• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

The Contemplation is a sports professor’s unsaturated, semi-subjective, free-wielding ideas on life intersecting sports and sports intersecting life–from past, present, and future perspectives.

November 23, 2015, Queens, NY  Yesterday, Sunday, November, 22, 2015, was, the, 52nd, anniversary, of, the, assassination, of, President, John, F., Kennedy (Period). However, it was business as usual, and there was no real mention of it in the sports world. No Moment of Silence before the full slate of NFL games. No Moment of Silence before the Sprint Cup Championship race. No Moment of Silence before the NBA games. No Moment of Silence before the NHL games. No Moment of Silence. No Moment of. No Moment. No. None. Nada. Nothing. The President was killed. In broad daylight. In public. In his motorcade. In the home state of his Vice President (Lyndon B. Johnson). One Assassin, Two Assassins, Three Assassins, Four… Who knows? The World (or at least the United States) stopped spinning on it axis. When a president can be killed so blatantly, no one is safe. That was then, and it’s still true today. It wasn’t even a trending topic on Twitter. Amnesia is a horrible thing. Inexcusable. The Sports World did nothing to acknowledge him. I guess at this rate, we’ll forget about 9/11. Not only is President Kennedy dead, he’s forgotten. And that’s much worse.


Cam Newton dances in the end zone and it gets more press than the state of the economy. He’s not the first football player to get a case of Boogie Fever (see YouTube video of the Super-Afroed Singin’ Family of the Seventies–The Sylvers).

Worst than the media-forced hype around the “Cam Dance” was the reaction of the players and coaches of the opposing team. In my era (baby-boomer) and area (Northeast Bronx), if someone scored a touchdown and celebrated and you had the audacity to complain about it, you’d get a good ol’ fashion Fred Sanford “one across your lips.” With no explanation. No explanation required. (See Redd Foxx as the immortal Fred Sanford below.)


We didn’t have the internet in the ’60s, but we did have smarts and a dash of common sense. These players and coaches today have lost their minds. If your on defense and find yourself playing against Cam and you don’t want to see him dance, Stop him! Ram Cam so he can’t Jam. (Speaking of Jam–see the YouTube clip below of Funkadelic’s cult hit, “Get Off Your A$$ and JAM.”)

Boxing is still masquerading as a sport. How do you have your “contest” billed as a match between two people of a certain weight class and then violate that stipulation? The weigh-in occurs a good 24 hours before the fight which gives the fighter(s) ample time to BALLOON in weight. Shouldn’t the fighters weigh in on the day of the fight? Oh, I see, that would make sense so we won’t do it. Got it. Canelo fights Cotto in arguably boxing’s biggest fight and it’s tarnished because Cotto probably weighed in at the middleweight limit and Canelo came in damn near at cruiser weight. Let’s take the NFL. How did they react to a ball being deflated by one gnat’s exhalation? They wanted to cancel their biggest star. That’s Tom Brady for those of you who don’t know. They fined the Patriots a million. This is for air pressure. In a ball. The NFL got caught up. Got caught up big time. The NFL got “Caught up in a one night love affair.” The NFL had a “Deflate Gate.” Boxing has an “Inflate Gate.” (See YouTube video of the 80s club classic, “I’m Caught Up,” by Inner Life and produced by the best producer/arranger of the disco era, Patrick Adams.)

Size matters. At least it used to. In a sport called basketball, being tall was always seen as an asset. There was a wise old saying from the sport, “You can’t teach height.” Basketball has become a little guy’s game. Centers don’t play with their back to the basket anymore.  Power forward (PF) really means Point Forward. Little Stephen Curry is the most dominating player in the NBA (on one side of the floor). Seven footers (or damn near Seven footers) shoot threes. Basketball has morphed from a Power sport to a finesse sport. Well, it always had finesse, but there was Power. Now the Power is gone. The lights are out. The big man is a thing of the past. Soon it won’t be about if you’re too short, it will be about if you’re too tall to play basketball. Well maybe there is Power in the sport. Maybe the Power has shifted. It’s in the hand of the little guy. Power is no longer in the domain of the “bigs.” It’s in the domain of the “smalls.” Power. “Temptations Sing.” (See YouTube clip of the Temptation’s hit, “Power.”–I’m not talking about the tv show.)

Script-Post: L.A. Sunshine from the seminal hip-hop group, The Treacherous Three, was the first true street ball commentator on the mike. Everybody who is doing it now got if from somebody, who got it from somebody, who got it from him (L.A. Sunshine).

Out-Shouts: B-Ski (Brian Myers); Jam-ski (Jamal Nicolas); K.K. (Kevin Williams); Bunk; The Temptations; Gary Cope; Denise Hairston; Carl Weathers (actor); Sharon King; The Sylvers; Valerie Williams; Michael Mohr; Alan Ortner; Andrew Bernardi; P.S. 76; David Burnett (Dabu); Larry Holmes (boxer); Vincent Davis (Vin-tertainment); Kenric Greene; Patrick Adams; The Cold Crush Brothers; Funkadelic; James Lee; Greg Bradley (Attorney All-Star); Sharon “Daughter” Adams; Kevin “Kufi” Riley; Dwayne “The Pain” Spellman; Elliot Hedley; Leonard Allen; Master G; Clifford Allen; Dolores Allen; Dwight Powery; Rev. Miller; Rev. Ford; Rev. Johnson; Mount Calvary; Roland Benton; Warren Sheares; L.A. Sunshine; Skip Bayless; Roland S. Martin; Basil Blake; Kenny “The Barber” Buckley; Joe Barnes; Desmond Miller; Richard Pryor; Michael Burke; the victims of terrorism in Cameroon last weekend.

Out-Check: Being Mary Jane; Mia’s FullCourt Press (@Mia_Hall19); Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury fight; BaylorICTVBoxing (@baylorictvboxin); Manuel (@Armpitbucktmlk); Unsung Marathon; Author Anna Celeste Burke (@aburke59) “A Dead Husband”; Noramay Cadena (@noramayc); Michelle Withers (@GoalsMichelle) author of E-book “Snowball Your Sales this Holiday Season.”

Uncle Ollie said, “Butch couldn’t be here tonight, but he told me to tell you…thank you very much.”

Professor Clifford Benton can be reached at @cliffordbenton.

By Vernon McKenzie

Graduate of New Institute Of Technology with a BA in Communications with a focus on Television Radio. Owner and Executive Producer of PureSportsNY

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