If you wish to continue receiving content that is sure to shake up your day, go to shakenmedia.net and sign up to get the NEW ShAken News delivered to your inbox. Just enter your email address on the top left of the homepage.
Wanna continue following ShAken? I’ve moved to shakenmedia.net. Same great content, just with my own domain name.
In this edition of BQBC, Cam and the Panthers topped Capo and the Niners, Russell and the Seahawks romped over Atlanta, RG3 and the Redskins stay stuck at three wins, E.J. and the Bills got manhandled by the Steelers and Terrelle’s Raiders took the L against the revived Giants.
Let’s start with Cam Newton and Carolina taking on Colin Kaepernick and San Francisco. This was the marquee matchup of the week, with both undefeated over the past month. This was two of the league’s best young quarterbacks facing off in what could be a playoff preview. This was a statement game – one in which the defenses ruled and every first down in the second half was a big play.
The Panthers won this one 10-9, their longest win streak (5 games) of the Newton era and perhaps the most impressive win since he arrived in Carolina. Neither quarterback lit it up, but it was Newton (16-32, 169 yds, 0 TD’s, 1 INT) who completed the big throws when it mattered and the Panthers’ defense sacked Capo six times. Ultimately it was Drayton Florence’s interception of Capo (11-21 for 91 yds., 0 TD’s and 1 INT) in the final minute that sealed it for the Panthers, who upped their record to 6-3. The Niners fell to 6-3 with the loss.
E.J. Manuel returned to the Bills’ starting lineup after missing the past month due to a knee injury (I’m gonna miss Thad Lewis). But his rusty play proved too much to overcome as the Pittsburgh Steelers devoured Buffalo 23-10. Manuel, who has yet to have a 300-yard passing day this season, finished 22-39 for 155 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the loss. The Bills are now 3-7.
In New Jersey, the Oakland Raiders continued their “0-fer” the NFC east – this time losing to the New York Giants 24-20. Terrelle Pryor, who is still hobbled by a right knee sprain he suffered last week during Oakland’s blowout loss to Philadelphia, was just 11-26 passing for 122 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. These numbers are acceptable in victory but hard to look past in defeat. The Raiders are now 3-6.
In the Thursday night matchup Robert Griffin III put up some gaudy stats (24-37, 281 yds., 3 TD’s, 0 INT’s) but it still was not enough for the Washington Redskins to overcome the lowly Minnesota Vikings. They lost 34-27 to drop to 3-6 on the season and are likely out of serious contention for an NFC wildcard birth.
After winning their previous two games by a combined eight points Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks got back to winning big by stepping all over Atlanta 33-10. The Seahawks (9-1) jumped out to a 23-3 first half lead and never looked back, with Wilson hitting on 19-26 passes for 287 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Michael Vick remained sidelined by with a bad hamstring in Philadelphia’s 27-13 win over Green Bay. But with Nick Foles throwing 10 touchdown passes over the past two games (both Eagles victories), it is unlikely that Vick will start again this season unless him getting healthy and Foles getting hurt happens.
Jason Campbell, who will likely finish out the season as the starter for the Cleveland Browns after a strong recent showing, sat idle this week, as did Geno Smith and the New York Jets.
In other news, Josh Freeman is lobbying to start (again) after claiming he is up to speed on Minnesota’s playbook. But after his last game (the bad loss to the Giants) and Ponder’s play on Thursday night, it will be tough to give him the start at this specific juncture. Still, there’s a lot of football left. We’ll see what happens.
Black quarterbacks continue to make history this season. Each week they defy odds, crush stereotypes and send critics scrambling for explanations.
Jason Campbell lead the Cleveland Browns over the Baltimore Ravens, 24-18. Campbell, whose first action of the season came last week during Cleveland’s 23-17 loss to the Chiefs, completed 23 of 35 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions in the win. Cleveland remains in the AFC North hunt at 4-5 and the starting quarterback job is now Campbell’s to lose.
The Seattle Seahawks moved to 8-1 after overcoming a 21-point deficit to defeat the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24 in overtime. Russell Wilson was again the catalyst after completing 19 of 26 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions and one rushing touchdown in the win.
Geno Smith and the New York Jets rebounded from last week’s humiliating loss to Cincinnati by beating the New Orleans Saints 26-20. Smith, who was just 8-19 for 115 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions, put the Jets up for good on a 3-yard touchdown run late in the first half. From there the Jets’ rushing attack did the heavy lifting and their defense picked off Drew Brees three times. The Jets are now 5-4.
The Washington Redskins notched their third win of the season after defeating the San Diego Chargers 30-24 in overtime. Robert Griffin III (23-32, 291 yds., 0 TD’s, 1 INT) made the big throws in overtime and a goal line stand at the end of regulation saved the ‘Skins from falling to 2-6.
Cam Newton tied his longest professional win streak after leading the Carolina Panthers to their fourth straight victory – a 34-10 win over the disappointing Atlanta Falcons. Newton, who pushed Carolina’s lead to 24-10 on an 8-yard touchdown run six minutes into the fourth quarter, completed 23 of 37 passes for 249 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for the 5-3 Panthers.
The lone black quarterback to lose in week nine was Terrelle Pryor, whose Oakland Raiders were ripped by the Philadelphia Eagles, 49-20. After making history last week on Pryor’s 93-yard TD run, the Raiders allowed history this week by giving up seven touchdown passes to Nick Foles, who started in place of the injured Michael Vick. Did yesterday signal the end of Vick’s time as the starter in Philly?
With E.J. Manuel and Thad Lewis both sidelined with injuries, the Buffalo Bills lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-13 while Christian Ponder’s play in a dramatic 27-23 loss to Dallas may prevent Josh Freeman from regaining a starting job with the Minnesota Vikings this season.
Colin Kaepernick and the 6-2 San Francisco Forty Niners were idle.
In the Thursday night game, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers smoked the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-13. Newton’s been scary good over his past three games after completing 23 of 32 passes for 221 yards and no interceptions in the win. At 4-3 the Panthers are above .500 for the first time in the past five seasons and Newton’s play has some observers calling him the best young quarterback in football, although he has considerable competition for that honor.
Geno Smith and the New York Jets got stampeded by the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday. The loss dropped the Jets to 4-4 on the season and the inconsistent Smith only managed 159 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions (both for touchdowns) on 20 of 30 attempts. The game was so lopsided that Cincy’s (black) backup QB, Josh Johnson, played quality minutes in the fourth quarter.
Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco Forty Niners stomped the winless Jacksonville Jaguars 42-10. Capo accounted for three touchdowns – two on the ground and one through the air – and he was 10 of 16 for 164 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed for 54 yards and one touchdown on seven attempts.
On the game’s very first play from scrimmage, Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor faked a handoff to Darren McFadden, ran around the right end, and sprinted 93 yards to pay dirt – completing the longest run for a quarterback in NFL history, and setting the tone for the Raiders’ 21-18 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not even halfway through the season the 3-4 Raiders currently sit just one win shy of their entire win total last season. Despite his paltry passing numbers (10-19, 88 yds., 0 TD’s and 2 INT’s), at this moment, he’s so good that you just have to take the good with the bad with him. His touchdown run also broke Bo Jackson’s Raider record for longest touchdown run from scrimmage in team history.
Jason Campbell and the Cleveland Browns almost surprised the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs, falling 23-17 in a hard fought contest. Campbell , who less than a month ago was the number three quarterback on the depth chart, made a strong case for being named the starter for the remainder of the season after passing for 293 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions on 22-36 passing. Had Cleveland been able to run the ball with any effectiveness, the Browns might be 4-4 instead of 3-5.
They made it a tough game for three quarters. But when it was all said and done, Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins got smacked by the Denver Broncos 45-21. The ‘Skins aren’t looking like the team that last season won the NFC East title, which earned them a spot in the playoffs and helped RG3 win the league’s NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year. Right now Griffin’s not the same player he was last season, and he deserves his share of the blame for yesterday’s loss – particularly after throwing for just 132 yards on 15 of 30 pass attempts, one touchdown and two interceptions. At 2-5, all is definitely not well in Washington.
Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles were stuffed by the New York Giants 15-7. Vick was back as the starter after missing the past two weeks with an injured hamstring, but he re-aggravated the injury early in the game, was replaced by an ineffective Matt Barkley, and now the Eagles appear to be a team in complete turmoil. Vick will probably be out for a lengthy period of time and the 3-5 Eagles have already announced that Nick Foles should be healthy enough to get the start against the Raiders next week.
Thad Lewis and the Buffalo Bills got steamrolled by the New Orleans Saints, 35-17. Lewis, making his third start in place of the injured E.J. Manuel, completed 23 of 39 passes for 234 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was also sacked four times and lost two fumbles, a week after helping the Bills pull off a dramatic overtime win against Miami. It is not yet known whether Manuel will be back next week or not.
Last night, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks struggled mightily against a determined St. Louis Rams team that last week lost their starting quarterback for the season. But a goal line stance on the game’s final series secured a hard fought 14-9 victory for the now 7-1 Seahawks. Wilson was 10 of 18 passing for 139 yards, 80 coming on his second touchdown pass of the night to wide receiver Golden Tate, and the Seahawks finished the evening without a turnover.
And with Josh Freeman sidelined with a concussion he suffered last week against the Giants, the Minnesota Vikings were shellacked by the Green Bay Packers, 44-31. Even with a healthy Freeman, at 1-6, there’s no telling if he or any quarterback on the roster can turn things around in Minnesota.
Imagine how sad a place America would be if we all rooted for famous athletes, entertainers and elected officials purely on the basis of their race.
Now, stop imagining and let’s discuss the reality of the situation: Race is a big reason why people support who they support. But when examining why people support certain groups or individuals, oftentimes it’s clear that the reasons they give are little more than excuses to hide their own ethnocentrism.
Someone will surely challenge my wisdom on this. They’ll label my claim suspicious and say the intent here is to race rattle. They’ll call it assault on people that have simply exercised freedom of choice.
And they’ll stand firm, all while ignoring white America’s infatuation with any white person who excels at rapping, singing, playing basketball, boxing or winning a 100-meter dash. They’ll ignore black America cheering on any black person who can play golf, tennis, quarterback or win a gold medal at a winter Olympics. And they won’t even blink when millions of Mexican-Americans are driven into a frenzy at the mere thought that one of their boxing heroes can beat Floyd Mayweather in the ring.
They’ll also completely write off Skip Bayless’ on air admission last year that it’s natural for whites to pull for white athletes and blacks to pull for black athletes. Skip, they’ll say, was just being Skip. They’ll tell themselves he did it for the ratings. They’ll tell themselves anything but the truth. And they’ll find nothing wrong with Bayless continuing his cushy-but-controversial career as ESPN resident race-monger.
Obviously, this does not constitute the majority of fans. This does not include lifelong followers of professional sports franchises. Certainly there are athletes and entertainers that are admired because they’re just that talented. Of course it makes sense to root for the home team. And make no mistake, more often than not, people vote for politicians they truly believe have their best interest at heart.
Still, many people lie about why they support who they support. They fear social condemnation and occupational retribution if they dare be honest. They’ll lie because they’re all too aware that no one can prove their agenda. They know that, no matter how obvious it is that race is a motivating factor in who they cheer for, it cannot be proven without honest cooperation.
And America will continue to be all the worse off for it. We’ll continue to separate and categorize and label ourselves. We’ll continue to come up with any damned excuse we can think of to support and cheer for people we identify with, on the basis of race.
And we’ll continue our decades long descent to the days that the color of ones skin was the only thing that mattered.
Black quarterbacks stood on the verge of a historic sweep in week seven. Then the Minnesota Vikings and their newly-appointed starter, Josh Freeman, put on an awful performance Monday night in a 23-7 loss to the New York Giants.
Freeman’s stat line: 20-53 for 190 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. Fortunately one bad performance could not spoil the collective success black quarterbacks enjoyed in week seven, starting with Russell Wilson’s mastery of the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night.
Arguably the best young quarterback in the league, Wilson was 19-29 for 235 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in helping his Seattle Seahawks climb to 6-1 on the season.
Thad Lewis’ second straight start was a successful one, leading the Buffalo Bills to a nail-biting 23-21 win over the Miami Dolphins. Starting for the injured E.J. Manuel, Lewis wasn’t spectacular or even very good from a statistical standpoint (21-32, 202 yds., 0 TD’s and 1 INT). But he engineered the win for a 3-4 Bills team ravaged by injuries and hungry for a win after dropping it’s previous two games.
The Niners are looking like contenders again after beating the Tennessee Titans 31-17. Colin Kaepernick wasn’t as impressive passing (13-21, 199, 0, 0) as he was rushing (11 rushes for 68 yards and a touchdown). But at 5-2 San Fran remains within striking distance of Seattle and New Orleans in the NFC.
The Carolina Panthers have finally won back-to-back games and Cam Newton appears to be catching fire at just the right time. Newton was 15-17 for 204 yards and a touchdown in Carolina’s 30-15 victory over the disappointing St. Louis Rams.
Geno Smith answered his critics by out dueling Tom Brady in the Jets’ 30-27 overtime win against New England. Both quarterbacks threw interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, but Geno was able to make amends for his. His first quarter touchdown pass and third quarter touchdown helped New York move to 4-3 on the season.
For those who thought Nick Foles was on the verge of unseating Michael Vick as the Philadelphia Eagles’ starting quarterback, think again. Foles was dismal in a 17-3 loss to division rival Dallas. And Vick, who has missed the past two games with a pulled hamstring, should be ready to go in week eight, when the Eagles (3-4) face the 1-6 Giants.
The 2-4 Washington Redskins outlasted the Chicago Bears 45-41, in a win they desperately needed if they are to make a push for the playoffs. Robert Griffin III has shown steady improvement as he regains his confidence after the scary knee injury he suffered in last season’s playoff loss to Seattle. Griffin passed for 298 yards on 18-29 passing, two touchdowns and one interception. But perhaps even more impressive were his 84 yards on 11 carries. It is a sign that both his knee and his mental state are doing better than they were at the beginning of the season.
The Oakland Raiders (2-4) had a bye in week seven, but Terrelle Pryor got in some extra work with the man who helped prepare him this off-season, quarterback guru Tom House. Pryor is looking to bounce back from the three interception performance he had against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are the league’s lone undefeated team at 7-0.
I felt strongly that the Washington Redskins (1-4) were poised to catch a hot streak like they did last season around this time. That may still happen, but not starting with last night’s loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Robert Griffin III ran for 77 yards, his best stats of he season in that department, but he failed to throw a touchdown pass and had two costly turnovers that helped decide a game that Washington’s special teams deserve most of the blame for. It’s hard for any team to win when they allow an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 90-yard kickoff return to set up another easy score.
The Carolina Panthers got back in the win column, just their second of the season, against the Minnesota Vikings. Cam Newton mimicked the player he was two weeks ago against the Giants, hitting on 20-26 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns.
Minnesota’s newest addition, Josh Freeman, was inactive for yesterday’s game against the Panthers. But after Matt Cassel’s horrendous performance against Carolina’s steady defense, Freeman will most likely be inserted in the starting lineup next week when the Vikes (1-4) face the winless New York Giants. And he continues to fight to clear his name in the soap opera between he and his former team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.*Note: The NFL Player’s Association has asked that the league assist in the investigation of leaks into Josh Freeman’s status in the NFL’s drug program .
Terrelle Pryor did his part to keep things close for more than three quarters yesterday. But the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs clamped down in the clutch and forced Pryor into three late interceptions after he’d played relatively mistake free all game. Again, Pryor received little help from his running game (he led Oakland with 60 yards on 6 carries) or his offensive line (he was sacked 10 times), and was also hindered by the crowd noise in Arrowhead Stadium, which set a new NFL record for crowd noise after reaching 137.5 decibels. I credit that to the great threat Pryor presented more than anything else. Pryor did throw for over 200 yards and one touchdown, but his offensive line is banged up and inexperienced and his team is relying on him to do too much at this point in the season. Next week’s bye couldn’t come at a better time for the 2-4 Raiders.
Michael Vick didn’t play yesterday, but Philadelphia still went on to defeat the winless Buccaneers (yes, those Buccaneers) 31-20. Nick Foles, Vick’s backup, threw for three touchdowns in the win versus no turnovers. But despite talk of a quarterback controversy, Foles will be backing Vick up again next week when the Eagles play the Cowboys. At least now the 3-3 Eagles can feel better that, if the oft-injured Vick can’t go, Foles can fill in and get the job done.
Down to almost no quarterbacks, the Buffalo Bills (2-4) turned to an undrafted third year player that they just last week promoted from their practice squad. This young Black quarterback graduated from Duke University in 2010 and signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns, and yesterday, making only his second career start, he almost pulled out the win against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Starting in place of the injured E.J.Manuel, Thad Lewis refused to play down to his expectations. His first pass of the game was a 47-yard completion to T.J. Graham, which set up his 3-yard touchdown run moments later. The Bills would lose 27-24 in overtime, but Lewis did his part by rallying the Bills from a 14-point forth quarter deficit to force the OT. On the day he finished 19-32 for 216 yards and two touchdowns, one rushing touchdown and no interceptions. Manuel may be out another game or more so Lewis will have more opportunities to prove himself in the league.
There will be no AFC offensive player of the week awards for Geno Smith this week. Whenever it seems the Jets rookie is headed for superstardom we get reminded that neither the player nor his team are quite there yet. Yesterday the Pittsburgh Steelers provided us with that reminder after their 19-6 victory over the Jets in a game that saw just one touchdown and six field goals. The 3-3 Jets could not match the intensity or physicality of a Steelers team desperate for their first win of the season, and a week after being turnover free against the Atlanta Falcons, Smith threw two interceptions with just 201 yards and no touchdowns. For certain, better days await Smith and the Jets.
Colin Kaepernick and the 4-2 San Francisco 49’ers withstood a spirited challenge by the Arizona Cardinals to win at home, 32-20. After falling behind 7-6 in the first quarter and taking an 8-7 lead on a Carson Palmer safety in the second, the Niners struck again when “Capo” hit Vernon Davis for a 61-yard score to create some breathing room. From there it was a back and forth affair, until the fourth quarter, when the Niners would score on a field goal and a short touchdown run by Kendall Hunter.
And the Seattle Seahawks are now 5-1 after narrowly escaping the Tennessee Titans, 20-13. Russell Wilson was steady, throwing for 257 yards on 23 of 31 passes with no interceptions, and Marshawn Lynch bruised his way to two touchdowns and 77 yards in 21 carries. Seattle received good news late last week that Percy Harvin, the dynamic playmaker they signed this offseason to a six year, $67 million contract ($25 mill guaranteed), could be back with the team next week when they travel to Arizona. Harvin has been out all season recovering from a torn labrum in his hip.
Recently I found myself needing to cash a regular bank check. It was just after six on a weeknight and the local check cashing spot was closed. And for my own reasons, I don’t own a bank account.
But on this strip, none of that should have mattered. Here, where the Spanish-owned shops service much of the surrounding community, there are options for people that don’t have bank accounts that happen to miss the check cashing spot. Between the bodegas, liquor stores, supermarkets and money transfer stations, people in the area know certain shop owners will cash their non-personal bank checks with a valid form of identification, as either a side service or an advertised one. Sure most of the people that shop here are immigrants from Latin America. But the goods and services rendered here are presumably for anyone who can afford them … right?
On this night, the answer to that question was a resounding no! The owner of the liquor store claimed he couldn’t spare the cash, which I couldn’t trust because on previous occasions he’d given me a hard time about cashing my checks, after cashing Spanish people’s checks right in front of me. He referred me to another store that cashed checks, but I was given a similar runaround. And the cycle repeated itself. All told I stopped at four different stores known for cashing checks and was given multiple excuses as to why they couldn’t cash my measly $120 check.
What was I to do? Should I have stood there and demanded the same unquestionable service the Spanish customers received? Should I have left peacefully and called the better business bureau the next morning? Should I have created signs in English and Spanish and picketed outside the stores? No, I just had to deal with it. I had to deal with it just like the times I had to deal with trying to cash a bank check at the issuing bank but got denied because I didn’t have a bank account there, which is what forced me to switch to check cashing spots in the first place. In each of the instances that I was denied, my only logical option was to simply walk away. And it always made me wonder.
What if we could no longer rely on the white, Spanish and Asian communities to supply us with the essential products and services we need to live? What if overnight we had to rely on “black owned and operated” everything to survive? Black banks and check-cashing spots and cell phone stores. Black schools to educate the children. Black auto makers to produce and manufacture cars sold from black car dealerships, serviced by black mechanics. What if we were forced to eat at black restaurants – forced to shop at black supermarkets – that were forced to shut down because their non-black vendors refused to supply them with food, stationary and other non-perishable items. What if we had to have our own land, in order to build our own stores and institutions, so that we could have access to the goods and services every community needs? What if we were forced to handle community disputes by calling a black police force and having our cases heard in front of black judges? This is where we’d find ourselves in the event of an American boycott of us.
In fact, an American boycott of blacks has systematically been in play for decades now. All the self sufficiency we were forced to practice because of Jim Crow became gradually undone after desegregation. The realization of Martin’s dream gave rise to the nightmare of black dependency, on a system created to exploit our disunity and benefit from our labor while sucking in our barely appreciated but hard-earned dollars.
So perhaps the question shouldn’t be, “what if America boycotted us?” To an extent, that’s already a reality. The real question is … what are we going to do about it?