Gaithersburg Set to Begin Phase 2 Reopening July 6

Following guidance from the Montgomery County Health Department, some facilities and programs will start back up the week of July 6.

Acting City Manager Dennis Enslinger said, “We were encouraged by how smoothly our Phase 1 reopening went, and we appreciate our residents and guests adhering to safety protocols to protect both themselves and our staff. We are currently bringing on additional personnel, conducting training, and adapting our operations, and we will be prepared to offer even more services and programs starting in early July.”

Recreational facilities and activities reopening as a part of phase 2 include:

Continue reading “Gaithersburg Set to Begin Phase 2 Reopening July 6”

The NWSL to Return amid Positive COVID-19 Tests

Sports fans rejoice! The restart of the American professional sports scene commences in three days. The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) will return to action June 27, 2020 at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah for the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup.

The league kicks off its first action of 2020 with an International-style round-robin tournament with all nine teams. The month-long event will be will be live on CBS All Access in the U.S. and Canada and will re-air on CBS Sports Network. Fans outside of the U.S. and Canada, can stream the tournament on Twitch.

After a month, a Challenge Cup Champion will be crowned July 26. The draw results were as follows:

Continue reading “The NWSL to Return amid Positive COVID-19 Tests”

3 Quarantine Activities I Found Worth Doing

Since the spread of coronavirus in the US, I have been lucky enough to have been able to keep important people in my life as my little inner circle. After 70-plus days of working form home, relaxing, going on socially distant walks, cooking, and more, I felt it was time to get back to posting and today…

Continue reading “3 Quarantine Activities I Found Worth Doing”

My June Watchlist

The US has been under stay and home orders and daily life has changed drastically since March. By turning the calendar to June, those orders are slowing being lifted and we are getting some normalcy back in our lives. We are starting to go back to restaurants with outdoor seating and we are exercising our rights to protest.

Our daily lives changed but we still binge and stream shows constantly, likely more so under the conditions of these past few months. I have made a push to watch different shows from different streaming services. Here is what I have in my queue for June.

Continue reading “My June Watchlist”

Virtual Activities to Replace SummerFest in Gaithersburg

It was announced that the city of Gaithersburg is canceling SummerFest and SportsFest due to the public health crisis. It was determined that the July 4th SummerFest and fireworks could not be safely held due to gathering and social distancing restrictions.

According to the release on the City of Gaithersburg website: “The City is working to provide engaging virtual activities in celebration of America’s Independence Day and we’ll be inviting the entire community to join us for daily sports challenges during a weeklong SportsFest,” said Carolyn Muller, Director of the Department of Parks, Recreation & Culture.

There are plans to show previous firework displays virtually.

Full Release and post on GaithersburgMD.gov

Be Part of the Change

Support change. Start a dialogue to understand how we can be better. Understand how we can create a better world. Understand how to make worthy changes in our communities.

Support change and donate to a worthy cause:

Campaign Zero

Black Lives Matter

Donate to Bail Funds for Protesters

NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund

Know Your Rights Camp

Communities United for Police Reform

Justice for Breonna Taylor

Color of Change

Fair Fight

Kobe

Growing up, brisk spring and summer afternoons were filled with backing down the defender, giving the shoulder shimmy with a turn-around jump shot, “5…4…3…2..KOBE…1… buzzzz…it’s good!”

“KOBE” dominated my obsession of driveway buzzer beaters. It did not matter if I was on the left elbow, right baseline or twenty-five feet away, I always imagined myself yelling “Kobe” (or actually yelling it) because that is what my generation grew up watching. A cold-blooded, no nonsense, screw-you-I’m-taking-this-shot scorer dazzled Sportscenter highlights and made a lot of young kids act out the shots just like Kobe. 

Kobe Bryant was the first great scorer and player I could recognize, appreciate and admire. I was not around to witness the likes of Magic, Bird, MJ, Oscar or Dr. J in their primes or their careers – outside of Jordan’s stint with the Wizards but that wasn’t the same Michael. Kobe was the first guy many tried to emulate for a generation. Even if some of us couldn’t make the NBA.

I was always a bigger kid growing up which meant I was a Shaq to someone’s Kobe but that didn’t stop me from wanting to be Kobe or shoot like Kobe or commit to the game like Kobe. I worked on my shot constantly and still love going to the gym and running shooting drills to keep getting better. I love the game of basketball and it is partially due in part to Kobe. As Kobe’s time in the game moved along, I needed to stop to think about his greatness in terms of where he stood historically, but I didn’t. 

By the time his final year came and went was when I started to really remember and realize all of the great things he accomplished in the game of basketball. I can tell you how many minutes and games he played in or that he sits 4th on the NBA all-time scoring list but that does not do Kobe Bryant’s impact on the game justice. He was more than the numbers and he led a generation of scorers to make the game what it is today. I can tell you that he scored 81 points in a game or that he went for 60 in this final NBA game but that does not define his greatness on and off the court. 

His work ethic and drive made all of us want to be better and do more. There a reason why a self-given nickname “the black mamba” stuck. It wasn’t a selfish act, it was about a mentality, a mamba mentality. It is about hard work, doing things the right way. Kobe is the reason basketball players get to the gym early and leave late – to hone their craft. But he also is the reason millions of people around the world strive to be better in the workplace. 

We saw how he worked toward his greatness and how he can develop it and we wondered ‘how can this apply this to our lives.’ Look no further than Kobe as a parent. I can imagine – from not knowing Kobe personally – that he brought the same tenacity and drive to be the best basketball player he could be to being the best father he could be. The highest honor is to be a great father to your children and he was that and much more.

As a parent and as a basketball player, there was no one like Kobe Bryant. To see, read, and hear all the tributes to a life and spirit of a man we saw grow up, has been tremendous and emotional. Thank you Kobe for all that you have meant to me and how I should strive to always be better and work on my craft, but also to be there as a parent – when I become a parent – and commit to that just as much as the rest of my world.

#8 #24

You will always be a hero.

facts chronicle.com

Featured image courtesy of inc.com

In Defense of Making the Redskins the Choice for Hard Knocks 2019

Hear me out – bring out dysfunction and reset the clock as to when the team can return.

Oddsmakers put the Redskins at the top of the board when it comes to the likely team to be selected for the fourteenth season of the HBO series ‘Hard Knocks‘ and it is OK.

In 2013, NFL owners passed a resolution stating that teams can avoid mandatory inclusion on Hard Knocks if they fall under any of three exemptions:

  • They have a first-year head coach in place 
  • They have a playoff berth in the past two seasons 
  • They have appeared on Hard Knocks in the past 10 years

With that, five teams are eligible for this 2019 season: The 49ers, Raiders, Lions, Giants and Redskins.

2019 will be a year of wondering and mixed expectations for Redskin fans as we have a new first round quarterback, a young running back set to return from an ACL injury, a lame-duck coach who has been middle of the pack throughout his tenure, and of course the Goose – I mean – Bruce Allen.

What role does Alex Smith play? What does Rob Ryan eat for breakfast? What is the next great “Tomsula-ism?” What does Rob Ryan eat for lunch? Can the team find a receiver? Will Rob Ryan rent an RV like Baker Mayfield? These are the questions we must get answered this summer.

In addition to those pressing, white hot questions, we get to see the story of a rumored dysfunctional front office play out in real life. If there is a wide divide between head coach Jay Gruden and team President Bruce Allen, we get to witness it and how bad it is. Let’s rip the bandaid off and witness with our own eyes how Allen and team owner Daniel Snyder run the team. And if they restrict access, then we know how bad it is.

Coach Jay Gruden said during his press conference on May 29th that the players would enjoy it. “If we are forced to do it, then obviously we will have to make it work…it’s a process, it can be distracting at times…I think our guys would probably have fun with it at the end of the day.”

He went on to comment about the his brother’s Oakland Raiders on Hard Knocks too:

Despite the lobbying, Jay has a point – if the Redskins do not make the playoffs, he is done. The cameras would not be the best for him as we become witness to the dysfunction week to week.

Although that is the strongest point I have. I want to see the dysfunction, I want to see how our guys are, I want a Ryan Kerrigan and Landon Collins defensive montage. Being on Hard Knocks would keep the team ineligible until the 2030 season. That is enough for me to jump on board for 2019 because maybe we become one step closer to losing Snyder or one step closer to loosing the goose or we shut out the world from more dysfunction for the next 10 years.

Connelly Rejected The Wizards, Now What?

With Tim Connelly rejecting the offer to run the Wizards, someone has to take on the sinking ship

“Loyalty and Patience” is a driving factor behind Tim Connelly’s subtile rejection of the Washington Wizards offer to run the franchise to stay an executive with the Denver Nuggets.

Connelly, a DMV native, was a sure lock to return to an organization he once called home. To be the President of Basketball Operations/GM of the Wizards would be the culmination of a young career. Instead, by staying in Denver with the Nuggets, Connelly shows poise

At his end of year press conference, Connelly further explained why he chose loyalty and patience:

“Those things matter to me. …  You kind of close your eyes and you envision yourself somewhere else and you think about those relationships and collectively I had a hard time envisioning myself elsewhere.”

Tim Connelly

Building a contender is what drives front office personnel and after reaching the top of a nearly complete rebuild, we see top guys leave to start the process over again because the drive to the top can be their vice. Connelly chose to not jump after being one game short of the Western Conference Finals. He and current Nuggets General Manager, Arturas Karnisovas, were the architects behind this Denver run and leaving now would leave unfinished business on the table.

It is a commendable action by an executive but it also shows a careful consideration into the job and realization that he does not want to have the John Wall super-max kick in and potentially ruin a reputation. Who blames him?


As a fan of the Wizards, I do not even want the job in my fantasy world. To build a contender with the roster in its current state is not possible. John Wall will account for 33.88% of the team’s salary cap TO NOT PLAY in the 2019-2020 season. It is the equivalent of knowing how much money you need to buy a pair of Allbirds but you can only spend $62.81 because $32.19 became soiled in the sock drawer. You cannot get to the same level of an Allbird with over a third of your money inactive.

It is unfair to also have another 24% of the cap room wrapped up in Bradley Beal and expect him to lead this team to the promise land. If the Wizards could promote a Beal / *insert superstar player here* to free agents; it would be enticing enough to at least get a meeting.

The Wizards are stuck between a rock and a hard place with 57% of the cap entangled by two players who have no desire to be a part of a rebuild. After also getting screwed by the NBA in the lottery – for which I will not discuss – there is little wiggle room next year to bring in free agents. The best the Wizards can hope to do is bring back their restricted free agents on their restricted tenders and not have to match absurd contacts to create another layer to cap hell.

Washington Wizard Restricted
Free Agent Tenders 2019
Total:
$26.53 mil
Sam Dekker$8.28 mil
Bobby Portis$7.48 mil
Tomas Satoransky$5.94 mil
Thomas Bryant$3.02 mil
Chasson Randle$1.81 mil

Factoring in the restricted tenders and declining the $20 million team option on Jabari Parker, the Wizards would be $10 million over the $109 million 2019 NBA Salary Cap Max, according to Spotrac. Not tendering Dekker and releasing the non-guaranteed contracts, the team would have one million in cap room entering the draft.

If this were NBA 2K franchise mode, it would be easy. Trade John Wall, Dwight Howard and Ian Mahinmi and open up cap room. But in reality, the Wall contract is continually referred to as the worst contract in basketball, Dwight is another butt joke away from not playing and Mahinmi was the worst signing in all of basketball in 2016 – you cannot argue with me; I’ve made up my mind.

What potential General Manager wants to enter this situation with no outlook? Whoever takes the job would need a to ride out the 4 years of the super max before they could really be graded. By the time 2023 rolls around, the team may be looking to reboot the whole franchise after 2-3 years with another coach since it is likely Scott Brooks is relieved of his duties in the 2019-2020 season.

At least the Capitals won the Stanley Cup last year.

Jay Gruden Should Be Frustrated

Cue the denials and cue the fat lady because the Washington Redskins have a near zero chance to succeed during the 2019 NFL Season. With the report coming this morning from Eric Bickel of The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan in Washington D.C., the Redskins have not involved their coach in their decisions.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

According to this report, team owner Dan Snyder and President of Football Operations, Bruce Allen, among others have not consulted Head Coach Jay Gruden about any of the teams’ offseason moves thus far. For those still wondering, yes, this does include the big splash signing of safety Landon Collins to a whopping 6-year, $84 mil deal – still a solid move nonetheless. But how can an organization so flawed in its past continue to be this flawed.

The money is not the issue as per the Haynesworth deal or the coaching mishap of Jim Zorn being named Offensive Coordinator and then Head Coach days later. This is not being fined by the NFL for purposefully front loading contracts during an uncapped year.

This is a schism beyond repair.

If the head coach of a football team is supposed to be bringing in “his guys” to make the team better, why is he not involved? The head coach has to manage and deal with all the players on the roster everyday, so why keep him in the dark?

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The organization has seemingly made up its mind to fire the head coach during the offseason just as they did before a certain high profile coach was hired back in 2010. This time, there is no high profile guy waiting in the wings to save the team. If this organization keeps burning bridges and continues to operate like Petoria, the team will fail to have any success.

Gruden should be, and probably is, frustrated beyond belief. His contact is guaranteed for the 2019 season so his pockets will not suffer but he must be rolling his eyes with each passing day that he sees the leadership point the team in a new direction whenever the wind shifts.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The denials start here from everyone in the organization but we will definitely not hear from the two big headaches at the top in Snyder and Allen. Those who may comment and deny would likely be Jay Gruden himself but also Doug Williams who has become the public face covering for the dysfunction of others.

Whatever may come of this, there is really one thing for certain – this team cannot compete at a high level in 2019 if we are continuously following news of dysfunction and empty mindedness.