Pro Football - APRIL 1st 2014
NO BROTH(A)LY LOVE
CITYBALLER COLUMNIST JOEY GIBS
PHILADELPHIA, PA - Not every day does a star player find himself unemployed after putting together his finest year to date. Yet, former Philadelphia Eagles star receiver, DeSean Jackson, find himself in that very predicament. Reports indicate that his release came due to his alleged association with gang members.
A number of things don't add up. The most disgusting of them being that Jackson, 27, has no criminal background. The "association" seems to be directed toward the relationships he's developed from growing up in Long Beach, California. Jackson is close friends with Theron Shakir. Shakir and Marques Binns, the two suspects in the murder of a 14 year old boy, are members of the Crips. Shakir also recorded music for Jackson's Jaccpot Records label. Shakir was acquitted, and Binns was sentenced to 15 years to life. Jackson was interviewed, however, was not arrested, nor was he a witness. He was nowhere near the crime scene whatsoever.
Authorities reached out to the Eagles organization about their plans to speak to Jackson, but never heard back from them. They then proceeded to sign Jackson to a five-year, $48.5 million dollar contract a year later.
Another egregious aspect of the situation, is the lack of professionalism of the Eagles brass. The public should not have heard of any claims of any "alleged" gang affiliation, unless it was concrete. Being associated with, and knowing someone who is associated with gangs, are two different things. Jackson released a statement refuting all claims of his association with the gangs. These accusations could tarnish Jackson's reputation. They also have the capability to hinder any contract he may be seeking, which could put a damper on his lifestyle. This was highly irresponsible.
To make matters worse, reports also indicate that the Eagles didn't want Jackson around the younger players, due to poor character. Yet, they signed Riley Cooper to a five-year $25 million dollar contract this off-season. Cooper, a white man, made headlines last year after video footage of his presence at a Kenny Chesney concert went viral. Cooper, who was clearly inebriated, was caught using racial slurs toward a security team of black men. Cooper was not suspended, released, nor punished in any fashion. He was asked to take 2 days off from camp so that things could cool down. That was it. Are we more comfortable with someone who has the history of racist activity around the youth, than someone who's never been in any real trouble?
Philly, where's the broth(a)ly love?
High School Football - MARCH 16, 2014
WHITEHAVEN HIGH SCHOOL - MEMPHIS, TN
CITYBALLER COLUMNIST JOEY GIBS
MEMPHIS, TN - If you ask Rodney Saulsberry, coach of the Whitehaven Tigers (Memphis, TN), how he feels about the talent level of his team going into his 11th year, you'll feel his enthusiasm. Your sense his excitement. Your sense that he's expecting big things.
"We're excited about the group we have. We're pretty deep. We're still young, but our senior class has a lot of talent, and the young guys have a lot of talent as well. So, we're really excited about the depth that we have."
Saulsberry, who's initially a defensive-minded coach, exudes the toughness and character necessary to be a successful man and coach. He's also adamant about instilling these, amongst other great qualities, into his players.
"Having good character is very important. We give them a certain level of support. We want self motivated and driven kids. That's the best thing. I always tell them, 'If we have to make you do it, we're not going to get what we want.' We don't want to be babysitters. We want them to have the freedom to be responsible."
When asked about the key contributors, it was surprising to hear of so many. It was reminiscent of the 2007 New England Patriots. He raved about key players on offense, defense, and special teams.
"We run a 5-2 defense, and the most valuable recruit I have is Joshua McMillan, who is a top 5 linebacker in the country. So, hed be the 'big fish', I'd say. Along with him, I have Elex Harris. He's short, so that may be the only thing that hurts him in recruiting, but, he's a true mike linebacker. We also have Myles Chalmers at defensive tackle. He's a big, stop gap guy, a big, wide body. He's only about 6 feet, so, he's like a little fire hydrant. Another guy, who's underrated, is my defensive back Fydale Williams. He has really good potential. On offense, I have my quarterback, Jordan Williams. He, like most of these guys, has the chance to go to Division 1. We have the running back, Darrin Davis. We have two receivers. There is Braylen Rochelle, who is a true wide receiver. Then there's LaDerriel Esther, who's about 6'4". He's more of a flex receiver, so, he plays a little tight end too. On special teams, we have a kicker, who was kicked a lot of 40+ yard field goals for us, and is still getting better. His name is Mamadou Agne. We also have stalwarts Cameron Rogers, Durrell Mackey, and JayCameron Boyd. We play a lot of players. All of these guys will be contributors next year."
Of all of the teams the Tigers are slated to face this season, they're extremely eager to face the (MS) Olive Branch Conquistadors, whom they haven't been able to get a game with.
"It never seems to work out. I'd really love to play them. Let it be known, we're willing to play. Hopefully next year, will get a game with them."
The Tigers are scheduled to attend a few camps in the near future. They're invited to the Rivals camp in Hattiesburg, MS this week. They are also invited to the Nike camp in Birmingham AL.