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Helter Skelter

by Jose Vilson on October 3, 2007

Jena 6Those that need an explanation as to why people made a big uproar over the Jena 6 need no further comment from me after this:

First off, let me just say that the reason why Jena 6 is so important is because the justice system is doing an injustice to its own system. I understand that there has to be punishment for any kid beating up on another kid so violently, but to send the 6 to jail when the “victim” went out to party the morning after is absolutely absurd. What’s more, because the justice system wasn’t working in their favor when they first brought up the issue of the ropes hanging from the tree (they were told the equivalent of “Oh they’re just playing around. It’s nothing.”), as kids, they found no other solution but to rebell and act out. A schoolyard fight is means for 15 years in jail but mock death threats are cool?

This after some dimwits decided to derisively reenact the Jena 6 incident and post it on Facebook. When asked for comment, Kristy Smith, whose Facebook profile became private said, “We were just playin n the mud and it got out of hand. I promise i’m not racist. i have just as many black friends as i do white. And i love them to death.” Like reaching for a life preserver after you’ve drowned.

AlexRodriguez2.jpgIn any case, New York baseball has become rather helter skelter as of the last two weeks. I won’t get into the Anucha Brown Sanders vs. MSG / New York Knicks deal today, but rather my energies turn to, what else, the Yankees and the Mets. The 2 top teams in any sport for the tri-state area at this juncture are the Yanks and Mets, and only one made it to the postseason.

One of them was seen as an absolute, overpaid, and miserable failure 50 games into the season while the other triumphed and galloped to its podium as the ambassadors of its league. People’s alliances quickly changed through that murky period to the more triumphant team. Then something happened: the team with the worse record started performing well and the winning team suddenly became lackadaisical. And now we stand here with only one New York baseball team in the playoffs and the other frustrated and upset with its own overconfidence.

If you would have told me this story as some psychic from the future, I would have said that the first team was the Mets and the second team was the Yankees. Yet, it’s really the Yankees that showed the heart to come back from what looked like an unfathomable deficit to qualify for the playoffs. On the other side of the river, the Mets lost all their composure, and basically embarrassing themselves with that 17-game stretch to end the year. Alas, all is right with the world.

The Mets’ swagger really caught up to them in a big way. Lethargic, uncaring, and unfocused are just some of the words we can use to describe that team. Sometimes when you keep getting fed, you eventually lose all the hunger that you first started out with. In the meantime, the Yankees ran out and actually beat most teams handily (save the Angels, who I’m glad they don’t have to meet.)

As a Yankees fan, I’m happy as hell the Yankees don’t have to see the Angels in the first round because they’re the only team that has a winning record against the Yanks in the last 13 or so seasons. Of course, I’m also pulling for the most popular search term to my blog: Mr. Alex Rodriguez, who Howard Bryant wrote about in his recent article, “King of Gotham“). While I understand that he’s the product of the most evil agent on the face of this Earth, I also think very highly of his skills and love how he really proved every A-Rod hater wrong this year.

Here’s hoping he continues to do so, but if the Yankees don’t make it, you can’t Blame-Rod for this one. He basically carried the Yanks to the second season for 3/4th of the season. Besides, it’s a 25-player game. Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Chamberlain, and Wang need to continue to produce. Everyone from the starting pitchers, the bullpen, to the coaches, the on-field defense, and the line-up all have to do their job to make this work. And they have to play hard every single game, something the Mets forgot to do since September 1st.

jose, who’s appreciative of having a team to root for in earnest every october since 1995

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Shooting Airballs at an Imaginary Basket

by Jose Vilson on February 25, 2007

As my first decree of totally partiality, I am a Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan, and when I’m in the mood, the Rangers, too. Yes, it’s a bias that I assumed environmentally; I live in / love Manhattan, and even if the rest of the city treats the Lower East Side like an annex of Brooklyn, it’s still my home.

Living in this city, I’m used to too many extremes; either I have an awesome team and a garbage team, or a heartbreaking team and a lovable team. Yes, for those of you with only one or two teams to choose from, bear with me.

The question that always comes up in the months of October, January, and May (baseball, football, and basketball, respectively) is what every team asks when their team hasn’t won the ‘chip in a while: is it really better to have a team that’s good but comes close every single year or just have a terrible team so you have no expectations for them?

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