5 million for her middle finger hand gesture made during that performance. They claimed that M.I.A. was in breech of contract by flipping the finger which wasn’t a good look for the NFL and the 167 million viewers who were watching.
Of course, this didn’t sit too well with the outspoken artist. M.I.A. recorded a Youtube video to explain her disgust with the entire situation. Check out what she had to say…
“The NFL thing is completely ridiculous. It’s been making me laugh for a while, but now it’s so boring, I don’t even laugh anymore.
Now they’re scapegoating me into figuring out the goal posts on what is offensive in America. Is my finger offensive or is an underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience?”
DO YOU THINK THE NFL IS GOING OVERBOARD WITH THIS LAWSUIT?
The Atlanta Braves won the NL East Title and their first division title since 2005. The Braves went on to win 14 consecutive division titles that ended in 2006. The Braves have a half game lead over the Washington Nationals for the best record in the National League. If the Braves finish with the best record, they would have home field advantage throughout the NL playoffs. The Braves have been one of the hottest teams this season and had a 14 game winning streak that ended in August.
The Braves are the best home team in baseball with a 703 winning percentage (52-22 home record). Third baseman Chris Johnson is leading the NL with .332 batting average and First baseman Freddie Freeman has been mentioned as a MVP candidate this year. 2011 NL Rookie of the Year Pitcher Craig Kimbrel has 49 saves with a 1.27 ERA and is considered by many the best closer in the NL.
The Braves haven’t won a playoff series since 2001 and this team should be considered a threat once the playoffs start. If the Braves can obtain home field advantage throughout the playoffs and Freeman, Johnson, and Kimbrel show up, the Braves should end their first round drought – and could eventually become World Series Champs.
Article submitted by Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Serena Williams is undeniably the best woman’s tennis player in the game today. She’s consistently defeated the odds and minor ailments to show others what determination is all about.
Over the weekend, Serena Williams, won her fifth U.S. Open title. America’s golden child, although frustrated at times, ended with the win and her 17th Grand Slam title. “Vika’s such a great opponent, she’s such a great fighter,” Williams, after jumping for joy seven times in celebration, said in her on-court interview next to Azarenka, who cried after losing her second straight U.S. Open final to Williams in three sets. “It was never over until match point.”
Williams is the only female (and richest female tennis player) to earn close to $10 million in one season. This win earned her $3.6 million and has pushed her total career earnings to $50 million.
Congrats to Serena!!
Finally, retired NFL players and the league have reached an agreement regarding illnesses received post-career.
In a recent court order, a federal judge has awarded $800 million in damages to several retirees. The case, which has been ongoing since 2011, was a battle for many players who believed that due to the rigorous and dangerous on-field plays they encountered health issues (i.e. Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Depression). According to the Associated Press…
More than 4,500 former athletes — some suffering from dementia, depression or Alzheimer’s that they blamed on blows to the head — have sued the NFL since the first case was filed in Philadelphia in 2011. They accused the league of concealing the long-term dangers of concussions and rushing injured players back onto the field, while glorifying and profiting from the game’s violence.
The settlement would cover all 18,000 former NFL players and totals $765 million, the vast majority of which would go to compensate athletes with certain neurological ailments. It would also set aside $75 million for medical exams and $10 million for medical research.
Individual payouts would be capped at $5 million for men with Alzheimer’s disease; $4 million for those diagnosed after their deaths with a brain condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy; and $3 million for players with dementia, said lead plaintiffs’ lawyer Christopher Seeger.
The NFL, which has annual revenue of about $9 billion, has insisted that safety has always been a top priority, and in settling the thousands of cases it admitted no wrongdoing.
Although some NFL players have developed these illnesses, the league still stands by its oath that “safety comes first.” However, due to the affects these health issues has had on football players (retired and present), the NFL will implement new rules and regulations to eliminate hits to the head and neck areas. One rule is that ball carriers can no longer use the crown of their helmet to make contact with defenders. Also, any player that suffers a concussion while on the field will not be allowed to play or practice until they have been thoroughly evaluated by an independent neurologist.
2013 has been the year of well-known famous athletes coming out the closet and telling the world this is “me.” Recently, WWE wrestler superstar Darren Young has reported to TMZ that he is gay and chooses no longer to hide.
Young admitted to a TMZ correspondent in the LAX airport that he was in a great place in his life and “Happy” to be honest. The WWE organization stated, “we will continue to support Darren as a WWE superstar.” John Cena also supports Young in his coming out.
The WWE will be hosting a Be A Star anti-bullying rally in Los Angeles that Darren will be a part of. Although the world has a long way to go, the coming out of Darren Young and support of his fans and the WWE organization shows strides in tolerance.
Article submitted by Dameon Daniels, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
The world of female sports has expanded over the years to include several unconventional athletic activities. Outside of the WNBA, roller blading and lingerie football significantly increased their fan bases and participation across the U.S. In 2013, there’s another sport that may seem a bit “kiddie”, but has made a big buzz in many cities. In Atlanta, the sport of kickball has become a big ordeal. Kickball leagues/chapters have sprouted up all across the city and the ladies are loving it.
To understand the why kickball has become so popular and what’s the sport entails, STACKS Magazine writer Dameon “Ziggy” Daniels linked up with several members of the Lady’s First League’s Team Pink Panties to learn more about the sport.
Team Pink Panties (interviewees)
Kisha Lewis – McDowell/ Boss Lady
Kandisse Tate – First Lady Manager of Operations
Tiffany Castillo – Player (Outfielder)
Ron Ragland – League Director
Ziggy: How long has the league been in existence?
Kisha: We have been playing for 2 ½ years, we started as a softball team called Pink Panties and transferred into a kickball league which is now Lady’s First Kickball League…. We decided to go full force and we love it… its exciting and we kick butt!
Ziggy: Why did you decide to change from softball to kickball what was the purpose of that?
Ron: The purpose of the shift from softball to kickball is the fun and excitement… it’s also a social activity for the women that are involved…. The sport isn’t as hardcore, it involves playing kickball, getting in shape and women can feel good with their family without being beat up because it doesn’t involve as much strain on the body….
Kandisse: My opinion is the Kickball movement started as a way of allowing an all-female league to get in shape, workout and network with a group of positive women for employment, events etc., Women can also make new friendships because for me as I got older it became more of a challenge to create new relationships…
Ziggy: What is the selection process for getting into the league and playing on a team? I would assume everybody wants to play and you have to say no sometimes because you it’s still a competition and you play to win….
Kisha: Umm…. I have been open about the selection process for all women short, tall, all shapes and colors…. Of course we do have a few competitive teams that take you through the ringers and other teams even do tryouts… Our team Pink Panties started as a Softball team so we were already established….The other selection process happens during registration…. I try to place interested players with teams that are more suitable to that person’s personality, living area etc., or more accessible….
Ziggy: What do you think some of the challenges have been in developing the league, working to get a buzz and type of notoriety to be as big as your vision?
Ron: The biggest challenge has been funding…. Our goal is creating a social activity for people to come out and enjoy themselves…. We are basically getting the word out by connecting to positive causes such as community events, visiting homeless shelters, cancers & diabetes walks…. This is more than a kickball league to us it’s also an opportunity to give back which also allows us to promote health and wellness….
Kisha: Some of the challenges I face starting a kickball league is the competition of everybody wanting to start a league…. Everybody isn’t has passionate as the other person so I always have to think of ways to stay cutting edge, think about registration fees and being innovative….
Ziggy: When I think of sports I think of practices, games and time so what has the adjustment of being away from your family during game and practice days been like?
Kandisse: The league is very family oriented…. On practice days if you have children it allows both the child and parent be able to come exercise, play and release the stress of that day…. I consider myself the nannie of the team because all the kids love and play with me but truly we all have each other’s back, a sisterhood and family atmosphere…..
Ron: I would like to add that some of the boyfriends and husbands come out and fitness train with the women and also coach…. So I agree with Kandass that it’s a family organization….
Ziggy: We are all familiar with First Lady Michelle Obama’s obesity initiative…. How can you say what you are doing with the league compliments this initiative or even for rising young ladies looking to be a part of something positive…..
Kandisse: It goes hand-in-hand in my opinion… Our primary goal is to promote health and wellness and provide a fun and friendly atmosphere for the entire family…. And again It’s a great way to network and make friends….
Kisha: We promote several different organizations…. We have players that are cancer survivors and have other illnesses…. When I initially started the league the primary goal was health and wellness…. I specifically wanted to lose weight, some wanted to look like reality stars and models which are ok reasons but ultimately finding an avenue or activity that we all did in school and still can do…. I don’t do Zumba cause I don’t dance but the one thing I could do and that’s play kickball…. I have ladies from 50 & 60 years old that are still active…. It’s just a beautiful thing!
Ziggy: What are some of the things that you look for in players? What if there are women that are interested but feel like they aren’t a good enough or not a fit for kickball but would like to be?
Kisha: Our goal in Ladies first Kickball association is everybody is a winner…. I don’t turn anybody down…. We have a great team of coaches and our Director Ron is great with all the ladies in the league…. John Womack is one the best coaches around and his motto is “If you put them on the field I will train them.” All women are welcomed I have women from 90lbs to 300lbs…. We have testimonials on the Ladies first kickball page and FaceBook of weight loss stories…
Kandisse: There is a place for everybody in the league playing or not… you can be in the stands and support or take score because everybody doesn’t want to play kickball but there is a place…. We support and encourage everybody especially our LGBT community because we are open and we are a big sisterhood…. We have women that have played and later decided that it may be a bit competitive and have decided to support in other ways….
Ziggy: As a player what has been some of your most satisfying moments being on the team?
Tiffany: Just being on the Pink Panties team is satisfying…. I love our leadership, coaches and management…. One thing that our coach has instilled in us is we are all winners regardless if we when or loose and we are ladies of distinction…. Also we win a lot of our games which is really satisfying…. All of the ladies just come together on one accord…
Ziggy: Has there ever been a time that you felt that you wanted to throw in the towel with kickball?
Tiffany: There have been a few times when I wanted to walk away… Because I am such a real and loyal person and I see things are not moving in the right direction I call it how I see it…. There have been several times I have told Kisha I was finished but she said to me suck it up cause your jersey has already been ordered…. But I have learned such a great lesson on how to deal with several personalities…. I have learned to be flexible and adapt and not to be so vocal all the time… There are so many intelligent but strong minded people on the field….
Ron: Sometimes women bring emotions on the field…. There may be some personal issues going on at home or on the job… But we all have a bond and eventually work through most issues if any…
Kandisse: It’s a way of allowing the ladies to have an outlet and people have to learn to work together but the sisterhood allows us to give take…
Ziggy: What are some life-long lessons you can take away from kickball and what are some of the most humbling moments?
Kisha: Humbling: The best feeling is when 160 women with their families on the field, the support from the community…. Seeing so many teams on the field and see my vision coming alive… Coming from playing on a paved road to opening day was very emotional for me…. Also the prayer that we have incorporated….Life Long Lessons: You can do anything you put your mind too…. I have always wanted to bring people together from having parties or feeding the homeless…. This league is an outlet and even though it has become a part-time job I love it!
Kandisse: I’m not sure about a life-long lesson but if there is one thing that I can say is my sister Kisha starting this league is humbling…. Being able to see my sister Kisha grow every year and watching how she sets out to do whatever she puts her mind too…. She and her husband are go getters and have a huge following of supports…. She is a forward thinker and she thought above and beyond to stand out….
Tiffany: Lessons Learned: I met Kisha last year and from day one I looked up to her… I saw this woman execute a vision….. In our previous league there were some challenges and I said to Kisha you should start your own league… She brushed me off in the beginning but here we are…. Kisha is a Boss Lady and its humbling to me to watch her operate as a entrepreneur….There are businesses that I want to start and watching such a strong black woman like Kisha motivates me…. She can take my hand and get started the way she did… That’s made me very humble and her encouragement to continue to press forward….
Ron: Humbling: When Kisha and I got together and decided that we would do a tournament that turned into a league…. A lot of people do this for the wrong reasons but we put the vision first and moved it forward…. Kisha believed in me and that was very humbling…
Ziggy: What is the one thing you want to leave with the readers?
Kandisse: I would like the readers to know that we are open to anybody who wants to be involved to come out and be a part of the league… We have award ceremonies, dinners, screen on the green… It’s not always kickball it’s about fun and family…
Kisha: I want the readers to just give kickball a try… Bring your family out because we support everybody and everybody makes really good connections…. Don’t count us out because we are growing and there is a place for everybody….
Ron: It’s about bringing family and friends together to support each other and health and wellness… It’s a great outlet and inspiration …. Lastly we need more male support.
Tiffany: Kickball as a whole is evolving in the city of Atlanta…It’s a very competitive organized sport…. If there is someone out there wanting to change their life-style and health then this is the place… Like Kisha said this sport has a place for everybody… It’s not the same sport from grade school…Everyone is welcome!
Ziggy: How can people connect with the League?
Kisha: We have a Ladies First phone line at 404-438-4340, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook Ladies First Kickballers…. We do registration throughout the year at different locations but the best way to reach us is on our phone line.
Special thanks to Team Pink Panties for the interview!
When will some of these young black athletes grow up and learn that when you play with fire you will get burned.
Well evidently former Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young just doesn’t understand and is having a difficult time learning the lesson. So much so that he was first given the boot from the Lions for some prior mishaps as a team member only to then be picked up then released by the St. Louis Rams shortly after. As some point you’d think he’d humble himself, get it together and focus his energy on making his way back into the league. But noooooooo, I don’t think that’s how he saw it that way because once again he’s managed to land in some more hot water.
According to reports, this past weekend, Young did the dumb deed of getting arrested not once but twice in less than 24 hours. In actuality it only took him about 15 hours to get the deed done.
Young was first pulled over and arrested Sunday morning around 12:15am for driving under the influence in which he was subsequently booked, issued a citation and released from custody. But to make matters worse, later the same day around 2:30pm, Young was again arrested at a local tow yard where he’d jumped the fence in an attempt to steal back his car which had been impounded during the earlier arrest.
Talk about adding insult to injury for yourself. I can figure this one out for the life of me. All I can say is that Young’s antics and actions are definitely what we would call a foul on the play. Well in his case it would be fouls!
This past weekend for the 4th time Miami Heat star LeBron James was awarded the NBA MVP award. LeBron’s talent goes without saying (don’t believe just watch) especially considering he’s now one of only four players who’s earned the title that many times.
Upon accepting his award, LeBron gave a heartfelt speech thanking his mom, Savannah and her parents. Watch it below…
Congratulations LeBron James!!!
While yes we’re all human and are bound to make mistakes, some of them should really be avoided especially when they are at the expense of losing money. But unfortunately for the Jackson Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon he’s made a costly on that has potential for an even bigger lost in the future.
With the start of the upcoming NFL season, Blackmon has managed to get himself suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season. According to an announcement from the NFL his suspension revolves around a violation of the league’s policy on substance abuse. No details were given on exactly what substance Blackmon used that violated the policy, but he’s be known to have alcohol related issues in the past.
Blackmon’s suspension will allow him to participate in all preseason practices and games, but he will not be eligible to return to the Jaguars active roster during regular season until September 30th. During his suspension Blackmon will forfeit a portion of his salary to the tune of $289,754. The suspension also led to a void in his contract of almost $10 million in future guarantees.
In a team press release, Blackmon expressed his remorse and apologized for his action saying,
“I’ve made a mistake and I have no excuse. I am truly sorry and disappointed in myself for putting the Jaguars in this situation, and I look forward to putting this behind me and maturing and growing as a person. I will have a productive training camp and preseason with my team, and during the suspension I will work hard to stay in top football shape and be ready to help the Jaguars when I return. I have chosen to be accountable for my poor decision, and I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, the front office and Jaguars fans for the impact of my mistake on the team.”
While members of the Jaguars’ leadership are disappointed in Blackmon’s actions, they decided to support him and forge ahead. The team’s general manager David Caldwell said in a statement,
“Coach Bradley and I have spoken with Justin, and he is well aware of our disappointment. I don’t think there is any question that Justin is embarrassed and remorseful, and Coach Bradley and I are both confident he understands the obligations ahead of him, to himself, the franchise and the fans. We will support him throughout the process and continue to work to educate him and all of our players on making the right decisions. The Jaguars have made a lot of progress over the past three months, and we will not allow this news to slow us down.”
Hopefully for Blackmon this is a lesson learned and for whatever his substance abuse issues are he can get his mind right, respect his grind and get back to the business of his stacking his dough.
Tracey Edmonds is one the most prominent female producers in television and film. As CEO of Edmonds Entertainment Group Inc, her projects have included Soul Food, Hav Plenty, Light It Up, Good Luck Chuck, Jumping the Broom, and various other films and television shows. With numerous awards and honors achieved for her many contributions to the entertainment and philanthropic arenas, Edmonds has secured her spot in production history.
Well, it seems as though, Ms. Edmonds is moving into the digital world with the creation of a new Youtube Channel. She recently sat down with Essence.com to discuss the new network (“Alright TV”) and what its content will contain.
ESSENCE.com: Congrats on the launch of Alright TV. What was your motivation in creating this channel?
Tracey Edmonds: A year and a half ago I started tweeting something inspirational every morning to keep people going. I got so many tweets back and had no idea how much it helped others. I realized people were really hungry to be uplifted and inspired. I had been working on a business plan for a cable network of inspirational programming and YouTube was the perfect partnership. We offer high entertainment value alongside a message, without beating people over the head.
ESSENCE.com: And you definitely are bringing the entertainment with Issa Rae and more on the network.
Tracey Edmonds: I love Issa Rae! We are doing a choir series with her to take a fun look at everything that happens in a church choir including relationships and choir competitions. Ever Sunday we also live stream church services from Bishop T.D. Jakes and many others. This network is more modern and progressive than traditional gospel networks. We may surprise people. We have a dating web series for singles. Ms. Right stars DeRay Davis and pokes fun at the prototypes men deal with when dating. Mr. Right features Kali Hawk, as a woman searching for love. Our message is whatever you are going through, you are not alone. If you haven’t met Mr. Right yet, that’s ok. Stay optimistic because one day you will.
Despite her hectic schedule, Edmonds is able to balance work and personal time all while being in the spotlight. This is evident through her past marriages to Babyface and Eddie Murphy. Now, her personal life is in the forefront of the media, again, due to her association with former NFL star Deion Sanders. The two are now a couple. Some wonder if Sanders’ career in television helped spawn Edmonds interest in the sports legend. Edmonds must see his on-film star quality because he’ll be involved with a new show project titled “Sports Dad.”
ESSENCE.com: We also see Deion Sanders, who you are dating, has a few shows on your network. How is it working with him and also being in a relationship?
Tracey Edmonds: He’s been wonderful. He’s one of the most positive people I know. On the network, Deion hosts Sports Dad where he comes to the rescue of sports-obsessed dads who are pushing their kids too hard. He’s also doing an inspirational blog. I met Deion through business and had a chance to see the wonderful man he is.
Congratulations to Tracey Edmonds and Deion Sanders on their new endeavours!
Photo Spotted: Necolebitchie.com
While we hadn’t heard much about the incident since it became big news in 2011, it appears that investigators and prosecutors have been working hard in regards to NBA player Javaris Crittenton’s involvement in the murder of Jullian Jones.
Back in 2011 Crittenton was accused of being the one to fire the shot that ultimately lead to the death of Jones, a mother of four. While Jones wasn’t the intended victim, it’s being said that while Crittenton was out for revenge on a group of gang members who allegedly robbed, Jones got caught up in the crossfire.
Since the incident, Crittenton has proclaimed his innocence, but evidently law officials feel differently. As a result, Crittenton was indicted on 12 charges including murder earlier this week.
I’m not sure what to make of all of this, but time has a way of telling how this will all pan out. Considering Crittenton had a career in which he makes a pretty good penny it’ll be sad and downright ridiculous for to find out he threw it all away over his pride and possessions he should’ve been able to afford to replace.
No trial date has been set yet so be sure to check back with us for updates as this all plays out.
Undeniably a lover of sports, Jay-Z announced the expansion of his Roc Nation imprint to begin servicing athletes with management. The inevitable expansion into the management side of sports should have been evident to many due to Jay-Z’s team ownership and creation of the Barclay sports arena. In addition, his love for the city of New York is nonchanging in that Roc Nation’s first client plays for the New York Yankees baseball franchise.
The second baseman, Robinson Cano, signed on with Roc Nation after leaving his current agent Scott Boras. The soon-to-be free agent says he is confident that Roc Nation and CAA Sports (which Roc Nation is partnering with) will see that his short and longterm goals are met.
As mentioned, this next venture into sports management wasn’t so far fetched for Jay-Z. “Because of my love of sports, it was a natural progression to form a company where we can help top athletes in various sports the same way we have been helping artists in the music industry for years,” Carter said.
Currently, the 30 year old Cano will earn approx. $30 million in 2013.
In a documentary the sisters and sometimes rivals’ lives will be chronicled with primary focus on their rise to holding rank in the professional world of tennis.
The documentary entitled “Venus and Serena” was directed and produced by Maiken Baird and Michelle Major. Of course the dynamic duo will be featured in the film along with their father, Richard Williams. Interview clips from Bill Clinton, John McEnroe, and Billie Jean King will also be included.
“Venus and Serena” will make its way to iTunes on April 4th and open in theaters on May 10th. Check out the trailer below.
Icons. Rivals. Champions. Sisters.
Isn’t there a Lingerie League? Well, apparently there’s new competition in the woman’s sports field.
The all-new Bikini League is the first full fledged league that combines fitness and health with bikini wear. Founded in 2012, the Bikini League is different from the Lingerie League in that it does not focus on one sport (football). In fact, Bikini League allows participants to play various sports including Obstacle courses, Boxing, Bull Riding, Go Cart Racing, Dodge Ball, and a Decathalon Relay.
Because they are in their inaugural year, the league is currently in search of new team members. Their official kick-off event will be in May and will be made up of several cities (i.e. Miami, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Orlando, Washington, DC, and New York). If you love working out and enjoy sportsmanship, go to www.bikinileague.com for more information on how to register.
After years of struggling on the green following his unfortunate domestic fallout, pro-golfer Tiger Woods has reclaimed the world’s number one spot. Woods hadn’t been that far up the totem pole since late 2010 even having previously dropped to number 58.
Woods sealed the deal for the top spot earlier this week with his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Not only is he back on top of his game, but he also seems to be a step ahead of his competition. With his recent wins he’s kept his competitors at least two shots behind him in the final round.
According to Woods, his rise back to the top is “a byproduct of hard work, patience and getting back to winning golf tournaments.”
Woods will face the Masters next and attempt to break his five-year losing streak in the majors.
NFL owners are changing up the game of professional football. During the league’s annual meeting which was recently held in Phoenix, the Competition Committee proposed six rule changes and the owners approved them all. They eradicated one rule and approved five others.
As for what they eliminated…the “Tuck Rule.” The rule which was introduced in 1999 which primarily affected the quarterback reads as follows:
When an offensive player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble. [NFL]
Well not anymore. Going forward, if a player begins to bring the ball back to his body after an attempt to throw the ball and loses possession, it will be deemed a fumble as opposed to an incomplete pass.
As for what rules the committee proposed and the owners approved they read as follows:
- It is a foul if a runner or tackler initiates forcible contact by delivering a blow with the top/crown of his helmet against an opponent when both players are clearly outside the tackle box (an area extending from tackle to tackle and from three yards beyond the line of scrimmage to the offensive team’s end line). Incidental contact by the helmet of a runner or tackler against an opponent shall not be a foul.” Penalties for this offense will be a loss of 15 yards and an automatic first down if committed by the defense.
- Replay rules will now allow a review to take place when a coach challenges a play that is automatically reviewed by the replay official. Previously, if a coach threw a challenge flag on an automatically reviewable play, the team would be penalized 15 yards and no review would take place.
- “Peel back” blocks below the waist are now illegal in the tackle box. Penalties for this infraction will be a loss of 15 yards.
- During a field goal or extra point attempt, the defense may not have more than six players one the line of scrimmage on either side of the long-snapper. These illegal formation penalties will be a loss of five yards from the previous spot. Defensive teams cannot push their teammates into the offensive formation on field goal or extra point attempts. Violations of this “unnecessary roughness” penalty will incur a loss of 15 yards from the previous spot.
- Tight ends and H-backs are now permitted to wear jersey numbers 40-49.
While some are already in an uproar about and not in agreement meant with some of the rule changes, only time will tell how much the changes will truly affect the game.