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Topics - Bakes

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General Discussion / Confederate Flag Controversy
« on: June 27, 2015, 06:19:56 PM »
Activist climbs flagpole on South Carolina state Capitol grounds and takes down flag

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General Discussion / Car Carrying Benjai Shot at by Police
« on: January 29, 2015, 02:07:22 PM »
Benjai lucky to be alive, should be charged (Trinidad Express)

By Alexander Bruzual
January 29, 2015

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Ser­vice Social and Welfare Associa­tion (TTPSSWA) is of the opinion soca artiste Benjai (Rodney Le Blanc) should be charged for his role in allegedly breaching a police escort along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway on Sunday.

According to police sources, a vehicle breached a police escort which was transporting President Anthony Carmona. As a result, offi­cers in one of the police vehicles in the escort were said to have fired shots at the vehicle, in order to bring it to a stop.

Association officials, in an inter­view yesterday on i95.5fm, said based on information from enquiries they made, Le Blanc was allegedly tailing the escort service from Port of Spain, and upon reaching Aranjuez, the officers shot at the tyre of the car.

According to TTPSSWA president Anand Ramesar, the officers were well within their rights to do so, and
he was of the opinion an inves­tiga­tion must be launched and Le Blanc should be charged.

“The association, from the onset, has been approaching this investi­gation with a lot of caution. And from enquiries we made with our membership on what happened that
particular day, we are sufficiently clear in our minds that the police would have acted correctly and would have also acted with restraint, actually, and we have taken the position that a full investigation should be conducted in this matter, with a view to laying criminal charges against those responsible...those who would have breached the secu­rity escort on that particular day,” Ramesar said.

General secretary Michael Seales said the persons in the car were lucky to be alive as in other countries, those persons may have been killed for their actions.

“The President of this country was being escorted at that point in time and these officers, the ones who are escorting him, are trained to shoot into the car at a chest level, in order to neutralise any targets who could potentially be a threat to the dignitary who is being escorted at that point in time,” said Seales.

“So hats off to them (the police escort), I mean, these officers did breach their training protocol, but at the same time, today, the persons who may have suffered in that regard are now alive to tell the story. In other countries, in those same cir­cumstances, those persons would have been dead men. But it is fortunate that the officers did not take the hard-line approach to their training as it would have been a devastating blow to the soca industry.”

At the time, Le Blanc was coming from the Soca Monarch qualifying competition at the Queen’s Park Savanna in Port of Spain.

The incident was captured by a passenger in his car and uploaded to
social media where it has since gone viral.

At the police news briefing yesterday, public information officer Supt Joanne Archie indicated an investigation had been initiated on the report.

Fair or foul?

Are Warrior women’s woes a reflection of present TTFA leadership?
By Lasana Liburd (Wired868.com)

The Trinidad and Tobago national women’s football team represented the country’s best chance to qualify for a FIFA senior tournament since the men’s Germany 2006 World Cup. Today, it arguably represents something else entirely.

Over the past 24 hours, the national women left for Houston in a fashion that is becoming too common for local representatives; one batch of players left on July 29; and the second on July 30.

The women are over two weeks late for a pre-Caribbean Cup camp that was due to commence on July 10. And, during that period, they were prepared by a coach, Marlon Charles, that Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) general secretary Sheldon Phillips sacked just over three weeks ago.

The 2014 Caribbean Cup kicks off on August 19 in Trinidad.

“The most significant upgrade to the (women’s) program will come in the form of changing the team’s technical staff,” stated a TTFA release, on 5 July 2014. “After one month of program review, concerns raised by players about the direction of the coaching and program, and under the recommendations of a newly installed Technical Development Committee Chairman, the TTFA has decided to relieve Marlon Charles of his present position.”

Charles, who worked without of salary or stipend for the past two years, voiced concern that the TTFA supposedly went behind his back to hire American Randy Waldrum as his boss and plot the preparation of the squad. Phillips’ response was to publicly humiliate Charles with the suggestion that even his players did not want him.

The TTFA’s subsequent failure to raise funds for the team’s trip to Houston in a timely fashion saw Charles, who was re-hired as assistant coach, again take charge as the women marked time before jetting off to prepare for a Trinidad tournament in Texas; so as to spare Waldrum the inconvenience of leaving his homeland for two months.

And this is how the TTFA prepares a team that, according to its own release, “is facing its most promising chance to qualify for the Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Canada in August 2015.”

Such treatment is not limited to the ladies or the coaches who Phillips does not fancy either.

On June 21, the TTFA issued a release about an August camp for the “Soca Warriors” that caught head coach Stephen Hart by surprise since, despite his requests for one, he was unaware than any had been scheduled.

Phillips’ release followed a Wired868 article which pointed out that the Warrior players and coaches were still owed per diems from their recent South America tour and match fees from a friendly international against Iran on 8 June.

More than a month later, the men’s camp never materialised, the Warriors still have not been paid, the national youth teams are limping along without funding and the TTFA’s office staff has gone three months without pay.

TTFA president Raymond Tim Kee, who is also the Port of Spain mayor and PNM treasurer, has not responded to calls from Wired868 or made any public pronouncement on the calamitous state of the local game.

Phillips is more available to the media although some of his statements have, arguably, been bizarre.

Last Friday, Phillips gave a list of the current TTFA leadership’s 50 accomplishments to Soca Warriors Online (SWO) site manager Inshan “Flex” Mohammed which included: the settlement of the 2006 World Cup bonus dispute, an improved relationship with government, GISL television rights deal, aversion of FIFA normalisation committee and his own hiring.

In fact, the World Cup bonus dispute remains active, the TTFA’s relationship with Government has not translated into a budget for football while no figures were ever given for a GISL deal.

The normalisation committee he referred to was initially proposed to FIFA by a group that included his father, Lincoln Phillips, Tim Kee and himself; but the notion evaporated when Tim Kee found another avenue to power.

Does Phillips want credit for avoiding his own attempt to take over the local game?

In the accompanying SWO Q&A segment, forumite, Bakes, asked: “What exactly is the TTFA’s official position on getting to the bottom of the missing 2006 World Cup monies, said to be to the tune of $200 million?”

Phillips gave the following answer:

“Our official position is that the use of litigation as a vehicle to answer questions pertaining to the whereabouts of the alleged figures being cited is not a prudent strategy because of expense, time, questionable outcome, and ability to collect if successful. You can look no further than the 2006 players’ own experience in that they were engaged in litigation with the then TTFF for over 8 years with little to nothing to show until President Tim Kee voluntarily entered into discussions to settle the case upon his election to office.

“Keeping in mind that the basis of the player case was a breach of contract claim. In matters involving alleged fraud or misappropriation of state funds, the burden of proof is substantially higher and would require an even greater commitment of time, money, and resources; all of which would be better placed towards developing football.

“In our view, utilizing government agencies to raise questions specifically pertaining to the use of state funds is the more prudent path to take. We have met with President (Anthony) Carmona to discuss the matter and are reviewing several options.

“Soon after our meeting with His Excellency, President Tim Kee made himself available for an interview with the Integrity Commission whose interest in the handling of state funds has been piqued by our inquiry. However, there is one thing we won’t indulge and that is the joining of what I call the pitchfork and torches brigade.

“The pursuit of the basic question; ‘Where and how was the state money received between 2004-2006 spent?’ must be done in an unemotional and detached manner where inquiries and actions are based on the availability of authenticated evidence.

“What is currently circulating is well documented and persuasive but yet to be proven in a court of law or by government investigation.”

Phillips long-winded response either ignores or makes a mockery of the TTFA’s High Court depositions that all 2006 World Cup revenue was banked or re-routed to the accounts of its former special advisor, Jack Warner.

And he failed to mention that Tim Kee failed to act on offers from the 2006 World Cup players to help in the recovery of the missing millions.

More to the point, the questionable list of successes could not have gone down well with the players, coaches and administrators who are struggling through this nightmarish period.

Tim Kee promised to steer football clear of its financial woes and public distrust. Instead, debts climbed while coaches like Anton Corneal, Leonson Lewis and Jamaal Shabazz resigned, Dutchman Leo Beenhakker rescinded his vow to accept a post and there was public outrage over the TTFA’s horribly mismanaged fund-raiser for since deceased World Cup youth footballer, Akeem Adams.

Phillips’ recent self-imposed deadline for the appointment of a new TTFA technical director came and went on 15 July 2014; local football has operated without a TD for four months now.

The mantra of Tim Kee and Phillips is that local football is saddled with debts from the incompetent past regime but is now pushing into the glorious sunlight through their inspired leadership.

The reality is the current TTFA leadership has actually proven to be less resourceful and transparent than its immediate predecessors.

Former TTFF president Lennox Watson and general secretary Richard Groden, through Anthony Harford’s All Sport Promotions, managed to raise the funds to keep the “Warriors” on course to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, despite being openly at loggerheads with Sport Minister Anil Roberts and then Minister of Works, Warner.

Harford sent income and expenditure balance sheets to the media within a week of every national game during his two-year stint with the TTFA.

In two years, Tim Kee and Phillips have not revealed the income and expenditure for any of the seven exhibition matches during their tenure; even though Phillips brazenly listed football matches first among revenue streams available to the TTFA.

Even the 2013 OSN Cup in Saudi Arabia, which carried a cash prize, was not followed by a TTFA press release or internal statement to suggest what the Warriors earned financially for its appearance in Riyadh.

Typical of Phillips, he listed the country’s qualification for the 2013 Gold Cup as an accomplishment for the present executive although the Gold Cup campaign waged for three months under Watson and for 11 days under Tim Kee.

And the TTFA’s talk of splitting from the Warner-led administration sounds hollower than ever these days.

Not just because Tim Kee spent nearly two decades as vice-president under the disgraced former FIFA vice-president and refuses to call him to account for hundreds of millions in missing revenue; but because the TTFA just promoted Warner’s most loyal servant left in local football, Eastern Football Association (EFA) general secretary Neville Ferguson, to run the Super League competition, which is the highest level of domestic football under its watch.

Most recently, the shambolic preparation of the senior women’s team raises more questions about the capability of the TTFA’s chiefs.

Last September, Charles led the under-17 women’s team to the Caribbean title, which, of course, was listed among Phillips’ accomplishments. But, with a senior World Cup spot within striking distance, Phillips decided to get more involved in the women’s programme.

Unsurprisingly, Phillips also listed Waldrum’s hiring as an accomplishment although the coach is yet to face a competitive fixture with the team. Most of the women wore Adidas jackets for their departure as there was not enough Joma gear to go around.

The Joma deal, of course, is another TTFA accomplishment.

The general secretary would surely like to retain his post long enough to see if his national women’s team gamble pays off. Whether local football can afford another year of Phillips and Tim Kee is another matter entirely.

Editor’s Note: Click HERE to read Sheldon Phillips’ 50 self-proclaimed accomplishments.

General Discussion / Venezuelans and T&T Thread
« on: March 22, 2014, 08:42:36 AM »
The crisis in Venezuela

Another day, more bodies (The Economist)
Mar 13th 2014, 16:49 by P.G. | CARACAS

THICK clouds of teargas hung in the air over the north gate of the Central University (UCV) in Caracas on March 12th. A police helicopter clattered overhead; on campus, plain-clothes gunmen on motorcycles, some bearing the initials of the national guard, harassed student demonstrators.

A month after the government crack-down on protesters began, Venezuela’s crisis is deepening. This was the bloodiest single day since three people were killed in Caracas on March 12th. Eighteen injuries were reported at the UCV, after a previously peaceful student march to demand the resignation of the Venezuelan government ombudsman was halted on the orders of President Nicolás Maduro.

But it was the city of Valencia, 125km west of the capital, that bore the brunt of the violence. Three people were shot dead there, including a national-guard officer and two civilians. The government blamed “snipers”; opposition sources insist the only people seen shooting belonged to the pro-government colectivos some are now beginning to call death-squads. The casualties in Valencia brought the month’s death toll to well over 20.

The protest movement began in early February after students and the more confrontational wing of the opposition Democratic Unity (MUD) alliance took to the streets. Their grievances, which are widely shared even by government supporters, include uncontrolled violent crime, inflation and growing shortages of food and other basics. Huge, peaceful protest marches across the country,as well as more violent clashes, often at night, have rattled the government.

Its response has been to jail the radicals’ most prominent leader, Leopoldo López of the Popular Will (VP) party, and unleash violent repression. More than 1,300 protesters, as well as innocent bystanders and journalists, have been detained; many have complained of beatings and ill-treatment. Dozens of cases of alleged torture are being investigated by human-rights groups. Plain-clothes security agents in unmarked cars have begun snatching alleged protest organisers off the streets.

While he wields a baton in one hand, Mr Maduro releases doves from the other. He has launched a so-called “peace conference”, which the opposition has boycotted. It says it will not sit down to talk unless the government gives clear signs that it is willing to mend its ways—which means, among other things, releasing Mr López and other political prisoners, and disarming the colectivos.

As the violence unfolded on March 12th, the Union of South American nations (Unasur) met in Santiago, the Chilean capital, to discuss how to respond to the Venezuelan crisis. Unasur agreed to form a commission of foreign ministers to visit Venezuela, whose task is to “accompany, support and advise”. The strained grammar of the Unasur communique, which reflects underlying political fractures among its members, leaves the reader to guess who is being “supported”.

Mr Maduro certainly seems to have seen the statement as a green light for further repression. He promptly called a meeting of his “security cabinet” and announced “drastic measures” to put a rapid end to the barricade-building and stone-throwing that have disrupted life in every major city in recent weeks. He ordered national-guard commandos to raid residential buildings in Valencia and said security forces would move within hours to arrest the “fascists” and their “suppliers and financiers”. Opposition mayors who fail to stop the protests are also being threatened with legal action.

Unless the Unasur foreign ministers can persuade the government to moderate its stance, their mission will be doomed from the outset. So far, their only achievement seems to have been to encourage the president to act more strongly to snuff out the protests.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/A_Wz8yiVkcM#t=1159" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/A_Wz8yiVkcM#t=1159</a>

Football / Breaking boundaries with David John-Williams
« on: March 19, 2014, 11:35:32 PM »
Breaking boundaries with David John-Williams.
By Inshan Mohammed.

Williams Connect's with SWO.

Soca Warriors Online (SWO) recently caught-up with W Connection President and Chief Executive Officer David John-Williams and managed to get an exclusive Q&A with the passionate soccer-loving club owner.

Williams was quick to point out that he doesn't have to say much by way of defending his club’s foreign and youth philosophy and would prefer to let the trophies do the talking.

W Connection was founded as W Connection Sports Club in 1986, as a "fete match" team, by brothers David John Williams and Patrick John Williams in San Fernando. Upon the creation of the TT Pro League, W Connection F.C. was officially established in 1999, and promptly joined the nascent league.

In their first season, the club finished third in the league, while winning the FA Trophy. Not resting on the laurels of a successful first season, the team would see even greater success  during the following two campaigns, winning the League two seasons in a row.

No doubt W Connection has become one of T&T's most successful professional football clubs. Since its inception in 1986 they have won over 20 Cups and Trophies in-addition to its 4 Pro League Championships and are on the verge of adding its 5th.

The club, known as the "Savonetta Boys" has won the most CFU Club Championship titles, a total of 3 and were runners-up 4 times, all while playing some of the best regional clubs from Puerto Rico, Haiti, Suriname, Jamaica, Martinique and Cuba just to name a few.

To go a step further, the club has produced many top players including; Kenwyne Jones, Gefferson Goulart, Earl Jean, Titus Elva, Jonathan Faña, Zaine Pierre, Reynold Carrington, Murillo Da Costa, Renato Pereira, Jan-Michael Williams, Ronaldo Viana, Joevin Jones, Gerard Williams, Silvio Spann, Shahdon Winchester, Randolph Jerome, William Oliveira and Jose Seabra.

Other top players have lined-up with the team one time or there other, players such as; Jermaine Hue, João Ananias, Robert Scarlett, Arnold Dwarika, Lovel Palmer, Sheldon Mark, Zé Luiz, Aurtis Whitley, George Isaac, Randolph Jerome, O'Neil Thompson and Daneil Cyrus.

The team is spearheaded by Technical Director and Head Coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier and has employed many former T&T players on its staff including Strike Squad members; Brian Williams, Philbert Jones and Leonson Lewis. Former Police FC striker Norris Ferguson, super-star Leroy De Leon and Reynold Carrington have also been part of Connection's network.

W Connection is clearly the backbone of the Trinidad and Tobago Professional Football League having been a consistent performer throughout the years.

Below are 14 questions with David John Williams.

1. W Connection has been on the end of some criticism about having so many foreign imports on the team, many from St Lucia the birth country of head coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier. Most of the players signed are basically young players who are probably not even first team members? My question is do you think the league should have a limit on the number of foreign players per-team and they must be required to meet certain requirements to be employed by a Pro League team? Despite being members of Caricom aren't foreign players still required to meet certain criteria for employment into another Caricom country?
DJW: First of all what do we consider foreign players. I do not consider Caricom nationals as foreign players. It is to be noted that under the CSME treaty sportsmen are allowed free movement in the region and to be employed. As for the certain requirements that is needed be employed by a Pro League team I am not aware that there is any but I am of the opinion that if the player has quality that is all that matters. I distinctly remember that when Connection brought Zaine Pierre at 16 and a half years old to Trinidad many people had a field day criticizing us. In less than 18 months the player was signed by Genoa in Serie A after having trials at Stoke City, Tottenham Hotspurs, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City. It may be useful to note that all the St Lucian players as well as all our other Caricom players are National Senior Team players for their country. We look for a certain standard and quality. The League has a limit on foreign players (non-Caricom) and we have adhered to that limit and policy and I am quite happy with the limit that has been put in place.

2. W Connection did relatively poorly in their last CONCACAF Championship League campaign, sure they won games in the past here and there but never really made any significant impact or reached the semi-finals to say the least. They also finished last season in 3rd position and will not compete in the 2014 series. Can you tell us in your humble opinion what went wrong and how W Connection is planning on playing these series in the future. How serious are they and what is being put in place to improve their performance at this level. Also, do you think head coach Stuart Charles needs some assistant at this level?
DJW: First of all we have generally done well (considering our circumstances) at the Champions League level when our local season ran from March to December. Since the local season changed, our performances have dipped for obvious reasons. When we are in preseason, the Champions League begins for us, but our competition are well into their seasons and this puts us at a significant disadvantage. I did not personally agree with the change of timing for our Local League but the board has made a decision and we abide by it. Our vision and mission as a club is to play in a World Club Championship and in order to do that we must win the Concacaf Champions League. We will always work towards achieving that. Our Head Coach has the capability of making this a reality. I have no doubt in my mind about that. He will need some assistance that will allow for him having a larger budget to improve the squad and play some more high profile games on a consistent basis but we have to work within our limits. Might I add that we are competing with teams with budgets that are 10-20 times larger than ours. We remain positive, having missed out on a quarter final spot a few years ago by one point.
3. W Connection is responsible for producing many former stars and continues to lead the way by producing many more. Can you tell us the Club's philosophy and how you guys go about producing so many top talents in the game today.
DJW: We always believe in growing and schooling our own players from a very young age and in having them come through the ranks right up to senior level. Now we are 15 year-old and we are seeing that happening on a regular basis. We have a philosophy in our style of play from the youths right up to senior level. We have placed some very good coaches at the youth level in our club. As we are on that  let me say that we have used ex-professionals players who have played for our club to run our youth program which is critical to our  player development. We also have a very good paid scouting network in Trinidad and the region which works well for us. What we look for in players some other clubs locally do not look for the same thing. It is our little secret. We take our standard from the world and not locally or regionally and try to get as close as possibly to that standard that our resources will allow.

4. W Connection. How did that name come about and will you consider changing the name in relation to the community they play in so fans can feel in a sense more connected to the club?
DJW: W Connection Sports Club was the original name of the "fete match" team. We have always been a central based team and affectionately known as the "Savonetta boys" (we did not give ourselves that name- the local press did). As for the change of name that is always something to consider but a lot of factors come into play when you have to do that and a whole new re- branding may have to be done. What I do feel is that we need a community field that we could call home where we can have season tickets holders, fan club, club shop, club pub, etc. I honestly feel that this will ensure our fans are always at our games, We know that we have a very good supporter base.

5. Who would you say is W Connection's biggest rivals. For example, I've notice that went ever Central FC plays W Connection there are many red cards in the game particularly against Central.
DJW: Our status in local football created by our consistency and success make us a prime target for all the teams. We live it every game day. When we are playing "Civic" it is labeled a southern derby and when we are playing "Central" it is a big  "Central" derby. It really puzzles me quite frankly. As for the red cards you have mentioned the answer lies with the referees. What I have noticed is that when we played Jabloteh years back there were a few red cards as well and might I add not from our team. When we played Central during the first seven months of their existence I could not remember any red cards. Food for thought. What I am also aware of is that 2 of the five red cards were for "foul" language. Central has created this into a rivalry of sorts. They have come into our space which we have occupied for 15 years and are competing for the same home ground and training field and community. The unprovoked deliberate breaking of our locks on our portable goals at the training ground last year speaks volumes.

6. The TT Pro League is run basically by the Club members (to some extent), who are part of the league's board. Surely, they have some say. The fixtures, venues and opponents have been changing constantly throughout the years and without proper notice to the public, and that in return reduces the already little support the league gets. Referee's are constant no-shows and there are rumors going around that the big clubs like W Connection basically get their way. Can you give us your opinion on these and are you happy with the way the league is run?
DJW: The League has grown over the years. There is room for improvement. We are at the mercy of others because teams do not have a dedicated home community field. We have been at the mercy of a referees dispute (split) for the past two years. As for clubs like W Connection getting their way I will rubbish that opinion or statement. In fact we have been the biggest critic of referees over the years albeit not publicly. We have learnt that we cannot change the result of a game because of a bad decision by an official. We have constantly sent video evidence to the league and the referees showing them the numerous bad calls that we have suffered over the years and they have been many. We are able to do this because we remain the only team that have been video taping all our games (youth and senior) for 15 years so we are at advantage to see whether calls have been good or poor. Video evidence goes a long way in modern day football. Thanks to our video taping over the years we are also able to promote our players from a very young age to scouts and clubs around the world.

7. Do you feel the league needs a change from the top? I believe having someone in power for over a decade could be a bad thing. Jack Warner for example left us in a terrible state because we allowed him to dictate T&T football for over 3 decades. Not that Dexter Skeene is a bad guy, but why not seek assistance to help market and improve the league?
DJW: I think where change is needed is at the board level of the League. I feel the time has come to have at least three persons from Corporate T&T sitting on the League's board. This could go a long way in helping improve our image, our finances and governance structure.

8. Can you tell us some of the club rising stars and who we can look forward to in the future.
DJW: I prefer to use "players for the future" not stars. I will give you only players who are Under 20 years old - Jomal Williams, Alvin Jones, Neil Benjamin, Jabari Mitchell, Martieon Watson, Jarred Dass and Isaiah Hudson just to name a few from T&T and Demetri Apai from Suriname.

9. You are now part of the Caribbean Professional Football League panel and you have my support because I know you have a great passion for the game and also very knowledgeable as well. What are your thoughts on a CPFL and do you think it will affect the Pro League? Also, what are some of the things you would like them to implement? Bear in mind, Tobago United failed miserably mainly because of the financial cost of island hopping.
DJW: I do appreciate you compliments Flex. Let me place on record that I am of the opinion that the success of Caribbean football in the future lies in the formation and running of a Caribbean Professional League. This is the only way the region can improve its finances which is so badly needed to improve the game today. There are many things I will like to see and do but cannot speak about them because of the position I now hold and the respect for confidentially. It is no secret though that the cost of and travel logistics will be the biggest hurdle to overcome. 

10. If you had to choose 21 top players from the current league who would they be. Also, give u a brief breakdown on your selection.
DJW: Goal Keepers- Cleon John and Jan-Micheal Williams, Marvin Phillip. Wing backs- Kennedy Hinkson, Kurt Fedricks, Alvin Jones and Aubrey David (now off to Finland). Stoppers- Daneil Cyrus, Mikeil Williams and Andre Ettienne. Midfielders Joevin Jones, Jomal Williams, Gerard Willaims, Silvio Spann, Curtis Gonzales, Ataullah Guerra and Keyon Edwards. Forwards- Marcus Joseph, Trevin Ceasar, Devorn Jorsling, Shahdon Winchester (now off to Finland). Because of time constraints I will give you the reasons for my choices at another time.

11. How possible is it for foreign clubs to visit our shores in the near future and do you feel it would help?
DJW: This is always possible once you can get the finances behind it right. Playing good foreign clubs always will help raise the bar.

12. W Connection is surely the biggest and most recognized club in T&T. And I remember you told me once that you are working on your own home field, how is this progressing?
DJW:  Are we the biggest? well you said that (laugh).... We are working on building our own training center. The designs and drawings have been done and just waiting to get the finances in place which the most important part.

13. At the senior level there are head coach Stuart Charles and his assistant and country man Earl Jean. Will we see in the future any local T&T born coach as Charles assistant?
DJW: That is always possible now and in the future. We have had several local assistants for Stuart Charles over years the first being Leroy Spann who has migrated, Brian Williams who is now in our youth program, Reynold Carrington who is now in charge of Point Fortin Civic, Leonson Lewis who is now in our youth program, Clint Marcelle who is running his own football school and Anthony Streete who is now in charge of Club Sando.

14. The Super League teams do relatively good whenever they meet a Pro League teams in competitions. It seems the level is right up to par with the top flight league. Do you feel it’s time to make if official and rename the Super League to a Professional League One division and implement the promotion/relegation of teams from the T&T Premier League. This way more teams will compete at a higher level and the brand will be more competitive.
DJW: The Super League for the first time this season has done very well in the Toyota Classic competition. There are a lot of ex-pro league players now in the Super League and no doubt the teams have improved. We must not however get carried away because this is a knock out tournament and not a good yardstick to measure and completely evaluate the teams. I can assure you that playing in the League Championship of the Pro League is not as easy as people think. Added to this, let me say that it is not easy as many feel to operate a professional team in Trinidad and Tobago. The financing required along with the administrative support etc. requires a lot of resources in order to be successful. I am however supportive of having a second tier that will allow for promotion and relegation but we must ensure that the second tier teams have the required structure and support that will ensure that when they are promoted they will be able compete in a credible way.

Copyrights of the Soca Warriors Online - Any press using the following article written by Inshan Mohammed are welcome to do so providing they reveal the source and writer. Furthermore, no portion of this article may be copied without proper credit as well.

Stop parroting those stupid, shameless, hypocritical politicians. If violation of "International Law" (that farce) is grounds for disqualification, the USA and England should be the first to leave, and loads more teams wouldn't be competing. You born yesterday ah wha?

Comparison to Hitler is over the top... as is trying to draw the actions of the US and UK into the frame.  There is nothing that you could point to that would suggest any equivalence.  Waiting for the obligatory Iraq reference.

Football / Brilliant display of sportsmanship
« on: November 14, 2013, 10:44:15 PM »
These two teams Al Nahdha and Al Ittihad of the Saudi Professional League were tied at 2-2 when Al Nahdha Keeper made a save and was about to kick the ball upfield.  He hesitated noticing his shoelace untied but couldn't put the ball down to tie it, with the Al Ittihad striker (the Brazilian, Jobson) lurking.  Surprisingly Jobson went up to the keeper and tied his lace for him.

Then the idiot ref whistled the keeper for delay just as he released the kick... awarding Al Ittihad an indirect free kick.  Sportingly Al Ittihad decided to do their own thing anyways.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/9lS8jQxHnmM" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/9lS8jQxHnmM</a>

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Sleepy Hollow
« on: September 25, 2013, 05:14:09 PM »
Anybody watching this series?  So far only the Pilot and follow up episode, but great show... excellent writing, acting and special effects.  Nichole Beharie is also quite the eye candy.  Trying tuh figure out if she have some West Indian in she... or if she want some :D

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/BFHvr-EhmUo" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/BFHvr-EhmUo</a>

Man runs as rapists attack his girlfriend at Caura River
(T&T Guardian

Northern Division Police have detained two suspected rapists who attacked a 21-year-old woman at a picnic site at the Caura River, Tacarigua, on Tuesday. Shortly after 3 pm, police said the woman was at the site with a male companion when they were approached by three men armed with cutlasses. Police said the victim’s friend ran away on seeing the men, leaving her behind.
The woman told police two of them then attacked her, pinned her to the ground and took turns raping her, while the third man watched. The trio then ran away along the Caura Royal Road. With the assistance of a taxi driver, the woman went to the Tunapuna Police Station and reported the incident. She was able to give investigators a description of her attackers. Police, led by Senior Supt David Abraham, went to the area and searched for the rapists.
One of the men, 30, was arrested hours later while tending to a garden near the Caura Hospital. The other suspect, 27, was arrested shortly after 1 pm, after police were told he was hiding near the river, which runs behind the hospital. Police said the men are from Caura and El Dorado and one of them had been wanted for some time in connection with numerous recent sexual assaults in Tunapuna.
The suspects were being interrogated up to late yesterday. The arrest of the third suspect is imminent, police said. They are expected to participate in ID parades today and tomorrow before they are charged. Sgts Pitt and Charles of the Northern Division are probing the rape.

Football / Brazilian Samba invades Pro League
« on: August 16, 2013, 07:20:06 PM »
Brazilian Samba invades T&T Pro League.
By Inshan Mohammed.

Former Trinity College student and Trinidad-born Narada Wilson is making a name for himself as a Football Executive agent working for Brazil Link, a company based in Trinidad and Tobago that provides all-round service for athletes wanting to go abroad.

In addition to Brazil Link, Wilson is also currently working with FIFA as part of the organizing committee for the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be hosted in Brazil, a place he lived since 2009.

Lately, Wilson, who speaks fluent Portuguese have been using his South American connections in effort to help lift the standard of the Trinidad and Tobago Professional Football League as well as to help T&T players go abroad, particularly Brazil.

He is already responsible for bringing a few Brazilian players to T&T for the upcoming 2013/14 Pro-League season, along with one Argentinian in the person of 26-year old Miguel Alejandro Romeo. Miguel, who also holds Canadian and Italian passports was a standout at University of Victory in Canada for four years and had trials in Portugal, Ecuardo and Argentina before landing a contract with Caledonia.

Others include central defensive midfielder Douglas Poroca and central defender Euler dos Santos, who are the latest additions to the Trinidad and Tobago Professional League, having signed on the dotted-line for St Ann's Rangers a few days ago.

Douglas and Euler, both studied with Wilson at Federal University in Pernambuco, Brazil. They were attached to Greek First Division Club Atromitos FC on a six month-deal. Douglas, also had a stint with Caledonia before but now both are suiting up for St Ann's Rangers for the upcoming season.

Wilson is also responsible for bringing Brazilian right wing-back Joao Ananias Jordao Jr. to W Connection earlier this year. The new W Connection signing Joao Ananias, 22, played with Brazilian First Division team Clube Náutico Capibaribe and is the highest rated of the Brazilian players to hit T&T.

Wilson also represents former T&T Olympic team goalkeeper Zane Coker, Trinidad and Tobago national woman team standout player Ahkeela Mollon and Brazilian defender Rafael Oliveira. Both Coker and Oliveira are currently unattached though, but they are expected to sign contracts very soon.

Mollon, who happens to be the lone female athlete at The Brazil Link was snapped up by Wilson who stated that after meeting her he was very impressed and had to get her onboard. Mollon is currently attached to local WoLF outfit Central F.C and had stints in Switzerland and USA respectively.

Coker, 23, plied his trade with St Ann’s Rangers last season. His hard work along with Wilson's advocacy got him into the T&T National Beach Soccer team that went to the CONCACF qualifiers earlier this year.

As for Rafael Oliveira, he has played with several top clubs in Brazil’s Second Division until becoming a free agent this past June, and could be set for a possible move to T&T Pro League very soon.

All together, he represents 8 players; 6 foreign nationals and 2 locals, and is rapidly expanding his player network with two more to be unveiled very soon.

Wilson told SWO: "Being a native of Trinidad and Tobago first and foremost. My goals are to raise the standard of football on and off the field in the country."

"I think by bringing in players with professional attitudes and international experience it forces the locals to dig deeper and work harder, also opening up their minds to new experiences."

"The idea as well is that with foreign nationals on a team, the brand becomes more marketable both locally and internationally, getting attention from various companies and entities that may not have any other affiliation to the club but may identify with the nationality shared between them and a player."

"As for The Brazil Link company, it is based in Barataria and is made up of persons with extensive travel backgrounds, so we are very much aware of what our players need and experience while away from their homeland. Cy Padmore, our Managing Director, lived, studied and worked abroad for years."

"At The Brazil Link, we help you access the vast business opportunities available in Brazil. Whether it's through developing relationships with reliable Brazilian manufactures, giving you the language skills 
to communicate confidently with native speakers, or making it easy for you to travel and experience Brazilian culture firsthand."

"The sport arm of the company deals with athlete representation, consultation services with the clubs, Federation and any other sporting organizations and promoting sporting exchanges between Latin America and the Caribbean."

"Ila Martins-Padmore our Cultural and Language Coordinator is a Brazilian native. She has experience in teaching languages to foreigners. The players are all happy in Trinidad because we have prepped them well and so far they love it."

"They are briefed before arriving about the culture, foods etc. We have them housed at one of our companies’ residence, if not at a club’s residence. Language classes are offered to the foreign players. We assist in attaining all their necessary documents also. All in all the company is fully involved in our players adaptation process."

"Wilson further stated that: "Most of the players have signed one year contracts with the clubs, which is more or less the norm in Trinidad and Tobago. My goal is to get players signed here so once they move on, the local clubs can benefit from the transactions."

"Only one of my players is on a 6 month loan due to his prior contract. I am also interested in getting a T&T national to sign for a Brazilian club sometime in the near future, off course Zane Coker is an obvious choice, he is a very talented goalkeeper."

"I am always open to managing local athletes, once they have the right attitude and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices for becoming a professional player while combining mastered technical abilities. Those attributes tend to make my job easier and they more successful."

"Anyways, I am not affiliated with any club, but I do have excellent business and personal relationships with W Connection's (David and Renee John-Williams), Central FC's (Brent Sancho, Kevin Harrison and Terry Fenwick), St Ann’s Rangers (Richard Fakoory, Richard Piper and Jason Spence) and Caledonia AIA (Jamaal Shabaaz, Ricarda Nelson and Jerry Moe)."

"These are clubs and persons whom I do respect and that I believe have a genuine love for the game and is willing to take local football to higher heights and one of the first steps in doing so is to sign a Brazil Link players, ended Wilson."

Copyrights of the Soca Warriors Online - Any press using the following article written by Inshan Mohammed are welcome to do so, provided that they reveal the source and writer. Furthermore, no portion of this article may be copied without proper credit as well.

Football / Brilliant First Game For Coach Stephen Hart
« on: July 08, 2013, 08:27:21 PM »
Yes... we know it's too early for any grand pronouncements about the team or the coach, but considering what we have been used to seeing, this was a great start for the Hart/Beenhakker tandem.  It was not a victory and there are some lineup adjustments that we probably need to see going into the Haiti game, but for the most part this was a positive start.

Positives for me were:

1) The play of Kenwyne Jones.  Some might say that he's motivated because of the locker room incident at Stoke last season, but I think he's a motivated player overall... period.  Yes, the arrival of Mark Hughes as manager means a fresh start for him, and a chance to play his way onto the field.  Yes, he might be motivated to shut up the naysayers on the Stoke City messageboard... and here on this very forum as well ( ;D), but I think that for the first time in a longtime he might actually have faith in the national coaching staff.  I have never seen Kenwyne play a better game... offensively AND defensively. 

At one point in the first half when he was isolated from the midfield he was dropping deep as the only outlet option for his defenders, and still he would hold up the ball by himself, often against double-teams.  He defended on corners and on the other end was a threat on every ball into the box... essentially playing by himself in the air.  He will be disappointed to have not doubled his tally, but his goal was well-taken... a real beauty, from the time he picked the pass out the air, off his chest, splitting the center halves in one motion... to holding off the Salvadorean RB to place the shot pass the keeper.  TnT's MOM without a question.

2) The play of Carlos Edwards.  Yes... I giving Stephen Hart credit as well.  First for calling him up and then starting him in an attacking position, and seemingly running the attack thru him in the game's opening minutes.  He was brilliant.  Confidently taking on his defender/s... and doing well to get the ball to Daniel on a deflection for the TnT opening goal.  Keon Daniel and Khaleem Hyland had very good games as well, not sure I could give full credit to Hart, but it's worth a mention.

3) The composure of the entire team, particularly in possession.  Hart stated coming in that he wanted the team to play more of a possession type game and the changes in tactics were apparent from the jump.  Yes, Jones' equalizer came off a direct pass over the top, but for most of the game there seemed to be a consistent effort to play the ball out the back and down the flanks.  It worked particularly well in the first 15 minutes before possession fell apart under constant pressure from El Salvador in midfield.  Hart was able to get the team settled early in the second half, and they showed a fortitude lost on previous squads, in being able to claw their way back after conceding the lead on a poor defensive breakdown.

4) In conjunction with the composure, the cohesiveness of the team has to be mentioned as well.  Yes, the attack became very disjointed for a large stretch bracketing the halftime whistle, but the players started with, then settled back into a bit of a passing rhythm (at least relative to what we have been used to seeing).  Let's be real... "rhythm" here meaning the ability to keep possession for more than three passes at a time... and we did that in stretches.  Players consistently looked to find teammates even under pressure and it worked.  We could have finished better on some of the chances, but Edwards, Daniel and Jones seem to be playing on the same wavelength throughout.  A welcomed sign.


1) Defensively we have a long way to go.  Not sure who played LB tonight but he had a very uneven game.  The central defender inside of him was no better.  The pair were exposed time and time again by the Salvadorean attack, no more so than on Zelaya's second goal, easily beaten over the top and inside by the pass.  The lack of pace in the back was a glaring weakness and will be a definite worry against the pace and guile of Haiti's Jeff Louis and Leonel Saint Preux.

2) Failure to sub off ineffective players such as Kevon Carter, Joevin Jones and an absent Densil Theobald.  Jan-Michael Williams redeemed himself by making an incredible reflex save to deny Zelaya his hattrick, but otherwise he was poor in terms of reaction to the ball and just getting to shots, period.  The wall let him down on the freekick goal, but the post saved him a couple times on shots that arguably he should have pushed wide.

There might be more... but these to me were most glaring.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Maxi Man Tracking School Gyal
« on: June 26, 2013, 12:05:55 PM »
There might be hope fuh de yutes yet... talent fuh days!

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/9OA8eLoPylU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/9OA8eLoPylU</a>

He died yesterday.  I'm not the biggest blues fan, and I imagine most here aren't either, but he was a giant... second only to B.B. King this century.  Love this song in particular, thanks in large part to this Chrysler commercial:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/iNV--soUaMU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/iNV--soUaMU</a>

Here's the original... great song

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/WcF8Aos4XDA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/WcF8Aos4XDA</a>

Terrific article... discusses some of reasons why the country is producing more talent... including relaxed immigration policies.

Monday, July 9, 2012
Updated: July 10, 1:53 PM ET

From Canada to college basketball
Myron Medcalf (ESPN.com)

One night in Canada, former Toronto Raptors star Damon Stoudamire bumped into Drake, a Canadian and one of the world's most famous rappers. The two talked basketball, not hip-hop, as the rap star relayed his admiration for the man he idolized as a boy in Toronto.

When the Toronto Raptors, led by Damon Stoudamire, brought the NBA to Canada in 1995, a generation of Canadian players suddenly had a rooting interest within their borders.
"It's almost like he was paying homage. He said, 'You're the reason people like us started watching basketball. You were Toronto's guy,'" recalled Stoudamire, now an assistant coach at Memphis. "It took me back, and it was humbling."

The conversation with the multiplatinum-selling artist helped Stoudamire embrace and understand his significance in Canada's thriving basketball culture.

For decades, Canada has contributed to American music (Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne), movies (Jim Carrey, Ryan Gosling, William Shatner) and other sectors of entertainment. Hockey represented the bulk of the nation's athletic footprint in the United States. But a flock of Canadian basketball players seeking more exposure have crossed the border in recent years and established a pipeline coveted by American coaches at all levels.

The arrival of the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies in the mid-'90s turned a generation of Canadian youngsters into NBA hopefuls. Steve Nash's evolution from unknown prospect to Santa Clara standout to two-time NBA MVP established the blueprint. His success encouraged Canadians to invest more money and resources at the grassroots level. Now, a country full of hockey players produces basketball standouts that take their talents to American prep schools, colleges and NBA franchises every year.

Five Canadians -- Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Andrew Nicholson, Robert Sacre and Kris Joseph -- were selected in the last two NBA drafts. Andrew Wiggins is the consensus No. 1 prospect in the 2014 recruiting class.

Those connected to the Canadian hoops scene suggest that the number of basketball prodigies birthed by the country will multiply in the coming years. Many will hail from the minority communities that arrived in the 1970s through more relaxed immigration policies.

"A number of components have come together to create this wave of talent we're in the process of unleashing," said Wayne Parrish, CEO of Canada Basketball, the nation's official basketball governing body.

Immigrants come, children choose basketball

The soldiers arrived at dusk and yelled for Texas guard Myck Kabongo's father. Toure Kabongo told his wife, Nene, and children to hide under a bed.

Nene, however, jumped from a window in the laundry room and alerted a neighbor, an ex-bodyguard with a gun collection. The man grabbed his gun and fired two shots into the air. The soldiers fled.

Violent and intimidating military displays were common enough in the tumultuous Democratic Republic of the Congo that the Kabongo family decided to leave that day.

Toure journeyed to the United States alone, but during a trip to Canada, his wife's brother persuaded him to take advantage of that country's immigration policies. So he moved to Canada after being granted entry as a political refugee.

Five years after he left Africa, Toure brought his family to the nation.

"My husband wanted us to do better, have a good life," said Nene.

Toronto natives Cory Joseph, left, and Tristan Thompson were first-round picks in the 2011 NBA draft after playing on season together at Texas.
In 1976, Canada eliminated a ban on non-European immigrants. Its new policies catered to three groups: the educated, families seeking reunification and refugees. Since that time, the country has become one of the most diverse nations in the world. From 1996 through 2006, Canada granted 2 million-plus immigrants and refugees -- most from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean -- permanent resident status, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Many settled into Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto -- home to more than one-third of the country's population -- and moved to urban communities as they sought fresh starts. Their children chose hoops over hockey sticks.

Basketball was identified as the fastest-growing sport in Canada in a 2006 study conducted by Solutions Research Group. The same study listed basketball as the No. 1 sport among "fast-growing visible minority groups."

"In the same way that basketball became an outlet for inner city kids in American cities, it sort of worked out that way for minority kids from fairly recent immigrant communities in Canadian cities," said Christopher Moore, a Canadian historian.

Thompson's parents are Jamaican. Wiggins' mother was born in Barbados. Marquette standout Junior Cadougan's mother was born in Trinidad and Tobago but grew up in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. All three are Toronto natives.

"Every area really had community centers, and people would just always come after school to play. We had night runs where you could go back and play at night," said Myck Kabongo, adding that basketball helped him stay safe and focused while living in one of Toronto's roughest areas. "The gyms were always open for us to play in. You fall in love with it playing every day, really."

The sport's swelling fan base forced the NBA to take notice. In 1995, the league arrived and changed the way an entire country viewed the game.

NBA comes to Canada

In 2006, Dr. James Naismith's granddaughter uncovered proof -- in the form of notes and letters -- that basketball's inventor had been inspired by a game he played as a boy in Almonte, Ontario, Canada, called duck on a rock.

Yes, Naismith created the sport in 1891 at the YMCA International Training School in Springfield, Mass. But Canadians emphasize his roots.

"We think of basketball, and this is true of everyone in this country … we believe basketball was invented by a Canadian and take huge pride in that," said Parrish. "With Dr. Naismith, there's just a tremendous kind of resonance and connection to him."

More than a century later, the NBA expanded with the Grizzlies and Raptors. Both teams debuted in the 1995-96 season.

The country offered its immediate support.

"Obviously, we didn't have the best record, but those people, they really embraced us," Stoudamire said.

Before the two franchises existed, Canadian children followed NBA squads through American TV.

Cadougan loved March Madness. He was also a Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan fan like millions of American kids. But when the Raptors came to town, the Toronto native changed his allegiance.

When you look at those guys, you're like, 'If I work hard, one day I can be on that stage.' Especially having a pro team in your city, it opens up opportunities. You get to see them every day. You get to see them walk down the street. They were definitely big for my growth because seeing is believing.

--Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson

"Before the Raptors came, I was obviously a Michael Jordan fan, a Scottie Pippen fan, a Bulls fan," Cadougan said. "When the Raptors arrived, I switched to the Raptors. I think the Raptors beat them like once or twice when Jordan played for the Bulls. It was real exciting. That's when I become a Raptors fan."

The NBA's presence led to a basketball renaissance in Canada. It also fueled the fantasies of Canadian children, who began to ponder NBA careers.

"When you look at those guys, you're like, 'If I work hard, one day I can be on that stage.' Especially having a pro team in your city, it opens up opportunities," said Thompson, a forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. "You get to see them every day. You get to see them walk down the street. They were definitely big for my growth because seeing is believing."

Former Gonzaga forward Sacre, who moved to Vancouver, his mother's hometown, when he was 8, said he is still bitter that the Grizzlies moved to Memphis in 2001.

"That's really what makes me mad about the NBA. There's no team in Vancouver anymore," said Sacre, who was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2012 NBA draft last month. "Obviously, I feel like this city, the city of Vancouver, has something for the NBA. A team needs to be there."

As the game seized a nation accustomed to developing some of the world's best hockey players, Canadian basketball officials began to invest more into the sport. With the right infrastructure, they figured, the country would rise.

They were right.

Canada reorganizes

Gonzaga guard Kevin Pangos tried hockey.

An uncle played in the NHL. The Washington Capitals drafted his cousin.

But the ice didn't offer the same thrills he experienced on the hardwood. And as Nash developed into a superstar in the NBA, Pangos -- and children throughout Canada -- chose alternative paths.

Gonzaga has had success with Canadian players, most recently with guard Kevin Pangos, left, and Robert Sacre.
Regardless of age, race or location, Nash was the model for young Canadian basketball players.

"It was always Steve Nash, being Canadian and seeing that it's possible. And he's about the same height as me," Pangos said. "Steve Nash … is probably the biggest [inspiration]."

Pangos has basketball blood. His father, Bill, is the coach of the women's team at York University in Toronto, where he coaches Pangos' sister, Kayla. His mother, Patty, played college basketball in Canada.

In his youth, he played for various national and provincial squads but couldn't consistently find high-level competition in Ontario. He often trained alone or with his father.

Canadian visionaries have tried to eliminate those obstacles by reconfiguring the entire system so that the country's best players have access to the resources they need.

Although the Canadian high school landscape offers limited competition for the country's elite, a burgeoning club system gives children who want to play against more talented athletes an option. Wayne Dawkins, founder of Phase1 Basketball, created a national prep league for the top club teams three years ago.

Nash was recently named general manager of the country's senior men's team, a move praised throughout Canada's basketball community. Many believe it will lead to greater interest and more structure as the national icon leads the effort.

Canadian national team officials are also identifying the country's top players earlier. Steve Nash Youth Basketball -- the nation's version of Pop Warner football, Parrish said -- has affected more than 25,000 Canadian children ages 5-13.

"You've got this steady stream of athletes coming through," Parrish said. "We have a lot of very strong athletes. They're getting very early training, primarily."

AAU coaches helped by creating all-star squads that brought the top players, many from the inner city, together for the first time. Ro Russell, founder of Toronto-based Grassroots Canada, coached Thompson, Joseph and a multitude of players from the Toronto area that eventually left the country to play at prep schools and colleges in the United States.

"There's always been the raw talent, and it just needed to be harnessed, exposed and developed," Russell said.

Canada has reaped rewards from the collective -- and recently unified -- effort to develop Canadian prospects. The nation's junior boys squads are ranked fifth in FIBA's rankings. Wiggins is one of four top-40 recruits in the 2013 and 2014 classes, according to ESPN.com's ratings.

It's the latter group that has warranted the most interest from American coaches.

"It certainly is a place that college coaches will continue to go and recruit. And we certainly are among them," said UNLV coach Dave Rice, who will coach two Canadians next season, Khem Birch and Anthony Bennett.

The fight for talent

Rob Fulford scouted Wiggins when the prospect was just 15.

He traveled to Canada to see him play. During one hectic stretch, he watched 24 consecutive games Wiggins played with his AAU squad, CIA Bounce.

Fulford refused to allow his competitors, some with deeper pockets, put in more time for Wiggins' services. He talked to his family members. He friended Wiggins on Facebook.

And then, he made his pitch.

Toronto's Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1-ranked recruit in the Class of 2013, is the latest Canadian prospect to catch the eye of NCAA coaches.
"We developed a relationship with him, developed a relationship with his people," said Fulford, head coach at Huntington Prep in West Virginia, where Wiggins competes. "We recruited him harder than anyone else."

The 6-foot-7 Wiggins is the product of an uncanny gene pool. His father, Mitchell Wiggins, played professionally in the NBA and Europe. His mother, Marita Payne-Wiggins, was an All-American sprinter at Florida State who won two Olympic silver medals for Canada in the 1984 Olympics.

America's top universities have tracked the gifted and versatile athlete for years, but that's rarely the first recruitment for Canada's best players. Prep schools aim to snatch the country's top players years before they start thinking about college.

"It's been interesting. The explosion of kids that have wanted to go to prep school is as high as it's ever been," said Todd Simon, assistant at Findlay Prep, a destination for some of Canada's top players in recent years.

Prep schools lure athletes to the United States with promises of a top-notch education, elite competition and exposure. The young men leave Canada as teenagers to pursue their dreams in America via student visas.

Faced with a dilemma that affects many Canadian prospects, Cadougan wanted better coaching and competition in America. He pestered his mother, Suzette, for months before she agreed to send him to Christian Life Center Academy in Humble, Texas. She didn't believe her 15-year-old son had the tools to take care of himself.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Junior. You're too young. You're only 15. You can't do anything for yourself,'" Suzette Cadougan recalled. "He said, 'Mom, I will learn.'"

Each year, Canadian parents must make choices that can lead to better opportunities for their talented children. But those difficult deliberations always involve the merits and consequences of sending a child thousands of miles from home.

"You want to go where it's best for you, what's going to help you reach the pinnacle of your career," said Marita Payne-Wiggins. "You can't stay in Canada and not have the competition you need."

Parents of top Canadian prospects often talk prep school before they discuss college. But the two are not separate. The influx of Canadian players at the NCAA level is due to the increased opportunities players have to compete in front of American college coaches.

Gonzaga coach Mark Few, who has signed multiple Canadians during his tenure, said he doesn't view the Canadian athletes he recruits as true international players.

"They're fully immersed in our system down here," Few said. "They're going to high schools. They're going to prep schools down here. They're playing in AAU tournaments. Fall, winter, spring, summer."

Finding a working model

Dawkins, who runs the nation's version of the McDonald's All-American Game, the All Canada Classic, hates to see the best players leave the country.

But with few sponsorships, no TV and a shoestring budget of $30,000, every year is a financial challenge.

The limited investment, Dawkins said, is not something that American tournaments of a similar magnitude experience. He said he can't attract more sponsors for his showcase because so many top players compete across the border.

"If our talent is not here, why would corporations invest?" Dawkins said.

The Canadian system can't compete with the billions of dollars Americans invest in basketball at the grassroots and amateur levels. High school coaches in Canada aren't even paid for their work. Canadian universities don't offer full scholarships to athletes.

That, however, could change through a multimillion-dollar investment from the Canadian government, which provides most of the funding for college athletics in Canada.

Leo MacPherson, president of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (Canada's NCAA), wants to interrupt the country's basketball brain drain by launching a BCS-like network of schools that would provide full rides to top Canadian basketball players. The discussions involve a dozen or so programs that may consider breaking away from the CIS (45 schools within the system sponsor a basketball team) and attempting to retain more Canadian competitors by putting more money into their respective basketball programs.

"Clearly, there's an appetite for Canadian basketball and Canadian institutions to keep our best and brightest at home," MacPherson said. "When we lose these young men and women, we're losing future leaders if we can't keep them."

As Canada cultivates more talented recruits, however, the battle will persist. American coaches will continue to search the nation's basketball crop for players, and Canadian basketball supporters, such as Dawkins and MacPherson, will do their best to keep them in the country.

All agree, however, that more elite Canadian prospects will emerge in the coming years.

"That future is looking bright," said Stoudamire.

Well, that all depends on what side of the border you live on.


General Discussion / Two Schoolboys Killed in separate incidents
« on: May 27, 2013, 03:52:10 PM »
Long time it used to be 'de future' that we was carrying in we school bag.  Nowadays is knife and gun...

Boy, 14, stabbed to death at school
By CAROLYN KISSOON (Trinidad Express)

Story Created: May 27, 2013 at 1:57 PM ECT
Story Updated: May 27, 2013 at 5:38 PM ECT

A 14 year-old schoolboy was stabbed to death in a fight at the Waterloo Secondary School, Carapichaima today.

Police said Renaldo Dixon, a Third Form pupil, was involved in an argument with another pupil over a girl, at around 10.20a.m.

Dixon, of Bagna Trace, Chase Village, Chaguanas was stabbed four times. He was pronounced dead at the Freeport Health Facility.
A 16-year-old fifth form pupil, was detained by police.

Officials of the Education Ministry's Student Support Services went to the school to speak with pupils, teacher and parents impacted by the violence, the Express was told.

Secondary school pupils today began writing Caribbean Examination Council's (CXC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). Pupils sat the Biology subject during the morning period and History in the afternoon. Some secondary schools also had examinations for third form pupils today.

Superintendent Johnny Abraham, Sergeant Andy Mohammed and Constable Sampson visited the scene. Sgt Mohammed is investigating the case.


Cops kill schoolboy suspect in shoot-out
By Gyasi Gonzales (Trinidad Express)

Two in custody after robbery, car chase

Story Created: May 25, 2013 at 10:54 PM ECT
Story Updated: May 25, 2013 at 10:54 PM ECT

A 16-year-old schoolboy was among two people shot dead on Friday evening by police, almost half-hour after he and three men robbed a Caparo woman of an undisclosed sum of cash.

Tishawn Miller, 16, and Deon Ferguson, also known as Abdullah Ferguson, 21, were among a group of four bandits who, at 5.30 p.m. on Friday, stormed the Carr Trace, Caparo, home of the woman and after breaking through her front door, announced a hold-up.

Two of the bandits had guns.  During the robbery, the woman screamed to get her neighbours’ attention.
One of the men fired a shot at her, missing her by inches. The four got into a blue car and fled the scene.

The Chaguanas Police Station was called, and a team of officers led by Supt Johnny Abraham began a search for the men.  Officers of the Northern Division Task Force, the Southern Division Task Force and the Chaguanas CID also joined in on the chase, and the car was spotted along the Uriah Butler Highway.

As officers chased the car, they were fired on. Officers fired back but the car chase continued on to Carlsen Field in Chaguanas when the driver of the blue car stopped. One of the men got out the car and ran off while another continued fi­ring at officers before running off.

When officers checked the car, they found both Miller and Ferguson lying in the car with several gunshots about their bodies.  Police took both to the Chaguanas Health Facility where they were pronounced dead on arrival.

Officers searched for the other two men with the help of a National Security helicopter.  One of them, age 21, who lives along the Brasso Main Road in Brasso, was found hiding in the bushes with a gunshot wound to his stomach while the other man, age 25, of Madoo Trace in Freeport, was also found.

Police said when they searched the car, they also recovered a .380 pistol with two live rounds of ammunition, along with a 9mm pistol with three live rounds.

The 21-year-old man remains at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, in stable condition under police guard while the 25-year-old was in police custody being questioned last night.
Chaguanas CID officers are continuing investigations.

Football / NYC FC Thread.
« on: May 21, 2013, 09:43:38 AM »
Manchester City, New York Yankees to own new MLS team

Yanks, Manchester City awarded MLS expansion team (MLB.com)

In partnership of sports' biggest names, New York City Football Club to play in 2015

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced today that a partnership of global sports powers, Manchester City Football Club and the New York Yankees, has acquired the League's 20th expansion club. The new team will be named New York City Football Club (NYCFC) and expects to begin play in 2015.

"We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer," said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. "This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city."

"New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer fan-base," said Ferran Soriano, CEO of Manchester City Football Club, who will oversee the process of filling top New York City FC leadership positions in the weeks to come. "We are thrilled to contribute to the energy and growth of New York City Soccer. In the Yankees, we have found the absolute best partner for developing a world-class sports organization and a winning team that will carry the New York City Football Club name with pride."

Manchester City will be the majority owner of the new Club. As an investor, the Yankees will be an active member of the ownership group. The New York Yankees and Manchester City Football Club have an existing commercial relationship through Legends Hospitality, LLC, an international entertainment, hospitality and marketing organization. Yankee Stadium is pleased to be hosting Manchester City on Saturday, May 25 for a "friendly" match against Chelsea FC, giving New York area fans a rare opportunity to see two outstanding English Premier League clubs up close.

"We are pleased to be associated with this major move by MLS to increase its presence in the New York market and to enhance the opportunity for New York soccer fans to enjoy high-level play in their own city. We look forward to the opportunity to work with Manchester City to create something very special for the soccer fans of New York -- and to bringing another terrific team to this city for all sports fans to enjoy," said Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner of the New York Yankees. "Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, will be the point person in leading the effort to launch and establish the team on behalf of the organization," Mr. Steinbrenner added.

With millions of residents watching soccer every week and nearly two million people actively playing the game, the New York/New Jersey area is one of North America's most vibrant and proud soccer communities. The region has filled stadiums for countless marquee soccer events including the 1994 FIFA Men's World Cup, the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, three MLS All-Star Games and numerous international exhibition matches. NYCFC becomes the first MLS club whose home will be located within the five boroughs, joining the Red Bulls as the second MLS club in the metropolitan area.

"Soccer is one of the world's most exciting and popular sports, and it should be played on the world's biggest stage -- in New York City," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "New Yorkers are the greatest sports fans in the world, and they will welcome a Major League Soccer franchise with the full-throated and loyal support they are famous for. Manchester City has a great reputation for both winning teams and serious community investment, and that will help them fit in well with the excellent leadership of New York City's other professional sports teams. Increasingly, sports events and activities -- from the NHL playoffs to the MLB All-Star game to the SuperBowl -- are spurring economic growth, as our investments in new arenas and infrastructure are paying off."

Future: A Home Field for NYC's Newest Team

New York City FC is committed to seeking a new permanent stadium in New York. Until that time, the new team is arranging to play in an interim home beginning in its inaugural MLS season in 2015. Over the past year, MLS began discussions with the City of New York and other stakeholders about the possibility of constructing a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP) in Queens. The Club's new management will continue these discussions with local government officials, community residents and businesses, soccer leagues, and MLS. The Club will continue to review other potential sites as well.

"New York City FC will have a permanent home in the City in the great traditions of New York sports and world soccer -- a home that must be a sports, commercial and civic success," Soriano said. "But in considering any stadium site, we will listen first. This is what we have always done in Manchester and what we will do in New York. Only in this way, can the Club truly represent the City whose name it will carry."

"City Soccer in the Community": NYC FC's Commitment to Youth Soccer in NYC

Manchester City is a leader among sports organizations in its charitable efforts, with one-sixth of its staff fully dedicated full-time to community outreach. Building on this tradition of community outreach, New York City FC will expand and enhance the grassroots youth soccer program "City Soccer in the Community," which it has been running in New York since 2010. The program, now headquartered at PS 72 (Lexington Academy) in East Harlem, which boasts New York City's only rooftop soccer field, provides quality soccer instruction and programming to thousands of children in 20 NYC public schools each year. New York City FC looks forward to expanding its community outreach to bring soccer to thousands of more kids throughout the five boroughs.

Manchester City has funded the construction of soccer facilities for youth in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington D.C. For more on City Soccer, click here. In addition, the "City in the Community," foundation focuses on similar initiatives worldwide.

About Manchester City

Since new ownership took over five years ago, Manchester City has gained its place as one of England's most successful football clubs and one of the fastest growing clubs in the world, on and off the field. Last spring, Manchester City won the 2012 Barclay's Premier League Championship. This year it finished second in the League and was the FA Cup runner up. Manchester City FC is wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group.

New York Yankees

Established in 1903, the New York Yankees are Major League Baseball's most storied franchise with 27 World Championships and 40 American League pennants.

About Major League Soccer

Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer's 18th season features 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. Those clubs include the Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; 2012 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy; Montreal Impact; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Portland Timbers; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC. New York City FC, was unveiled May 21, 2013. For more information about MLS, log on to the league's official website at www.MLSsoccer.com

Blackie Chan... LOL

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/3XoXVWESkXc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/3XoXVWESkXc</a>

General Discussion / Man sentenced to 8 months for Killing "bully"
« on: May 04, 2013, 07:25:27 PM »
8 months for killing ‘bully’
Nikita Braxton-Benjamin (Trinidad Express)

May 3, 2013

A MAN sentenced to eight years in prison for the stabbing death of his neighbour will spend eight months in prison because he has been in jail the past seven years and four months awaiting trial.

Curtis Garraway, 33, of Cap-de-Ville, pleaded guilty two weeks ago to the charge of manslaughter, following the death of Martin “Bobhead” Francis.

Francis, of Roberts Lane, was killed on Christmas Eve in 2005.

The dead man was des­cribed by neighbours as a bully and a bad-john who went looking for fights.

In passing sentence, Justice Carla Browne-Antoine told Garraway to get anger management skills as it will assist him to walk away, should he be provoked when he is released from prison.

“The situation in this coun­try is there are a number of senseless killings. There is a sense in this country that people can’t control their anger and their only course of redress is to hurt another person,” the judge said.

She said while the court is expected to exercise mer­cy, citizens must do the same.

Browne-Antoine said the court accepted that Garraway acted out of provocation, but she noted Fran­cis was unarmed when he was stabbed.

“The court considers this a serious offence because a life was lost.”

The judge considered that Garraway had shown re­morse by wanting to plead guil­ty from the onset, and at the first opportunity after the stabbing, he made a report to the police.

He told the officers that Francis had threatened and hit him, and he stabbed him twice in his belly.

He was later charged by Corporal Garcia.

Defence attorney Mervyn Mitchell also said his client had apologised to the relatives of the deceased.

Residents of the area des­cribed Garraway as a peace-loving and respectful person, and several letters attesting to Garraway’s good character were  submitted to the court. A petition asking for him to return to the community had also been handed over.

The judge said the maximum sentence for the offence was life in prison. The State asked for a term of five to ten years while Mitchell said his client should be released.

Browne-Antoine started with a ten-year term and deducted two years as Garraway entered a guilty plea to the manslaughter charge.

She said the 2,672 days Garraway had already spent behind bars were deducted. This amounted to seven years, three months and 26 days.

He will therefore spend eight more months behind bars.

It was the State’s case, as led by attorney Shabana Shah, that around 10 a.m. on December 24, 2005, Francis was quarrelling with Garraway near their homes.

Witnesses later told police there was a dispute between the two men over a water line and a land issue.

Garraway was walking in front of the deceased’s home when Francis called out to him, and he (Gar­raway) replied: “If you want to slap me down, come, as there is an audience.”

Shah said their neighbour Makeisha Paul heard Francis say to Garraway that he would kill him, and he “shoot behind police already and would shoot him too”.

Shah said, 15 minutes later, Francis confronted Garraway in the roadway with a blade resembling a small cutlass, and Garraway told him to put it down.

Francis went home but returned a short while later, and both he and Garraway were seen confronting each other on the roadway.

The men later scrambled and Garraway stabbed Francis in the chest and lower sto­mach. Francis ran into a neigh­bour’s gallery where he collapsed. He died at the San Fernando General Hospital.

Trinbago, NBA & World Basketball / 2013 NBA Playoffs Thread
« on: April 18, 2013, 11:18:17 PM »
First Round


  1  Oklahoma City THUNDER        8  Houston ROCKETS- Series has not started

Game 1: at OKC, Sun., April 21, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 2: at OKC, Wed., April 24, 7:00 p.m., TNT
Game 3: at HOU, Sat., April 27, 9:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 4: at HOU, Mon., April 29, TBD
Game 5: at OKC, Wed., May 1, TBD*
Game 6: at HOU, Fri., May 3, TBD*
Game 7: at OKC, Sun., May 5, TBD*

  2  San Antonio SPURS            7  Los Angeles LAKERS- Series has not started

Game 1: at SA, Sun., April 21, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Game 2: at SA, Wed., April 24, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3: at LA, Fri., April 26, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 4: at LA, Sun., April 28, 7:00 p.m., TNT
Game 5: at SA, Tue., April 30, TBD*
Game 6: at LA, Thu., May 2, TBD*
Game 7: at SA, Sat.., May 4, TBD*

  3  Denver NUGGETS                    6  Golden State WARRIORS- Series has not started
Game 1: at DEN, Sat., April 20, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 2: at DEN, Tue., April 23, 10:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3: at GS, Fri., April 26, 10:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 4: at GS, Sun., April 28, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 5: at DEN, Tue., April 30, TBD*
Game 6: at GS, Thu., May 2, TBD*
Game 7: at DEN, Sat., May 4, TBD*
  4  Los Angeles CLIPPERS                     5  Memphis GRIZZLIES- Series has not started
Game 1: at LA, Sat., April 20, 10:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 2: at LA, Mon., April 22, 10:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3: at MEM, Thu., April 25, 9:30 p.m., TNT
Game 4: at MEM, Sat., April 27, 4:30 p.m., TNT
Game 5: at LA, Tue., April 30, TBD*
Game 6: at MEM, Fri., May 3, TBD*
Game 7: at LA, Sun., May 5, TBD*


1  Miami HEAT                  8  Milwaukee BUCKS- Series has not started

Game 1: at MIA, Sun., April 21, 7:00 p.m., TNT
Game 2: at MIA, Tue., April 23, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Game 3: at MIL, Thu., April 25, 7:00 p.m., TNT
Game 4: at MIL, Sun., April 28, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Game 5: at MIA, Tue., April 30, TBD*
Game 6: at MIL, Thu., May 2, TBD*
Game 7: at MIA, Sat., May 4, TBD*
2  New York KNICKS                  7  Boston CELTICS- Series has not started

Game 1: at NY, Sat., April 20, 3:30 p.m., ABC
Game 2: at NY, Tue., April 23, 8:00 p.m., TNT
Game 3: at BOS, Fri., April 26, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
Game 4: at BOS, Sun., April 28, 1:00 p.m., ABC
Game 5: at NY, Wed., May 1, TBD*
Game 6: at BOS, Fri., May 3, TBD*
Game 7: at NY, Sun., May 5, TBD*

3  Indiana PACERS                  6  Atlanta HAWKS- Series has not started

Game 1: at IND, Sun., April 21, 1:00 p.m., TNT
Game 2: at IND, Wed., April 24, 7:30 p.m., NBA TV
Game 3: at ATL, Sat., April 27, 7:00 p.m., ESPN
Game 4: at ATL, Mon., April 29, TBD*
Game 5: at IND, Wed., May 1, TBD*
Game 6: at ATL, Fri., May 3, TBD*
Game 7: at IND, Sun., May 5, TBD*

4  Brooklyn NETS                  5  Chicago BULLS- Series has not started

Game 1: at BK, Sat., April 20, 8:00 p.m., ESPN
Game 2: at BK, Mon., April 22, 8:00 p.m., TNT
Game 3: at CHI, Thu., April 25, 8:30 p.m., NBA TV
Game 4: at CHI, Sat., April 27, 2:00 p.m., TNT
Game 5: at BK, Mon., April 29, TBD*
Game 6: at CHI, Thu., May 2, TBD*
Game 7: at BK, Sat., May 4, TBD*
* If Necessary | All Times Eastern

Courtesy SI.com


This was passed on to me and so I'm sharing as well since I think it is much needed and has to potential to do much good.  It is an organization whose aim is to provide low-cost if not free medical treatment in TnT, particularly in traditionally under-served fields.  A conference is currently being planned for June 2014 and volunteers and participants are being sought.  For NYTriniwhiteboy, Micheal-J, Dumpers and other medical professionals on the board... or for others you might know of offline.


Posted by Alyssa Rosenberg [1] at 2:40 pm
February 25, 2013
Why Seth MacFarlane and The Onion’s Jokes About Quvenzhané Wallis Are So Gross

Beasts of the Southern Wild star and youngest-ever Best Actress nominee Quvenzhané Wallis is a lovely little girl who shows plenty of signs of turning into a reliable talent and a charming presence on the awards-season publicity circuit. And for some reason, she became the target of some of the most unpleasant jokes both during last night’s Academy Awards and in the commentary about them.

Seth MacFarlane cracked that “to give you an idea of how young she is, it’ll be 16 years before she’s too young for Clooney.” It was a line that could have been at Clooney’s expense, if it hadn’t seemed so congratulatory—both MacFarlane and Clooney have a tendency to date much younger women. And as I wrote earlier today [2], MacFarlane immediately defused any sense that he was going after Clooney by tossing him a mini-bottle. Mega-stars, it seems, must be protected from any hurt feelings or criticism, but little girls? Not so much. Things got worse later in the evening when the Onion’s twitter feed Tweeted, and subsequently deleted [3] “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c—, right? #Oscars2013.” It was jarring and appalling to see that kind of language directed at a nine-year old girl, even if there’s a world where the concept of the joke could have been funny. Suggesting that a little girl who carries purses shaped like puppies and has a habit of flexing adorably on the red carpet or when the camera comes to her [4] is secretly a Machiavellian schemer or a diva is a reasonable joke to me, and a similar schtick was a long-running and successful plot point on 30 Rock. It even could have been a riff on the irrational haterade directed actresses like Anne Hathaway. But the Onion’s choice of sexual, nasty language blew up that possibility: it was programming to the character length, not the actual quality of the gag.

To the publication’s credit, the Onion appears to have realized this. The company’s CEO, Steve Hannah,just published a Facebook post asking for Wallis’ forgiveness [5]:

I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting. No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire. The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again.In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible. Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.

But beyond the Onion’s apology, it’s worth thinking more deeply about why the attempts at satire aimed at Wallis went so badly last night.

It wasn’t just that Wallis is nine, or that she’s African-American (the AP reporter who tried to sub in Annie’s name for Wallis’ own has some thinking to do on that score)—though the failure to understand the particular implications of her age and race is embarrassing—that made the decision to target her both bizarre and comedically awful. She’s a first-time actress, rather than an established Hollywood commodity, which means she’s at a different stage in learning to manage her reaction to the vitriol from within the industry and outside it that’s directed at women, without respect for age, race, or any other identifying characteristic. The movie that she made her debut in had a budget of $1.8 million—Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence made $500,000 for The Hunger Games, almost a third of that budget, and it’s a figure that’s considered scandalously low, given that she’s anchoring that franchise. All of this means that, while Fox Searchlight Pictures certainly supported her Oscar campaign, Wallis and her family have fewer financial resources at this stage in her career to hire personal publicists and plot the management of her image. Wallis may be tapped to play Annie in a new movie adaptation of the stage musical, replacing Willow Smith after the older girl both aged and bowed out of the role, but she’s hardly a power player with the money to finance projects or the clout to nix co-stars.

In other words, of all the available targets at the Dolby Theater, all the directors who have asked the actresses in Seth MacFarlane’s boorish musical number to take off their tops, all the executives who are obsessed with their bottom lines until the couple of months a year when they’re required to talk about great art, and the great age and overwhelming whiteness and maleness of the Oscar voters, you pick a child? Courageous humor punches up, rather than down, and effective humor exposes something meaningful about the target. Maybe the Oscars stage with that vaunted billion-person audience isn’t the right place to tell big truths about Hollywood, but it’s not a hard position from which to reveal some small ones with craft and finesse.

I had a chance to talk to Wallis after a screening of Beasts of the Southern Wild two weeks ago, and I asked her, considering how much responsibility her character Hushpuppy has for her community in the movie, if she thought adults should listen more, and more carefully to children. Her answer felt even more illuminating this morning than it did when we spoke. “If you’re working, look at them to make them feel that you’re actually listening,” she said. “They have a wild imagination, and grownups don’t. They just focus on their kids, or like their family, they really don’t like chill, they’re always busy…They really don’t imagine as much. I was thinking about, a few minute ago, how I would look whenever I get older. I think of crazy stuff.” On a night when a lot of grown-ups, in the course of chasing desperately after approval and professional validation, showed an utter lack of imagination in defaulting to sexism and cruelty rather than thinking through clever material, Wallis is right.

Respecting kids doesn’t necessarily mean letting them off the hook. But it does mean remembering that they’re children, and thinking about both appropriate limits when you’re speaking about them, and the things you can get out of talking to them that you couldn’t out of anyone else. And given the whiteness of Hollywood, and the fact that Wallis’ first role as a pint-sized superhero may be the best one she’s ever offered given the way Hollywood values women, MacFarlane and The Onion could have revealed much more about the movie industry by being on Wallis’ side than by picking her out as a target.

Source URL: http://www.alternet.org/speakeasy/alyssa-figueroa/why-seth-macfarlane-and-onions-jokes-about-quvenzhane-wallis-are-so-gross

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Look Who...
« on: February 15, 2013, 09:36:17 PM »


Los Angeles police reopen case that led to fugitive ex-cop's firing

By Michael Martinez and Paul Vercammen , CNN
updated 11:47 PM EST, Sat February 9, 2013

Big Bear Lake, California (CNN) -- Los Angeles police said Saturday that they would reopen an investigation into the firing of Christopher Jordan Dorner, a former cop accused of killing three people as part of a revenge plot targeting law enforcement officers.

Dorner wrote a manifesto declaring war on police in retaliation for being fired from his job as an LAPD officer and losing an appeal to be reinstated. He promised to bring "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" to officers and their families, calling it the "last resort" to clear his name and strike back at a department that he says mistreated him.

"I do this not to appease a murderer. I do it to reassure the public that their police department is transparent and fair in all the things we do," Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said in a statement.

He said police would also look into any allegations made in the manifesto.

Beck addressed what he described as the "ghosts of the LAPD's past," and said that one of his biggest worries was that those ghosts would be "resurrected by Dorner's allegations of racism."

"As hard as it has been to change the culture of the Los Angeles Police Department, it has been even more difficult to win and maintain the support of the public. As much as I value our successes in reducing crime, I value even more our gains in public confidence," he said.

The development came as police continued their search for Dorner, 33, in snowbound mountains. Bundled up in winter gear, teams returned to the pine forests and trails surrounding Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains.

As the dragnet entered its third day, questions continued Saturday about whether Dorner was still in the area, but police in California, Nevada and Arizona remained on alert.

Scouring the terrain by land and air, police were using helicopters, snowcats and armored personnel carriers with snow chains. The search resumed after overnight temperatures dipped into the teens.

Officers trudged through knee-high snow with rifles at the ready. Patrols again visited homes Saturday in Big Bear Lake, knocking on doors and peeking into windows. They had checked on the community's 400 homes Thursday.

"I don't think he is up here, to be quite honest with you, in this quite brutal weather," resident Justin Owen said. He was shoveling snow out of his driveway when a police team asked him if he had seen suspicious activity.

No, he told them.

Unlike his son, father Ed Owen believed Dorner could be hiding in any of the houses that serve as second residences in the mountains and are often vacant, frequently the case where families have owned the property for decades and lose interest in it, he said.

"I would guess the occupancy rate on my block is just 10%," Ed Owen told CNN. "If you really wanted to scout things out, you probably could find a home that is never occupied and hide in there."
Not far from the manhunt, skiers and snowboarders enjoyed an ideal day for winter recreation in the resort community.

"The possibility exists that he is here, somewhere in the forest, so we're going to keep looking ... until we determine that he's not here," said Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Calamitous dragnet

The manhunt in Southern California hasn't been without calamity.

Los Angeles police mistakenly shot and wounded two persons Thursday in Torrance as they drove a blue pickup truck resembling Dorner's vehicle. Torrance police also fired upon another blue pickup the same day, but no one was injured in that incident, a law enforcement source said.

The Los Angeles officers involved in the wounding of innocent civilians were put on paid administrative leave, police spokeswoman Rosario Herrera said Saturday. A day earlier, the LAPD had said the officers weren't put on such leave.

Unconfirmed sightings of the 270-pound, 6-foot Dorner have been reported as far away as Las Vegas and the California-Mexico border, according to reports.

LAPD spokesman Andrew Smith urged Dorner to turn himself in.

"That would be the best resolution for this whole thing right now," he said. "No one else has to be shot. No one else has to be injured. No one else has to die. He can turn himself in anywhere, and he'll be taken into custody, and he'll be able to get his side of the story out."

Dorner, who also served in the Navy, is suspected of killing two people in Irvine, California, on Sunday and shooting Thursday at three Los Angeles-area police officers, one of whom later died.

One of the victims of the Irvine killings, Monica Quan, was the daughter of the retired police officer who represented Dorner in his efforts to get his job back, police said.

According to a criminal complaint, someone claiming to be Dorner called the retired officer after the killing, telling him he "should have done a better job of protecting his daughter."

The call was traced to Vancouver, Washington, but the complaint went on state that it was unlikely Dorner was in Washington at the time of the call.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa described Dorner as "a very sick individuaI."

"There is absolutely nothing that was done to this individual that would rationalize in any way the murder of three innocent people," Villaraigosa told CNN on Saturday. "The notion that somehow this deranged individual be given any credence boggles my mind."

Brutal past haunts L.A. cops

For now, the focus of the manhunt remains on Big Bear and the surrounding mountains, where Dorner's burned-out pickup was found Thursday.

The truck had a broken axle, which would have prevented the truck from moving, and footprints appear to show Dorner doubled back into the community, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

It was unclear where Dorner may have gone from there or by what means, the source said.

Armed and dangerous

Guns found in the truck also were burned, but authorities believe Dorner may have as many as 30 weapons with him, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The source was not authorized to release details to the media.

Manhunt reminiscent of D.C. sniper case

Dorner, who retired from the Navy Reserve on February 1 as a lieutenant, was trained in counterinsurgency and intelligence, the source said.

It is also believed that he received flight training during his time in the Navy. Though the exact nature of his flying skills are not known, the Transportation Security Administration issued an advisory.

"While there is no specific information at this time that Dorner is considering using general aviation, TSA requests that operators use an increased level of awareness concerning any suspicious activity during the coming days," it said.

Meanwhile, Bob Dow, supervisor at the airport at Big Bear Lake, dismissed the possibility that Dorner left that airport on a plane, saying the airport monitors all planes coming in and flying out.

Navy installations throughout California and Nevada were on heightened alert, a U.S. military official told CNN.

"Security personnel are on the lookout," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The measure was ordered late Thursday by Rear Adm. Dixon Smith, commander of the Navy's southwest region.

The official, who was not authorized to release details to the media, declined to discuss security procedures, but said the move was made after it became clear that Dorner gained access this week to the Naval Base at Point Loma and stayed in a motel there.

Two sailors reported Dorner approached them Wednesday and spoke with them for about 10 minutes at a San Diego coastal riverine unit -- a quick, small boat fighting team -- where Dorner served in 2006. As a Navy reservist, Dorner held security jobs at that unit.

The Navy is not certain whether Dorner still possesses any military identification he might try to use to enter a facility.

Investigators said they believe Dorner tried to steal a boat from someone in San Diego, according to the LAPD. Dorner "was not successful, and he fled the location," LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.

A wallet containing Dorner's identification and an LAPD detective's badge was found near the San Diego airport, police said.

Authorities speculate that Dorner, who is familiar with LAPD policies and procedures, may be trying to lead authorities astray by planting clues.

"He understands the way police departments work: the policies, the procedures, the response times,'" said Brandon Webb, a security expert and editor of SOFREP.com, the Special Operations Forces Situation Report.

CNN's Chelsea J. Carter, Dana Ford, Nick Valencia, AnneClaire Stapleton, Deborah Feyerick, Sara Weisfeldt and Barbara Starr contributed to this report. Paul Vercammen and Stan Wilson reported from Big Bear Lake. Michael Martinez report and wrote from Los Angeles.


Some ah allyuh need to talk to allyuh cousins...

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Football / New York Times Excerpt- Q&A With Lincoln Phillips
« on: January 04, 2013, 02:45:58 PM »

JANUARY 4, 2013, 1:43 PM
Q. & A. With Lincoln Phillips


Before the first North American Soccer League briefly soared after the signing of Pelé in 1975, some of the most interesting stories in 1970's soccer in the United States were often found in the college game.

This was exemplified by Howard University in Washington. In 1970, Howard University hired Lincoln Phillips as its coach, a young immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago who was then the goalkeeper and coach for the N.A.S.L.'s Washington Darts. Phillips took a Howard team built around students from the Caribbean to unprecedented success, becoming the first historically black college to win the N.C.A.A. Division championship in 1971.

But there was controversy: Howard was stripped of its title by the N.C.A.A. for player-eligibility violations. Many felt that Howard had been unfairly singled out because the largely white college sports hierarchy was uncomfortable with a team of black players winning the national championship. Phillips retooled Howard and won an N.C.A.A. title again in 1974. Tom Dunmore, editor of the XI Quarterly recently spoke with Phillips about his career in the United States and the lasting impact of Howard soccer.

Q. You were born in Trinidad but you made your career as a goalkeeper and coach in North America. How did you come to the United States and get your start in soccer here?

A. I represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, where we attended a function hosted by the West Indian Students Association. The Trinidadians there inspired me to use my soccer experience to attend a university in Canada or the U.S. The opportunity to pursue both a professional soccer career and education presented itself when a scout from the Baltimore Bays recommended me to the Bays G.M. Clive Toye, and upon signing I made the key stipulation that the Bays assist in enrolling me into college.

Q. After Baltimore, you moved on to the Washington Darts in the N.A.S.L. You quickly became the player-coach of the team age 29 -- how did that come about, and how did you earn the respect of players who were also your peers?

A. I frequently found myself in leadership roles beginning from the time I was in secondary school in Trinidad. My time in the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment as both the physical education officer in charge of developing physical fitness for the service and as captain of the soccer team gave me my first real experience in leading men. So, by the time I earned the opportunity to serve as a player/coach with the Darts, I was ready.

Also, being a goalkeeper provides a player a certain perspective on the game that makes the position uniquely conducive to producing leaders -- more than any other position on the field. Make no mistake, though: on a professional team you're frequently surrounded by other alpha males and my leadership was challenged. This is where education and the ability to deal with people and issues are vital skills for any leader. I always invited any player to sit with me and discuss any aspect of the game, confident that my own understanding of the game was sound as both a player and as someone studying to be an educator. It also helped that I never asked players to do anything that I wouldn't do. Furthermore, being the top goalkeeper in the A.S.L. and N.A.S.L. at the time certainly helped.

Q. Was it a difficult decision to leave the Darts and professional soccer in 1970 and taking on the role of Howard head coach?

A. No, not at all, my decision to coach at the college level at Howard was a no-brainer. My salary on the professional level was miniscule and professional soccer at that time was on its last legs. After helping train the team in 1970, Howard offered me a full-time salary after qualifying for the N.C.A.A. final four in 1970. What made the switch even easier was that I was allowed to go to school free, as I was also pursuing my undergraduate degree. However, this was difficult at times, because I was in a few classes with some of my players. It was a very humbling experience as all of them were A students while I was struggling sometimes with C grades. As a result of such a unique experience, a very serious and lasting bond developed between me and those players that continues to this day.

Q. Howard University won the N.C.A.A. championship in 1971 during your first season in charge -- the first historically black college to do so -- but was then stripped of the title, charged with the use of ineligible players. Forty years later, do you look back at that decision with bitterness?

A. Absolutely not. Fortunately, I usually don't hold grudges. However, I think winning the championship in 1974 brought some catharsis and sense of justice in that we felt that our approach in developing scholar-athletes always followed the spirit of the N.C.A.A. even when we were the targets of some unfair and sometimes hostile situations. Our graduation rate was among the highest in the nation and the players we recruited were very good and serious students. I think over the years, the N.C.A.A. has made better efforts in developing regulations and schools also have compliance officers to help interpret those regulations or situations that may not have a clear cut answer.

Q. Howard found redemption with a second N.C.A.A. title in 1974. What was the key to picking up the pieces after being stripped of the 1971 title?

A. A real sense of purpose and having something to prove was the tip of the proverbial arrow that drove not only the team but the entire Howard University community. There was a sense we were cheated out of a championship and our situation fit in the social milieu at the time with the rise of black consciousness and the community's pride in producing a team that was considered among the best. We wanted to be the best at a sport largely identified and dominated by Europeans.

So, the team was more than an athletic program: it became an extension of the civil rights movement in a way only sports can by achieving a set of objective results and debunking myths that doubted our abilities to be disciplined, organized, and intelligent enough to win against the best the country had to offer. I felt if I could include players from West Africa to compliment the players I had from the Caribbean, we would have an explosive and athletic squad that would be difficult to handle. So, a successful recruiting trip to Nigeria and bringing several players back was one of the first steps taken in preparation.

However, I felt the moment where we invited one of our professors, Dr. Dom Basile Matthews, to address the team was when everything fell into place for the staff and players. In that discussion, Dr. Matthews talked about the atlantic slave trade and the triangular trek slave ships took from Europe to Africa to pick up slaves, to the Americas to drop off the slaves and pick up raw materials to then return to Europe for manufacturing. Dr. Matthews explained that our team represented a reversal of that triangular journey our ancestors endured and the players were engaged in what he called a "Triangle of Blackness," designed to win and achieve as the descendants of those who were historically beaten down in a country where the struggle to be respected and relevant continued. It was some fairly heady stuff that blew everyone away.

Q. What do you think the broader significance of a black team -- mainly made-up of foreign students from the Caribbean and Africa -- achieving the success that Howard did in college soccer proved to be?

A. The gift that kept on giving. While there were a smattering of black players at universities across the country, Howard had long been the institution that fielded fantastic teams made up of players from the Caribbean and Africa. Our success in the 1970s brought an additional spotlight on players from those same regions and really sparked a rush of college coaches to those countries looking for players at a rate never seen before. So, our success helped bring additional opportunities for Caribbean and African players.

Though it is hard to imagine when looking at today's game in Europe, black players from Africa and the Caribbean were never considered good enough to play in Europe in the '60s through the '80s. In many ways, North America -- through the N.A.S.L. and college soccer -- provided a haven for talented black players from Africa and the Caribbean. So I believe Howard had a role on the impact black footballers had on the game in this country.

More on Lincoln Phillips

An article on Howard's soccer program appears in the inaugural issue of XI Quarterly. Follow Tom Dunmore on Twitter .


Big East Likely to Lose 7 Colleges That Want To Put Basketball First

After looking on as realignment diluted and marginalized the Big East Conference, the seven universities in the league that are not part of the Football Bowl Subdivision are expected to depart in the coming days and form a league revolving around basketball.

Villanova, Georgetown, St. John’s, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall and DePaul are expected to exit, according to an ESPN report, pending the resolution of legal and semantic details, and barring any last-minute maneuvering by Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco. The complexity of the situation, with seven colleges leaving at one time, may delay an official decision or announcement.

“The judgment on the part of the seven schools, they probably feel they can generate more dollars per school as a basketball conference than to share the revenues they would be getting from a combined football-basketball deal” with the current Big East, said Neal Pilson, a television consultant and a former president of CBS Sports.

“The Big East isn’t the same conference it was 12 months ago,” he said. But, he added, “basketball economics don’t equal football.”

In the last 15 months, the longtime Big East members Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia announced they were leaving the conference for better football leagues — the Atlantic Coast Conference for Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the Big 12 for West Virginia — and the more lucrative TV contracts that come with them. Then Notre Dame announced it would take its basketball team to the A.C.C., and last month Louisville said it would soon follow. Rutgers is leaving for the Big Ten.

While the Big East, which started as a basketball conference, scrambled to maintain a certain number of members, those colleges that did not compete at the F.B.S. level in football were essentially left to watch as the conference became a very different version of itself, both from a historical and geographical perspective.

Next year, Houston, Southern Methodist, Central Florida and Memphis will join the conference for all sports, and Boise State and San Diego State will for football. To replace Louisville and Rutgers, the Big East added Tulane for all sports and East Carolina as a football-only member, beginning in 2014. Navy is joining as a football-only member in 2015.

Aresco, a former executive with ESPN and CBS, has tried selling the Big East as a conference with a national reach, with an equal emphasis on its elite basketball and improving football.

“I didn’t want to neglect basketball,” Aresco said in an interview this month. “So much of the realignment had been focused on football, I felt that when you had basketball, as good as the Big East has it, with the quality schools, the brands, that basketball has to be a significant part of the conversation.”

Instead, four months into his tenure, the seven so-called basketball colleges, all Catholic institutions, are moving toward an official consensus to control their future.

They could form a basketball conference with like-minded schools. ESPN quoted Notre Dame Coach Mike Brey as saying that the discussion among the seven colleges was to form a national conference of Catholic universities with Xavier, St. Louis, Dayton, Creighton, Gonzaga and possibly St. Mary’s.

The seven Big East basketball colleges met with Aresco on Sunday to discuss their concerns about the conference’s future, which is tied to the TV rights deal the league is shopping.

The value of a new deal was diminished by the string of departures, starting with Syracuse and Pittsburgh last year. A few months before that, the Big East turned down an offer from ESPN similar to the $155 million deal the A.C.C. had recently signed. The Big East would not attract that type of deal now.

Other details will need to be worked out before the seven colleges leave, including the fate of the Big East tournament, held each year at Madison Square Garden. Would the seven colleges, all Catholic institutions, retain the Big East name? What would become of the Big East’s remaining members?

Boise State could leave before it arrives in 2013. Whatever universities are left — primarily ones no other power conference wanted or needed — could trudge on without the basketball reputation that Aresco had expected to lean on.

This week Aresco has pushed to appease the seven colleges, but after adding too many universities with too little appeal, it may be too late.

Greg Bishop contributed reporting.



Georgetown will face an uphill battle against seven-time national champs, Indiana.  The Hoosiers have made a record 14 title appearances now, including victory over Shaka Hislop's Howard University Bisons in 1988.  Georgetown is making it's first title appearance.  Game on ESPNU or Watch ESPN tomorrow at 2 pm.  Let's Go Hoyas!!

p.s. Mods feel free to move/merge after tomorrow por favor

Other Sports / Hoyas advance to NCAA Men's Soccer Championship Game
« on: December 07, 2012, 09:19:37 PM »

Kicker whey yuh?  ;D

Epic game... Georgetown actually played a nice brand of football, de yankee college version of Swansea with that high pressure and a preferred short passing attack.  Ironically enough though it was a few diagonal long balls over the top that was Maryland's undoing time after time.  Georgetown played all over that team in the first half.  Missed the second half and extra time, came back in just in time to see the shootout.  Epic!

Trinbago, NBA & World Basketball / New York Knickerbockers Thread
« on: December 06, 2012, 10:15:57 PM »

It's about time we get this thread started.  Knicks are relevant again for the first time in over ten years  and sitting atop the Eastern Conference after yet another blow out win over Miami.  Still early in the season but there's still only ONE team in New York and they play their basketball at Madison Square Garden!!!

Trinbago, NBA & World Basketball / "Brooklyn" Nets
« on: November 28, 2012, 06:51:58 PM »
As a Knicks fan and one-time Brooklyn resident, one who's first home in the US was within spitting distance from the new arena at 334 Dean St., everything about this move rankles me.  The Nyets, as I call dem (as in Russian fuh 'no', and as in "not yet"), come like de NBA version of Chelsea with they Russian money, and all ah sudden Prokhorov trying to buy pedigree fuh he team by latching onto de "Brooklyn" brand. 

In speaking to other Knicks fans and fellow Brooklynites, another thing that rubbing we wrong is de unmistakeable smell of gentrification behind the whole thing.  This is just an extension of the invasion of Brooklyn by the white people and them who rushing into Fort Green and Bed-Stuy and pushing out long time residents with the high rent that following in the wake.

But politics aside...

Start of a nice new rivalry which ah know the League loving... good game the other night too between the two, Round 1 to the Nyets.

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