Monty Williams. Strike one. Tyronn Lue. Strike two. Jason Kidd. Strike three….kind of.
This isn’t baseball but I couldn’t fault you if you thought it was based off of the Lakers numerous swings subsequent misses on hiring a new head coach to replace the fired and quickly hired Luke Walton.
Earlier in the week the Lakers finally landed on Frank Vogel as the head coach of the future. Maybe just near future if we’re being honest. I have no ill will towards Frank Vogel but when the LA Lakers fan base stages a protest outside of the Staples Center just a day before you’re hired as the new head coach, the leash is going to be short. Even more so, he will be coaching LeBron James. This is not because LeBron won’t help them win. This is because, historically, LeBron James’s coaches do not last long. We have seen both David Blatt and Luke Walton last only one year with James. Additionally he had a reportedly frosty relationship with former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown during his first stint in Cleveland.
James will be turning 35 in December, just a mere 2 months into his 17th season in the NBA. Unfortunately for Vogel, Laker fans are also extremely delusional and have unrealistic expectations. Certainly they should’ve made a better run at the playoffs this season than they did but if the Lakers get off to a rough start people will be shouting from the rooftops for his firing.
This begs the question: why Vogel?
Obviously options were running thin after striking out on 2, (Tyronn Lue and Monty Williams) or arguably even 3 (Jason Kidd didn’t get the job as head coach but was brought on as an assitant) candidates. Vogel has a good track record as a coach, taking the Indiana Pacers to the Eastern Conference Finals where they played LeBron James’s fierce Miami Heat squad in back to back years. More recently though, Vogel had been fired by Orlando after 2 subpar seasons. His overall record sits just above .500 and he doesn’t have any championship experience unlike Lue. It seemed set in stone that Lue would get the job until talks fell through over contract disagreements. Now Vogel is in as a 3rd or 4th choice with time ticking on LeBron’s career.
Some feel like he is qualified for the job and will have LeBron’s respect due to their slugfests held back in the Eastern Conference Finals a few years ago. Others feel like he’s already a dead man walking due to outrageous expectations and having a head coach in waiting on the bench in Jason Kidd. I’ve read that some have marked down as a doormat for LeBron to walk all over.
Only time will tell how this marriage will work out but for now it’s a funky one for sure.
Not all heroes wear capes but Chance the Rapper might want to get one after single-handedly getting the ball rolling on an effort to bring back Wendy’s famous spicy nuggets.
It started like any normal day on May 5th, the sun was shining, Twitter was its usual rambunctious self, and Wendy’s spicy nuggets had been extinct for months now. Until Chance the Rapper of mixtape fame, came in clutch after simply tweeting:
“Positive Affirmations for today: I WILL have a good day, I will succeed today, Wendy’s WILL bring back spicy nuggets at some point please please Lord let it be today.”
Wendy’s then responded to the call for help, by offering a challenge:
“Y’all keep asking so here’s your chance. The people in charge say if you guys can get our tweet (this one right here) to 2 Million likes, they will bring SPICY CHICKEN NUGGETS BACK. Let’s freakin’ do this.”
Challenge accepted. The good people of Twitter did this with ease as they were ultra motivated to bring back their beloved Spicy Nuggets that had been gone from their lives for too long. Wendy’s has always been on top of their game when it comes to being active on social media, often offering funny quips to competitors and customers alike. However, this is a whole new level of PR genius.
Wendy’s first started by taking spicy nuggets away from the public, leaving them absolutely devastated. This allowed Wendy’s to roll out a few other items to fill the void such as their $5 Big Bag that includes regular nuggets. Undoubtedly it’s a great deal but it just leaves us craving a little something more, such as spicy nuggets instead of regular ones in the deal. Then Chance the Rapper, who has a huge following on Twitter with 8.1 million followers, comes along requesting these spicy nuggets drawing plenty of attention to the situation. Wendy’s responded to both a valued and valuable customer, considering his following, and capitalized on the situation by offering a deal that created even more buzz. To top it off, now that Twitter reached the goal of 2 million likes, (which is not an easy threshold to reach) Wendy’s can insert the spicy nuggets back into their $5 big bag which was already a steal of a deal.
Voila! PR GENIUS.
The NBA Draft Lottery was held on Tuesday night and to put it mildly, it was absolutely bonkers.
With the New York Knicks being tied for the highest odds to take the top pick in the draft, millions of eyes watched as ping pong balls flew around delegating picks to each team. Knicks fans’ excitement grew after they found out they were at the very least in the top 4 and then moved into the top 3 after the Los Angeles Lakers were awarded the 4th pick in the draft. It felt like fate and Knicks fans started to grow certain that the top pick would be theirs. Then suddenly, it all went topsy turvy as the New York Knicks were called and awarded the 3rd pick in the draft. Devastation is the first word I could think of when looking at the face of my roommate and of fans across the Big Apple.
Instead, the New Orleans Pelicans, who held just a 6% chance at taking the top pick, won the Zion Williamson sweepstakes.
Instantly, speculation swirled on the internet, with reports coming out that Zion had preferred to go to the Knicks, rather than the Pelicans, a team that was in disarray for most of last season after their franchise cornerstone, Anthony Davis, requested a trade. Immediately, media across the country started trying to break down Zion’s every waking movement and facial gesture after finding out he was going to the Pelicans. Many said that he would think about going back to Duke, or that he would try to force a trade, or that he would just take it on the chin and mope around in New Orleans.
Williamson’s stepdad, Lee Anderson, squashed that notion, saying “We’re excited about that, certainly we’re excited about the Crescent City down there in New Orleans.” Additionally, with regards to rumors that he would want to go back to Duke, Anderson shot those down quickly too, “There has been a lot of speculation, but that is nothing that we have even considered.”
Ever since Zion’s high school hoop mixtape of him throwing down ferocious dunks blew up, Williamson has been under a microscope so large that it has been compared to the one LeBron James was under coming into the league.
The media has done its very best to spin the notion that Zion was unhappy to hear New Orleans’ name called for the first pick in the draft. Thankfully, his stepdad did a great job of dispelling the rumors and is doing his best to let his 18 year old step son just enjoy his life and play basketball.
Here’s to hoping Zion can both enjoy himself and bring glory to the New Orleans Pelicans’ name.
Honestly, I shouldn’t even have to give out this warning because you should’ve seen it already, but if you haven’t seen Avengers: Endgame, STOP RIGHT HERE BECAUSE THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way let’s get down to brass tacks shall we? With the conclusion of the first 3 phases of the Marvel Cinematic universe (with the exclusion of the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home movie) many simply do not know what to do at this stage of their lives.
Have no fear! Disney’s complete and utter takeover for the rights to every superhero known to man in the Marvel universe is here! This is a great example of media having commercial implications, where we can see that this media corporation is large, integrated, and global. Disney has stuck their hand in almost every cookie jar at this point with their acquisitions.
Unless you live underneath a rock, you are probably aware that Disney essentially bought the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four for the low price of $71.3 billion after acquiring 20th Century Fox.
Therefore the possibilities are endless for the Marvel universe due to Disney being almighty and powerful with seemingly endless amounts of money. This has been displayed with Disney buying, and according to some, absolutely destroying the Star Wars franchise (which I totally disagree with).
Amongst the most popular ideas include the potential to add the X-Men into the next phase of movies in order to replace some of those that we lost in the Endgame. RIP Tony Stark and Black Widow. Captain America just dipped out of there but I respect the decision nonetheless.
This would be a little a little difficult to do however as much of the cast in upcoming Dark Phoenix movie have already been in 3-4 X-Men movies and who knows how long they’ll want to stick around or if they will even be asked to if this one bombs like the last did.
Regardless of what Disney and Marvel decide to do, or not do, surely there will not be a lack of options when it comes to deciding what content should be made next. Disney’s power continues to grow with every movie, and the superhero team-ups have especially been huge catalyst when it comes to their success. The real question is if they can make it work with the current state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and how long that could take.
Fingers crossed that we don’t have to wait as long as Steve Rogers did for Peggy Carter.
In the past few months I was able to listen to a couple of podcasts on Joe Rogan’s show, “The Joe Rogan Experience” or JRE for short. I just started listening to Joe Rogan in the past year or so and personally for me, it has changed my life. He does a tremendous job of picking and choosing his guests carefully as well as being a very fair, neutral interviewer when it comes to touchy or controversial topics.
Two of his podcasts recently included interviews with BBC and Vice reporter, correspondent, and producer Ben Anderson as well as author/journalist Ioan Grillo.
Both of these men have worked in extremely dangerous conditions, with Ben Anderson being a war journalist in the Middle East and Ioan Grillo covering the drug war and the cartel in Mexico respectively.
Listening to these podcasts gave me a unique and eye opening perspective on the lengths that some will go in the profession of news gathering and reporting. While they had different stories from opposite sides of the globe, it was easy to tell that both had dealt with their fair share of pain.
Ben Anderson has dealt with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder since his days shooting film for BBC in the middle of war torn countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq. Anderson talked about stories from his days shooting film in the middle active fire fights between U.S. and Middle Eastern forces, with battle going on for hours around him.
Grillo elaborated on his days spent in Mexico and other parts of Latin America, interviewing killers from the cartel, trying to get an idea of what motivated them to do such atrocious things. In addition he spoke about his struggles as a journalist covering the drug war including the loss of colleagues due to rampant violence associated with covering the crisis.
While their stories may be a wake up call to many, the stories they tell are necessary to hear as we can become so naive here in the U.S. to all that is going on in our neighboring countries and overseas where we have soldiers.
If anything, this is a recommendation to give these podcasts a listen for yourself. These are as good of a look as any into what it’s like being in some of the most dangerous situations in the world and still be fully committed to being a top flight journalist.
I can only hope to reach their heights some day.