Saturday, August 6, 2011


I don’t think I took it too far but my face says otherwise. While attempting to make a diving catch during my work team’s co-ed 16-inch softball playoff game I managed to face plant so badly that I had a nice skin burn on my forehead and on the bridge of my nose.

I remember sprinting out to short right-center field from my short-stop position to make a play and knew I’d have to dive. It definitely wasn’t the best dive I’d ever made and I remember my face hitting the grass as I slid to a stop. I picked up my hat that had flown off during the failed attempt and began spitting out the grass that was in my mouth. I touched my face with my hand and there wasn’t any blood so I knew it wasn’t that serious of an injury. But my teammates kept saying, “Oh you should get that looked at”, or “That looks really bad” or just wincing and turning their heads. I said, “If I’m not bleeding profusely it can’t be that bad.” Oh, and I didn’t make the catch!

I went back to my position and we managed to end the inning. I couldn’t wear my hat on my forehead because of the raw skin, which began to burn and sting. I began to laugh at myself because I KNEW I was going to be ridiculed for my gaffe, especially by my family.

The game mercifully came to an end and I received more concerned words and stares from the opposing team as we shook hands. Someone on my team got some gauze and alcohol wipes to help begin a little first aid treatment. JJ administered the alcohol wipes, which stung my open wounds horribly. I decided to forgo the post-game meal at Mark’s on 66 (our team sponsor) and head on to CVS to get some Band-Aids and Neosporin.

Luckily no one made a fuss or stared when I walked into CVS. The alcohol had dried and I felt the skin around the wounds beginning to stretch in the self healing process. I noticed that my ability to perform facial expressions would be severely limited as the wounds started to heal. I stood in the First-Aid aisle for at least ten minutes trying to figure out which Band-Aids were the best fit for my face and my wounds. I finally paid for some multi-size bandages and some Neosporin.

Upon reaching home I immediately went to the bathroom to check out my face. Both wounds were crusty from the alcohol and were bright red, but no blood; I knew it wasn’t that bad. I hopped into the shower and again winced as the water hit the open wounds. I gently washed my face to get any remaining dirt out of the wounds, and then applied some Neosporin. I put a bandage on my forehead, but had trouble finding a bandage that would fit the bridge of my nose. I came to the conclusion that I’d have to sleep on my back to keep from rubbing my face in the pillow (something that I do frequently when I sleep). 

Sleep managed to elude me and I woke up around 3:30 am due to my face stinging and my wounds leaking. So I gauzed my nose the wounds and bandaged my forehead again. Amazingly, I was able to catch a couple more hours of shut eye.

I woke up for work with a stiff neck and my right knee was pretty sore (two more byproducts of the failed dive); I could turn my head to the left, but had some discomfort. I took a look in the mirror at my face, took a picture with my phone and sent it to my younger brother DT. Getting ready for work took a few minutes longer just due to cleaning the wounds. I put a new bandage on my forehead, but left the bridge of my nose untouched.

My plan was to try and avoid everyone at work on Thursday. I was hoping to get away with just hiding in my cube but to no avail. LS my boss came over to my cube and when I turned to face her (my back faces the opening to my cube) she gasped and became very concerned. She said she wasn’t too squeamish and asked me what happened. All the while I was laughing, because what else could I do. It was funny; and I figured laughter would be the most disarming thing for everyone so they wouldn’t worry or anything. During our conversation LS mentioned her own softball injuries (a couple of black eyes from miss-judging fly balls in the outfield), and that she hoped I would heal quickly.

CS came up from the fourth floor and JJ came up about an hour after her. I shared some laughs with them regarding how my face looked and the busted plays that contributed to our loss. MS also stopped by to take a look at my face. I also managed to email a picture to my buddy BR. We shared a good laugh over instant messenger about the failed catch too.

I checked my phone around lunch time and noticed that DT had left a couple text messages. His first message said, “Dude… do you know how to play correctly?” His second said, “The first rule of fight club… there is no fight club.” So apparently he was going to take this time to crack some jokes. My mom sent a text messages saying, “Please call at lunchtime!” and “What in the world… YOU ARE GOING TO BE BLACKER AND BLUE-ER WHAT HAPPENED?” I spent half of my lunch break explaining what happened to my mom and told her that I’d call home later; oh concerned parents what would we children do without you? My older brother ATJ, asked, “J what is wrong with the face?”

More laughs came when I called my parents again on my way home from work. My dad answered the phone this time and immediately he asked me what had happened. Usually when my brothers and I do something that seemingly didn’t involve a lot of thinking we can pretty much expect our dad to relay some sarcasm and jokes. “So you were down how many runs? And you still decided to dive after the ball?” He was half chuckling and I was laughing; there isn’t a lot you can say to explain yourself after what I did. I would consider myself a pretty competitive person, I guess in this case it was to my detriment; something that my dad tried to get me to understand. I don’t know it’s hard for me to not get competitive or try hard; I really don’t know any other way to play.

But this recent injury episode is giving me reason for pause; I’m not eighteen anymore, so trying to recover from scrapes, bumps, bruises, and jammed fingers is taking longer than it used to. I guess that’s why I’m making the decision to step away from 16 inch. Maybe take up 12 inch softball again; at least they get to use a mitt. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Privacy Please

The announcement of Bristol Palin's pregnancy drew quite a stir from the media prior to the Republican National Convention held in Minnesota last week. Rumors and erroneous reports began to seep towards the nation's airwaves, while the Palin family and party advisers scrambled to clarify the details of the pregnancy. As the whole situation continued to unfold last week, I couldn't help but wonder about the loss of privacy in our nation.

The 24 hour, 7 days a week news cycle churns out opinion and information at a blistering rate. No one is really immune to it's scope; just ask Levi Johnston. I bet he never dreamed that he'd go from high school hockey player to being on the stage at the Republican National Convention. By now, his name has been mentioned thousands of times on the air, in print or in online publications. And to think people around the nation will know him not for his slap shot, or thunderous checks, but as the guy who got a vice presidential candidate's daughter pregnant. I must say it seems just a tad unfair. I'm not trying to rationalize or make light of his and Bristol's decision, but it's amazing to see how sometimes the consequences of our actions shine like a full moon on a cloudless night.

I found part the Palin family's statement regarding the pregnancy pretty interesting, "Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates".

It just seems like this story has been the great gossip at this juncture in election campaign. And instead of the whispers, stares and finger-pointing that happen in smaller social circles around the country, this situation exploded into a gossip that the whole nation could take part in. It's not just that they are a young couple with a child on the way, but they are a young couple with a budding pregnancy in the midst of a presidential election. Any privacy, decency and accuracy that the media, bloggers or other personalities may show would go right out the window.

For the youtube, myspace and facebook generation (of which I am a part); this should be a tale of caution. Even though we may long to pad the number of views on our web page, posts on our blogs or acceptance of friend requests, we may be in turn setting ourselves up to be the next Levi Johnston.

Have we lost privacy in our nation? Do we shoulder some of the blame in that loss of privacy? Is the media play the hero or villain when reporting such stories and issues?


Monday, September 1, 2008

For English Press One

The LPGA's announcement requiring international players to pass an evaluation of their English speaking skills (set to begin in 2009) has opened an interesting discourse across the country and around the world. But in their desire to broaden their fan base, strengthen existing sponsorships and attempt to gain new ones, has the LPGA waded into the murky waters of discrimination against some of their players?

Ultimately, I believe the descision to have this evaluation or proficiency rule is a favorable idea for all parties involved. Although, I also believe that the LPGA went about informing everyone of this new rule in the wrong way.

What do the players have to lose? The threat of suspension is an option if players do not pass or adhere to the new English speaking rule. But I think that the positives outweigh the negatives. For those players who do fall under the English provision, learning a new language can not only broaden their fan base in the United States but it could very well open up new marketing and sponsorship opportunities.

I do not believe that this new rule will be an assault upon the cultural identity of new international players in the LPGA. If the LPGA mandated that new international players renounce their homeland or renounce their home language then there should be strong protesting and condemnation. However, this is not the case; learning a new language can only assist that particular player on and off the golf course, whether it's English or another language.

The LPGA is not off the hook in regards to their new announcement. The announcement of the new rule should've been relayed to ALL players regardless of their nationality; this was not the case. The LPGA may also have to contend with legality issues as well. The LPGA does have time on it's side in regards to this issue. The rule is not being put into place until the 2009 season, which will allow for LPGA administrators to properly and clearly define the rule and how it will be implemented. But due to a less then stellar public relations announcement, the LPGA is on the defensive.

Does speaking another language really matter when trying to hit a small dimpled ball 250 to 300 yards? Yes, if you're a professional golfer. Because not only are these women professional athletes, competing against one another and the difficult courses that they play on, but they also are ambassadors for their sport. Being an ambassador in the world of professional sports doesn't just end once the game is finished, but it continues when players meet their fans, address the media and interact with their sponsors. Therefore, to further strengthen and broaden the game of golf, this rule should be embraced.

Here's my twist in this story. If the LPGA is going to set forth an English speaking rule for international players, then international tournaments should do the same to English speaking golfers. There should be a sharing of cultures on both sides, international players and American or English speaking players. This should be what the LPGA is truly searching and reaching for; to broaden the marketability of their game, and the beauty of the game by the acceptance cross-cultural communication.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Has the LPGA crossed the line in mandating an English speaking rule for it's international players? Is a suspension for a failed test or lack of adherence the proper action against players? Is the language argument really relevant?


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Growing Pains and Coming Together

There is no doubt that America is quickly moving towards a November presidential election that quite possibly could change the landscape of American politics forever. But could all the attention, support and excitement that Barack Obama's campaign has received highlight an ever growing shift between young black politicans and their elders?

The August 10, 2008 edition of The New York Times Magazine, ran an article entitled, "Is Obama the End of Black Politics?", exploring this issue and some of the major players who are dealing first-hand with this question. After reading the article I wondered if I had missed this new black political revolution, but upon further inspection there were signs of this shift coming.

The words of the Rev. Jesse Jackson caught during a break in a FOXNews program brought the shift out into the spotlight. In less than a minute, Americans were able to witness the ever-fading legacy of a historical black political figure. But as Rev. Jackson's actions seemingly put him on the bench, who is going to be willing and capable enough to be the star of black politics?

Cornell Belcher, a pollster for the Obama campaign, was quoted in The New York Times Magazine piece as saying, "I'm the new black politics. The people I work with are the new black politics. We don't carry around that history. We see the world through post-civil rights eyes. I don't mean that disrespectfully, but that's just the way it is. Barack Obama is the sum of their struggle. He's the sum of their tears, their fights, their marching, their pain. This opportunity is the sum of that." I disagree with Mr. Belcher that black Americans can't or don't carry around that history. That history must be carried around and together with modern day experiences bridge generational divides to provide for a brighter future; what good is a future that can't relate to the past and vice versa?

Even though Obama's proposed policies and plans regarding civil rights are ambitious and seem to hold water, will they be enough to rally older black leaders and other potential voters? In running for president, Obama isn't just running for blacks but everyone else that makes up America as well. It's because of that fact that he won't and can't be the sole voice or figurehead of the black community, because that falls short of his ultimate goal. So then if it's NOT Obama, then who?

In all honesty, does there need to be a black leader in America? Are black Americans still mobilizing under the old institutions of the civil rights era? There is no question that there are still systemic issues that need be challenged and changed in America. Those who lead the rallying cry for this change should not only come from the pulpits and political advocacy groups, but also the classrooms, lecture halls and playgrounds in America. Black America can only be furthered and strengthened by embracing it's history AND building towards a future.

What do YOU think? Do figures like the Rev. Jesse Jackson still hold some relevance in today's political landscape? Has black America reached a post-civil rights era? Should Barack Obama be the figurehead for black America?


Sunday, August 17, 2008

And To Think He Could've Gone Faster...

Jamaican sprinter, Usain Bolt, has now added an Olympic gold medal to his title as, "The World's Fastest Man". Bolt incredibly recorded a time of 9.69 seconds in the men's 100m final in Beijing.

As I watched the final preparations before the race and listened to the NBC commentators, Ato Boldon and Tom Hammond, I couldn't help but get excited. The lights and grandeur of the Olympics catered to Bolt, who seemed relaxed and even playful with the crowd before getting into the starting blocks. Bolt's reactions were far different from his countryman, Asafa Powell, who looked like an already defeated man before he reached the blocks.

I wonder if anyone realized while watching the race that they were witnessing a new chapter in track & field. In an era that has seen numerous athletes cut down by steroid accusations and convictions, Bolt provided a much needed breath of fresh air. He hardly resembles the mold of a sprinter, standing 6 feet 4 inches. Due to his height he doesn't have to take as many steps as his smaller competitors, which matters greatly in a race like the 100 meters. And to think that some may dream to see him on an NFL roster. There is no doubt that Bolt has captured the attention of the world as well as made his country proud, but he could've done better.

Bolt raced down the middle of the track and upon noticing the absence of any competitors in close vicinity, began to showboat. With about 20 meters to go, Bolt stretched out his arms in celebration and thumped his chest as he reached the finish line. As for his abbreviated finish Bolt said, "I didn't come here to run the world record, because I was the world record-holder... I came here to win."

He may not think that his actions in the latter stages of the race were a big deal, but most assuredly they were. Without a doubt Usain Bolt is a talented individual and may have numerous chances to lower the world record. But there's a way in which you should win. Victory should only be celebrated once the competition is over and not before. What would we have said if Bolt somehow stumbled over his shoelace, which became untied during the race (look at his left foot)? Maybe I'm a little old-school when it comes to issues like this, but I highly doubt that my track coach in high school would've allowed the antics that Bolt pulled. Then again, I've never run 100 meters in 9.69 seconds.

What do YOU think? Was Usain Bolt's early celebration warranted? If you were competing against him how would you feel? Can he lower his world record?


Hello Everyone...


I'm starting up The Jonathan Clause again.

The beginning started over five years ago. This was born as a email newsletter that was sent to friends and family and now I'm branching out to the Internet.

Most of the early content consisted of my thoughts and opinions relating to various articles and stories within the news. While this format will continue, it is my hope that I'll be able to use these posts, thoughts and ideas to refine my writing skills.

These posts are open for you to reflect and comment as well. Please feel free. Part of becoming a better writer is hearing/seeing the compliments, suggestions and criticisms you may have. So please, don't be shy.



Sunday, August 10, 2008

Welcome and prepare...

The Jonathan clause is making a prepared.