Justice for George Floyd

With everything going on back home in Minnesota and around the country, I will not be blogging for a few days or weeks. It’s not the right time to write stupid meaningless lists about movies I’ve watched during quarantine or make dumb sports arguments or whatever other utterly meaningless shit I write on this website when George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight in Minneapolis, a place I love and call home.

Instead of reading the stupid crap I usually write about on here, please take the time to learn about the incredibly important issues at hand.

You can read an op-ed that Kareem-Abdul Jabbar wrote in the LA Times here. Before you ask why you should be reading something written by the NBA’s all-time leading scorer, Abdul-Jabbar has been a leading civil rights activist in the community for the better part of 50 years. Take a look at a few other articles to get educated about the reasons black people have been killed by the police, history of systemic racism and police brutality in America for 400 years, or the racist origins of the phrase Trump used in a tweet “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

If you have the means I encourage you to donate to some great community programs as well.

George Floyd’s brother Philonise set up a GoFundMe page which goes to funding funeral and burial costs for George and taking care of his children.

Reclaim the Block is a Minneapolis community group committed to defunding the MPD and using those funds to invest in community health and safety initiatives.

If you want you can donate to help Minneapolis communities directly affected by the protests, think about making a donation to We Love Lake Street or Support the Cities.

Just a couple of thoughts to wrap this up. If you find yourself watching the violent protests across the Twin Cities and the country and saying “that’s not the right way to protest”, remember that Collin Kaepernick silently took a knee and was told to stand up and respect the flag. Remember that Black Lives Matter protested the Philando Castile killing by peacefully protesting on I-94 and were told that is not how you protest. Remember when LeBron James and other NBA players stood up after the killing of Eric Garner and wore shirts that said “I can’t breathe” during warm-ups and were told to shut up and stick to sports.

To my friends, family members, neighbors, and community members who are protesting throughout the Twin Cities, and my journalist friends covering the protests across the country, I just wanted to say that even though I’m 4,000 miles away I love you, I’m with you, I’m proud of you all, stay safe and keep fighting.

That was one of the all-time great Super Bowls (Minus the halftime show)

Super Bowl 52 had all the normal hype of your average Super Bowl. The Patriots were in it like every other year, but the upstart Eagles, with backup quarterback Nick Foles leading the way didn’t necessarily have people believing they were going to block the road to Tom Brady’s sixth Super Bowl Championship. But what unfolded was one of the greatest all-around Super Bowls from every angle, except the halftime show, which I’ll get to.

First the game itself was fantastic. More than 1,000 yards of total offense, which was the most in NFL history. The Teams combined to score 74 points, and the biggest playmakers made huge plays all game long. The most interesting thing I took away from the game was that the Patriots were nearly flawless, up until the fumble, and still lost. The greatest football player to ever live, Tom Brady, went 28-48 for 505 yards, three TDS, no interceptions and they still lose. The vaunted Belichick “do your job” Patriots only committed one penalty for five yards, give up one sack, are even in the turnover battle, and still lose. That’s possibly the most insane thing I’ve ever heard. If you rattle off those stats and I didn’t watch the game, I would probably guess the Patriots won 38-14 or something like that. the fact that Nick Foles and crew lead for most of the game, is quite unbelievable. Foles catching a touchdown after Brady dropped a wide open pass is the icing on the cake for me. That will go down as two of the most talked about plays in football history. Other than the quarterbacks, both teams had huge plays on both sides of the ball which really cemented this as an absolute all timer. And what’s a Super Bowl without a little controversy. Everyone has an opinion on whether Zach Ertz’s touchdown in the fourth quarter was a catch or not. Personally I think it was a catch and a good call, but there are plenty of people who would love to fight me on this and rightfully so, it could have gone either way. You end the game on a Brady to Gronkowski Hail Mary that almost connects and you have yourself a great ending to a fantastic game.

The game wasn’t all that made this Super Bowl so memorable. The commercials this year were some of the best, most memorable Super Bowl ads in recent memory. Tide stole the show (and seemingly others brands commercials) with their “it’s a Tide ad” bit. Chief Hopper from Stranger Things was the perfect choice to remind us that Tide is for more than eating. Alexa losing her voice only to be replaced by Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson, and Anthony Hopkins was hilarious. Eli Manning can’t dance, but his Dirty Dancing ad with Odell Beckham Jr. was fantastic for the NFL. While there were some duds as there are every year, the good outweighed the bad for what seems like the first time in half a decade.

Now lets get to the one major downer of the evening. Justin Timberlake’s halftime performance was terrible. First of all why would you start the biggest 15 minutes of your year with a song nobody has heard of? I get you want to promote your new album, but everyone I was watching with had no clue what was going on for the first two minutes. Start with a crowd pleaser and set the bar high for yourself, instead of make people guess what you’re going to do from there. Secondly, you couldn’t even hear him throughout most of the concert. It seemed like his mic wasn’t turned up as loud as it needed to be, and it was hard to hear most of his songs. We had to guess what it was until we finally figured it out by the time he was getting ready to switch to a new song. He didn’t even seem to be singing most of the time, and worried more about the dancing and choreography than the full product. The only part that I remotely liked was the part that most people had a problem with, the Prince tribute. I thought it was easily the best part of the show, although the choice of song was a little weird.

Even with one of the lamest halftime shows I can remember, this Super Bowl will go down as one of the greatest in history.