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(YGM!): “Help! My Girl Has Anger Issues And Dumped Me, But I Want Her Back. What Can I Do To Fix Things?”

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On this weeks featured episode of You’ve Got Male! (YGM!), Jamal asks:

“Hi there. So to start off my story I had a relationship with this girl for a month but [prior to that] we were talking for about 3 months. We are both coworkers and it’s been a rocky relationship from the get go because of her anger and my [in]ability to grow up and be a man.

She broke up with me a few weeks ago because we didn’t click, the conversation never flowed, and only liked me because I was a nice guy. I tried to get her to reconsider, but to no success and it almost cost us our jobs. I even went as far as going to her place to try and get back with her. Even though it didn’t work, I was given some information to improve myself in the hopes of getting her back.

So my question is how can I get my girl back after she called off the relationship?…Any advice would do.”

– Jamal

Dear Jamal,

Thank you for being an OM reader and taking the time to write in with your dilemma. I’ve kept you waiting long enough, so lets get to it.

It is without question that a typical relationship consists of more than just ginger snaps, sunshine, good vibes and fun times. There are always rainy days bundled into every relationship like inexplicable fees cleverly bundled into your monthly cell phone bill; and to expect otherwise is not only foolish, but a precursor for constant disappointment. Damn you Sprint! But unlike those fake fees, the beautiful thing about rain is that although unpleasant to be in, it is only temporary. It will always pass, leaving in its wake a refreshed and fertile environment prepped for new life and growth. Therein lies the hallmark of a healthy relationship –  a delicate balance of great energy, not so great times, replenishment, and constant growth. And then there are relationships…like yours.


My question to you is a direct and simple one –  Why do you want her back?  Think about it. Why do you still harbor a desire to pursue this gawd awful sounding relationship? I want you to think about that. I mean really think about that.  Pontificate hard my brotha, because to ask the question is to answer it. I want to know why, and so should you.

Now unless my comprehension skills are on the fritz, your extremely short-lived relationship sounded more like a never ending hurricane of baby tears, God’s wrath and Meek Mill L’s.  Where are the toasty, buttery, endearing descriptions of your relationship that helps me not only see the beauty in it, but the glory that is this young woman who has left you pining for more?  The way I see it, if not even a single warm, fuzzy, heartfelt sentiment was present on the forefront of your consciousness to be mentioned when describing your own relationship, then is it a relationship worth redeeming or pursuing?  Think about that.


Additionally, I couldn’t help but detect a slight self-depreciating tone in your letter which offers a glimpse into the tragedy that this relationship appears to be, and also leaves me with the impression that your ex may actually have some legitimate criticisms.  Conversely, the criticisms you have laid out about her (anger issues, etc) are quite as damning also, and indicate serious compatibility issues which would explain the chaos and toxicity you both brought to the relationship. This certainly doesn’t mean all is lost, but it does raise questions about the criticisms/information you received to improve yourself for the purposes of regaining her affections. Let me explain.

Since none of us are perfect beings, we all should be receptive to constructive criticisms as part of our  respective and ongoing efforts to become better versions of ourselves (ideally speaking of course). And I commend you for being open to what your ex had to say. I only hope she is just as receptive to any criticisms and concerns you had as well. That said, we need to be careful when digesting criticism, particularly when its coming from those who stand to gain the most from the changes they are pushing us towards. For instance, are the criticisms and advice your ex provided sincere and coming from a good place with the intent to benefit your growth as a human being so that you will be a better man with or without her? Or are the criticisms meant to shame and coerce you into succumbing to her whims and fancies, of which she will be the sole beneficiary of within the relationship? If it is the former, take them under advisement and make adjustments where needed. If its latter, run like hell. In either case, make sure you are clear which you are dealing with before you take the corresponding action.

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Lastly, often difficult to recognize are the times we act out of desperation while under duress. In stressful times like these, we can become too eager to please and so blinded by our pursuits that we fail to (A) recognize the warning signs of our situation, and (B) see the harm we are doing to ourselves in the process. This oftentimes leads us to participate in self-destructive behaviors. A prime example was your willingness to jeopardize your very livelihood and income over a woman/relationship which is not only an eyebrow raising action, but behavior that I cannot cosign on any level.

Now, I’m fully aware that having an earnest desire to prove one’s love can bring out some interesting sides in us all, and in those moments our well intentioned displays of love may seem like fantastic ideas. However, there is a very fine line between passion and crazy.  When you are all too willing to sacrifice your very source of income, jeopardize your freedom, boil the family pet alive, or throw your life away in a brash, overzealous attempt of persuasion, you have officially crossed that line and entered self-destruct mode.  Although your circumstances never escalated to the ugliest of those extremes, the both of you did manage to suffer enough of a lapse in judgment that almost took you out of your work offices and into the office of unemployment.

By now I think you’ve gotten the point.

I say be grateful you are out of that relationship. Utilize the separation as an opportunity to take personal inventory and also to determine if there is any validity to your ex’s concerns.  Identify where you need to grow and nurture those areas, but do not – I repeat – do not do it for her or to rekindle your relationship. Do it for the vine yourself!  Eventually – and hopefully – you will find a woman that doesn’t require anger management classes to love you.

However, should your stubborn heart lead you back to your ex, there will be no need to ram down her throat that you are a changed man. If she truly appreciates and values what you bring to the table, she recognize it immediately and act accordingly. If she is incapable of doing so, get out.

Well Jamal, thats it. Yes I know this may not have been exactly what you were looking for in terms of advice to salvage your relationship. You’ll have to forgive me for that. If it is any consolation, I’d like to leave you with something comparable – “The Top 7 Signs To Know When You’re in A F*cked up Relationship”:

  1. Rocky relationship from the start
  2. She has anger issues
  3. You have an inability to be a man
  4. Ya’ll don’t click
  5. Conversations never flow
  6. She only likes you because you’re a nice guy
  7. All the above happening within the first 3 months of dating


Mr. SoBo

Mr SoBo -OpinionatedMale.com

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5 Ridiculous myths about men you MUST stop believing

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Many moons ago, I wrote a piece on Myths about women and I’ve always meant to do one on men but never got around to it. Well I’ve gotten around to it.

(Black) men are well endowed

I don’t spend a lot of time in men’s locker rooms nor have I been accused of being a wiener-screener or pecker-checker. Having said that, I think black men get a bad rap for having a full…er,…umm…package. Now hold on, I know what you’re thinking, let me explain. Let’s say, a black man meets a black woman. She takes an interest in said black man, and they soon start dating. They spend copious amounts of time talking a lot on the phone, and things start going in a serious direction. At some point said black man and black woman engage in a sexual encounter. Let’s say this man comes up a little short in the penile department, so what happens now?

Let me digress real quick, I understand size is relative and what can be small for one woman is quite sizable for another, but still. Presumably nevertheless there are brothers out there that are ‘packing’ but ladies out there, (and I guess men too) let’s not assume all (black) men are. While having fascinations of a man who looks like he’s smuggling bananas in his pants, you might run into a situation where you are quite disappointed. Just sayin’

The man is supposed to be the protector and sole provider

While this is true, to an extent it should it be commonplace. In this world of independent career driven women who may even usurp a man’s salary, the lines have become skewed. Do I believe the man should be the provider and protector of the home? Yes. As far as being the sole provider, that’s within reason. If your spouse makes substantially more, should you continue to be sole provider? If salaries match, should that rule follow?

In the game of dating, the man is the hunter

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Image credit: blondelogic.typepad.com

Here’s a scenario: You meet a woman at an event. You hit it off well and establish a connection ( which is always a good thing). You two agree to exchange numbers, and so shall the games begin. Okay, now here’s where things get interesting: Who calls who first? Who initiates asking out (although conventional wisdom says the man, but, why can’t she)? So you decide to call, no answer. You leave a message. Do you wait and call again? Do you leave it alone and wait for her?

I personally have been on both sides of the fence where I’ve been pursued and was the pursuant. But as old fashioned as some women are or want to be, don’t let that fool you. I can tell you brothers, if a woman is truly interested she’ll make it perfectly clear she is, no frills no B.S. You don’t have to do much leg work at all, just sit back, be cool, and watch it happen. Trust and believe me, it works.

Now am I saying let her do EVERYTHING? Nope. Nothing wrong with a little game of cat and mouse, or if she’s ‘playing hard to get’ on her end. If she’s doing the most with it though, know the signs and learn when to walk away. No need for going through growing pains with women at any point past your 20’s. Women outnumber us, so don’t even stress.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach

Image result for feeding a man

Men don’t want to spend (in some cases waste) money camping out at the nearest Cheesecake Factory or  5-star restaurant. And suffice to say would desire a woman who does a tad bit more than ramen noodles and fried chicken. Yes, men prefer women who can cook and there’s nothing wrong with that. The way to a man’s heart is not only through his stomach though, but through his emotions. Treating a man with love, respect, and cherishing him is THE fastest way to his heart. Plain and simple.

(Black) men don’t take care of their families 

Image result for men with children

Obviously there are brothers who are married so it’s a given (at least we hope) they are minding their children and families. On the flip side, the court systems across America have done their *ahem* ‘due diligence’ to dwindle the black family.  In addition to this, they have eliminated the black man from the household (ladies you aren’t off the hook, because ya’ll can be some triflin’ mofos too). Unfortunately however, there have also been men who have willingly walked away from their families, choosing instead to face the ramifications.

Let’s be clear, while I know A LOT of brothers who have fallen into the baby-daddy realm, many of them they STILL manage to take care of their children. And not just through the courts, but providing out-of-pocket on their own as well. In addition, they actually do the unthinkable; the unfathomable; and pull off the great miracle of  *gasp* spending quality time with their child (ren) too. Who would’ve thought!

Let’s not misinterpret the message here though. Lots of brothers have been extremely lax and uncaring in their parental responsibilities. And unfortunately, the good ones out here have suffered for it. In all honesty, we (men and women) need to do better. If the two of you don’t work, romantically,  it’s not about you all anymore. It’s about the child.

Any other myths you’ve heard about men? What are your thoughts on my thoughts? Holla!

Peace as always


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The Black folks guide to summertime cookouts: How to avoid being a bigger jerk than the chicken

Summer is fast approaching and the weather is ripe for some outdoor cooking, and I’m sure before the Fall, you would have hosted or went to about a half dozen of these. I’m also sure you will have plenty of stories to share from which drunk uncle acted up, who flipped the table over in spades, who ‘put their foot’ in the BBQ chicken, down to who dressed scantily clad. However there’s rules and levels to attending BBQ’s. So allow me to share some if you please.


Bring something or ask the host if you can contribute

As a courtesy, ask the host(ess) if you can bring something. Now I will say I don’t want any of you to feel obligated to bring anything, but it does help out. Granted, although some hosts are able to pull it off, it’s a little hard funding an entire cookout on your own. So if said host(ess) made or bought something you don’t really eat or drink, perhaps he/she could cook what you brought (within reason).

In short, I understand money can be tight, but I don’t care if you only bring a bag of ice. Walking in empty belly and open handed, and walking out full belly and hands filled is not cool.

Hang out for a while before eating

Cookout -bbq- OpinionatedMale.com

Going to a cookout should be a fun, sociable, event. It’s not strictly for you to indulge in a free meal. Personally, I have a 30-40 minute rule. If the food is already ready for consumption, I typically wait 30-40 minutes before making myself a plate. It’s perfectly normal to socialize, have a drink, chill, and listen to music for a while.

Mom always told us to (and she would always make sure we did this) eat before we went to any party or cookout. Why? It’s just simple etiquette. It’s not a good look going to a BBQ and immediately making a b-line towards the grub because you haven’t eaten all day.

Ask in advance if kids will be there

summer-kids - cookout - OpinionatedMale.com

It’s happened to me on a few occasions, so I can definitely attest to it. Imagine bringing your child to a cookout and it’s (as the young folk say) poppin’. Problem is, there are no other kids for your little one to play with so they become real bored real fast, and soon you hear these familiar phrases: “Are you ready yet”? “I’m ready to go”. “When are we leaving”? It’s always a conundrum to be faced with. So unless you already know the host has children, or you know other invited guests who will have a child(ren) in attendance, always ask first. At that point, you will know whether it makes sense to attend or not.


 Take food home unless you’re offered

Cookout grill - Opinionatedmale.com

Definitely a no bueno. If the host offers, and in some cases, damn near pleads with you to take food home in order to save him/her of the wasted food and extra cleaning, by all means go ahead. This obviously saves you on cooking the next day, and you do them a favor by taking the extra food off their hands. Win-Win right?

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you not to be that person to go into the kitchen (or where ever the food is) and start making plates with reckless abandon. This goes especially if you’re the first or the only mo-fo doing it.  If you’re making plates keep it at a minimum of two. I’m sure brothers don’t want to hear, “Yeah ..uh Uncle Jesse said to bring him a plate, and one for Momma Dee, Aunty Shirley, and I’ma grab one for my two boys as well”. Naw bruh! And if yo’ a$$ didn’t bring shyt either…Negro Pah-lease!

Drink what you bring

If and when I’m invited to a cookout and I bring a bottle, I don’t drink it. It’s for the other guests and host to indulge in. Lost? Say for instance you bring a 12-pack of beer but you went and drank five of them, what was the point in bringing it? Or maybe you brought a bottle of Remy but you drank 1/3 of it on your own. The point is, what you bring should be for the cookout, not necessarily for you. There are two ways to get around this however if you care to know:

1) If you bring an additional bottle just for yourself (preferably a smaller personal size)

2) If you don’t drink, and you brought a bottle for the festivities.

Dance unless you can actually dance

Plain and simple, if the DJ (should one be there) decides to play music and you can get by on an simple 2-step, okay, no problem. In the event he busts out the Wobble, Cupid Shuffle, or any dance that requires attention and detail, avoid all of the above, unless you feel like embarrassing yourself.

Don’t engage in spades unless you KNOW how to play

I wrote an article on  the in’s and out’s of playing spades so it’s covered there. All in all, if you can’t play….don’t.

Talk sh*t about the food (at least not in front of people)

“Yo this ni**a really burned the chicken?”

                          “What is up with this potato salad”?

                                                   “I usually put neck bones in my collards”

                    “This heffer can’t cook!”

If the food isn’t tantalizing to your taste buds, it’s fine. Not everyone was born to cook or is a Julia Child (showing my age here) clone. Making disparaging comments about the food around people is a no-no. You’re not paying for it, no one forced you to eat it, and bottom line the host and whoever chef’d it up took the time out to make food for the cookout AND invited you.

So in a nutshell, those are just some simple BBQ etiquette tips to follow that should help you avoid competing with the chicken for the title of best jerk at the next cookout. What say you?

Peace as always

– Cortonio

Cortonio 1 -OpinionatedMale.com

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So Chris Rock wants some Cheerios too? Maybe the honey does taste sweeter in La La land

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Photo Credit- Eonline.com

So Carmelo Anthony and (now) estranged wife La La are in the headlines again. This time, however, no NBA star taunted him with how good she tasted. This time around, he was busted smangin’ a stripper (not in the act though). They are currently separated and I’m sure divorce is on the horizon.

So here’s the kicker – recently in an interview, comedian Chris Rock expressed somewhat of an interest in the soon to be former Mrs. Anthony on the Wendy Williams show.

“If La La is interested in going short next time,…”

“La La is bad, woo”!

“Hey, they’re married; you’re not supposed to mess with other team’s players. But she’s hot though!”

“She looked great the other night”, Chris continued, speaking about a photo of La La at the Met Gala in New York City. “La La will you? La La let’s go to ‘La La Land!”

Carmelo Anthony obviously upset by this turn of events responded (via text to several confidantes):

“Did y’all see this bulls**t? This n**** on TV trying to scoop up my wife.” 

sports-lala-anthony-carmelo-anthony - OpinionatedMale.com

Photo credit – BET.com

In addition to this, he [Carmelo] allegedly called renowned film director Spike Lee and told him to let Rock know to back off or there will be trouble. Really? You’re gonna fight (or possibly worse) Pookie? <– Okay I had to put that there (New Jack City reference). Seriously though, she’s not your possession. And the wife part….well, this is what one of the masses had to say on Facebook:

“He needs to shut the fcuk up because you wasn’t thinking about your wife when you was sticking your yellow a$$ penis all over the place” <– I definitely had a laugh over that one.

Now here’s the school of thought on this: First off, ‘Melo should be upset because he realized that he didn’t know what he had until it was gone. I’m aware they had a reality show at one point, and several women that I know who have watched it told me that he wasn’t nearly as affectionate as she was, opting to do everything else but simply cuddle with his honey. Let’s call a spade a spade. LaLa is a beautiful successful woman. And what man wants his woman to be flirted with by another man? So I can see where he’d be tight.

On the flip side last I checked, Rock and Anthony aren’t boys, teammates (former or current), and they’re not even in the same age group to hang in the same circles with each other (Rock is 50, Anthony 33). And it’s not as though he [Chris] openly said he would love to f**k her [LaLa], he just expressed interest and complimented her. Maybe the ‘La-La land’ was a bit much, but whatever. Bottom line, ‘Melo should’ve thought about the repercussions before deciding to step out on his wife and make a mockery of his family. Having said that, she’s now fair game. And what can he do?

Honestly, as much as I, Cortonio, would love to be forgiven if I committed such an act, I have to realize the relationship likely is a wrap. I hurt her. And if she so decided to leave, what the hell could I be mad for?

In the end, I don’t condone cheating, but damn ‘Melo, you couldn’t have been more discreet?

So is Anthony wrong for being upset? Is Rock overstepping his bounds? Talk to me.



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Couples therapy – You, I, and no one else

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Artwork by Toni Thorne. Courtesy of render.fineartamerica.com


Nothing else matters or exists
I am alive, There
At ease and the speed of life creeps to a stand still…There
Fingertips intertwine and our lips touch, There
The cares of this world melt away as we stare into each other’s eyes


There, it’s just you and I
Enveloped in your warmth
Comfortable in this small place
Listening to your heart race

There I go again, lost in love
Yearning to be close to you, in that space that’s exclusively mine
Not subject to time…


-Miss. KK-

Miss. KK considers herself a true southerner at heart with an undying love for all things glazed and covered in gravy. When she’s not harassing her baby boy with hugs and kisses, she enjoys napping, Rubik’s cubes and Agatha Christie novels.
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Run yo’ trophy!! Biggest award robberies in pro sports

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“Are you serious??!”

“Wait….hold up, he won?”

” (Player X) did better than him, how dafuq did he win?!”

Sound familiar? Well to all you sports fans out there I’m sure you’ve muttered these phrases at some point upon finding out a well deserving player was snubbed out of an award by a player that’s also very good but shouldn’t have won an award over him. “Well run yo trophy bruh, I gots ta have it”.

We’ll take a look at some of the biggest robberies of awards in pro sports. I’m sure you have plenty of your own, so be sure to leave them in the comments section. Let’s rap!

Albert Belle, Mo Vaughn (1995 AL MVP)

mo-vaughn - Baseball - MLB - Opinionatedmale.com

For a long time Cleveland was the laughing stock of baseball, but shrewd moves and drafts built this team into a juggernaut powerhouse. Complete with hitting, pitching, and sound fielding Cleveland became one of the elite teams in baseball. One of the reasons is in part to Albert Jojuan Belle. A fearsome hitter throughout his career, he put trepidation in opposing pitchers across major league baseball. His stretch from 1993-1997 was something of beauty. With a combination of power and contact he raked the ball to the tune of a .309 batting average,  45 home runs, 124 RBIs and finished in the top 3 in MVP voting three times.

In 1995, during a strike shortened 144-game season, he batted .317, 50 Home runs 126 RBIs, with an OPS (on base slugging percentage) of 1.091. MVP? Sure. Well, not so fast, he came in 2nd to Mo Vaughn who also a big time slugger and about as clutch a hitter Boston fans could remember. Vaughn hit .300, 39 home runs, 126 RBIs, and an OPS of .963 but it dwarfed that of Belle’s. Coincidentally, that year, the Indians beat the Red Sox in the playoffs en route to the World series.

Pedro Martinez, Ivan Rodriguez (1999 AL MVP)

This was in the minds of many sports analysts one of the biggest snubs. If there was an epitome of Most Valuable Player, Martinez was it. And the only reason he didn’t win was because writer George King left him off of his ballot. During his 8 years in Boston, he was a pure spectacle to watch. And he did all this during the infamous steroid era of baseball.  In 1999 he upped the ante and turned in his best season as a pro, going 23-4 with a 2.08 ERA & 312 strikeouts. In 213 innings pitched he only allowed 160 hits, 37 walks, and a putrid 9 home runs.

In addition to being an elite starting pitcher, he was always there to lend a helping arm in relief (watch the 1999 game 5 Division series vs Cleveland). ‘Pudge’ put up great numbers, and gave the Rangers pitching staff a boost with his work behind the plate, but this was Pedro’s year.

Jason Kidd, Tim Duncan (2002 MVP)

Jason Kidd - Basketball - NBA - Opinionatedmale.com

The fact the Nets doubled their win total from the previous year (26-52) by merely swapping the talented but mercurial Stephon Marbury for Jason Kidd with the rest of the roster intact should speak for itself. Oh, and by the way, that year the Nets went to the first of back to back NBA finals.

Kidd, a perennial All-Star, known for his supreme overall skills turned around the moribund franchise and gave the Nets fans something to cheer about. During that season he was also named to the All-NBA 1st team, All Defensive team, voted an All-Star, led the league in assists, and was one of only two non forwards or centers to place top 30 in rebounding. While this was the norm for him, that would be a dream season for most players. Unfortunately, this was the only time he would finish that close to getting MVP honors.

Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash (2006 MVP)

Kobe Bryant-Steve Nash - NBA - Basketball-Sports-Opinionatedmale.com

Steve pulled a ‘Jason Kidd’ in 2004-05 taking the Phoenix Suns with a 21-61 record the year before and guiding them to a 62-win season (coincidentally enough, Phoenix had Stephon Marbury that previous year). For his lack of defense on the court, he was a wizard at everything else. And for that feat Nash won MVP, and rightfully so.

However, the 2005-06 season Kobe Bryant played with a team that was very sub par talent-wise (Lamar Odom is/was an exception),dragged them to the playoffs with a 45-37 record, and came within a whisker of upsetting the aforementioned Suns in the first round. During that season, Bryant averaged an eye popping 35 points, including 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and shot 45%. Big scoring nights were abundant for him, including 62 vs the Dallas Mavericks, and 81 vs the Toronto Raptors. In the eyes of many, for that herculean effort, he deserved the award over Nash. He already boasted 2 all-stars on his team in Shawn Marion and Amare’ Stoudemire.

Pedro Martinez, Barry Zito (2002 Cy Young)

Although Barry Zito was establishing himself as a dominant pitcher, Mr. Martinez was still a force to be reckoned with. A year removed from having major shoulder surgery he came back with a vengeance. He won 20 games and was taking aim at his 4th Cy Young award (a 3rd within 4 years). Yet, it was not to be that year as Zito had the hardware.

If you compare stats, Pedro bested Zito in virtually every category. He had a lower ERA, gave up fewer hits, walks, home runs, and total runs. He had fewer losses, threw more strikeouts, complete games, and shut outs. So how DID Barry win?? Pedro would receive redemption later in his career as he won a title with the Red Sox in 2004 and was voted in the Hall of Fame two summers ago. He’ll always be regarded one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history.

Frank Thomas, Jason Giambi (2000 AL MVP)

6 Apr 2001: Jason Giambi accepts the AL MVP award before Opening Night at Network Associates Colesium against the Anaheim Angels in Oakland, California. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT

Jason Giambi had already been linked to steroids and eventually confessed to doing so. Having said that, Thomas who up to now hasn’t been linked (nor confessed) and put up better stats should have won MVP. ‘Nuff said. Thomas had more hits, runs, home runs, RBI, and doubles. Although the White Sox had a murderers row of a line up, Frank Thomas was the anchor behind it. In addition to that, they posted their best season in 18 years at 95-67; and they went to the playoffs for the first time in 7 years.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Verlander (2011 AL MVP)

There will probably be a lot of mixed opinions on this one, but if the argument is that pitchers shouldn’t win MVP because they only pitch every 5 days, then why was Verlander the exception? Don’t get me wrong, he rightly deserved the Cy Young that year, but MVP?

Jacoby Ellsbury had a career year in hits (212) home runs and RBI (32 and 105) and doubles. Perhaps the fact the Red Sox took a precipitous tumble in September (7-20 in their final 27 games) kept him from getting the award.

Let’s get back to Verlander for a second. If  you compared him to Pedro Martinez 1999 campaign he had more losses  (4-5) one less win (23-24) had a higher ERA (2.07-2.40)and  gave up more hits, walks, home runs, and had less strikeouts than Martinez. (313-251). Hmmmmm….

Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky (1989 Hart trophy)

Gretzky-with-Hart - Hockey-NHL - Opinionatedmale.com

No doubt Gretzky was the premier player in the NHL, but he had a surging Mario Lemeiux hot on his trail. And while he led the NHL in many categories and took home awards or came in a close runner up years before; Mario was simply better this year. A 23 year-old Lemeiux blessed with speed, finesse, and outstanding hockey IQ led the Penguins in all offensive categories. Head to head he had more points, assists, and overall plus/minus than Gretzky, and the Kings and Penguins were very similar in won-loss and playoff results.

So OM readers and sports heads what other snubs at MVP (or any other award) went missing here? Are there any other glaring omissions. Talk to me.


Cortonio 1 -OpinionatedMale.com

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Don’t renege my N*g! 7 life saving Spades tips to avoid getting your head bust to the white meat

Image credit: 600-01614127 © Masterfile Model Release

[**Editor’s note: That has got to be the bougie’est looking spades game I have ever seen. Almost a little too bougie. Im side eyeing the woman in pink. Can’t trust them excessively low, easy access neckline wearing for a ‘friendly’ game of cards chicks. I’m 99.9% sure she is hiding a razor in her brassiere. You know…just in case. #SpadesShenanigans]

You’re sitting at the table. The four of you looking around to see who wins. You glance at the score to see it’s deadlocked 240-240 (game to 300), and you need 6 books to score the victory. You look at your hand – 5 diamonds, 4 hearts, 3 clubs, and 1 spade. No aces. You look at your partner and he gives you that look with a slight nod. You’re confident you have a shot of winning. “All I got is one”, you announce.

Your partner looks at the two opponents, you, his hand again, and bellows out, “I got 5 [books] and a possible”!

Before you can blink, you lose 300-150. Why? Well, your partner severely miscounted his books and reneged on another. While he’s sitting there stunned because of his stupidity, you look at him like: “What…the….fcuk….did…you…just…do”?!

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Let’s face it – you’ve been there, I’ve been there. Spades can be as light-hearted a game as you killing time on your phone playing Tetris, or a damn near fight starter. There’s shyt talking, throwing cards down like they’re dominos, strategy, and the kick in the gonads moment of having your a$$ handed to you. So I’m going to run down the rules of survival when playing this mind fcuk of a game. First off…

Count your books

This is obviously important as you need to get enough books to win and can’t afford to get set (not making your books) and losing points. If you are a savant at playing spades then you should have very little issues. If you’re not, well practice…practice…practice.

Know what makes a book and what doesn’t

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Knowing what makes a book and what doesn’t is very key. Let’s look at the hierarchy of cards: Big Joker, Little joker, Deuce, Ace, King (spades), Queen (spades), Jack (spades), and any spade after them (1-10) Aces (hearts, diamonds, clubs) and it’s all a crap shoot from there. If you have low spades (3-9), those are the ‘cut’ cards if someone throws out an ace. They can be decoys to see what the others have.  Don’t depend on them to win books for you consistently though.

Have a piece of ‘humble pie’

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Talking trash is fun, and gets your competitive juices flowing. However, if you overdo it, you must have one of the following: A) A sweet hand and there’s virtually no chance of losing the game B) You’re 100% capable of defending yourself should you force the issue.

Sometimes the sweetest thing is to stay mute and let the cards do the talking for you. And when you win, just be cool. You don’t want to be that dude no one wants to play with because you talk too much yadda yadda. And I hope you’re not that moronic putz who puts the supposed winning card on his forehead and it gets beat. Trust me, I saw a brotha show off once by putting an Ace of diamonds on his forehead only to have it cut by a 4 of spades. To say his partner was miffed was an understatement. It was pure comedy to me.

And please don’t be that dude who slams cards on the table like you just won the lotto and gets his card trumped. Lastly, if you lose, be cool and leave the table. Don’t carry on like you’re a 7 year old who didn’t get everything they wanted on Christmas.

Know your partner

By playing with the same person consistently, you will become familiar with their tendencies. Does s/he count their books? Do they underbid (bid less then they have), or do they overbid?  If your partner does these things then you can compensate for them.

Does your partner start with their high card first to grab books immediately? Do they start low and let you get the books then come in later with their high cards? Can they cover you in case your high card (usually an Ace) gets cut by a spade? Or do they cut you a lot?

We’ll get to that later. And by later, I mean like now.

Cutting your partner

Watch the board (the table) and see who throws out what and try not to cut your partner. Let me stress that – DON’T DO IT. Now there can be instances you had no choice because you’re loaded with spades, but that should be the ONLY reason. By doing this, you went from potentially winning two books to just one. It makes you look like an amateur and it gets your partner irritated.

If s/he throws out a high card, avoid throwing out an even higher card for the sake of winning a book. For example: if you’re last in the rotation to play, and your opponents threw out a Queen and ten of hearts respectively, and your partner just sandwiched a King of hearts, don’t throw out the Ace of hearts. Yes, it’s a higher card, but your partner already won the book. The better option in this scenario would be to ‘throw off’ (throw a card of a different suit). Wait to use your Ace the next go around.

Look at your hand, see who plays what and plan your next move. Use your cards to your advantage. If you have Kings of any other suit, wait for the Aces to be played first then use your King. You may only have a 50-60% chance of winning the book but at least you knew the Aces were played already.

Don’t renege

Obviously those repercussions don’t happen (I hope), but you get the point. This an be filed under paying attention as well. Depending on whom you’re playing with and where, it can cost you anywhere from 1 to 4 books. Play the suit plain and simple.

Now sometimes you can pull a fast one if you catch your opponents napping and ‘steal’ a book, but you have to figure when to make your play. Don’t do it and then throw out the same suit the next hand. No bueno.

And if you’re going to call someone out on a renege of a book you better be 1,000% sure. Some people literally ask you to point out which book it was, and you have to know. If you don’t, then that’s a problem and you’re basically calling them a liar. It looks even worse when you are not familiar with the players involved.

Ask questions

Everyone has their own set of rules depending on where and whom you play spades with. It would be good practice to ask the following questions before sitting down for a hand. How many books are taken during a renege? Are there ‘sandbags’? Is there three book over-set, etc. It will behoove you to avoid going into a game assuming you know all the rules, and consequently make a ‘dumb’ play during the game. You may end up just like the dude in the aforementioned video…or not…maybe. All joking aside, it’s important to ask.

So readers there’s the map on navigating the path of spades. What say you amateurs or pros?  Any remissions? Do tell.



Cortonio 1 -OpinionatedMale.com

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