Archive for November, 2011

The Old Soul Blues

Posted: November 13, 2011 in 80s Babies, Social Rants
Tags: ,

What defines an old soul?

So the other day I’m driving in my car, listening to the local hip-hop station when some generic-ass, I-got-money-song comes on the radio. Instinctively I clicked over to the old-school/R&B channel and was delighted to hear my favorite New Edition song “Sorry, You’re Not My Kind of Girl.” In the middle of the song, I began to think to myself…Does this make me an “old soul?”

At 26, I’ve been called that dozens of times. And that isn’t just based on my musical tastes. In the last few years, I’ve gone from wearing baggy jeans and jerseys to fitted casual clothes and fedoras. I love retro pieces of art and seem to have more in common intellectually with women in their mid-30s than mid-20s. Honestly, sometimes I feel like I’m trapped in a time warp– too mature for the hip-hop club crowd but not ready to be the young guy in the oldies club.

When an older person calls me an old soul, I feel like it’s a compliment. Since they do so much complaining about what’s wrong with the younger crowd, I feel like they’re saying I’m different in a refreshing, positive way. When someone my age or younger says it, I feel like they’re saying it I should be out hanging with the retirement crowd. Can’t I be youthful yet still enjoy music, clothing styles and women who came along before the internet? Just because I prefer music with substance, wear my pants at my waist and sometimes find myself attracted to women who discuss more than just the latest episode of Basketball Wives, does that make me an old soul? What’s your definition? I’d love to hear from everyone, but especially those who also find themselves labeled this way.

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A State of Shock

Posted: November 10, 2011 in Current Events, Sports

The front page of the Thursday's Philadelphia Inquirer, illustrating Joe Paterno's fall from grace.

As I have watched the events of the 18 hours play out in State College, I keep telling myself the same thing: It didn’t have to end like this. Joe Paterno should have stepped down as head coach a long time ago. If he had, the ugly events that transpired on Wednesday night would never have happened.

The 84 year-old, the man with the most wins in college football history, was effectively fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees on Wednesday night. In the ensuing hours, hoards of students took to the streets to show their support for Paterno, whose 46 year tenure as head coach came to an end as part of the fall out from revelations that Paterno knew his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been accused of sexually abusing children. What started out as a peaceful gathering quickly turned ugly, with a media van being overturned and rocks and bottles being thrown at police.

It’s obvious that Paterno, by his own admittance, could’ve done more to ensure that Sandusky was brought to justice. There’s no debating that. Around the sports world, there is a debate going on as to whether or not he should have been fired immediately or if he should have been allowed to finish the season. The truth is, if Paterno had done the right thing and retired a long time ago, this debate wouldn’t even be necessary.

For much of the last decade, there has been speculation amongst college football prognosticators as to when the coaching career of Joesph Vincent Paterno would come to an end. Year after year, people questioned how a man born before the Great Depression could maintain the reigns of a major college football team in the 21st Century. Yet every fall Paterno continued to march out to Beaver Stadium with his team, basically telling those who thought he should step down that he would leave on his terms. It’s kind of like your grandad going jogging everyday and giving you hell for telling him he should stay inside.

There’s no question that Paterno’s love for football and Penn State are what helped him ascend t0 the pinnacle of college football. They also made it tough from him to step down when he should have. Had Paterno been retired news of this scandal broke, the damage done to his legacy would have been softened tremendously. Paterno’s career should have ended with him being carried off the field by both his current and former players.

He deserved better. Penn State deserved better. College football deserved better. Unfortunately, Paterno only has himself to blame for the way that it ended.