Tag Archives: freelance writer

Florida Flight to host “And 1” Tour April 6. Be there!

You may recall that last season, I served as PR Director and play-by-play announcer for the Florida Flight, a minor-league professional basketball team here in Central Florida.

We did very well last season, and we’re back for our sophomore campaign. This year, we are playing in the Continental Basketball League (CBL) and will be playing our home games in East Orlando … specifically Avalon Park.

We’re cranking up our pre-season in style next Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 pm. That’s the night that the And 1 Live Tour makes its way to Avalon Park, where their team will square off against a team of “Free Agents” (not Flight players) who were selected by Flight personnel during an open tryout earlier this month. Giving a youth basketball clinic prior to the game will be former Duke University and NBA standout Christian Laettner.

If you are unfamiliar with the skill sets of these And 1 players, you owe it to yourself to do a Google search on “And 1 Mixtape.” It’s street basketball at its very best; the very same playground legends who brought their games to ESPN in the famed “Streetball” series a few years back. Think conventional basketball meets the Harlem Globetrotters, except nothing is scripted … and the unconventional is encouraged.

We are just a couple months from the start of the regular season, but for now please come out on April 6 if you love the thought of watching one highlight-reel play after another. For ticket info, go to the Florida Flight website at http://www.flighthoops.com – or just ask me.

If you do, stop by and say hello!

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Tuesday Weisblog: Lottery winner pays the ultimate penalty

I don’t know exactly what was going through Abraham Shakespeare’s mind when he won the Florida Lottery in 2006 to the tune of $30 million. I feel pretty confident, however, that he didn’t think he would be deceased, especially since he was only 40 years of age at the time.

Yet here we are three years later, and Shakespeare’s remains were recently discovered underneath a concrete slab in a Polk County, Florida home. I have to hand it to the local Sheriff … he says he views it as a homicide. He’s quick on his feet. He’s already ruled out the possibility that Mr. Shakespeare killed himself, then dug a hole, buried himself – and while buried, poured a concrete slab over the top of himself. He’s also ruled out that he died of natural causes, which would have then been followed by the above unlikely chain of events.

You just can’t put anything past the Polk County Sheriff’s department.

At any rate, they actually do have someone they call “a person of interest.” It seems that a Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore decided to become Mr. Shakespeare’s friend shortly after he hit the jackpot. It is also worth noting that she has been accused of scamming Shakespeare out of some of his money. (She has acknowledged “moving” $2 million of his money into her own account, among other things.)

Oh yeah, almost forgot one other “little” detail … they found Shakespeare’s remains underneath the house she and her boyfriend own. A person of interest? You betcha, as they say in Canada.

For her part, Moore recently told the Tampa Tribune that she “expects to be arrested,” but that she would never kill anyone. “I would never take another human’s life. No amount of money is worth that.”

Guess the courts will decide that, eventually … assuming they decide Dee Dee is “interesting” enough to prosecute.

Abraham Shakespeare was a humble truck driver’s assistant who received the miracle of sudden riches and instant celebrity. He didn’t know what to do with it all. In fact, he allegedly told many people during his last days he wished he’d never won … and now he’s dead.

How sad is that?

Friday Weisblog: With Drew and Peyton ‘Manning’ the QB spots, the Super Bowl will be a ‘Brees’

In my last correspondence, I told you all about what was wrong with this year’s Super Bowl. What’s right with the game deserves equal time, so here goes …

Drew Brees led the NFL in touchdown passes this season. Peyton Manning was the league’s Most Valuable player. It could be rightly argued that each means more to his respective team than any two other players in the entire league – including the elderly #4 in purple.

But the goodness goes beyond that. These are two guys who are genuinely fine, upstanding people. They seem to always do and say the right things – and manage to stay off the rap sheet. What a concept!

Brees signed with the Saints four years ago when he could have gone to teams that were then far more glamorous than the Saints, who had recently suffered the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He felt it was his calling to play there, and he and the Saints fans have developed a unique love affair for each other. He’s thrown for more than 4,000 yards four years in a row, including a mind-boggling 5,069 in 2008.

Meanwhile, Manning came into the NFL as the the top selection in the 1998 draft – and he has more than lived up to the hype. He’s thrown for more than 4,000 yards 10 of his 12 years, and has NEVER thrown fewer than 26 touchdown passes in any season, including his rookie campaign. The son of Archie Manning, ironically the Saints’ best-ever signal caller until Brees came to town, Peyton may very well go down as the best to ever play the game if he continues on his current pace.

This is a rare year. I will be happy with either team that wins the big game, largely because of their quarterback.

NOTE: Speaking of quarterbacks, kudos to Kurt Warner, who announced his retirement from the Arizona Cardinals today. Another of the league’s true gentleman, his was a true rags-to-riches story. Warner went from bagging groceries to the Arena League to NFL stardom, and he certainly belongs in the Hall of Fame. I think he gets there eventually.

Monday Weisblog: A not-so-super halftime show

Apparently it’s old news by now, but I just found out today that “The Who” will be the halftime entertainment at the February 7 Super Bowl in Miami. I must say that I am stunned by this news.

When I first heard who would be performing, I had to make sure I heard it right. “Who?”

“That’s correct,” was the reply as if it was something out of an Abbott and Costello routine.

Yes, The Who. The very same Who featuring Pete Townshend, the guitar player who in 2003 was arrested for possessing child pornography. (The charges were later dropped despite Townshend admitting he had used his credit card to obtain this material. He said it was “research” because he thought he might have been abused by his uncle when he was a child. Apparently, the feds bought what he was selling, but he was listed as a Registered Sex Offender according to the background information I read.)

In the best-case scenario, this makes him a reeeealllly strange guy. At worst, well, I prefer not to think about that. It isn’t that I don’t feel sorry for him if he was an abused child … but a transaction was made in which he willingly, knowingly purchased images that make a normal person’s stomach turn. No justification for that.

With that in mind, why on earth would you pick this group as halftime entertainment on the most-watched television event of the year? What, Courtney Love had another gig? Amy Winehouse didn’t return calls? Bobby Brown was busy? Someone has to explain this one to me, because I just don’t get it.

The Who hasn’t even been relevant for 30 years or more. Now don’t get me wrong … I am not advocating trotting out Lady Gaga or Katy Perry for this event, either. But there must be someone who bridges the generation gap of Super Bowl viewers better than The Who – and certainly someone who paints a better image.

I, for one, will be changing the channel during the halftime “festivities” of the NFL’s greatest game.

Tuesday Weisblog: She was going pee when her fellow commissioners were going, “Yay,” or “Nay”

OK, so I had to resort to a little bathroom humor. A little juvenile, perhaps. But it actually fits … keep reading.

Wake County, North Carolina is not a big place. They have just seven county commissioners, and one, Democrat Harold Webb, had just suffered a stroke and was forced to step down. The candidate up for replacement was one Tony Gurley, a member of the GOP.

Discussion was spirited and the votes continued to come back 3-3 over and over again … in fact, they voted 13 times that way. At that point, Betty Lou Ward could take it no more and made an unscheduled “pit stop.”

When she returned, there was Gurley sitting in the commissioner’s chair, the result of a 3-2 vote that took place while she was using the facilities.

“Thanks, guys,” she said, tongue-in-cheek, when she returned from her powder room respite and saw him sitting there.

If that’s not strange enough, the commissioners’ next order of business was to elect a vice chairman. This time, the vote came down to a choice of Ward or Commissioner Paul Coble. Again … multiple deadlocks at three. More than five hours later, it still was not settled, and Commissioner Stan Norwalk, a diabetic, made a motion to order sandwiches due to his medical condition. This vote barely passed 4-2!

By 11 p.m. the commissioners voted more than 100 times, each one coming in at 3-3; the Democrats voting for Ward and the Republicans for Coble. Motions to recess or adjourn the meeting were dismissed, and the madness continued.

Finally, at 2 a.m. Commissioner Norwalk again asked for a recess because he hadn’t gotten his insulin shot. Coble then ended the political posturing, proclaiming that he “would not sit here and put Mr. Norwalk at risk.” A new vote ensued and Ward won 5-1, with Gurley being the sole Commissioner voting “no.”

It just goes to show that sometimes in the world of politics, it’s the party whose members have the strongest bladders that win the day.

Note: Thanks to my friend Trace who told me about this rather unusual political gathering.

Thursday Weisblog: A female king working as a secretary? It’s true!

Peggielene Bartels lives in the Silver Spring, Maryland area and drives a 1992 Honda. She works as a secretary in an embassy.

Oh yeah … and she’s also a king. Really.

It turns out that her 90-year-old uncle was the king of Otuam, Ghana. When he passed away recently, the townspeople performed an ancient ritual to decide upon the new king, and it turned out to be Peggielene.

About 15 months ago, she received a phone call at 4 am from Ghana. “Hello, Nana,” the caller said. (The term “Nana” means something similar to VIP here in America.)

Bartels, who has no children of her own, thought it was a joke. “Oh, please don’t play games with me,” Bartels replied, who promptly reminded the caller that because she was a woman, she’d make a better queen. The caller replied that the kingship was the post that was open.

Once she finally decided it was her destiny, she made the trek to Otuam to be installed in her new position. She stayed as long as she could, but returned after 10 days because she still had her secretarial job to do.

For now, she plans to be a “commuting ruler” who spends all her vacation time in Otuam. She sees her retirement coming in about five years – and after that she anticipates moving there full-time and taking over her position.

This is amazing on so many levels. How she was chosen … how she is a female king … how the townspeople are fine with her being there only a few weeks out of the year … and so on. But hey, if it works, more power to her!

NOTE: Thanks to my friend Trace who told me about this interesting story.

Tuesday Weisblog: Her ‘cutting’ comments got her in trouble

Emily Walton is a not only a veterinarian, she’s also a Hancock County, Ohio County Commissioner. Apparently, Ms. Walton has upset one of her community members to the point that he is calling for her resignation.

It all stems from an incident that happened September 3. On that day, Walton and Jeff Davidson were engaging in a somewhat spirited discussion about a community drainage issue. Walton became agitated at Davidson and told him that she “wanted to castrate him and had the tools to do it.”

Bob Barker would be proud. (If you don’t get the joke, it’s not funny enough to explain. Just move on.)

“Sometimes things don’t go your way, and sometimes you have to raise your voice … but you don’t threaten to castrate somebody,” Davidson explained. “If she can’t manage her temper, and manage the words that come out of her mouth, she should resign.”

I tend to agree with him.

For her part, Walton’s explanation was a simple one: “That is a well-known, tongue-in-cheek comment that I have used for years and which people with half a sense of humor understand.” She also mentioned that she once, for comic relief, walked into a former mayor’s office carrying “a big white bag of tools,” though she never specifically mentioned castration.

I take offense to Ms. Walton’s actions for several reasons:
(1) She is a public official who should be acting appropriately.

(2) I am a male. If she had the same “equipment” I do, she may not be quite so liberal with her usage of the “c” word. It makes me wince just to think about it.

(3) If a male had said something off-color to a female, there would be much more made of this story, and I am 99.9% sure the male government official would be forced to resign.

Ms. Walton got her government post running unopposed last election. Something tells me that if she makes it through her term, she’ll have some competition next time around.