Help!

The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
3 February 2017

I. Hurry!

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Will someone please call Commissioner Gordon and tell him to turn on the Barack signal? It’s an emergency! Make sure he tells him we need his wife.

II. Again?

It certainly seems ironic that the African-American hosts of the Today show’s 9:00am hour – Al Roker and the now departed Tamron Hall – are being bumped in favor of Megyn Kelly, who insisted (while on FOX news) that Jesus

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and Santa Claus were white.

When I got married my morning news show of choice was Good Morning America, but I soon found that my bride was a Today show person. Being the “aim to please” husband that I am, I moved to Today. Now I think it’s time for me to take another little break from Today like the one I took when Ann Curry was jerked around.

III. I Hope Not

Is it too late for President Trump to borrow Dr. Khan’s copy of the constitution?

IV. Skeptical

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If you happen to be on the fence in terms of religion, a bunch of your friendly neighborhood conservative “evangelicals” might very well be pushing you away. They have spent decades urging believers to be involved in the political process, saying that God needed to be in the houses of government. Then when Donald Trump wants to ban Muslims, mocks the disabled, and speaks of “bad hombres” in Mexico and grabbing women’s private parts, they support him. What is it about President Trump – who solicits prayer for Celebrity Apprentice ratings at the National Prayer Breakfast – that reminds them of “love thy neighbor?”

And now this week Pastor Darrell Scott States on national TV that he was contacted by gang bangers to be a conduit to the Trump administration, only to walk that back hours later. What should make me believe you from your pulpit, Pastor Scott, when you didn’t speak truthfully on TV?

V. G.O.A.T.

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When people speak of the history of the New York Yankees and the 27 championships they have won, they often characterize the Yankees as the greatest franchise of all time, by virtue of their standard of excellence over such a long time.

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So now is Serena Williams the greatest female tennis player ever?

VI. Royal Rumble

It occurs to me that the political parties in Congress are like the participants in a professional wrestling match. The Democrats are like the wrestler that wants to shake hands before the match, and follow the rules. The Republicans are like the “heel” that kicks his opponent in his privates while the ref has his head turned, and then denies doing anything wrong once confronted. After a while one has to fight fire with fire.

VII. Irony

How will it feel to be Roger Goodell if you have to hand the Super Bowl MVP trophy to the same Tom Brady you suspended for the first four games of the season?

Five Days In

The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
25 January 2017

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I. 20,000

The DowJones Industrial Average closed at 20,068.51, cracking the 20,000 mark for the first time today. Republicans, please be sure to send your thanks to Barack Obama; it was at 7,949.09 on January 20th, 2009.

II. Pop

No offense to the still-blooming superstar Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills and the rest of the San Antonio Spurs, but I so wish Spurs’ general manager R.C. Buford could trade coach Gregg Popovich for Donald Trump. It certainly would hurt the Spurs’ quest for championship ring number six, but it would leave us all with a more rational and intelligent and truth-telling president. It’s too bad that a basketball coach has to point out that we can’t believe a word said by the President of the United States.

In the absence of such a transaction, we can be just about certain that should the Spurs meet LeBron James

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and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the championship, neither team will be invited for a photo-op in the White House.

III. Hands Off

As much of a bad dream as Donald Trump’s presidency may be, his young son Barron needs to be off limits from scrutiny and badgering. He should be afforded the opportunity to have as normal a childhood as can be, given the position held by his father. Unfortunately, given the “alternative facts” generally proffered by his father, young Mr. Trump will spend these years continually hearing his dad being lambasted for his lies – and that, too, is a shame.

IV. Long Walk

If I begin by saying Russell Westbrook is having a season like few players have ever had, averaging a triple-double halfway through, I won’t feel bad in adding that Jill Scott couldn’t even have imagined a Long Walk like Westbrook did against the Warriors.
If you didn’t see it, check this out:

While we’re talking traveling, let’s not leave out fellow MVP candidate James Harden, who seems to frequently “Euro-step” his way almost to Europe without being called.

V. Bartolo

MLB pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training in less than a month, which leads me to think about the homer-hitting, behind the back-tossing Bartolo Colon, who will spend his 44th birthday as a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. Met fans may regret this over time; while much is always written about the great young arms on the Mets, the 40+ Colon was as key as any of them – and more durable than most of them – during the last couple of years.

VI. Super Bowl

If you have a million or two to invest in a Super Bowl commercial, make sure it runs before the fourth quarter, which may be like that of so many Golden State Warriors’ games, where Steph Curry and the starters never see the floor in the fourth quarter. My guess is that by then the only question may be which Patriot is going to Disney.

VII. Are You Kidding?

Senator Elizabeth Warren was right…Donald Trump can’t stand being beaten (even in just the popular vote) by a girl, nor can he stand his inaugural crowd beaten by women the next day. So he wants a massive voter fraud investigation into how 3-5 million illegals voted, presumably all against him, a widely debunked claim he makes with absolutely no evidence. Perhaps he will offer to fund this wild goose chase with the money he has withheld from taxes.

Of course, he can begin the investigation totally in-house with his racism-peddling aide Steve Bannon, who is registered to vote in two states.

An Open Letter

Dear GOP:

I don’t know how I happened to get on your mailing list any more than I know how we as a nation happened to get to the unimaginable place where we find ourselves, less than one full day out from the inauguration of a new president who blatantly rode the wings of racism, sexism and xenophobia to the White House. A man totally lacking class and qualifications that seeks to bring in a cabinet virtually devoid as well of basic qualifications for the positions for which they are nominated. A con man that had to take time away from transition business to deal with a $25,000,000 settlement of his fraudulent Trump university case. A man without the decorum expected of the leader of the free world – unless grabbing women by the p#%*y is now the norm for the job.

Of course, my GOP friends, you had quite a hand in this debacle over time. Like on January 20th, 2009, while President Obama and Michelle danced to the music of superstar entertainers (the likes of which are avoiding Trump’s inauguration like the plague), you guys met to plan how you would obstruct Obama at every turn. Like when Joe Wilson shouted “you lie” in the middle of a State of the Union address. And when you refused to consider President Obama’s  Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, leaving the highest court in the land down one justice for close to a year, and counting. And of course when too many of you rode the birther train fueled for years – up until only a few short months ago – by Donald Trump.

Although there will be but a pittance of entertainers there tomorrow, I thought a playlist for the occasion would be apropos. “Ball of Confusion” might be a good track to start with, possibly followed by “War” and “Ebony and Ivory,” followed by a special dedication for Mr. Trump, “Man In The Mirror.” The set could close with “I Will Survive,” which is what we will find a way to do during these four years.  And yes, I say four years – because you and I both know the demographics don’t favor Republicans going forward.

If only we could all inhabit a real-life version of the movie Groundhog Day, in which the character kept waking up to the same day. If only tomorrow – and each of the succeeding tomorrows – could and would continue to be January 19th.

The Countdown Continues

The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
15 January 2017

I. More In Store?

Clemson’s last second victory over Alabama in Monday’s NCAA national championship game was yet another in a string of thrilling sports endings in recent months, going back to Kris Jenkins’ buzzer-beating game-winning three in Villanova’s NCAA tournament win. Then in June LeBron James’ incredible block of Andre Iguodala’s layup led to Cleveland’s first NBA title after being down to Golden State three games to one.

In the World Series the Chicago Cubs flipped the script on the Cleveland Indians, coming from down 3-1 to win their first series in 1008 years. My bad…it was only 108. Anyway, if these games and championships are any indication, we may be in for a great Super Bowl between New England and their opponents.

II. Five Days

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In five days, Donald J. Trump will become President of the United States, and he prepared for that yesterday morning by attacking Rep. John Lewis on Twitter. This is, of course, the same American hero John Lewis who was fighting for justice for Black people while Trump was perpetuating injustice against Blacks in his real estate properties.

One can only hope January 20th will bring a changed man to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Not just because Steve Harvey says so, either. If not, the toughest job in America belongs neither to batters attempting to hit Aroldis Chapman’s 100+mph ninth inning fastball nor to the window washers at the World Trade Center. It belongs to Kellyanne Conway.

III. Oh Canada

On the afternoon of November 8th a political junkie friend and I laughed about the impossibility of a Trump win, which led me to share that I have family in Canada in the event I needed to relocate. More laughter ensued.

After the results came in the Toronto Raptors – or at least their social media team – had a solution for one individual:

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Lowry, DeRozan, LeBron…they’d be pretty tough if he would.

IV. Toddler Shootings

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And the reason you had the gun someplace the kid could get to it was what again?

V. My Kind Of Town

It’s good that Derrick Rose didn’t find an horrible family tragedy or become one upon his quick trip home to Chicago while his team was about to take the court a few nights ago. Too many guns out there as well.

Yeah, he probably should have reached out to coach or assistants or GM or owner prior to pulling a no-show for his floundering team’s game, but I wonder if being glued to the bench during the fourth quarter of the previous two games (in favor of rookie Ron Baker) had something to do with his lack of desire to give them a call.

VI. Buh Bye

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Well, at least the San Diego Chargers and most likely the Oakland Raiders as well aren’t going to be loading the U-Hauls and leaving their towns and fans in the middle of the night, like Robert Irsay and the Colts left Baltimore for Indianapolis. They’re going to leave in broad daylight. A plague on both of their houses.

VII. Kids Need Support 2

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If you have any money or time or other resources to share, here’s a great organization to share with. Please visit their page and check them out.

Bye, 2016

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The SEVEN

by Mack Williams
31 December 2016

I. Really, @realdonaldtrump?

If Donald Trump really believes he could have defeated President Obama…well, you would think he doesn’t actually believe it because if he did he would have run four years ago when Obama was up for reelection.

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But if he really does think he could have done so, he’s obviously not as smart a guy as he thinks he is. Since he’s not, he needs to take the daily briefings he says he doesn’t need.

II. Kickball

Good for Duke’s Coach K in suspending Grayson Allen for his latest installment of kickball. Like Jesus Shuttlesworth, he got game and has no business doing stuff like that. Plus, there can be consequences…just ask Draymond Green and the Warriors.

III. Good To Be The King

What a play by LeBron James during their fourth quarter comeback against the Warriors on Christmas Day, leading to the deja vu-like game winning shot by Kyrie Irving. LeBron cut down the lane, received a pass, and flew in for a rim-rattling dunk which sent the home crowd into a frenzy, during which time LeBron hung on the rim, pulled up, hung some more, and almost remained there until it became December 26th…and received no technical foul, which might have played a part in the ultimate outcome of the game.

Were Lance Stephenson or Boogie Cousins or Draymond Green to hang on a rim for that long, they’d probably get as many technicals as their uniform numbers. It’s definitely good to be the King.

IV. Kugichagulia

As we are in the midst of Kwanzaa and on the verge of Lord knows what come January 20th, I felt it worthwhile to bring up one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, that of Kugichagulia, which means self-determination. At first my thought was about the importance of self-determination on any number of levels during the next four years, given that expectations for good coming out of Washington are next to nonexistent.

But once again, in a grasp for a sliver of hope, I remind myself of the history of the presidency, and the fact that the office seemed to take a number of twentieth century presidents to a level beyond where their previous experiences would indicate they would reach.img_2211

John F. Kennedy, admittedly not well-versed on the struggle for civil rights, became someone that Dr. King said he would have endorsed had Kennedy lived.

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Lyndon Johnson, an old school Texas politician, pushed through the Voting Rights Act. Richard Nixon, fierce anti-communist, opened relations with China.

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So there may be hope for the President-Elect. Maybe.

V. Are You Ready For Some Football?

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Football must be REALLY good at Popeye’s. Maybe I’ll watch the Super Bowl there.

VI. Fences

Just saw Fences, and as a result I know how the Oscars telecast can be made to run a few minutes shorter this time around. Simply mail the Best Actor and Best Actress awards to Denzel Washington and Viola Davis now, and you won’t have to worry about them on that night.

VII. In A Few Hours

I wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year of 2017. See you on the other side!

Transition to What?

The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
17 December 2016

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I. Broken Cabinet

Dr. Ben Carson is a surgeon, a great one at that. Presidential candidate, not so much – at least in a Republican Party devoid of people like Nelson Rockefeller, Clifford Case, and Edward Brooke, statesmen and leaders of the party in years past. But a surgeon he is. So why wouldn’t President-Elect Trump nominate him for Surgeon General?

Part of the rationale given for his nomination to be Secretary of HUD is that he lived in public housing. That’s like saying I can manage a Major League Baseball team because I’ve attended games at about 25% of the MLB stadiums. Actually, cancel that analogy; I could manage a Major League Baseball team…and very well, at that…still waiting for that call!

It’s really like Royal Caribbean appointing me to be the captain of a cruise ship because I took the Staten Island Ferry.
II. Busted Cabinet

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been nominated to be Energy Secretary. Okay, let’s go on and give him a pass on the noise he made about Texas seceding from the United States…but isn’t he the guy, while running for president in 2012, called for the elimination of the Department of Energy? Meanwhile, Betsy DeVos – a big proponent of school vouchers – has been nominated to head the Department of Education. These appointments are like putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
III. Small Business Administration Counted Out

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A skeptic might ask if one of former WWE CEO Linda McMahon’s qualifications to head the Small Business Administration is the fact that the McMahon family has made huge donations to Trump’s foundation and campaign. It certainly cannot be her track record; WWE has been famous for using clout to put small wrestling companies OUT of business.

But let me not be skeptical; maybe the President-Elect is on to something. To that end, here are a few more Cabinet post suggestions:

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Health & Human Services: The Undertaker
If your health is failing to the utmost, The Undertaker can assist with final services.

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Secretary of State – Dwayne Johnson
His movies are all over the world, so diplomacy should be a snap. If not, he can lay the smackdown on his foreign counterparts.

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Energy – Rey Mysterio
The 619 guy definitely displays much energy as he flies around the ring.

Surgeon General – Stone Cold Steve Austin

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Stone Cold can warn against drinking outside of moderation.

Transportation – Ric Flair

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Who better to head this department than the stylin’, profilin’, limousine ridin’, jet flying, kiss stealing, wheelin’ and dealing son of a gun?
IV. Still an Apprentice

Despite having a few other responsibilities, Mr. Trump will remain an executive producer of Celebrity Apprentice. Does he really want to be president for two terms? Does he really want to sit behind a desk for one, when he could be grabbing women, firing people and keeping company with celebrities like Kanye West?

By the way, was the Kanye visit to Trump Tower filmed for Keeping Up With The Kardashians?

V. Sportsman of the Year

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LeBron James is a much deserving recipient of Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year award – and from my perspective, for more than leading the Cavs back from a seemingly insurmountable 3-1 deficit to defeat the mighty pre-Durant Golden State Warriors. We all know he’s a great player, but an additional great thing is that he and his Superfriends Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony recognize that with greatness comes a platform should you choose to use it.

Meanwhile, as I think about this young season’s Player of the Year,
I am led to wonder what the first coach I worked under – a total basketball traditionalist – is thinking about Russell Westbrook. This is a coach who specifically praised Bill, our starting point guard, for his outstanding play and leadership in a game in which he scored zero. If Russell – whose games have become must-see TV for me – scored zero, he must have sprained his ankle in the first quarter.

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But in reality, Russell Westbrook does some of the same type of things that Bill did: handle the ball, set up the offense, break down his defender and find an open man – Steven Adams should be taking him to dinner weekly – as the defense converges. So I think Coach should like Russell for doing the things he preached…and then some (since Bill didn’t fly down the lane to slam on the opposing centers).

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VI. #SagerStrong

How fitting it was that Craig Sager got to work the sidelines at the NBA Finals for the first time this past June, something that had not been available to him because Turner Sports never airs the Finals. Someone had to have a sense it should be made available to him sooner rather than later. He will be missed.
VII. Last Second Present

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If you are looking for a last second present for a young person in your life, please check out my book!
Jackie Robinson and the Negro Leagues – Facebook.com/jackienegroleagues.

What The Heck?

The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
3 December 2016

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I. Can I Borrow A Quarter?

If someone wearing a Make America Great Again cap approaches you to ask to borrow a quarter…of a hundred million dollars…it may be the President-Elect, seeking to cover his settlement amount for the Trump University fraud case. Now if all the women he allegedly assaulted and all the vendors he allegedly stiffed all sue, he might be broke by the time he takes the oath of office. Might have to take the presidential salary after all.

Of course, salary refusal does not create an exemption from releasing tax returns.

II. Jill Stein’s Recounts

I’m okay with Jill Stein raising money for recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, but am I the only person that thinks it ironic that the person funding recounts is the reason – or at least one of the reasons – why a recount is needed?

III. Spoiled

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After reading Mr. Trump’s tweet advocating jail time or loss of citizenship for flag burning, I thought about how spoiled we have been while having a constitutional law professor and scholar in the White House these last eight years. Meanwhile let’s be clear – more damage would be done by gutting the Affordable Care Act than the burning of any piece of cloth.

IV. A Cespedes For The Rest Of Us

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If you have been a fan of the New York Mets for many years, you have seen several occasions where it seemed as if they were trying to fool the fan base by bringing in a star who was, unfortunately, past his prime. Then there were several other occasions where they let stars in their prime walk out the door. Another such occasion was on the horizon…but for a change, they bowed to reality and signed their star free agent, Yoenis Cespedes. Perhaps they’re coming to the realization that contention is not promised to anyone; while you’re realistically in a position to contend, you’ve got to go for it.

V. Blake’s Dunks

I’m loving the forthcoming reboot of Space Jam with Blake Griffin in the co-lead role with Bugs Bunny, but I wonder if anyone has noticed that most of the time he does those posterizing dunks over people, he really should be called for an offensive foul as a result of his push-off with his left hand and/or arm.

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VI. Russell Westbrook

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What was the name of that tall high scoring guy that was on OKC with Russell the last few years?

VII. Rise To Another Level

I thought that when he insulted Mexicans and continued to talk about some silly and madly expensive wall people would see him as unfit for the presidency. I thought that when he advocated a total ban on Muslims people would think that somewhat un-American.

Then when he mocked a disabled reporter and lied about having done so – despite the videotape – I figured that was the end. When he retweeted racist and anti-Semitic posts from bigots, and insulted Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her Native American heritage, I knew he was done. When we found out that he stiffed numerous vendors at his casinos, took a tax write off enabling him to not pay federal incomes taxes for two decades, and then refused to release his tax returns like all other candidates, I was thinking landslide due to the crash of his “populist” image. When newspapers ran long articles on all of the lies that came from his mouth, I knew the electorate could not back him.

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Finally, when the Access Hollywood tape came out, demonstrating his feelings about women and how he can behave with them, I absolutely knew it was over. I was even more certain than ever that Republican women would go behind the curtain and vote Hillary. Could she pull the Senate and House along?

I was wrong… along with most everybody.

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And as a result, on January 20th, Donald J. Trump will assume the office of President of the United States. But unlike some House and Senate Republicans eight years before, who met that evening to plan their attempts to sabotage any efforts of the incoming Obama administration, I won’t be wishing the worst for him. In fact, I will be hoping that he does a good job. If, as the President of the United States, Donald Trump fails, we are all failing.

So I hope he succeeds. Unfortunately his past – see above – doesn’t seem to indicate that as a possibility.