Posts Tagged ‘Hall of Fame’

DeMatha Hall of Fame: 2017 Edition

November 2, 2017

“There are 38,000 high schools in America but only one DeMatha.”

DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys held the 16th annual induction ceremony for the DeMatha Hall of Fame on October 29.  It probably goes without saying but as far as high schools go, being recognized by your peers at DeMatha has to rank among the most difficult because of the deep tradition of excellence.  Although some DeMatha alumni have broken new ground and achieved unimaginable heights in their respective areas, it is not uncommon for them to hold their accolades from Hyattsville in the highest esteem.  The DeMatha Hall of Fame event is always a night that you don’t want to miss and it has become a source of inspiration for students, alumni, and friends over the years.  In order to get a feel for what it is all about, here are the video highlights as compiled by Andre Jones.

There was a lot buzz from social media surrounding the event and we have selected some fine examples for your review.  Basketball Coach Emeritus and DeMatha Hall of Fame and The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member Morgan Wootten was on hand for the festivities with a few of his former students.  The LT Brendan Looney (SEAL) Convocation Center where the event was held houses the Kathy & Morgan Wooten Gymnasium and is already rich with DeMatha history in its own right.   It was the perfect setting to wax poetically and fondly recount the more lasting DeMatha memories with family.  Father Damian Anuszewski, O.SS.T., was the emcee and Principal Emeritus John Moylan was also in attendance, so we are certain that everyone was on their best behavior.

From Andre Jones Twitter.

Duane and Mike in 1991

In addition to the 1996 Hockey and the 2001 Lacrosse Teams, there were a number of individual honors: Garland Hawkins, Duane Simpkins, Kevin Davis, Paul Rabil, Mike Jones, Josh Wilson, and the first ever inductee from the Golf program Del Ponchock.  The highlighted and linked names appear as short articles in the DeMatha Stags community on Google+ so click away.

Former Assistant Principal William Clark was also inducted into the DeMatha Hall of Fame and Mike Johnson ’80 became the latest recipient of the Lou Amico Service Award.  Craig ’85 and Tim Gough ’78 were also named recipients of the St. Simon de Rojas Service Award at the ceremony.  Please check out the DeMatha website for an in-depth explanation of the awards and honorees.

Ben Spotts 59, Morgan Wootten, and Steve Greene 61 at the H of F Ceremony on Sunday.

A post shared by DeMatha High School (@demathacatholic) on

The Chronicles of Six would like to congratulate all of the honorees from the 2017 DeMatha Hall of Fame ceremony.  We are hoping that the current faith-filled gentlemen and scholars at DeMatha will be inspired to similar greatness.  Go Stags!

[ Featured Image of Duane and Mike in 2017 from the Twitter account of Andre Jones. ]

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Boycott: No Kaepernick No NFL

September 13, 2017

The Hail Mary

Colin Kaepernick Getty Images

#NoKaepernickNoNFL

The boycott of the National Football League over the blackballing of Colin Kaepernick is gaining traction despite the initial push back against the protests that started this whole thing in the first place.  Colin Kaepernick is the most recent brave individual in the NFL to lend his fame to the plights of humanity and justice which are the causes of consternation from those able to hire him.  Many writers have already exhausted the possibilities that could have prevented him from playing in the NFL, or the necessary mental gymnastics to arrive at the conclusion that Kaepernick detracted from the game.  (Quite eloquently and thoroughly we might add.)  Today we are going to take a hard look at why this is exactly the kind of silent protest that we need, and how it has been effective, so far.

 

Buttressed against the Black Lives Matter movement, Colin Kaepernick ushered in a social consciousness to a sport that rarely indulges in controversy.  The fact that Black Lives Matter is viewed as controversial is baffling to those that understand the simplicity of the message: that Black people’s lives matter.  However, there is no shortage of fools or pundits willing to twist the message for personal gain.  The worst of these lowlifes seek to perpetuate the systematic oppression of Black people through their willful ignorance or blatant racism.  The #NoKaepernickNoNFL hashtag has suffered the same disparagement as #BlackLivesMatter because they both strike the same nerve, but maybe Colin did it more acutely?  The genius of the defiant is that they are the persistent jab in the face a country that is currently denying that it has a black eye.

Cassius Clay The Houston Post

A young Mohammad Ali was a conscientious objector to participating in the Vietnam War.  Ali was particularly peeved when he was trolled by The Houston Post, who refused to use his chosen name.  [Photo via Broke-Ass Stuart via Imgur.com]

Follow the money.

Football is big business.  Nothing engages the short American attention span more than money, but football might be a close second.  Football is violent and dangerous.  Football players are among the last of the gladiators who are expected to sacrifice their bodies and long-term health willingly for the cause of sport as recently highlighted in a Freakonomics podcast.  The owners of NFL teams are all very white and enjoy a modicum of power that comes from the extreme wealth that it generates.  Football team owners expect obedience because the power that they wield is great in shaping the American institution that has become the embodiment of the country.  Colin kneeled in defiance of that collective thumbs down, which I am certain that he knew was coming, and the colosseum gasped at his insolence.

image_08_13_030_r07-2010

Protesters stand behind the words of Muhammad Ali and against the War in Vietnam.  [Photo courtesy of Amistad Digital Resources, photographer Builder Levy.]

NFL owners must have noticed that his action ultimately detracted from their bottom line and branding because they collectively turned down his services but unwittingly elevated Kaepernick’s message in the process.  Racism devoid of power is just flimsy bigotry, but the overzealous defense against the questioning of the very foundations of America by the NFL shows that all of this is tragically deeper than football.  Kaepernick protesting was not just an act.  Others realizing what was at stake put their celebrity in the most lucrative sport on the line when they joined in, breaking the silence necessary to make America move on.  If there is one thing that history has shown us, it is that institutional racism and systematic oppression fear the Black Messiah and all iterations of such.  To sacrifice a multimillion dollar career and to use what he already earned to promote Black causes makes Colin Kaepernick nothing short of a hero.

The nature of the demonstration, itself a model on American civil disobedience, calls out dissenters as hypocrites and racists.

Take What The Defense Gives You

These ideas of silence, distraction, and moving on are also not new, and they deserve to be put into some sort of historical context to see exactly what we are moving on from.  (Candace Cui for Broke-ass Stuart)  The United States of America wants you to move on from the unarmed Black deaths at the hands of policemen even before the vacant convictions for those deaths makes the news.  The good old USA also wants Black people to move on from unequal incarceration rates, Jim Crow, and slavery.  Football is just the latest interruption designed to take Americans away from all that darned thinking that can lead to changing racist policies.  (Don’t even mention reparations.)  But Colin Kaepernick made it that much more difficult to turn the channel on the issues of policing, justice, and race that have always plagued America.

Cui bono is a Latin phrase that is translated “for whose benefit?”  What should be obvious to everyone right now is that refusing to even acknowledge the value of Black life can only serve the oppressor.  The oppressor’s narrative dismisses the struggles of the oppressed.  America was singularly enriched through the infliction of suffering on others so it comes as no surprise that her sporting spectacles often reflect the ills racism.  The National Football League, as an organization, has been a direct beneficiary of an alliance with the United States Department of Defense after it was reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that sporting teams were paid to put on patriotic displays in a $53 million-dollar advertising campaign from 2012-2015.

The NFL is silently complicit, at best, in the proverbial fuck game to take as much as you can for as long as you can.  Each individual NFL team owner weighed in on the decision by not offering Colin Kaepernick a chance to prove himself worthy in a training camp this past summer.  Blackballing specific participants has happened before in other sports too, but few have the atrocious record of the National Football League.  The New York Times even pointed out that the Washington Redskins –the very name of the team is a racial slur, was the last NFL team to integrate Black players on September 30, 1962.  The NFL had difficulty with modern ideas like Blacks playing the central position of quarterback, or Blacks leading teams as the head coach, also.

african-american-athletes-at-news-conference-af400c2cb31b07a9

The greatest athletes of their time rallied support around Muhammad Ali at a special conference in Cleveland, Ohio in June of 1967. [Photo courtesy of Cleveland.com]

Baseball might be America’s favorite pastime but Cuba and Jason Turner have shown us that Baseball diplomacy is an untimed exercise.  Football is the most popular sport in America today and generates more money per game at very predictable intervals.  Modern professional football culminates in the Super Bowl: the greatest solitary sports media event that the world has ever seen.  Football is really good at capitalism.  The nature of the game lends itself towards consumption with high ticket prices and expensive tailgating rituals.  Furthermore, football does more to explain the type of diplomatic measures that the United States is willing to export today because the violence of the sport needs to achieve the desired effect within a specific allotment of time.

The concentrated emotion of football serves the reticent patriarchy along with those few great white fathers that gave us this grand game to enjoy.  Drinking and fighting are direct appeals to the modern-day Minute Men that make up the male dominated warrior class in the United States.  Just as pub jingles and songs made up the bulk of the call to arms for the revolution in 1776, football is an effective tool for making sure revolution doesn’t happen again.  Propaganda can work in more than one direction and it is hard to imagine that the systematic oppression that employs football to serve a racist agenda didn’t take a direct hit with Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner before games.

They Can’t Stop The Run

#NoKaepernickNoNFL diverts viewers from the diversion.  This shifting of the attention eats into the space of the unique partnership that the NFL has exploited by maintaining the status quo.  With week one of the NFL season in the books, it is apparent that ratings are down and ticket sales have suffered even if you don’t believe BET or Sports Illustrated, respectively.  (See below, at the bottom of the article, via Twitter.)  Colin Kaepernick jerseys are highly sought-after memorabilia and the world has taken notice even though American football hasn’t spread around the globe with the tenacity of baseball or made the popularity gains of basketball.  The silent, national anthem protest occupies the moral high ground now, and the NFL appears visibly shook along with the heart and soul of the United States.

Either you believe that having the right to protest something is what it means to be an American in the first place or you are inviting an alternative.  The dissonance over the Francis Scott Key’s refrains doesn’t last long.  Kneeling during the national anthem has even trickled down to high school football in some instances, but the focus of the gripe should remain squarely in the National Football League where it rightfully belongs.  America will produce more conscientious Patriots and college football players are still proud of their schools.  But now more Americans are experiencing the frustration of the dysfunction than ever before -and the surfacing of football radicals says that the feeling will continue to permeate our popular entertainment and leisure.

The National Football League is the classic case of the squeaky wheel needing oil if the predominantly Black players ever saw one, but now Black celebrity fans are chiming in.

Silence on the matter indicates a tacit agreement with white supremacy and Manhood has moved from physical tests to cerebral pursuits, self-control, and determination.  If American football is described in the terms of a triumph of wills then nothing embodies that more than steady and methodical plodding of a good running game.  While the pace of viral murder videos of unarmed Black civilians in the streets has seemed to slow*, the Black Lives Matter movement got new legs when a qualified NFL starter was kept from plying his trade in the 2017 season.  Excluded in the very prime of his career, Colin Kaepernick showed what could happen to you if you dare to fight against racist institutions.

There are a lot of ways to take a life.  Kaepernick relinquished much of what he dedicated his life to when his NFL dreams were dashed.  An untold amount of work goes into crafting an NFL career as bright as his was, and yet it would all be taken away in the hopes that folks would just move on.  We, the people who are not afraid to bend our knees with Colin Kaepernick, cannot just simply move on.  We are all affected by it and to just shut the fuck up and take it is not really an option that we are willing to explore when it comes to racial injustice, anymore.  Colin Kaepernick deserves our solidarity for finally creating new, positive, and inspiring imagery that captures the spirit worthy of Black lives.

As long as NFL owners want to collectively pretend that Colin Kaepernick’s services could not be utilized, we should also pretend that the NFL is representing one rotten root in America’s racist foundation and boycott.  The message that would be sent is also simple: There is no escaping this growing problem, but we can all face it.  Joining the strike against the National Football League ensures immortality on the right side of history and The Chronicles of Six won’t cover professional football in 2017, anyway.  So let’s see if we can’t get Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling statue enshrined in Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The Iron Curtain

The question was posed, what is the manly football man to do in the face of deprivation for the sport that he has been conditioned to love?  The answer for The Chronicles of Six has been the ESPN Player and to watch all of the NCAA games, as well as a subscription to DeMatha Stags Television on the NFHS Network.  Everybody is different.  Don’t be ashamed if you lack the discipline to glance over the game as you flip past channels but try not to tweet scores or promote a racist product.  Grown folks are putting in work.  We are Giants of men, and we can learn to subdue our passions and improve our lots in life.

You just need to develop a steely resolve for these issues.  If that doesn’t work, try putting more spices on your food and reading all of the articles about Colin Kaepernick from The Undefeated that are in the first link.

*It would be very interesting to look at the numbers of unarmed Black people killed by police before and after Colin Kaepernick began his not-so-subtle dissent in our next piece. 

[Featured image from Getty Images via The New York Post, Navy admiral’s Pearl Harbor speech trolls Colin Kaepernick]

DeMatha Legend Adrian Dantley Meets DJ Harvey

November 23, 2016

“The best thing I ever did was to go to this school.” – Adrian Dantley, on DeMatha

Watch the NBA video embedded in the link above.  Darren Harvey was the lucky young man that got to size himself up next to a Hall of Fame inductee.  The two not only have DeMatha in common, but also Notre Dame.  Darren “DJ” Harvey is the leader of the DeMatha Stags basketball team in 2017 and he committed to play for Notre Dame in the Fall.  I hope that this DeMatha legend sighting is a sign that bodes well for the team this year.

Follow me.  There is more basketball coverage to come and I can see more Marc Stern videos in your future.  Shout-outs to Capitol Hoops for the DJ Harvey recruiting video.

Check out the NBA career stats of Adrian Dantley in Basketball Reference here but please understand that he is an individual that exudes 100% class.  This is deeper than basketball but it should suffice to say that DeMatha and the University of Notre Dame have a long history.  Anyway, give your boy a plus one (+1) if you can.  Also feel free to share and like this article in order to show these DeMatha Stags some love.

Is Basketball Emerging as the New World Sport?

October 21, 2016

It is October and that means that all true sports fanatics in my home country are fixated on baseball.  For some that means making a subtle adjustment in their feelings towards teams that they are willing to root for and the process can be remarkably pragmatic and rational as far as emotions go.  Often times baseball fans will use this time of year to switch allegiances of sorts from their hometown or favorite team to a team that actually still has a shot at winning the World Series grand finale -if only temporarily.  Much like the “holiday” of Halloween, these agonizingly deep and tortuous spirits of October don’t elicit too much attention considering all the people on the planet.  Baseball is one of those great American inventions that has largely been confined to the Americas, Caribbean, Japan, and the Philippines despite the lofty titles that the ultimate prize bestows. However, basketball is the treasure to the world presented by the United States that shows the most persistence in spreading.

When trying to explain the intricacies that can aptly surmise the fascination with a pastoral game without time limits even the most expert baseball aficionado may fall well short.  The marketing just hasn’t been the same for baseball since Babe Ruth, but basketball has an angle that is blatantly apparent.  Instead of trying to explain that accurately hitting a spherical ball with a cylindrical bat is arguably the hardest skill in professional sports through physics examples try showing a highlight reel of a top level basketball player.  Virtually any variety of shots in basketball will leave the viewer with a sense of awe instantaneously.  Pictures of distance shooting with incredible accuracy and powerfully graceful slam dunks have spellbound us all and are suspended in time on the internet.  Even dribbling and passing a basketball can invoke a kind of Magic that can enchant a casual observer.  A novice could watch 1000 home run at-bats before ever glimpsing why the seemingly simple task of knocking the ball over the fence is amazing, every single time.

Basketball cuts to the chase, and you don’t need a history lesson on antebellum Americana and the abundance of yeoman farmers to understand the new world sport.  Basketball started out as a team game that could be played indoors.  Later basketball evolved into a sport that would thrive in urban spaces especially when played by individuals that faced more economic hardship than merely bored farm workers.  Historian and Associate Professor at the State University of New York, Justin Turner referenced that the first baseball squad ever recorded playing a game was none other than the New York Knickerbocker Club that also published the first rule book in 1845 in his post doctoral dissertation.  (BASEBALL DIPLOMACY, BASEBALL DEPLOYMENT: THE NATIONAL PASTIME IN U.S.-CUBA RELATIONS, page 14)

1946 New York Knicks Team Photo

The New York Knicks (1946 – 1947) Basketball Team

Thanks to modern agriculture we may never see the likes of the conditions that created baseball again but human beings keep reinforcing the circumstances that founded basketball.  The impact that each game has played in the global economy is quite astonishing but the blueprints for additional wealth seem to be divergent.  Indeed, the future looks brighter for one of the games.  The increased development of the world is leading towards larger populations living in denser cities where the disenfranchised and marginalized dream of a nontraditional means of escape.  What is more, the equipment for playing basketball is more along the lines of the most popular world sport of soccer and the purest form can be embraced by both sexes.  All you really need is a ball and people start to come together.

Baseball might be the official American pastime but it just hasn’t been all that infectious.  The established realm of baseball can only claim the Netherlands as the only foothold in Europe.  Basketball has been full on sick since before the time it saw Doctor J and it still has a chance to go viral.  In the modern era that also includes the highly chronicled legends of Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Pete Maravich, and LeBron James so there may be no end to more stories like these running whatever courts that they want.  The youth of the world have taken up basketball on all inhabited continents due to the inspiration and excitement from striking visual cues that align with prevalent social themes.  This is the secret to the health of the game of basketball.  The culture of globalization is perhaps inadvertently breeding basketball lovers at a feverish pace.

The International Baseball Federation began six years after the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and they no longer sanction a culminating event that unites the world for a true championship since the Baseball World Cup folded in 2011.  Basketball was invented by James Naismith in 1891 some fifty years after sports resembling baseball were being played and the FIBA championship trophy and basketball Hall of Fame still bear his name.

The sports that we all play have a certain potential to reveal more about our increasingly interconnected and technical society than we may care to admit.  International participation in sports can certainly coincide with the rise of entire regimes and there is a hardly an upstart political movement that wouldn’t leap at the chance to appropriate such successes.  Popularity matters but total world domination is still like a jump ball in basketball: completely up for grabs.  In other sports it can be more like a forgone conclusion but the courts at least seem like the more egalitarian alternative than the diamond or the fields.  The United States has enjoyed a significant head start on the rest of the participants but the FIBA Basketball World Cup results show that the medal count isn’t lopsided.  Besides, things are known to change.

Spain was the last basketball team to win the FIBA tournament other than the USA in 2006 and the country will be the subject of further coverage on the phenomenal organic growth of the sport on The Chronicles of Six.  This author believes that the next basketball legend will speak Spanish as a first language which would dramatically extend a broad appeal.  Three English-speaking countries ultimately went into the creation of the sport of basketball as Naismith was Canadian born eventual citizen of the United States of immigrant Scottish lineage.  Currently the majority of the basketball innovators are from the USA because the sport is still an evolving invention 125 years after James Naismith recorded the first game in Springfield, Massachusetts.  In this series several Spanish athletes have been chosen for the spotlight in order to give interested readers insights into the emergence of basketball anew, and from a different perspective.

These stories are important and so expect more at a later date.