Roughly about a month away from the playoffs, a team that has been doing fairly well without their star player (who goes down with an injury) faces a situation in which the aforementioned star player may or may not be healthy enough to come back. There are several conflicting reports, from the coaches saying, "He's out for the year," to the player himself saying, "If the situation is right, I'll be back." Regardless, the feeling is this: if he can play, he should play.

Where have we seen this movie before? Oh yeah, it's the Chicago Bulls, Coach Tom Thibodeau and Derrick Rose (and that ACL injury of his) during the 2012-2013 NBA season regarding "The Return"....and apparently this season is the sequel.

Rose, who tore his meniscus in late November, finds himself in the middle of several reports to come out in the past few days speculating that he'd be back early April, just in time for the playoffs. The Bulls, fresh off beating the Pacers last night and moving into a tie for 3rd in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Raptors, have been on fire lately. Before the game, Coach Thibs ruled Rose out for the rest of the season. Surely, however, having "The Return 2.0" happen would put the Bulls right at the forefront for favorites to win the East, right? While that may be true, as I've said all along since he got hurt again, Rose just needs to sit out again. Most importantly, he just needs to lay low and stop coming out and stirring the pot.

I LOVE Rose. He's my favorite player in the league not named LeBron James. But, for the love of God, he needs to shut up.

Don't get me wrong, being a Bulls fan, of course I'd love to see Rose back as soon as possibly. Let's be realistic though; we ALL knew this would happen. Even those naive Bulls fans who refuse to face facts knew this would happen. Yet we all need to be in agreement that this could be a distraction, just like last season. Joakim Noah is laying lights out, D.J. Augustin is proving to be a great pickup (just for the record, I liked him when he was drafted and hoped he could come and play for us as a backup. Wish granted.), Taj Gibson is doing Taj Gibson things, and the team is just looking phenomenal right now. They'll be fine without Rose. Hell, most of those guys had to do it last year, so one more year wouldn't hurt at all.

Normally I'd say, "If he can play, get him out on the court ASAP." In this case, I'm sincerely hoping that, unless the Bulls absolutely need him, Rose should just call it a season.

And please, please.....shut up and stop giving people a false sense of hope. Please?

I preface this with the following: don't judge too harshly.

By now, everyone knows my infatuation with sports and the show "Numbers Never Lie". Add that with the fact that I'm still incredibly psyched that my Super Bowls picks both actually made it, and it becomes pretty safe to say I was going to combine all of those factors in one way or another.

Plus, I got bored sitting around all day.

Either way, this was pretty much an all-day project, so hopefully it turned out well. I, personally, think it did. Ladies and gents, boys and girls, my Super Bowl XLVIII preview!
Recently, for the New Year, I bought a couple wristbands from the LeBron James Family Foundation charity function, in which the money goes to benefiting inner city kids and helping them reach their goals and dreams. The bands, a yellow and black one, simply read two things: "I Promise".

Seems like just two wristbands you can easily find anywhere on the internet, or even make yourself, right? Well, not so much.

The previous year, I've really been able to see what awaits me in the real world and not this sad "Burlington Bubble" I live in. For every genuine good person, there's several people who are as far from "good", "kind", and any other positive words you can think of. Instead, the words "ignorant", "unjust", "cruel" and others like them come into play. Whether it's to people I'm close with or myself, the facts are facts: people in this world are plain heartless. Depressing and sad to say and acknowledge? Yes. But even those who seem to see life through rose-colored glasses should realize that this world far from perfect. People, whether it's because of being ignorant or looking for fun in all the wrong ways, will go out of their way to hurt people.

And THAT'S where those "I Promise" bands come in.

Contrary to popular belief (of those who know me), I didn't but them just because they're from LeBron. In fact, my reasoning behind buying the bands are nowhere close to that reason. I've never been one to make New Years Resolutions. I always thought that, for the most part, they're kind of pointless because they only last for a month (at the most, and that's being a bit generous). But before the calendar struck 2014 and before the thought of buying the bands even came to mind, I made a promise to myself. Whenever I was the clear-cut target of ignorance, this promise of mine slowly manifested itself. Now, with the fact I only have a few months left here at home before I start a new chapter of my life, I've not only decided to go through with this promise, but I've personal mission to accomplish this goal.

My promise? For the yellow band (which is the New Years band, which encourages New Years Resolutions), my promise is simple: to be much better person than everyone and anyone who has came, or will come in the future, into my life just to knock me off my path to where I want to be in life. The second promise (which is just the standard black band) is to back the other promise up by striving to be better than I was in the past.

Resolutions aren't meant to be easy, I suppose. Yet, with this pair of resolutions, I accept the challenge to back my words up. Deep down, I feel like I can succed with these. As a matter of fact, I will.

I Promise.

Pardon my indulgence.

P.S: I'm back.

Damn, man. God is SO good. So, so good.

Today wasn't really the greatest day at first. I'm still in the process of catching up with school work (I'm all good now), still feeling some effects from being sick over the weekend and the first half of this week, and was just overall sluggish today for the most part. Really, I was just going through the motions.

And then "it" happened. A couple of "its".

Let's start with the fact that a man who I've idolized since 3rd grade and is the reason I want to go to U of I so badlt tweeted me. Does Dee Brown ring a bell? If it does, you're probably like, "Why him? Especially when Deron Williams was on the same team that year?" Honestly, I can't remember exactly why I liked him slightly more than Deron, but that's besides the point. I'll attach a pic later. But still, that just about made my week.

Then lets move to practice for Oz. I'm now fortunate enough to be Uncle Henry for two of the four nights. For me, it's big. Am I nervous, having been given this part two weeks from the show? Hell yeah. But you know what, I'm determined to learn it. Plus, everyone on the cast is extremely helpful.

I say it again: God is good on making good days out of bad ones.

Pardon my indulgence.
Oh, the benefits of being in a Journalism class. That's pretty much the only reason I'm able to update this so early in the day. Speaking of which...holy crap, am I actually posting this at damn near 10 in the morning?!? I'm pretty sure this is a first.Anyways, on to the point. If anyone who reads this actually knows me, then you know how much I pretty much despise stuck-up, superficial people. They rank right up there with racists in the "Who does Connor hate the most" list.

We're surrounded by them. There are different levels of them. The overconfident ones, the "I won't shut up for the life of me" ones, and then the worse ones: the ignorant. They all do the same thing pretty much: making it a personal mission to make it known that they're way of life is better than yours.

I swear, they are all the same. Regardless on the type they are, they just won't shut up about themselves. Don't get me wrong, if you have a valid reason to talk, go for it.

But then there are those who are those who you just stare at blankly and say, "Yeah, and...?"

Long story short: JUST. SHUT. UP. Please???

Pardon my early morning indulgence.




You ever notice how the people who least deserve to be unhappy are typically very unhappy?
It makes no sense to me. I'm friends with a lot of these people, and they should be some of the happiest people on this planet. But, as we all know, the world is such a cruel place. But still, I can think of a few people who don't deserve the cards they've been dealt.
To keep it short and sweet, I want those said people to be happy at almost every point of the day. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But it's just the ambition I have as a friend.
I was always told that a smile goes a long way, and that helped me out. Now it's time to return the favor to people who most deserve to be happy.
Pardon my indulgence.
I'm starting to believe that a war of words almost rival a war of weapons.Constant games of "He said this" and "She said that" are played with as much care as a 5 year old at a park. And just like that 5 year old who doesn't want to stop playing, these war of word games become played to no end almost.
One's backstory may be the reason why such wars commence. But it regardless of reason, it's only a matter of time before the other involved hears whats been said. Then it becomes a fight for who can matter the last word.
Is that last word even heard? Do people go with the more reliable voice, or do they not care at all?
These games, these wars, they all end up with the same end result: no one wins until the other is hurt.
Pardon my short, and a tad bit somber, indulgence.
Look who's back? Yeah, its been awhile. Senior year has kicked my arse a couple times already. Speaking of senior year, it hasn't been all work and no fun.Let's start with senior homecoming. It. Was. AWESOME!!!! I don't know if it was the fact that I was a dancing fool the entire night, or the fact that my birthday was the day after. Either way, it was the best one of high school.
Oh, and I announced the powderpuff football game too. If you ask me, I did pretty awesome.Also, I was able to visit UIC a couple weeks ago. Needless to say, I think I'd be happy if I ended up going there for college. Plus, my playground would be my hometown, the City of Chicago. Can't ask for anything better than that! Class by day, city by night!Speaking of colleges, this whole "applying" thing is pretty crazy. It's a mix of a lot of stuff to fill out and the pure fact that I'm even ACTUALLY applying to colleges! Man, time flies, doesn't it?Welp, that's all I got for you guys tonight. I'm still recovering from being sick, and I'm still kind of out of it. I'll try to update some more like I used to.  Besides, I have a few surprises in store for you guys ;)Pardon my very late and overdue indulgence. Man, I miss saying that.
Welp, here we are Class of '14. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end of our high school lives. The time where people have claimed is "among the best times of your life" will begin to come to a close. The last ride.

We've all grown up now. Most of you have known each other since Pre-K. In my case, I've only known most of you since 6th grade. Regardless, we've seen each other grow before our very eyes. Not one of us can say we are exactly the same as who we were last year, the year before that, and so forth. Man, to think that tomorrow officially kicks off the countdown to the's surreal, awesome, and a bit scary.

Let's start with awesome. Now lets be honest: ALL of us want to get the heck out of Central as fast as possible. Don't act like you haven't at least once. ONCE. Plus, Central aside, all of us are close to freedom, in a way. Most of us begin to start living on our own, seeing new places, and meeting new people. Sure, it's a bit freaky, but I'm sure it'll be pretty damn sweet.

The surreal part is pretty self-explanatory. It's just crazy how fast high school has gone by, even though most of us (me included) have complained at least once about how slow it tends to feel. For a lot of us, this school year will be the last time we see certain people. That part will DEFINITELY be on my mind as this school year goes on. Each classmate, teacher, random annoying freshman, and certain things at Central that I take for granted as just an everyday won't be an everyday sight anymore. I'm starting to think that calling it surreal is becoming an understatement now.

Last, but not least, it's scary. It's scary for many of the reasons aforementioned. Plus, we really don't know where we are going at the end of high school. Sure, we all say we want to go to a certain college, but what if Plan A fails? What about Plan B? I'll admit, even though I have several backup plans, the fact that where I'm going is shrouded in uncertainty actually scares me. It's hitting me a little as write this, and may hit me more as time goes on.

Nevertheless, we made, fellow Seniors. The finish line, the end of the tunnel, or however you want to call it is now within sight. Here's to all of us making it a great year, however we decide to do that.

Pardon my indulgence.

Oh, and another thing for underclassmen: WE HAVE SENIORITY OVER YOU! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!
Race in America. I really don't have to elaborate on those three words much, do I? 

The past few days I've been watching, reading, and listening to the story involving Riley Cooper of the Philadelphia Eagles breaking out that racial slur. Sure, he asked for forgiveness, and some for the most part gave him that forgiveness. Yet, at the same time, you know for a fact that what he said is going to stick in the minds of everyone who it affected. Most of those people being African-Americans.

Fast forward to today, where I was at the park earlier in the day shooting around with friends. This one kid, on the other court, was playing his friend in a pickup and tried to distract him. What did he use? "NIGGA, NIGGA, NIGGA!" What really irritated me was that he said that same phrase more than once, so naturally, I was ready to confront the kid (add the fact that he looked like he was still in middle school, as well). Of course, my friends stopped me before I could say anything, but you get the point.

Now I know that some would say that its okay and it wasn't racist, only because he didn't say it with an "-er" at the end. My response is this: That's besides the point. I don't care if someone says it with an "a", "-er", or anything. That word, whatever the connotation, just shouldn't be tossed around like someones' first name. Hell, I was a victim of having that name being called on me. I don't have to dive into how ignorant the person. What I will say is that he is one of the many in this country that just toss it around (most of whom don't even care). I know that it's just how people are and my life will be full those people since I am a Black man, but quite frankly (seeing how far Blacks have come), it's a goddamn shame. 

And to those racist bigots that word is practically a first name, I honestly hope karma makes an example out of you. 

That's one of the aforementioned "irrelevant arguments". Now it's on to the next one.

There are going to be those people that say, "Well black people use it all the time when they talk to each other." Really? That's you're argument? Just because some blacks do it doesn't mean we all do it, and it sure as hell doesn't mean it gives someone else the right to just whip that word around. Oh, and a message to those who are the ones who say it when talking to each other: if you do want to do and say all that (and I don't advocate it at all, but who am I?), at the very least do it somewhere where a lot of the public can hear.

Again, I know it's all part of life as a Black person. At the same time, that doesn't mean that I have to sit back and not take a stand against it. And to those who are NOT Black, yet completely understand the point I'm making and are not like aforementioned ignorant people, then you have pretty much every ounce of my respect. Most importantly, I wish more of society were like you guys. Unfortunately, as we all know, we don't live in a perfect world.

Pardon my indulgence.