John F. Kennedy

John Kennedy was a visonary. Someone who was not afraid to go against the grain and a person who pioneered standing up for the rights of those who could not stand up for themselves. Kennedy was not adverse to making tough decisions. He contemplated his actions and only acted after thinking through the situation.

Kennedy was thinker and an astute politician. He was cool under fire and when he needed to be, he was tough as nails. This was America's first visionary President. Ufortunately President John Kennedy was assasinated. We will never know what kind of impact he would have on this country and on the world, because he was killed by an assasin. However he mad a lasting impression on this country and the world.

Kennedy had his infidelities at a time when this was winked on by the world. In this day and time this would tarnished his Presidency and his reputation. This was a fault, however all humans have faults. So you must judge him, by the policies he set and the standard he made. He was not the greatest President ever. He was one of the most influential and charismatic presidents that America has known.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James “Fly” Williams

fly book
This story was written by Rick Telander, author of the book, “Heaven Is A Playground”
There was never a better cheer in college hoops than the one that would echo through the Little Red Barn, the old and tiny and rollicking home court of Austin Peay (rhymes with sea) State back when James (Fly) Williams was lighting up the night: “The Fly is open—let’s go Peay!” Folks in Clarksville, Tenn., had never seen anyone quite like Fly, who arrived from Brooklyn but might as well have alit from another planet. A playground star from the Brownsville neighborhood, the skinny, 6’5″ Williams was wild and undisciplined and theatrical and so crazily talented that he twice scored 51 points in a game during his freshman season, 1972–73. He scored 1,541 points in his two years at the Pea, averaging 28.5 a game—when dunking wasn’t allowed and there was no three-point line—and leading the Governors to back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances.
And then, Fly was gone. Due to an entrance exam screw up and missed classes and a few other silly and/or immature events, he was declared ineligible for his junior season. He left Austin Peay and played a year in the American Basketball Association, for the Spirits of St. Louis (whose announcer was a kid named Bob Costas). His shenanigans didn’t, um, fly in the pros. Williams had brief gigs in the CBA, the Eastern League and with a team in Israel but never landed in the NBA—too wild, too temperamental, too street. By the end of the decade he was back on the New York City playgrounds, on the asphalt courts of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Harlem and Coney Island and Brownsville, where the Fly was an urban legend. The Street Basketball Association ranks Fly as the No. 2 playground player of all time, behind only the late Earl (the Goat) Manigault.

Now, 35 years after he departed Austin Peay and two weeks shy of his 56th birthday, Williams is back. The school, which for decades was ambivalent about the most famous player in its 80-year hoops history, will honor Fly by retiring his number 35 jersey at halftime of the Govs’ game against Tennessee-Martin this Thursday. It used to be that players who failed to graduate couldn’t be immortalized by the school. Not anymore. “This was overdue,” says sports information director Brad Kirtley. “We have a different president now, Timothy Hall. He has a different interpretation of the graduation policy here for jersey retirement. Time has passed. Fly was a handful. But he was never malicious.”

That this parody of inner-city lunacy had even attended a school in the hills of Tennessee was amazing in itself. Fly, with his giant Afro and missing teeth and plaid bell-bottoms and ever-running mouth was to the rural South as a beagle is to a possum nest. The first time I met Fly was in the summer of 1973, when I was a young reporter for Sports Illustrated, and he was strutting about at Foster Park in Flatbush, carrying on like a bennied-up comedian. He was wearing sandals and a sleeveless shirt on which was printed a red tongue beneath the words, i ate the whole thing. That meeting was brief, but I returned the following summer and described his antic court presence in my 1976 book Heaven Is a Playground:

Puckering his mouth, shooting his tongue out where his teeth should be, using his hands in great dramatic sweeps, Fly talks about players with “unbelievable s[—],” players who can stuff from half court. He plays three different characters at once. He grabs his crotch, doubles up, puts a leaf in his mouth, talks like a homosexual. The world he describes is bigger, uglier, more vivid than the one around us. He sits down, then sprints out twenty feet to demonstrate somebody pigeon-toed bringing the ball up court…. “Skinny? You think I’m skinny? I weigh 135 pounds soaking wet!” He sucks in his stomach and shows his ribs. The routine is nonstop, pulsating, frantic—as though silence would be unbearable.

But that was then, and much has happened in the decades since. For one thing, Fly has slowed down. Maybe not mellowed, but lost some wind. He still lives in Brownsville and has a job working with kids in the Brooklyn recreation department talking to them about basketball and life and how not to squander opportunities, using himself as Exhibit A. He’s had his problems with drink and with drugs and has been shot four times—once, in 1987, with a shotgun that blew away one of his lungs and part of his stomach. He has been to prison twice, once for attempted robbery and once for drug possession. That he is still alive is a marvel of luck and survival skills. Mostly luck.

“Shot four times,” he says, halfway chuckling. “From a .22 to a shotgun. Why? Acting crazy. Acting a damn fool.”

Longtime Tennessee sportswriter Dave Link has written a book with Williams, Fly 35, to be published this week, and he is amazed at the tales he heard from others and from his subject. Such as that Fly once scored 100 points in an outdoor all-star game—45 in the first half for his team, then 55 in the second half for the other team. “He wore his trunks backward; he dribbled off the court to get a drink of water once in a game; he lay down on the floor when he fouled out one time,” says Link. “All kinds of crazy stuff. Who knows what’s true? We’re calling the book a fictionalized biography.”

I know a few things that are true. Austin Peay has a large gym, constructed a year after Fly left school. It’s official name is the Dunn Center, but it has been called the House That Fly Built, and it will be rocking on Thursday night. I know that Fly Williams has a son, Fly Williams Jr., who is an actor and a rapper and a comedian. And I know that Fly once dunked in a Washington, D.C., summer game over Len Elmore and Moses Malone. I saw that. Yet Fly amazes me for much more.

“If I said I’d change anything,” he tells me on the phone, “I’d be lying. That’s just me. I had a ball. Fly is Fly.”

I can almost see him winking.

“Come on down to the Pea, man,” he says. “We’re gonna have some fun.”

Marques Maybin and DeJuan Wheat

From Card Chronicle


Major congratulations to former Cardinal basketball stars DeJuan Wheat and Marques Maybin, who will be graduates participating in U of L's Spring 2012 commencement exercises on May 12.

Both Wheat and Maybin returned to school and earned their degree through the Houston-Bridgeman Fellows Cardinal Degree Completion Program. The program was established in 2000 to assist former student-athletes who have exhausted their athletic scholarship eligibility with the cost of full- or part-time tuition and books associated with completing their degree at U of L.

The program provides employment opportunities through the UofL

Athletic Association to allow former scholarship student-athletes the opportunity to receive financial assistance to complete their degrees. A total of 55 former student-athletes have graduated through the Houston-Bridgeman Fellows and Project Graduate, a statewide program that helps people with 90 or more college credit hours complete their degree.

Wheat and Maybin are two of the five graduates in this year's class from the Houston-Bridgeman Fellows Cardinal Degree Completion Program. Dion Edward (men's basketball, 1998-2000 at UofL) and Richard “Junior” Jones (football, 1983-85) are also Spring 2012 graduates while Joe Jacoby (football, 1978-80), a four-time Super Bowl participant with the Washington Redskins, was a Fall 2011 graduate.

You hear a lot of college athletes talking about coming back and earning their degrees eventually, but you rarely see the eventual follow-up story of them making that happen. Kudos to these guys, and all the other former Cardinal athletes, for setting such a positive example.

Also, it's hard not to feel extra good for a guy like Marques, who has rarely been seen not smiling since returning to Louisville after his accident.

Maybin_medium Dejaun_medium

Congratulations, Guys

Sunday Nights- More From The Deal

Sunday nights are a good time for reflection. Yeah God made it that way. Perhaps when Jesus lived on this earth, He used it to plan his week, perhaps identify someone who needed a word of encouragement to move from point A to point B.  That’s why Sunday nights are special to me. The best time to think and reason, somehow its a time of thoughts, possibilities that  cause us to think of where we are, our station in life. Yes God would like that. Use the time wisely  and move your station to the center.

Something to Ponder- The Deal

May be things will change. That is  often the thought that comes to mind. particularly when you think of some isolated incident.  Or perhaps  a person that seems to not get it. It is a familiar scenario in our journey called life. Cold and calculating, but somehow if seems to repeat itself. The  things  we see, but sometimes the things  unseen , the episodes that seems to define life’s chapters.

But there is a point to it all. Something that we all are blessed with, the turning point of ideas and the rallying cry of life’s situations and challenges that confront and shatter or resolve. Yeah that is the gist of the matter. Something to ponder, something to leave you with, something to resolve. Use your resources wisely. The point is…..it will not go away.

President Obama’s Champaign Characterized by Style and Class

A Time magazine article wriiten about President Obama struck a chord of sour grapes and a deep resentment of the President. Basically it said that President Obama ran a mean spirited campaign. A campaign beneath the office of the Presidency. Of course those of us who voted for President Obama do certainly have a different take on this.

The reality is though America has become more diverse. We still have a significant amount of racism and prejudice against minorities. Over the last 20 years there has been a concerted effort to sweep this reality under the rug, but nevertheless it is there. Granted these are the last remnants of racism and prejudice, however it is still a reality that we will need to confront and eliminate.

Despite the sour grapes Americans can take comfort in the fact that we elected an African-American President to two terms in office, and despite the trash talk from the losing Republican side, President Obama won by a huge margin, in fact by a mandate. That speaks well for America.

 

 

Romney Finally Concedes to President Obama

Mitt Romney, finally came to his senses and conceded to President Obama.  Finally a noble act from Mr. Romney.  He will go on and move on to other things.  It is time we move on and work toward bipartisanship in Washington.  It’s time to get things done and move things to a more mainstream reality.  America’s demographics are changing.

President Obama Wins Re-Election

Mitt  Romney is a bad looser. He simply will not concede. President Obama has won re-election. That is a reality.  It’s over.  The Republican party as will know it will have to change. That is the reality.  Forget about Mitt Romney tantrums and stamping of feet.  The Republican party will need to redefine itself  Romney’s  time is over.

Seriously folks America has changed and Republicans will have to change with it.  That the reality of it.  Barack Obama is only the second two term Democratic  president  since  Franklin Roosevelt. He died in office in 1945.  Bill Clinton was the first.