Blogger's Delight

Sep. 22, 2020

A bit of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity History. The ultimate originator of the iconic fraternity term "Ole" that is the greeting used by Iota Phi Theta brothers worldwide was the late, great, and exuberant Gary Neverdon, Slick Poppa, said it first at an after-party when they took over the Charter Line at Wilberforce University, during Spring 1979.
I am sure that Gary never expected that moment of excitement to become an iconic saying but hey knowing Gary it should’ve been. Much Love and of course Ole, Ole.

Sep. 22, 2020

Another Iota Phi Theta Fraternity History Lesson
The Origin Of The Iconic Call Ow Ow
Roy “Eastside” Roosevelt
Just a little more Iota Phi Theta Fraternity Inc. history. The origin of the iconic saying Ow, Ow.
There has been some confusion about the saying Ow, Ow. First off I believe the term originated on the dance floors of Baltimore City. There was a time when you were on the dance floor that brothers would make bird-like calls like Ark, Ark. I believe that my Fraternity Brother
Roy “Eastside” Roosevelt from Bowie State College Mu Chapter took that guttural sound and modified to the iconic Ow, Ow.
According to Clinton “Wolf” Jennifer, Eastside took hold of Ow, Ow, and used it as a greeting when meeting and speaking to brothers of the shield. Roy Roosevelt grew up a few blocks from me in East Baltimore and he pledged the same pledge season that I pledged Spring, 1974. I know for a fact that Eastside originated Ow, Ow because he did indeed make the iconic call his Iota Phi Theta Fraternity calling card. The more Roy said Ow, Ow. The more the term became apart of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity lore. It’s amazing that a dance call from the Baltimore City dance halls has survived nearly 46 years and has now become an iconic call to become a signature brotherhood greeting.
Roy “Eastside” Roosevelt now resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He still loves Iota Phi Theta Fraternity and the brothers of the shield. I bet if you see him to this day. Eastside will greet you with an Ow, Ow.

Aug. 16, 2019

I want to say sometimes your day starts off in such a way that you know something special is going to happen. Today was that day for me because I got a chance to have a phone conversation with one of the most intellectually powerful and creative brothers I have ever encountered. In some ways, Iota Phi Theta may be lacking in establishing true brotherhood across the regions. We are indeed individual black men with different purposes and different lifestyles. Yet, the key to me is that Iota Phi Theta Fraternity should never lose its uniqueness, the blackness that resounded in our twelve founders and the blackness that resounded in the first lines of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity. That blackness actually should be one of the founding stars along with brotherhood, leadership, citizenship, scholarship and fidelity. That blackness is what makes the foundation and structure of Iota Phi Theta unique, powerful, and binding. I sense that if we hold true to black humanity and humaneness we will indeed grow our fraternity to unbelievable levels. Back to what made today a special day I got a chance to talk to Abdul Kenyatta. Brother Abdul was one of the original brothers who assisted in developing the West Coast Region. We have such a richness of talented brothers in our fraternity. Sometimes we are so busy thinking of ways to grow the fraternity we forget to nurture and support the crops that we already harvested. That, I believe is the reason why we have such a difficult time securing retention and also securing brothers willing to financially support the fraternity after the initial rush of excitement dies down after joining the fraternity, We need to ensure that we maintain contact with our brothers. We need to make sure we encourage and support our brothers through the difficult and uplifting periods of their lives. I hope that we can regain the energies that created the atmosphere of the outlaw spirit that moved Iota Phi Theta Fraternity growth in the 80s', and 90s'. We were smaller of course then but we care more about every brother because every brother mattered. I will now put Brother Abdul Kenyatta on my monthly call list. If you live in the Bay Area stop by Brother Kenyatta's performances. He is a creative poet who delivers magic with a mike. We need to love our brotherhood's members because that is the true basis of a thriving organization, more important than community service to others is our community service to ourselves and our members. I know this is a long post that's why I am putting it on my blog. I just ask that we as members of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity really look out for each other and support each other. We should never neglect the honest efforts put forth by members of our fraternity. I hope you understand what I am trying to say here. In order for this fraternity to press forward, it has to be about more than building traditions. It also has to be about ensuring brothers truly care for one another in meaningful ways.

May. 20, 2019

Were the petty slings directed at Pelinka or Kobe? The purple and gold are tarnished and old.

Magic Johnson exemplified what the concept of professional pettiness in sports is all about. I really cannot get too outraged about what's going on in a child's game played by adults for multi-billions of dollars. It's simply basketball the object of the game is to put a basketball through a circular steel rim more times than your opponent. However, after listening to Johnson's interview on ESPN with Smith this morning I got the sniff of jealousy coming from Ervin Johnson. It seems if Laker management didn't roll over for the great Magic Johnson. They were backstabbing him. If they didn't do exactly what he requested they do without question they were enemies at the gate.

Since this cat, Rob Pelinka is a Kobe Bryant protege and his former agent maybe the slight Magic was feeling was that Kobe was in the room when he shouldn't even be in the vicinity. The two largest living symbols of Lakerness in the nation are Kobe and Magic. It says something when Magic sents out accusations directed at Kobe's former agent. Personally, I think some of the mud slung my Magic this morning was intended for Kobe. Although, Kobe's name was not mentioned by Magic. I would have thought that the softball questions directed by Smith in the interview would've addressed Magic relationship with Kobe because certainly Kobe and Rob Pelinka are tight.

The interview tarnished the public persona of one Ervin "Magic" Johnson. He should have simply left good enough alone but I think Magic seeks the light. The light was fading on Magic and his rep was challenged because he thought he could convince multiple players to wear the purple and gold. He made a huge mistake trading away D'Angelo Russell for a bag of chips. When it was proven that Russell could've been a core player for multiple seasons and Nick Young was not a long term solution for the team. I am sure the team would've been able to swing a trade for Kyle Kuzma without giving up a potential all-star player who could have teamed with James to make a poor team playoff ready.

The Magic Years with LeBron James will completely be a failure because Magic didn't join James with a Robin or even a James Gordon. So now the dust has settled and this morning Magic Johnson soiled the purple and gold because of petty reasons. I think that within the next couple of years Kobe Bryant will resurface and unveil what really transpired between Pelinka and Johnson. Pettiness is so damn unprofessional but hey it's just a game. Who's sitting in the iron throne in Lakerville? I think it's the Buss Family who controls the checkbook, maybe that was the real issue with Magic, his decision was never going to be the final one.

May. 13, 2019
No matter how incredibly great one is in the major sports that have risen to prominence in this country, basketball, baseball, and football. The fact of the matter is that age is, in the end, the realm that will finally take them down. Oh, some have delayed being vanquished, take, for example, Tom Brady. He as delayed the inevitable but it seems that the league changed the rules which gave every over 35-year old quarterback new life with the hands-off no touch policy that guaranteed their survival. No way would Tom Brady still be playing even if he played 10 years earlier. You remember that hit Troy Aikman took in his final days as a Cowboy? Go back a few generations and look at the hits John Unitas, Joe Namath, Dan Fouts, and Warren Moon took. Do you think that Brady would be calling snaps until he was 50? Hell, no.
 
So even the great ones have their day when the sun is setting. The ability to turn on that 99-mile per hour heater when your mind says think but your reflexes no longer answer. That takes down the greatest of all baseball players. Oh, you may delay the inevitable even in baseball by taking newly created drugs that lessen the age factor but then the urine tests put you and your great historical statistics on notice. It means that for attempting to defeat the evitable victor you have sacrificed your place in the vanguard of greatness. Do you think that Barry Bonds would have second-guessed himself knowing that his entire career was relegated to a heaping pile of trash just for those final 4 years of scientifically induced greatness? Roger Clemens was assured of historical greatness but he wanted to keep his 98-mile-per hour heater just 4 more years, goodbye career recognition. All the baseball greats who attempted to beat father time in this generation felt that they had discovered Magellan's Fountain of Youth serum only to be unmasked as society's cheaters. You see that in baseball all the great ones have and always will be defeated by that tick, tick, ticking clock as their age advances.
 
So now it brings me to the crux of my provoked thought for today, LeBron James. I always loved James's game he could combine brute force, with the elegance of passes that made
his teammates better players. He was the ultimate dominate player on the basketball court. It was the irrepressible force that demanded all eyes on me when he controlled the rock. He could take a group of scrubs, an actual Saturday afternoon pickup squad to the finals of the NBA. Then the 2018-19 season happened. The summer before the season started the Los Angeles Lakers thought that they have signed the King of the Court to a four-year contract. The Lakers felt almost assuredly that at least in 1 or more of the following seasons a "chip" was in there future. However, Laker management led by Magic Johnson forgot to speak to the ultimate victor, father time, the actual undefeated one. The chinks in James's armor finally started to appear. He was no longer the invincible, uncontrollable force of power on the basketball court. He actually could even be manhandled by a few players in the league. You saw him hanging more downcourt on defense. His defensive lapses gave way to more and more fastbreak or uncontested shots by opponents. The floor was no longer the realm of the King. LeBron James had been dethroned and no longer were the anticipated chips or even one single solitary championship in the Los Angeles Lakers future. As a matter of fact, the team has been decimated since season's end.
 
Magic Johnson, the supposed soul of Laker Nation jumped ship after he was told he couldn't hire or fire the current coach. The entire league array of supposed coaches turned down Laker Nation. Wasn't it one time the job that no coach could turn away from? Now, it became the job seemingly no one wanted? Why? Because no one wanted to coach the final days of a dethroned King, especially without the guarantee that the King would actually have a new King to assist him.  So when I read these articles from sports reporters writing as if LeBron James is still actually the greatest player in the game I winch. The days that LeBron James winning playoff series are over.  Really, who doesn't question that the best basketball team in Los Angeles isn't the Clippers? The James Experiment lasted until about Christmas 2018 when the wheels came off the ship and father time's ticks were being heard louder and louder. They are simply far too many better players in today's NBA they outshine James. Let's start with Durant, move on to the Slasp Brothers, and they are on the same team. Do you think anyone sane is gonna choose James over Anthony Davis? Whose the fool that made that choice? You tell me that Portland would trade Damon Lilliard one up for Lebron James? Do you think Minnesota is trading Karl Anthony Towns one up for James? How about Milwaukee trading Anteotokoumpo for LeBron James? Or do you think the Raptors would trade a contract signed Leonard one up for Lebron James? Now even with James Harden's losing ways, you think that the Rockets trade him one up for James?  Do you think you could get either Emblid or Simmons one up for James? You see young legs win in the NBA and the ticking clock of the undefeated father time ticks loudest now for LeBron James. For all those Laker Nation fans wishing for just one chip for the LeBron James Lakers forget about it. It isn't happening.  Magic saw the writing on the wall or should I say he heard the ticking of the undefeated clock. He had heard that clock tick for him personally. Every great goes down one on one against the clock.