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May 15, 2012

howard stern

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 7:23 pm

Prepare for the worst and the results can only be better than you expected. That’s the lesson naysayers learned on Monday night when radio talker Howard Stern made his long-awaited debut as the new judge
 on “America’s Got Talent.”

Stern, a huge fan of the show who has been talking up his new gig for months on his SiriusXM satellite radio show did exactly what he promised
: he was a fair, sometimes silly, sometimes harsh judge with a heart of gold and a soft spot for sappy stories. Hell, the notoriously Purell-addicted germaphobe even lumbered up onto the stage to hug a particularly sweaty, not-so-great singer after giving him a second chance at fame.

‘America’s Got Talent’ Gets Early Buzz Around Howard Stern

After dismissing the pre-debut hand-wringing by the Parents Television Council that Stern’s penchant for R-rated humor might leak over into the family-friendly show as “a foolish presumption,” Los Angeles Times writer Robert Lloyd wrote that such fretting, “sells short the show’s producers and misreads Stern, who has shown himself perfectly capable of good behavior on other people’s turf.”

Despite an introductory montage set to the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” that set up his bad-boy reputation and a joke about how NBC execs must be “out of their mind” for taking a risk on him,” Lloyd said it was quickly evident that, “like fellow judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, he [Stern] meant to play the game the way the game is meant to be played, because, to a deep degree, he believes in it.”

In a headline in which it said the shock jock, “becomes a beloved uncle,” the Washington Post’s TV reviewer mixed the sweet and sour in offering backhanded praise to the radio veteran. “Somewhere along the way to the collapse of Western civilization, pioneer shock-jock Howard Stern became a sweet old man, perhaps staving off our multimedia Armageddon,” wrote critic Hank Stuever. “At least that’s the story line presented along with Stern’s canny decision to join — at a reported fee of about $20 million — NBC’s goony amateur performance competition, ‘America’s Got Talent,’ as its newest judge.”

Stuever yawned at Stern’s rehashing of old bits about his looks and the size of his manhood, and said he did “dish out a tiny bit of brutal honesty,” but mostly came to “bask in the show’s trademark combination of awkwardness, ingenuity and love” and delivered “apple-pie pronouncements more typical of presidential candidates.”

The embrace was slightly warmer at the New York Daily News, which explained that, “to appreciate Howard Stern’s debut as a judge on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Monday night, just remember this: Inviting Stern on ‘AGT’ is not like inviting the Sex Pistols to crash ‘La Traviata’ at the Met. ‘America’s Got Talent’ didn’t hire Stern to inject outrageous and wacky. It didn’t need to. It has ‘em already.”

Critic David Hinckley said that Stern settled in quickly and comfortably on the show, praising him for being honest and getting caught up in the show’s “figurative group hugs and four-handkerchief moments.” The question remains of how Stern will deal when the goofy acts are gone and he has to make tough decisions between talented acts with widely differing skills. “There was no indication he can’t do it. But all Monday proved for sure is this is the show where he belongs.” People magazine seconded those emotions, writing, “Stern showed a lot of heart and proved he’s got talent — for judging!”

Howard Stern Calls Britney Spears And Jennifer Lopez ‘Dummies’

What did you think of Stern’s debut on “Americ
o the surprise of no one who’s been paying attention to Howard Stern’s career over the years, Stern hit a home run in his debut as a judge on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” delivering the best commentary of the night without coming close to giving the FCC an opportunity to throw a penalty flag.

From the opening montage in which Stern was clearly the star, with “Sympathy for the Devil” as his intro music, it was clear NBC had made a great move in bringing him aboard. Stern’s zingers still had sting, but he was Mister Nice Guy as often as he was Doctor Evil.

As I said when the (who-are-they-again?) Parents Television Council voiced its opposition to Stern, the guy’s a pro who knows the difference between what he can get away with on satellite radio and what he can say on prime-time network TV. Not to mention the Stern of today is a markedly different broadcaster than the Stern of 20 years ago. (For example, there’s no doubt Stern must cringe when he hears archival tapes of his 35-year-old self engaging in cheap homophoboic humor, given his exemplary stance on gay rights in 2012.)

In a glowing New York Times profile last Sunday, Stern said, “I’ve actually apologized to some people I was a real jerk to, because I feel ashamed.” And just the other day we learned Stern recently had a pleasant face-to-face encounter with Kathie Lee Gifford, who was mercilessly mocked by Team Howard back in the day.

As for Stern’s qualifications to judge talent, this is a guy who has presided over more contests than probably any host in the history of radio. Granted, many of the categories over the years can’t be mentioned here, let alone described in much detail. (Suffice to say when the competition is titled, “It’s Just Wrong!” they were not engaging in false advertising.) But he knows what works and what doesn’t.

It was a brilliant stroke by NBC to replace the very British Piers Morgan and his soccer-obsessed tweets with the uber-American Stern, who has devoted hours of his radio show to discussing the behind-the-scenes details of his treks across the country to tape episodes of what is essentially a good old-fashioned talent show, not so different from the original amateur hours on TV in the 1950s.

Stern’s media blitz also included appearances on “Today,” “The View,” Ryan Seacrest’s show, Jimmy Fallon’s show, etc. They couldn’t have gotten more publicity if they’d replaced Sharon Osbourne with Sarah Palin and Howie Mandel with a drunken, random, Philadelphia sports fan.

Judging the judge

On TV and in print, on the blogs and the traditional media sites, there was near universal praise of Stern’s debut.

“On ‘America’s Got Talent’ Howard Stern becomes a beloved uncle,” was the headline in the Washington Post.

“Stern delivered apple-pie pro-nouncements more typical of presidential candidates,” wrote the Post’s Hank Stuever, who noted that Stern hugged contestants and his fellow judges, and said to a dance troupe, “This is going to sound sappy. We are the greatest country in the world. You are everything that makes America great.”

They couldn’t have had less controversy if the King of All Bland, Seacrest himself, had been tapped as judge.

Cover ‘wars’

With all the talk about the “cover wars” between Time and Newsweek, you’d think it was 1982, with the news-consuming public gathered ’round newsstands and clogging up the magazine aisles at Kroch’s & Brentano’s to peruse the latest periodicals.

First we had Time’s “Are You Mom Enough?” cover, with a young mother and her nearly 4-year-old son posing for the camera while he’s attached to her breast. Newsweek tried to trump that and succeeded only in embarrassing itself by trying way too hard and calling Barack Obama “America’s First Gay President.”

A bit of perspective here. Time has a weekly circulation of some 3.3 million while Newsweek has 1.5 million — but the overwhelming majority of Time and Newsweek customers are subscribers. But when it comes to single-issue, newsstand sales, Time averages about 76,000 copies per week, while Newsweek averages only about 40,000 per issue.

Even the most provocative covers rarely generate even double those figures.

Time or Newsweek could run a photo of a “gay” President Obama standing next to a breastfeeding Jessica Simpson, and it would still affect only about 3 percent of its sales base.
Regardless of what you think of segments like “Hottest Chick with the Oldest Dude” or the “Tiger Woods Mistress Beauty Pageant,” new “America’s Got Talent” judge Howard Stern is not going to bring his X-rated antics to prime-time television.

Howard Stern Calls Britney Spears And Jennifer Lopez ‘Dummies’

Stern starts his run as a judge on the popular reality competition
 show on Monday (May 14) night and before viewing even one minute of his family-hour act some critics have already decided he’s going to turn the 8 p.m. hour into a non-stop cavalcade of strippers, four-letter words and bathroom humor.

If you’ve listened at all to Stern’s SiriusXM radio show over the past six months, the original radio rebel has made it clear that he has only one intention: to be the best, most honest judge on TV.

Stern is an obsessive about many things: his career-long nemesis Don Imus, his quirky bathroom habits, babysitter porn, the weight gains and losses and internecine feuds among his staff members and, yes, judges on reality series. As much as he’d love to find better uses for his time, Howard is drawn like a magnet to “American Idol,” “Dancing With the Stars” and various other shows where, frankly, he thinks the judges are lousy, lazy, dishonest and just kind of lame.

“AGT” is Stern’s chance to prove that he is willing to put up or shut up. This is the man, you may recall, who has spent decades trying to convince America that he is a poorly endowed, paunchy lover who has never satisfied a woman. How much more honest can you be?

He knows better not just as a father of three seemingly well-adjusted adult daughters, but as a professional broadcaster and 30-plus year veteran in the game. There’s a time and a place for everything and “AGT” is not the forum for the Wack Pack and the adult word of Stern. This is a guy, after all, whose first movie was a hit, but who has spent the ensuing 20-plus years reading scripts and discarding them because they didn’t ring true or feel right for him. Every move he makes is meticulously dissected, over-thought and ruminated over both on and off the air. The neurotic, locker room Howard Stern character of the radio is not the same Howard you are going to see on TV.

Because who in their right mind would humiliate a child on TV as some have suggested Stern might do? If anything, given his moral compass, Howard is more likely to go after the greedy, self-involved “Toddlers and Tiaras”-style parents that put their children up to audition for transparently selfish reasons. And who could argue with that? That’s not even mentioning the fact that “AGT” picked up the entire production and moved it to New York to accommodate Stern’s radio show. Combine that with a reported $20 million payday, and, let’s assume, an iron-clad morals clause, and there’s virtually no incentive for Stern to go off-script and try to tank the show by crossing streams with his more sordid radio world.

Why would Stern spend his life building a brand, only to go on TV and pull some kind of Andy Kaufman stunt and blow it apart just to be shocking? That’s not shocking. That’s self-destructive, bad business and frankly, just stupid.

If there’s anything I’ve learned after listening to Stern for the past two decades it’s that he will pick fights with management and complain and lash out, he will stomp his feet, vent his spleen and complain ad nauseum about being treated poorly, but he will not embarrass himself or do anything that could tarnish the legacy of what he’s so painstakingly built for himself and his audience. (Okay, Fartman was not his best moment, but still, c’mon, it was still pretty hilarious.)

He wants you to love him, needs you to love him and after hit radio shows, movies, books and television production credits, what better way to do that than to once again prove his detractors wrong and conquer the one medium he’s got left on his bucket list: star of prime time TV?

Plus, he loves to win, lives to win, and he knows that with this move he can’t lose. There’s little or no competition from other big-name shows in the summer months, the program already has a huge ratings base and any drop-off from the Stern Effect will easily be made up by his millions of fans. The curiosity factor alone (not to mention a huge, full-court ad campaign that had the normally press-averse Stern doing talk shows and New York Times interviews) will surely give the first few weeks a major ratings boost.

After years of experiments, plugging a celebrity judge into a panel is a mixed blessing at this point. Steven Tyler was kind of fun and quirky on last year’s “American Idol,” but by this season he was merely irritating and mostly just a peacocking place-filler who offered little or nothing of substance to the contestants.

Howard’s watched this, studied it and has promised that he will be a different kind of judge. “All these articles talk about how I’ve changed and I’m like, ‘Good, I hope I’ve changed,’” Stern said on his satellite radio show on Monday (May 14) about his bad-boy reputation. He’s less angry, jealous and resentful these days, but he’s also more keenly aware of what it takes to entertain and I have a feeling that, love him or hate him, if you tune in tonight you’re going to be surprised. And I guarantee you will be entertained.
Somewhere along the way to the collapse of Western civilization, pioneer shock-jock Howard Stern became a sweet old man, perhaps staving off our multimedia Armageddon. At least that’s the story line presented along with Stern’s canny decision to join — at a reported fee of about $20 million — NBC’s goony amateur performance competition, “America’s Got Talent,” as its newest judge.

Despite the predictable howls of the Parents Television Council, which fruitlessly needled the network to reconsider putting Stern on what some consider a family-friendly variety show, Monday night’s seventh-season premiere was mostly business as usual.



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Hank Stuever

Hank Stuever is The Washington Post’s TV critic and author of two books, “Tinsel” and “Off Ramp.”


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Stern, 58, is hardly the loaded pistol he used to be. By now, his self-deprecating jokes about his gawky looks and the minimal size of his manhood — shtick that Stern brought out during “America’s Got Talent,” early and often, just as he did more than 20 years ago — are as familiar as an uncle’s rehashed routines at the Thanksgiving table. Fartman is just an outrageous memory now.

This mellower Stern came to “America’s Got Talent” as a self-avowed true believer in the show’s hunt for amateurs who have something intangibly winning about their acts. He came to dish out a tiny bit of brutal honesty, but mainly he seemed to want to bask in the show’s trademark combination of awkwardness, ingenuity and love. He hugged everyone he saw. He leaped on stage to hug contestants. He tried to hug his notoriously germaphobic fellow judge, Howie Mandel. He hugged Ozzy Osbourne, the immortal rock legend who is married to Stern’s other fellow judge, the ubiquitous Sharon.

Stern delivered apple-pie pronouncements more typical of presidential candidates. When a dance troupe used glowing costumes and props to simulate dinosaurs and prehistoric plant life, Stern gushed:

“This is going to sound sappy,” he said. “We are the greatest country in the world. You are everything that makes America great.”

He’s been a little lonely, we think. He’s richer than he ever dreamed of. And although he still likes to think of himself as a marginalized provocateur, the fact is that the Howard Stern of the 1980s and ’90s has been fully validated. He poked and prodded America into frank conversations about gender, sex, bodily functions, politics, culture, art. He triumphed over his real and imagined oppressors. He lost nearly 75 percent of his listeners when he left terrestrial syndicated radio for his own gig on satellite radio, meaning that most of us would only ever hear him again when driving rental cars. But he found liberation out there, and an even more loyal audience. He had his cake and ate it, and then smeared the frosting all over Lady Liberty’s decolletage, motorboat-style.

Taking a TV judging job is the new late-career choice for the nation’s celebrity class. Some find themselves underemployed, some need the additional marketing traction and some are just bored. They all need the attention; Stern has famously admitted in the open-therapy session that is his radio show that he has a bottomless need for approval. With Monday’s announcement that Britney Spears is joining Fox’s singing show “The X Factor” as a judge along with Demi Lovato (who, at 19, might consider competition-show judging the same as declaring a major), we should probably brace ourselves for even more amateur talent shows with celebrity panels — the “Match Game” and “Hollywood Squares” of our era.

“America’s Got Talent,” then, is a natural way for Stern to rejoin whatever remains of our sense of mass culture. This is a world of strivers that never stopped dreaming of winning the school talent show. What I like about the show — corny and protracted and needless as it may be — is what Stern seems to like about it, too: Being on TV still matters to a whole lot of everyday people.

The teenage clogging crews, the terrible crooners, the tiny girl scaling her aerial silks, the bad rapping, the magician-stripper, the lady who sings with a dozen cockatiels perched on her shoulders, the guy with the arrow gun shooting at balloons held in his comely companion’s mouth. It’s America winnowed down to its least-shy denizens. A group that would definitely include Howard Stern.

Stern, who replaces (the not-at-all-missed) Piers Morgan on the judge’s panel, hammed it up for the two-hour episode, which began the arduous task of screening contestants in various cities (starting in Los Angeles, then St. Louis), forwarding some on to a semifinal in Las Vegas and delivering the bad news to countless others. Eventually, the show will move into its live phase. It only takes forever — the real hallmark of “America’s Got Talent” is its ability to drag on eternally, as if every last taxpayer and dependent child is going to get a few seconds on the screen.

On Monday’s episode, Stern at times seemed to tread into Mandel’s territory, cracking bad jokes and playfully championing the woefully off-key or insufficiently talented. At other times, Stern seemed to make good on his original billing and namesake — that of a blunt, honest judge.

“Has someone in your life said to you, ‘This isn’t for you?’ ” he asked one singer, whom the audience had already booed. “A parent, maybe?”

“My parents are dead,” the man replied.

“Did they die of embarrassment?” Stern asked.

That’s as tough and unpredictable as our Uncle Howard ever got.
Howard Allan Stern (born January 12, 1954) is an American radio personality, television host, author, actor and photographer best known for his radio show which was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2005. He gained wide recognition in the 1990s where he was labeled a “shock jock” for his outspoken and sometimes controversial style. Stern has been exclusive to Sirius XM Radio, a subscription-based satellite radio service, since 2006. The son of a former recording and radio engineer, Stern wished to pursue a career in radio at the age of five. While at Boston University he worked at the campus station WTBU before a brief stint at WNTN in Newton, Massachusetts.

He developed his on-air personality when he landed positions at WRNW in Briarcliff Manor, WCCC in Hartford and WWWW in Detroit. In 1981, he was paired with his current newscaster and co-host Robin Quivers at WWDC in Washington, D.C. Stern then moved to WNBC in New York City in 1982 to host afternoons until his firing in 1985. He re-emerged on WXRK that year, and became one of the most popular radio personalities during his 20-year tenure at the station. Stern’s show is the most-fined radio program, after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued fines to station licensees for allegedly indecent material that totaled $2.5 million. Stern has won Billboard’s Nationally Syndicated Air Personality of the Year award eight times, and is one of the highest-paid figures in radio.[1]

Stern describes himself as the King of All Media for his ventures outside radio. Since 1987, he has hosted numerous late night television shows, pay-per-view events and home video releases. He embarked on a five-month political campaign for Governor of New York in 1994. His two books, Private Parts (1993) and Miss America (1995), spent 20 and 16 weeks respectively on The New York Times Best Seller list. The former was adapted into Private Parts (1997), a biographical comedy film that starred Stern and his radio show staff that earned $41.2 million in domestic revenue. Stern performs on its soundtrack which topped the Billboard 200 chart.

* 1 Early life and education
* 2 Career
o 2.1 Early professional radio career (1976–1981)
o 2.2 Washington and WNBC New York (1981–1985)
o 2.3 K-Rock, early television endeavors and Fartman (1985–1992)
o 2.4 Private Parts, E! show and run for Governor (1993–1994)
o 2.5 Miss America and Private Parts film (1995–1997)
o 2.6 Return to Saturday night television and productions (1998–2004)
o 2.7 Satellite radio and America’s Got Talent (2004–present)
* 3 FCC fines
* 4 Personal life
* 5 Filmography
o 5.1 Films
o 5.2 Home video releases
o 5.3 Television
* 6 Discography
* 7 Bibliography
* 8 References
* 9 Sources
* 10 External links

[edit] Early life and education
Stern graduated from the College of Public Communications at Boston University in 1976.

Stern was born on January 12, 1954 into a Jewish family who lived in Jackson Heights, Queens in New York City.[2][3] His parents Ben and Ray (née Schiffman) are children of Austro-Hungarian immigrants, and his sister Ellen is four years older than he.[2] The family moved to the hamlet of Roosevelt on Long Island in 1955,[4] where Stern developed an interest in radio at five years of age.[5] While Ray was a homemaker and later an inhalation therapist,[6][7] Ben was a co-owner of Aura Recording, Inc., a recording studio in Manhattan where cartoons and commercials were produced.[8] When he made occasional visits with his father, Stern witnessed actors Wally Cox, Don Adams and Larry Storch voice his favorite cartoon characters,[9][10] which influenced him to later talk on the air rather than play records.[11] Ben was also an engineer at WHOM, a radio station in Manhattan.[8] On completion of sixth grade, Stern left Washington-Rose Elementary School for Roosevelt Junior-Senior High School.[12] In June 1969, the family moved to nearby Rockville Centre and Stern transferred to South Side High School.[13]

Stern spent the first two of four years at Boston University in the College of Basic Studies.[14] In 1973, he started to work at WTBU, the campus radio station where he spun records, read the news, and hosted interviews.[14] He also hosted a comedy program with three fellow students called The King Schmaltz Bagel Hour.[15] Stern gained admission to the School of Public Communications in 1974[16] and earned a diploma in July 1975 at the Radio Engineering Institute of Electronics in Fredericksburg, Virginia which allowed him to apply for a first class FCC radio-telephone license.[17][18] With the license, Stern made his professional debut at WNTN in Newton, Massachusetts, performing airshift, newscasting and production duties between August and December 1975.[19] He graduated magna cum laude from Boston University in May 1976 with a degree in Communications[3][14] and now funds a scholarship at the university.[20]
[edit] Career
See also: The Howard Stern Show, Howard Stern television shows, and Howard Stern videography and discography
[edit] Early professional radio career (1976–1981)

After his graduation in 1976, Stern declined an offer to work evenings at WRNW, a progressive rock station in Briarcliff Manor, Westchester County, New York.[21] He was unsure of his talent, and questioned his future in the professional industry. Stern took creative and media planning roles at Benton & Bowles, a New York advertising agency, followed by a job in selling radio time to advertisers.[22] He realized the mistake of declining on-air work and contacted WRNW a second time where he agreed to work covering shifts over the Christmas holiday period.[19][23] Stern was hired full time in 1977 and worked a four-hour midday shift, six days per week a $96 weekly salary.[17] He subsequently worked as the station’s production and program director for an increased salary of $250.[19][24]

In 1979, Stern spotted an advertisement for a “wild, fun morning guy” at rock station WCCC in Hartford, Connecticut.[25] He submitted a more outrageous audition tape with Robert Klein and Cheech and Chong records mixed with flatulence routines and one-liners.[26] Stern was hired with no change in salary with a more intense schedule. After four hours on the air he voiced and produced commercials for another four. On Saturdays, following a six-hour show, he did production work for the next three. As the station’s public affairs director he also hosted a Sunday morning talk show which he favoured.[27] In the summer of the 1979 energy crisis, Stern held a two-day boycott of Shell Oil Company which attracted media attention.[28] Stern left WCCC a year later after he was declined a pay increase.[29] Fred Norris, the overnight disc jockey, has been Stern’s producer and writer since 1981.[30]

Management at rock outlet WWWW in Detroit, Michigan praised Stern’s audition tape in their search for a new morning man.[31] Stern was hired for the job which he started on April 21, 1980.[13] He learned to become more open on the air and “decided to cut down the barriers…strip down all the ego…and be totally honest”, he later told Newsday.[32] His efforts earned him a Billboard award for “Album-Oriented Rock Personality of the Year For a Major Market” and the Drake-Chenault “Top Five Talent Search” title.[33][34] The station however, ran into problems after Stern’s quarterly Arbitron ratings had decreased while it struggled to compete with its stronger rock competitors. In January 1981, WWWW switched to a country music format much to Stern’s dislike, who left the station soon after.[35] He received offers to work at WXRT in Chicago and CHUM in Toronto, but did not take them.[34][36]
[edit] Washington and WNBC New York (1981–1985)

Stern moved to Washington, D.C. to host mornings at rock station WWDC on March 2, 1981.[37][38] He wanted to develop his show further, and looked for a co-worker with a sense of humor to riff with on news and current events.[39] The station paired Stern with Robin Quivers, a newscaster and consumer affairs reporter from WFBR in Baltimore.[40] Though he felt restricted and controlled by management who enforced a strict format, Stern had the second highest rated morning radio program in January 1982.[41][42] Impressed with his ratings success, NBC approached Stern with an offer to work afternoons at WNBC in New York City. After Stern signed a five-year contract worth $1 million in March,[43] his relationship with WWDC management worsened,[44] and his contract with the station was terminated on June 25. He had more than tripled the station’s morning ratings during his stay.[45] In its July issue The Washingtonian named Stern the area’s best disc jockey.[46] Stern released 50 Ways to Rank Your Mother, a comedy album of his radio bits. The record was re-released as Unclean Beaver in November 1994.[47]

On April 2, 1982, a news report by Douglas Kiker on raunch radio featuring Stern aired on NBC Magazine.[48] The piece stimulated discussion among NBC management to withdraw Stern’s contract. When he began his afternoon program in September,[49] management closely monitored Stern, telling him to avoid talk of a sexual and religious nature.[50] In his first month, Stern was suspended for several days for “Virgin Mary Kong”, a segment featuring a video game where a group of men pursued the Virgin Mary around a singles bar in Jerusalem.[48] An attorney was hired to man a “dump button”, and cut Stern off the microphone should potentially offensive areas be discussed. This became the task of program director Kevin Metheny, who Stern nicknamed “Pig Virus”.[48] On May 21, 1984, Stern made his first appearance on Late Night with David Letterman, launching him into the national spotlight.[13] A year later he claimed the highest ratings at WNBC in four years with a 5.7% market share.[51]

On September 30, 1985, Stern and Quivers were fired for what management termed “conceptual differences” regarding the show.[52] “Over the course of time, we made a very conscious effort to make Stern aware that certain elements of the program should be changed…I don’t think it’s appropriate to say what those specifics were”,[53] said program director John Hayes, who Stern nicknamed “The Incubus”. In 1992, Stern believed Thornton Bradshaw, chairman of WNBC’s owner RCA, heard his “Bestiality Dial-a-Date” segment and ordered his firing.[50] Stern and Quivers kept in touch with their audience throughout October and November where they toured club venues with a stage show.[52]
[edit] K-Rock, early television endeavors and Fartman (1985–1992)

Stern signed a contract with Infinity Broadcasting worth around $500,000[54] and returned to afternoons on its New York rock station WXRK on November 18, 1985.[52] The show moved to mornings on February 18, 1986 and entered national syndication on August 18 when WYSP in Philadelphia first simulcast the program.[52] In October 1992, Stern became the first to have the number one morning radio show in New York and Los Angeles simultaneously.[55] In the New York market The Howard Stern Show was the highest-rated morning program for seven consecutive years between 1994 and 2001.[56] In 1994, Billboard magazine added the “Nationally Syndicated Air Personality of the Year” category to its annual radio awards based on entertainment value, creativity and ratings success.[57] Stern was awarded the title from 1994 to 2002.[58][59]

In May 1987, Stern recorded five television pilots for Fox when the network planned to replace The Late Show hosted by Joan Rivers.[60] The series was never picked up; one executive having described the show as “poorly produced”, “in poor taste” and “boring”.[61] Stern hosted his first pay-per-view event on February 27, 1988 named Howard Stern’s Negligeé and Underpants Party.[52] Over 60,000 homes purchased the two-hour special that grossed $1.2 million.[62] On September 7, 1989, over 16,000 fans packed out Nassau Coliseum for Howard Stern’s U.S. Open Sores, a live event that featured a tennis match between Stern and his radio show producer, Gary Dell’Abate.[52] Both events were released for home video. From 1990 to 1992, Stern was the host of The Howard Stern Show, a Saturday night program on WWOR-TV. The series ran for 69 episodes to 65 markets nationwide.[63] In February 1991, Stern released Crucified by the FCC, a collection of censored radio segments following the first fine issued to Infinity by the FCC over alleged indecency.[64] He released a third video tape, Butt Bongo Fiesta, in October 1992 that sold 260,000 copies for a gross of over $10 million.[64][65] He returned to Saturday night television that November with The Howard Stern “Interview”, a one-on-one celebrity interview series on E!.[citation needed]

Stern appeared at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards as Fartman, a fictional superhero that first appeared in the National Lampoon humor magazine series. According to the trademark he filed for the character that October, he first used Fartman in July 1981.[66] Stern rejected multiple scripts for a proposed summer 1993 release of The Adventures of Fartman until a verbal agreement was reached with New Line Cinema.[67] Screenwriter J. F. Lawton had prepared a script before relations soured over the film’s rating, content and merchandising rights and the project was abandoned.[68][69]
[edit] Private Parts, E! show and run for Governor (1993–1994)

In 1993, Stern signed a $1 million advance contract with Simon & Schuster to publish his first book.[70] Co-authored with Larry Sloman and edited by Judith Regan, the release of Private Parts on October 7 saw its first printing of 225,000 copies being sold within hours of going on sale. It became the fastest-selling title in the history of Schuster after five days.[71] In its eighth printing two weeks later, over one million copies had been distributed.[65][70] Stern embarked on a book signing tour that attracted an estimated 10,000 fans at a Barnes & Noble store on Fifth Avenue in New York.[70] In its first run, Private Parts spent 20 weeks on The New York Times Best-Seller list.[72] Stern has written forewords for Steal This Dream (1998), a biography of Abbie Hoffman, Disgustingly Dirty Joke Book (1998) by Jackie Martling, Too Fat to Fish (2008) by Artie Lange, and Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox (2010) by Greg Fitzsimmons.

Stern hosted his second pay-per-view event, The Miss Howard Stern New Year’s Eve Pageant, on December 31, 1993. It broke the subscriber record for a non-sports event previously held by a New Kids on the Block concert in 1990.[65] Around 400,000 households purchased the event that grossed an estimated $16 million.[73] Stern released the program on VHS in early 1994 as Howard Stern’s New Year’s Rotten Eve 1994. Between his book royalties and pay-per-view profits, Stern’s earnings in the latter months of 1993 totalled around $7.5 million.[74] In its 20th anniversary issue in 1993, Radio & Records named Stern the most influential air personality of the past two decades.[75]

On March 21, 1994, Stern announced his candidacy for Governor of New York under the Libertarian Party ticket, challenging Mario Cuomo for re-election.[76] He planned to reinstate the death penalty, stagger highway tolls to improve traffic flow, and limit road work to night hours.[77] At the party’s nomination convention in Albany on April 23, Stern won the required two-thirds majority on the first ballot, receiving 287 of the 381 votes cast (75.33%). James Ostrowski finished second with 34 votes (8.92%).[78] To place his name on the November ballot, Stern was obliged to state his home address and to complete a financial disclosure form under the Ethics in Government Act of 1987. After declining to disclose his financial information, Stern was denied an injunction on August 2.[79] He withdrew his candidacy two days later. Cuomo was defeated in the gubernatorial election on November 8 by George Pataki, who Stern backed. Pataki signed “The Howard Stern Bill” that limited construction on state roads to night hours in New York and Long Island, in 1995.[80]

In June 1994, robotic cameras were installed at WXRK studios to film The Howard Stern Show for a condensed half-hour show on E!.[81] Howard Stern ran for 11 years until the last taped episode aired on July 8, 2005.[82] In conjunction with his move to satellite radio, Stern launched Howard Stern on Demand, a subscription video-on-demand service, on November 18.[83] The service was relaunched as Howard TV on March 16, 2006.[84]
[edit] Miss America and Private Parts film (1995–1997)

On April 3, 1995, three days after the shooting of singer Selena, Stern’s comments regarding her death and Mexican Americans caused an uproar in the Hispanic community. He criticized her music and gunfire sound effects were played over her songs. “This music does absolutely nothing for me. Alvin and the Chipmunks have more soul…Spanish people have the worst taste in music. They have no depth”.[85] On April 6, Stern responded with a statement in Spanish, stressing his comments were made in satire and not intended to hurt those who loved her.[86] A day later, Justice of the Peace Eloy Cano of Harlingen, Texas issued an arrest warrant on Stern for disorderly conduct.[87]

In 1995, Stern signed a deal with ReganBooks worth $3 million to write his second book, Miss America.[88] He wrote about his cybersex experiences on the Prodigy service, a private meeting with Michael Jackson, and his suffering with obsessive-compulsive disorder.[89] Released on November 7, the book sold 33,000 copies at Barnes & Noble stores on the same day which set a new one-day record.[90] Publishers Weekly reported over 1.39 million copies were sold by the year’s end and ranked it the third best-selling book of 1995.[91] Miss America spent a total of 16 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.[72]

Production for a film adaptation of Private Parts began in May 1996 with all shooting complete in four months.[92] Its premiere was held at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden on February 27, 1997, where Stern performed “The Great American Nightmare” with Rob Zombie.[93] Making its general release on March 7, Private Parts topped the box office sales in its opening weekend with a gross of $14.6 million, and went on to earn a total of $41.2 million in domestic gross revenue.[94] The film holds a “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a website that aggregates film reviews. 79% of critics gave Private Parts a positive review based on a sample of 48 reviews, with an average score of 6.6 out of 10.[95] For his performance, Stern won a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for “Favorite Male Newcomer” and was nominated for a Golden Satellite Award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture (Comedy)” and a Golden Raspberry Award for “Worst New Star”.[citation needed] The soundtrack to Private Parts sold 178,000 copies in its first week of release, topping the Billboard 200 chart.[96]

Stern filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Ministry of Film Inc. in October 1997, claiming it recruited him for a film titled Jane starring Melanie Griffith while knowing it had insufficient funds. Stern, who was unpaid when production ceased, accused the studio of breach of contract, fraud and negligent representation.[97] A settlement was reached in 1999 with Stern receiving $50,000.[98]
[edit] Return to Saturday night television and productions (1998–2004)

In August 1998, Stern returned to Saturday night television with The Howard Stern Radio Show.[99] Broadcast across the country on CBS affiliates, it featured radio show highlights along with material unseen in his nightly E! show. The show competed for ratings with comedy shows Saturday Night Live on NBC and MADtv on Fox. Concerned with its risqué content, affiliates began to leave the show after two episodes.[100] Making its launch on 79 stations on August 22, 1998, this number was reduced to 55 by June 1999.[101] A total of 84 episodes were broadcast.[citation needed] The final re-run aired on November 17, 2001, to around 30 markets.[102][103]

In 1994, Stern launched the Howard Stern Production Company for original and joint production and development ventures. He intended to make a film adaptation of Brother Sam, the biography of the late comedian Sam Kinison.[104] In September 1999, UPN announced the production of Doomsday, an animated science-fiction comedy series executively produced by Stern.[105] Originally set for a 2000 release, Stern starred as Orinthal, a family dog.[106] The project was eventually abandoned. From 2000 to 2002, Stern was the executive producer of Son of the Beach, a sitcom which ran for three seasons on FX. In late 2001, Howard Stern Productions was reportedly developing a new sitcom titled Kane.[107] The pilot episode was never filmed. In 2002, Stern acquired the rights to comedy films Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979) and Porky’s (1982). He filed a $100 million lawsuit in March 2003 against ABC and the producers of Are You Hot?, claiming the series was based on his radio segment called “The Evaluators”. A settlement was reached on August 7.[108]

Stern announced in early 2004 of talks with ABC to host a prime time interview special, which never materialized. In August 2004, cable channel Spike picked up 13 episodes of Howard Stern: The High School Years, a second animated series Stern was to executive produce.[109] On November 14, 2005, Stern announced the completion of episode scripts and 30 seconds of test animations.[110] Stern eventually gave the project up. In 2007, he explained the episodes could have been produced “on the cheap” at $300,000 each, though the quality he demanded would have cost over $1 million.[111] Actor Michael Cera was cast as the lead voice.[112]
[edit] Satellite radio and America’s Got Talent (2004–present)
Following Stern’s move to Sirius, he assembled the Howard 100 News team.

On October 6, 2004, Stern announced the signing of a five-year contract with Sirius Satellite Radio, a medium free from FCC regulations, that started in January 2006.[113] His decision to leave terrestrial radio occurred in the aftermath of the controversy surrounding the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show in February that caused a crackdown on perceived indecency in broadcasting. The incident prompted tighter control over content by station owners and managers to which Stern felt “dead inside” creatively.[114] Stern hosted his final broadcast on terrestrial airwaves on December 16, 2005.[115] During his 20 years at WXRK his show had syndicated in 60 markets[116][117] across the United States and Canada and gained a peak audience of 20 million listeners.[118][119][120]

With an annual budget of $100 million for all production, staff and programming costs, Stern launched two channels on Sirius in 2005 named Howard 100 and Howard 101. He assembled the Howard 100 News team that covered stories about his show and those associated with it, and a new dedicated studio was constructed at Sirius’ headquarters in New York.[121] On January 9, 2006, the day of his first broadcast, Stern and his agent received 34.3 million shares of stock from the company worth $218 million for exceeding subscriber targets set in 2004.[122] A second stock incentive was paid in 2007, with Stern receiving 22 million shares worth $82.9 million.[123]

On February 28, 2006, CBS Radio (formerly Infinity Broadcasting) filed a lawsuit against Stern, his agent and Sirius. The suit claimed Stern had misused CBS broadcast time to promote Sirius for unjust enrichment during the last 14 months of his terrestrial radio contract.[124][125] In a press conference held hours before the suit was filed, Stern said it was nothing more than a “personal vendetta” against him by CBS president Leslie Moonves.[126] A settlement was reached on May 25, with Sirius paying $2 million to CBS for control of Stern’s 20-year broadcast archives.[127] In the same month, Time magazine included Stern in its Time 100 list.[128] He also ranked seventh in Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list in June 2006,[129] and reappeared in 2011 at number 26.[130]

Stern signed a new contract with Sirius to continue his show for five more years in December 2010.[131] Following the agreement, Stern and his agent filed a lawsuit against Sirius on March 22, 2011, for allegedly failing to pay stock bonuses promised to them from the past four years while helping the company exceed subscriber growth targets. Sirius said it was “surprised and disappointed” by the suit.[132] On April 17, 2012, New York Judge Barbara Kapnick “granted a SiriusXM motion for summary judgment, dismissing the lawsuit.”[133]

In May, Stern announced that he would be broadcasting on a reduced schedule, alternating between three-day and four-day working weeks.[134] On December 15, 2011, Stern announced that he will replace Piers Morgan as a judge for the seventh season of America’s Got Talent. Filming will take place in New York and will start in February 2012.[135]


Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 7:19 pm

Emily Maynard seemed especially smitten by single dads Doug and Tony on Monday’s Bachelorette premiere, but former ABC leading lady Ali Fedotowsky says it’s Jef who’s a better match.

“I am loving Jef with one F!” Fedotowsky, ABC’s 2010 Bachelorette, told Us Weekly at a Los Angeles viewing party Monday. “I just think he is spunky and I want to be friends with him!”

RECAP: What you missed on Monday’s episode of The Bachelorette

Having given Brad Womack’s ex Maynard, 26, advice before she began her search for love in Charlotte, N.C., Fedotowsky tells Us that Jef fits Maynard’s profile of her ideal guy. “She says she likes guys who are tattooed and a little more on the rougher side,” explains the newly-single Fedotwsky. “Jef could possibly be [a frontrunner] because he seems like he’s a little funky, a little different and I think she’d like that.”

VIDEO: Emily warms up to race car driver Arie on the premiere

Fedotowsky — who split from her Bachelorette love match Roberto Martinez in November 2011 — also raved about race car driver Arie and single father Doug, who had his 11-year-old son write Maynard a note introducing his dad.

“Whoever ends up with Emily is going to end up with a kid. They need to know that and the great thing about Doug is that he has a child. He knows what it’s about and he obviously has a good relationship with his son based on the letter that he wrote Emily, so I think that’s going to be huge for her!”

VIDEO: Emily’s incredible bond with her daughter Ricki

Eliminating six guys at the end of Monday’s premiere, Maynard seemed optimistic with her remaining suitors. “You all have exceeded my expectations a million times over and I’m really confident that it can work out this time,” she told the men after Monday’s rose ceremony.

Tell Us: Who do you think is the best Bachelorette match for Emily?
ABC’s “The Bachelorette” bowed for the eighth season on Monday, and single mom Emily Maynard, who broke off her engagement to former “Bachelor” Brad Womack last year, was faced with 25 fresh faces – one of who may be lucky enough to put a ring on it by the end of the season.

Jesse Csincsak, winner of the fourth season of “The Bachelorette” and married to “The Bachelor” contestant Ann Lueders, is FOX411 Pop Tart’s resident expert in all things “Bachelor”-related, so we got his take on episode numero uno.

POP TARTS: Season premiere… interesting enough for ya?

Jesse Csincsak: Last night seemed very short to me. I felt like we got to meet all the guys, gave out a first impression and then we went right into a rose ceremony… no drama, no smack talking.

POP TARTS: You’ve said before you aren’t a huge fan of Emily. Why is that?

JC: I am just having trouble believing the things that are coming out of her mouth since no more than six months ago she was on camera with Chris Harrison saying how much she hated cameras and the media and the limelight! Now all of a sudden she gets a nice fat check from production and she is the Bachelorette?

Okay that’s fine; no biggie lots of people would be the Bachelorette for a boat load of money. But then let’s not pretend that love is the number one reason you came on the show. It is actually number two. Money is number one and since nobody wants to end up alone, we will call having a guy to share your $250K a close number two. Sound fair?

POP TARTS: Alrighty then! Now onto the guys… who was your favorite contestant?

JC: Jef, yes that’s Jef with one F. He is the CEO of a water company and came in on his skateboard being towed by the limo! I loved the entrance as I thought it was original and didn’t look like he was trying too hard.

POP TARTS: Who did you feel most sorry for?

JC: Kalon, the guy who came in last on the helicopter. I think the production company is setting him up to be just like Bentley from Ashley Hebert’s season, season seven.

I also think it may only be only a matter of time before a contestant who is wealthy like Bentley or Kalon end up suing the production company for defamation of character for the bad edit they get on the show.

POP TARTS: Speaking of entrances, who rocked and who tanked?

JC: The cleverest entrance goes to Brent who has six kids. He was very genuine and rolled up with a name tag, I thought that was super original and he seemed very kind. The worst entrance goes to Randy, a marketing manager. I hope his marketing ideas aren’t as bad as this idea of dressing like an old lady.

POP TARTS: What’s something audiences might not know about “The Bachelorette”?

JC: Everyone always asks me what the one thing nobody knows about the show is… Well, on night one “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” pick their final four. That’s right. Think about it – filming starts a 8pm and stops at 6am and you’re telling me if you were in a room with 25 guys for 10 hours you couldn’t pick four people to travel the globe with for the next 6 weeks and get to know better?
Heading into this season of “The Bachelorette,” host Chris Harrison warned fans that the show featuring Emily Maynard would be “drastically different” than any that have come before.

Indeed, there are plenty of obvious changes: Emily, who broke off her engagement to former “Bachelor” Brad Womack last year, didn’t head to the show’s gaudy mansion in Hollywood to kick off her season. Instead, the program’s producers allowed the blond to stay in her hometown of Charlotte, N.C. as to not uproot her 6-year-old daughter, Ricki. Emily, of course, is the first single mother ever to be at the center of “The Bachelorette”; Ricki’s dad, a NASCAR driver, died in a tragic accident only days before Emily found out she was pregnant with their child.

Despite those shifts, there were still plenty of standard “Bachelorette” conventions during the show’s first episode Monday night. Of course, we had a handful of contrived, gimmicky entrances from Emily’s 25 would-be husbands. Lots of awkward, forced chatter at the introductory cocktail party, followed by way-too-early declarations of love for Emily after mere hours of meeting her. And just a lot of hideous facial hair.

As for Emily, even after watching her on Brad’s season, I’d forgotten how drop-dead this chick is. She’s like some genetically perfect Southern-belle, beauty-queen Barbie that I’m still not sure can actually exist in real life. And let’s just say I thought the guys equaling her attractiveness level were, well, scant.

While Emily may have the dudes beat on the hotness scale, the majority of the men seemed far more at ease socially than she. While the initial meetings are always slightly uncomfortable to watch, I found this season’s introductions particularly excruciating. While I’m sure she was nervous, Emily barely offered up any personality while greeting the men, dropping the phrases “Awesome!” and “Gaw-lee!” three-zillion-and-a-half times.

In general, the whole vibe of the show was far less fun than usual. Listen, I get that Emily’s a single mom, so we’re not going to get the montage of her running on the beach and flaunting her body. But how about showing her with some friends or something? Isn’t she supposedly 26 years old? The program painted her out to be a total spinster.

There she was, telling little Ricki Tick to “get all the sugar buds” out while brushing her teeth. Playing with Ricki in the park. And then tucking Ricki in when she went to bed at 7:30. (Do kids really go to bed at 7:30?!? Golly.) Plus, all we learned about her hopes and dreams for herself is that she wants a “minivan full of babies.” It just seemed a tad one-dimensional, and I wish we could have seen some of her job, or any evidence that she has a life outside of her daughter.

The guys, too, seemed even more earnest than average. Sure, there were the requisite attention-seekers — Kalon, some Richie Rich who arrived at the mansion in a helicopter, and rock-star wannabe David, whose song for Emily consisted of only one lyric: “Emily.” But the majority of the men seemed relatively serious, repeatedly telling Emily how she was gorgeous and beautiful and strong and made of rays of golden sunshine.

In a huge surprise, Emily gave the evening’s first-impression rose to single-dad Doug, after he handed Emily a letter his son “wrote” for her. Yes, I am sure your 11-year-old penned an opus extolling the virtues of a woman he’s never met. Doug probably has a pretty good shot of making it far this season, as does Chris. A corporate sales director from Illinois, Chris dropped numerous religious references upon meeting Emily, and when he gave her bobble heads of the two of them he’d somehow procured, she found the gag cute instead of creepy.

Another dude Emily seemed to like was Jef, a guy with a pompadour who gets clean water to Third World countries who arrived on a skateboard. I wanted to hate this man with his terrible hair, but he actually seemed pretty sweet. My only hesitation about him for Emily is that he’s relatively scrawny, and Emily seems to like the more strapping Brad-types. Like Ryan, a former professional football player. While Ryan was also having some hair problems — his locks were kind of spiked up in the middle of his head — he pulled a relatively cute stunt upon arriving: He told Emily he wrote out some notes, and then pulled a paper that read “You’re so beautiful” on one side and “I’m so nervous” on the other.

Meanwhile, I was inclined to dislike Arie, a race-car driver, because it seemed all too convenient that the show’s producers would set Emily up with someone who has the same job as her late fiancé. But Arie was pretty down-to-earth, expressing his nerves and telling Emily up front about his job.

As is typical for me after the first episode of a season, I’m still not sold on our newest protagonist. While Emily may be perfectly sweet and a great mother, she didn’t exactly dazzle me with her wit and charm. Still, I’m holding out hope that she isn’t actually as fake as her impeccable veneers.
You may remember this season’s bachelorette, Emily Maynard, as the winner (and later dumpee) of the less-than-bright Bachelor Brad. She’s the hot single mom with a tragic past and too many morals (she refused the overnight invitation).

Her fiance, NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick, died in a plane crash — a plane she would have been on if it wasn’t for the morning sickness she was experiencing with their unborn daughter. Okay, that is very sad. No jokes there.

This time around, ABC is skipping the Los Angeles mansion in favor of Emily’s hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Twenty-five eligible bachelors will vie for Emily and her daughter’s affection while acting like immature jerks on national television.

Emily Meets Her Options

Sarah: I remember the many reasons why I skipped the Bachelorette last season: Guys are not catty, they don’t wear hideous dresses and Chris made me choose between it and “Gossip Girl” for a spot on the DVR. When Travis exited the limo with an ostrich egg in hand, I realized that this season had enough idiots to keep me interested. He told Emily that he is going to take care of it on this journey to symbolize how he would take care of her and Ricki. WEIRD. Run Emily, run. Best arrival is Kalon, who lands a helicopter in the backyard and wears a really nice suit. I’m sold, but now all the guys hate him.

Chris: Just another batch of homogeneous, bare-chested bachelors that is not short on awkward introductions. Stevie enters with a boom box, bad dance moves and a play-doh face. He then bitches the rest of the episode about the helicopter guy. Congratulations on confirming every awful stereotype about New Jersey.

First impression rose goes to single dad Doug

Sarah: Doug presents Emily with a handwritten letter from his 11-year-old son, outlining the reasons to choose his father. So of course he gets the rose. Though, this was a better choice than the old dude with six kids.

Chris: Just another person exploiting their children on television. Also, single dads are some of the saddest people on earth.

Good decisions so far

Sarah: I’m glad she cut the 41-year-old guy with six kids. What a waste of a contestant — there was room for one more tool bag. Good decision on dumping Jackson, the fitness model. When he first met her, he got down on one knee and said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away. This is one of those moments.” Oh, get a life.

Chris: I can’t believe she cut Lerone; she’s obviously a racist.

The remaining men

Arie, 30 “Speed Racer” — Emily seemed smitten before she knew he was a race car driver. Now that she knows, we’re not sure if she’s more or less interested.

Charlie, 32 “Meat Face” — yes, he had a traumatic brain injury. But we’re sure he was still a meat face before that.

Chris, 25 “Bobble Head” — his mouth is so tiny, like a baby bird.

Doug, 33 “Single Dad Doug” — that’s all he has going for him right now.

Jef, 27 “Jerry Lee Lewis” — really, Jef with one f? Come on.

Joe, 27 “Balding Dawson” — he looks like James Van Der Beek, fast forward 20 years. Too bad he’s only 27.

Kalon, 27 “Helicopter Guy” — he’s going to make it far.

Nate, 25 “Axe Body Spray” — he shook Emily’s hand and introduced himself like a normal person. She noticed that he smelled nice. That’s all it takes, guys.

Ryan, 31 “Fluff Head” — his hair, really?

Stevie, 26 “Jersey Shore” — If you were to describe what a date rapist looks like, it would be this guy.

Tony, 30 “Woody” — How exactly does a wood buyer make money?

Travis, 30 — “Ostrich Egg”

She picked these guys too, but we don’t know anything about them: Aaron, 36 Alejandro, 24 Alessandro, 30 John, 30 Kyle, 29 Michael, 26 Sean, 28
Bachelorette is an American English term for an unmarried woman. The term is derived from the word bachelor, and is often used by journalists, editors of popular magazines, and some individuals. “Bachelorette” was famously the term used to refer to female contestants on the old Dating Game TV show.

In older English, the female counterpart term to “bachelor” was “spinster”. However, this has acquired negative connotations and mostly been abandoned. When used now, it tends to imply that the woman has never been married and is too old to find a marriage and have children. A bachelorette may have previously been in a relationship.

In Canada, the term bachelorette also refers to a small bachelor apartment. The term bachelor apartment, used in Canada and South Africa, refers to an apartment with only one large room serving as a bedroom and living room plus a separate bathroom (see studio apartment).
[edit] Derivation

The more proper neologism would be bacheloress, since the -ess suffix is the standard English suffix denoting a female subject, while -ette is a French-origin diminutive suffix, indicating that the subject is smaller and is of feminine gender. However, in American English the -ess suffix is only marginally morphologically productive, and the -ette suffix can indicate a feminine version of a noun without a change in size (though many such words in -ette were intended to be jocular when they were first coined). The -ess suffix is also slowly falling into disuse in the English language due to attempts to neutralize professional terms; it is therefore less commonly applied to new terms nowadays.
[edit] Reasons for use

The traditional English term for a woman who has never married is a spinster, while a woman who is divorced is a divorcée, and a woman whose spouse has died is a widow. All three of these terms have carried negative cultural connotations at one time or another. Spinster often implied that the woman was older than the age when most women traditionally marry and that she would probably never marry; more extremely this was defined as an ‘old maid’. Failing to marry was often looked down upon in many cultures. The term widow may be associated with an older woman (although a married woman can be widowed at any time). Divorcée and widow are also indicative that the woman no longer has her virginity. In some cultures, men would/will not marry a woman who was not a virgin.

The more popularly used term for the legal status of a young person (male or female) who has never been married is “single” or “never married”.

katherine jenkins

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 7:16 pm

enkins was born in Neath, Wales,[5] where she and her sister Laura were raised by their parents Selwyn John and Susan. She has half-sisters from her father’s first marriage, neither of whom she has met.[citation needed]

She attended Alderman Davies Church in Wales Primary School in Neath and later Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive School, received A grades in GCSEs and A Levels and participated in productions such as Calamity Jane and Guys and Dolls.[6] She attended singing lessons with John Hugh Thomas and passed her Grade 8 examinations with distinction in both singing and piano.

Between 1990 and 1996, Jenkins was a member of the Royal School of Church Music Cathedral Singers and passed the St Cecilia Award, the highest RSCM award for female choristers.[6] She was also a member of the National Youth Choir of Wales for three years,[7] won the BBC Radio 2 Welsh Choirgirl of the Year contest (twice), and the BET Welsh Choirgirl of the Year competition. She was also awarded the Pelenna Valley Male Voice Choir Scholarship for the most promising young singer. At the age of 17 she won a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music,[6] where she studied Italian, German, French and Russian, graduating with honours[7] and receiving a music teacher’s diploma.

After working as a freelance singing teacher, a tour guide on the London Eye and as a model,[8] she entered a modelling competition and became the Face of Wales 2000. She then decided to follow a musical career.[6] Universal Classics and Jazz heard her demo and she was invited to an interview at which she sang Rossini’s “Una voce poco fa”.[8] Universal offered Jenkins a six-album deal,[8] the most lucrative in the United Kingdom’s classical recording history, reportedly worth £1 million.[6][9][10]
[edit] Record success

Six out of seven of Jenkins’s studio albums reached number one in the UK classical charts between 2004 and 2008, selling a total of more than 4 million copies. After her first album, Premiere, made her the fastest-selling mezzo-soprano to date[6] she became the first British classical crossover artist to have two number one albums in the same year.[11] She is the first female artist to win two consecutive Classical BRIT Awards: her second album, Second Nature, reached number 16 in the UK Albums Chart,[9] and was Album of the Year in the 2005 BRIT Awards.

Jenkins’s Italian-language version of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” (”L’Amore Sei Tu”), first performed live at Nostell Priory, West Yorkshire on 28 August 2005, was the first cut on her third album Living a Dream. After that album was released, uniquely, she held the top three positions in the classical crossover music chart.[6][12] The album held the number one position for nearly a year and reached number four in the pop album charts.[12] Jenkins repeated the success of Second Nature with her Living a Dream album when she won the classical BRIT award for Album of the Year for a second time.[13][14]

Her fourth album, Serenade was released on 6 November 2006 and reached number five in the mainstream charts selling more than 50,000 copies in its first week, a record in the genre.[6] The top four albums on HMV’s classical charts were hers.[15]

Her fifth album, Rejoice, was released on 19 November 2007 and included songs written specially for her,[16] two by Take That’s Gary Barlow.[17] The album entered the pop album charts at number three,[18] beating the Spice Girls and Girls Aloud.[19] Jenkins commented “I never imagined when I was a young girl listening to them on the radio that I would outsell the Spice Girls and Celine Dion. It’s almost too much to take in. I can’t thank my fans enough for all their support.”[19]

On 20 October 2008 Jenkins released Sacred Arias, which is her last album with Universal Music. On 19 October The Daily Telegraph stated that Jenkins had signed the biggest classical recording deal in history, for US$10 million (£5.8 million), with Warner Music.[20]

Jenkins released her next album, Believe, on 26 October 2009, the first with Warner Music. This album featured Andrea Bocelli and other musicians like André Rieu and Chris Botti. She made various TV appearances such as GMTV, Something for the Weekend and Piers Morgan’s Life Stories on 24 October 2009 and on The Graham Norton Show on 2 November 2009. She performed the theme from The Godfather, Parla Piu Piano at Gary Barlow’s Children In Need Rock The Albert Hall with cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. Later in December 2009, she performed a cover of Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” at The Royal Variety Performance. On 23 May 2010, she went to Argentina for the first time and sang Parla Piu Piano in the popular Argentinian show Susana Giménez.[21]

In 2011, Jenkins released another album, Daydream.
[edit] Concerts

Jenkins first came to public attention when she sang at Westminster Cathedral honouring Pope John Paul II’s silver jubilee in October 2003 and then supporting Aled Jones on tour.[7][9] At the Rugby World Cup in 2003 she made her Sydney Opera House debut[8] and, in August 2004, her first USA appearance, supporting Hayley Westenra at Joe’s Pub in New York City.[7]

Jenkins was the first person to perform the Home Nations anthem “The Power of Four” and began to appear regularly to sing the Welsh national anthem “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau” at Welsh international rugby union matches, singing with Bryn Terfel at the 2005 Wales vs. England Six Nations match at the Millennium Stadium.[8] She is now the official mascot for the Wales rugby union team.[10]

On 22 January 2005 Jenkins sang in Cardiff at the Tsunami Relief Concert[10] and in April and May of that year supported Irish tenor Ronan Tynan on his first US tour as a solo artist. That May she sang at Trafalgar Square to a 15,000-strong audience celebrating the 60th Anniversary of VE Day.[22][23] At the Berlin stage of Live 8 in 2005, Jenkins sang the hymn “Amazing Grace”,[24] and she later helped to launch The Royal British Legion’s poppy appeal at Covent Garden whilst wearing a dress made of 2,500 poppies.[25]

With the Blue Man Group, Jenkins sang “I Feel Love” in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance on 21 November 2005.[26] She performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, on 11 December 2005.[27]

In November 2006 she performed before the Queen at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and joined fellow Welsh singer James Fox in the final verse of “Anthem” from the musical Chess.[28]

In July 2007 Jenkins gave a concert at Margam Park in south Wales, performing alongside Paul Potts and Juan Diego Flórez.[29] Jenkins extended a personal invitation to Potts to sing “Nessun dorma” at the concert.[30]

In September 2007 Jenkins catwalk modeled at Naomi Campbell’s Fashion Relief event for charity in a Julien Macdonald dress which was then bought by Sir Philip Green for £10,000.[31]

In November 2007 she sang again at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and was named classical performer of the year at the Variety Club Showbiz Awards.[32]

With Darcey Bussell she has appeared in a stage song-and-dance production, entitled Viva la Diva, paying tribute to stars[33] including Madonna and Judy Garland.[16] The show opened in Manchester in November 2007.[33][34] Jenkins learned to tap dance, spending eight hours a week learning the choreography and running three miles a day to get fit.[16] She performed the Welsh National Anthem on 17 May 2008 at the 2008 FA Cup Final between Cardiff City and Portsmouth, becoming the first person to do this at an FA Cup Final.[35]
Jenkins sings the Welsh national anthem at Sophia Gardens before the start of the 2009 Ashes.

At the beginning of 2009, Jenkins performed in South Korea with Plácido Domingo. This was Jenkins’s third concert with Domingo having performed with him in Hong Kong in 2008 and Athens in 2007. They then performed together in May 2009 at The Classical Brit Awards.

On 8 July 2009 Jenkins performed at the opening ceremony of the Ashes Test Series between England and Australia at Sophia Gardens cricket ground in Cardiff. On Saturday 12 September 2009 she performed in Hyde Park for the Last Night of the Proms. On Monday 21 September she performed at the memorial service for Sir Bobby Robson, singing “Pie Jesu” at the request of Lady Robson.

On 12 November 2009, Jenkins performed a duet with cellist Julian Lloyd Webber for Children in Need at the Royal Albert Hall. The same month, Jenkins performed “I Believe” (from Believe) with Andrea Bocelli on his PBS Christmas Special. The duet appears in his album, My Christmas. Jenkins was scheduled to do her first Arena tour in March 2010.

On 24 May 2010, as part of the Argentina Bicentennial‎ she performed the Canadian Anthem at the Argentina VS. Canada World Cup warm-up football match in the River Plate Stadium at Buenos Aires.[36] On 11 June 2010, Jenkins performed a live comedy routine with Armenian comedy pianist Kev Orkian for a private birthday party at which Motown legend Lionel Richie performed, along with the LSO (London Symphony Orchestra) and comedians Bobby Davro and Jethro.[37] The comedy sketch was an updated version of an old Victor Borge routine which Orkian had written and developed with Jenkins. In her official blog, Jenkins mentions that she may one day perform the routine in public. On 3 July 2010, Jenkins took the stage at Cheltenham Racecourse, with the National Symphony Orchestra. She was supported by violinist Diana Yukawa.[38]
[edit] Television

On 23 December 2006, Jenkins appeared on ITV’s Parkinson show, backed by the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir and a brass band.[39]

She made a cameo appearance in two episodes of Emmerdale which saw 11.6 million viewers tune in to find out who killed popular character Tom King who was murdered on Christmas Day. She appeared in the show on 16 and 17 May 2007 which saw her opening the village pageant.[40]

In July 2007, she performed live on Saving Planet Earth on BBC 1 to raise money for the BBC Wildlife Fund.[41]

On 12 August 2007 she appeared on ITV’s Britain’s Favourite View, nominating Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsula as Britain’s favourite view.[42] She commented; “I grew up on the edge of the Gower, but it was still a holiday place for our family. We’d go on weekend breaks to Three Cliffs Bay – six miles down the road! That’s how gorgeous it is.”[43]
Jenkins live at Clumber Park in 2011.

On 21 October 2007 she sang “Time to Say Goodbye” with Andrea Bocelli on the Strictly Come Dancing results show. Jenkins and Darcey Bussell performed a segment of their show Viva la Diva before the Queen at the 79th Royal Variety Performance, televised on 9 December 2007.[44] On 15 December, Jenkins performed on The X Factor final with contestant Rhydian Roberts, performing the song “You Raise Me Up”.[45] Jenkins made an appearance on Saturday Kitchen LIVE in December 2008.

Jenkins appeared in episode 3 of the fifth series of The Apprentice, performing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” as part of a private recital to winning team Ignite. The programme was aired on BBC One on 8 March 2009. 2009 saw Jenkins performing on a large number of TV shows – The Royal Variety Performance, Children In Need Rocks The Albert Hall, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, This Morning, GMTV, Something for the Weekend, The Paul O’Grady Show, presenting for the BBC the week long series The Week We Went To War, Piers Morgan’s Life Stories for ITV1, Strictly Come Dancing, The Graham Norton Show and The Andrew Marr Show.

Jenkins started 2010 by appearing as one of two mentors on ITV1s prime time Friday night show, Popstar to Operastar. She appeared in the 2010 Christmas Special of Doctor Who, “A Christmas Carol”, in which she played Abigail Pettigrew – her first major acting role. Jenkins appeared as the featured singer on the 11 April 2011 episode of ABC’s show Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) singing “Con te partirò” (Time to Say Goodbye) and “O mio babbino caro”. She later sang “The Flower Duet” with DWTS regular Beverley Staunton.

On 23 October 2011, Jenkins appeared live on US television network, FOX from Wembley Stadium, performing “God Save the Queen” before the NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears.[46]

Jenkins is appearing in season 14 of the U.S. TV series Dancing with the Stars, paired with a two-time champion of the show, Mark Ballas.[4]
[edit] Personal life

Her father, Selwyn, died of lung cancer at age 70 when she was 15.[6][47] She has dedicated each award she received to him.[citation needed] While Jenkins was studying at the Royal Academy of Music, at 19 years of age, she was attacked, beaten and robbed by an unknown assailant who attempted to rape her, but she fought the man off.[48][49]

After Jenkins and Dame Vera Lynn were together at centre stage at the 60th Anniversary of VE Day in 2005 during the song “We’ll Meet Again”, the newspapers dubbed Jenkins “the new Forces’ Sweetheart”, a nickname given to Lynn during World War II.[23] Lynn had said to Jenkins that she should “go out and entertain the troops,” which Jenkins promised she would.[23] In December 2005 and 2006 Jenkins travelled to Iraq to entertain the soldiers for Christmas.[11][50] On her first visit to Iraq in 2005, when travelling to Shaibah, the largest British base in Southern Iraq, the helicopter she was travelling in was targeted by missiles. Anti-missile flares were deployed and the group landed safely.[23]

In November 2008 Jenkins revealed to the Daily Mail that when she was a student she had taken class A drugs (cocaine and ecstasy) and cannabis. She noted that she was introduced to them by people she socialized with at the time and that she stopped taking them after signing her record deal in 2003.[51] In the article Jenkins said “taking drugs is the biggest regret of my life”.

Jenkins’s autobiography, Time to Say Hello, was released on 28 January 2008, and was also serialized in The Mail on Sunday.[49]

At the start of 2007 Jenkins made her first appearance in the British young people’s Sunday Times Rich List which ranked her as the sixty-second richest young person in Britain with an estimated wealth of £9 million.[52] In 2010, the Sunday Times Rich List placed her at joint 11th in the Top 20 Young Millionaires list alongside Leona Lewis and Charlotte Church with an estimated wealth of £11 million.

In July 2010, Jenkins was reported to have bought a house with TV presenter Gethin Jones.[53] In February 2011, they became engaged, but on 30 December 2011, Jenkins and Jones announced that they were no longer together.[54]
Katherine Jenkins ended up in a world of hurt—both physically and mentally—last night on Dancing With the Stars after tweaking her back during the salsa.

She needed both a doctor’s attention and Mark Ballas’ reassurances that she wasn’t a terrible partner for making a misstep that, as Bruno Tonioli pointed out, “happens to everybody” at one time or another.

The good news tonight was that Katherine was feeling better, physically at least, and could carry on in the competition. But did the voters keep her afloat after her first-ever last-place finish?
After an emotional night in the ballroom, Katherine Jenkins, who injured her back during a salsa routine, is getting support from her Dancing with the Stars partner Mark Ballas as well as her competitors.

“She just put her back out,” Ballas told PEOPLE after the show. “She can walk so I know there’s no bone damage.”

In fact, Jenkins, who still managed to score 27 points for the routine, Tweeted later about the injury: “I’m with the Doctor, he says it was a reflectorical spasm in my lower back,” she wrote.

On Tuesday she updated her followers with good news: “Thanks for your tweets of support & concern,” she wrote. “The good news is that I’m feeling better, just a little sore #OnwardsAndUpwards.”

But the disappointment of an imperfect routine may have been just as painful.

“That dance in rehearsal was flawless,” Ballas said. “We haven’t had a bumpy run of that one. Out of all the ones we’ve done this season that’s the one I’ve been saying, ‘You’ll get a perfect score for that.’ ”

Fellow top four contestant Donald Driver expressed his sympathy for his competitors. “You hate when things like that happen,” he said of the mishap. “You see it in [Katherine's] face. You see it in the emotion that she had that she wanted to make sure she nailed that routine. … It’s sad that that happened to them.”

But Derek Hough and Maria Menounos vowed to take care of Jenkins – even if she is a threat in terms of the competition.

“We’re going to be taking good care of her,” Menounos said. “Don’t worry.”

May 14, 2012

magic mike trailer

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:11 am

Oh my. Lets all take a moment to thank the movie gods for what we’re about to see. The trailer for “Magic Mike” just premiered and in it, we see Channing Tatum stripping. The “21 Jump Street” star, who has proven he’s got comedy chops can now add stripper to the “skills” list on his resume.

Steven Soderbergh’s male stripper film is going to make people drool. Maybe even enough to forget that the trailer makes it look like a rom com. The film stars Tatum and Alex Pettyfer and gives us a look at a stripper who wants more from life. He wants to make custom furniture. Of course he does.

The trailer actually made us laugh. Channing Tatum saying we wouldn’t want to know what he has to do to get a $20 tip is worth a second viewing. Um, Tatum, we really really would! “Magic Mike” premieres on June 29. Are you excited to see this? Horrified by Matthew McConaughey in leather chaps and a leather vest? Weigh in below.

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Following yesterday’s sneak peek, today we have the first full trailer for Magic Mike, which hits theaters nationwide June 29. Channing Tatum stars in this dramatic comedy, which is loosely inspired by his own days as a male stripper, alongside Alex Pettyfer, Matthew Bomer, and Matthew McConaughey. Check it out.

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Magic Mike – Trailer

A dramatic comedy set in the world of male strippers, Magic Mike is directed by Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) and stars Channing Tatum in a story inspired by his real life. The film follows Mike (Tatum) as he takes a young dancer called The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money.

Magic Mike comes to theaters June 29th, 2012 and stars Channing Tatum, Matthew Bomer, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Rodriguez, Joe Manganiello, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Olivia Munn. The film is directed by Steven Soderbergh.


memorial day

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:10 am

his article is about the American holiday. For other uses, see Memorial Day (disambiguation).
Memorial Day
Memorial Day
The gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery are graced by U.S. flags on Memorial Day weekend.
Type National
Date Last Monday in May
2011 date May 30
2012 date May 28
2013 date May 27
Observances Remembrance of American war dead

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May.[1] Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. (Southern ladies organizations and southern schoolchildren had decorated Confederate graves in Richmond and other cities during the Civil War, but each region had its own date. Most dates were in May.) By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[2] As a marker it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

By the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as people visited the graves of their deceased relatives in church cemeteries, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 auto race, held since 1911 on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.[3]

Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountains. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with kinfolk and others. There often is a religious service and a “dinner on the ground,” the traditional term for a pot-luck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” idea. See Jabbour and Jabbour (listed below).

* 1 History
o 1.1 In the North
o 1.2 In the South
o 1.3 At Gettysburg
* 2 Name and date
* 3 Traditional observance
* 4 Start of summer
* 5 Interpretations
* 6 In literature and music
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 Further reading
* 10 External links

[edit] History
Flags flying at gravesites at Fort Logan National Cemetery during Memorial Day, 2006, Denver, Colorado
Troops at the Washington, D.C. Memorial Day parade, 1942
A boy holding an American flag during the 2009 National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol

The sheer number of dead soldiers, both Union and Confederate, meant that burial and memorialization would become important following the war. People in towns, particularly women, had buried the dead and decorated graves during the war. In 1865, the federal government began a program of creating national cemeteries for the Union dead.

Following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, there were a variety of events of commemoration. The first known observance of a Memorial Day-type observance was in Charleston, South Carolina on May 1, 1865. During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Charleston Race Course; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves.[4]

Freedmen (freed slaves) knew of the Union dead and decided to honor them. Together with teachers and missionaries, blacks in Charleston organized a May Day ceremony covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. It came to be called the “First Decoration Day” in the North. Beforehand the freedmen had cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, “Martyrs of the Race Course.” Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the dead. Involved were 3,000 schoolchildren newly enrolled in freedmen’s schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, and black ministers and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field. Today the site is used as Hampton Park.[5]

The historian David W. Blight described the day:

“This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the War had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.”[6]

[edit] In the North

The friendship between General John Murray, a distinguished citizen of Waterloo, New York, and General John A. Logan, who helped bring attention to the event nationwide, was likely a factor in the holiday’s growth. On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic – the organization for Northern Civil War veterans – Logan issued a proclamation that “Decoration Day” should be observed nationwide.[7] It was observed for the first time on May 30 of the same year; the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of a battle.

Events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states in 1868, and 336 in 1869. The northern states quickly adopted the holiday; Michigan made “Decoration Day” an official state holiday in 1871 and by 1890, every northern state followed suit. The ceremonies were sponsored by the Women’s Relief Corps, which had 100,000 members. By 1870, the remains of nearly 300,000 Union dead had been reinterred in 73 national cemeteries, located near the battlefields and therefore mostly in the South. The most famous are Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania and Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington.

The Memorial Day speech became an occasion for veterans, politicians and ministers to commemorate the War – and at first to rehash the atrocities of the enemy. They mixed religion and celebratory nationalism and provided a means for the people to make sense of their history in terms of sacrifice for a better nation. People of all religious beliefs joined together, and the point was often made that the German and Irish soldiers had become true Americans in the “baptism of blood” on the battlefield. By the end of the 1870s much of the rancor was gone, and the speeches praised the brave soldiers both Blue and Gray. By the 1950s, the theme was American exceptionalism and duty to uphold freedom in the world.

Ironton, Ohio, lays claim to the nation’s oldest continuously running Memorial Day parade. Its first parade was held May 5, 1868, and the town has held it every year since. According to CBS News, the Memorial Day parade in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, predates Ironton’s by one year. [8]
[edit] In the South

Beginning in 1866, the Southern states had established Memorial Days, with dates ranging from April 26 to mid-June. By 1916, the June 3 birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was observed as a state holiday in 10 southern states. Across the South, associations were founded after the War, many by women, to establish and care for permanent cemeteries for Confederate soldiers, organize commemorative ceremonies and sponsor impressive monuments as a permanent way of remembering the Confederate cause and tradition. The most important was the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which grew from 17,000 members in 1900 to nearly 100,000 women by World War I. They were “strikingly successful at raising money to build Confederate monuments, lobbying legislatures and Congress for the reburial of Confederate dead, and working to shape the content of history textbooks.”[9]

In addition to raising money for cemeteries and memorials, the UDC encouraged women to publish their writing about the war, beginning with biographies of major southern figures, such as Varina Davis’ of her husband Jefferson Davis. Later, women began adding more of their own experiences to the “public discourse about the war”, in the form of memoirs, such as those published in the early 1900s by Sara Agnes Rice Pryor and others. The UDC established approved reading lists for histories of the war and recommended structures for the memoirs. By the turn of the twentieth century, a dozen memoirs by southern women were published.[10]

Women in Columbus, Mississippi in 1866 laid flowers at the graves of both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery.[11] The earliest Confederate Memorial Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the day and attend to local cemeteries. Around 1890, there was a shift from this consolatory emphasis on honoring specific soldiers to public commemoration of the Confederate cause. Changes in the ceremony’s hymns and speeches reflect an evolution of the ritual into a symbol of cultural renewal and conservatism in the South. By 1913, however, the theme of American nationalism shared equal time with the Lost Cause.
[edit] At Gettysburg

The ceremonies and Memorial Day address at Gettysburg National Park became nationally well known, starting in 1868. In July 1913, veterans of the United States and Confederate armies gathered in Gettysburg to commemorate the fifty-year anniversary of one of the Civil War’s bloodiest and most famous battle.

The four-day “Blue-Gray Reunion” featured parades, re-enactments, and speeches from a host of dignitaries, including President Woodrow Wilson, the first Southerner elected to the White House since the War. (Note: He imposed racial segregation in federal agencies and offices.) James Heflin of Alabama was given the honor of the main address. Heflin was a noted orator; two of his best-known speeches were an endorsement of the Lincoln Memorial and his call to make Mother’s Day a holiday. His choice as Memorial Day speaker was criticized, as he was opposed for his racism. His speech was moderate in tone and stressed national unity and goodwill, which gained praise from newspapers.
[edit] Name and date

The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from “Decoration Day” to “Memorial Day”, which was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) advocate returning to the original date, although the significance of the date is tenuous. The VFW stated in a 2002 Memorial Day Address:

Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public’s nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.[12]

Since 1987, Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, has introduced a measure to return Memorial Day to its traditional date.[13]

After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress’s change of date within a few years. Memorial Day endures as a holiday which most businesses observe because it marks the unofficial beginning of summer.
[edit] Traditional observance

Many people observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 pm local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at national cemeteries.

For many Americans, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities all over the country. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the National Guard and other servicemen participating along with veterans and military vehicles from various wars.

One of the longest-standing traditions is the running of the Indianapolis 500, an auto race which has been held in conjunction with Memorial Day since 1911. It runs on the Sunday preceding the Memorial Day holiday. The Coca-Cola 600 stock car race has been held later the same day since 1961. The Memorial Tournament golf event has been held on or close to the Memorial Day weekend since 1976.

Because Memorial Day is generally associated with the start of the summer season, it is common tradition to inaugurate the outdoor cooking season on Memorial Day with a barbecue.[14]

The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol. The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.
People from all across Cumberland County and the mid-state will pause this Memorial Day season to reflect upon the sacrifices made by those who have lost their lives in America’s wars.

The commemorations range from traditional parades and memorial services to a mass motorcycle ride heading to a national cemetery. Here is a list of some local and regional events that begin this Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 16

Shippensburg: The Shippensburg Veterans Council will hold a service at the Middle Spring Presbyterian Church, 135 Middle Spring Road, starting at 6:30 p.m. with a performance by the Shippensburg Town Band.

Sunday, May 20

East Pennsboro Township: The annual parade is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. It will form at Pine Street and South Enola Drive and proceed down Pine Street to the Legion Wall of Honor for a brief memorial service starting at 3 p.m. The guest speaker will be from the Pennsylvania National Guard. There will also be music by the East Pennsboro High School Marching Band along with a traditional 21-gun salute. Those wishing to participate may call the township recreation department at 909-5630. There is no rain date scheduled for the parade. In case of rain, the service will still be held at 3 p.m. in the banquet room of the American Legion. The event is being organized by the township recreation board, American Legion Post 751 and the Sons of the American Legion and Legion Auxiliary.

Newburg: The Newburg Area Veterans Council will hold its annual Memorial Day service at 10:30 a.m. on the Village Green of the town square. A cemetery service will take place at the cemetery on Exchange Street at 1:15 p.m. The annual parade will form at 1:30 p.m. at the Newburg United Methodist Church, 203 N. High St., and then move through town promptly at 2 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the Newburg Community Memorial Service will be held at the church. The guest speaker is David H. Rhone, a World War II veteran.

West Pennsboro Township: The township Recreation Advisory Council will be hosting its first annual Memorial Day Celebration Event at the Veteran’s Memorial in the township park, 30 Park Road, Plainfield, starting at 3 p.m. The celebration will include an appearance by the Special Forces Association Chapter 64, the Randall Shughart Memorial Chapter. Retired Marine Major Chris Lovell will be the guest speaker. Those wishing to attend the ceremony should bring their own chairs.

Saturday, May 26

Newport: Motorcyclists, veterans, family and friends are invited to participate in a Memorial Ride to the Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Those interested are being asked to meet behind the gas pumps of the Giant Plaza in Newport at 10 a.m. where the group will leave for the parking area of the Fort Hunter Park in Harrisburg. From there, the group will leave at 11 a.m. to arrive at the cemetery by noon for a short ceremony that will include memorial addresses and the playing of Taps.

Walnut Bottom: The Walnut Bottom Community Memorial Parade will be held Saturday, May 26 at 6 p.m. The parade forms at Route 174/Walnut Bottom Road near Kartunes at the eastern end of Walnut Bottom and disbands at the South Newton Township Volunteer Fire Co. firehouse on Firehouse Road. There will also be a chicken barbecue to benefit Trinity Church Trustees at Trinity Fellowship Church, 110 W. Main St., from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Anyone interested in the barbecue should make advance reservations with Dave Evelhoch at 422-8907 or 532-7465.

Sunday, May 27

Shippensburg: The Shippensburg Veterans Council will hold a memorial service at 10:30 a.m. at the Ridge Church of the Brethren, 1095 Ridge Road and another service at 2:45 p.m. at the Mongul Church, 4162 Roxbury Road.

Memorial Day

Camp Hill: American Legion Post 43 will hold a parade starting at 9:30 a.m. followed by a service at 10:45 a.m. at the Camp Hill Cemetery behind the fire hall at 2145 Walnut St. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held at the Camp Hill Borough Building, 2145 Walnut St. The guest speaker will be Brig. Gen. Gerald E. Otterbein.

Carlisle: The Joint Veterans Council of Carlisle will hold the annual parade forming at 8:30 a.m. and starting at 9 a.m. with services to follow at the Veterans’ Memorial Courtyard at 9:45 a.m. on the Square. In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be canceled and ceremonies will be held in the Old Courthouse. The guest speaker will be State Rep. Stephen Bloom, R-199. There will be a special tribute this year honoring the veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Carlisle: American Legion Post 826 will hold a memorial service at the Lincoln Cemetery at 11:30 a.m. The Cumberland County Honor Guard will provide a firing detail. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at the post building, 148 W. Penn St. The guest speaker will be Army War College student Lt. Col. Eric P. Flowers.

Mechanicsburg: The Mechanicsburg Area Veterans Council will hold a parade starting at 10 a.m. followed by a ceremony at the Mechanicsburg Cemetery on Marble Street at 11 a.m. The parade will form at 9;15 a.m. on Keller Street between Filbert Street and Shepherdstown Road and will end at the cemetery. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside the American Legion Post 109, 224 W. Main St., in Mechanicsburg. The guest speaker is Lt. Col. Frederick W. Lovelace.

Mechanicsburg: The Vietnam Veterans of Mechanicsburg will hold a memorial service at 2 p.m. at the Lincoln Colored Cemetery off Winding Hill Road. The service will be conducted rain or shine.

Newville: The Joint Veterans Council of Newville will hold a parade starting at 1 p.m. with services to immediately follow at the Veterans Memorial at the Fountain. In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be canceled and the Memorial Day service will be held at the Big Spring Event and Activity Center, 2 Chestnut St. The guest speaker will be retired Lt. Col. Todd Wheeler. The council asks that any veterans who wish to attend the parade contact council chairman Pat Reed at 776-7825. The council is looking for groups, floats and individuals who may wish to participate in the parade. Antique and classic automobiles are welcome.

Shippensburg: The Shippensburg Veterans Council will hold the annual Memorial Day ceremonies and parade starting at 10 a.m. at Locust Grove Cemetery, followed by services at Spring Hill Cemetery at 11 a.m. and a flag raising ceremony at Shippensburg Veterans Memorial Park at noon. At 1:15 p.m., the Navy Marine Memorial services will be conducted at Branch Bridge on King Street. The parade will start at 2 p.m. from the corner of King and Prince streets. In the event of inclement weather, each unit returns to the post involved for refreshments.

Sunday, June 3

West Fairview: American Legion Post 984 will host a parade and service starting at 1 p.m. at the post, 611 Third St., Enola. In the event of inclement weather, the parade will be canceled, but the service will continue to be held at the post.

n two weeks, hundreds of people will gather at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium to pay tribute to six military members from Maryland who were killed serving the country in the last year.

The traditional ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. Memorial Day and is free and open to the public. Family members of those killed are invited to attend. Each family is given a plaque.
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Airman 1st Class Matthew Seidler, 24, of Westminster, will be among those honored. Seidler was killed by a roadside bomb alongside two other Air Force members in Southern Afghanistan Jan. 5.

Jack Mitchell, the President of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, discussed with the Times what happens at the ceremony, why it is significant and how veterans should be remembered on Memorial Day.

Q: How do you encourage mourning family members of soldiers who were killed to join in this emotional ceremony?

A: Well, what we do is we basically get contact information, usually a mailing address of next of kin, and make them aware that we will be having this ceremony for all soldiers in Maryland that have been killed in the last year. We make it known to them that we will be honoring their loved ones in the ceremony by referencing them in the ceremony and their military experience and making a memorial plaque in their honor.

Q: Do all the families take part?

A: Most of them do come, but [for] some of them it’s a situation where they would have to come a long distance. There are situations where I’ve heard that in their own communities — in, say, a small town — will provide on Memorial Day a very special service for that particular soldier. So they will stay in their own hometown.

Q: What is the feedback from families who have come to the ceremony in past years?

A: They’ve been through an experience that’s been very unique. Not many people can understand the grieving they have experienced, the fear they lived with when they got the phone call from the military that someone had died. They share a very unique bond. … To bring them together and for them to sit together to share, to cry, I really have gotten a feeling from them that is very meaningful.

Q: Do families always sit in the same area?

A: Yes. There’s a particular area where they are all invited. We have their names written on the chairs, so they know what areas are for them. Before the ceremony, they are all there together. You can see them greeting each other, crying together. I believe that is a valuable experience for them and many of them had said so.

Q: Would you encourage those who knew Seidler to attend the ceremony?

A: Certainly, if they want to honor someone from their community, we’d love to have them present to see the honor that is being given who was part of their extended family and community.


sister wives

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:08 am

Sister Wives is an American reality television series broadcast on TLC in 2010. The show documents the life of a polygamist family, which includes patriarch Kody Brown, his four wives and their 17 children. The family began the series living in Lehi, Utah, but has since moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. The seven-episode first season ran from September 26 to October 17, 2010 and drew strong ratings according to Nielsen Media Research. Season two of Sister Wives began on September 25, 2011. Season three will return on May 13, 2012.[1]

Brown and his wives have claimed they participated with the show to make the public more aware of polygamist families and to combat societal prejudices. Brown has claimed his polygamist arrangement is legal because he is legally married only to one woman, and the other marriages are spiritual unions. Nevertheless, the series led the Brown family to become investigated for possible prosecution.

* 1 Concept
* 2 Family
o 2.1 Parents
o 2.2 Children
* 3 Development
* 4 Episodes
o 4.1 Season 1
o 4.2 Season 2
o 4.3 Season 3
* 5 Reception
o 5.1 Critics
o 5.2 Ratings
* 6 Litigation
* 7 References
* 8 External links

[edit] Concept

Sister Wives is an unscripted television series that started with following the lives of advertising salesman Kody Brown (43),[2] his wives Meri (39), Janelle (40), and Christine (37), and their thirteen children among them.[3] In the first season the show also televised Brown’s courting and eventual marriage to a fourth wife, Robyn Sullivan, 31, who herself has three children.[4][5][6] Sullivan is the first new wife to enter the family in 16 years.[7] The only legal marriage is between Kody and his first wife, Meri, while the others’ marriages are considered spiritual unions.[5][8] As of the September 2010 debut, Kody has been married to Meri for 21 years, Janelle for 18 years, and Christine, who is the homemaker, for 17 years.[9] Kody and Meri have a 17-year-old daughter named Mariah. Kody and Janelle have six children: daughters Madison (16) and Savanah (7) and sons Logan (17), Hunter (15), Garrison (13), and Gabriel (10). Kody and Christine have six children: daughters Aspyn (16), Mykelti (15), Gwendlyn (10), Ysabel (8), and Truely (2) and son Paedon (13)[10][11] Robyn had three children from her first marriage, which was monogamous: Dayton (12), Aurora (10) and Breanna (8) Kody and Robyn recently had one baby boy named Solomon welcomed on October 27th at 2:02 am weighing in at 9 pounds 10.5 ounces and 22 inches long.[11] Meri, Christine and Robyn were all raised in polygamist families, but Janelle was not.[7] On April 9, 2011 The Browns are a family belonging to the Apostolic United Brethren Church. [12] For years before the series, the family kept their polygamist lifestyle what they called a “quasi-secret”.[13]
[edit] Family
[edit] Parents
Name Relationship Children
1 Kody Brown married to four wives father to 14 children; step-father to 3
2 Meri Brown first wife of Kody Brown has one daughter
3 Janelle Brown second wife of Kody Brown has six children
4 Christine Brown third wife of Kody Brown has six children
5 Robyn Brown fourth wife of Kody Brown has four children
[edit] Children
Name Age Parents
1 Logan 17 son of Kody and Janelle
2 Mariah 17 daughter of Kody and Meri
3 Aspyn 16 daughter of Kody and Christine
4 Madison 16 daughter of Kody and Janelle
5 Hunter 15 son of Kody and Janelle
6 Mykelti 15 daughter of Kody and Christine
7 Paedon 13 son of Kody and Christine
8 Garrison 13 son of Kody and Janelle
9 Dayton 12 son of Robyn and David Preston Jessop
10 Gabriel 10 son of Kody and Janelle
11 Gwendlyn 10 daughter of Kody and Christine
12 Aurora 10 daughter of Robyn and David Preston Jessop
13 Breanna 8 daughter of Robyn and David Preston Jessop
14 Ysabel 8 daughter of Kody and Christine
15 Savanah 7 daughter of Kody and Janelle
16 Truely 2 (born April 13, 2010) daughter of Kody and Christine
17 Solomon 6 months (Born October 27, 2011) son of Kody and Robyn
[edit] Development

In the autumn of 2009, independent producers Timothy Gibbons and Christopher Poole approached Figure 8 Films, a North Carolina-based company, with the concept of a reality series about the Brown family. Bill Hayes, the president of Figure 8 Films, said the company agreed to the idea after meeting with the Browns and deciding their lives would make a great story. Camera crews shot footage of the family in mid-2010 to be used in the first season,[13] ending in May with the marriage of Kody Brown and Robyn Sullivan.[14] The crews continued to film them afterward in case the series was picked up for a second season. Sister Wives was publicly introduced on August 6, 2010 at the Television Critics Association summer media tour in Beverly Hills, California. The series’s first episode, an hour long, was broadcast on TLC on September 26, 2010, and the first season continued with six half-hour chapters until October 17, 2010.[15].[13]

The broadcast of Sister Wives comes at a time that polygymy and multiple marriages are a prevalent topic in American pop culture. Big Love, the hit HBO series about Utah polygymist Bill Henrickson his three sister wives and their struggle to gain acceptance in society, had already been on the air for several years. In early September 2010, the drama series Lone Star, about a con man on the verge of entering into multiple marriages, premiered on Fox but was quickly canceled after two episodes, and when Sister Wives first debuted, actress Katherine Heigl was in the process of developing a film about Carolyn Jessop, a woman who fled from a polygymist sect.[16]

In October 2010, TLC announced it had commissioned a second season of ten episodes, which began in March 2011.[17] A TLC interview with the Brown family was broadcast on October 31, 2010,[18] and a one-hour program featuring the honeymoon of Kody Brown and Robyn Sullivan aired on November 22, 2010.[19]
[edit] Episodes
Main article: List of Sister Wives episodes
[edit] Season 1

The seven-episode first season ran from September 26 to October 17, 2010. The season premiere introduced viewers to Kody Brown and his three wives Meri, Janelle and Christine, and their twelve children, all of whom live in a ranch-style home with three interconnected apartments.[8][9] It also chronicled Kody’s dating and engagement to Robyn Sullivan, who herself has three children, marking the first time in 16 years Kody had courted another wife.[20] The new relationship creates insecurity and jealousy issues among the other three wives, but they ultimately accept her and welcome her into the family. [21] During the fourth episode of the season, Christine gives birth to her sixth child, Truely, which brings the family to 16 children including Robyn’s three kids.[22]

Later, Kody and Meri go to Mexico to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary, where Meri discussed her sadness about her infertility problems and the jealousy that has arisen from Kody’s engagement to Robyn. Kody proposes in vitro fertilisation, but she turns down the idea as she is only interested in a naturally-occurring conception.[21] As Robyn’s wedding approaches, the three sister wives help Robyn prepare and they begin to bond. Kody, however, upsets his wives when he reveals he secretly chose Robyn’s wedding dress himself, which makes Christine feel so betrayed that she angrily walks away in mid-interview. Kody eventually apologizes and the five reconcile.[20] The first season ends with the wedding of Kody and Robyn, where Meri, Janelle and Christine present her with a Claddagh ring to welcome her into the family.[23]
[edit] Season 2

Season 2 ran 23 episodes from March 13, 2011 to November 27, 2011 though many sources refer to the episodes airing from September 25, 2011 to November 27, 2011 as Season 3. This is due to a short hiatus from June 5, 2011 to September 25, 2011.[24] It is unclear if the episodes following the hiatus are officially considered Season 3 or not.

Season 2 begins with the Browns heading to New York to appear on national television for the first time as open polygamists while back home the kids head off to their first day of public school. Throughout the season, the Browns visit various friends and family members and reflect on how their relationships have changed with these people since becoming open polygamists. This friends and family members include Kody’s parents (also polygamists), Kody’s high school friends, and various monogamous couples that Kody and the sister wives know. Part 1 of Season 2 also follows the Browns through Kody and Janelle’s anniversary camping trip, preparing and participating in Halloween, and Christmas which the Browns celebrate in a snowy mountain cabin. During Season 2 we also learn more about Meri’s personal struggle with her risk of cancer and the loss of her sister. In episode 5, Kody, Christine and their children take a trip to Las Vegas which we later learn is the beginning of the Brown’s subsequent move to Las Vegas. The final episodes of Season 2 follow the Brown’s through their struggle to find a home in Las Vegas suitable for polygamists, telling the kids that they are moving and the subsequent move to Las Vegas. In the last episode before the hiatus, Robyn announces that she is expecting her and Kody’s first child.[25]

The second part of Season 2 brings the announcement of the sex of Robyn and Kody’s baby and the Browns struggle to adjust to life in Las Vegas. The episodes following the Season 2 hiatus largely focus on Robyn’s pregnancy and the kids’s adjustment to their new lives. The abrupt move to Las Vegas brings about behavioral problems in some of the older kids which is also discussed largely in the second half of Season 2. During these episodes the Browns also explore possible businesses that the five of them (Kody and the sister wives) can run together. Several episodes following the hiatus discuss specific topics such as jealousy among the Sister Wives, especially regarding courting a new wife, how the parents combat the influence of Las Vegas on their children and how the Browns are preparing the older children for college. In the finale, Robyn gives birth to baby Solomon on October 27, 2011[26] and the possibility of Meri having more children once again resurfaces.

Although the ongoing investigation of the Browns is brought up during season 2, it is not extensively discussed and the progress of the investigation is unknown.
[edit] Season 3

On March 4, 2012, Sister Wife Robyn Sullivan Brown tweeted “The new season of #sisterwives will be airing sometime this spring. Not sure of dates yet. Be watching @tlc for exact details” [27] This was the first confirmation regarding Season 3 of Sister Wives. TLC posted an advertisement photo on their facebook page for the family that they would return on May 13, 2012. [1]
[edit] Reception
[edit] Critics

Considering its sensational subject matter, TLC’s “Sister Wives” has been refreshingly modest. The stars [have] a natural, honest presence in a genre fabled for the camera-hogging antics of Jersey Shore. Rather than merely emphasizing what’s different about the Brown family — most obviously, their “plural marriage” — Sister Wives shows us how normal they seem: loving and good-natured around their children, occasionally prone to envy and feelings of betrayal.

Schuyler Velasco, Salon.com[28]

Sister Wives drew national media attention after its first season,[29] and garnered generally mixed reviews from critics. Washington Post staff writer Hank Stuever called it “refreshingly frank”, and found most interesting the small details of the family’s everyday life, such as the food supply, division of labor and minor arguments.[8] Los Angeles Times television critic Mary McNamara said she was intrigued by the matriarchal nature of the polygynist family, a unit which is traditionally considered patriarchal. McNamara said the wives form the center of the family, and that “their bonds appear far stronger and more vital than the casual fondness with which they all treat Kody”.[30] Salon.com writer Schuyler Velasco praised Sister Wives for introducing viewers to unfamiliar subject matter, and called it “refreshingly modest” considering its controversial subject matter. Velasco said it has “a natural, honest presence in a genre fabled for the camera-hogging antics of Jersey Shore”.[28] Shelley Fralic of The Vancouver Sun called it fascinating and surprising, and was impressed with the sensible and articulate way in which the family defended their lifestyle.[7] When the Brown family made an October 2010 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, talk show host Oprah Winfrey said she found particularly fascinating the relationship between the sister wives.[31]

Mark A. Perigard of the Boston Herald criticized Kody Brown for opening himself and his family up to potential criminal prosecution by appearing in the series, describing him as “a lawbreaker who is risking himself and the family he claims is so precious just to star in his own TV show”.[9] Elizabeth Tenety of The Washington Post called the series “one part domestic drudgery, another part sensationalism”, and claimed it relied on a “familiar reality TV recipe” shared by other TLC series such as 19 Kids and Counting and Kate Plus 8.[3] Religion Dispatches writer Joanna Brooks shared Tenety’s perspective criticizing the show for presenting polygyny in a manner that “is about as interesting to me as Kate Gosselin’s latest makeover.” In this vein Brooks criticized the show for not engaging the theology of plural marriage, and for letting Kody Brown’s superficial comments about the dissimilarity of Fundamentalist and mainstream Mormonism pass onto the viewers without any critical scrutiny or added nuance.[12] Shari Puterman, television columnist with the Asbury Park Press, felt the sister wives had issues with jealousy and self-worth, and compared Kody to a cult leader. Puterman added, “I can’t speak for everyone, but I believe in the sanctity of marriage. It’s sad to see that TLC’s capitalizing on people who don’t.”[32] Former prosecutor and television personality Nancy Grace criticized the show and said she believed Kody Brown should go to jail, but expressed doubt he would based on Utah’s history of overlooking polygyny.[33] Christine Seifert, an associate professor of communications at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, said the show could give viewers who are unfamiliar with the LDS church the incorrect assumption that polygamy is accepted by the mainstream church.[29] Several commentators have taken notice of the fact that the family’s religious convictions are downplayed in Sister Wives.[12][30][34]
[edit] Ratings

According to Nielsen Media Research, the September 26, 2010, one-hour premiere episode of Sister Wives drew 2.26 million viewers,[35] a strong rating for the network. It marked the biggest series debut for TLC since Cake Boss launched in 2009, and was a stronger rating than any of the season premieres for HBO’s Big Love.[36] The remaining episodes of the first season were each a half-hour long, with two broadcast together each Thursday. In the second week, the first episode drew 1.88 million viewers, while the second drew 2.13 million.[37] The third week drew similar results, with 1.89 million viewers watching the first episode and 2.05 million watching the second.[38] Sister Wives drew its strongest ratings during the fourth and final week of the first season, with 2.67 million viewers for the first episode and 2.74 million for the season finale.[15] As a result of the 2.7 million average viewership for the two episodes, TLC ranked first among all ad-support cable channels in the 18-49 and 25-54 age groups. The series drew double- and triple-digit ratings gains in all key demographics and ranked second in ad-supported cable network shows during its time period.[39]
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Who will miss the premeire episode of Sister wives. watch full episode sister wives season 3 here. Episode Summary: Season 3 begins with the Browns’ first Christmas in Las Vegas, though the wives are living in separate rental properties. Kody has to find a Christmas tree while hunting for a home where they can all live together.
Sister Wives Season 3 Premiere Episode Video Here



Watch Sister Wives Season 3 Episode 1 Full Episode Free



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ister Wives star Kody Brown, 44, was quite the party planner on Sunday. He shared the holiday with wives Meri, 41, Janelle, 43, Christine, 40, and Robyn, 33. Their combined 17 kids took part in the festivities.

Brown shared all the details with People. “Mother’s Day is a great day at our house,” said Brown, who divides his time between his wives and kids in their four separate houses in Las Vegas. “We want to spend it as a family and make it so my wives don’t have to cook.”

Kody and Robyn became new parents when they welcomed baby Solomon in October.

The family is now complete. Robyn and her three kids, Dayton, 12, Aurora, 10 and Breanna, 8, joined the Brown clan in the popular TLC show, Sister Wives. The show returns Sunday at 9 p.m.

Robyn had a lot to say about her big family. “My kids now have three moms and a father who loves them and is involved with them,” she said. “They are adjusting and learning a lot about sharing and being in a big family. All in all, there have been growing pains, but they have enjoyed it.”

Brown admitted it isn’t always possible to connect with each of his kids every day. He said it is a daily struggle, but his children benefit from an open relationship.

The new season of the show will detail marriage troubles for Kody and Christine, his third wife, according to msnbc.com.

Their relationship trouble began shortly after wife Robyn joined the family, and Christine feels like her marriage to Kody is at a standstill.

Tune in to Sister Wives this Sunday to see if Kody and Christine will overcome their issues.
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With Gov. Romney the clear favorite to win the Republican nomination, the question of a Mormon president in the White House will be a hot topic this election season. One of the most prominent displays of Mormonism is TLC’s popular reality show “Sister Wives,” in which an openly polygamist, Fundamentalist Mormon family shares their life and faith with the world.

While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has officially rejected polygamy, the Brown family openly continues with the practice.

“Well, we’re abiding by it because we believe the ancients used to,” Kody Brown, the 44 year old father of 17 children and husband to four wives told The Huffington Post in a phone interview. “I mean all the cool guys in the Old Testament had more than one wife. It didn’t make them righteous. They had to be righteous in spite of it.”

When asked how they believe Romney’s practice of Mormonism differs from their own, Meri, the first wife, said “He’s in the Mormon LDS faith, and we are in the Mormon fundamentalist faith. Both of the faiths have same origins but the Mormon church abandoned the practice of polygamy over 100 years ago.”

When asked who the family is voting for in the upcoming election, the response from the Brown family was surprisingly mixed. “We are going to vote based on the best person for the job, not based on faith,” Meri explained. When pressed on what candidate they felt was the best person for the job, Meri revealed that “different members of our family go different ways on that.”

The family celebrated Hanukkah this year instead of the birthday of Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. Kody Brown explains in the video clip above that celebrating Smith’s birthday felt too much like idolatry whereas the spirit of Hanukkah inspires their faith further.

“Jesus honored the festival of light, this isn’t a universal part of our faith, but something we’ve embraced as a family to enhance our Christian experience,” explained Janelle, the second wife. “We absolutely accept the Old Testament and study it as a religious doctrine.”

maurice sendak

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:06 am

Sendak was born in Brooklyn, to Polish Jewish immigrant parents Sadie (née Schindler) and Philip Sendak, a dressmaker.[1][2][3] Sendak described his childhood as a “terrible situation” because of his extended family’s dying in The Holocaust, which exposed him at an early age to death and the concept of mortality.[4] His love of books began at an early age when he developed health problems and was confined to his bed.[5] He decided to become an illustrator after watching Walt Disney’s film Fantasia at the age of twelve. One of his first professional commissions was to create window displays for the toy store F.A.O. Schwarz. His illustrations were first published in 1947 in a textbook titled Atomics for the Millions by Dr. Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff. He spent much of the 1950s illustrating children’s books written by others before beginning to write his own stories.
[edit] Work
The characters illustrated in Where the Wild Things Are caused some controversy for their grotesque appearance

Sendak gained international acclaim after writing and illustrating Where the Wild Things Are. The book’s depictions of fanged monsters concerned some parents when it was first published, as his characters were somewhat grotesque in appearance. Before Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak was best known for illustrating Else Holmelund Minarik’s Little Bear series of books.[6]

When Sendak saw a manuscript of Zlateh the Goat, the first children’s story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, on the desk of an editor at Harper & Row, he offered to illustrate the book. It was first published in 1966 and received a Newberry Award. Sendak was delighted and enthusiastic about the collaboration. He once wryly remarked that his parents were “finally” impressed by their youngest child when he collaborated with Singer.[7]

His book In the Night Kitchen, originally issued in 1970, has often been subjected to censorship for its drawings of a young boy prancing naked through the story. The book has been challenged in several American states including Illinois, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Texas.[8] In the Night Kitchen regularly appears on the American Library Association’s list of “frequently challenged and banned books.” It was listed number 21 on the “100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–1999.”[9]

His 1981 book Outside Over There is the story of a girl, Ida, and her sibling jealousy and responsibility. Her father is away and so Ida is left to watch her baby sister, much to her dismay. Her sister is kidnapped by goblins and Ida must go off on a magical adventure to rescue her. At first, she’s not really eager to get her sister and nearly passes her sister right by when she becomes absorbed in the magic of the quest. In the end, she rescues her baby sister, destroys the goblins, and returns home committed to caring for her sister until her father returns home.

Sendak was an early member of the National Board of Advisors of the Children’s Television Workshop during the development stages of the Sesame Street television series. He also adapted his book Bumble Ardy into an animated sequence for the series, with Jim Henson as the voice of Bumble Ardy. He wrote and designed three other animated stories for the series: “Seven Monsters” (which never aired), “Up & Down”, and “Broom Adventures”.

Sendak produced an animated television production based on his work titled Really Rosie, featuring the voice of Carole King, which was broadcast in 1975 and is available on video (usually as part of video compilations of his work). An album of the songs was also produced. He contributed the opening segment to Simple Gifts,[10] a Christmas collection of six animated shorts shown on PBS TV in 1977 and later issued on VHS in 1993. He adapted his book Where the Wild Things Are for the stage in 1979. Additionally, he designed sets for many operas and ballets, including the award-winning (1983) Pacific Northwest Ballet production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Houston Grand Opera’s productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (1981) and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (1997), Los Angeles County Music Center’s 1990 production of Mozart’s Idomeneo, and the New York City Opera’s 1981 production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

In the 1990s, Sendak approached playwright Tony Kushner to write a new English version of the Czech composer Hans Krása’s children’s Holocaust opera Brundibár. Kushner wrote the text for Sendak’s illustrated book of the same name, published in 2003. The book was named one of the New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2003.

In 2003, Chicago Opera Theatre produced Sendak and Kushner’s adaptation of Brundibár. In 2005, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, in collaboration with Yale Repertory Theatre and Broadway’s New Victory Theater, produced a substantially reworked version of the Sendak-Kushner adaptation.

Sendak also created the children’s television program Seven Little Monsters.
[edit] Influences

Maurice Sendak drew inspiration and influences from a vast number of painters, musicians and authors. Going back to his childhood, one of his earliest memorable influences was actually his father, Philip Sendak. According to Maurice, his father would relate tales from the Bible; however, he would embellish them with racy details. Not realizing that this was inappropriate for children, little Maurice would frequently be sent home after retelling his father’s “softcore Bible tales” at school.[11]

Growing up, Sendak developed from other influences, starting with Walt Disney’s Fantasia and Mickey Mouse. Sendak and Mickey Mouse were born in the same year and Sendak described Mickey as a source of joy and pleasure while growing up.[12] He has been quoted as saying, “My gods are Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Mozart. I believe in them with all my heart.” Elaborating further, he has explained that reading Emily Dickinson’s works helps him to remain calm in an otherwise hectic world: “And I have a little tiny Emily Dickinson so big that I carry in my pocket everywhere. And you just read three poems of Emily. She is so brave. She is so strong. She is such a passionate little woman. I feel better.” Likewise, of Mozart, he has said, “When Mozart is playing in my room, I am in conjunction with something I can’t explain. [...] I don’t need to. I know that if there’s a purpose for life, it was for me to hear Mozart.”[13]
[edit] Personal life

Sendak mentioned in a September 2008 article in The New York Times that he was gay and had lived with his partner, psychoanalyst Dr. Eugene Glynn, for 50 years before Glynn’s death in May 2007. Revealing that he never told his parents, he said, “All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy. They never, never, never knew.”[14] Sendak’s relationship with Glynn had been mentioned by other writers before (e.g., Tony Kushner in 2003).[15] In Glynn’s 2007 New York Times obituary, Sendak was listed as Glynn’s “partner of fifty years”.[16]

He donated $1 million to the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services to commemorate Glynn, who had treated young people there. The gift will name a clinic for Glynn.[17]
[edit] Death

Sendak died in the morning of May 8, 2012, in Danbury, Connecticut, from complications of a stroke.[18][19]

In its obituary, The New York Times called Sendak “the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century.”[18] Author Neil Gaiman remarked, “He was unique, grumpy, brilliant, gay, wise, magical and made the world better by creating art in it.”[20] Author R. L. Stine called Sendak’s death “a sad day in children’s books and for the world.”[20] “We are all honored to have been briefly invited into his world,” remarked comedian Stephen Colbert.[20]

His final book, Bumble-Ardy, was published eight months prior to his death. A posthumous picture book is scheduled for publication in February 2013.[18]
[edit] Collection

Sendak chose the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to be the repository for his work in the early 1970s, thanks to shared literary and collecting interests. His collection of nearly 10,000 works of art, manuscripts, books and ephemera, has been the subject of many exhibitions at the Rosenbach, seen by visitors of all ages. Sendak once praised Herman Melville’s writings, saying, “There’s a mystery there, a clue, a nut, a bolt, and if I put it together, I find me.” From May 6, 2008, through May 3, 2009, the Rosenbach presented There’s a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak. This major retrospective of over 130 pieces pulled from the museum’s vast Sendak collection—the biggest collection of Sendakiana in the world—is the largest and most ambitious exhibition of Sendak’s work ever created and is now a traveling exhibition. It features original artwork, rare sketches, never-before-seen working materials, and exclusive interview footage. The exhibition draws on a total of over 300 objects, providing a unique experience with each set of illustrations.

Exhibition highlights include the following:

* Original color artwork from books such as Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, The Nutshell Library, Outside Over There, and Brundibar;
* “Dummy” books filled with lively preliminary sketches for titles like The Sign on Rosie’s Door, Pierre, and Higglety, Pigglety, Pop!;
* Never-before-seen working materials, such as newspaper clippings that inspired Sendak, family portraits, photographs of child models and other ephemera;
* Rare sketches for unpublished editions of stories such as Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw, and other illustrating projects;
* Unique materials from the Rosenbach collection that relate to Sendak’s work, including an 1853 edition of the tales of the Brothers Grimm, sketches by William Blake, and Herman Melville’s bookcase;
* Stories told by the illustrator himself on topics like Alice in Wonderland, his struggle to illustrate his favorite novels, hilarious stories of Brooklyn, and the way his work helps him exorcise childhood traumas.

Welcome to THIS IS AMERICA in VOA Special English. I’m Faith Lapidus.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: And I’m Shirley Griffith. This week on our program, we remember the life and work of Maurice Sendak. He was the award- winning writer and illustrator of more than one hundred children’s books.


FAITH LAPIDUS: Maurice Sendak died last Tuesday at a hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, four days after suffering a stroke. He was eighty-three years old.

For over sixty years, his artistic skill brought to life richly imaginative worlds filled with children, animals and magical creatures. Two of his works — “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen” — helped redefine modern children’s literature.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Maurice Sendak was born in nineteen twenty-eight in the Brooklyn part of New York City. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland. They met in New York.

As a child, Maurice was often sick. As a result, he stayed home and read books and drew pictures to entertain himself.

As an author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak became known for stories that were often dark and intense. For example, “Outside Over There” is about a baby kidnapped by goblins while her older sister is not paying attention. The sister must leave the safety of home to rescue the baby from a strange and dream-like world.

Maurice Sendak said he got the idea for “Outside Over There” from a real-life kidnapping that ended in tragedy. In nineteen thirty-two, the baby son of the famous pilot Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped from home and murdered.

Maurice Sendak was only a small child at the time. But he never forgot his fear as he listened to the radio broadcasts about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.

The man found guilty of that crime was executed but always declared his innocence.

FAITH LAPIDUS: Maurice Sendak grew up with continuous reminders about death. When he was sick, his grandmother dressed him in white clothes that she thought would help him avoid dying.

During World War Two many of his family members in Europe were murdered in the Nazi German death camps. He remembers his mother screaming and crying each time she learned that another family member had been killed. Sometimes his parents would talk about the dead relatives, especially the children.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: These influences help explain an important part of Maurice Sendak’s books. They often show children dealing with and overcoming evil forces and other complex situations. Many of his stories are about a child trying to survive while facing fears or other difficult emotions.

In his books, he skillfully combined an adult’s point of view with a child’s point of view, and the dark and light in all of us.


FAITH LAPIDUS: One of the first books that Maurice Sendak worked on as an artist was “A Hole is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions.” To write the book, Ruth Krauss asked young children how they would define words like “face,” “dog” and “party.” The book, published in nineteen fifty-two, brought wide attention to Maurice Sendak’s artwork. A few years later, he drew pictures for the first “Little Bear” books, written by Else Minarik.

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: In nineteen sixty-two he published the “Nutshell Library.” These were four little books in a box measuring about seven by ten centimeters. The books are “Alligators All Around,” “One Was Johnny,” “Chicken Soup with Rice” and “Pierre.”

“Pierre” is a funny story about a little boy who behaves badly. Every time his parents ask him a question, he gives them the same answer: “I don’t care.”


One day his mother said
When Pierre climbed out of bed
Good morning, darling boy, you are my only joy.
Pierre said- I don’t care!
What would you like to eat?
I don’t care!
Some lovely cream of wheat?
I don’t care!
Don’t sit backwards in your chair
I don’t care!

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Then something happens to Pierre. He gets eaten by a hungry lion. But the story has a happy ending. Pierre changes his behavior when he gets reunited with his parents.

FAITH LAPIDUS: Maurice Sendak’s drawings are very expressive. His landscapes are beautifully detailed and his monsters are more loveable than they are frightening.

In a YouTube video posted by the Rosenbach Museum, Maurice Sendak talks about what it means to be an illustrator.
widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche, died on Tuesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 83.
Slide Show
A ‘Wild Rumpus’ With Maurice Sendak

ArtsBeat: On E-Books and Stephen Colbert: A Few Words With Maurice Sendak (May 8, 2012)
Times Topic: Maurice Sendak

Related in Opinion

Op-Art: Thanks, Maurice (May 13, 2012)

Readers’ Comments

“If, as a parent, you could really listen to his stories, you would learn more about your children than a hundred ‘parenting’ books could teach you.”

JBT, Santa Monica

* Read Full Comment »

The cause was complications of a recent stroke, said Michael di Capua, his longtime editor. Mr. Sendak, who died at Danbury Hospital, lived nearby in Ridgefield, Conn.

Roundly praised, intermittently censored and occasionally eaten, Mr. Sendak’s books were essential ingredients of childhood for the generation born after 1960 or thereabouts, and in turn for their children. He was known in particular for more than a dozen picture books he wrote and illustrated himself, most famously “Where the Wild Things Are,” which was simultaneously genre-breaking and career-making when it was published by Harper & Row in 1963.

Among the other titles he wrote and illustrated, all from Harper & Row, are “In the Night Kitchen” (1970) and “Outside Over There” (1981), which together with “Where the Wild Things Are” form a trilogy; “The Sign on Rosie’s Door” (1960); “Higglety Pigglety Pop!” (1967); and “The Nutshell Library” (1962), a boxed set of four tiny volumes comprising “Alligators All Around,” “Chicken Soup With Rice,” “One Was Johnny” and “Pierre.”

In September, a new picture book by Mr. Sendak, “Bumble-Ardy” — the first in 30 years for which he produced both text and illustrations — was issued by HarperCollins Publishers. The book, which spent five weeks on the New York Times children’s best-seller list, tells the not-altogether-lighthearted story of an orphaned pig (his parents are eaten) who gives himself a riotous birthday party.

A posthumous picture book, “My Brother’s Book” — a poem written and illustrated by Mr. Sendak and inspired by his love for his late brother, Jack — is scheduled to be published next February.

Mr. Sendak’s work was the subject of critical studies and major exhibitions; in the second half of his career, he was also renowned as a designer of theatrical sets. His art graced the writing of other eminent authors for children and adults, including Hans Christian Andersen, Leo Tolstoy, Herman Melville, William Blake and Isaac Bashevis Singer.

In book after book, Mr. Sendak upended the staid, centuries-old tradition of American children’s literature, in which young heroes and heroines were typically well scrubbed and even better behaved; nothing really bad ever happened for very long; and everything was tied up at the end in a neat, moralistic bow.

Headstrong and Bossy

Mr. Sendak’s characters, by contrast, are headstrong, bossy, even obnoxious. (In “Pierre,” “I don’t care!” is the response of the small eponymous hero to absolutely everything.) His pictures are often unsettling. His plots are fraught with rupture: children are kidnapped, parents disappear, a dog lights out from her comfortable home.

A largely self-taught illustrator, Mr. Sendak was at his finest a shtetl Blake, portraying a luminous world, at once lovely and dreadful, suspended between wakefulness and dreaming. In so doing, he was able to convey both the propulsive abandon and the pervasive melancholy of children’s interior lives.

His visual style could range from intricately crosshatched scenes that recalled 19th-century prints to airy watercolors reminiscent of Chagall to bold, bulbous figures inspired by the comic books he loved all his life, with outsize feet that the page could scarcely contain. He never did learn to draw feet, he often said.

In 1964, the American Library Association awarded Mr. Sendak the Caldecott Medal, considered the Pulitzer Prize of children’s book illustration, for “Where the Wild Things Are.” In simple, incantatory language, the book told the story of Max, a naughty boy who rages at his mother and is sent to his room without supper. A pocket Odysseus, Max promptly sets sail:

And he sailed off through night and day

and in and out of weeks

and almost over a year

to where the wild things are.

There, Max leads the creatures in a frenzied rumpus before sailing home, anger spent, to find his supper waiting.

As portrayed by Mr. Sendak, the wild things are deliciously grotesque: huge, snaggletoothed, exquisitely hirsute and glowering maniacally. He always maintained he was drawing his relatives — who, in his memory at least, had hovered like a pack of middle-aged gargoyles above the childhood sickbed to which he was often confined.

Maurice Bernard Sendak was born in Brooklyn on June 10, 1928; his father, Philip, worked in the garment district of Manhattan. Family photographs show the infant Maurice, or Murray as he was then known, as a plump, round-faced, slanting-eyed, droopy-lidded, arching-browed creature — looking, in other words, exactly like a baby in a Maurice Sendak illustration. Mr. Sendak adored drawing babies, in all their fleshy petulance.
A frail child beset by a seemingly endless parade of illnesses, Mr. Sendak was reared, he said afterward, in a world of looming terrors: the Depression; World War II; the Holocaust, in which many of his European relatives perished; the seemingly infinite vulnerability of children to danger. He experienced the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in 1932 as a personal torment: if that fair-haired, blue-eyed princeling could not be kept safe, what certain peril lay in store for him, little Murray Sendak, in his humble apartment in Bensonhurst?
Slide Show
A ‘Wild Rumpus’ With Maurice Sendak

ArtsBeat: On E-Books and Stephen Colbert: A Few Words With Maurice Sendak (May 8, 2012)
Times Topic: Maurice Sendak

Related in Opinion

Op-Art: Thanks, Maurice (May 13, 2012)

An image from the Lindbergh crime scene — a ladder leaning against the side of a house — would find its way into “Outside Over There,” in which a baby is carried off by goblins.

As Mr. Sendak grew up — lower class, Jewish, gay — he felt permanently shunted to the margins of things. “All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy,” he told The New York Times in a 2008 interview. “They never, never, never knew.”

His lifelong melancholia showed in his work, in picture books like “We Are All in the Dumps With Jack and Guy” (1993), a parable about homeless children in the age of AIDS. It showed in his habits. He could be dyspeptic and solitary, working in his white clapboard home deep in the Connecticut countryside with only Mozart, Melville, Mickey Mouse and his dogs for company.

It showed in his everyday interactions with people, especially those blind to the seriousness of his enterprise. “A woman came up to me the other day and said, ‘You’re the kiddie-book man!’ ” Mr. Sendak told Vanity Fair last year.“I wanted to kill her.”

But Mr. Sendak could also be warm and forthright, if not quite gregarious. He was a man of many enthusiasms — for music, art, literature, argument and the essential rightness of children’s perceptions of the world around them. He was also a mentor to a generation of younger writers and illustrators for children, several of whom, including Arthur Yorinks, Richard Egielski and Paul O. Zelinsky, went on to prominent careers of their own.

Long Hours in Bed

As far back as he could remember, Mr. Sendak had loved to draw. That and looking out the window had helped him pass the long hours in bed. While he was still in high school — at Lafayette in Brooklyn — he worked part time for All-American Comics, filling in backgrounds for book versions of the “Mutt and Jeff” comic strip. His first professional illustrations were for a physics textbook, “Atomics for the Millions,” published in 1947.

In 1948, at 20, he took a job building window displays for F. A. O. Schwarz. Through the store’s children’s book buyer, he was introduced to Ursula Nordstrom, the distinguished editor of children’s books at Harper & Row. The meeting, the start of a long, fruitful collaboration, led to Mr. Sendak’s first children’s book commission: illustrating “The Wonderful Farm,” by Marcel Aymé, published in 1951.

Under Ms. Nordstrom’s guidance, Mr. Sendak went on to illustrate books by other well-known children’s authors, including several by Ruth Krauss, notably “A Hole Is to Dig” (1952), and Else Holmelund Minarik’s “Little Bear” series. The first title he wrote and illustrated himself, “Kenny’s Window,” published in 1956, was a moody, dreamlike story about a lonely boy’s inner life.

Mr. Sendak’s books were often a window on his own experience. “Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or, There Must Be More to Life” was a valentine to Jennie, his beloved Sealyham terrier, who died shortly before the book was published.

At the start of the story, Jennie, who has everything a dog could want — including “a round pillow upstairs and a square pillow downstairs” — packs her bags and sets off on her own, pining for adventure. She finds it on the stage of the World Mother Goose Theatre, where she becomes a leading lady. Every day, and twice on Saturdays, Jennie, who looks rather like a mop herself, eats a mop made out of salami. This makes her very happy.

“Hello,” Jennie writes in a satisfyingly articulate letter to her master. “As you probably noticed, I went away forever. I am very experienced now and very famous. I am even a star. … I get plenty to drink too, so don’t worry.”

By contrast, the huge, flat, brightly colored illustrations of “In the Night Kitchen,” the story of a boy’s journey through a fantastic nocturnal cityscape, are a tribute to the New York of Mr. Sendak’s childhood, recalling the 1930s films and comic books he adored all his life. (The three bakers who toil in the night kitchen are the spit and image of Oliver Hardy.)

Mr. Sendak’s later books could be much darker. “Brundibar” (2003), with text by the playwright Tony Kushner, is a picture book based on an opera performed by the children of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. The opera, also called “Brundibar,” had been composed in 1938 by Hans Krasa, a Czech Jew who later died in Auschwitz.

‘Melodramatic Menace’

Reviewing the book in The New York Times Book Review, the novelist and children’s book author Gregory Maguire called it “a capering picture book crammed with melodramatic menace and comedy both low and grand.” He added: “In a career that spans 50 years and counting, as Sendak’s does, there are bound to be lesser works. ‘Brundibar’ is not lesser than anything.”

With Mr. Kushner, Mr. Sendak collaborated on a stage version of the opera, performed in 2006 at the New Victory Theater in New York.
who has died aged 83, was one of the great writers and illustrators of children’s literature. His imagination was deeply rooted in his own vividly remembered childhood and there is a powerful dreamlike quality to his work. He was a master draftsman, largely self-taught and in some ways quite traditional, because he was inspired by Victorian English illustrators such as Randolph Caldecott and by the Jewish European folklore of his own background. But this was mixed with the heady excitement of American comic strips and, of course, the movies. I met him once over dinner and he described his intense excitement as a child at going from his home in Brooklyn across the Brooklyn Bridge to the cinema in Manhattan to see Buster Keaton, Mickey Mouse and Laurel and Hardy, all of whom were strongly inspirational in his works.

Like most great children’s story writers and illustrators, his work came from somewhere deep within, from a place that was in his case extremely dark. His childhood was overshadowed by the deaths of extended family in the concentration camps of Europe. So it is hardly surprising that the lost child, the child who is stolen away, as well as the maverick child who runs away from the stultifying strictures of adult life, were themes that Sendak returned to again and again in his work.

If you ask people what their favourite Maurice Sendak book is, they always say Where the Wild Things Are. But my personal favourite is In the Night Kitchen. It is so brilliantly scary and marvellously unsettling. Those chefs are frightening in the way that clowns and comedians can so often be. My other favourite is Outside Over There, his story of Ida, the jealous sibling whose baby sister is kidnapped by goblins through the nursery window. Again you have this theme of the lost or stolen child, so central to Sendak’s work, and exerting such a deep pull for all of us.

Shirley Hughes is an author/illustrator. Her books include the Alfie series and Dogger. Her first teenage novel, Hero on a Bicycle, was recently published by Walker Books.

booker t and the mgs

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:03 am

Donald “Duck” Dunn, the bassist who helped create the gritty Memphis soul sound at Stax Records in the 1960s as part of the legendary group Booker T. and the MGs and contributed to such classics as “In the Midnight Hour,” ”Hold On I’m Coming” and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” died Sunday at 70.

Dunn, whose legacy as one of the most respected session musicians in the business also included work with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd’s Blues Brothers as well as with Levon Helm, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and others, died while on tour in Tokyo.

News of his death was posted on the Facebook site of his friend and fellow musician Steve Cropper, who was on the same tour. Cropper said Dunn died in his sleep.

Dunn was born in Memphis, Tenn., in 1941, and according to the biography on his official website, was nicknamed for the cartoon character by his father.

His father, a candy maker, did not want his son to be a musician

“He thought I would become a drug addict and die. Most parents in those days thought music was a pastime, something you did as a hobby, not a profession,” Dunn said.

But by the time Dunn was in high school, he was in a band, the Royal Spades, with Cropper, a group that would eventually become the Mar-Keys.

Cropper left the band to become a session player at Stax Records, the legendary Memphis-based record company that would become known for its gritty soul records and artists like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes and the Staples Singers.

Soon, Dunn followed Cropper and joined the Stax house band, which would become Booker T. and the MGs. It included Booker T. Jones on organ and Al Jackson on drums and was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

“I would have liked to have been on the road more, but the record company wanted us in the studio. Man, we were recording almost a hit a day for a while there,” Dunn said.

The group had its heyday in the 1960s as backup for Stax artists such as Redding. Booker T. and the MGs had its own hits as well, including “Hang ‘Em High,” and “Soul-Limbo.”

In the 1970s, the group’s members drifted apart. Jackson was killed in Memphis in 1975 by an intruder in his home.

The remaining members had a brief reunion in 1979, but Cropper and Dunn would have a sustained reunion when they joined Ackroyd and Belushi’s Blues Brothers band and appeared in the 1980 “Blues Brothers” movie.

“How could anybody not want to work with John and Dan? I was really kind of hesitant to do that show, but my wife talked me into it,” Dunn said in a 2007 interview with Vintage Guitar magazine, “and other than Booker’s band, that’s the most fun band I’ve ever been in.”

Dunn also did session work on recordings by Clapton, Young, Dylan, Rod Stewart, Sam and Dave and Stevie Nicks, according to his discography. He was on Redding’s “Respect” and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” Sam and Dave’s “Hold On I’m Coming” and Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour.”

Dunn once said that he and Cropper were “like married people.”

“I can look at him and know what he’ll order for dinner,” he said. “When we play music together we both know where we’re going.”

Dunn received a lifetime achievement Grammy award in 2007 for his work with Booker T. and the MGs.

He is survived by his wife, June; a son, Jeff; and a grandchild, Michael, said Michael Leahy, Dunn’s agent.
Booker T. & the M.G.’s is an instrumental R&B band that was influential in shaping the sound of southern soul and Memphis soul. Original members of the group were Booker T. Jones (organ, piano), Steve Cropper (guitar), Lewie Steinberg (bass), and Al Jackson, Jr. (drums). In the 1960s, as members of the house band of Stax Records, they played on hundreds of recordings by artists such as Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Sam & Dave, Carla and Rufus Thomas and Johnnie Taylor. They also released instrumental records under their own name, such as the 1962 hit single “Green Onions”.[1] As originators of the unique Stax sound, the group was one of the most prolific, respected, and imitated of their era. By the mid-1960s, bands on both sides of the Atlantic were trying to sound like Booker T. & the M.G.’s.[2][3]

In 1965, Steinberg was replaced by Donald “Duck” Dunn, who played with the group until his death in 2012. Al Jackson, Jr. was murdered in 1975, after which the trio of Dunn, Cropper and Jones reunited on numerous occasions using various drummers, including Willie Hall, Anton Fig, Steve Jordan and Steve Potts.[2]

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.[4]

Having two white members (Cropper and Dunn), Booker T. & the M.G.’s was one of the first racially integrated rock groups, at a time when soul music, and the Memphis music scene in particular, were generally considered the preserve of black culture.[5]

* 1 Early years: 1962–1964
* 2 Later success: 1965–1971
* 3 1970s reunions
* 4 1980s to the present
* 5 Name
* 6 Discography
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 External links

[edit] Early years: 1962–1964

“Green Onions”, from the album Green Onions
Play sound
The first track from the band’s debut album. The tempo, tone and technique in Green Onions make it one of the most recognized soul instrumentals of all time.
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The band was formed as the house band of Stax Records, providing backing music for a variety of singers such as Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding.[6] In summer 1962, seventeen-year-old keyboardist Booker T. Jones, twenty-year-old guitarist Steve Cropper, bass player Lewie Steinberg, and Al Jackson Jr., a drummer making his debut with the company, were in the Memphis studio to back up former Sun Records star Billy Lee Riley. During downtime, the four started playing around with a bluesy little organ ditty reminiscent of Ray Charles. Jim Stewart, the president of Stax Records, liked what he heard and hit the “record” button. He liked the finished product enough to want to release it.[citation needed] Cropper remembered a riff that Jones had come up with weeks earlier and before long, they had a second song.

Stewart wanted to release the single with the first song, titled “Behave Yourself”, as the A-side and the second song as the B-side. Steve Cropper and radio disc jockeys thought otherwise; soon, Stax released Booker T. & the M.G.’s’ “Green Onions”[6] backed with “Behave Yourself”. In conversation with BBC Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker, on his show broadcast on September 7, 2008, Cropper revealed that the record became an instant success when DJ Reuben Washington, at Memphis radio station WLOK, played it four times in succession, this even before the tune or the band had an agreed-upon name.

The single went to #1 on the US Billboard R&B chart and #3 on the pop chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[7] It is featured in countless movies/trailers including a pivotal scene in the motion picture American Graffiti.

Later in 1962, the band released an all-instrumental album entitled Green Onions. Aside from the title track, a ’sequel’ (”Mo’ Onions”) and “Behave Yourself”, the album consisted of instrumental covers of popular hits.

Instrumental singles and albums would continue to be issued by Booker T. & The M.G.’s throughout the 1960s. However, although a successful recording combo in their own right, the bulk of the work done by the musicians in the band during this era was as the core of the de facto house band at Stax Records.[1] Members of Booker T. & The M.G.’s (often, but not always, performing as a unit) performed as the studio backing band for Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Albert King, Johnnie Taylor, Eddie Floyd, The Staple Singers, Wilson Pickett, Delaney & Bonnie and many others in the 1960s.[1]

They played on and produced hundreds of records, including classics like “Walking the Dog”, “Hold On, I’m Comin’” (on which the multi-instrumentalist Jones played tuba over Donald “Duck” Dunn’s bass line), “Soul Man”, “Who’s Making Love”, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)”, and “Try a Little Tenderness”, among others. Like their Motown contemporaries the Funk Brothers in Detroit, as a backing band to numerous hits, they are thought to have defined soul music—especially southern soul—where “the groove” was most important.

Though it’s often assumed that Booker T. Jones played on all the above session work, in the mid-1960s Jones was often studying music full-time at Indiana University. Stax writer/producer Isaac Hayes usually stepped in on the occasions when Jones was unavailable for session work, and on several sessions Jones and Hayes played together with one on organ, the other on piano. However, Hayes was never an official member of the M.G.’s, and Jones played on all the records credited to “Booker T. & The M.G.’s”—with one exception. That exception was the 1965 hit “Boot-Leg”, a studio jam recorded with Hayes on keyboards in Jones’s place. According to Steve Cropper, the song was recorded with the intention of being released as by The Mar-Keys (another name used to release singles by the Stax house band.) However, as recordings credited to Booker T. & The M.G.’s were meeting with greater commercial success than those credited to The Mar-Keys, the decision was made to credit “Boot-Leg” to Booker T. & The M.G.’s, even though Booker T. himself does not appear on the recording.

Individual session credits notwithstanding, what’s indisputable is that the Stax house band (Cropper, Jackson, Jones, and Steinberg, along with Cropper’s Mar-Keys bandmate, bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn; keyboardist Isaac Hayes; and various horn players, most frequently Floyd Newman, Wayne Jackson and Andrew Love) would set a standard for soul music. Whereas the sign outside Detroit’s pop-oriented Motown Records aptly read “Hitsville U.S.A.”, the marquee outside of the converted movie theater where Stax was based proclaimed “Soulsville U.S.A.”.
[edit] Later success: 1965–1971

Booker T. & The M.G.’s consistently issued singles from 1963 to 1965, but only a few made the charts, and none were as successful as “Green Onions”. Bassist Lewie Steinberg, who was from a family of musicians, recorded with the band through 1965, including their second album 1965’s Soul Dressing. Where the Green Onions album was cover-filled, every song but one on Soul Dressing was an original. Nevertheless, the chemistry — musically and personally — wasn’t quite right. Steinberg stepped aside, and Donald “Duck” Dunn (who was already part of Stax’s house band) became the group’s full-time bassist.

After a period of commercial decline, Booker T. & The M.G.’s returned to the top 40 with the 1967 instrumental “Hip Hug-Her”. Surprisingly, “Hip Hug-Her” was the first single released with Jones on a Hammond B-3 organ, the instrument he is most known for playing (he played a Hammond M-3 on all of the earlier recordings, including “Green Onions”). They also had a substantial hit with their cover of The Rascals’ “Groovin’”.

Also in 1967, they joined the now famed Stax European tour. Dubbed “Hit the Road, Stax!”, they performed and backed up the label’s stars. In June of that year, they, along with Otis Redding, appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival, alongside performers like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, and Jefferson Airplane. They were also later invited to play Woodstock, but drummer Al Jackson, Jr. was worried about the helicopter needed to deliver them to the site, and so they decided not to play.

The Hip Hug-Her album was followed by Doin’ Our Thing and Soul Limbo. The song “Soul Limbo”, featuring marimba by Terry Manning, was a big hit (later used by the BBC as their theme for cricket coverage on both TV and, latterly, radio’s “Test Match Special”), as was their version of “Hang ‘em High”. In 1969, the band scored their second biggest hit with “Time is Tight”, from the soundtrack to the movie “Up Tight!”, scored by Jones,[8] which reached #6 on the Billboard pop charts.

In 1969, Duck Dunn and Booker T. Jones, in particular, had become enamored with The Beatles, especially their work on Abbey Road. The appreciation was mutual, as The Beatles had patterned a lot of what they did on the M.G.’s. John Lennon was a huge Stax fan who fondly called the group, “Book a Table and the Maitre D’s”. Paul McCartney, like Dunn, played bass melodically, without straying from the rhythm or the groove. It was obvious through each of their playing that they admired one another. After being locked away in the Memphis studio, when the company embarked on the “Hit the Road, Stax!” tour of 1967, The Beatles sent limos to the airport and bent down to kiss Steve Cropper’s ring.[citation needed] The M.G.’s had no idea, until then, of the impact they were having on the rest of the world. Lennon was quoted as saying he always wanted to write an instrumental for the M.G.’s.

In 1970, Lennon’s wish was granted, in a manner of speaking, as Jones, Dunn, and Jackson recorded McLemore Avenue, named for the street where Stax was located. Jones later taught Cropper, who had not heard Abbey Road, what to play. They covered thirteen of Abbey Road’s songs, condensing twelve of them into three medleys, and included a cover version of George Harrison’s “Something”. The album’s cover, is indeed an intentional pastiche of The Beatles’ Abbey Road “street crossing” album cover.

During 1970 Booker T & The M.G.’s sat in with Creedence Clearwater Revival for a jam, and were the warm up band for CCR’s Jan31 Oakland Colosseum gig that became ‘The Concert’ album for CCR. It is often suggested that John Fogerty’s interest in putting Hammond B3 on the album “Pendulum” was a direct nod to Booker T and the mutual admiration both bands had for each other.

They followed up in 1971 with what would be their last Stax single, “Melting Pot”, and their last Stax album, also called Melting Pot. “Melting Pot”’s repetitive groove-oriented drumming, loping bass line, and super-tight rhythm guitar made it an underground hit popular in New York City block parties. The song has often been sampled by rappers and techno DJs. The full-length album version of the track is over eight minutes long, and the second – album-only – part features some powerful flourishes from Booker T’s Hammond B3. The Melting Pot album is also home to the highly tuneful Native American-influenced track “Fuquawi”, which was also released on single coupled with “Jamaica This Morning” (see below).

Before the Melting Pot album was recorded, Booker T. Jones had left Stax. In fact, part of the album was recorded in New York, not the Stax studio. Steve Cropper had also become unhappy with business affairs at Stax and soon left. Dunn and Jackson remained on and did session and production work. Jackson, who had been in Hi Records producer Willie Mitchell’s band, played on and wrote many of Al Green’s biggest hits.

Without Booker T., the group (billed simply as The MG’s) released one final single in October 1971. Called “Jamaica This Morning”, the single failed to chart, and the group name was retired for the time being.
In 1973, Dunn and Stax session guitarist Bobby Manuel recruited B-3 organ phenom Carson Whitsett to be part of a band that was to back up a promising new Stax artist named Stefan Anderson. Later, Al Jackson was brought in. The project, however, did not ultimately yield any results, but the rehearsals were promising, prompting Jackson and Dunn to reform The M.G.’s. This version of the band featured Whitsett in the place of Booker T, so was billed “The MG’s” rather than “Booker T. & The M.G.’s”.

The 1973 album entitled The MG’s, with Manuel and Whitsett replacing Cropper and Jones, was not commercially successful, though it was critically well received. Carson Whitsett would go on to back up Bobby “Blue” Bland, Little Milton, and Kathy Mattea, and have his songs recorded by the likes of Johnnie Taylor, Solomon Burke, B. B. King, Etta James, Conway Twitty, and Lorrie Morgan. Bobby Manuel would become a staple of the Memphis music scene playing with everybody from Al Green to Albert King and later founded HighStacks Records in a tribute to Stax and Hi Records.


After a promising meeting in late September 1975, Jones and Cropper (who were now living in Los Angeles) and Jackson and Dunn (still in Memphis), decided to give each other three months to finish up all of their projects. They would then devote three years to what would be renamed Booker T. Jones & the Memphis Group. Nine days later (October 1), Al Jackson, the man Cropper would remember as “the greatest drummer to ever walk the earth”, was murdered in his home.


The remaining three members eventually regrouped under the classic name Booker T. & The MGs. Bringing in drummer Willie Hall, a Stax session musician who played on many Stax hits (such as Isaac Hayes’s “Theme from Shaft”) as an official member, the group recorded the album Universal Language for Asylum Records in 1977. The album didn’t meet with either commercial or critical success, and the band once again dissolved.

Over the next decade, Cropper, Dunn and Jones remained very active, producing, writing, and playing with other artists. All three joined The Band’s drummer Levon Helm as part of his RCO All-Stars. In 1977, Cropper and Dunn famously became part of The Blues Brothers Band, appearing on the number one album Briefcase Full of Blues. Cropper and Dunn, along with drummer Willie Hall, also appeared in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Cropper, Dunn and Hall later reprised their roles in Blues Brothers 2000.
[edit] 1980s to the present

In 1980 the hit feature film The Blues Brothers featured Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn as part of the primary band which backed up the Blues Brothers.

In 1986, former co-owner of Atlantic Records Jerry Wexler asked the group to be the house band for Atlantic Records’ 40th anniversary celebration. The night before the gig, Booker T. Jones came down with food poisoning, so Paul Shaffer stepped in at the last minute. However, the rehearsals (with Jones, Cropper, Dunn, and drummer Anton Fig of Shaffer’s “World’s Most Dangerous Band”, featured on Late Night with David Letterman) went so well that the group decided to play some dates together.

Over the next few years, they played together occasionally. In 1992, Bob Dylan asked them to again serve as house band, this time at the concert commemorating his thirty years in the music business. There they backed up, among others, Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, and George Harrison. While there, Neil Young asked the group to back him up on his world tour the following year.

Also in 1992, Booker T. & The M.G.’s were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[1]

In 1994, the group recorded its first album in 17 years, called That’s The Way It Should Be. Steve Jordan was the featured drummer on most tracks.

In 1995, when the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame opened its museum in Cleveland, Ohio, the M.G.’s served as the house band for the opening ceremonies, playing behind Aretha Franklin, Sam Moore, John Fogerty, and Al Green, as well as performing themselves.

Jones, Dunn, and Al Jackson Jr.’s cousin, drummer Steve Potts, backed Neil Young on his 2002 album Are You Passionate?. Cropper, along with Isaac Hayes and Sam Moore, welcomed Stax president Jim Stewart into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Cropper and Hayes were later inducted in The Songwriters Hall of Fame. Booker T. & The M.G.’s, usually with Steve Potts on drums, still play select dates. They have been called the most influential stylists in modern American music. In early 2008 they toured with Australian singer Guy Sebastian in Australia on a sold-out tour.

In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the group #93 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time,[9] and in 2007, the group received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.[10] Also in 2004, Eric Clapton featured Booker T., Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn as his house band for the first “Crossroads Guitar Festival”. The event was held at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas and featured many of the legends of various musical genres who play guitar as their primary instrument. Booker T. and the MGs was the back up band for several great acts which Clapton presented “live” for that two day festival and subsequently on the 2 disc DVD version of the show.

On April 21, 2009, Booker T. released Potato Hole, a new album in collaboration with the band Drive-By Truckers and featuring Neil Young on guitar

On May 13, 2012, Donald “Duck” Dunn passed away following two concerts in Tokyo, Japan.
[edit] Name

For many years, the “official” story was that the band name “The M.G.’s” was meant to stand for “Memphis Group”, not the MG sports car. However, this proved not to be the case.[11]

Musician and record producer Chips Moman, active in Stax Records when the band was formed, for many years claimed that the band was named after his MG sports car, and only after he left the label did Stax’s publicity department declare that “M.G.” stood for “Memphis Group”. To lend some credibility to this story, Moman had played with Jones in an earlier Stax backing group called the Triumphs, which was also named after his car.[12] Stax historian Rob Bowman avers that the reason the label obscured the story of the meaning of name “The M.G.’s” (and concocted the “Memphis Group” explanation) was to avoid any possible claims of trademark infringement from the manufacturers of the car. Jones, in an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, confirmed Moman’s account of the group name’s origins in 2007.[13] On May 9, 2012 Booker T appeared on the David Letterman show sitting in with the Paul Shaffer band. Paul referred to him as his personal guru of the Hammond B-3. Letterman asked Paul what happened to the MGs. Paul went on to mention their late drummer, Al Jackson Jr. and Steve Cropper. Letterman asked Paul what the MG stood for and he said he always wondered that himself and he turned to Booker T Jones. Booker T said that there was a MG sports car parked outside when they recorded Green Onions and they decided on that name, but since then we forgot about those folks.
EW YORK – Donald “Duck” Dunn, the bassist who helped create the gritty Memphis soul sound at Stax Records in the 1960s as part of the legendary group Booker T. and the MGs and contributed to such classics as “In the Midnight Hour,” ”Hold On I’m Coming” and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” died Sunday at 70.

Dunn, whose legacy as one of the most respected session musicians in the business also included work with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd’s Blues Brothers as well as with Levon Helm, Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, died while on tour in Tokyo.

News of his death was posted on the Facebook site of his friend and fellow musician Steve Cropper, who was on the same tour. Cropper said Dunn died in his sleep.

“Today I lost my best friend, the World has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live,” Cropper wrote on Twitter.

Dunn was born in Memphis, Tenn., in 1941, and according to the biography on his official website, was nicknamed for the cartoon character by his father. His father, a candy maker, did not want him to be a musician.

“He thought I would become a drug addict and die. Most parents in those days thought music was a pastime, something you did as a hobby, not a profession,” Dunn said.

But by the time Dunn was in high school, he was in a band with Cropper.

Cropper left to become a session player at Stax, the Memphis record company that would become known for its soul recordings and artists such as Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac Hayes and the Staples Singers.

Dunn soon followed Cropper and joined the Stax house band, also known as Booker T. and the MGs.

It was one of the first racially integrated soul groups, with two whites (Dunn on bass and Cropper on guitar) and two blacks (Booker T. Jones on organ and Al Jackson on drums), and was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The group had its heyday in the 1960s as backup for various Stax artists. Dunn played on Redding’s “Respect” and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” Sam and Dave’s “Hold On I’m Coming” and Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour.”

Booker T. and the MGs had its own hits as well, including “Hang ‘Em High,” ”Soul-Limbo” and, before Dunn joined the band, the cool 1962 instrumental “Green Onions.”

“I would have liked to have been on the road more, but the record company wanted us in the studio. Man, we were recording almost a hit a day for a while there,” Dunn said.

In the 1970s, the group’s members drifted apart. Jackson was killed in Memphis in 1975 by an intruder in his home.

Cropper and Dunn reunited when they joined Aykroyd and Belushi’s Blues Brothers band and appeared in the 1980 “Blues Brothers” movie.

“How could anybody not want to work with John and Dan? I was really kind of hesitant to do that show, but my wife talked me into it,” Dunn said in a 2007 interview with Vintage Guitar magazine, “and other than Booker’s band, that’s the most fun band I’ve ever been in.”

Dunn also did session work on recordings by Clapton, Young, Dylan, Rod Stewart, Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty, according to his discography.

Dunn once said that he and Cropper were “like married people.”

“I can look at him and know what he’ll order for dinner,” he said. “When we play music together we both know where we’re going.”

Dunn received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 2007.

He is survived by his wife, June; a son, Jeff; and a grandchild, Michael, said Michael Leahy, Dunn’s agent.
Bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, a member of Booker T. & the MGs whose thick bottom grooves anchored many of the classic soul hits from the 1960s, has died on tour in Japan, his friend and bandmate Steve Cropper said on Sunday. Dunn was 70.

Dunn, an integral part of the Memphis soul sound as bassist for the MGs, the house band for Stax and Volt records, died Sunday morning after finishing two shows at the Blue Note Night Club in Tokyo, Cropper said in a posting on his Facebook page.

“Today I lost my best friend, the world has lost the best guy and bass player to ever live,” Cropper said.

Cropper, who also performed with Dunn on television and in the movies as part of the MGs-inspired Blues Brothers tribute band, said Dunn had died in his sleep, but he gave no other details about the circumstances.

The signature instrumental grooves of Booker T. & the MGs, grounded by Dunn’s heavy bass notes, provided the musical bedrock on hundreds of singles for such soul stars as Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd and Sam & Dave.

From Redding’s wistful “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” to Picket’s raucous “In the Midnight Hour,” the band’s lean, tight accompaniment carried the vocals.

The group, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, also cut 10 albums and charted 14 hits of their own, including “Hip Hug-Her,” “Groovin’,” “Soul-Limbo,” “Hang ‘em High” and “Time Is Right.”

The first and biggest instrumental hit of the MGs (an abbreviation for “Memphis Group”) was recorded in 1962 before Dunn joined – “Green Onions,” a 12-bar blues composition that has become a staple for aspiring rockers ever since.

Their most notable collaboration was with Redding, Stax’s greatest star. The group played on virtually all of his records and backed him l i ve for his legendary performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967.

Cropper co-wrote Redding’s most popular hit, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” and shared songwriting credits on such soul standards as Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour” and Floyd’s “Knock On Wood.”

Dunn also played in sessions for many artists outside the realm of soul, including Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Jerry Lee Lewis.

In contrast to the more orchestrated pop-soul sound of Detroit-based Motown Records, the soul stylings produced by the Stax/Volt labels in Memphis were defined by the MGs’ spare, punchy and deeply groove-laden instrumentals.

The group, formed in the early 1960s, originally consisted of its namesake organist, Booker T. Jones, guitarist Cropper, drummer Al Jackson and bassist Lewis Steinberg. But the definitive lineup of the MGs was completed after a couple of years when Steinberg was permanently replaced by Dunn, who had started out with Cropper in a band called the Mar-Keys.

The MGs gradually broke up after Stax was sold in 1968, although the rhythm section of Dunn and Jackson continued to play on many subsequent Stax recordings. Jackson was shot to death in his Memphis home in 1975 as the group was preparing a reunion album.

In the 1990s, the surviving members reunited to back Neil Young on a tour and released “That’s the Way It Should Be,” their first album in more than 20 years.

Dunn and Cropper also performed in the Blues Brothers Band, a group originally assembled to back John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd for a 1978 comedy sketch on “Saturday Night Live.” They also appeared together in the 1980 “Blues Brothers” movie and its 1998 sequel, “Blues Brothers 2000.”

joey votto

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 1:01 am

oseph Daniel “Joey” Votto, (born September 10, 1983) is a Canadian Major League Baseball first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds. In 2010, he won the National League MVP Award, the National League Hank Aaron Award, and the Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada’s athlete of the year.[1]

* 1 Early life
* 2 Early career
* 3 Major leagues (2007–present)
o 3.1 2007–08 seasons
o 3.2 2009 season
o 3.3 2010 season
o 3.4 2011 season
o 3.5 2012 Season
* 4 Player Profile
* 5 Personal life
* 6 Career awards and honors
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 External links

[edit] Early life

Votto was born on September 10, 1983 in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Etobicoke, the western part of Toronto. His mother was a sommelier and restaurant manager. His late father, Joseph, was a chef and a baseball fan. Votto enrolled at Richview Collegiate Institute in 1997. At his high school, Votto was also interested in basketball, but he was not interested in hockey. Votto and his father were fans of the Toronto Blue Jays.
[edit] Early career

Votto was drafted out of high school in the second round of the 2002 MLB amateur draft by the Reds (44th overall), Votto’s first few professional seasons with the Reds’ rookie-level affiliates were quiet. However, Votto burst onto the scene in 2004, when he hit 26 doubles, 14 home runs, and sported a batting average of .302 with the Class A Dayton Dragons. He was promoted to Class A Advanced Potomac, and hit five more home runs in 20 games to end the season with 19.

Votto’s consistency declined during 2005 campaign with Sarasota. While he still hit 19 home runs, Votto struck out 122 times and his batting average dropped nearly 50 points to .256.

Votto rebounded in 2006 with the best of his minor league career. Playing with Class AA Chattanooga, he improved his batting average to .319 and hit 46 doubles and 22 home runs. He led the Southern League in batting average and total bases and was third in the league in home runs and RBI. Votto was selected to play in the 2006 Futures Game on the World Team. He also played on both the Mid-Season and Post-Season Northern League All-Star teams, and was voted a minor league all-star by Baseball America. Votto culminated his season by winning the Northern League MVP award.
[edit] Major leagues (2007–present)
Votto in Spring Training, 2008
[edit] 2007–08 seasons

Votto started off the 2007 season playing in Triple-A for the Louisville Bats. He was called up on September 1, 2007. He made his Major League debut on September 4, 2007, striking out against Guillermo Mota of the New York Mets. In his second major league at bat Votto hit his first career home run. He went 3 for 5 and scored 2 runs. The Reds won the game, 7–0. On September 8, Votto went 1 for 3 with a home runs and 3 runs batted in. His 3 RBIs were the only runs the Reds got as they lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 4–3. In his next game, he went 2 for 4. On September 14, Votto stole his first career base against the Brewers. Votto ended the season on a good note, going 2-for-4 with a home run and 5 RBIs in the Cincinnati Reds’ final game of the 2007 season.[2] Votto would finished the season batting .321 with 4 home runs and 17 runs batted in.

Beginning the 2008 season, Votto shared time platooning at first base with Scott Hatteberg, until Manager Dusty Baker began playing Votto as the Reds’ starting first baseman in early April. On April 15, Votto hit his first home run of the season off of Michael Wuertz. Votto drove in a career high 5 runs against the Cubs 2 games later. Votto also had a nice defensive play in the game. In the 7th inning, Votto stretched and made a fine play when he robbed Mike Fontenot of a base hit and ended the Cubs threat with runners on second and third. “I’m glad I came through in that situation early in the game,” Votto said. “I think that leaving here without getting swept is really important.”

On May 7, 2008, Votto hit three home runs in a game against the Chicago Cubs. “I’m like a kid,” said Votto, a second-year player who had never hit more than one in a game. “I thought it was cool. It’s not a big part of my game.”

Votto hit his first career pinch hit home run against Cleveland’ Cliff Lee, who would go on to win the AL Cy Young Award. He broke the Reds’ record for the most runs batted in by a rookie in a single season. The previous record was held by National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson with 83 RBI set in 1956. Votto drove in 84 runs during the 2008 season. On August 31, Votto had his first career 4-hit game against the San Francisco Giants. He knocked in 4 runs in a 9–3 Reds victory. On September 18, Votto and teammate Jay Bruce each homered 2 times. They became the fifth rookie teammates to in divisional player era to hit 20 home runs in the same season. Votto also drove in 4 runs in the game. Votto then ended the season by going 2 for 2 with a home run, 2 runs batted in, and a base on ball.

He finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting to the Chicago Cubs’ Geovany Soto.[3] Votto led all NL rookies in hitting (.297), hits (156), HR (24), total bases (266), multi-hit games (42), on-base percentage (.368) and slugging percentage (.506).
[edit] 2009 season

Votto played for Canada in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In Canada’s first game against the United States, Votto had 4 hits in 5 at-bats, one of which was a home run.[4]

Votto began the 2009 season strong as the outright starter at first base. In the second game of the season, Votto went 3 for 5 with a homer and 3 RBI in a loss to the New York Mets. In the next game against the Mets, Votto had another homer and 4 RBI. He had a 6-game hitting streak from April 12 through April 18. Votto’s short hitting streak ended when he went 0 for 4 against the Houston Astros. On April 23, Votto went 4 for 5 with a home run and 2 runs batted in against the Cubs. Votto ended out with a .346 batting average, 3 home runs, and 20 runs batted in in the month of April.

Votto opened May with a 5-game hitting streak. In a May matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals, Votto had two homers for 4 RBI. He finished out the month with 5 home runs and a .378 batting average. However, Votto was placed on the DL to open June after missing time in May due to personal issues. Prior to his return game during the 2009 season he indicated he had been suffering from depression and anxiety issues as a result of the death of his father in August 2008, and had sought treatment for them.[5] He had previously missed time because of dizziness related to an inner ear infection.

Votto made his return against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 23. Joey went 1 for 4 but struck out 2 times. In his third game back, Votto went 4 for 5 with a home run and 4 RBIs. After going hitless in his fourth game back, Votto had a 14-game hitting streak. During that stretch, Votto bated .389 with 3 home runs and 14 runs batted in. His hitting streak ended against the Mets on July 12 when he went 0 for 2.

Votto was named the National League Player of the Week for September 21–27, 2009, after hitting 10 doubles in a five-game span, a concentrated display not seen in 77 years. Hall of Fame outfielder Paul Waner did it for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1932.[6] Votto went 2 for 3 with a home run, 3 RBIs, and 2 base on balls against the Pirates on October 3. In the last game of the season, he went 3 for 4 with a base on balls and raised his average over the .320 mark.

Despite missing 31 games overall, Votto finished the 2009 season among the National League leaders in batting average (.322), on-base percentage (.414), slugging percentage (.567), and hit 25 home runs.
[edit] 2010 season

Votto started the 2010 season by going 3 for 5 with a home run and a run batted in. By the end of April, Votto had 4 home runs and 12 runs batted in. His average was only at .275 but his on base percentage was at an even .400 due to 18 base on balls.

Votto played better in the month of May. He batted .344 with 6 home runs and 21 runs batted in. However, he missed the last 6 games that month due to a sore neck injury. Votto would be back on June 1 in a game against the Cardinals. He went 4 for 5 with a home run and a run batted in. The Reds won the game to regain the NL Central lead. “I wouldn’t use the word nerve-wracking, but I think this year we’ve proven to other people and proven to ourselves that no lead is safe,” Votto said. “We have to respect the opposition and play hard all the way through nine innings.

Votto was not initially voted to the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim, California, but made the roster via online fan voting through the National League’s Final Vote. Votto was named on 13.7 million of the 26 million ballots submitted.[7] Though, after the game, despite a National League victory, Votto refused to congratulate fellow N.L. All-star Marlon Byrd who made a game saving play by throwing out David Ortiz. Votto stated “I don’t like the Cubs,” Byrd’s current team and a divisional rival. Votto also added “And I’m not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back. We are Cincinnati Reds. We’re taught to hate everything in the Central Division. That’s just how it is.” Votto went 0–2.

On August 25, Votto went 4 for 7 with 2 home runs and 4 runs batted in. Votto also drove in the tiebreaking single off of Giants pitcher Barry Zito. “We had such a comfortable lead for most of the game,” Votto said. “For them to come back like that, it could have been difficult to recover. Momentum plays a big role in a game like this. We just showed some resiliency to come back ourselves. “Votto made the cover of Sports Illustrated on the August 30, 2010 edition.

On September 11, Votto hit his first career walk-off home run of his career off of Pirates relief pitcher, Justin Thomas. “Thank God for Joey Votto,” manager Dusty Baker said. “That was MVP stuff right there. That’s what people come to see. That’s what we’ve come to expect.”

On the season Votto hit .324 with 113 RBIs, 106 runs scored, and 37 homers, including a grand slam off of Tommy Hanson of the Atlanta Braves on May 20. He finished the season leading the Major Leagues in On Base Percentage (.424), and led the National League in Slugging Percentage (.600), and On-Base Plus Slugging (1.024). The Reds would make the postseason but would lose to the Phillies in the National League Divisional Series, 3 games to 0. Votto struggled in the series, batting .091 with no home runs and only an RBI.

Votto won the 2010 Hank Aaron Award in the National League.[8]

He was announced as the 2010 NL MVP, coming within one vote of winning unanimously (Albert Pujols received the other first-place vote).[9] He was only the third Canadian to win the MVP award, after Larry Walker and Justin Morneau. He became the first Reds player to win the National League MVP since Barry Larkin won it in 1995. “After the season, when I looked at my numbers and at Albert’s numbers, I thought: ‘Holy cow! He’s beaten me in a lot of them,” Votto said. “He beat me in runs, he beat me in RBIs, home runs, I think a couple others. I beat him in a few of the qualitative stats.

“I don’t know — I think it was a tossup. I think that it was as close as it can get. I’m not going to go on a limb and say, ‘Oh, yeah, I played a heck of a lot better than him because I beat him in batting average, but we all know that batting average is kind of an overrated statistic.”
[edit] 2011 season
Votto in 2011

On January 16, it was announced that the Reds and Votto agreed to a 3-year, $38 million deal. [10]

Votto homered in the Reds first game of the 2011 season, a solo homer off of Yovani Gallarado of the Brewers. He also reached base two more times by bases on balls. Votto recorded his first 4-hit game of the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks and raised his average to .455. On April 13, he had 3 hits but the Reds lost the game against the San Diego Padres, 3–2. By the end of April, Votto had a .370 batting average, 4 home runs, and 14 runs batted in. He continued to get on base and posted a .500 on-base percentage. Votto began the season by reaching base in 27 consecutive games dating back to last season. The club record was by Dave Collins with 34 in 1981.

On June 25, Votto hit his 100th career home run against Brian Matusz of the Orioles. He later add another home run in the game. That was also his first mult-homer game of the season. He also drove in 5 runs, the most he drove in a game during the entire season. “That was a big night. Hit his 100th home run,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Boy, we need him badly.”

On July 3, Votto was voted in by the players for the 2011 All Star Game as a reserve. Votto went 0 for 2 with a strikeout. During the second half, Votto was still hitting for great average and getting on base. However, his power numbers were down from last season. On August 28, Votto hit a walk-off home run against the Nationals in the 14th inning.

On September 24, Votto drove in 2 runs against the Pirates for his 100th and 101st of the season and becoming the first Reds player to drive in 100 runs in back-to-back seasons since Dave Parker did it from 1985 to 1986. Reds Manager Dusty Baker was happy for Votto but he still felt it was more important for the Reds to win games. “You always want to see your players achieve goals, but the main thing is to win and we haven’t won nearly enough this year,”Baker said.Votto had a chance to hit 30 home runs for the second straight season but went 0 for 3 in the last game of the season. Nevertheless, he led the Reds in runs batted in (103), and batting average (.309) and was second on the Reds in homers(29).

Votto finished with a .309 batting average, 29 home runs, and 103 runs batted in. He also led the NL in doubles (40), base on balls (110), and on-base percentage (.416).

On November 1, Votto won his first Gold Glove Award. Votto would finish 6th in the NL MVP voting.
[edit] 2012 Season

On April 2, 2012, Votto signed a 10-year, $225 million contract extension with the Cincinnati Reds, running through the 2024 season. [11] The deal includes the two years that remained on Votto’s previous contract and pushes the total worth of the contract to 12 years, $251.5 Million, officially becoming the longest active deal in baseball. [12] The deal (including the one-year team option), is the fourth-largest deal in Major League Baseball history, behind only Alex Rodriguez’s contracts with the New York Yankees (10 years, $275 Million) and Texas Rangers (10 years, $252 Million) and Albert Pujols’ deal with the Los Angeles Angels (10 years, $240 Million), and is the longest-guarenteed contract in MLB history.[13]

On May 14, Votto went 4 for 5, hit 3 home runs, 6 RBI, including a walk-off grand slam against the Washington Nationals to win 9-6. It was the first time in Major League history that a player hit 3 home runs inclduing a walk-off grand slam in a single game.
[edit] Player Profile

Through the end of the 2011 season, Votto had a career .313 batting average, 119 home runs, and 401 runs batted in.

Votto has been known to show great patience at the plate. He led the NL in base on balls with 110 in 2011. His career on-base percentage is at .405. He led the NL in that category in 2010 and 2011.

Votto has also been known as being a clutch hitter. Through the end of 2011, Votto had a career .348 batting average with 28 home runs and 270 runs batted in with runners in scoring position.

Votto is also considered a very good defensive first basemen. He led the NL in assists for first basemen(173) and putouts as first basemen (1,341). He was also third in fielding percentage for first basemen with a .996 fielding percentage in 2011. He won his first Gold Glove Award in 2011.
Joey Votto hit a grand slam in the ninth inning for his third home run of the game, rallying the Reds to a rain-delayed 9-6 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday in Cincinnati.

Votto hit solo homers in his first two at-bats and finished a big day with his second career slam with two outs in the ninth.

Washington came into the game with only 15 homers allowed all season, fewest in the majors. Votto broke out of his power drought and helped the Reds avoid a sweep.

The last homer came against struggling closer Henry Rodriguez (1-3), who had trouble with his control on the wet mound. Rodriguez walked two batters to load the bases with two outs, then left a 2-and-2 pitch up and over the plate to Votto.

The 2010 NL MVP hadn’t homered since April 30 and had two coming into the game. He finished with a career-high six RBIs and the second three-homer game of his career.

Rangers 13, Angels 6 – Nelson Cruz hit his third career grand slam and Josh Hamilton drove in three runs as host Texas handed Jered Weaver his first loss.

Weaver (5-1), in his second start since throwing a no-hitter, gave up 10 hits and eight runs in 3 1/3 innings. It matched the most runs the righthander has allowed in his 185 career starts and was his shortest outing since 2009.

The slam by Cruz capped a five-run third for the Rangers. Hamilton, who had nine homers his previous six games, chased Weaver an inning later with a two-run double that made it 8-2.

Hamilton leads the majors in average (.402), homers (18), and RBIs (44).

Tigers 3, Athletics 1 – Justin Verlander struck out eight to win his fourth straight decision as Detroit beat host Oakland.

Miguel Cabrera hit a pair of RBI singles and Austin Jackson drew a bases-loaded walk in the sixth to put Detroit ahead, helping Verlander (4-1) win his 13th straight road decision dating to July 10.

Phillies 3, Padres 2 – Cole Hamels (5-1) was stellar in his return from a five-game suspension, working seven innings of one-run ball to help host Philadelphia beat San Diego.

Hamels, who allowed five hits while striking out five, was suspended by MLB after he intentionally threw a pitch that hit Washington rookie Bryce Harper last week.

Dodgers 11, Rockies 5 – Bobby Abreu hit a three-run double and A.J. Ellis added a three-run homer during a sixth-inning rally that carried Ted Lilly (5-0) and host Los Angeles over Colorado.

Twins 4, Blue Jays 3 – Scott Diamond (2-0) pitched seven shutout innings, Brian Dozier hit his first career homer, and host Minnesota held on to beat Toronto.

Toronto starter Ricky Romero (4-1) allowed nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, walked five, and did not strike out a batter for the first time in 101 career starts. Romero threw only 51 of his 99 pitches for strikes.

Rays 9, Orioles 8 – Elliot Johnson and Ben Zobrist homered, Carlos Pena ended an extended slump with two doubles and two RBIs, and visiting Tampa Bay beat Baltimore.

James Shields (6-1) gave up six runs, four earned, and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Braves 7 Cardinals 4 – Jason Heyward ended a 10-pitch at-bat with a bases-clearing double in the third inning as Atlanta finished a three-game sweep in St. Louis.

Carlos Beltran hit his sixth homer in six games, his NL-leading 13th of the season.

Marlins 8, Mets 4 – Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-out grand slam to cap a ninth-inning rally by host Miami. It was the second walkoff victory in the three-game series for the Marlins, who have won 10 of their last 12 games.

Cubs 8, Brewers 2 – Ian Stewart hit a solo homer and scored the go-ahead run on an error, helping visiting Chicago beat Milwaukee to avoid a three-game sweep.

Royals 9, White Sox 1 – Jeff Francoeur hit his first homer of the season, pinch hitter Johnny Giavotella had a two-run double, and visiting Kansas City beat Chicago.

Giants 7, Diamondbacks 3 – Melky Cabrera singled four times to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, Gregor Blanco drove in three runs, and San Francisco beat host Arizona.

Pirates 3, Astros 2 – Josh Harrison’s 12th-inning single drove in Clint Barmes and Pittsburgh beat visiting Houston.

As I stare at my giant Joey Votto SI poster, I wonder how one person can be so good at something to the point that it becomes ridiculous. Because Joseph Daniel Votto sure is good at playing baseball.

People have been “worried” about Joey since he hasn’t been playing as well as most people would have thought by now. Well, I think we can all agree that Joey is the last person we need to worry about. And honestly, I can’t believe people were worrying at all. I mean, this is Joey Votto we’re talking about.

Joseph doing what Joseph does best… Winning.

I was pretty satisfied after he hit just one home run. Then he hit two. I went a little crazy. But then this little guy happened…

And I went absolutely bonkers. If you need proof, check out my Twitter. Or I’m sure my neighbors might be able to tell you something about it, too. When Chris Welsh said, “I’m not so sure this really happened,” he was channeling just about every Reds fan, including myself, at the time.

I still can’t believe it ended like that.

It’s always nice to see something like that happen, especially with a semi-struggling team. This could be the spark the Reds need to get them back in the right direction. Let’s hope that it is.

And it’s nice to see that MLB is giving the Reds some love now. The Twitter account has been filled with Joey Votto tweets showing the rest of the baseball world how awesome our Joey Votto is.

But games like tonight remind me why I love baseball. This past week has been pretty kind to the game and my two favorite players. With Josh Hamilton’s performance last week and Joey’s tonight, it is hard not to love the game of baseball.
ohnny Cueto showed he could hold his own in a duel with one of baseball’s toughest pitchers at home, Zack Greinke.

Joey Votto and the Cincinnati Reds then found a way to give Dusty Baker a milestone victory.

Votto’s RBI double off John Axford broke a scoreless tie in the ninth, and the Reds edged the Milwaukee Brewers, 2-1, on Wednesday.

“Zack is always a handful,” Votto said. “John Axford is a very good pitcher in his own right, and then we stole one from him.”

The Reds won two of three against the struggling Brewers, leaving Baker with 1,500 victories as a major league manager.

Greinke pitched eight dominant innings for the Brewers before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. He gave up two hits with no walks and had a season-high 11 strikeouts — his 15th career double-digit strikeout game.

PITTSBURGH 4, WASHINGTON 2: Andrew McCutchen had four hits, including his second home run in as many nights, to lead the host Pirates. Nationals rookie outfielder Bryce Harper went 0-for-4 with a walk and popped to shortstop with the tying run on second in the ninth.

CHICAGO 1, ATLANTA 0: Paul Maholm outpitched Tim Hudson to win his fourth straight start, and Bryan LaHair hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning for the host Cubs. Maholm (4-2) allowed three hits in seven innings and combined with James Russell and Rafael Dolis on a four-hitter. Chicago took two of three from Atlanta.

COLORADO 6, SAN DIEGO 2: Left-hander Christian Friedrich pitched six solid innings to win his major league debut, and Jason Giambi and Wilin Rosario hit RBI doubles off the top of the fences at Petco Park as the visiting Rockies rallied to snap a five-game losing streak.

New York 10, PHILADELPHIA 6: Ike Davis hit a three-run homer, ex-Tiger Andres Torres also connected, and the Mets completed their first three-game sweep in Philadelphia in six years. Making his first start since straining his left oblique April 18, Phillies starter Cliff Lee allowed two runs and five hits, striking out six.

Miami 5, Houston 3 (12 innings): Ex-Tiger Omar Infante’s bases-loaded, two-RBI single in the 12th won it for the visiting Marlins.


zip line

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 12:59 am

A zip-line (also known as a flying fox, foefie slide, zip wire, aerial runway, aerial ropeslide, death slide or Tyrolean crossing)[1][2][3] consists of a pulley suspended on a cable, usually made of stainless steel, mounted on an incline. It is designed to enable a user propelled by gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable by holding on or attaching to the freely moving pulley. Zip-lines come in many forms, most often used as a means of entertainment. They may be short and low, intended for child’s play and found on some playgrounds. Longer and higher rides are often used as a means of accessing remote areas, such as a rainforest canopy. Zip-line tours are becoming popular vacation activities, found at outdoor adventure camps or upscale resorts, where they may be an element on a larger challenge or ropes course.[4]

* 1 Flying fox
* 2 Professional courses
* 3 Records
* 4 History
* 5 Zip line trolley
* 6 Recreational
* 7 Transportational
* 8 See also
* 9 References
* 10 External links

[edit] Flying fox

The term “flying fox” is most commonly used in reference to a small-scale zip line typically used as an item of children’s play equipment, except in Australia and New Zealand where it also refers to professional forms of zip-line equipment.[citation needed]

In a flying fox the pulley(s), attached to the car, is fixed to the cable. The car itself can consist of anything from a simple hand grip, with the user hanging underneath, or a bucket for transporting small items to a quite elaborate construction, perhaps including a seat or a safety strap. Children’s versions are usually not set up with a steep incline, so the speeds are kept relatively low, negating the need for a means of stopping.

In order to be propelled by gravity, the cable needs to be on a fairly steep slope. Even then the car will generally not travel completely to the end (although this will depend on the load), and some means of safely stopping the car at the bottom end is sometimes needed. It can be returned by several means, a line leading from the car to the uphill end being the simplest.

These are usually made with rope instead of steel cable to make it easier and cheaper to install, uninstall and transport.
[edit] Professional courses
Professional zip-line in Costa Rica
Zip-line set-up in Costa Rica

Professional versions of a zip-line are most typically used as an outdoor adventure activity. In contrast to “flying foxes” professional courses are usually operated at higher speeds covering much longer distances and sometimes at considerable heights. The users are physically attached to the cable by wearing a harness which attaches to a removable trolley. A helmet is required on almost all courses of any size.

Cables can be very high, starting at a height of over 30 feet (9 m), and travailing well over 1500 feet (457 m). All zip line cables have some degree of sag. The proper tensioning of a cable is important and allows the ability to tune the ride of a zip line.

Users of zip-lines must have means of stopping themselves. Typical mechanisms include:

* Friction created between the pulley against the cable.
* Thick purpose-built leather gloves.
* A mat or netting at the lower end of the incline.
* An arrester system composed of springs, pulleys, counterweights, bungee cord or other devices, which slows then stops the trolley’s motion.
* Gravity stop utilizing the inherent nature of the sag in the cable. The belly of the cable is always lower than the termination point. The amount of uphill on a zip line controls the speed at which the user arrives at the termination point.

Also a user can be stopped with a hand brake at the end of the zipline (operated by someone else) in case he fails to do any of the above.

Ziplines are a common way to return participants to the ground at the end of a ropes adventure course.

With proper knowledge and training on the part of the operators and good maintenance Ziplines are safe and easy to use.
[edit] Records

As of 2012, the Unreal Zip 2000 is advertised as the longest and fastest in the world. Located in Sun City, South Africa, it is 2000m long (about 1.25 miles), 280m high (about 918 feet), with an average speed of 120 km/h (about 75mph).[5][6]
[edit] History

The zip-wire is not a recent invention. It has been used as a transportation method in some mountainous countries. In some remote areas in China, zip lines serve the purposes of bridges across rivers. Referred to as “an inclined strong”,[7] one appears in The Invisible Man by H.G Wells, published in 1897, as part of a Whit-Monday fair.

In 1739, Robert Cadman, a steeplejack and ropeslider, died when descending from Shrewsbury’s St Mary’s Church when his rope snapped.

Alberto Santos-Dumont used a direct ancestor of the zip-line in the spring of 1906 for a method of testing various characteristics of his 14bis pioneer era canard biplane, before it ever flew under its own power later that year.

In past days in the Australian outback, flying foxes were occasionally used for delivering food, cigarettes or tools to people working on the other side of an obstacle such as a gully or river. Australian troops have used them to deliver food, mail and even ammunition to forward positions in several conflicts.
[edit] Zip line trolley

A zip line trolley is a metal device that connects a person or a load to a cable and allows them to move along the cable either under their own power or by using gravity. A trolley usually consists of a metal frame with one or more shivs (wheels) that the trolley runs on. The load or user is connected to the trolley via a carabiner or another form of engineered link and a harness. Occasionally trolleys have a handhold or handlebar although this system does not provide any fall protection and should only be used on zip lines that are low to the ground and over water.

Some zip lines are used for true transportation value while others are purely for recreation and amusement.
A Georgia college graduate student who lost one limb and will probably lose others to flesh-eating bacteria is mouthing words to her family and showing a “fighting spirit,” her father said Friday.

Aimee Copeland is fighting for her life at an Augusta hospital after her left leg and part of her abdomen were removed last week. She contracted the infection after injuring her calf in a zip line accident 10 days ago.

“I would say that she has more commands than questions right now,” Andy Copeland told “CNN Newsroom,” saying his daughter’s breathing tube was repositioned so her parents could read her lips. ” ‘I can’t talk,’ was what she said. And we said, ‘We know honey, you’ve got a tube down your throat.’

“She said, ‘Then take it out.’ So her fighting spirit is obviously shining through right now.”

Aimee, 24, contracted the bacteria — Aeromonas hydrophila — during an outing with friends near the Little Tallapoosa River, about 50 miles west of Atlanta, on May 1, her family has said. She fell when a homemade zip line she was using snapped, and she gashed her left calf.

The family has said she sought medical treatment for the wound and received 22 staples to close it, according to CNN affiliate WSB. But on May 4, after she complained of pain for days, a friend took her to an emergency room, and she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis and flown to Augusta for surgery. She went into cardiac arrest after being removed from the operating table, but was resuscitated, CNN affiliate WGCL reported.

Her father wrote in an Internet post Thursday that her hands and remaining foot also will have to be amputated soon, because blood vessels there have died as the disease has spread. He said Friday that Aimee doesn’t yet know about these next amputations.

“There’s no way I would reveal that to her in her current state. I believe that it would just traumatize her further,” he said, adding that a psychiatrist at the hospital will tell her when she’s able to talk.

Andy Copeland wrote Thursday that Aimee shows no sign of brain damage and that a doctor said her lungs are healing. On Friday, he told CNN the road ahead for Aimee will be difficult.

“It’s obvious (that) if you’re missing one limb, it’s going to be hard enough. But if you’re missing all of your limbs, it’s going to be incredibly difficult,” he said. “But I guess I want everybody to know is that she’s not alone. She’s got her family to support her in this, and just not us.”

Thousands of people have connected with a Facebook page that the family also is using to update her progress.

“She’s got the support of the entire world right now. And that’s really what’s humbled us greatly in this entire process, just knowing that everybody’s looking at Aimee and praying for Aimee and just offering their undying support. For that, we’ll be eternally grateful.”

Aimee Copeland, of Snellville, Georgia, is a graduate psychology student at the University of West Georgia and was scheduled to complete her master’s degree in the fall, school spokeswoman Yolanda Rodriguez said.

On Thursday night, a couple dozen students and faculty members attended a vigil for her in a building that houses the school’s psychology department.

“Despite the fact that medical evidence says she should be dead, she isn’t. I think that’s what makes it so precious to so many people, to see how amazing she really is,” Chris Aanstoos, a University of West Georgia professor, told WSB on Thursday.

Dr. Buddy Creech, an assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, said that Aeromonas hydrophila is one of many bacteria that can cause a flesh-eating process and that this one is “remarkably common in the water and in the environment.”

“When it gets into those deeper tissues, it has a remarkable ability to destroy the tissues that surround it in sort of this hunt for nutrition,” Creech said Friday. “When it does that, those tissues die, and you see the inflammation and the swelling and the destruction that can be very difficult to control.”


survivor one world

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 12:56 am

As we’ve done all season long, MTV News joined forces with two-time “Survivor” contestant and regular commentator Rob Cesternino once again for his final “One World” predictions.

Most Likely to Win: Kim Spradlin
“Since the departure of Colton, ‘Survivor: One World’ has been the season of Kim,” Cesternino said. “She’s been in control of every single thing that’s happened the whole way. She’s had her finger on the pulse of the game. She played an amazing game and I think it would be almost criminal if she did not win — barring a total collapse during the finale.”

Least Likely to Win: Christina Cha
“Christina at no point in the game has been in a favorable position,” Rob reasoned. “It seems unlikely to think that she’ll run off with two consecutive immunity challenges here at the end, when she’s never even been in the mix to win one immunity challenge. She doesn’t have the respect of the jury, considering some of those people were terrified by the possibility of going home before Christina. She hasn’t done anything to get there.”

Dark-Horse Pick: Sabrina Thompson
“I think she is very savvy,” the former player said. “I also think she’s well-liked by the jury. I think she could be an alternative to Kim in the finals, where she’s able to sit there and say, ‘Look, I didn’t lie to you, and I didn’t backstab you. That was all Kim. All of that bad stuff? Kim. I was here the whole way, and I was tough.’ Sabrina is someone who could at least get a couple of votes in the finals. Maybe, if the jury goes anti-Kim, she could potentially squeak out a victory.”

Worst-Case Scenario: Bitter Jury Syndrome
“I think it would be a shame if Kim makes it all the way to the finals and ends up losing the jury vote just as a way of getting back at her for voting out all of the men in the game,” Rob said. “It’s happened before on ‘Survivor,’ where the jury is bitter. I don’t think Kim’s social game has been lacking. It would be good to see someone who plays the best game get rewarded by the jury. Otherwise, as Russell Hantz has said before, the game would be flawed.”

Biggest Possible Surprise: Kim Goes at Four
“The most surprising thing that could happen at the end of the season, for me, would be that one of these players smartens up and realizes that Kim has had the immunity idol and can’t play it once she hits the final four. If she doesn’t win that immunity challenge, the smartest thing that any of them can do is to take her out,” Cesternino said. “If I’m Chelsea, and if I’m Sabrina, I don’t know how I’ve gone this far without ever trying to take out Kim. It kills me to see these players roll over and die and give this game to Kim as they’ve done all season. If they turned on her at the final four, I would be very surprised.”

Get more of Rob’s thoughts on “Survivor” by following him on Twitter.
A woman! But you knew that already if you’ve been watching Survivor: One World this season where the women have dominated the game. In fact the entire final five can all sing Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman.” I’m about to reveal who took home the $1 million smackeroonies, so if you don’t want to know, then hit the back button now.

As if you didn’t see it coming, Kim Sprandlin, a bridal shop owner from Texas, is the latest to enter the Richard Hatch fraternity of people who made a million bucks by sitting on a desert island with a bunch of bugs, eating a bunch of coconuts, and screwing a bunch of people over. Kim, who I lovingly called Candice Bergen in my recaps, was a dominating force both physically and socially in the game winning a good number of challenges while orchestrating the ouster of nearly every player after the merge. She beat out Sabrina, a well-liked teacher, and some blonde ghost who didn’t do much for anything.

Kim’s biggest move in the game was convincing the other guys to vote out other men so that she and her alliance of women could run roughshod over everyone with a Y chromosome. Congratulations, Candice, you are the victor of a boring season of Survivor where we saw the ending coming a few months ago. That doesn’t make you any less of a winner.
Stay tuned for a full recap of the last episode here on Monday morning.
It’s no secret that I wasn’t crazy about this season of Survivor. Just not enough likeable people and not enough signature moments for my taste. But there is something satisfying about watching the most deserving player from the starting line to the finish line being rewarded for their efforts. And that is what happened on Survivor: One World when Kim Spradlin was crowned the winner. Kim may not have the on-screen charm or charisma that Tom Westman, Parvati Shallow, or Boston Rob had, but her win was every bit as impressive.

There are three aspects to Survivor: the social, the strategic, and the physical. Kim was head and shoulders better than anyone else in all three categories. She duped Troyzan, She duped Jay. She duped Alicia and Christina. She duped everyone. And not in a mean way, but in a smart way. And she won four individual immunities as icing on the cake. The thing that truly sealed the deal for…

[Door busts open to Ross residence; in walks a scraggly looking man in a buff]

Dalton: “Ummm Troyzan, what are you doing here?”

Troyzan: “Look, you, just so you know, Mr. Fancy Recapper guy, that is still my island, okay? People say I’m just like Richard Hatch…only better!”

Dalton: “Okay. If you say so.”

Troyzan: “Let me just ask you one thing. Just one thing. Tell me the moment where in your mind you basically decimated my chances of winning this game. And you better tell me the right answer, or else!”

Dalton: “Or else what?”

Troyzan: “Or else I’m going to vote for Sabrina to take over your recaps.”

Dalton; “Sabrina?”

Troyzan” Yes, Sabrina. She’s a teacher so at least she won’t have any many stupid typos as you do.”

Dalton: “Harsh, but fair.”

Troyzan: “So when was it? When was the moment you demolished in your mind my chances of winning this game?”

Dalton: “I suppose the moment I found out you called yourself Troyzan.”

Troyzan: “SABRINA, GET OVER HERE! I’M VOTING FOR YOU AGAIN! Pssst, I vote for her for something anytime I don’t like what people tell me.”

Dalton: “Okay, well, can I just finish that one last recap at least?

Troyzan: “Fine, but make sure to talk all about how much sense my final vote made. And how I’ve played the best game that anyone has ever seen.”

Dalton: “Oh, yeah, definitely. One for the ages, buddy!”

Okay, sorry about that. Back to our regularly scheduled recap. Unfortunately, Kim had no legitimate competition, which is why the journey for One World viewers felt so unfulfilling at times this season. But if you like to see greatness rewarded, then the end couldn’t help but be satisfying. After all, what was the alternative? Alicia?!? (After all, according to her, she and Kim are total twinsies!) Okay, let’s take it from the top in an episode that provided one great challenge, one not so great challenge, the return of an old friend, and the redemption of Kat Edorsson.

Every Survivor finale has one big, huge, epic challenge, and tonight’s first competition fit the bill. The players had to untie ropes to open a gate, race across a giant balance beam maze, traverse a rope net while collecting five bags of puzzle pieces, and then use pieces to solve puzzle, which would give them clues to three numbers. Okay, let me stop and catch my breath for a second. Alright, then they had to use those three numbers to solve the combination lock.
probably just been called “Survivor: Kim’s World.”

Kim Spradlin not only won the CBS reality competition’s $1 million grand prize Sunday, the crafty 29-year-old bridal shop owner from San Antonio, Texas, also brought the alliance that she helped form at the game’s outset to the final tribal council all while engineering the dismissal of each member of the show’s nine-person jury of former players.

“I strategized until I was blue in the face,” said Spradlin.

The jury ultimately voted for Spradlin over her allies, 33-year-old high school teacher Sabrina Thompson of New York and 26-year-old medical saleswoman Chelsea Meissner of Charleston, S.C. Spradlin, Meissner and Thompson worked together from the first day of the game, which originally featured two tribes divided by sex living on the same beach in Samoa.

“We were a mess at the beginning, and then we just pulled it together,” said Thompson, who nabbed two jury votes to Spradlin’s seven. Spradlin also received the most viewer votes, winning an additional $100,000 fan-favorite prize.

Spradlin secured her place among the final three contestants on the 24th edition of “Survivor” by winning four individual immunity challenges, including the final two physical competitions, which ousted 29-year-old career consultant Christina Cha of Los Angeles and 25-year-old special education teacher Alicia Rosa of Chicago from the 39-day contest.

At the end of the finale, “Survivor” host Jeff Probst announced that the upcoming 25th season would be titled “Survivor: Philippines” and would feature three tribes as well as three returning contestants that previously removed from the game for medical concerns.

May 12, 2012

volcker rule

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 5:58 am

The Volcker Rule is a specific section of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act originally proposed by American economist and former United States Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to restrict United States banks from making certain kinds of speculative investments that do not benefit their customers.[1] Volcker argued that such speculative activity played a key role in the financial crisis of 2007–2010. The rule is often referred to as a ban on proprietary trading by commercial banks, whereby deposits are used to trade on the bank’s personal accounts, although a number of exceptions to this ban were included in the Dodd-Frank law.[2][3] The rule’s provisions are scheduled to be implemented as a part of Dodd-Frank on July 21, 2012[4], with preceding ramifications.[5]

* 1 Background
* 2 Proposal
* 3 Implementation
* 4 Ongoing regulatory debate in the European Union
* 5 Historical antecedents
* 6 See also
* 7 References

[edit] Background

Volcker was appointed by President Barack Obama as the chair of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board on February 6, 2009. President Obama created the board to advise the Obama Administration on economic recovery matters.[6] Volcker argued vigorously that since a functioning commercial banking system is essential to the stability of the entire financial system, for banks to engage in high-risk speculation created an unacceptable level of systemic risk.[7] He also argued that the vast increase in the use of derivatives, designed to mitigate risk in the system, had produced exactly the opposite effect.[8]
[edit] Proposal

The Volcker Rule was first publicly endorsed by President Obama on January 21, 2010.[9][10] The proposal specifically prohibits a bank or institution that owns a bank from engaging in proprietary trading that is not at the behest of its clients, and from owning or investing in a hedge fund or private equity fund, as well as limiting the liabilities that the largest banks could hold.[11] Under discussion is the possibility of restrictions on the way market making activities are compensated; traders would be paid on the basis of the spread of the transactions rather than any profit that the trader made for the client.[12]

On January 21, 2010, under the same initiative, President Obama announced his intention to end the mentality of “Too big to fail.”[11]

In a February 22, 2010 letter to The Wall Street Journal, five former Secretaries of the Treasury endorsed The Volcker Rule proposals.[13] As of February 23, 2010, the US congress began to consider a weaker bill allowing federal regulators to restrict proprietary trading and hedge fund ownership by banks, but not prohibiting these activities altogether.[9]

Senators Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, and Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, introduced the main piece of the Volcker Rule – its limitations on proprietary trading – as an amendment to the broader Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation that was passed by the United States Senate on May 20, 2010. Despite having wide support in the Senate, the amendment was never given a vote. When the Merkley-Levin Amendment was first brought to the floor, Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, objected to a motion to vote on the amendment.[14] Merkley and Levin responded by attaching the amendment to another amendment to the bill put forth by Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas. Shortly before it was due to be voted upon, Brownback withdrew his own amendment, thus killing the Merkley-Levin amendment and the Volcker Rule as part of the Senate bill.[15]

Despite this vote, this proposal made it into the final legislation when the House-Senate conference committee passed a strengthened version of the rule that included the language prepared by Senators Merkley and Levin. The original Merkley-Levin amendment and the final legislation both covered more types of proprietary trading than the original rule proposed by the administration. It also banned conflict of interest trading. Senator Levin commented on the importance of that aspect: “We are also pleased that the conference report includes strong language to prevent the obscene conflicts of interest revealed in the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing with Goldman Sachs. This is an important victory for fairness for investors such as pension funds and for the integrity of the financial system. As the Goldman Sachs investigation showed, business as usual on Wall Street has for too long allowed banks to create instruments which are based on junky assets, then sell them to clients, and bet against their own clients by betting on their failure. The measure approved by the conferees ends that type of conflict which Wall Street has engaged in.”[16]

However, conferees changed the proprietary trading ban to allow banks to invest in hedge funds and private equity funds at the request of Senator Scott Brown (R-Mass.), whose vote was needed in the Senate to pass the bill.[17] Proprietary trading in Treasurys, bonds issued by government-backed entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as municipal bonds is also exempted.[18][19]

Since the passage of the Financial Reform Bill, many banks and financial firms have indicated that they don’t expect The Volcker Rule to have a significant impact on their profits.[20]
[edit] Implementation

Public comments to the Financial Services Oversight Council on how exactly the rule should be implemented were submitted through November 5, 2010.[21] Financial firms such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. posted comments expressing concerns about the rule.[22] Republican representatives to Congress have also expressed concern about the Volcker Rule,[23] saying the rule’s prohibitions may hamper the competitiveness of American banks in the global marketplace, and may seek to cut funding to the federal agencies responsible for its enforcement.[22] Incoming Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Representative Spencer Bachus (R-Alabama), has stated that he is seeking to limit the impact of the Volcker Rule, although Volcker himself has stated that he expects backers of the rule to prevail over such critics.[24]

Regulators presented a proposed form of the Volcker Rule for public comment on October 11, 2011, which was approved by the SEC, The Federal Reserve, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC.[25] The proposed regulations were immediately criticized by banking groups as being too costly to implement, and by reform advocates for being weak and filled with loopholes.[26][27] On January 12, 2012 CFTC (the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission) became the final major regulator to vote in favor of the bill.

Volcker himself stated that he would have preferred a simpler set of rules: “I’d write a much simpler bill. I’d love to see a four-page bill that bans proprietary trading and makes the board and chief executive responsible for compliance. And I’d have strong regulators. If the banks didn’t comply with the spirit of the bill, they’d go after them.”[28]

Regulators gave the public until February 13, 2012 to comment on the proposed draft of the law (over 17,000 comments were made)[29]. Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, the regulations go into effect on July 21, 2012. However, during his report to Congress on February 29, 2012, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank and other regulators won’t meet that deadline.[29]
[edit] Ongoing regulatory debate in the European Union

Mainland European scholars and lawmakers have also discussed the necessity of banking reform in light of the current crisis, recommending the adoption of specific regulations limiting proprietary trading by banks and their affiliates- notably in France where SFAF and World Pensions Council (WPC) banking experts have argued that, beyond fragmented national legislations, such rules should be adopted and implemented within the broader context of Pan-European statutory laws valid across the European Union. [30].
For supporters of the Volcker Rule, JPMorgan’s (JPM: 36.96, -3.78, -9.28%) $2 billion bad bet is “manna from heaven,” proof that big investment banks shouldn’t be gambling their clients’ money in the big casino.

“Understandably and predictably, supporters of the Volcker rule will use this to advance their cause,” said one financial policy expert who opposes the measure that would prohibit big banks from speculating for their own benefit.

But the supporters are badly missing the point, the expert said. JPMorgan’s loss isn’t an argument for the Volcker rule, he said, it’s an argument for capital.

“The purpose of capital is to serve as a buffer for banks when banks sustain losses due to mistakes. As many people are indicating today, this is barely going to make a dent in JPMorgan’s earnings and it’s going to have no impact on their capital. From a safety and soundness standpoint, this is a non-event,” he explained.

On Thursday JPMorgan announced after the markets closed that it had bet wrong on the strength of the U.S. recovery. An investment strategy that involved complex derivatives had backfired on the investment banking giant, leaving a $2 billion hole, with more losses likely.

Almost immediately, supporters of a rule proposed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker intended to rein in speculative bets by big banks like JPMorgan, often described as “too big to fail,” began pointing to the bank’s losses as proof of their case.

Supporters of the Volcker rule, a key element of the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation passed in 2010, say risky speculation by big banks in search of outsized profits played a significant role in the 2008 financial crisis.

JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon, who led the bank’s conference call Thursday, addressed the argument: “This doesn’t violate the Volcker rule, but it violates the Dimon principle,” he told analysts and reporters.

Dimon has been outspoken in his opposition to stricter regulations of the financial industry, arguing that they will curtail market competition and cut into bank profits.

Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who helped write the proposed Volcker legislation, barely waited for Dimon to end his conference call Thursday before issuing a statement calling for tougher regulations limiting risk taking by banks.

In any case, some analysts pointed out Friday that the losses sustained by JPMorgan will be easily absorbed by the bank.

JPMorgan: $2.2 Trillion in Assets

JPMorgan had $99.8 billion in revenue in 2011, should have $98 billion in 2012, and is forecast to have $101 billion in revenue in 2013, according to research note issued by Nomura on Friday.

Moreover, the bank has more than $2.2 trillion in assets.

“Others can comment on what this really means but the market cap of JPMorgan is $155 billion, and the investment banking arm had revenues of $26 billion in 2011, while the overall bank’s revenues were close to $100 billion,” Kit Juckes, chief of foreign exchange at Société Générale, told Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

“All the numbers are huge – the losses and the earnings. There will be lots of headlines and this is fuel both for a market which is looking for reasons to be risk averse, and for advocates of limits on banks’ risk-taking. But it would be wrong to overstate the macro significance.”

In other words, the losses are JPMorgan’s problem and JPMorgan will handle it.

The financial policy expert interviewed by FOXBusiness.com said JPMorgan has “enormous amounts of capital, and this is why they do.”

Indeed, in March JPMorgan was one of 15 big banks to pass a stress test administered by the Federal Reserve Board. The tests were conducted to determine if banks had enough capital to withstand a sudden crisis similar to the subprime mortgage meltdown in 2008 that nearly crippled global markets.

JPMorgan’s passing grade allowed the bank to raise its quarterly dividend to 30 cents and announce a buyback of up to $12 billion in stock this year.

While the $2 billion (and counting) in losses suffered on bets related to corporate bonds is certainly a black eye for JPMorgan and Dimon, the failed bets should be viewed for what they are, the policy expert said.

“Banks are in the risk business. Finance is about taking and managing risk,” he said. “This is an argument for capital and the good news is that JPMorgan has lots of it.”
Lawmakers and interest groups favoring tighter restrictions on proprietary trading said Friday that JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion loss on synthetic credit securities bolsters their case.

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and co-author of the so-called Volcker rule, said the New York-based bank’s disclosure is a “stark reminder” to regulators drafting the proprietary-trading ban required by the Dodd-Frank Act.

“Regulators are under huge pressure by Wall Street and others to weaken the clear language in Dodd-Frank,” Levin, D-Mich., said Friday in a Bloomberg Television interview. JPMorgan’s trade is “clearly not permitted under the Volcker language.”

The rule named for former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker was included in the 2010 regulatory overhaul as a way to keep banks from putting federally insured deposits at risk. Wall Street firms including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have lobbied to expand exemptions included in their initial proposal, complaining that the measure is so broad and ill-defined that it will increase risks for clients.

“Their ability to shape the discussion in Washington, D.C., on the Volcker rule might have gotten materially set back,” David Hendler, an analyst at CreditSights Inc., said in an interview.

Levin and Sen. Jeff Merkley, the Oregon Democrat who co-wrote the provision, have used meetings and a comment letter to press regulators to tighten restrictions in the final rule. Levin said that while he hadn’t decided whether the disclosure would lead to congressional hearings, it should underline the intent of the law for regulators drafting the final rule.

Julie Edwards, Merkley’s spokeswoman, said the JPMorgan disclosure “speaks for itself.”

Rep. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who co-wrote the regulatory law that bears his name, said the loss “obviously goes counter to the bank’s narrative blaming excessive regulation for the woes of financial institutions.”

JPMorgan’s travails may serve to undermine banks’ efforts to shape the Volcker restrictions as regulators including the Fed, Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. work to complete and implement the final rule.
he senators behind the Volcker Rule warned Friday that regulators implementing it have proposed a loophole that would have allowed JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s $2-billion trading loss.

“That loophole should be closed,” said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Levin and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., wrote the provision in the 2010 financial reform law designed to limit trading by depositary banks for their own accounts. The Federal Reserve and other agencies are drafting the specific regulations covering that proprietary trading.

The law was intended to prevent the type of broad, risky bets that led to JPMorgan’s huge loss, Levin and Merkley told reporters Friday.

But JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and other industry officials have lobbied regulators heavily to loosen the restrictions. Draft regulations would allow such bets because JPMorgan characterized it as a hedge, the senators said.

“JPMorgan’s loss is a stark warning about the dangers of having major banks take these risky bets,” Levin said. “This is not a hedge as we defined it in the law.”

The Volcker rule allows banks to hedge against losses, and Dimon said Thursday the trades that led to the $2 billion loss would not have violated proposed regulations.

But Levin and Merkley said the law clearly prohibits broad hedging to offset risks from a portfolio or the direction of the economy. Only hedges tied to specific assets are allowed, they said.

The senators wrote a lengthy letter to regulators in February warning that “banks could easily use portfolio-based hedging to mask proprietary trading.”

Regulators should heed the example from JPMorgan’s huge trading loss to close the loophole before finalizing the regulations in July, Levin and Merkley said.

“Wall Street is spending a fortune to try to water down the language of this law,” Levin said. “They’re trying to wriggle out from under it and it should not be permitted.”


william balfour

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 5:57 am

A Chicago jury has convicted Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson’s former brother-in-law of murdering her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in what prosecutors described as an act of vengeance by a jilted husband.

The jury convicted 31-year-old William Balfour on three-counts of first degree murder on Friday, after three days of deliberations. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Hudson eyes filled with tears and she shook her head and bit her lip as the verdict was read.

Prosecutors had to build an overwhelming circumstantial case tying Balfour to the killings because there were no surviving witnesses. Defense attorneys claimed the killings could have been related to Hudson’s brother’s alleged drug dealing.

Hudson was the first witness called and attended every day of testimony in the trial.

Prosecutors said Balfour killed the three victims in a jealous rage after his then-estranged wife, Hudson’s sister Julia Hudson, refused to reconcile with him. Defense attorneys argued the evidence tying Balfour to the October 2008 killings is circumstantial.

With no surviving witnesses to the Oct. 24, 2008, slayings, prosecutors built a circumstantial case against Balfour by calling 83 witnesses over 11 days of testimony. Witnesses said he threatened to kill the entire family if Julia Hudson spurned him.

Balfour’s attorneys proposed an alternate theory: that someone else in the crime-ridden neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side targeted the family because of alleged crack-cocaine dealing by Jennifer Hudson’s brother, Jason Hudson. During the 30 minutes in which they called just two witnesses, however, they presented no evidence to support that theory.

The killings occurred the morning after Julia Hudson’s birthday, and prosecutors said he became enraged when he stopped by the home and saw a gift of balloons in the house from her new boyfriend.

After his estranged wife left for her job as a bus driver on the morning of Oct. 24, 2008, prosecutors say Balfour went back inside the home with a .45-caliber handgun and shot Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, in the back; he allegedly then shot Jason Hudson, 29, twice in the head as he lay in bed.

Prosecutors said Balfour then drove off in Jason Hudson’s SUV with Julia’s son, Julian King, and shot the boy several times in the head as he lay behind a front seat. His body was found in the abandoned vehicle miles away after a three-day search.

Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson softly sobbed and leaned into her fiance’s shoulder Friday as a Cook County jury convicted her former brother-in-law of murdering her mother, brother and nephew in October 2008.

Though Hudson’s celebrity drew national media to the Chicago courthouse for the 13-day trial, she apparently had little impact on the jury. Several members told reporters that her name was rarely mentioned during deliberations. Their only conversation about her focused on her testimony, and their opinion that it offered little help in reaching a verdict.

“This was not for us the Jennifer Hudson case,” juror Jacinta Gholston of south suburban Chicago said. “It was the People of Illinois vs. William Balfour.”

Balfour was convicted of fatally shooting Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57; her brother, Jason Hudson, 29; and her 7-year-old nephew Julian King. Prosecutors alleged Balfour was upset that his estranged wife, Hudson’s sister, Julia, was seeing another man.

Balfour faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison because he has been convicted of multiple murders. His attorney, Amy Thompson, says the 31-year-old Chicago man will appeal, and she downplayed the suggestion that Hudson’s celebrity impacted the trial.

“I think the jury was paying attention. They didn’t seem too interested in the coming and goings of people in the courtroom, including Miss Hudson,” she said.

Hudson did not immediately speak to reporters after court.

Despite her star status, the singer maintained an intentionally low-profile during the three-week trial as she declined media interviews about the case and made no mentions of it on social media. Except for the brief moments when she walked from the elevators to a private waiting area each day, Hudson did not mix with the general public.

Prosecutors planned it like this to keep their most famous – and sympathetic – witness away from the spotlight during the proceedings. They went to uncommon lengths to shield her, including driving her to the courthouse each morning and allowing her to enter through a back door out of view of photographers and cameramen.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said she spoke with an “emotional” Hudson and her sister, Julia, after the verdict. Before the trial began, Hudson had informed prosecutors of her plans to attend the entire trial because she said her mother would have done the same if the situation were reversed.

“She said ‘This was my mother. If it were me (who was killed), my mother would be here every day. So I’m gonna be every day,’” Alvarez said.

Hudson sat quietly in the courtroom gallery’s fourth row each day with her fiance and did little to draw attention to herself, opting to bow her head and stare at the floor during upsetting testimony. Both she and her sister stayed out of the courtroom on several occasions when graphic crime scene images were shown to the jury.

Still, Hudson provided one of the trial’s most dramatic moments when she appeared as the prosecution’s first witness. As she struggled to maintain her composure, she described how no one in the family wanted Julia Hudson to marry Balfour because of the way he treated her sister and Julian.

Jurors deliberated a total of about 18 hours since Wednesday, and were sequestered in a local hotel for two nights. Members described a disciplined deliberation process in which they voted whether each of the more than 80 witnessed called to the stand was credible. They also constructed a detailed timeline, using it to see whether Balfour’s alibi matched his whereabouts on the day of the murders.

The panel did not take its first straw poll until Friday morning – more than 13 hours into their discussion. The initial vote was 9-3 in favor of convicting.

“Some of us tried our best to make him innocent, but the facts just weren’t there,” juror Tracie Austin of Chicago said.

According to police records, Balfour became angry after visiting Julia Hudson at her mother’s home on the morning of Oct. 24, 2008, and seeing Sweetest Day balloons that she received from her new boyfriend. The couple had been separated for about eight months, despite Balfour’s reconciliation attempts.

After Julia Hudson left for work, Balfour returned to the house and fatally shot Donerson and Jason Hudson, prosecutors say. They alleged he then kidnapped his stepson Julian, drove him to the West Side of Chicago in Jason Hudson’s SUV and killed him.

Balfour, an Englewood, Ill., drug dealer who served prison time for attempted murder, was arrested that evening at his girlfriend’s apartment.

Julian King’s body was found three days later following a citywide manhunt and a $100,000 reward posted by his famous aunt.

“There was never a rush to judgment,” Alvarez said. “We are very, very happy with the verdict in this case.”

Lacking DNA or fingerprints connecting Balfour to the slayings, prosecutors presented a largely circumstantial case that painted a gritty portrait of the Hudson family’s life in the impoverished Englewood neighborhood. Witness after witness depicted the community as a violent world of drugs, guns and people with aliases such as Widget, Daddy-O, Smurf and Flex.

The defense, meanwhile, used the witnesses to paint Englewood as a dangerous, nearly lawless neighborhood where even Hudson’s relatives struggled to stay clean. Hudson’s brother, Jason, was a known drug dealer who carried a gun for protection and sold crack to addicts who lived nearby, a relative testified.

Balfour’s attorneys repeatedly suggested the crimes were connected to Jason Hudson, who had been shot five times in the leg during a 2004 drug-related home invasion in Michigan. The defense repeatedly criticized Chicago police for failing to investigate whether his illicit activities could have played a role in the murders, saying authorities wanted to solve the case quickly because Jennifer Hudson’s celebrity had created intense media interest in the crime.

Given her frequent contact with Donerson, Hudson testified that she found it odd when she woke up the morning of Oct. 24, 2008, and did not have a text message waiting from her mother.

In a halting voice, she recalled receiving a frantic phone call from her sister hours later and told how she flew back immediately to Chicago to identify the bodies of her mother and brother at the morgue.

Her sister, Julia, however, served as the prosecution’s key witness as she told jurors about a dysfunctional marriage with Balfour that began with a 2006 wedding that she kept hidden from family for about two months. He resented the gifts Jennifer gave her, and he didn’t like her son to kiss Julia or put his head on her lap, she said.

The relationship began to deteriorate when she went to Japan with Jennifer to promote “Dreamgirls,” the movie musical for which Hudson won an Oscar in 2007. Balfour began seeing other women while she was away and did not stop after she returned, Julia Hudson said.

Despite separating in February 2008, the couple continued to have sexual relations in the months leading up to the killings. Julia Hudson testified that Balfour threatened to kill her and her family more than two dozen times, but she never went to the police or filed an order of protection.

“I didn’t believe him,” Julia said.


josh hamilton

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 5:55 am

Joshua Holt Hamilton (born May 21, 1981) is an American professional baseball player. An outfielder, Hamilton has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) since 2007. A member of the Texas Rangers (2008–present), he also played for the Cincinnati Reds (2007). He is a four-time MLB All Star and American League Most Valuable Player in 2010.[1]

He was the first overall pick in the 1999 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.[2] He was considered a blue chip prospect until injuries and a drug addiction derailed his career, beginning in 2001. Prior to the 2007 season, Hamilton was selected by the Chicago Cubs (picking for the Cincinnati Reds) in the Rule 5 Draft.[3] He made his MLB debut in 2007 with the Reds and had a successful rookie season. During the off-season he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Edinson Volquez and Daniel Ray Herrera.[4]

After his torrid start to the 2008 season, Hamilton was named to the American League All Star team, and made the All-Star team the next three seasons as well. He also participated in the Home Run Derby, where he hit a record 28 home runs in the opening round and finished with 35 home runs, which was second-most all-time in derby history.[5][6] Hamilton won the AL batting title in 2010. On October 22, 2010, Hamilton was selected as MVP of the 2010 ALCS. On November 23, 2010, Hamilton was named the 2010 AL MVP, earning 22 of 28 first-place votes.[7] On May 8, 2012 Hamilton became the 16th player in Major League history to hit four home runs in a game, and set an AL record for total bases in a game with 18.[8]

Hamilton is known for exemplifying Muscular Christianity through the public expression of his Christian faith.[9][10]

* 1 Early career
* 2 Rule 5 Draft
* 3 Cincinnati Reds (2007)
* 4 Texas Rangers (2008–present)
o 4.1 2008
o 4.2 2009
o 4.3 2010: An MVP season
o 4.4 2011
o 4.5 2012
* 5 Personal life
o 5.1 Family
o 5.2 Drug addiction and alcoholism
o 5.3 Nightclub incidents
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links

[edit] Early career

Hamilton attended Athens Drive High School, in Raleigh, North Carolina, and later, was the first overall selection (by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays) in the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft. Shortly after the draft, Hamilton signed with Tampa Bay, receiving a $3.96 million signing bonus, and joined their minor league system.[2][11] His first stop in the minors was the rookie level Princeton Devil Rays of the Appalachian League where he played 56 games. He later joined the Hudson Valley Renegades, and helped lead them to their first New York-Penn League championship. After this successful debut in professional baseball, he spent the 2000 season with the Charleston RiverDogs in the South Atlantic League.[12] At the start of his pro career, Hamilton’s parents quit their jobs so they could travel with their son.[13]

Prior to the 2001 season, Hamilton was involved in an automobile accident. His mother and father were also injured in the accident, but they recuperated from their injuries. The 2001 season also marked the beginning of his drug and alcohol use, and he made his first attempt at rehab.[13] Hamilton only played 45 games in the 2001 season, split between Charleston (A-Ball) and the Orlando Rays, a AA team in the Southern League. Hamilton began the 2002 season with the Bakersfield Blaze, batting .303 with 9 home runs and 44 RBIs in 56 games before his season came to an end due to lingering toe and neck injuries.[12]

At the start of the 2003 season, Hamilton showed up late several times during spring training and was reassigned to the team’s minor league camp. He left the team and resurfaced several times, but eventually took the rest of the season off for personal reasons. Hamilton was hoping to return to spring training with the Devil Rays in 2004, but he was suspended 30 days and fined for violating the drug policy put in place by MLB. Because of the length of his suspension, and the terms of the drug policy, Hamilton must have failed two or more drug tests after being put into the program. A “failed” test is one in which there is a positive result for a drug more severe than marijuana.[14] The suspension was increased several times, after repeated violations of the terms of the program.[15]

From 2004 until 2006, Hamilton did not play baseball at all. He made several attempts at rehab, and started off the 2005 season with hopes of being a star major league outfielder.[16] His return to baseball was helped along by former minor league outfielder and manager Roy Silver, who owns a baseball academy in Florida. After hearing about Hamilton’s desire to return to baseball, Silver offered the use of his facility if Hamilton agreed to work there. After several months there, Hamilton attempted to play with an independent minor league team, but MLB stepped in and disallowed it.

Hamilton was allowed to work out with the Devil Rays minor league players starting on June 2, 2006. By the end of the month, he was allowed to participate in minor league games.[11][15] He played 15 games with the Hudson Valley Renegades at the end of the 2006 season.[12][17] In addition to returning to baseball, Hamilton also served as a cautionary tale for his young teammates with the Renegades.
[edit] Rule 5 Draft

Left off the Rays’ 40-man roster, Hamilton was selected third overall[3] in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft by the Chicago Cubs, who immediately traded him to the Cincinnati Reds for $100,000 ($50,000 for his rights, and $50,000 to cover the cost of the Rule 5 selection).[17][18] In their coverage of the draft, Chris Kline and John Manuel of Baseball America called Hamilton “the biggest name in the Rule 5 in many years.”[19]
[edit] Cincinnati Reds (2007)
Hamilton with the Reds in 2007.

In order to retain the rights to Hamilton, the Reds had to keep him on their Major League 25-man roster for the entire 2007 season. He was one of the Reds’ best hitters in spring training, leaving camp with a .403 batting average. The Reds planned to use him as a fourth outfielder.[20] Hamilton started most of the time in center field after an injury to Ryan Freel.

Hamilton made his long-awaited Major League debut on April 2 against the Chicago Cubs in a pinch-hit appearance, receiving a 22-second standing ovation. After he lined out, Hamilton stayed in the game to play left field.[21] As he was waiting to bat, Cubs catcher Michael Barrett said, “You deserve it, Josh. Take it all in, brother. I’m happy for you.”[2][22] He made his first start on April 10 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, batting lead off. In that game, he recorded his first Major League hit, a home run off Edgar Gonzalez. The next night, he hit another. Hamilton was named the National League Rookie of the Month for April.

On May 22, the Reds placed Hamilton on the 15-day disabled list with gastroenteritis; they activated him on June 5 after he batted .333 (8-for-24) with four home runs and six RBI in a six-game Minor League rehabilitation assignment.[23] Hamilton went back on the DL on July 12 with a sprained wrist.[24]

He was shut out in the voting for the Rookie of the Year, which was won by Ryan Braun.[25]
[edit] Texas Rangers (2008–present)

On December 21, 2007, the Reds traded Hamilton to the Texas Rangers for Edinson Volquez and Danny Herrera.[4][26]
[edit] 2008

In 2008, Hamilton locked up the Rangers starting center fielder job with a stellar spring training.[27] His spring training performance continued into the regular season. Hamilton, usually slotted fourth in the Texas batting order, led all major league players in RBIs for the month of April. He was named American League (AL) Player of the Month after hitting .330 with 32 RBIs during the month. Hamilton then went on to win player of the month for the second straight month in May, becoming the first AL player in baseball history to be awarded Player of the Month for the first two months of the season.[28] Hamilton was featured on the cover of the June 2, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated, in a story chronicling his comeback.[2] On July 9, 2008, Hamilton hit the first walk-off home run of his career, against Francisco Rodríguez.[29][30]

Fans selected Hamilton as one of the starting outfielders for the AL at the MLB All Star Game at Yankee Stadium. He finished first in voting among outfielders.[31] He was one of seven first-time starters in the game. Along with Kosuke Fukudome, Geovany Soto, and Ryan Braun, he was one of four who had made their MLB debut in 2007 or 2008.[32] He was selected to participate in the 2008 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby the evening before the game. Hamilton selected 71-year-old Clay Council to throw to him during the Derby. Council[33] was a volunteer who threw batting practice for him as a child in Raleigh, North Carolina.[34] In the first round of the event Hamilton hit 28 home runs, breaking the single-round record of 24 set by Bobby Abreu in 2005.[35][6] Hamilton ended up hitting the most total home runs in the contest with 35, but lost in the final round to Justin Morneau, as the scores were reset.[36] His record-setting first round included 13 straight home runs at one point, and 7 that went further than 500 feet (150 m). His longest home run was 518 feet.[6][36] In 2006, when Hamilton was trying to get back into baseball, he had a dream in which he participated in a Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, but he could not remember how many home runs he had hit. After the Derby, Hamilton said: “This was like living the dream out, because like I’ve said, I didn’t know the ending to that dream.”[37]

On August 17, he was intentionally walked with the bases loaded against the Rays in the bottom of the ninth, with the Rays leading 7–3, to bring Marlon Byrd to the plate. The Rays went on to win the game 7–4. Hamilton thus became the sixth player in history to receive an intentional walk with the bases loaded.[38] Joe Maddon said after the game, “We didn’t want Hamilton to hit a home run. He’s got 28, and Marlon Byrd’s got 8.” Hamilton finished seventh in the balloting for AL MVP, behind Dustin Pedroia, Justin Morneau, Kevin Youkilis, Joe Mauer, Carlos Quentin, and Francisco Rodríguez.[39]
[edit] 2009

In spring training, Hamilton led all players in RBIs, with 27, and total bases, with 59, in 81 at bats. He hit a 460 ft (140 m) home run into the right field home run porch off Angels reliever Shane Loux in the bottom of the eighth inning on May 15 in Arlington. Then, in the same series against the Angels, on May 17 Hamilton leaped at the wall in center field and slammed into it, robbing Howie Kendrick of a possible home run.[40]

Hamilton spent a portion of 2009 on the disabled list, with a bruised rib cage and an abdominal strain. After visiting doctors in Philadelphia on June 8, 2009, they found a slight abdominal tear, and he underwent a successful surgical operation to repair it the next day. He was expected to be out 4–6 weeks.

Though injured, he was selected by fan voting to play in the 2009 All-Star game,[41][42] where he was joined by teammates Michael Young and Nelson Cruz. Hamilton finished batting .268 with 10 home runs and 54 RBIs in 2009.
[edit] 2010: An MVP season
Hamilton would finish as the AL batting champion, make his third All-Star game, and win the ALCS MVP in 2010

In 2010, Hamilton was moved to left field to put young outfielder Julio Borbon in center field. As in his prior two seasons with the Rangers, Hamilton was again selected to start in the 2010 All-Star Game, as one of six members of the Rangers to represent the franchise at the All-Star Game. Hamilton entered the All-Star Break with a .346 batting average, second in the AL to Miguel Cabrera’s .346 batting average.

On August 27, he set a Ranger record with his 24th three-hit game of the season.[43] On September 4, Hamilton bruised his rib cage after making a leaping catch into the outfield wall. He was sidelined for almost a month and returned to play with only three games left in the regular season. He hit a home run the next day.

His talent and popularity have earned him a litany of nicknames including “The Hammer”; “Hambino”, referencing to the great Babe Ruth; “The Natural”;[44] and “Hambone” his high school nickname tattooed on his arm.

Hamilton hit for a league-leading .359 average in 2010, winning his first batting title. This was the fourth-best batting average since the end of the 2004 season. He also finished fourth in Major League Baseball in On-Base Percentage (.411), first in Slugging Percentage (.633) and On-Base Plus Slugging (1.044), and tied for tenth in home runs (32), despite missing 29 games due to an injury. He was also one of just 25 players to have 100 RBIs.[45] His performance in 2010 made him a front-runner for the AL MVP Award. Hamilton won the AL Players Choice Award for Outstanding Player in 2010.[46]

On October 22, Hamilton and the Rangers won the 2010 ALCS. It was the first time in Rangers history they had gone to a World Series. To get there they had to beat the defending Champions the New York Yankees.[47] With four home runs, 7 RBIs, and the recipient of several intentional walks in the AL Championship Series win against the Yankees, he won the ALCS MVP Award.[48] On November 23, 2010 Hamilton was voted the AL MVP.[49]
[edit] 2011

Hamilton avoided arbitration by signing for 2 years and $24 million on February 10, 2011, with the Texas Rangers. On April 12, in Detroit, he suffered a fracture to his right humerus on a play at home plate. On May 18, he began a rehab assignment at the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders. He returned to the Rangers’ lineup on May 23, and went 2–4 against Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks, hitting his first home run of the season on the second pitch he saw during his first at bat.[50] He was an All Star in 2011.[51]

On July 7, during a home game at Rangers Ballpark, a fan died while catching a foul ball tossed into the stands by Hamilton. The fan, Shannon Stone, leaned over the rail to catch the ball and fell 20 feet behind the scoreboard. He was transported to a hospital, but died on the way. After learning the news after the game, Hamilton was said to be distraught. It was the third incident in which a fan fell out of the stands at Rangers Ballpark.[52]. On September 30, the son of the fallen firefighter and his mother returned to Rangers Ballpark for the first time after the incident. The son, eight-year-old Cooper Stone, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Hamilton to start the American League Division Series. Hamilton proceeded to exchange multiple hugs with the family.

In 2011, Hamilton batted .298 with 25 home runs.[51] He was 3rd in the American League in sacrifice flies (10), 6th in intentional walks (13), and 8th in slugging percentage (.536).[51]
[edit] 2012

Hamilton hits .395 with 9 home runs and 25 RBI during the month of April and was named the league’s AL Player of the Month.[53] His home run total for the month tied a franchise record for April with four other Rangers.[54] On May 8, 2012, Hamilton went 5-for-5 with four home runs and a double for a total of 8 RBI against the Baltimore Orioles. In doing this, he not only became just the 16th player in Major League Baseball history to hit four home runs in one game and first since Carlos Delgado in 2003, but also now holds the AL record for most total bases in a game at 18.[1][8][55]
[edit] Personal life
[edit] Family

Hamilton is of Scottish descent and is married to Katie (née Chadwick), the daughter of one of the men (Michael Chadwick) who helped him in his quest to get clean. They started dating in 2002 when Hamilton returned to Raleigh, and married in 2004.[56][57] Katie has a daughter, Julia, from a previous relationship, and together she and Hamilton have three daughters, Sierra, Michaela Grace, and Stella Faith.[58]
[edit] Drug addiction and alcoholism
Josh Hamilton

Hamilton’s struggles with drugs and alcohol are well documented. He finally got clean after being confronted by his grandmother, Mary Holt.[59] In May 2008 Hamilton said he had not used drugs or alcohol since October 6, 2005.[2]

When giving a brief summary of his recovery, Hamilton says simply: “It’s a God thing.”[22] He does not shy away from telling his story, speaking to community groups and fans at many functions.[60] He frequently publicly tells stories of how Jesus brought him back from the brink and that faith is what keeps him going. Hamilton also wrote an autobiography called Beyond Belief which explains how he quit drugs and alcohol and found a relationship with God.[57] His wife Katie sometimes accompanies him, offering her perspective on his struggles as well.[26]

To comply with the provisions of MLB’s drug policy, Hamilton provides urine samples for drug testing at least three times per week.[61] Rangers’ coach Johnny Narron says of the frequent testing: “I think he looks forward to the tests. He knows he’s an addict. He knows he has to be accountable. He looks at those tests as a way to reassure people around him who had faith.”[57]

In late 2008 Hamilton, among other celebrities such as Brian Welch and Greg Ellis, appeared in testimonial videos called “I Am Second”, in which he shares his story of recovering from drug use with the help of his faith.[62][63]

A portion of his return to sobriety was shown on The Learning Channel’s reality show “The Real Deal”. “A Home Run for Trademark” aired March 31, 2007, and chronicled the renovation of Shoeless Joe Jackson’s house during 2006. Richard C. Davis, the owner of Trademark Properties hired Hamilton as the construction foreman. Davis was negotiating the purchase of a minor league baseball team and entertaining the idea of giving him a chance to join the team.[64]

Hamilton’s teammates – mindful of his past struggles – have chosen to celebrate major events (such as the Rangers wins over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the 2010 American League Division Series, and again when they beat the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the 2010 American League Championship Series) with ginger ale instead of champagne.[65] The Rangers repeated the celebrations with ginger ale the following postseason when they won their second consecutive pennant and reached the 2011 World Series.
[edit] Nightclub incidents

Hamilton confirmed he suffered a slip in early 2009 after photos were released in August 2009. Sports blog Deadspin.com posted photos of Hamilton shirtless in a bar in Tempe, Arizona, with several women. According to reports, witnesses saw Hamilton drinking, heard him asking where he could obtain cocaine, and heard him reveal his plans to go to a strip club later that evening. The photos do not show Hamilton drinking or taking any illegal drugs.[66]

Prior to Hamilton’s public admission Johnny Narron, a Rangers special assignment coach and Hamilton’s mentor, said he doubted the validity of the photos, telling Deadspin.com, “I’m sure, in the depths of his drug addiction, he was in a lot of bars. He was in and out of bars, “crackhouses”, everything. There are probably photographs of him in all kinds of places.”[67] When responding, Narron had not seen the photos and was told they were taken during March 2009, not two months prior when the incident took place.[68]

Although this news did not break until August 2009, Hamilton revealed that he had informed his wife, the Texas Rangers, and Major League Baseball the day after the incident occurred. Hamilton called a press conference on August 8 to discuss the photos.[69] Regarding the incident Hamilton said

“Obviously it was one those things that reinforce that I can’t have alcohol. I got away from the one thing that kept me on the straight and narrow and that was my relationship with the Lord. That should always come first. Hopefully some good will come out of this. It just crossed my mind that night, ‘Can I have a drink?’ Obviously I can’t and this reinforces that. Since that night, I have not had another thought like that. I know it’s something I shouldn’t do because it leads to other things.”

Hamilton also admitted he had very little memory of the night after getting drunk, and did not know about the contents of the photos. Hamilton did not see the photos after their release, but listened on the phone as his wife described them to him. After the press conference Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said “My first reaction in January was one of concern. Since then I’ve talked to a lot of people and they say it was significant that he came forward immediately and was honest about it.” Major League Baseball tested Hamilton for illegal drugs two days after the incident and he passed that test.[70]

On February 2, 2012 it was reported that Hamilton had suffered a second slip with alcohol. He claims to have had 2 or 3 drinks before inviting his friend and teammate, Ian Kinsler, to talk at the bar. [71] Hamilton held a press conference on February 3, 2012, to apologize for his actions.[72]

Both of Hamilton’s solo shots came after a 1-hour, 56-minute rain delay in the first inning when the Rangers went ahead to stay against Wilson (4-3), their No. 1 starter last season who left in free agency after their second consecutive World Series appearance.

Hamilton had three hits and his second multihomer game this week. The other was Tuesday night in Baltimore when the slugger became the 16th player in major league history to hit four in a game.

STORY: Ibanez tags King Felix, helps Yankees top Mariners

Hamilton has eight homers in his past five games. He leads the majors with a .407 batting average, 17 homers and 40 RBIs.

Unlike Wilson, Darvish (5-1) returned after the rain stopped. The 25-year-old Japanese right-hander, signed by the Rangers after they let Wilson go, worked into the sixth. His 93rd and final pitch came four hours after his first one.

Mitch Moreland also homered for Texas. He entered in the first when he batted for catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who had a head contusion after he was struck by the splintered bat of Albert Pujols.


BALTIMORE — Nick Johnson’s first homer in two years gave Baltimore a seventh-inning lead and the Orioles edged Tampa Bay in a duel for first place in the AL East.

Johnson’s two-run drive off Joel Peralta (0-2) put Baltimore in front 4-3, and the bullpen made the margin stand up. After spending last season in the minors, Johnson received an invite to spring training, made the team and was batting .143 before his game-changing home run.

Adam Jones and Nick Markakis also connected for the Orioles, who lead the majors with 53 homers.

Darren O’Day (3-0) pitched the seventh, Pedro Strop worked a perfect eighth and Jim Johnson got three straight outs for his 10th save.

Tampa Bay, hitless after the fifth inning, has lost five of six.


BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia had three hits and three RBIs to back an effective outing by Clay Buchholz, and Boston beat Cleveland to snap a three-game skid.

Will Middlebrooks hit a two-run double off Ubaldo Jimenez (3-3) and Daniel Nava, called up from the minors Thursday, made a pair of outstanding defensive plays in left field to help the last-place Red Sox (13-19) win for only the second time this month.

Boston had lost 11 of its last 12 home games and eight of nine overall.

David Ortiz left in the seventh due to a sore left heel. Ortiz was involved in a minor car accident on his way to Fenway Park but said before the game he was uninjured.

Buchholz (4-1) allowed four runs — three earned — and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings. Five relievers followed, with Alfredo Aceves earning his sixth save.


CHICAGO — Adam Dunn hit his 11th homer to match his total from last season, leading Gavin Floyd and the Chicago White Sox over Kansas City.

Dunn’s long homer to right off Felipe Paulino (1-1) gave Chicago the lead in the first. Dunn’s sixth homer in 10 games was enough for Floyd (3-3), who allowed five hits, struck out five and walked two in 7 2-3 innings.

Alex Rios added a two-run triple. Matt Thornton struck out Eric Hosmer with the bases loaded to end the eighth and Hector Santiago completed the five-hitter.


OAKLAND, Calif. —Brandon Inge hit a three-run homer and drove in four for the fourth time in five games, and Josh Reddick homered twice and had a career-high five RBIs as Oakland pounded Detroit.

Inge hit his fifth homer of the year and fourth since joining the A’s on April 30 after the Tigers cut him. It was his second long ball in two nights after he hit a grand slam in Thursday’s 10-6 loss. Inge also delivered a game-ending grand slam Tuesday against Toronto.

Inge’s big bat backed Tommy Milone (5-2), who struck out six in seven innings to win for the fourth time in five starts. He retired his final 10 batters.

The Tigers haven’t won consecutive games since a four-game winning streak April 15-18.

Reddick had his first career two-homer game and matched a career best with four hits as the A’s set a season high for runs.

Rick Porcello (3-3) was tagged for nine hits and four runs in five innings.


MINNEAPOLIS — Darin Mastroianni got his first major league hit and drove in three runs to help Minnesota overcome Jose Bautista’s two homers in a victory over Toronto.

Ryan Doumit added two RBIs and Denard Span scored twice in a game that lasted 3 hours, 17 minutes, after rain delayed the first pitch for 1 hour, 51 minutes. Nick Blackburn (1-4) snapped a 13-start winless streak.

Bautista hit two solo homers, raising his total at spacious Target Field to nine in nine career games. Eric Thames and Edwin Encarnacion also homered for the Blue Jays.

With a runner on third and Matt Capps on the mound, Bautista popped up to end the game. It was Capps’ sixth save in six chances.
osh Hamilton is really, really, really good at playing baseball this month.

Follow @sbnbaseball on Twitter, and Like Baseball Nation on Facebook.

May 12, 2012 – The Texas Rangers are probably really, really wishing they had signed Josh Hamilton to a contract extension before the 2012 season began.

If Hamilton keeps up his current pace — which, of course, is nearly impossible — or even something close to it, he’ll be in line for an enormous payday as he enters free agency this fall.

Hamilton hit two more home runs in Friday night’s rain-delayed 10-3 Rangers win over the Angels. That gave him, at the time he hit the second of those homers in the fourth inning, eight home runs in his previous 17 at-bats.

Read that again. Not eight homers in 17 games, which would be impressive enough. Eight homers in 17 at-bats, a home run in nearly half of his trips to the plate over five games. In those five games, Hamilton is 11-for-21 (.524) with a double, the eight homers, four walks (including an intentional pass to load the bases in the sixth inning with another power hitter, Adrian Beltre, due up; Beltre flew out to end the inning) and 14 RBI. All of this has resulted in a line of .524/.600/1.714, a 2.314 OPS, in those five games.

But wait! There’s more! Hamilton’s 17 home runs over his team’s first 33 games tied a major league record, first set by Cy Williams of the Phillies in 1923 (Williams wound up with 41 home runs), later tied by Frank Howard of the Senators in 1968 (Howard finished with 44). Both Williams and Howard led their leagues.

Which Hamilton will likely do as well; he’s currently leading the AL in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, home runs, RBI and total bases. He’s outhomered one entire team (the Padres, who have 13) and isn’t too far behind the Cubs and Twins, who have 19.

Watching from the other dugout Friday night was Albert Pujols, who signed one of those huge deals before this season and might have been expected to do what Hamilton has. Instead, Pujols took another 0-for-4 Friday and is hitting .192. In the immortal “word” of former major league pitcher Joaquin Andujar, “youneverknow”.

jennifer hudson

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 5:53 am

Jennifer Kate Hudson (born September 12, 1981) is an American recording artist, actress and spokesperson.[2] She came to prominence in 2004 as one of the finalists on the third season of American Idol, coming in seventh place. She made her film debut in the 2006 film Dreamgirls, which won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

She won a Grammy Award for her eponymous debut album, Jennifer Hudson, which was released in 2008 on Arista Records and was certified gold by the RIAA for selling over 800,000 copies in the US; sales exceeded 1 million copies worldwide. Additionally, it spawned the hit single Spotlight. Her second album, I Remember Me, was released in March 2011, and reached number two on the Billboard 200, selling 165,000 copies in its first week of release.[3] The album was certified gold by the RIAA, for shipping over 500,000 copies in the US.[4]

In late 2008, after Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew were killed in a shooting, Hudson stepped out of the limelight for three months. Hudson resumed her public appearances in 2009, and has since performed at the Super Bowl XLIII, the Grammy Awards, American Idol, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.[5] Hudson has been described as a friend of President Barack Obama, who invited her to appear with him at a fundraiser in Beverly Hills in May 2009.[6] She also performed at the White House at the “Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement” event.[7] Her vocal range is mezzo-soprano.[8] Hudson has sold 1,280,000 albums and 2,237,000 tracks in the United States as of February 2012.[9]

* 1 Life and career
o 1.1 Early life and American Idol
o 1.2 2006–07: Dreamgirls, career breakthrough and Music career development
o 1.3 2008–10: Subsequent film roles, Winnie and Jennifer Hudson
o 1.4 2011–present: I Remember Me
* 2 Personal life
o 2.1 Family murders
* 3 Other media
* 4 Discography
* 5 Filmography
* 6 Awards and nominations
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 External links

Life and career
Early life and American Idol
Main article: American Idol (season 3)

Jennifer Hudson was born on September 12, 1981, in Chicago, Illinois.[10] She is the third and youngest child of Darnell Donnerson (November 7, 1950 – October 24, 2008)[11] and Samuel Simpson[12] (died 1999).[13] She was raised as a Baptist[14] in Englewood[15] and attended Dunbar Vocational High School, from which she graduated in 1999.[16] She cites Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, and Patti LaBelle as her overall biggest influences and inspiration.[17] At the age of 7, she got her start in performing by singing with the church choir and doing community theater with the help of her late maternal grandmother, Julia.[18] She enrolled at Langston University but she left after a semester due to homesickness and unhappiness with the weather, and signed up at Kennedy–King College.[19]

In January 2002, Hudson signed her first recording contract with Righteous Records, a Chicago-based independent record label. The company’s president, David Johnson, and his staff put Jennifer through a full year of artist development, working five days a week on live performance, stage presence, songwriting, on-camera interviewing, charm school etiquette and physical fitness. She was released from her five-year contract with Righteous Records so that she could appear on American Idol in 2004, but Jennifer credits David Johnson with teaching her “so much” and preparing her for the successful career she is enjoying today.

Hudson auditioned for the third season of American Idol, in Atlanta, commenting that she had been singing on Disney Cruise Lines (aboard the Disney Wonder) for the past few months (as one of the Muses from Hercules); and contestant judge Randy Jackson said, “We’re expecting more than a cruise ship performance from you.”[citation needed] Hudson received the highest number of votes in the “Top 9″ after her performance of Elton John’s “Circle of Life” on April 6, 2004, but two weeks later was eliminated during the “Top 7″ show after performing Barry Manilow’s, “Weekend in New England.” The bottom three consisting of three African-American females led to controversy.[20][21] In May 2010, the Los Angeles Times claimed Hudson to be the third greatest Idol contestant in the history of the show. She placed behind season one winner Kelly Clarkson and season four winner Carrie Underwood.[22]

American Idol performances
Theme week Song sung Artist Date sung Status
Audition Share Your Love With Me Aretha Franklin – Advanced
Hollywood [N/A] [N/A] – Advanced
Semifinals Imagine John Lennon February 10, 2004 Eliminated
Wild Card I Believe in You and Me Four Tops
Whitney Houston March 9, 2004 Selected
Top 12
Soul Music Week Baby, I Love You Aretha Franklin March 16, 2004 Bottom 2
Top 11
Country Week No One Else on Earth Wynonna Judd March 23, 2004 Safe
Top 10
Motown Week (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave Martha and the Vandellas March 30, 2004 Bottom 2
Top 9
Songs of Elton John Circle of Life Elton John April 6, 2004 Safe
Highest Number of Votes
Top 8
Songs of the Cinema I Have Nothing from The Bodyguard Whitney Houston April 14, 2004 Safe
Top 7
Songs of Barry Manilow Weekend in New England Barry Manilow April 20, 2004 Eliminated
2006–07: Dreamgirls, career breakthrough and Music career development

In September 2006, Hudson performed the song, “Over It,” live on Fox Chicago Morning News. In the interview she stated the song would be included on her debut album, to be released in early 2007, however this was before she was signed to a record label.[23] In November 2006, Hudson signed a record deal with Arista Records.[24] On The Oprah Winfrey Show, Hudson announced plans to enter the studio in March 2007.[citation needed] Hudson said on The Tyra Banks Show, on February 23, 2007, that she just finished the first song for the album.[citation needed] Hudson also recorded a song called, “Stand Up”, which was available for preview on her fan website which was produced by Chicago natives Earl Powell and Herman Little III, who arranged the song.[citation needed] The power-ballad would later become available on the deluxe edition of Hudson’s self-titled album as a bonus track.

In November 2005, Hudson was cast in the role of Effie White for the film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls, which also starred Jamie Foxx, Beyoncé Knowles and Eddie Murphy. The role, originally created in a Broadway performance by Jennifer Holliday,[citation needed] marked Hudson’s debut screen performance. She won the role over hundreds of professional singers and actresses, including Raven-Symoné and Fantasia Barrino.[25] Filming of Dreamgirls began on January 9, 2006, and the film went into limited release on December 25, 2006, and national release on January 12, 2007. Hudson has won particular praise for her show-stopping onscreen rendition of the hit song, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, the signature song of the role, which had earlier been recorded, and had already reached the status of musical standard, because of the definitive performance of Jennifer Holliday. The New York Observer described Hudson’s performance of the song as “five mellifluous, molto vibrato minutes that have suddenly catapulted Ms. Hudson… into the position of front-runner for the best supporting actress Oscar”.[26] Newsweek said that when moviegoers hear Hudson sing the song, she, “is going to raise goose bumps across the land.”[27] Variety magazine wrote that Hudson’s performance “calls to mind debuts like Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl or Bette Midler in The Rose, with a voice like the young Aretha”.[28] Hudson’s version of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” debuted at number 98 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the January 13, 2007, issue.[citation needed] The Dreamgirls track became Hudson’s first top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay chart on February 24, 2007.[citation needed] “Love You I Do” was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song and won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.
Hudson performing in 2007

As Effie White, Hudson has garnered 29 awards from film critics as Best Supporting Actress and Breakthrough Performer of 2006. She won the Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role. In addition, she has been named Best Supporting Actress by the Broadcast Film Critics Association and also by the Screen Actors Guild. After seeing Hudson’s performance in Dreamgirls, Simon Cowell taped a congratulatory message to her, which aired on The Oprah Winfrey Show.[29] With the March 2007 issue, Jennifer Hudson became the third African-American celebrity, and the first African-American singer, to grace the cover of Vogue magazine.[30] On 11 February 2007 the 60th British Academy Film Awards were held in London, but Hudson was not there to accept her award for BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. The BAFTA Award went missing and Hudson did not receive her award until April 22, 2011, when it was presented to on the Graham Norton Show. On February 25, 2007, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film. During her acceptance speech, Hudson said: “Oh, my God, I have to just take this moment in. I cannot believe this. Look what God can do. I didn’t think I was going to win. [...] If my grandmother was here to see me now. She was my biggest inspiration.” She also concluded her speech by thanking Jennifer Holliday.[31] Later in 2007, the Mayor of her home town Chicago, Richard M. Daley, declared March 6 as “Jennifer Hudson Day”.[32][33] She was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on June 18, along with 115 other individuals for 2007.[34][35] Entertainment Weekly put her performance on its end-of-the-decade, “best-of” list, saying, “Sure, Beyoncé’s performance was great. And Eddie Murphy’s was impressive. But there was really only one reason we all rushed to see 2006’s Dreamgirls: Jennifer Hudson’s soul-to-the-rafters rendition of the classic ‘And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going’. When she sang ‘You’re gonna love me,’ it wasn’t just a lyric — it was a fact.”[36]
2008–10: Subsequent film roles, Winnie and Jennifer Hudson
Main article: Jennifer Hudson (album)

In May 2008, Hudson appeared in the feature film Sex and the City as Louise, Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant. Filming finished in December 2007 and the movie was released on May 30, 2008.[37] In October 2008, Hudson had her third film appearance in The Secret Life of Bees as Rosaleen, the mother figure of Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning). Also starring in the film are fellow Oscar nominees Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo, as well as Alicia Keys. The film opened on October 17, 2008, and grossed over $37 million at the box office. The film won two People’s Choice Awards in January 2009 in the categories, Favorite Drama Movie and Favorite Independent Movie.[citation needed] The film also received nine Black Reel Awards nominations including three wins.[citation needed] Hudson was nominated for her performance in the film, but lost to Queen Latifah.[citation needed] The film also received eight nominations at the 2009 NAACP Image Awards, including a nomination for Hudson for her performance.[citation needed] In 2009, Hudson starred as Kathy Archenault in Fragments, a film based on the novel by Roy Freirich, with Dakota Fanning and Forest Whitaker. The name of the film was changed from “Winged Creatures” to “Fragments”.[citation needed] It was released on DVD on August 4, 2009. In 2010, Hudson started filming an upcoming biopic film Winnie[38] based on the South African politician Winnie Mandela[38] starring alongside Terrence Howard and directed by Darrell J. Roodt.[39] Andre Pieterse and Roodt and Paul L. Johnson based the film’s script on Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob’s biography, Winnie Mandela: A Life.[40] The Creative Workers Union of South Africa have opposed this choice, stating they will push for a moratorium on the film if the casting is not reversed.[41] Winnie Mandela has threatened legal action over this film, claiming she was not “consulted” about the film.[42] Winnie was scheduled to be released in December 2011; the trailer was released in 2010.[39]

In January 2008 Hudson returned to the studio to record new material for her debut album.[citation needed] Her label was reportedly unhappy with the direction they were sending Hudson musically and decided it would be best to scrap the older songs and instead focus on new ones.[citation needed] Hudson worked with Ryan Tedder and Timbaland on a number of songs. Her debut single, “Spotlight” was released on June 10, 2008 and became Hudson’s first top 40 hit peaking at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a top 20 hit in the United Kingdom and Turkey. Her debut album, Jennifer Hudson was released on September 30, 2008 on Arista and was written by Ne-Yo, who co-produced along with Stargate. Additional contributors on the album include Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Robin Thicke, Harvey Mason, Jr., Diane Warren, Earl Powell, and Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, among others.[43] The album debuted at number two on the Billboard’ 200 with 217,000 copies in the US and opened to positive reviews. As of August 2009, the album has sold 739,000 copies in the US, receiving a Gold certification for surpassing sales of 500,000. She has performed the song, “All Dressed in Love” for the Sex and the City soundtrack, which was released on May 27, 2008.[44] Hudson performed the national anthem at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. The album’s second single was to be released in October 2008, and was originally set to be “My Heart” before “If This Isn’t Love” was chosen as the official second single.[citation needed] After three of her family members were brutally murdered, the single was rescheduled for a January 2009 release.[citation needed] However, in January 2009, her label decided to postpone the release of the second single once more until, choosing a February 2009 release date.[citation needed] After the release of “If This Isn’t Love”, the single eventually peaked at number 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 37 on the UK Singles Chart. The third single was announced as “Pocketbook” featuring Ludacris in April 2009, for a June 2009 release, despite speculation that the third single would be “My Heart” after it was canceled as the second single.[citation needed] In May 2009, “Pocketbook” was canceled as the third single due to negative reception from fans and critics alike.[citation needed] The third single was then rescheduled as “Giving Myself” and was released on June 2, 2009 to the US. Her debut album garnered Hudson three nominations at the 2009 Grammy Awards; Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for “Spotlight”, Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for “I’m His Only Woman” with Fantasia Barrino, and Best R&B Album for Jennifer Hudson. She won the last of these and performed at the awards ceremony.[45]
Jennifer Hudson sings “National Anthem” at Super Bowl XLIII

Hudson sang The Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XLIII.[46] She toured the United States with Robin Thicke in 2009.[47] In early May 2009, Hudson suffered “throat fatigue” and had to reschedule her May 16–19, 2009, tour dates.[48] She sang “Will You Be There” at the Michael Jackson memorial service on July 7, 2009.[49] Hudson recorded “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye),” originally by Gladys Knight & the Pips, for American Idol Season 3: Greatest Soul Classics — the official American Idol album for the third season. She is featured in a duet, “The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be,” on Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose. She also performed the song “Easy to be Hard” on the Actors’ Fund benefit recording of the musical Hair;[citation needed] and she is featured on Ne-Yo’s second album, Because of You, on the track, “Leaving Tonight”. Hudson sang “Dancing a Catchy Rhythm” with Brooke White.[citation needed] Hudson performed a Christmas special on ABC in December 2009 called Jennifer Hudson: I’ll Be Home for Christmas. During the special, she relived her childhood Christmases with musical performances filmed at her favorite locations in her native Chicago. Hudson also visited family members, friends and other childhood influences during the broadcast.[50] On January 22, 2010, Hudson appeared on the telethon “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief”, performing the Beatles’ “Let it Be”. The telecast generated $61 million in donations as of January 26, 2010.[51] Also, that year, Hudson recorded the song “One Shining Moment” for the 2010 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament.
2011–present: I Remember Me
Main article: I Remember Me (album)

Early in the album’s development, Ne-Yo told E! Online that Hudson was ready to get personal on her second studio album. When probed for details he said that he might be producing the album. He also said “I’m pretty good at writing personal records…It starts with her idea and her thoughts.” She’s gone through a lot over the last year, so she has a lot to talk about,” he continues. “She’s definitely gotten stronger. The things that she’s gone through and for her to still be upbeat and happy, it’s amazing.”[52] Hudson released her second studio album I Remember Me on March 22, 2011. I Remember Me debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 selling 165,000 copies in its first week of release.[53] On January 24, 2011 Hudson premiered the album’s lead single “Where You At”.[54] It was written by R.Kelly and produced by Harvey Mason, Jr.[55] The song went for radio adds that same week.[56] On February 3, 2011 due to radio adds the single made its debut on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number 53,[57][clarification needed] having so far reached a peak of number 10.[58] The music video premiered on BET’s 106 & Park and through Vevo on February 24, 2011.[59][60] “No One Gonna Love You” impacted on Urban adult contemporary radio in the United States on May 24, 2011. A remix bundle titled “No One Gonna Love You-The Remixes” was released as a digital download in the US and the UK on July 13, 2011.[61][62][63] The song has reached number 23 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.[64] The third U.S. single will be “I Got This”.[65] The non-single track “Don’t Look Down” reached number 70 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.[66]

Hudson will play a nun in the Farrelly brothers upcoming film The Three Stooges, scheduled to be released in 2012.[67]

Following the death of Whitney Houston on February 11, 2012, Hudson paid tribute to Houston interpreting “I Will Always Love You” during the 54th Grammy Awards held on February 12, 2012 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.[68]
Personal life

Hudson began dating James Payton in 1999, when she was 18.[69] The couple separated in late 2007.[citation needed] Hudson met David Otunga, a professional wrestler in the WWE[70] and a Harvard Law graduate,[71][72] and the couple became engaged on September 12, 2008.[73] On August 10, 2009, Hudson gave birth to her first child with Otunga; a boy named David Daniel Otunga Jr.[74]
Family murders
It has been suggested that this section be split into a new article titled Murder of Jennifer Hudson’s Chicago relatives. (Discuss) Proposed since May 2012.
Wikinews has related news:

* Mother, brother of singer Jennifer Hudson found murdered, others reported missing
* FBI asked to assist in murder, kidnap investigation of Jennifer Hudson’s relatives
* FBI says Jennifer Hudson’s nephew found dead
* Arrest made in Jennifer Hudson family killings

On October 24, 2008, Hudson’s 57-year-old mother, Darnell Donnerson, and the singer’s 29-year-old brother, Jason, were found shot to death inside the Chicago home Donnerson shared with Hudson’s elder sister, Julia.[75] An AMBER Alert was issued for Hudson’s 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, after Hudson’s sister, Julia, reported him missing.[76][77]

Later that day, Chicago police arrested a suspect, William Balfour, 27, the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister Julia, but he was not charged with the crime.[78] Balfour was on parole and had spent nearly seven years in prison for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possession of a stolen vehicle. The Illinois Department of Corrections’ records revealed one of Balfour’s addresses to be the home where Donnerson and Jason Hudson were murdered.[79]

Three days later, on October 27, 2008, the dead body of a young boy was found inside a 1994 Chevrolet Suburban parked on a street in Chicago’s West Side area. The license plate and the vehicle’s description matched that given in the AMBER Alert.[80][81] The FBI confirmed the body was that of Julian King.[82] Autopsy reports released on October 29, 2008, from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office indicated that Julian King’s death was due to “multiple gunshot wounds”.[83]

A gun found in a West Side vacant lot was confirmed to be the murder weapon by Chicago police Superintendent Jody Weis on October 31, 2008. The gun belonged to Jason Hudson and had been missing for several months.

Funeral services for the three victims were held on November 3, followed by a private service at Chicago’s South Side Apostolic Church of God on November 10. Hudson’s family announced creation of The Hudson-King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims, in honor of Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew.[84]

Because he had not yet been officially charged with the murders, Balfour appeared without an attorney at a 35-minute parole violation hearing on November 10, 2008. At the hearing it was decided that he was believed to have violated parole and should be held in custody until a December 3 hearing before the full Illinois Prisoner Review Board.[85][86][87][88][89][90]

Balfour became the prime suspect on December 1, 2008, and was transferred into police custody. A police department spokesperson said, “He is awaiting formal charges for three counts of murder. There likely will be a press conference once there are formal charges against him.”[91][92][93] Balfour was officially charged with three counts of first degree murder, one count of home invasion and was denied bail.[94] Balfour was indicted for the murders on December 30, 2008, and pleaded not guilty in a January 27, 2009, court appearance.[95][96]

On February 1, 2009, Hudson made her first public appearance since the murders[97] when she sang the Star-Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XLIII.[98]

On January 19, 2012, Cook County Judge Charles Burns rejected the defense’s request for a further postponment in the trial and set a date of April 23, 2012, for opening remarks to commence.

On May 9, 2012 the Cook County the jury began deliberations. After 5 hours of deliberations, the judge informed them they would be sequestered.[99]

On May 11, 2012, Balfour was convicted on all seven counts against him, which include three counts of first-degree murder, one count of home invasion, one count aggravated kidnapping, one count residential burglary, and one count possession of a stolen motor vehicle.[100]
Jennifer Hudson is “relieved” after her former brother-in-law was convicted of murdering her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew in what prosecutors’ described as an act of vengeance by a jilted husband.

Jennifer, who expressed her undisguised disdain for William Balfour and attended every day of the trial in Chicago, was visibly overcome with emotion as the verdict was read last night.

Her eyes filled with tears and she shook her head and bit her lip. Afterwards she looked over at her sister, Julia Hudson, and smiled.

William Balfour – found guilty of murdering Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother, and nephew William Balfour – found guilty of murdering Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother, and nephew
Cook County Sheriff’s Department

Balfour, 31, who faces a mandatory life prison sentence, showed no emotion.

Jurors deliberated for three days before reaching their verdict against Balfour, a former gang member who was the estranged husband of Julia Hudson at the time of the triple murders in October 2008.

With no surviving witnesses to the murders or fingerprints, prosecutors built a circumstantial case against Balfour by calling 83 witnesses over 11 days of evidence.

Jennifer, who was in Florida at the time, sat through the whole trial, sobbing when photos of her relatives’ bloodied bodies were displayed to jurors during closing arguments.

After the verdict the state attorney, Anita Alvarez described the Hudson’s reaction: “I spoke with Jennifer and Julia Hudson after the verdict just a few minutes ago.

“They are both very pleased and very appreciative of the cooperation that we have provided for them.

“They are relieved, and we hope that this verdict gives them some sense of justice.”

Jennifer Hudson and Julian King (Pic:Splash) Jennifer Hudson with her nephew Julian King Jennifer Hudson, her mother Darnell and sister Julia Jennifer Hudson, her mother Darnell and sister Julia

Jennifer was the first witness prosecutors called and during her more than 30 minutes on the stand talked about her murdered family members and spoke endearingly about her nephew, Julian King, whom she called Tugga Bear. She said she knew Balfour since the eighth grade at school and always deeply disliked him.

Balfour had lived in the Hudsons’ three-storey Englewood home after marrying Julia Hudson in 2006. He moved out in early 2008 after falling out with his wife, but witnesses told jurors he often stalked the home.

Courtroom sketch shows Jennifer Hudson and sister Julia Hudson reacting during arguments at the Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago This courtroom sketch shows Jennifer Hudson and sister Julia Hudson reacting during the trial

The killings occurred the morning after Julia Hudson’s birthday and prosecutors said Balfour became enraged when he stopped at the home and saw a gift of balloons in the house from her new boyfriend.

After his estranged wife left for her job as a bus driver on the morning of October 24 2008, prosecutors said Balfour went back inside the home with a .45-calibre handgun and shot Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, in the back, then shot Jason Hudson, 29, twice in the head as he lay in bed.

Prosecutors said Balfour then drove off in Jason Hudson’s sport utility vehicle with Julian – Julia’s son, whom she called Juice Box – and shot the boy several times in the head as he lay behind a front seat. His body was found in the abandoned vehicle miles away after a three-day search.

Jennifer has said that she will not talk to the media about the verdict.

A jury has found Jennifer Hudson’s former brother-in-law William Balfour guilty of murdering her mother, brother and seven-year-old nephew.

Balfour, 31, was found guilty of three counts of murder and four other counts related to the 2008 killings and he now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

He had pleaded not guilty of shooting to death the singer’s mother Darnell Donerson, 57, her brother Jason Hudson, 29, and her seven-year-old nephew Julian King on October 24, 2008, as well as home invasion, residential burglary and possession of a stolen vehicle related to the killings.

His attorney argued there was no forensic evidence linking him to the murders.

The panel took 18 hours deliberating on the case after it went to the jury at Cook County Court in Chicago, before finding Balfour guilty of triple murder.

The Dreamgirls actress – who attended every day of the testimony – arrived at court shortly after it was revealed that the jury had reached a verdict.

The jury’s verdict was finalised just hours after the panel of six men and six women told Judge Charles Burns of Cook County Court that they had come to a split decision, but they were going to continue deliberating.

In prosecutor Jennifer Bagby’s closing argument she showed autopsy pictures of the victims and then pointed at Balfour and said: “It’s time to hold him responsible.”

During the case prosecutors presented evidence showing Balfour – who was on parole at the time of the deaths – had a gun, was at Jennifer’s family home the morning of the murders and threatened to kill the family on a number of occasions, despite there being a lack of DNA or fingerprint evidence directly linking him to the killings.

But Balfour’s defence team claimed police and prosecutors had created a story to implicate him.

In her closing statement, Balfour’s lawyer Amy Thompson claimed the real murderer was likely to be an enemy of Jason, who the defence alleged had dealt drugs in the neighbourhood and been shot and wounded before.

She said: “In their mind, this wasn’t a whodunit.”

Prosecutors previously claimed a gift of balloons sent to Jennifer’s sister Julia threw him into a jealous rage, causing him to use a .45 caliber handgun to kill 57-year-old Darnell, Jason and Julian, whose body was found three days later.

The Oscar-winning actress was the first person to testify at the trial and in an emotional appearance in court where she revealed she had told her sister Julia not to marry Balfour.
Actress Jennifer Hudson softly sobbed and leaned into her fiance’s shoulder Friday as a jury convicted her former brother-in-law of murdering her mother, brother and nephew in October 2008.

Though Hudson’s celebrity drew national media to the Chicago courthouse for the 13-day trial, she apparently had little effect on the jury. Several members told reporters that her name was rarely mentioned during deliberations. Their only conversation about her focused on her testimony and their opinion that it offered little help in reaching a verdict.

“This was not for us the Jennifer Hudson case,” juror Jacinta Gholston said. “It was the People of Illinois vs. William Balfour.”

Balfour was convicted of fatally shooting Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57; her brother, Jason Hudson, 29; and her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King. Prosecutors alleged that Balfour was upset that his estranged wife, Hudson’s sister, Julia, was seeing another man.

Balfour, 31, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison because he was convicted of multiple murders. His attorney, Amy Thompson, said he would appeal, and she too downplayed the suggestion that Hudson’s celebrity affected the trial.

“I think the jury was paying attention. They didn’t seem too interested in the coming and goings of people in the courtroom, including Miss Hudson,” she said.

Hudson gained fame as a contestant on “American Idol” and made her film debut in 2006 in the musical “Dreamgirls,” winning the Academy Award for best supporting actress.

She did not immediately speak to reporters after leaving court.

Hudson maintained a low profile during the three-week trial. She declined media interviews about the case and made no mention of it on social media. Except for the brief moments when she walked from the elevators to a private waiting area each day, Hudson did not mix with the public.

Prosecutors planned it that way to keep their most famous — and sympathetic — witness away from the spotlight during the proceedings. They went to uncommon lengths to shield her, including driving her to the courthouse each morning and allowing her to enter through a back door out of view of photographers.

Cook County State’s Atty. Anita Alvarez said she spoke with an “emotional” Hudson and her sister after the verdict. Before the trial began, Hudson had informed prosecutors of her plans to attend the entire trial because she said her mother would have done the same if the situation were reversed.

“She said, ‘This was my mother. If it were me [who was killed], my mother would be here every day. So I’m going to be here every day,’” Alvarez said.

Hudson sat quietly in the courtroom gallery’s fourth row each day with her fiance and did little to draw attention to herself, staring at the floor during upsetting testimony. Both she and her sister stayed out of the courtroom on several occasions when graphic crime scene images were shown to the jury.

Still, Hudson provided one of the trial’s most dramatic moments when she appeared as the prosecution’s first witness. As she struggled to maintain her composure, she described how no one in the family wanted Julia Hudson to marry Balfour because of the way he treated her sister and Julian, who was Julia’s son.

Jurors deliberated a total of about 18 hours since Wednesday, and were sequestered in a hotel for two nights. Members described a disciplined deliberation process in which they voted whether each of the more than 80 witnesses called to the stand was credible. They also constructed a detailed timeline, using it to see whether Balfour’s alibi matched his whereabouts on the day of the murders.

The panel did not take its first straw poll until Friday morning — more than 13 hours into their discussion. The initial vote was 9 to 3 in favor of convicting.

“Some of us tried our best to make him innocent, but the facts just weren’t there,” juror Tracie Austin said.


Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 5:51 am

This time, the fourth quarter belonged to the Memphis Grizzlies.

* Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe (12) defends Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley (11) in the first half of Game 6 on Friday at Los Angeles.

By Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US Presswire

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe (12) defends Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley (11) in the first half of Game 6 on Friday at Los Angeles.


By Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US Presswire

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe (12) defends Memphis Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley (11) in the first half of Game 6 on Friday at Los Angeles.

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Long the domain of the Clippers’ Chris Paul, it was the Grizzlies who rallied in the closing minutes to beat Los Angeles 90-88 and force a decisive seventh game in their playoff series.

Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph worked their inside-out game to perfection on a night when Paul and Blake Griffin were limited by injuries and the Clippers’ bench couldn’t quite put them over the top.

MORE: Who gets the blame for the Lakers’ downfall?
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PHOTOS: Top highlights from the NBA playoffs

“This one has to hurt,” Paul said. “If it doesn’t hurt, it means you don’t care.”

Gasol scored 23 points, Randolph had 18 points and 16 rebounds, and Rudy Gay and Mike Conley added 13 points each to help the Grizzlies win for the first time in the Western Conference series at Staples Center and stave off elimination.

“We were very focused on our task defensively and that’s a big reason we won,” said Gasol, whose brother Pau will play a Game 7 with the Los Angeles Lakers against Denver at Staples on Saturday night. “We were way more disciplined. The whole team is doing a better job of finding me in the post.”

Griffin scored 17 points despite a sprained left knee that limited his jumping ability, and Eric Bledoe added 14 off the bench to lead the Clippers, who blew an eight-point lead in the fourth along with a second consecutive chance to close out what would have been a landmark playoff victory for the beleaguered franchise.

“Right now is not the time to start pointing the finger,” Griffin said.

Paul scored 11 points playing with a strained right hip flexor and a jammed right middle finger.

“I didn’t know he was hurt,” Randolph said. “Everybody’s hurting. My knee is hurting. I ain’t looking for no excuse. You got to put that in the back and keep playing.”

The Clippers are seeking just the third playoff series win in franchise history. Game 7 will be Sunday in Memphis.

“It’s uncharted territory for us as a team,” Clippers second-year coach Vinny Del Negro said. “We got to stay together, battle through it and give our best effort of the season.”

Only eight teams in NBA history have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series. Top-seeded San Antonio awaits the winner in the conference semifinals.

“All of this means nothing because it’s a one-game series,” Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. “Everyone has a chance to win.”

Tied 66-all starting the fourth, the Clippers scored 10 straight to take their first lead since the game’s opening minutes, led by Bledsoe’s six points.

“It was looking bleak at that time,” Hollins said.

But the Grizzlies weren’t done.

They went on a 17-4 run, including 10 straight points, to take an 85-80 lead. Gay scored five in a row as the Clippers missed and Randolph came up with a big block. Conley hit a 3-pointer and Randolph tipped in the ball to close out the spurt.

“We stuck together and finished the game,” Randolph said. “That’s what coach has been preaching.”

Griffin made two free throws before Randolph scored for an 87-82 lead. Conley fouled Paul, and he missed the first and made the second to leave Los Angeles trailing 87-83 with 56 seconds left.

The Clippers were forced to keep fouling, and the Grizzlies made 3 of 8 to stay alive. The Clippers’ Caron Butler missed a 3-pointer with 14 seconds to go as red-clad fans headed for the exits before Randy Foye hit a 3 with 3 seconds left.

Paul blamed himself for two fourth-quarter turnovers that led to Grizzlies baskets.

“I got to do better,” he said. “We didn’t want to go back to Memphis, not ’til sometime next season.”

Memphis opened the second half on a 12-8 run to extend its lead to 54-46, with Randolph having six points and Gasol four. Los Angeles answered with Paul bookending a 14-6 spurt that tied the game at 60. Griffin and DeAndre Jordan got in two huge dunks before Paul’s jumper from the right corner brought the Clippers all the way back from an eight-point deficit earlier in the quarter.

Paul said he began the game favoring his injured hip, while Griffin was trying to feel out his bum knee.

“I tried not to pick and choose (movements),” Griffin said. “Sometimes there was a move I could normally make but not in these circumstances.”

Butler’s 3-pointer gave the Clippers their first lead, 63-62, since the game’s opening minutes. Griffin took the ball away from Gasol and fed Bledsoe for a layup that tied the game at 66 going into the fourth quarter.

“We just kept battling,” Hollins said. “Our defense started collapsing and not giving them anything. That was the key.”

The Grizzlies led by nine points in the first half, when they outrebounded the Clippers. Paul twice drew the Clippers within one in the second quarter before Gasol’s three-point play extended Memphis’ lead to 42-38 at the break. Paul and Griffin combined for 12 points and six rebounds in the half, with Paul playing 18 minutes and Griffin 15. The Grizzlies had 13 turnovers in the half, when neither team shot well.

Notes: Gasol said he and his brother’s respective Game 7s on Sunday would be watched in their home country of Spain. “They do love basketball,” he said. “We got a whole country behind us.” …Reggie Evans was called for a technical in the second quarter, the 20th of the series and 13th for the Clippers. …Mo Williams, who scored 20 points for the Clippers in Game 5, had the middle and ring fingers of his right shooting hand taped and he scored just two points. … The Clippers’ bench outscored Memphis’ reserves for the fourth time in the series, 34-15. … The Clippers fell to 2-3 in the sixth game of a playoff series. … The Grizzlies improved to 2-2 in elimination game’s dating to last season’s playoffs.
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The Los Angeles Clippers are a professional basketball team in Los Angeles, California. They play in the Pacific Division of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The club’s home games are played at Staples Center, an arena shared with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL).

* 1 History
o 1.1 Buffalo years (1970–78)
o 1.2 San Diego years (1978–84)
o 1.3 1984–2001: Moving to Los Angeles
o 1.4 2001–2005: Rebuilding
o 1.5 2005–06: Brand, Cassell Era/ Back to the Playoffs
o 1.6 2006–2009: Another period of struggle
o 1.7 Arrival of Blake Griffin (2009-2011)
o 1.8 The “Lob City” Era (2011-present)
* 2 Season-by-season records
* 3 Home arenas
* 4 Coaches and players of note
o 4.1 Current roster
o 4.2 International rights
o 4.3 Basketball Hall of Famers
o 4.4 Individual awards
* 5 Head coaches
* 6 Commentators and broadcast outlets
* 7 References
* 8 Further reading
* 9 External links

[edit] History
[edit] Buffalo years (1970–78)
Main article: Buffalo Braves
[edit] San Diego years (1978–84)
San Diego Clippers logo.

In the team’s first season in San Diego, it posted a record of 43–39 under new head coach Gene Shue. That record two games out of the final playoff spot. It would be the Clippers’ last winning season for 13 years. It was also in that first season in Southern California that long-time announcer Ralph Lawler began his association with the club. Randy Shannon had another solid season, averaging 20.5 points per game, finishing second behind World B. Free, who was acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers. Free finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.8 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average.

The 1979–80 season saw the Clippers begin to struggle despite adding center Bill Walton, a San Diego native who was two years removed from an NBA Championship with the Trail Blazers. Walton missed 68 games due to foot injuries (which he also suffered in his final years in Portland). San Diego finished 35–47 as key players missed games due to injuries. Free again finishing second in league scoring, with 30.2 PPG. Paul Silas replaced Shue the following season, and the Clippers finished 36–46, again missing the postseason. Walton missed the entire season again due to foot injuries. Free was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Phil Smith.

The 1981–82 season brought changes to the franchise as Irv Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for US$12.5 million. The Clippers’ poor play in the final years in San Diego resulted in averaging only 4,500 fans a game. Sterling lobbied the NBA to relocate the team to his native Los Angeles.
[edit] 1984–2001: Moving to Los Angeles
Los Angeles Clippers secondary logo

In 1984, the Clippers moved north to Los Angeles, playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. They finished 31–51 under head coach Jim Lynam.
Ken Norman, the Clippers’ scoring leader in 1988–89, was a key part of the team’s nucleus during the late 1980s and early ’90s

They were hapless for the next seven seasons, including a 12–70 record in the 1986–87 season that was the second-worst single-season record in NBA history at that time. Marques Johnson and Norm Nixon were both injured. That same season also saw Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor join the team as the General Manager and Vice President of basketball operations.

In the 1989–90 season, Baylor made a trade with the Cavaliers that brought Ron Harper in exchange for Danny Ferry and Reggie Williams. That move, along with the 1987 NBA Draft of Ken Norman, the 1988 draftings of Danny Manning and Charles Smith (Smith was acquired from Philadelphia in exchange for the draft rights to Hersey Hawkins), and the 1990 NBA Draft of Loy Vaught, formed a nucleus that made the franchise a playoff contender.

Midway through the 1991–92 season, the Clippers made yet another coaching change. Larry Brown, who had been fired by the San Antonio Spurs earlier, was hired as the team’s head coach in late January 1992. He replaced Mike Schuler, who had led the team to a 22–25 record before his firing. Brown finished the season with a 23–12 mark, for 45-37 overall. The franchise’s first winning season in 13 years. For the first time since moving to Los Angeles, they finished with a better record than the crosstown Los Angeles Lakers. The Clippers advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 16 years (since the franchise’s Buffalo heyday), but was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Utah Jazz, 3–2. Due to the late April 1992 Los Angeles riots, the Anaheim Convention Center was the site of Game 4 of the series, which the Clippers won. The team made the playoffs again in the 1992–93 season with a 41–41 record, but lost again in five games in the first round, to the Rockets.

Brown left to become the Indiana Pacers’ head coach, and Bob Weiss was brought in to replace him. That 1993–94 season proved to be one of the worst in Los Angeles NBA history, with both the Clippers and Lakers going a combined 60–104. After one year on the job, Weiss was fired, and veteran head coach Bill Fitch was brought in to guide a roster of young and inexperienced players. The Clippers continued to make frequent roster and coaching changes throughout the next several years with only one playoff appearance in 1997, under Fitch. That team made the playoffs with a losing record (36–46) and were swept in the first round by the eventual Western Conference Champion Jazz, 3-0.

From 1994 to 1998, the Clippers played several games at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, sharing the venue with the NHL’s Mighty Ducks and the Splash indoor soccer team. In 1999, the Clippers joined the Lakers and Los Angeles Kings in the new Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. In sharing the building with other tenants, such as the highly-popular Los Angeles Lakers, the Clippers, with relatively low success, were often overshadowed by the “Big Brother” Lakers. It was in that first season at Staples Center that they drafted highly-touted Lamar Odom. The Clippers finished 15–67. They hired former All-Star (and Los Angeles native) Dennis Johnson as an assistant coach, as well as Hall of Fame former Laker great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to help tutor second-year center Michael Olowokandi. Johnson remained an assistant coach until the middle of the 2002–03 season, when he took over as head coach. Abdul-Jabbar remained only one season.

The 2000–01 season brought changes. Derek Strong was sent to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Corey Maggette and the draft rights to Keyon Dooling. The Clippers’ two draft picks that year were childhood friends from Illinois: high schooler Darius Miles (3rd overall pick) and Quentin Richardson, (18th overall pick). The team became popular among fans with its high-flying style of basketball and the Clippers did improve a bit with a 31–51 record, leading the NBA in bench-scoring with 37 points per game.
[edit] 2001–2005: Rebuilding

To improve upon the previous season, the Clippers acquired high-scoring and rebounding power forward Elton Brand from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the draft rights to Tyson Chandler. Brand earned a spot on the 2002 NBA Western Conference All-Star team as an injury replacement for Shaquille O’Neal of the Lakers. The Clippers contended for most of the season, but won only 3 of the last 13 games and finished 39–43, five games out of the playoffs.

The 2002 offseason brought changes, as Miles was traded to the Cavaliers for Andre Miller, who led the NBA in assists in 2001–02 with 11 per game. With a good point guard in Miller, Lamar Odom at small forward, one of the league’s best power forwards, Brand, the center Olowokandi, and a good supporting cast off the bench, the Clippers could actually make a run for the playoffs. However, with poor team chemistry and injuries (the Clippers lost 293 man-games to injury), they finished with a disappointing 27–55 record. Head coach Alvin Gentry was replaced by Dennis Johnson midway through the 2002–03 season.

In the 2003–04 season, the Clippers lost many of their core players to free agency (Miller, Odom, Olowokandi, and forward Eric Piatkowski–one of the longest-tenured players in Clippers history[1]), while opting to retain Brand and Maggette with long-term contracts. They, along with Richardson, made up one of the NBA best high-scoring trios, with a combined 58 points per game. With new head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr., they finished 28–54, due to inexperience and injuries. In the 2004 offseason, the organization and fans anticipated the arrival of Kobe Bryant as a free agent, but were shocked when he decided to accept an 11th-hour offer to remain with the Lakers.

The 2004–05 season saw the Clippers, although also missed the playoffs, finished with a better record than the Lakers for the first time since 1993. Bobby Simmons won the 2004–05 NBA Most Improved Player award after averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. As a result, Simmons signed a 5-year, $47 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. To counter Simmons’ defection, the Clippers announced they would sign Cuttino Mobley to a contract similar in years (5) but less money ($42 million) to what Simmons received. Mobley was the first significant free agent signing from outside the organization since Bill Walton in late 1970s.

More deals were made. They traded Marko Jaric (in a sign and trade transaction) and Lionel Chalmers to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Sam Cassell and a lottery-protected 1st round pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. In relation to the lottery-protected pick, in order for the Clippers to acquire the pick, the Timberwolves would have to make the playoffs, or Minnesota would retain the pick.

During the summer of 2005, the Clippers announced they would build a state-of-the-art practice facility (the first NBA practice facility within the four corners of the City of Los Angeles) in the Playa Vista development. Several current players on the Clippers’ lineup live in the planned community.[2]
[edit] 2005–06: Brand, Cassell Era/ Back to the Playoffs
Los Angeles Clippers logo (1984–2010)

The 2005–06 season was a turning point for the team’s image; marked by several wins over top team. Brand was chosen for the All-Star Game and articles have been written in sports magazines giving recognition to the much improved team.[citation needed] Just before the trade deadline, the Clippers traded Chris Wilcox to the Seattle SuperSonics for Vladimir Radmanović. They had lacked consistent outside shooting, which is what they looked for in the trade.

While the Clippers had a few stretches of poor play they were able to maintain a solid record, including posting several winning streaks. They achieved their first winning record in 14 seasons and clinched their first playoff spot since 1997. They also finished with a better record than the Lakers for the second straight year.

By finishing sixth in the Western Conference, with a record of 47–35 (their highest finish since the team left Buffalo), they benefited from the current NBA playoff format of regular season records taking precedence over winning the division, and secured home court advantage over the Denver Nuggets instead of traveling to Denver for four games as a No. 6 seed would usually be expected to do.

On April 22, 2006, the Clippers won their first NBA playoff game in 13 years. Two days later, they won their second playoff game, going 2–0 against an opponent for the first time in franchise history. They lost Game 3, but won Game 4. On Monday, May 1, 2006, they won Game 5 in Los Angeles and their first playoff series since they moved from Buffalo.

The team faced the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semi-finals. After losing a close Game 1, they won Game 2, 122–97. The series shifted to Staples Center for Game 3, but the Suns won, 94–91. In Game 4, Elton Brand posted 30 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists as the Clippers evened the series. In Game 5, Suns guard/forward Raja Bell made a key 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left in the first overtime to send the game into a second overtime. However, Phoenix won in double-overtime, 125–118.

They bounced back with a series-saving 118–106 Game 6 win. Second-year defensive specialist Quinton Ross had a timely offensive game, scoring a then career-high 18 points. Brand had 30 points (his scoring average in this particular series), 12 rebounds, and five blocks. Maggette came off the bench to score 25 points, with 7–8 shooting from the field, and 9–9 from the free throw line. Kaman and Cassell each scored 15 points. The Clippers lost the seventh game 127–107. General Manager (and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame member) Elgin Baylor won the NBA Executive of the Year award for leading the Clippers to the playoffs.
[edit] 2006–2009: Another period of struggle

The 2006 off-season started as the team drafted center Paul Davis in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft, as the 34th overall pick. The pick was acquired by the Clippers by way of a 2004 trade for Melvin Ely. The team also drafted guard Guillermo Diaz from the as the 52nd overall pick. While Davis signed with the team, Diaz decided to play overseas. However, the team still holds his draft rights.

Meanwhile in free agency they signed Tim Thomas away from divisional rival Phoenix, in a four-year, $24 million deal. That was to counter the defection of Vladimir Radmanović to the Lakers in a similar deal, except Radmanovic signed for an extra year, but both players would make the same amount of money annually, which would be $6 million.

Also guard Sam Cassell (widely credited as the biggest reason for the Clippers’ recent success) signed a two-year, $13 million deal. Cassell stated that once he retired he would like to join the Clippers’ coaching staff under Mike Dunleavy, Sr. Also the team signed veteran Aaron Williams to an undisclosed deal.

In September, the Clippers announced a radio broadcast deal with KSPN-AM, the local ESPN Radio-operated outlet. The team did not perform to expectations,compared to the previous season. A lot of this had been attributed to lack of team chemistry and injuries to several key players, including Cassell, Thomas, Livingston, and Kaman. Players such as Luke Jackson, Alvin Williams, and Doug Christie were signed to 10-day contracts to help solidify the team’s bench.

Adding to the disappointment of the 2006–07 season, Shaun Livingston suffered a dislocated left knee in which he tore every ligament in his knee. This was one of the most devastating injuries that season that left him a player that would never be the same.[3] The extent of the injury was so severe, local news outlets such as KCBS-TV/KCAL-TV and KNBC-TV elected not to air the clip of the injury. According to the team’s lead physician, Dr. Tony Daly, Livingston’s prognosis for him to return to basketball activity was eight months (which was around the first week of the upcoming season) to a full calendar year.[4] The Clippers, expected by many to make the playoffs after their surprise appearance the season before, finished the season 40–42, 2 games behind the 8th-seed. The Lakers finished with a better record for the first time since the 2003–04 NBA season. The Clippers received the fourteenth draft pick from the NBA lottery. They selected Al Thornton and Jared Jordan with their 45th pick.

The 2007–08 season started off on a negative note, with Brand on the disabled list because of a ruptured left Achilles tendon, and Livingston still out. Brand missed most of the season, and they struggled to stay competitive. Chris Kaman took advantage of a depleted roster by averaging 15.7 points and 12.7 rebounds per game, but was limited to playing 56 games due to various injuries. The Clippers ended the season 23–59.

They saw the departure of several players for the 2008–09 season, including Brand and Maggette, and acquired ten players. Brand’s departure stunned everyone, because he had stated that he loved playing for L.A. and wanted to stay, negotiations for a new contract fell apart and he accepted a huge deal from the Philadelphia 76ers. Baron Davis, a Los Angeles native and formerly of the Golden State Warriors, signed a five-year contract with the Clippers, worth an estimated $65 million.[5]

After a disappointing 2007–08 season, the Clippers obtained the 7th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and selected Eric Gordon.[6] The team also selected DeAndre Jordan(35th overall pick). Mike Taylor (55th overall pick), was acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a future second-round pick.

Also in July, the Clippers acquired Marcus Camby from the Denver Nuggets in return for a $10 million trade exception and the choice to exchange second round picks with the Clippers in 2010.[7] On July 23, the Clippers also acquired guard Jason Hart from the Utah Jazz in exchange for guard Brevin Knight.[8] On July 28, the Clippers signed Ricky Davis to a one-year deal, with a player option for a second year.[9] They continued an active offseason signing (and one-time Clipper) Brian Skinner on July 31, and traded for Steve Novak on August 6 for future second-round pick considerations, in a deal similar to the Camby trade.

In August, the team signed guard Jason Williams to a one-year deal.[10] The Clippers re-signed Paul Davis. They signed three Davis’ (Baron, Ricky, and Paul) in their “rebuilding offseason” in which they obtained key players such as Baron Davis, Marcus Camby, Ricky Davis, and Williams. However, just prior to the start of training camp, Williams announced his retirement in September.

In October, according to reports from various sources including the Los Angeles Times,[11][12] Orange County Register,[13] and the team’s own web site (Clippers.com), Elgin Baylor ended his 22-year reign as Vice President and General Manager of basketball operations. It was one of the longest tenures in professional sports history. The Clippers indicated that Baylor had retired from his post,[14] and as a result, head coach Mike Dunleavy, Sr. assumed the role of General Manager, while director of player personnel Neil Oshley was promoted to assistant general manager.

In many of those reports, including a related article in the October 8 edition of the Times,[15] it was also indicated that Baylor had either been fired, resigned, or retired, depending on the source. According to similar reports, Baylor had been offered a different position in the organization, with the same salary, but with little to none decision-making power; Baylor refused. In fact, when pressed about his status with the franchise, Baylor had been advised by his attorneys not to say anything, indicating that the team and Baylor are in negotiations to work out a settlement agreement based on his departure. According to the above-mentioned article, Baylor had been working without a formal contract since the early 1990s.

On November 21, 2008, the Clippers and New York Knicks completed a trade, in which Los Angeles sent Tim Thomas and Cuttino Mobley to New York, in exchange for Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins.[16] With the trade of Mobley, only one member of their 2005–06 playoff team remained on the roster, Chris Kaman. In December, Mobley announced his retirement due to a heart condition known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy discovered during his physical; although he never played a game for the Knicks, they completed the trade anyway for salary cap reasons.

On January 6, 2009, the Clippers waived Fred Jones & Paul Davis to open a roster spot for Center from Senegal Cheikh Samb[17] (the Clippers have since re-signed Jones). The Clippers ended the 2008–09 season with another disappointing finish – 14th in the Western Conference – with a record of 19–63.[18]
On May 19, 2009 the Clippers were awarded the first overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and selected Blake Griffin. To open up a spot in the lineup for him, they traded Zach Randolph to Memphis for Quentin Richardson. Richardson was then traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, and Mark Madsen.[19]

Griffin immediately impressed in training camp and preseason. On October 23, he broke his kneecap during the Clippers’ final exhibition game, most likely after a dunk. Initially, the Clippers’ stated that he only had a sore left knee, which would make him questionable for the season opener the following night, before they revealed the break. The injury sidelined Griffin for the entire season.[20]

On February 4, 2010, head coach Mike Dunleavy resigned, and Kim Hughes was named interim coach.[21] Dunleavy retained his front-office title and duties for just over a month, but on March 10 he was fired as General Manager, being replaced by Neil Olshey. Dunleavy received the news of his dismissal from the internet, as well as friends and reporters calling his cell phone.[22] The Los Angeles Times reported that Dunleavy has filed for arbitration and that the Clippers have cut off his salary, even though his guaranteed contract does not end until after the 2010–2011 season.[23] Although the Clippers saw minor improvement, they finished with ten more wins at 29–53, Hughes was fired as head coach at the end of the season.

In July, former Chicago Bulls coach, Vinny Del Negro was hired as the next head coach.[24] In August, the team introduced new uniform designs at a photo shoot, at the team’s practice facility. Griffin and DeAndre Jordan modeled them, which were re-designed for the first time since the 2000–01 season.[25] The Clippers’ primary and secondary logos, which are modifications of the previous ones, were introduced to the public weeks earlier, on the night of the 2010 NBA Draft.

With Eric Gordon, and Chris Kaman, an improved DeAndre Jordan, a re-energized Baron Davis, and the debut of No. 1 pick Blake Griffin, the Clippers had high hopes for the season. However, they started slowly, losing ten of the first eleven games with Davis and Kaman out with injuries. However, the Clippers showed strength when 3 of their first 4 wins came from the top teams in the Western Conference. Griffin got off to a strong start, drawing increased media attention in Clippers games and boosting ratings of local broadcasts of Clippers games.[26] Griffin was chosen as a Western Conference Reserve in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game, a rare honor for a rookie; the first chosen by the coaches for the game since Tim Duncan in 1997. He also won the NBA Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. As the trade deadline approached, the Clippers sent Baron Davis along with their 2011 first round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. The first pick they gave turned out to be first overall. With the pick they selected Kyrie Irving.
[edit] The “Lob City” Era (2011-present)
Blake Griffin
DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe

On December 9, 2011, the Clippers signed Mavericks forward Caron Butler to a $24 million deal and claimed veteran point guard Chauncey Billups from the New York Knicks three days later. Due to the lockout, New York used a amnesty clause to rid themselves of Billups, and the Clippers acquired him with a bid of $2,000,032, paying homage to Griffin in the process. On December 14, 2011 they traded guard Eric Gordon, center Chris Kaman, forward Al-Farouq Aminu and Minnesota’s 2012 first round pick acquired in 2005 for New Orleans Hornets’ four-time all-star guard Chris Paul and two future 2nd round picks. Paul and Griffin were selected as starters for the Western Conference team in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, taking place at Orlando’s Amway Center, the first time in franchise history to have 2 All-Star starters in the same year.

On February 3, 2012, the Clippers signed forward Kenyon Martin. An eleven-year NBA veteran and former NBA All-Star (2004), Martin joined the Clippers after signing with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association the previous summer. On February 6, 2012 during a game against the Orlando Magic, Billups tore his achilles tendon and missed the remainder of the 2011–12 season. On March 15, 2012, guard Nick Young joined the Clippers as part of a three-team trade with the Washington Wizards and the Denver Nuggets. He became the eighth player to debut in the 2011-2012 season.

After a stretch that saw the Clippers lose 12 of 19 games after Chauncey’s season-ending achilles injury, with rumors of Vinny Del Negro’s career as head coach of the Clippers possibly coming to an abrupt end, Los Angeles went on an absolute tear.[27] The Clippers won 12 of their next 14 games, including road wins over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks and the Western-Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder, clinching only their fifth playoff birth since their 1976 conference semi-finals loss to the Boston Celtics (the last time they made the playoffs as the Buffalo Braves) before a dominating home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 16, 2012. It was their 3rd win in four regular season games against the Thunder. Chris Paul’s push for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award was at its peak. The 2011-2012 NBA season will be the first the Clippers will be in the Playoffs since 2005-2006.

The team gained the nickname “Lob City” due to several alley-oop plays, usually from Paul to Griffin or Jordan.

In their first playoff game, the Clippers achieved one of the biggest comebacks in NBA Playoffs history, a 27 point lead the Grizzlies had held over them, to win their first playoff game of the season, 99-98. However, they lost to the Grizzlies in Game 2. The Clippers managed to beat the Grizzlies by one point to take Game 3. They then took game 4 in OT 101-97, to lead the series 3-1.
The dream playoff scenario for NBA fans in Los Angeles is getting a dose of reality.

Both the Clippers and Lakers appeared to be on cruise control in the first round.

Now both face Game 7s.

NBA PLAYOFFS: LA teams face elimination games

The Lakers play tonight against Denver at home. The Clippers on Sunday in Memphis.

A first-round ouster would be looked on as disastrous for either team.

“Right now is not the time to start pointing the finger,” Clippers star Blake Griffin said about his Clippers but could have been talking about either team in Los Angeles.

Which L.A. team do you like the most to advance deep into the playoffs?

It wasn’t the best news, but it wasn’t the worst news either.

The Clippers announced Thursday afternoon that Blake Griffin and Chris Paul will be game-time decisions for Friday’s Game 6 of the NBA first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies because of their injuries.
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Griffin had an MRI exam on his sprained left knee Thursday that the Clippers said revealed no structural damage. The All-Star power forward was injured during the third quarter of Game 5 Wednesday night in Memphis.

He said after that game that he planned on playing Friday.

Paul received treatment on his strained right hip flexor that was injured during the fourth quarter of Game 5. Paul said after the game that he would definitely play in Game 6, though he also has a jammed right middle finger.

The Clippers own a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

If the Clippers win, they will meet the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday afternoon in San Antonio. If the Clippers lose to the Grizzlies, they must return to Memphis for a winner-take-all Game 7 that afternoon.

Either way, Griffin and Paul probably won’t be 100% healthy.

“They are both pretty sore,” Clippers Coach Vinny Del Negro said. “We got good news on Blake because there was no structural damage. Chris is just real sore. So we’ll see tomorrow how they both are doing and go from there.”

Griffin had surgery on the same knee during his first season in the NBA, forcing him to miss the entire 2009-10 season.

But Griffin said Wednesday night’s injury was “not the same pain” he felt when he suffered a non-displaced stress fracture of his left patella during an exhibition game against New Orleans on Oct. 23, 2009.

Griffin said he initially thought the injury in Game 5 was “pretty serious,” but that “the good thing is there’s not much swelling.”

Beside Griffin and Paul being injured, Clippers small forward Caron Butler has been playing despite a fractured left hand that he suffered in Game 1. And starting guard Chauncey Billups has been out since February because of a season-ending left Achilles’ tendon injury.

“We just have to have a solid team effort tomorrow,” Del Negro said. “Other guys are going to have to make plays. We’ve got to shoot better than we did [37.1%]. And it always comes down to controlling the glass against them, where they’ve hurt us, and obviously control our turnovers.”

The Clippers have been out-rebounded in four of the five games. It didn’t help that 6-foot-11 center DeAndre Jordan didn’t have any rebounds in Game 5.
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The Clippers, who didn’t practice Thursday, are averaging 16.4 turnovers a game.

That’s not all.

“We can’t let Zach and Gasol get as comfortable as they did in the first quarter last night,” Del Negro said. “In the other three quarters, we played them pretty even.”

That would be Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, who combined for 42 points and 17 rebounds in Game 5.

Both started strong, pounding the Clippers down low. Gasol had 12 of his 23 points in the first quarter and Randolph had 15 of his 19 in the first.

“It’s going to take toughness,” Griffin said after Game 5 about what it will take to win Game 6. “We know their backs are against the wall. So we know they are going to play tough. We’re going to play the same, but we have to play tougher. We have to out-physical them, be the aggressive team right from the jump and hopefully some things go our way.”

In the eyes of Kenyon Martin, it is pretty simple for the Clippers.

“We’ve got to go home and win,” Martin said. “It ain’t a two-game series for us. It’s a one-game series.”


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Comments (1)
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ocee_er at 2:47 PM May 11, 2012

I’m more worried about CP3 than Blake because of course Griffin came back into the game after the knee injury

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* Column: Injuries to Chris Paul, Blake Griffin are reason for concern
* Clippers take a painful 92-80 loss to Grizzlies
* Clippers’ Reggie Evans and Kenyon Martin provide a spark
* Chris Paul and Clippers are oh so close to closing out
* Chris Paul fills tall order in Clippers’ win over Memphis


* Clippers missing the big shots in 94-85 loss to Celtics
March 12, 2012
* Coach rips Clippers after 99-92 loss to Cavaliers
February 8, 2012
* Clippers’ Vinny Del Negro takes this loss personally
February 7, 2012
* Clippers’ Blake Griffin walks line between rookie and…
October 18, 2010
* After Chris Kaman, Clippers have a shortage of big bodies
October 1, 2010


* Injuries
* Pro_basketball
* Clippers
* Blake Griffin


josh beckett

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 5:49 am

Josh Beckett compared the last three days of his life to being on a reality show.

“I’m on ‘Khloe and Lamar Go To Boston’ or something,’’ he said while standing in front of the home dugout at Fenway Park on Friday. “How did that happen?’’

Beckett knows exactly why. We don’t need any Kardashians in New England, we have our athletes and they provide plenty of contrived drama.

The Red Sox have been a disaster since last September and Beckett is the face of their fall collapse and sickening spring. He was the perceived ringleader of the chicken and beer parties in the clubhouse last season, and this week it was revealed that he played golf on a day off while recovering from a sore lat muscle that caused him to miss a start.

Beckett made it worse by giving up seven runs against the Indians on Thursday before getting pulled in the third inning. Then he entertained postgame questions with his usual smug indifference.

All Beckett needed to do was act contrite and the episode would have blown over. Instead, he made it worse by acting offended at the idea that anybody would care what he did on his day off.

A day later, Beckett was a little less defiant but not remotely apologetic.

“I wasn’t going to hurt myself playing golf,’’ he said. “I was fine.’’

So, why did he miss a start?

“We were just being careful to make sure something didn’t happen,’’ he said. “That wasn’t my call. I would have pitched if they wanted me to pitch.’’

Manager Bobby Valentine, who has picked his words carefully after his criticism of Kevin Youkilis became its own episode last month, backed up Beckett in that regard.

Beckett wasn’t injured, he said. It was a precautionary move.

“I don’t think I am making a determination on what people do on their offdays, unless it affects the performance of them on the field, and it seems that he was healthy when he played and it seems that [the golf] didn’t hurt him,’’ he said.

“It would be very tough for a manager to start legislating what guys do when they’re away from the park.’’

That’s not to say there won’t be a little talk about paying closer attention to perception and not angering the customers.

“I think there are things that have been thought about since this has happened, by everyone concerned,’’ Valentine said. “In terms of just right and wrong and what to do next time.’’

It will be a surprise if Beckett listens. He has been catered to since he arrived in Boston, allowed to dictate who catches him and when he works out. The clubhouse beer drinking didn’t happen for the first time last year, either.Continued…

Forget about the golf for a moment.

Forget about the fact that Red Sox “ace” Josh Beckett got lit up to the tune of seven runs over a measly 2 1/3 innings by the Cleveland Indians last night at Fenway Park. Forget about the fried chicken and beer, Beckett’s reported refusal to participate in workout drills, and his public relations firm members who sit high atop home plate at Fenway Park.

Those are all reasons Josh Beckett needs to go. But during last night’s postgame press conference, Beckett gave everybody — fans, the front office, media members — a reason to run him out of town with a ferocious vigor not seen in this town in years.
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Beckett’s smug defiance encapsulates everything we need to know about the 2012 Boston Red Sox, an over-privileged, under-achieving group of players who have become enemies to nearly every baseball-loving fan in Boston.

And Beckett is the contemptible bandleader.

Two days ago, it was reported by 98.5 The Sports Hub that Beckett, skipped in the rotation last weekend for what the team deemed a sore lat muscle, was spotted hitting the links at a local country club with compatriot in crime Clay Buchholz last Thursday. The assumption was that, if Beckett was indeed hurt, why was he out playing 18? It’s a legitimate question that fans deserve the right an answer to, no matter how the story was greeted with such banality by certain members of the local and national media.

Last night, after Beckett’s shortest outing of the year, an embarrassing performance on a night meant to pay tribute to Carl Beane, everybody got their answers, delivered with discombobulated venom.

On the golf: “I spend my off days the way I want to spend them.”

On his precious off days: “My off day is my off day.”

On the booing: “I pitched like [expletive]. That’s what happens. Smart fans.”

More on the off days from the father of the year: “We get 18 off days a year. I think we deserve a little bit of time to ourselves.”

Family must have been out of town, I guess.

Spare me the notion that the Red Sox can’t get rid of a guy who gave them almost 200 innings of work last season. The franchise is a disgrace, and Beckett is reason No. 1 why it has been an international laughingstock (Hello, Anfield) for the past nine months. This team is going nowhere; poorly constructed, poorly managed, and poorly marketed. The Red Sox need Josh Beckett why again?
osh Beckett is lucky that baseball happens almost every day, since that means he will eventually become old news.

Yesterday was not that day, however.

There was more discussion of his recreational golf outing as well as what might be wrong with the way he is pitching, which was so bad Thursday night that The New York Times sold its share of the Red Sox.

Of Beckett’s ineffectiveness, which is more important in the larger scheme of things than golf, manager Bobby Valentine said that Beckett was tipping his pitches in Thursday night’s game, since the Indians seemed to really be locked in to whatever was coming their way.

If that was the case, it is something new. Beckett faced Cleveland three times last season and pitched well. He was 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA in those starts.

While Valentine said that it is hard for a manager to “legislate” what players do on off days, he hinted that the Sox are going to be very careful to not leave their players open for criticism involving what they do away from the field.

At issue, though, was not so much Beckett playing golf as it was Beckett playing when he may have been injured and dealing with a sore lat muscle. It was Valentine’s decision to scratch him from his last start — Beckett did not ask out — and the manager said that he made the move mostly as a precautionary measure, and that Beckett was not what you would call injured.

“If you are injured,” Valentine added, “you can’t do anything that might cause more pain.”

The manager also said that the thought crossed his mind during Sunday’s 17-inning game to use Beckett, and he glanced at the pitcher’s spikes in the dugout, then looked at pitching coach Bob McClure to see what he thought of the idea. McClure shook his head to say “no.”

Night of the lefties
This was about as left-handed a night as can happen in an American League game.

Neither starting pitcher was a lefty, but a lot of other players were, one way or another. The entire Indians batting order began the game hitting left-handed with Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana doing it as switch hitters.

The Red Sox opened the game with six lefty batters including three switch hitters — Daniel Nava, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Nick Punto. Defensively, Boston had one less than the maximum southpaw throwers on the field. It had the rare all-lefty outfield in Nava, Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross, and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was left-handed.

That lineup provided days off for shortstop Mike Aviles and center fielder Marlon Byrd. Punto batted ninth and singled to center leading off the second inning. The hit snapped an 0-for-19 slump for the veteran.

Dice-K close to ready
The Red Sox are hoping that Daisuke Matsuzaka makes another stride toward returning to the rotation when he starts for Pawtucket tonight in its game against Columbus. Valentine said he hoped Matsuzaka could get into the 90-pitch range.

“I would say he’s very close,” the manager added. “He’s done everything but string innings together.”

Sox full of doubles
The Red Sox kept a couple of streaks going.

Dustin Pedroia’s infield single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He added a double in the second inning, and as a team the Sox had six two-baggers. They’ve hit at least one double in 22 straight games, totaling 64 during the streak.

Beses-loaded success
Will Middlebrooks had a double, too, his coming with the bases loaded in the first inning. In the fifth, he grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning. In three career at-bats with the bases loaded, Middlebrooks has homered and doubled for six RBIs. As a team, the Sox have been good with the bases full this season. They are 13 for 32 (.406) with 38 RBIs.

Diamond Dust
Former Red Sox public relations staffer Henry Mehegan handled the public address microphone. … Boston purchased 36-year-old veteran Scott Podsednik from the Phillies organization and assigned him to Pawtucket. … Indians third base coach Steve Smith was ejected in the second inning for arguing the out call at home on Jack Hannahan that ended Cleveland’s at-bat. Manager Manny Acta took over for Smith. … Kevin Youkilis has started doing baseball-related activities, one of which is playing catch. … Boston plays again here at 7:10 tonight. Felix Doubront, who is 2-1 with a 5.29 ERA, will start for the Red Sox. Josh Tomlin goes for the Indians. He is 1-2 with a 4.67 ERA. … David Ortiz was on his way to the ballpark when he was involved in an accident yesterday afternoon on nearby Boylston Street. Nobody was hurt. However, during the game he came down with a sore left heel and had to leave it in the seventh.
There were more questions Friday for Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine regarding pitcher Josh Beckett, who on Thursday night refused to offer any explanation for why he chose to play golf the day after it was announced his start would be skipped because of tightness in his lat muscle.

“I don’t think I am making a determination on what people do on their off days unless it affects the performance of them on the field,” Valentine said. “And it seems that he was healthy when he played, and it seems like it didn’t hurt him. It’s very tough for a manager to start legislating what players do when they’re away from the park.”

Josh Beckett
Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesThings aren’t exactly looking up for Josh Beckett.

Valentine said there have been discussions internally in the wake of the attention Beckett’s golf outing received, most of it negative.

“I think there are things that have been thought about since this happened by everyone concerned in terms of right and wrong and what to do next time,” Valentine said.

During his weekly radio appearance Friday on ESPN New York’s “The Michael Kay Show,” Valentine defended Beckett but also admitted that the perception of what happened could be seen in a negative light.

“It doesn’t look good, but what a guy does on his off day if he’s not putting his career in jeopardy, not putting his team in jeopardy — and I’m sure Josh would never do anything that would result in those things — that’s what a man does in his free time,” the manager said. “Especially if you’re a pitcher.”

Beckett, who gave up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings Thursday night, matching his shortest start ever, adamantly maintained afterward that what he does on his off day is his business.

The issue, of course, ran deeper than that — the appropriateness of a pitcher taking part in a physical activity when he was physically unable to make his start.

“Again that gets into a semantics thing,” Valentine said. “If you’re injured you can’t do it. If there’s an injury involved you can’t do anything away from the park, you can’t do anything that might cause more pain.”

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So wasn’t there a physical reason Beckett was skipped?

“I didn’t think it was a physical thing,” Valentine said. “I thought it was a precautionary thing. From the first day I said we’re going to do it (skip him), I said 126 pitches (in his April 29 start in Chicago) and I said there was some lat stiffness.

“I was in the training room when they were digging into his lat and (Beckett) said, ‘Yeah, it’s a little sore right there.’ I said, ‘I’m not taking a chance this time of the season.’”

That was May 2. The next day, an off day, Beckett went golfing with fellow pitcher Clay Buchholz. Two days later, Aaron Cook started in Beckett’s place. “I heard the day we skipped him, when Cook pitched, that [Beckett] was feeling good to pitch that night,” Valentine said. “I think golf was after that.”

No, Valentine was reminded, it came before. It also came before the Sox played 17 innings against the Orioles last Sunday, when they used nine pitchers, the last outfielder Darnell McDonald.

Valentine said there was a thought of using Cook in that game “but it didn’t come to fruition.”

Bobby Valentine: 5/11

Speaking about Josh Beckett, Bobby Valentine says even “dictator Valentine” doesn’t control what players do on their off days.

More Podcasts »

He said there was no real discussion of using Beckett out of the bullpen when he ran out of pitchers.

“I think it was a gesture to Bob. (Pitching coach) Bob McClure said (Beckett) pointed to his spikes. I think he pointed to the spikes. I guess there was a communication he didn’t have to put on his spikes.

“I didn’t go over and say, ‘C’mon, we need you big guy, what do you think?’ I had thought it wasn’t going to happen, I guess.”

Beckett gave up seven runs on seven hits Thursday night. Six of the hits went for extra bases, including two home runs. Valentine said Beckett thought he might have been tipping pitches.

“Josh seems to think this team is on him more than others,” Valentine said, adding that it was “suspicious” that Cleveland’s left-handed hitters were always ahead on the pitch when Beckett threw a cutter inside.

“Healthwise, he was fine,” Valentine said. “He said he felt great today, and he was actively pursuing the answers to the problem.”

SportsNation: Red Sox in trouble?

SportsNation The Red Sox and Josh Beckett are reeling after yet another home loss. Have they hit rock bottom?
• Cast your votes!

To a roomful of reporters Thursday night, Beckett replied “none” when asked if the controversy surrounding his golf outing had affected him.

Friday, in an interview with a WEEI.com reporter, Beckett gave a different response.

“Distracted? Yeah,” he said. “When you here stuff like that the day before you start it’s mind-boggling. I’m loading a plane in Kansas City when I hear about it.

“I don’t want to be part of a reality show. If I wanted to be part of a reality show I would move to L.A. That’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to win baseball games, and we’re not doing a good job of that. Am I part of the solution or am I part of the problem? I want to part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

memphis grizzlies

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 5:46 am

Rudy Gay was not part of last year’s team that had a remarkable postseason run, bulldozing the then top-seeded Spurs and forcing the young and mighty Thunder to the brink. He is considered by many (excluding me) as Memphis’ best and most valuable player. His return to the fold this season was supposed to bring them added firepower from the perimeter, which should bolster their campaign… but lo and behold, the Grizzlies have found themselves one loss shy of elimination against newly-formed Clippers. Did Gay’s return inadvertently make the dreaded Grizzlies less fearsome? Let’s discuss it point-by-point after the jump.

First, let’s try to examine the guys that where key cogs to their campaign last year that aren’t on their roster this postseason: Darrel Arthur, Sam Young, Shane Battier, and Greivis Vasquez. These players, though may seem like virtual unknowns to the masses, played huge roles to the Grizzlies’ great success last year. Averaging, 7.1ppg, 7.5ppg, 5.5ppg, and 4.3 ppg during last year’s playoffs, respectively, these defense-oriented and highly efficient, not to mention high-energy, shock troopers made last year’s Grizzlies a fearsome bunch. The good thing about these guys was that they didn’t need the ball in their hands to be effective. They allowed Randolph and Gasol to operate down low with proper spacing and more low post plays.

Now, let’s try to examine their key additions this year: Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, Quincy Pondexter, Gilbert Arenas and Dante Cunningham. Gay leads the team with a little over 21 points per game, thus far, while Speights and Pondexter chip in 8.0 ppg and 4.8 ppg in the postseason, respectively. Cunningham and Arenas are basically just roster fill-outs as of this writing. Okay, the point-production between those of last year and those of this year’s additions are relatively comparable. Make no mistake about it. I believe that Rudy Gay is a great player and that he certainly deserves the value that his team sets for him. His numbers should be enough proof for that.

However, numbers aren’t always everything. Individual production is not always a reliable indicator of a player’s contribution to team success… or in this case, team failure. One must also examine the collective performance of the entire squad. Hence, this leads me to the crux of this piece: Rudy Gay’s presence has caused more harm than good. To cut the long story short, having Rudy Gay meant less touches for both Randolph and Gasol – players whom I think are more valuable for this franchise. The Gasol-Randolph frontline is among the baddest in the entire league. With Gay’s return, there has been a considerable dip in the production of both big men.

Last year’s playoffs, Randolph logged 22.2 ppg(led the team), 10.8 rpg, and 2.4 apg, while Gasol contributed 15.0 ppg, 11.2 rpg, and 2.2 apg. This postseason, thus far, Randolph’s performance dipped to 12.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, and 1.0 apg, as Gasol also struggled with 10.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, and 3.3 apg. The glaring drops in both point-production and rebounding are striking, to say the least. With Gay at Hollin’s disposal, their offense had gone perimeter-heavy, which corresponds to more long rebounds and less opportunities for offensive rebounding from their frontline.

It’s still not too late for the Grizzlies, though. They still can turn it around if they try to refocus their offense and feed Gasol and Randolph more. This strategy worked almost to perfection last season with a bunch of role players. It should theoretically work better with a player of Gay’s caliber if he only plays the role player’s role… just as the likes of Sam Young, Darrel Arthur, and Shane Battier wonderfully did last year.

I wanted the Grizzlies to win their series against the Clippers for the Spurs to have the chance to erase the stigma of their first round exit last year… but it seems like they don’t have a clue about what went wrong. Perhaps they’ll find out a little bit too late really soon.

Comments are highly appreciated. You can email me at reylanloberternos@yahoo.com.ph

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Reylan Loberternos.

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Marc Gasol scored 23 points, Zach Randolph had 18 points and 16 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 90-88 Friday night, forcing a decisive seventh game in the series.

Rudy Gay and Mike Conley added 13 points each to help the Grizzlies win for the first time in the Western Conference series at Staples Center.

Blake Griffin scored 17 points despite a sprained left knee that limited his jumping ability, and Eric Bledoe added 14 off the bench to lead the Clippers, who blew an eight-point lead in the fourth along with a second consecutive chance to close out what would have been a landmark playoff victory for the beleaguered franchise.

Chris Paul scored 11 points playing with a strained right hip flexor and a jammed right middle finger.

The Clippers are seeking just the third playoff series win in franchise history. Game 7 will be Sunday in Memphis.

Only eight teams in NBA history have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series. Top-seeded San Antonio awaits the winner in the conference semifinals.

Tied 66-all starting the fourth, the Clippers scored 10 straight to take their first lead since the game’s opening minutes. Bledsoe scored six points.

But the Grizzlies weren’t done.

They went on a 17-4 run, including 10 straight points, to take an 85-80 lead. Gay scored five in a row as the Clippers missed and Randolph came up with a big block. Conley hit a three-pointer and Randolph tipped in the ball to close out the spurt.

Griffin made two free throws before Randolph scored for an 87-82 lead. Conley fouled Paul, and he missed the first and made the second to leave Los Angeles trailing 87-83 with 56 seconds left.

The Clippers were forced to keep fouling, and the Grizzlies made 3 of 8 to stay alive. The Clippers’ Caron Butler missed a three-pointer with 14 seconds to go as red-clad fans headed for the exits before Randy Foye hit a three with three seconds left.

Memphis opened the second half on a 12-8 run to extend its lead to 54-46, with Randolph having six points and Gasol four. Los Angeles answered right back, with Paul bookending a 14-6 spurt that tied the game at 60. Griffin and DeAndre Jordan got in two huge dunks before Paul’s jumper from the right corner brought the Clippers all the way back from an eight-point deficit earlier in the quarter.

Butler’s three-pointer gave the Clippers their first lead, 63-62, since the game’s opening minutes. Griffin took the ball away from Gasol and fed Bledsoe for a layup that tied the game at 66 going into the fourth quarter.

The Grizzlies led by nine points in the first half, when they outrebounded the Clippers. Paul twice drew the Clippers within one in the second quarter before Gasol’s three-point play extended Memphis’ lead to 42-38 at the break. Paul and Griffin combined for 12 points and six rebounds in the half, with Paul playing 18 minutes and Griffin 15. The Grizzlies had 13 turnovers in the half, when neither team shot well.
After yet another highly entertaining and competitive Game 4, the Los Angeles Clippers has taken a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Memphis Grizzlies. With this win, the Clippers have forced the Grizzlies into a tight corner as they face elimination in Game 5 on Wednesday night at the FedExForum in Memphis.

As arguably the most physical series in the NBA playoffs thus far, neither team has been willing to back down an inch over the first four games. Not one of these give games has been decided by more than seven points and two have been determined by one point. With that being said, this series is about as competitive as it gets and it could easily be reversed with the Grizzlies up 3-1.

As the undisputed leader of the Clippers in perennial All-Star point guard Chris Paul continues to be the difference maker in this first-round series. With the Grizzlies having no answer for the lightening quick guard with exceptional passing ability, Memphis is now down 3-1 and on the verge of elimination.

Coming into Game 5 in Memphis, the Grizzlies will have a great chance of making it a series once again. With all four games being decided by less than 10 points and coming down to the wire, Memphis will be as tough to beat as any team left in the NBA playoffs on Wednesday night with a passionate crowd surrounding them and the motivated to head back to Los Angeles for Game 6.

Now that the Grizzlies have their backs against the wall in Game 5, Memphis will almost certainly win their second game of the series as they will look to impose their will at home.

It’ll be interesting to see how this series pans out with a distinct possibility of a Game 7 on the horizon for these two promising NBA franchises.
The Memphis Grizzlies is a professional basketball team based in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The team is part of the Southwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Along with the Toronto Raptors, the Grizzlies were established in 1995 as part of the NBA’s expansion into Canada. The team originated that year in Vancouver, British Columbia and relocated to Memphis in 2001. The team’s majority owner is Michael Heisley, who controls a 95% share of the franchise; the remaining 5% is controlled by several local owners, including AutoZone founder J. R. (”Pitt”) Hyde, his wife Barbara Hyde, equity manager Staley Cates, and former NBA player and University of Memphis point guard Elliot Perry.[1]

While two other teams in Tennessee (Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators) in the five major North American sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS) play in Nashville, the Grizzlies are the only team currently to play in Memphis.

* 1 Franchise history
o 1.1 1995–2001: Vancouver
o 1.2 2001–2008: Memphis and the Pau Gasol era
o 1.3 2008–present: Rudy Gay & Zach Randolph Era
+ 1.3.1 2011 Playoffs
+ 1.3.2 2012 Playoffs
* 2 Season-by-season records
* 3 Home arenas
* 4 Players
o 4.1 Current roster
* 5 Franchise and NBA records
o 5.1 Career statistical leaders
o 5.2 Per game statistical leaders
o 5.3 Individual awards
* 6 Television and radio
* 7 Staff
o 7.1 Head coaches
o 7.2 General managers
* 8 References
* 9 External links

[edit] Franchise history
[edit] 1995–2001: Vancouver
Main article: Vancouver Grizzlies
[edit] 2001–2008: Memphis and the Pau Gasol era
The Grizzlies’ alternate “claw” logo

The Grizzlies and Charlotte Hornets both applied with the NBA to relocate to Memphis on the same day, March 26, 2001. The Grizzlies’ request was granted. Memphis became the Easternmost city in the Western Conference. By the time the Grizzlies relocated, Memphis-based company FedEx hoped the team would change its name to the Memphis Express. The NBA quickly quashed that idea, ruling that they would not allow teams to be named for corporations.[2] Although not related, Memphis also had a professional football team of the same name in the WFL that folded with the league in 1975.

In the 2001 NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks drafted Pau Gasol as the 3rd overall pick, who was traded to the Grizzlies. After the Grizzlies’ first season in Memphis, Gasol won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. The Grizzlies also drafted Shane Battier, who quickly became an unofficial spokesman for the team and a fan favorite. However, despite the strong draft class, general manager Billy Knight was let go. After Knight’s departure and the 2001–02 season, the team hired former Los Angeles Laker and Hall of Famer Jerry West as general manager in 2002, who later received the 2003–04 NBA Executive of the Year Award. After West’s arrival the team was changed a great deal from Knight’s team, with the removal of Sidney Lowe as head coach after 0–8 start to the season and a great deal of player movement, with players such as Mike Miller and James Posey becoming vital to the team’s success. During the 2002–03 season, Hubie Brown was hired to coach the Grizzlies. Brown won the NBA Coach of the Year Award during the next season when the Grizzlies made the NBA playoffs for the first time in team history in 2004 as the sixth seed in the Western Conference in a drastic change from being perennially one of the worst teams in the NBA.

However, Brown stepped down as head coach during the 2004–05 season. At the time of his resignation, the Grizzlies had a losing record but West was able to hire TNT analyst and former coach Mike Fratello to replace Brown. The Grizzlies’ record improved and the team advanced to the postseason for the second consecutive season. However, the Grizzlies were swept out in the first round again, this time by the Phoenix Suns. After the season, which ended with anger between Fratello and many of the players, namely Bonzi Wells and Jason Williams, the team had an active 2005 offseason in which they revamped the team and added veterans. While the Grizzlies lost Wells, Williams, Stromile Swift, and James Posey, they acquired Damon Stoudamire, Bobby Jackson, Hakim Warrick, and Eddie Jones. They made the playoffs for the third consecutive year as well.

With their record they had the fifth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and would face the Dallas Mavericks, who swept the Grizzlies in 4 games. Following the 2006 NBA Draft, Jerry West traded Shane Battier to the Houston Rockets for their first round pick Rudy Gay and Stromile Swift. Before the 2006–07 season, they suffered a blow when Gasol broke his left foot while playing for Spain in the World Championships. The Grizzlies started the season 5–17 without Gasol, and then went 1–7 while he was limited to about 25 minutes per game.[3] At that point, Fratello was fired and replaced by Tony Barone, Sr. as interim coach. Barone was the team’s player personnel director and had never coached an NBA game though he had coached at the collegiate level for both Creighton and Texas A&M being named coach of the year in their conferences three times during his tenure.[4] Grizzlies finished the 2006–07 season with a league’s worst 22–60, and Jerry West announced resignation from his position as the team’s general manager shortly after the end of the regular season. The team also hired highly touted Phoenix Suns assistant Marc Iavaroni to be the team’s new head coach. Despite the last place finish, the Grizzlies, who held the best chance of landing the first pick in a draft, ended up with the fourth pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. With this pick, the Grizzlies selected Mike Conley, Jr..

On June 18, 2007, the Grizzlies named former Boston Celtics GM Chris Wallace as the team’s General Manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations, replacing the retired West.[5] A few days later, they hired former Philadelphia 76ers and Orlando Magic head coach Johnny Davis, longtime NBA assistant coach Gordon Chiesa, and the head coach of the 2007 NBA Development League champion Dakota Wizards, David Joerger, as the team’s new assistant coaches. Gene Bartow, a Memphis basketball legend, was named the Grizzlies’ President of Basketball Operations on August 16, 2007.[6] On February 1, 2008, Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers for Kwame Brown, Javaris Crittenton, Aaron McKie, rights to Marc Gasol (Pau’s younger brother), and 2008 and 2010 first round draft picks.[7][8]
[edit] 2008–present: Rudy Gay & Zach Randolph Era

On January 22, 2009, head coach Marc Iavaroni was fired and replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Johnny Davis. To replace Iavaroni, Lionel Hollins was named the Grizzlies’ head coach on January 25, 2009.[9]

On June 25, 2009, with the 2nd Overall pick in the NBA Draft, Memphis selected Hasheem Thabeet, then selected DeMarre Carroll with the 27th overall pick. On September 9, 2009, the Grizzlies Signed free agent Allen Iverson to a single year, $3.5 million deal. He only played three games (none in Memphis) before he left for “personal problems.” He was then waived by the Grizzlies.[10] Following Iverson’s departure, the Grizzlies improved. With new acquisition Zach Randolph playing at an all-star level, Marc Gasol’s improvement and a commitment to defense, the Grizzlies were in playoff contention for much of the 2009-10 NBA season, before finishing 10th in the West, 40–42. Going into the 2010–2011 season the Grizzlies celebrated the tenth year of basketball in Memphis. The season started with tremendous enthusiasm and fan support in the Memphis area. Although the Grizzlies and their fans were celebrating the tenth season the Grizzlies were also cheering for the unexpected 8th spot in the Western Conference Playoffs. They finished with a 46–36 record.
[edit] 2011 Playoffs

The Grizzlies found their way back into the post-season for the first time in five years in the 2010-11 NBA season after a 101–96 home victory over the Sacramento Kings on April 8, 2011.[11] While in the playoff hunt in February 2011, the Grizzlies traded Hasheem Thabeet, DeMarre Carroll, and a protected future first-round pick to the Houston Rockets for Shane Battier and Ishmael Smith.

The team became known locally and nationally for its “Grit and Grind”-style of basketball which means disruptive defense through high pressure on the ball (they were the team with the most steals per game in 2010–11) and inside-out offense (they were the highest scoring team in the paint also). The Grizzlies achieved several firsts in franchise history during the 2011 NBA Playoffs. Entering the playoffs as an eighth seed, the team won their first playoff game in franchise history on April 17, 2011 with a 101–98 victory on the road against the top seeded San Antonio Spurs. Memphis then won their first home playoff game when they beat the Spurs 91–88 on April 23, 2011.[12] Finally, on April 29, the team won their first playoff series when they beat the Spurs in game 6, 99–91 to win the series 4 games to 2. This was only the fourth time in NBA history that an 8 seed defeated a 1 seed, and only the second time in a best-of-seven series (the first two were in a best-of-five series).[13] The Grizzlies’ historic season came to an end after the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated them in game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.[14]

The team re-signed Marc Gasol and Hamed Haddadi after the 2010–2011 season.[15]
[edit] 2012 Playoffs


Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 5:43 am

Carroll Shelby, a Texas chicken farmer turned hot-rodder who went on to build innovative sports cars like the Cobra that challenged Europe’s longtime dominance of road racing as well as high-performance versions of production cars like the Ford Mustang, died on Thursday in Dallas. He was 89.
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Associated Press

Carroll Shelby behind the wheel in 1964. More Photos »
Slide Show
A Half-Century of Horsepower

Collecting: The Shelby Cobra at 50, an Icon of Sex and Power (April 1, 2012)

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Associated Press

Carroll Shelby, here in 1960, raised the profile of American racing machines on the international sports-car circuit. More Photos »

His death was announced by his company, Carroll Shelby International.

In the 1960s, Shelby raised the profile of American racing machines on the international sports-car circuit by packing powerful Ford V-8 engines into lightweight British roadsters, and by developing racing cars for Ford.

His Shelby Cobras proved worthy competitors to the likes of Ferrari, Maserati and Jaguar and became prized collector’s items. Today they command six- and seven-figure prices.

“Carroll is sort of like the car world’s Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays,” Jay Leno, who owned three Shelby cars, told The New York Times in 2003. “Unlike so many racers, he didn’t come from a rich family, so he signifies that Everyman, common-sense ideal. When I was a kid, American cars were big, clunky things, until Carroll used his ingenuity to make them compete with European cars.”

In 1959, Shelby became the second American-born driver to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the brutal endurance race in France, co-driving a British-made Aston Martin.

But a heart ailment forced him to quit driving, and he founded Shelby American in 1962. It became one of the most successful independent sports-car builders of the era.

Shelby began building his Cobras in 1962 using the chassis and body of a two-seater from AC Cars of England.

Early prototypes broke apart because of stress on the fragile frames. “When you try to put 300 horsepower in a car designed for 100, you learn what development means,” Shelby recalled in a 2002 interview with Sports Illustrated. But the Cobra with the high-powered Ford engine proved a formidable racer, celebrated in pop culture when the Rip Chords recorded “Hey Little Cobra” in 1964.

The Cobra captured the United States Road Racing Championship series of the Sports Car Club of America in 1963 and won the Grand Touring world championship in the large-engine category in 1965.

Soon after Lee A. Iacocca of Ford introduced the Mustang in 1964, he asked Shelby to help create a high-performance version for racing. In January 1965, the first Shelby Mustang, the GT350, made its debut. Shelby also developed the Ford GT40, and the Shelby GT500 and GT500KR (the KR stood for King of the Road).

Carroll Hall Shelby was born on Jan. 11, 1923, in Leesburg, Tex., where his father, Warren, a rural mail carrier, became a car buff, making his rounds in a 1928 Whippet.

Shelby served as a flight instructor in the Army Air Forces during World War II, then worked in Texas oil fields and became a chicken farmer. One Sunday in 1952, as he told it, a wartime buddy drove up “in a little ol’ English car called an MG” and invited him to take a ride. He soon envisioned a world beyond his farm chores.

He entered his first race in 1952, driving in a quarter-mile drag meet, then won road races in the Southwest. But he was still working on his farm and practicing in striped bib coveralls because he did not have time for a change of clothes. They became his trademark outfit.

His fortunes took a turn in 1954 when he came to the attention of the Aston Martin team. He drove for the team that year at Sebring, Fla., and in Europe. In November 1957, driving a Maserati single-seater, he won a 100-mile race at Riverside, Calif., after spinning out on the first lap and then going to the back of the field. He was one of America’s leading sports-car drivers by then.

The Shelby-American team’s Ford GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 and 1967. Those victories ended a winning streak by Ferrari that began in 1960, the year after Shelby teamed with Roy Salvadori of Britain to win in their Aston Martin.

Phil Hill, co-driving a Ferrari, was the only American-born racer to have won at Le Mans before Shelby, capturing the race in 1958. (Luigi Chinetti, who won in 1949, was an American citizen but was born in Italy.)

“Carroll desperately wanted to beat all the Europeans at Le Mans,” C. Van Tune, a onetime Shelby employee who was later editor in chief of Motor Trend magazine, told The Dallas Morning News in 2001. “He wanted to show all those fancy, highbred Euros in their slick racing suits that a chicken farmer from Texas could beat them at their own game.”

Shelby was a distinctive figure on the European racing scene of the late 1950s. “My wife was at Le Mans when he won,” David E. Davis, the founder of Automobile magazine, once told Vanity Fair. “And she said he was just the epitome of America — the overalls, the colorful language, the big mop of curly hair.”
Carroll Shelby, the charismatic Texan who parlayed a short-lived racing career into a specialized business building high-performance, street-legal cars, died Thursday. He was 89.

Shelby died at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, according to an announcement by his company, Carroll Shelby Licensing. A cause was not disclosed.

He led a colorful, outsized life that touched virtually every corner of the automotive world, said Leslie Kendall, curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

“He was the only individual to influence the designs of all three major American automakers. Everything he touched became legendary,” Kendall said. “Even recently he was working on an experimental engine.”

Living in the fast lane was a matter of fact for Carroll Shelby, who designed the cult-classic Shelby Cobras and Ford’s Shelby Mustang.

He raced cars. He had a heart transplant from a Las Vegas gambler in 1990 and a kidney transplant from a son in 1996. He was married seven times.

While trying to fend off an anticipated heart attack, he drove in a 200-mile race in 1960 with nitroglycerin pills underneath his tongue, finishing third at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey.

“If I hadn’t slowed down each time I popped one of those pills, I might have won,” he said. He announced his retirement as a driver later that year after clinching the U.S. Road Racing championship series at Riverside International Raceway.

Five years earlier he had replaced a plastic cast on his broken elbow with a fiberglass one and had his hand taped to the steering wheel so he could help Phil Hill drive a Ferrari to second place in a 12-hour race at Sebring, Fla.

“Carroll Shelby is one of the most recognized names in performance car history, and he’s been successful at everything he’s done,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the board of directors of Ford Motor Co.and great-grandson of Henry Ford, founder of the company. “Whether helping Ford dominate the 1960s racing scene, to building some of the most famous Mustangs, his enthusiasm and passion for great automobiles over six decades has truly inspired everyone who worked with him.”

Shelby most recently collaborated with the automaker on the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, which has 650 horsepower, making it the most powerful production V8 in the world.

Born Jan. 11, 1923, in Leesburg, Texas, Carroll Hall Shelby grew up in east Texas and attended high school in Dallas. He served as a flight instructor at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio during World War II.

Although he did not become a race driver until he was 29, his rapid successes and unique bib-overalls racing uniform made him a legendary figure before he retired at 37.

His first race, in January 1952, was in a drag race in a friend’s MG. Later that year, he drove the same car in an oval track race in Norman, Okla., and won.

That’s about the time the bib overalls became part of his lore.

“I was back home in Texas working on a chicken farm when I remembered I was supposed to be at a race at the Eagle Mountain Naval Air Station,” he recalled. “It was real hot, so I didn’t bother to change. The overalls were comfortable, so when I got to the track I kept them on. When I noticed how much attention they got, I decided to wear them all the time.”

He first attracted international attention in 1954 in a Kimberly Cup race in Argentina where he drove an Allard with Dale Duncan. When the engine erupted in flames, Shelby instructed Duncan to douse the fire by urinating on it. The fire out, Shelby finished 10th, first among the amateur teams.

Returning home, he set a number of endurance records driving an Austin-Healey for Donald Healey at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
Friday afternoon at Darlington Raceway, word began to filter through the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage about the loss of racing legend Carroll Shelby, one of the true heroes and icons of American motorsports. Here’s what some of today’s NASCAR participants had to say about Shelby.

“He just was so innovative. I just love when people are forward-thinking and have a passion for cars, whether they’re sports cars or these (NASCAR) cars. I have a bond with anybody that appreciates cars at all, and he was just so into the automobile. I think it’s a day … if you hear about me passing at 89, let’s be celebrating. So I think it’s a day we celebrate his life and just be thankful he touched us.” — Michael Waltrip

“He was a good friend of Roger’s (Penske), first and foremost, which I thought was really important to note. He’ll be missed by everybody at Penske Racing. Penske has this deal about appreciating racers and the things they do. He was definitely a racer. It’s a shame to see him go and we’ll all just remember the mark he left on the sport and automobiles in general.” — Brad Keselowski

“My focus (growing up in Southern California) was really on the dirt. But knowing the Cobra and his history in sports car racing and what history he had here in the States and know what he did at Le Mans and on the world circuit, you just knew about it. I knew where his facility was. I had a sponsor in the general area and I’d drive over and get free clothing all the time and on my way out I would see his big building and everything that was in there. I’d always drive by and smile and I knew that he had some awesome machinery in there. But, he’s done so much for automobiles, plus racing. His vision and early days of pioneering and finding speed and lighter cars and bigger engines; the stuff that has become synonymous today with racing, but he was the one doing that back in the day. And it really represented the U.S. well abroad and took down Ferrari at a key point in time, which was awesome to see.” — Jimmie Johnson

“That’s tough news. I’ve got a few of his cars and he was an inspiration to all car collectors and car guys across the country. I grew up in that era when all the muscle cars were happening and he did a lot of stuff for hot rods and other cars.” — Greg Biffle

“Man, this is a sad day. That man was a pioneer of motorsports in general, a visionary, made things happen. And just a good guy. Built a hell of a product for a lot of years. He was a competitor, and always did right by the fans, by everybody involved in motorsports. He was a fan of motorsports, didn’t matter what it was. He was certainly a fan of our NASCAR races over the years and came and just made everybody else, no matter what manufacturer or what brand he pushed or whatever else, anybody that was involved in motorsports was a Carroll Shelby fan.” — Clint Bowyer

“It was amazing what he did and it’s a huge loss to our generation.” — Mark Martin

Also, several prominent figures in NASCAR and the racing industry released statements praising Shelby’s work and legacy:

“Carroll Shelby was a giant in the motorsports industry and the automobile industry overall. Known primarily as an innovative automotive designer, he started building his legacy as an outstanding driver. Along the way, his name became iconic. On a personal level, he was simply a good friend to so many of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.” — NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France

“Carroll Shelby was a visionary for performance and speed for the Ford Motor Company. It was his ideas that helped push the Cobra and most recently the Mustang brand to the American people. He was an innovator of his time and helped Ford become a leader in the racing and performance world. The entire Petty family sends their prayers to the Shelby family.” — Richard Petty

“Carroll was one of the best friends I ever had. He was known all over the world as an icon in the automotive industry and one of the greatest names in the history of motorsports. He was a great Texan and a great innovator with a style of his own. I’ll never forget how he would climb out of that sports car with bib overalls and a cowboy hat. Ford will do all but close the company because of his passing. I admired him a great deal and will miss him greatly as a friend and a business partner.” — Speedway Motorsports Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith

“Today, we have lost a legend in Ford Motor Company’s history, and my family and I have lost a dear friend. Carroll Shelby is one of the most recognized names in performance car history, and he’s been successful at everything he’s done. Whether helping Ford dominate the 1960s racing scene or building some of the most famous Mustangs, his enthusiasm and passion for great automobiles over six decades has truly inspired everyone who worked with him. He was a great innovator whose legend at Ford never will be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.” — Edsel B. Ford II, member of the Board of Directors of Ford Motor Co. and great-grandson of Henry Ford

“In the history of our company there are a handful of men who have stamped their imprint on the heart and soul of what we do at Ford Racing and Carroll Shelby is definitely one of them. I’m just so fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet him and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. We at Ford and his legions of fans will have a silent moment to reflect on what he’s done for the company. It’s personal for me and I’m sure it’s personal for many fans.” — Jamie Allison, Director, Ford Racing

“We’re saddened to learn of the passing of Carroll Shelby. He made monumental contributions to automotive design and racing engineering that changed the way the world looked at American performance cars. Carroll was an American original. There never will be another quite like him. We were honored that he drove the Pace Car twice at the Indianapolis 500, as his spirit of ingenuity and innovation was a perfect match for ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.’ We extend our thoughts, prayers and sympathies to his family and friends.” — Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Belskus

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEED.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/05/12/cup-nascar-stars-mourn-loss-shelby/#ixzz1ufH956MU

vince young

Filed under: Family News — bladderinfection @ 5:41 am

Buddy Nix said Friday after he signed quarterback Vince Young to a one-year contract worth a reported $2 million, that the talented but sometimes turbulent Young, “won’t be a distraction here.”

Too late. He already is, and he hasn’t even donned a Bills practice jersey yet.

It took seven questions, all pertaining to Young, before coach Chan Gailey grew tired of the topic and felt the need to inform the media, “Ya know, we started rookie camp today, guys.”

Yes, the Bills did. All of their draft picks and undrafted free agents were running around in shorts playing touch football on a gloriously sunny spring day behind the fieldhouse at One Bills Drive. Spellbinding stuff. (That would be Twitter #sarcasm).

On an ordinary opening day for rookie mini-camp, the media would have been all over the debuts of Stephon Gilmore and Cordy Glenn and T.J. Graham, the first-, second- and third-round picks, respectively.

However, the Bills chose to announce the Young signing Friday. Sorry rookies, your day will soon come, but Young moves the meter a bit more.

This is a guy who was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2006 draft (meaning along with Mario Williams, the Bills now have two of the top three picks in that draft). He’d led Texas to a national championship with a performance in the 2006 Rose Bowl that ranks among the greatest in college football history (267 yards passing, 200 rushing, 3 TDs) and almost anyone with an opinion swore he was going to be the NFL’s next great quarterback.

By Week 4 of his rookie year he was starting for Tennessee, and by Week 16 he was leading the Titans to a 30-29 victory over the Bills which eliminated Buffalo from wild-card playoff contention. You remember that one on Christmas Eve, right? There was Young running for an improbable and eye-popping 36-yard touchdown on the final play of the first half, and leading a rally from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

He won The Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year award, earned a spot in the Pro Bowl, and had NFL defensive coordinators poring over film trying to figure out how to contain his multi-faceted game for the next dozen years or so.
The Bills agreed to a one-year contract with quarterback Vince Young, providing them an established backup and a bona fide threat in their wildcat formations. Buffalo announced the deal on Friday, a little over a week after Young worked out for the team at its facility.

A person familiar with the contract provided the length of the deal, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the Bills do not release those figures. Citing a league source, ESPN.com reported the contract is worth $2 million with another $1 million available in playing-time bonuses.

General manager Buddy Nix said the addition of Young will create more competition at the backup spot behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick. Young will compete with Tyler Thigpen for the No. 2 position.

“We’re looking always to try to improve our team,’’ Nix said. “It’s a competition for the backup quarterback job and not the starter . . . He knows it. That’s the way it is.’’

Young released a statement thanking the Bills for “the opportunity to come in and play and compete. I am looking forward to playing with the guys and helping where I am needed.’’

Young, who turns 29 next week, struggled last season with the Eagles, finishing with four touchdown passes, nine interceptions, and eight sacks in six games.

He has a 31-19 record in 50 career starts.

Browns’ Taylor out

Run-stopping tackle Phil Taylor will be out for months, and maybe for the season with a torn chest muscle, leaving the Browns with a massive hole on their defensive line.

Taylor tore his left pectoral muscle lifting weights Thursday and will have surgery next week. He was the team’s first-round pick in 2011 and started every game as a rookie.

“It’s unfortunate. We feel bad for Phil, but he is in good spirits and he is going to come back from this thing stronger than ever,’’ said coach Pat Shurmur.

Vikings thinking roof

One day after winning their seven-year fight for a new stadium, Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf started to lay out their vision for the $975 million project they hope will serve as a recruiting tool for free agents for decades.

They appear to be leaning toward footing the bill for a retractable roof, which could help them bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Minnesota. They also see a stadium and plaza with cutting-edge technology and lots of open spaces for fans to congregate.

The stadium is scheduled to be ready for the 2016 season, and the Vikings are hopeful of bringing a Super Bowl to Minneapolis as early as 2017.

Kuechly gets started

Before his first NFL practice, the Panthers’ Luke Kuechly was given No. 59 and told he’ll start out playing weakside linebacker. That’s a change from the middle linebacker spot he primarily played at Boston College, where he wore No. 40.

For now, the Panthers plan to keep three-time Pro Bowl selection Jon Beason in the middle, although coach Ron Rivera said things could change. “It will be an interesting experiment as we go through this,’’ Rivera said.

“You have to come in with the mind-set that you’re at the bottom of the totem pole now,’’ said Kuechly, the ninth overall pick. “You can’t come in thinking that you’ve arrived because you haven’t done anything yet.’’

Jets pass on HBO

There will be no summer sequel for the Jets on “Hard Knocks’’ this season. A person familiar with the decision said the team decided to not participate in the hit HBO show this year after being approached by the cable network about appearing again. Rex Ryan’s team drew huge ratings two years ago – the last time the show aired – but the Jets opted to pass on doing it again, the person told the AP on condition of anonymity because neither the team nor the cable network had announced the decision. The person said, however, that the Jets would be open to appearing on a future season . . . The Texans signed veteran quarterback John Beck, who spent the last two seasons with the Redskins . . . Former Maine safety Jerron McMillian signed his rookie contract with the Packers. McMillian was drafted in the fourth round, 133d overall. Green Bay also signed offensive tackle Mike McCabe, who went undrafted out of Holy Cross.
Bills general manager Buddy Nix had no difficulty assessing Vince Young’s attributes after agreeing to a one-year contract with the free-agent quarterback Friday.

Strong arm. Great mobility. And then there’s his winning record as an NFL starter.

When it came to projecting Young’s role with the Bills, Nix offered no guarantees except to say the starting job’s already taken by Ryan Fitzpatrick, leaving Young competing for a backup job.

“We’re looking always to try to improve our team,” Nix said. “It’s a competition for the backup quarterback job and not the starter. … He knows it. That’s the way it is.”

That doesn’t devalue the Bills’ hopes for Young, who will be competing with returning backup Tyler Thigpen.

“The guy’s been to two Pro Bowls. He’s 31-19 as a starter in this league,” Nix said. “We think he can do that again.”

Citing a league source, ESPN.com reported the contract is worth $2 million with $1 million more available in playing-time bonuses.

No “Knocks” for Jets: There will be no sequel for the Jets on “Hard Knocks” this season.

A person familiar with the decision said the team decided to not participate in the hit HBO show this year after being approached by the cable network about appearing again.

Rex Ryan, Mark Sanchez and company drew huge ratings two years ago – the last time the show aired. The Falcons have also turned down the show this season.

Briefly: Browns defensive tackle Phil Taylor needs surgery to repair a torn chest muscle and will be sidelined for months, possibly the entire season. … The Texans signed free-agent quarterback John Beck.

incent Paul Young, Jr. (born May 18, 1983), nicknamed “VY”,[1] is an American football quarterback for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. He played college football at The University of Texas. Young was drafted by the Tennessee Titans with the third overall draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He spent the first five seasons of his career with the Titans. In his rookie season, Young was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and earned a roster spot on the AFC Pro Bowl team. In 2009, Young earned his second Pro Bowl Selection and was named Sporting News NFL Comeback Player of the Year. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011.

As a junior in college, Young finished second behind Reggie Bush in the voting for the Heisman Trophy (though Bush later vacated the award). He won the Davey O’Brien Award which is given annually to the best collegiate quarterback in the nation. Following the Heisman voting, Young led his team to a BCS National Championship against the defending BCS national champion, University of Southern California, in the 2006 Rose Bowl. The game was called one of the most-anticipated games in the history of college football.[2][3][4][5][6][7] Texas retired Young’s jersey on August 30, 2008.[1]

* 1 Early years
o 1.1 High school career
* 2 College career
o 2.1 College career statistics
o 2.2 List of accomplishments and records
o 2.3 College awards and honors
* 3 NFL career
o 3.1 2006 NFL Draft
o 3.2 Tennessee Titans
+ 3.2.1 Rookie season
+ 3.2.2 2007 season
+ 3.2.3 2008 season
+ 3.2.4 2009 season
+ 3.2.5 2010 season
o 3.3 Philadelphia Eagles
o 3.4 Buffalo Bills
o 3.5 List of awards and honors
* 4 Personal
o 4.1 Disappearance
o 4.2 Lawsuits
o 4.3 Impersonator
* 5 See also
* 6 References
* 7 External links

Early years

Young grew up in the Hiram Clarke neighborhood in Houston, Texas, where he was primarily raised by his mother and his grandmother. His father, Vincent Young Sr., missed much of Vince’s college career due to a 2003 burglary conviction and prison sentence.[8] Young credits his mother and grandmother for keeping him away from the street gangs. At the age of 7, Young was struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle at the corner of Tidewater and Buxley, streets in his Houston neighborhood. The accident nearly killed him, leaving him hospitalized for months after the bicycle’s handle bar went into his stomach. Today, he credits this event for making him into a “tougher” individual. Vince Young wore the number 10 to show love and respect for his mother, Felicia Young, whose birthday is June 10.[9] Young attended Dick Dowling Middle School in Hiram Clarke.[10] Some of Young’s friends were a part of the “Hiram Clarke Boys,” a local street gang; many of those friends died as a result of their activities. Young’s mother confronted him after he had been involved in a fight between gangs, and told him that he needed to change his behavior.[11]
High school career
“ You can’t turn on a television in Houston without seeing Vince Young. You might see him more than the Texans. He was like LeBron James in Houston when he was coming out of high school. ”

—Rodrique Wright, Alief Hastings High School, and later Texas defensive tackle.[12]

Young was coached by Ray Seals at Madison High School in Houston where he started at quarterback (QB) for three years and compiled 12,987 yards of total offense during his career.[13] During his senior season he led his Madison Marlins to a 61–58 victory in the 5A Regionals over the previously undefeated Galena Park North Shore Mustangs, accounting for more than 400 yards of total offense while passing for three touchdowns and rushing for two more before a crowd of 45,000 in the Houston Astrodome.[12] After beating Missouri City Hightower 56–22 in the state quarterfinals, Houston Madison faced Austin Westlake in the state semi-finals. Although Young completed 18-of-30 passes for 400 yards and five TDs and rushed for 92 yards (on 18 carries) and a TD, Houston Madison lost 42–48.

Among the honors Young received in high school were:

* being named Parade’s and Student Sports’ National Player of the Year after compiling 3,819 yards and 59 touchdowns (TD) as a senior,[14]
* being named 2001 Texas 5A Offensive Player of the Year,[14]
* designation as The Sporting News’s top high school prospect,[13][14]
* and the Pete Dawkins Trophy in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.[13]

He was also a varsity athlete in numerous other sports. In basketball he played as a guard/forward and averaged more than 25 points per game over his career. This allowed him to be a four-year letterman and two-time all-district performer. In track and field he was a three-year letterman and member of two district champion 400-meter relay squads. In baseball he played for two seasons, spending time as both an outfielder and pitcher. He also made the all-state team in football and in track.[14]
College career
Vince Young scores a touchdown in the 2005 Big 12 Championship Game.
Vince Young about to score the go-ahead touchdown in the 2006 Rose Bowl
Young at the White House with George W. Bush, Mack Brown, and members of the 2005 national championship team

Young chose to sign with Texas in 2002 for its winning tradition and football prominence there.[15] He was part of a Texas recruiting class, which contained future NFL players Rodrique Wright, Justin Blalock, Brian Robison, Kasey Studdard, Lyle Sendlein, David Thomas, Selvin Young, and Aaron Ross.[16] This class has been cited as one of the strongest college recruiting classes ever.[17] Young redshirted his freshman year.

As a redshirt freshman during the 2003 season, Young was initially 2nd on the depth chart behind Chance Mock. However, Mock was benched halfway through the season (in the game against Oklahoma) in favor of Young. After that game, Young and Mock alternated playing time, with Young’s running ability complementing Mock’s drop-back passing.

As a redshirt sophomore in the 2004 season, Young started every game and led the Longhorns to an 11–1 season record (losing only to rival Oklahoma), a top 5 final ranking, and the school’s first-ever appearance and victory in the Rose Bowl, in which they defeated the University of Michigan. He began to earn his reputation as a dual-threat quarterback by passing for 1,849 and rushing for 1,189 yards. The Texas coaches helped facilitate this performance by changing the team offensive scheme from the more traditional I-formation to a Shotgun formation with three wide receivers. This change gave the offense more options in terms of play selection, and consequently made it more difficult to defend against.

Before his junior season, Young appeared on the cover of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football alongside Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal.

In his All-America 2005 season, Young led the Longhorns to an 11–0 regular season record. The Longhorns held a #2 ranking in the preseason, and held that ranking through the season except for one week when they were ranked #1 in the Bowl Championship Series.[18] Texas then won the Big 12 championship game and still held their #2 BCS ranking, which earned them a berth in the National Championship Rose Bowl game against the USC Trojans. Before the game, the USC Trojans were being discussed on ESPN and other media outlets as possibly the greatest college football team of all time. Riding a 34-game winning streak, including the previous National Championship, USC featured two Heisman Trophy winners in the backfield – quarterback Matt Leinart (2004 Heisman winner) and running back Reggie Bush (2005 Heisman winner—since vacated).

In the 2006 Rose Bowl, Vince Young put on one of the most dominating individual performances in college football history, accounting for 467 yards of total offense (200 rushing, 267 passing) and three rushing touchdowns (including a 9 yard TD scramble on 4th down with 19 seconds left) to lead the Longhorns to a thrilling 41–38 victory. This performance led to him winning Rose Bowl MVP honors for the second consecutive season—becoming only the fourth player, in the history of the Rose Bowl, to be twice named MVP (and the only player from the Big 12 Conference). After the game, former USC and NFL safety Ronnie Lott said “Vince Young is the greatest quarterback to ever play college football.”[9] Trojans coach Pete Carroll said “that was the best [performance] I’ve seen by one guy.”[19] Young finished the season with 3,036 yards passing and 1,050 yards rushing earning him the Davey O’Brien Award.[20]

Early in his collegiate career, Vince Young had been criticized as “great rusher…average passer”, and his unconventional throwing motion had been criticized as being “side-arm”[21] as opposed to the conventional “over the top” throwing motion typically used by college quarterbacks. However, by the 2005 season most of the criticism had faded, and he developed into a consistent and precise passer. Young concluded the 2005 regular season as the #1 rated passer in the nation. Including the Big 12 Championship game and the Rose Bowl, he finished as the #3 rated passer in the nation, with a quarterback rating of 163.9.[22]

Young reached a win/loss record as a starter of 30–2, ranking him #1 of all UT quarterbacks by number of wins, although his successor, Colt McCoy, would far surpass him with 45. His .938 winning percentage as a starting quarterback ranks sixth best in Division I history. Young’s career passing completion percentage is the best in UT history, 60.8%. During his career at Texas (2003–05), Young passed for 6,040 yards (No. 5 in UT history) and 44 TDs (No. 4 in UT history) while rushing for 3,127 yards (No. 1 on UT’s all-time QB rushing list/No. 7 on UT’s all-time list) and 37 TDs (No. 5 on UT’s all-time rushing TDs list/Tied for No. 1 among QBs).[23] He was also #10 on ESPN/IBM’s list of the greatest college football players ever. In 2007, ESPN compiled a list of the top 100 plays in college football history; Vince Young’s game-winning touchdown in the 2006 Rose Bowl ranked number 5.[24]

The University of Texas retired Young’s jersey number 10 during the 2008 season-opening football game on August 30, 2008.[1][25]
College career statistics
Year Passing Rushing
Comp Att Yards TDs Int Att Yds Avg TD
2003 84 143 1,155 6 7 135 998 7.4 11
2004 148 250 1,849 12 11 167 1,079 6.5 14
2005 212 325 3,036 26 10 155 1,050 6.8 12
Totals 444 718 6,040 44 28 457 3,127 6.8 37
List of accomplishments and records

* Vince Young was the first player in NCAA I-A history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. The only other player was Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan University. *He had a win/loss record as a starter of 30–2, ranking him #1 of all UT quarterbacks by number of wins. His .938 winning percentage as a starting quarterback ranks sixth best in NCAA Division I football history.
* Vince’s career passing completion percentage is the second best in UT history at 61.8%, behind his successor, Colt McCoy.
* He passed for 44 touchdowns (No. 4 in UT history) while rushing for 3,127 yards (No. 1 on UT’s all-time quarterback rushing list/No. 5 on UT’s all-time list) and 37 touchdowns (No. 4 on UT’s all-time rushing touchdowns list/T-No. 1 among quarterbacks).
* Young’s 9,167 yards of total offense is the second best total in school history, also behind McCoy.
* Young rushed and threw for over 100 yards in the same game five times in his career, a UT school record.
* Young is the only UT player to accumulate 400 or more yards of total offense in a single game more than one time. Chris Simms, Major Applewhite and Colt McCoy accomplished it once each, while Young accomplished the feat four times.
* Vince set a UT record for total offensive yards in a game, with 506 yards against Oklahoma State on October 29, 2005.
* He is the only quarterback in UT history to rush for 100 yards in three or more games during a season and he did so in each of his 3 seasons at UT.
* Young set the UT single-game pass completion percentage record against Oklahoma State in 2004 by completing 18 of 21 passes (85.7%). He broke his own record by completing 25 of 29 passes (86.2%) against Colorado in 2005. His record was later broken my McCoy.
* Young set the UT single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 192 versus Michigan in the Rose Bowl. He broke his own record in 2005 by rushing for 267 yards against Oklahoma State.
* Young owns five of the top seven single-game quarterback rushing performances in UT history: 267 yards vs Oklahoma State as a Junior; 200 yards vs USC as a Junior; 192 yards vs. Michigan as a Sophomore; 163 yards vs. Nebraska as a Freshman; 158 yards at Texas Tech as a Sophomore.
* Young has six of the top 8 longest runs by a quarterback in UT history.
* Young became the first player in UT history to pass and rush for 1,000 or more yards in the same season.
* Young became the first quarterback in UT history to have three 100-yard rushing games (vs. Oklahoma, at Baylor, vs. Nebraska) in the same season and is tied with Ricky Williams (1995) for the third-most 100-yard games by a freshman in school history.
* Young’s 17 wins and 43 touchdowns accounted for in 2003–2004 were the most ever by a UT quarterback in their first two years. However, Colt McCoy surpassed both of these, accounting for 57 touchdowns and 20 wins in 2006–2007.
* Young is a two-time winner of the Rose Bowl MVP award, joining Ron Dayne, Bob Schloredt, and Charles White as the only two-time winners. He is the only two-time winner of the Rose Bowl MVP award who did not play for a school in either the Pac-10 Conference or the Big Ten Conference, which are the two conferences that traditionally send teams to the Rose Bowl game.
* In the Rose Bowl on January 4, 2006, the BCS National Championship, he completed 30 of 40 passes for 267 yards and carried the ball 19 times for 200 yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Those 200 rushing yards set a Bowl game rushing record by a QB. He was named Rose Bowl MVP for the second time in his career. UT beat USC by the score of 41 to 38 and Vince Young ran in the winning touchdown. In this game, UT ended USC’s 34-game win streak. Young’s 467 total yards set a new Rose Bowl record.

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