Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
CHICAGO — U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is being treated at an inpatient medical facility for "physical and emotional ailments" that are "more serious" than previously believed and will require extended treatment, according to a statement released by his office Thursday.
The Chicago Democrat, who faces a House ethics investigation over his ties to imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, has been on medical leave for three weeks for exhaustion. His office did not announce the news until last week, when it released a three-sentence statement. No details about Jackson's whereabouts or condition had been released since then.
A Thursday statement from his office also did not disclose his location or provide details of his medical condition. Messages left for his spokesmen were not immediately returned.
"Congressman Jackson's medical condition is more serious than we thought and initially believed," the statement said. "Recently, we have been made aware that he has grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time. At present, he is undergoing further evaluation and treatment at an in-patient medical facility."
The statement said Jackson, 47, who is running for re-election in November, will need "extended in-patient treatment as well as continuing medical treatment thereafter."
Messages left Thursday for his wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, and a brother who is a professor in Chicago, were not immediately returned. Jackson's father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, did not immediately have a comment.
The news baffled congressional colleagues who noted Jackson's absence on the House floor in previous weeks. Several have said they have not heard from him or seen him.
"No one has a clue," said U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, a fellow Illinois Democrat. "There is concern among his colleagues ... Anybody there could understand that. It's a stressful occupation."
Congressman Jackson, who first won office in 1995, has faced intense scrutiny in recent years because of his ties to Blagojevich and an extramarital affair. Both issues have come up on the campaign trail and with voters.
Jackson had to campaign harder than he had in years when earlier this year he faced a serious primary challenge from former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who made Jackson's ethical troubles a focus of her campaign. He faces two opponents in November, one of whom said Thursday that Jackson owes the public more information.
"There is an obligation here, especially considering there are a lot of rumors going around," said college professor Brian Woodworth, a Republican. "There's an obligation they have to let people know what's going on. There's still an air of mystery."
The pending House Ethics Committee probe is considering allegations that Jackson was involved in discussions about raising money for Blagojevich's campaign in exchange for the then-governor appointing him to President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat.
Jackson also allegedly directed a fundraiser and longtime friend, Raghuveer Nayak, to buy plane tickets for a woman described as Jackson's "social acquaintance." Jackson has since called the incident a personal matter that he and his wife have dealt with in private.
Nayak was arrested last month and pleaded not guilty to unrelated fraud charges involving outpatient surgery centers he owns. At Blagojevich's first corruption trial in 2010, prosecutors said another Blagojevich fundraiser was ready to testify that Jackson instructed Nayak to raise money for Blagojevich's campaign to help him secure the Senate seat. The same witness later testified that he attended a meeting with Jackson and Nayak.
Jackson never has been charged and has denied any wrongdoing.
Jackson represents Illinois' 2nd District, which includes neighborhoods on Chicago's South Side and in its south suburbs.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 09:58
Krystal Crittendon, Detroit Corporation Counsel, Files Last-Minute Request To Overturn Consent Agreement Decision
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
After an Ingham County Court Judge threw out her challenge to the consent agreement, Detroit Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon today asked the judge to reconsider his decision, according to documents obtained by the Detroit Free Press.
Crittendon made her request in the last moments of the final day of her deadline to file an appeal with Judge William Colette, who ruled on June 13 that the city's top attorney lacked the legal standing to bring a challenge to the consent agreement to court without the approval of Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council.
“Please be advised that I, as corporation counsel, stand by my decision to have the courts determine the validity of the (financial stability agreement) as a good faith performance of my obligation to my client, the city of Detroit,” Detroit corporation counsel Krystal Crittendon wrote in a letter obtained by the Detroit Free Press.
PDF documents from Crittendon's original opinion can be found at the Detroit Free Press
A Numbers Game
Crittendon filed a lawsuit in Lansing's Court of Claims that sought to invalidate the consent agreement between Detroit and the State of Michigan, claiming the state already owes Detroit $224 million in past revenue sharing. Michigan law prevents municipalities from entering into contracts if either party is in debt to the other.
Gov. Rick Snyder denies that the state owes the city the debt. It's reported that Bing originally supported the lawsuit, but later directed Crittendon to abandon the effort.
Mayor Bing is responding to threats from Gov. Snyder that the state could withhold future revenue sharing payments.
Those revenue sharing payments would be sent directly to borrowers if the consent agreement is found to be invalid. That's because, with the state's guarantee, the city borrowed $80 million in short-term funds this spring -- with the understanding that the city would sell long-term bonds worth $137 million in June to pay back the quick loan. Due to Detroit's untrustworthy credit ratings (which were downgraded even lower after Crittendon's challenge), the state was forced to guarantee Detroit's loans. If the consent agreement between the state and city is found to be invalid, so will contracts like these. Crain's Detroit Business reports that City of Detroit CFO Jack Martin and members of the State Treasury have pushed back the bond sale to Aug. 15.
The Story Of The Revenue Sharing
The City of Detroit and former Gov. John Engler agreed in 2005 to grant the City nearly $340 million in revenue sharing payments in exchange for the city gradually lowering its income tax from 3% to 2%. Detroit never hit the 2% mark, while the State, citing budget woes, quit sending the extra payments.
Crittendon says Detroit is owed $220 million in unpaid revenue sharing debt. But a legal opinion written by former Detroit Corporation Counsel John E. Johnson Jr. in 2006 argues that the revenue-sharing appropriations from the state weren't constitutionally-mandated (conversely, revenue-sharing payments from sales tax ARE mandated by the Constitution). That means they were subject to reassessment by the Michigan Legislature and the Governor (who submit and approve a budget) every year after they were enacted.
This argument is found in Section V of the Michigan Constitution, which states, "no appropriation shall be a mandate to spend. The governor, with the approval of the appropriating committees of the house and senate, shall reduce expenditures authorized by appropriations whenever it appears that actual revenues for a fiscal period will fall below the revenue estimates on which appropriations for that period were based."
The bills containing the decrease in income taxes by the city and the revenue sharing payments allotted by the state were "tie-barred," meaning that both would have to be enacted into law before they became valid. According to Johnson's opinion, that tie-bar only applies to the process of enacting the bills.
Wrote Johnson, "There was no language contained in either act that specifically linked the reduction in Detroit city income taxes to the amount of revenue sharing provided to the city from the state. There is also no requirement that both must be modified in the future."
Crittendon cites Johnson's opinion in her legal writing, but notes, "The fact that the City's loss is not recoverable, however, does not mean that the State is not in default to the City as that term is used in the Home Rule City Act." The brief also cites an interview State of Michigan Treasurer and Financial Review Team member Andy Dillon gave to radio station WCHB on Jan. 3, as recalled by WDIV.
Said Dillon, "The state failed to live up to that 10 year deal and if you add up the last revenue sharing it totals up to $224 million. So we don't deny that the deal was not kept... "
What's not in Crittendon's brief are Dillon's next words -- "although Detroit, like all other cities across the state that received revenue sharing, that’s statutory revenue sharing, did receive deductions beginning in about 2004.”
Former Corporation Counsel John Johnson, Jr. has also said that Crittendon, under new provisions in the charter defining the role of the Corporation Counsel, is obligated to report violations of the City Charter and, if need be, challenge them in court.
“I can’t speak on the merits of her legal analysis, or whether or not these are legitimate debts,” Johnson told the Michigan Citizen. “The judge will look at the merits and make a decision.”
Crittendon authored a memorandum addressed to her staff that's dated June 10. She finishes the letter with these lines, "In closing, if the City does not prevail in the declaratory judgment, action, so be it. That would not in any way change the fact that it was the Law Department's responsibility to have filed it."
Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 09:55
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – The latest round of storms hitting metro Detroit has left thousands of DTE customers without power across the area. And the city of Detroit has been hit hard by storm damage.
Some residents and businesses in the area of 7 Mile Road and Woodward Ave. are among those who lost power. That busy intersection was being treated as a four-way stop during the morning commute because the traffic signals were out.
Traffic on westbound 7 Mile, just west of Woodward, had to slow down as it approaches a tree that’s nearly across all three lanes.
Trees down at 7 Mile Road and Woodward Ave. (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas)
Many of the trees lining the streets of the Palmer Woods area were uprooted or large branches have snapped off like twigs.
Cliff Cheeks who was out walking his dog told WWJ Newsradio 950 he listened intently as the storm blew through the hard-hit area.
“The wind was tremendous this morning. I was concerned because it was whipping,” said Cheeks.
He added, “You could feel the trees moving, not just blowing but moving. So I wasn’t surprised to come out and see some of the damage that we see out here with the trees. I’m just thankful that I haven’t seen any homes damaged yet. That’s the bottom line.”
Cheeks also said he’s been without power since the first storm hit early Wednesday morning.
A spokesman for DTE energy said at least 200,000 Southeast Michigan homes and businesses were in the dark Thursday morning. Crews were expected to be working double-shifts into the weekend to get everyone back online.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2012 12:53
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
ORLANDO, Fla. — The neighborhood watch volunteer who killed Trayvon Martin can be released from jail on $1 million bond while he awaits trial on a second-degree murder charge, a judge ruled Thursday.
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester granted bond to George Zimmerman for a second time. Lester had revoked Zimmerman's $150,000 bond last month after prosecutors told the judge Zimmerman and his wife misled the court about how much money they had during an April bond hearing.
Prosecutors said a website Zimmerman created for his legal defense had raised $135,000 at the time of his first bond hearing. Zimmerman and his wife did not mention the money then, and Shellie Zimmerman even said the couple had limited resources because she was a student and he wasn't working.
The judge made his decision after listening last week to Zimmerman's attorney and a forensic financial analyst explain why he wasn't more forthcoming.
The judge expressed his unhappiness with Zimmerman and said that his actions suggest a possibility that he was preparing to flee to avoid prosecution.
"Under any definition, the defendant has flaunted the system," Lester wrote in the order. "The defendant has tried to manipulate the system when he has been presented the opportunity to do so."
Lester said he was granting bond because Zimmerman posed no threat to the community, and Florida law requires that most defendants receive bond if they pose no threat and can assure their presence for trial. The judge's order requires Zimmerman to be electronically monitored and residing in Seminole County, prohibits him from opening a bank account or obtaining a passport and implements a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Zimmerman had been allowed to leave Florida under the conditions of his first bond release.
Prosecutors previously argued Zimmerman and his wife talked in code during recorded jailhouse conversations about how to transfer the donations to different bank accounts. For example, George Zimmerman at one point asked how much money they had. She replied "$155." Prosecutors allege that was code for $155,000. Their reference to "Peter Pan" was code for the PayPal system through which the donations were made, prosecutors said.
Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara sparred with prosecutors over those finances last week and questioned why his client is in jail at all, arguing that Martin's actions led to his death.
O'Mara ultimately decided against calling his client to the stand during last Friday's hearing, unlike during the first bond hearing, when Zimmerman apologized to Martin's family.
The defense attorney called Zimmerman's father to testify, and played a chilling 911 call from the Feb. 26 night when Martin was killed. The call includes a disputed cry for help and the fatal gunshot. Robert Zimmerman said he was sure that was his son's cry.
Shellie Zimmerman has since been charged with perjury. She is out of jail on $1,000 bond and her arraignment is set for July 31.
Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting the unarmed 17-year-old Martin on Feb. 26 at a gated apartment community in Sanford. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and claims the shooting was self-defense under the state's "stand your ground" law.
Martin's parents and supporters claim that the teenager was targeted because he was black and that Zimmerman started the confrontation that led to the shooting. Zimmerman's father is white and his mother is Hispanic.
The 44 days between the shooting and Zimmerman's arrest inspired nationwide protests, led to the departure of the Sanford police chief and prompted a U.S. Justice Department probe.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2012 12:41
Category: Breaking News Written by News One Urban Daily
Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has ignited a family feud. Her step mother is fighting mad that Oprah bought her father’s barbershop after it went into foreclosure.
Oprah’s father Vernon has been a barber in the Nashville, Tennesee area for about fifty years. He and his now estranged wife Barbara moved their business into a shop they co-owned last year. Things began to get messy when the barbershop went into foreclosure. Oprah paid for the property in full and gifted it to her dad in order for him to keep his business open. Barbara was enraged by Oprah purchase because Oprah has been calling most of the shots when dealing with the shop.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2012 12:38
Category: Breaking News Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The funeral for a 1-year-old Detroit girl who was found dead inside a closet at her grandmother’s house is scheduled for Monday as a police investigation continues.
So far, authorities haven’t disclosed the cause of the death Friday of Zyia Turner. The results of an autopsy performed by the Wayne County medical examiner’s office are pending.
Trinity Chapel Funeral Home in Detroit says Zyia’s funeral is at 11 a.m. Monday at Christ Resurrection Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit. Visitation is 2-7 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.
Zyia’s father Emmanuel Turner said his brother was watching several children Friday at the home neat 7 Mile Road and Conant. He reported Zyia missing. A police dog found the body in the closet several hours later.
There have been no arrests in connection with Zyia’s death. Police said family members have been cooperative.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2012 08:50
Category: Breaking News Written by Huffington Post
WASHINGTON -- A majority of economists in the latest Associated Press Economy Survey expect the national unemployment rate to stay above 6 percent – the upper bounds of what's considered healthy – for at least four more years.
If the economists are correct, the job market will still be unhealthy seven years after the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009. That would be the longest stretch of high unemployment since the end of World War II.
And it means the job market and the economy – President Barack Obama's main political threats – would remain big challenges in either a second Obama term or President Mitt Romney's first term.
"The election isn't going to be a miracle cure for the unemployment rate – that's for sure," says Sean Snaith, an economics professor at the University of Central Florida. He thinks unemployment, which is 8.2 percent now, won't drop back to 6 percent until after 2016.
Economists consider a "normal" level to be between 5 percent and 6 percent.
The economists surveyed by the AP foresee an unemployment rate of 8 percent on Election Day. That would be the highest rate any postwar president running for re-election has faced.
The survey results come before the government reports Friday on hiring during June. Fears about the economy escalated after U.S. employers added just 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year and the third straight month of weak job growth.
The AP survey collected the views late last month from 32 private, corporate and academic economists on a range of issues. Among their views:
_ The economy will continue to grow only slowly. The average forecast for the April-June period is that GDP grew at an annual rate of 2 percent. That's down from a 2.4 percent forecast in April. The economists think the rate in the final six months of the year will be just 2.3 percent. That's too weak to bring the unemployment rate down.
_ Monthly job gains will average 139,000 the rest of this year – barely enough to keep up with population growth and prevent unemployment from worsening. In their forecast in April, the economists predicted average monthly job gains of 189,000.
_ The one step Europe could take that would boost confidence in its financial system quickly would be a bailout program like the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, that Congress approved in 2008 to rescue U.S. banks after the financial crisis hit.
_ The biggest threat to the U.S. economy is the tax increases and spending cuts that will take effect Jan. 1 unless Congress reaches an agreement. Many economists and the International Monetary Fund have warned that these measures would push the economy off a "fiscal cliff" and back into recession.
An unemployment rate of 5 percent to 6 percent is typical of a healthy economy. The rate usually doesn't fall much lower, in part because many people who leave a job or start looking for one after finishing school don't get one right away.
Most economists also say that if the Federal Reserve sought to lower unemployment much further, the economy could overheat and ignite inflation.
Unemployment has fallen below 5 percent, most recently in 2000 and 2007. But hiring during those periods was swollen by bubbles in technology (2000) and real estate (2007) that ended in crashes that sent unemployment back up.
U.S. policymakers are supposed to strive for "full employment" under the Employment Act of 1946. That law defined it as an unemployment rate of 4 percent. Today, most economists, including Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, define full employment as between 5 percent and 6 percent.
Fifty-fix percent of the economists surveyed by the AP said the unemployment rate wouldn't return to 6 percent until 2016 or later. Thirty-one percent said it would take until 2015.
The economists said high unemployment remains a persistent problem for several reasons. The biggest factor: The economy isn't growing fast enough to cause employers to expand and hire much.
Beth Ann Bovino, deputy chief economist at Standard & Poor's, forecasts growth of about 2 percent this year and next. She doesn't think it will get much better before 2015.
"You need something closer to 4 percent to make a dent in unemployment," she said.
Consumers, businesses and governments are all cutting back on spending to reduce debts, Bovino said. That creates a vicious cycle: Less spending by consumers results in less revenue for companies. Businesses then reduce hiring. And that means fewer people with paychecks to spend.
And even if hiring does pick up, several economists said the unemployment rate will be hard to bring down. That's because millions of Americans have given up looking for work and are no longer counted as unemployed.
Many of those "discouraged workers" will likely resume their job searches as employers start hiring more. But because most won't be hired immediately, the unemployment rate will stay elevated.
Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, said presidents find themselves under pressure almost immediately after taking office to improve the economy and job market.
If elected, Romney will likely point out that he inherited a weak economy, Kohut said. Obama has tried the same approach. But voters "still want to know, what have you done for us lately?"
Allen Sinai, chief global economist at Decision Economics, said the United States is in a squeeze: It needs to stimulate growth. Yet it also needs to rein in government spending and budget deficits over the long run.
"I don't envy the next president, whoever he is," Sinai said. "He is going to have one heck of a problem to fix."
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2012 08:43
Category: Breaking News Written by AceShowBiz.com
This year's 4th of July was extra special for Chad Ochocinco and Evelyn Lozada. The NFL player and the "Basketball Wives" star swapped wedding vows in front of family and friends. Explaining why he chose to get married on the independence day, the athlete joked, "So I'd never forget our damn anniversary."
Chad gave his Twitter followers constant updates in the minutes leading up to the wedding march. "Live tweeting from my wedding... should be a first I'm assuming, music is playing, can't see my guest right now but they're here... #nervous," he tweeted. "I don't recall sending the butterflies in my stomach and invite... and why am I shaking like I'm in Alaska."
The 34-year-old Miami Dolphins star continued, "What if @EvelynLozada is a runaway bride when I get out there and I'm stuck looking good all by myself... did I mention looking good? I'm breathing like a pregnant lady in lamaze class right now... I was hoping continuing to tweet with y'all support would calm me down."
The wedding was taped for their new VH1 show, "Ev and Ocho", premiering this September. One special guest at the ceremony was one of his female Twitter followers who recently lost her husband of 30 years. "@cheryl2958 is here n comfy in her seat at the wedding, in other news I look good than a mofo right now," the former New England Patriots star wrote.
Chad would be back to work immediately after the nuptials as stating, "No honeymoon, coming to train after wedding." He added, "I got my wife now it's time to get my game back." They threw a party to celebrate it, but there was a "small issue." He explained, "I'm the only person that didn't/doesn't drink alcohol n every 1 is wasted including my WIFE, can't relate 2 this s**t, now what?"
Chad posted a picture of him with Cheryl and showed off his wedding band and Evelyn's ring in another image.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2012 08:37
Category: Top News Written by Steve Holsey
Although he is only 42 years old, and made his debut as a film director, producer, screenplay writer, actor, playwright and songwriter in 2005, Tyler Perry’s output has been so prolific — some would call it Herculean — that in several respects he seems like a veteran in the world of filmmaking and play and TV producing.
Clearly Perry, born Emmitt Perry Jr. in New Orleans, found his audience early on. It was an underserved audience, overwhelmingly Black, although he has White followers too, that had been longing for movies and plays that “keep it real” (as they perceived it).
And just as the O’Jays sang of having “a message in the music,” Perry has always made a point of having “a messages in the movie,” the stage production and the television program.
Without question, a good part of Tyler Perry’s work does not win the approval of many Black people, particularly the middle class and above. The word “ghetto” sometimes comes up.
Spike Lee, one of the few other giants in Black filmmaking, and another maverick, has been particularly critical of Tyler Perry. While acknowledging that Perry “has a large audience” and is “very smart in what he’s done,” Lee also famously noted that “some of the imagery is troubling” and “we can do better.” He even went so far as to use the words “buffoonery” and “coonery.”
Those last two words seem appropriate for the loud-talking, English-abusing, gaudy-clothes-wearing character Leroy Brown (portrayed by David Mann) on the TV show “Meet the Browns” (he was in the movie too). However, that is not to deny that he is very often funny.
LEE HAS A right to his opinion (could there be a little jealousy in there?) and in some respects he hits the mark and indeed, as he put it, “a lot of this is on us.” He pointed out that many high quality Black movies have received very little support in the Black community.
Perry was, to say the least, not pleased. He said, “It is so insulting. It’s attitudes like that, that make Hollywood think that these people (Perry’s audience) do not exist, and that is why there is no material speaking to them.” He added, “ I can slap Madea on something and talk then about God, love, faith, forgiveness, family, any of those.”
Justifiable (or not justifiable) criticism notwithstanding, few could deny the worth — in terms of entertainment and social value — of movies like “Madea’s Family Union” (with Blair Underwood, Maya Angelou, Lynn Whitfield, Cicely Tyson and Boris Kodjoe), “Meet the Browns” (starring Angela Bassett and Rick Fox), “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Why Did I Get Married Too” (featuring Janet Jackson, Louis Gossett Jr. and Jill Scott), “The Family That Preys” (with Alfre Woodward and Kathy Bates), and “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” (starring Taraji P. Henson).
Tyler has no trouble in securing the talents of major stars.
And it should be kept in mind that Tyler Perry provides work for an exceptionally large number of lesser known Black actors and actresses, as well as people working behind the camera, both of whom spend a lot of time out of work, more so that Whites, even though their unemployment is high as well. It’s the nature of the business.
IF THERE IS a female edge to much, if not most, of Perry’s work, it could have something to do with having had an abusive father. He said bluntly that his father’s “only answer to everything was to beat it out of you.”
His mother took him to church a lot which served as a kind of refuge. That is why there are so many church settings in his films, and why there are religious undertones even in the most unlikely places.
Young Tyler was so detached from and fearful of his father that when he was only 16 years of age, he had his first name changed from Emmitt to Tyler. This was one way to distance himself that much more from the man who had made his life so difficult.
Oprah Winfrey has said numerous times that as a girl, seeing the Supremes on the Ed Sullivan show made her realize that she too could “be something.” It was on her show that a guest author got his attention, explaining that writing could be therapeutic, indeed, a way to help work out personal problems.
TYLER PERRY decided then and there to launch a career in writing. Initially he wrote letters to himelf, and those letters evolved into the development of a stage musical titled “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which made its debut in a community theater in Atlanta, the city he had decided to make home two years prior.
The play was not a success, leaving Tyler disappointed but undaunted. Fueled by a need to express himself, please a largely ignored audience, and become the success he envisioned, he forged on, finding major success in a surprisingly short period of time.
His first movie was “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” in 2005. Certain crude elements notwithstanding, it grossed an impressive $50.6 million at the box office. His second film the following year, “Madea’s Family Reunion,” did even better, grossing $65 million.
After that, there was a long stretch of of sucessful movies, stage productions and television programs, and it shows no signs of subsiding.
DESPITE THE support he receives regularly from Oprah Winfrey and many other notables, there is still critcism, some of it exceptionally harsh. Touré, a New York based cultural critic, novelist and TV show host, once described Tyler Perry as “perhaps the worst filmmaker in Hollywood” and “the KFC of Black cinema.”
The fact is, Tyler Perry has a niche in Hollyywood and beyond, and he functions within it exceptionally well. Morever, he is a very wealthy man. He also gives back to the community, including a million dollar gift to the NAACP in 2009, and sending 65 kids from Philadelphia to Disney World.
Someone once said, “You can’t argue with success.” Well, you can, but it is essentially to of no avail if huge numbers of people are making that success possible.
It seems right to give Tyler Perry the last word:
“I work really hard. I know my audience and they’re not people the studios know anything about.”
Who could take issue with that?
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 23:04
Category: Top News Written by Leland Stein III
The NFL dead season is still the alive season. Nobody markets themselves better than the NFL with its hype machine churning constantly all year, but during late June and early July with the offseason workouts completed, the players and coaches scatter to all parts of the globe to wind down a bit before the training camps open in late July.
While the players and coaches take a break from their gladiator game, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is right in the mix of the NFL hype machine.
EA Sports recently released the official cover of its “Madden 13” football video game which featured Johnson – only the second Lions to be so honored. The cool part of the cover is that two Detroit landmarks are featured in the background, Ford Field and the Renaissance Center.
Johnson earned the honor by winning an online bracket-style voting competition, and it was a close competition. A No. 6 seed in the 64-player competition, he defeated No. 1 seed Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the finals. Johnson received 52 percent of the 651,736 votes cast in the finals to Newton’s 48 percent.
In earlier rounds, Johnson defeated Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe, Texans running back Arian Foster, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and, in the semifinals, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Wow!
In 2000 Lions Hall of Fame back Barry Sanders graced the cover of Madden, while Johnson now joins, along with Sanders, other NFL greats like Eddie George, Daunte Culpepper, Marshall Faulk, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, and Drew Brees, just to mention a few.
It is a great honor for Johnson gracing the cover of such a popular NFL-licensed console video game. For Johnson, the Lions and Detroit it is national recognition.
Does this put more press on the Lions and Johnson? Well, in any football season there is always pressure to meet expectations and get a playoff berth. Now Johnson falls under the so-called Madden cover hex/curse.
The Green Bay Packer fans are rejoicing that their man, quarterback Rodgers, was not on the cover. Packer fans point to the less than stellar season produced by Madden cover men Shaun Alexander, Vick, Favre and Vince Young. But the Lions faithful can point to their own Sanders and a number of others that survived the Madden cover curse.
“I am honored and humbled that fans across America have chosen me as the cover person for Madden 13,” Johnson told reporters. “I do not believe in the so-called curse. I plant to prepare and work hard in the off season like I always do and hopefully it will help us produce a season the Detroit fans will be proud of.”
Following the Madden announcement Johnson found himself named as the third best player in the NFL by his peers.
And why not?
He led the NFL in the two most important receiving categories — receiving yards and touchdowns — and didn’t even need to lead the league in receptions to do it. It was the kind of breakout season that squashed any debate about his status as elite and helped land him on the cover of the next installment of the Madden video game.
Megatron is now receiving praise from the people who can best appreciate his abilities on the football field: his NFL peers.
NFL Network has been working through the top 100 players in the NFL as voted by the players and Johnson, when all the ballots were tabulated, checked in at number three. Only Brees (second) and Rodgers (first) were ranked higher.
The Lions, recognizing that they have a special talent, recently re-signed Johnson to an eight-year contract beginning with the 2012 season and extending through the 2019 season. No other contract terms were disclosed.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 July 2012 22:53
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