The Puerto Rican Man

 

The-Irishman-poster-600x878

This past weekend, like many other people, I watched “The Irishman” on Netflix. I, like many other people, love Martin Scorsese and absolutely love Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. However, it wasn’t until I watched it and heard a reference in the movie that it began to hit home in a different way.

Somewhere along this 200+ minute journey of film, Joe Pesci’s character mentioned the Seafarers’ Union. It was just a simple sentence, but my ears started burning. It made me recall an earlier conversation in the film between Pesci and DeNiro, in which Pesci wonders how DeNiro, an Irish guy, learned Italian, as DeNiro spoke about learning it while fighting in the war. Eventually, DeNiro’s character, an outsider, blended in with his surroundings and his new friends, working his own way up in the union.

Well, the Seafarers’ Union was my grandfather’s union. He wasn’t just a member; he was a very high-ranking member of this union, as well as the Teamsters. In 1957, when Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino’s character in the movie) was elected President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), my grandfather Rafael Quinnonez (better known as Ralph) was already President of IBT’s Local 1205. He resigned from his post in 1957 and began working with the Seafarers Union, eventually became the Atlantic and Gulf Director of the United Industrial Workers Union and was Vice President of the New Jersey State Federation of the AFL-CIO.

Due to his many years in the labor industry and the location of his union workers, he effectively ran the Brooklyn Navy Yard. In addition, due to his leadership positions, he was the one of the highest-ranking Puerto Ricans in American labor history. He was also a delegate to the 1976 and 1980 Democratic National Convention and very involved in Latino and African-American politics.

Remarkably, despite only having a formal third grade education, like DeNiro, my grandfather also served in the U.S. military as a sergeant in the Army and spoke fluent Italian, as well as Yiddish. However, my Afro-Latino grandfather learned these languages as an immigrant in a melting pot neighborhood in Brooklyn, all while serving as the in-home English translator for his Spanish-speaking mother Maria after his family immigrated from Catano, Puerto Rico. (That’s fluency in four languages, if you’re keeping count.)

I never thought that this Netflix movie would make me think of my grandfather, but it must be karma that it was released around this time, for today, December 4, is the day my grandfather passed away 38 years ago. While he passed three years before I was born, I am constantly reminded of him and extremely proud to be his first grandchild.

Here’s to “The Puerto Rican Man”. ¡Te quiero, abuelo!

IMG_4311

Kyle “Scoop” Yeldell is from a small village south of Silver Spring, MD called Washington, DC. He believes that he was gifted with the best mother on the planet, but publicly shames and blames her for why he can’t speak Spanish at all. His favorite holiday is St. Patrick’s Day, for it is his mother and his grandfather’s birthday, as his mom was born on his grandfather’s 40th birthday.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ode to “The Office”

the-office-nbc

After hours of dedication, I have finished watching every episode of “The Office” on Netflix. And I’m sitting in silence. It’s 4:11am and the only thing I could do was write about it.

In my previous five minutes of silence, I concluded the following things about this series:

  1. “The Office” is easily one of the greatest sit-coms in TV history and the fact that it is show about a documentary series, as opposed to just a show, makes it even more brilliant, especially in the finale (which I will discuss later).
  2. At first, Michael Scott’s infantile egocentricity, ill-fated humor and tragic emotional mindset was the key to the show, for its antics and sheer laughter, but the true glue to it was the relationship between Jim and Pam, which I believe is one of the best “love stories” of my generation on TV. While I’m not a hopeless romantic per se, the identification, progression, substantiation, tribulation and reaffirmation of their relationship was so genuine, organic and, well, heart-warming. The icing on the cake was their joint sense of humor and pranks on Dwight and while spearheaded by Jim made for a collective energy and natural compatibility.
  3. The next-best relationships were Jim and Dwight for the obviously legendary pranks, and Dwight and Michael as Dwight was the fearless right-hand man to Michael’s captaincy of chicanery. That type of blind loyalty, albeit foolish at times, was quite admirable.
  4. The relationships with Michael and Holly, and Andy and Erin were right behind this to me as they were very similar to the trajectory of Jim and Pam. In Michael and Holly’s case, it shared a similar organic cohesion based on similar sense of humor and it was beyond satisfying seeing the man who never quite gets the attention he craves be able to walk off into the sunset finally on top. Andy and Erin began in a similar fashion, but Andy’s unbridled nature led to utter selfishness and he took the happiest woman in Scranton for granted. (Honorable mention of great relationships is Stanley and Phyllis)
  5. The reason why so many romantic relationships stood out to me was because they all started from a place of casual comfortability, the same comfortability that made the entire group close as an entire unit. None of them were contrived or even seemed scripted. It continued the energy of the show overall.
  6. The series finale is one of the greatest I’ve ever seen, for it truly brought the entire series back full circle. It wasn’t just seeing everyone back again that made it special… it was the breaking of the fourth wall and talking to the camera crew for the final interviews that left real-life words of wisdom to live by.
    • Pam discussed how she had the love of her life five feet from her for four years to get to him, stating that she could’ve been happier sooner. She implored anyone that was watching to be strong, go after what you want and to act fast because life doesn’t wait.
    • Creed discussed how he randomly applied for this job and initially sat all the way in the back but said that no matter where you are or how you got there, human beings have a way to make a place into a home.
    • Andy talks about how he spent so many years lamenting on his college days, only to go back to his college for a job and now missing the people he worked with at Scranton.

The-office

This show took something as common as work, something that all adults can all connect to, and showcased the most ridiculous yet insightful themes of day-to-day minutia, and ultimately showed me, and many others I’m sure, that home can be found anywhere, and everywhere.

I’ll bid you adieu, leaving behind three meaningful quotes:

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ol’ days before you’ve actually left them.” – Andy Bernard

“There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?” – Pam Beesley-Halpert

“That’s what she said!” – Michael Scott

Long live, Dunder Mifflin!

Kyle “Scoop” Yeldell is from a small city south of Scranton, PA known as Washington, DC. When he isn’t selling paper at Dunder Mifflin, he is found vacationing at Schrute Farms and consulting for Athleap.

Posted in Entertainment, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

College Admissions and the False Narrative of Meritocracy

cheatingscandal

A few weeks ago, the FBI announced a massive cheating scandal involving college admissions, the largest of its kind.

Here’s the synopsis.

Wealthy people were paying a man named William “Rick” Singer thousands, and sometimes millions, of dollars to get their children into top-notch colleges. Singer allegedly accepted bribes totaling $25 million from parents between 2011 and 2018.

Singer had many methods of doing so:

    1. He advised parents to take their children to therapists or obtain medical documentation that their child had a learning disability to get extended time for entrance exams. They’d then go to a crooked test center to take their test.
      • Either a man named Mark Riddell would take the ACT or SAT for the child
      • Or Singer would make corrections to the child’s test after they took it
    2. He’d create fake athletic recruiting profiles with fictitious awards and accomplishments for students to get recruited by colleges, because college admission standards by the NCAA are lower than standards for non-athletes. Students would use that to get into college and never play the sport, most of which never played the sport to begin with. Singer even Photoshopped several children’s faces on photos to show them playing sports to add to these profiles.

Parents have been indicted, but so have some of the athletic coaches at several schools involved, such as UCLA, USC, Georgetown, Wake Forest and Stanford. Another school that was scammed in this case was the University of Texas.

Affirmative Action Texas

Why is this important to add? Well, some of us remember Abigail Fisher. Some of us even called her “Becky with the Bad Grades” or “Average Ass Abigail”. Why would they call her this? Abigail sued the University of Texas over its affirmative action policy when she did not get into the school. She pretty much claimed that a lesser-deserving minority student took her space, even though white women like her benefit from affirmative action more than anyone else in this country.

One thing you won’t find in this FBI case: many minorities. Not a single African-American is listed in this scam. There is an Asian family and a Latino family listed, but most of the scamming parents are white. Abigail aimed her angst at the wrong people. We knew that though.

In the last few years, the Supreme Court and conservatives altogether have been trying to strip away affirmative action policies. Many have even used the fact that we elected a Black president as a sign that we’ve come far enough to not need affirmative action.

This case echoes the need for affirmative action even more and begins to eradicate one of the biggest farces in America: meritocracy.

According to Merriam-Webster, meritocracy is:

      • a system in which the talented are chosen and moved ahead on the basis of their achievement
      • leadership selected on the basis of intellectual criteria

Wikipedia states that meritocracy is “a political philosophy that holds that certain things, such as economic goods or power, should be vested in individuals on the basis of talent, effort, and achievement, rather than factors such as sexuality, race, gender, age, or wealth.”

However, it never, ever puts achievement in context.

Let me give you an example. A kid grows up in a drug-infested neighborhood and only has access to his local, under-performing public school. This kid excels despite living on Section 8, studying often with no lights on and/or with a hungry stomach, with relatives being shot and killed. This kid gets a 1250 SAT score.

Meanwhile, a kid who has wealthy parents, lives in a mansion, gets access to top-notch private schools and has private tutors gets a 1300 SAT score. Meritocracy would show the wealthy kid had better numbers, right? However, it doesn’t show drive, determination or true achievement.

Now add that this kid’s parents paid $500,000 to get someone to take their SAT for them altogether.

When the news broke about the case, I thought it was referring to the previous college basketball scandal, in which an athletic brand, financial planners and college coaches paying high school athletes to attend their school and sign with them once they get drafted.

What makes this situation much worse than the college basketball scandal is that instead of wealthy parents paying for their unremarkable children to get into schools that they didn’t deserve to get into, these athletes were so remarkable and deserving of their college scholarships that people were willing to pay THEM to come to their schools. (Disclaimer: I’m a firm believer that college athletes from revenue generating sports should get paid.)

This is generally my perspective as a normal American. You’re fed in this country that if you work hard, you will get what you deserve.

Now let me delve into this from the lens and timeline of the American education system, especially from the lens of a descendant of slaves.

harvard_university

Harvard College was founded in 1636 as the first institution of higher learning in this country. 140 years later, on July 4, 1776, a few white men, most of which owned slaves, signed the Declaration of Independence, officially establishing the Thirteen Colonies and beginning the official process of becoming the United States of America. In that document, it counted Black people as 3/5th of a person.

In 1835, Oberlin College became the first college to admit students regardless of race and gender, allowing white women and Blacks to attend. Two years later, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, which was originally called the Institute for Colored Youth, was founded, becoming the first historically Black institute of higher learning. In 1854, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania was founded and has the distinction of being the first degree-granting HBCU in the United States.

89 years later, the Civil War ended, resulting in the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery in 1865. Three years later, the Fourteenth Amendment was implemented, stating that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens.

In 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education ruled that laws establishing racial segregation in public schools are unconstitutional, violating said Fourteenth Amendment. Ten years later, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

It took 201 years for African-Americans to have an institution of higher learning. It took another 18 years for slavery to be abolished, then three more years for us to get our full naturalization rights. It still took 86 years for racial desegregation in schools and another 10 years for desegregation in public places.

That’s a head start of 328 years in which white people, primarily men, have been able to earn a college education without either slavery or racial segregation blocking their access to schools or public places. That means it’s only been 55 years that African-Americans have been given the same full inalienable rights as American citizens, which includes a right to be educated. And with all those barriers, affirmative action policies were created to institute some level of parity due to this history. For these people, mainly non-minority folks, to already have such advantages AND are already wealthy, it’s especially ridiculous.

Minorities in this country are finally given the same opportunities as their white counterparts to only see that the wealthier ones are still cheating the system. And when minorities finally do get into these academic spaces, they are looked at as affirmative action policy recipients when some of their less intelligent yet more wealthy classmates got in not on academic achievement, but because of money (or even legacy) and are looked at as the norm.

This will be a watershed moment in time to show the false narrative of meritocracy in this country, but also prove why I, and many other Black people, were raised on the mantra that you “have to be twice as good to get half the opportunities”. We will see if this changes the culture but I’m glad the veil was lifted on this notion of meritocracy, especially when it comes to admissions.

Kyle “Scoop” Yeldell is from a small village east of Fairfax, VA known as Washington, DC. His mama don’t got $500,000 for nobody, let alone USC. He got into (and later graduated from) Morehouse College on a wish and a prayer…and some intelligence. That same prayer later got him into Georgetown University.

Posted in Education, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

@OliveBranchAlumni Presents: 10 Essential Items for Homecoming

IMG_0336

Whether you are a Homecoming veteran, a recent alum or you haven’t been back in a while, there are some necessary things you need to have to heighten your experience and allow you to have your proverbial ducks in a row.

We, the good folks at @OliveBranchAlumni, have devised such a list to make it easier for you. We’ve provided a checklist at the bottom.

While we are AUC alumni and we had the AUC in mind, we also believe this list is appropriate for all HBCU Homecomings. We want to make sure you are living your best life at Homecoming and this list is final so we ain’t going back and forth with you (people).

So, with no further ado, in no particular order, here are @OliveBranchAlumni’s Top 10 Essential Items for Homecoming:

  1. Water

You need to stay hydrated. Grab bottles of water every chance you get. When you eat, drink water. When you go to sleep, drink water. When you wake up, drink water. Bring a bottle to tailgate. If you aren’t drinking liquor, it better be water.

  1. Vitamin C Tablets

You’ll be drinking heavy, eating less and getting little to no sleep. You need to boost your immune system. There’s nothing worse than having the time of your life and going back to work with a serious cold. Take vitamin C tablets prior to, during and after Homecoming to prevent that. They come in chewable tablets also.

  1. ChapStick

Being dehydrated causes a dry mouth, which means you’ll be licking your lips a lot. And if there is a change in weather, which happens often around October, your lips will definitely be dry as well. Get some ChapStick or Carmex and use often.

  1. Mints

Dry mouth and licking your lips also cause bad breath, not to mention all the liquor you’ll be drinking. Have plenty of mints on deck. Get two rolls of BreathSavers. Altoids and Tic Tacs rattle in your pocket and you don’t need to be annoyed all day.

  1. Sunglasses

Lack of sleep causes dry eyes. You need something to prevent you from squinting and getting headaches on that bright Saturday afternoon. Get some sunglasses. Some will get designer glasses. That’s your prerogative, Bobby Brown. However, I’d suggest just some sturdy ones. They don’t have to be a fashion statement. They just need to block that sun.

  1. Hand Sanitizer

You are going to dap up and hug everyone you see and you don’t know who they dapped up and hugged. Especially with your weakened immune system due to the aforementioned lack of sleep, food and increase in drinking, you need to make sure your hands are clean. Get some hand sanitizer immediately. Use it often, preferably before and after you eat or drink.

  1. Comfortable Shoes for Tailgate

You don’t have to impress anyone with heels or loafers. You’re here to see friends and family. Post your dope kicks on Instagram like every other self-absorbed person. For on today, get you some comfortable shoes. Similar to sunglasses, you can wear some designer ones if you like, but with random people accidentally stepping on them or the trash and spilled beer on the ground getting on the bottom of them, you’re better off getting some sturdy ones for the day. If you have or need insoles, this is the day to use them. You’re going to be on your feet all damn day.

  1. External Phone Battery

You’re linking up with friends, getting your college crush’s number, taking pictures with your BFFs or calling an Uber… and your phone dies. Nothing worse than this. Get you either a battery case for your phone like a Mophie or an external battery (I have both). With this said, bring two charging cords on your travels: one for where you’re staying and one for this. God forbid if you bring just one and lose it at tailgate, you’ll be screwed because those gas station cords will hurt your battery in the long run when you try to get a quick fix.

  1. Bottle of Liquor

It’s Homecoming. You gotta turn up! Get you a bottle of liquor, then get you a transportable bottle to carry said liquor with you for tailgate. Get you a flask, a Gatorade bottle or a Coke bottle. Just something with a cap to seal it closed.

  1. Bookbag/Purse

What better way to have all of these things on you at tailgate than in a bookbag or purse. Ladies tend to carry purses, so this one is mainly for the fellas. While many try to say cargo shorts are a thing of the past, this is a day where they are appropriate (extra pockets are clutch for tailgate). If you don’t want to go that route, get a nice bookbag to carry. these items in.

Here is the checklist. Save it and look at it while you pack and on Saturday morning to make sure you have everything you need for tailgate/football game.

IMG_0324

And if you are traveling to Atlanta for SpelHouse Homecoming, there is this day party going on at Oak Atlanta on Friday, October 26 from 5-10pm. I can’t think of the name of it… it will come to me. Oh that’s right. It’s called Olive Branch: Alumni Edition. Duh. Well if you feel so inclined, click this link and get your Regular Admission ticket now before they sell out.

FB3-OBA-Homecoming (5)

Kyle “Scoop” Yeldell, a founding member of the Olive Branch Alumni Committee, hails from a village just east of Fairfax, VA known as Washington, DC. After taking the long journey (uphill both ways) from his village to Atlanta, GA, he attended and graduated from Morehouse College. Since he began his education at the bastion of Black Excellence known as Morehouse in 2001, he has never missed Homecoming! 

Posted in Black People, Homecoming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Deconstruction Era: 2017-Future

governors-1535565011

(Left to right): Ben Jealous at an election night party on June 26, 2018; Stacey Abrams at a debate in Atlanta on May 20, 2018; and Andrew Gillum in Miami on Aug. 13, 2018.
 (Photos: Patrick Semansky, John Amis, and Lynne Sladky/AP)

Last night, Andrew Gillum won the Democratic primary for the gubernatorial race in Florida. The former Tallahassee Mayor is the first Black person to win a primary in state history.

The sheer joy I have for this win made me think about this resurgence of Black politicians. Stacey Abrams and Ben Jealous won the Democratic primary for governor in Georgia and Maryland, respectively, as both can become the first Black governor in their respective state histories.

I think of my good friend Randall Woodfin, a fellow Morehouse Man, as Mayor of Birmingham, AL and another good friend Ebony Lumumba’s husband Chokwe Antar Lumumba is Mayor of Jackson, MS. Just recently, Lee Harris, another fellow Morehouse Man, won the election of Shelby County, TN, which encompasses Memphis. (Memphis doesn’t have a mayor, but instead someone who leads the entire county but has the title as Mayor.)

San Francisco has a Black woman as mayor in London Breed. Atlanta has a mayor named Keisha (Lance Bottoms). Both are just the second women to ever hold their respective positions: Breed is the first Black woman to ever hold the position, while Bottoms is the second.

Vi Lyles is the first Black woman to be mayor of Charlotte, NC. Melvin Carter is the first Black mayor in the history of Saint Paul, MN. Marita Garrett is the first Black woman and youngest person to be mayor of Wilkinsburg, PA. Justin Fairfax and Sheila Oliver are the first Black Lieutenant Governors in Virginia and New Jersey, respectively.

Arguably the biggest emergence yet is the candidates who are directly affected by the issues brought up with the Black Lives Matter movement. Lucy McBath, the mother of slain teenager Jordan Davis, is now the Democratic nominee for Georgia’s 6th District, and Wesley Bell, a member of the Ferguson (MO) City Council, is now the St. Louis County prosecutor. The deaths of Davis in Jacksonville and Michael Brown in Ferguson lit a match under these two people that they needed a change immediately.

lucy_McBath

Lucy McBath at a rally after the death of her son Jordan Davis in 2013 (Courtesy Photo)

I feel like this is a second Reconstruction era, the time after the Civil War when African-Americans had their largest numbers in Congress in American history until recently. However, the more interesting thing is that all these people have had these successes AFTER Donald Trump won the presidential election in 2016.

On second thought, this is a Deconstruction (maybe even a D-Construction, as the D stands for Donald).

The election of Donald Trump has unearthed not only white supremacists, but a groundswell of minorities seeking to have their voices heard above the fray. Our country has become more splintered than ever. At this time, with the inspiration of eight years of President Barack Obama and the contrast of Donald Trump, Black people are getting more involved and becoming more successful in the political arena.

And it isn’t just Black people as well. Ravi Bhalla became the first turbaned Sikh mayor in U.S. history when he was elected to become Mayor of Hoboken, NJ. Danica Roem became the first to both be elected and served while openly transgender in any U.S. state legislature.

As we stand, one-in-five voting members of the House and Senate are a racial or ethnic minority, making the 115th U.S. Congress the most diverse in this country’s history. This Congress has record numbers of Latinos, African-Americans, Asian-Americans and women of color.

FT_17.01.23_congressDiversity

I believe that it will only increase. The only upside I’ve personally seen from the election of Trump is the deconstruction of how minorities are seeing this country and getting more involved. With white supremacy and overall lack of class by Trump and his supporters, it has unearthed a new wave that reminds me of the post-Civil War era.

Instead of building a wall, it seems as if the walls of politics that have excluded diverse voices are getting chipped away at and this is the one thing I am excited to see. Let the Deconstruction Era commence!

P.S. While I am excited about Gillum, Abrams and Jealous winning their primaries, we NEED to get out and vote in the general election in Florida, Georgia and Maryland so they can be the official governor!

Kyle “Scoop” Yeldell is from a small village outside of Silver Spring, MD called Washington, DC. He has retired from selling seashells by the seashore and one time, he stepped on a crack but, by the grace of God, his mother and her back were unharmed. 

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wakanda Takes Over the 2018 World Cup

2018-Russia-World-Cup

I’ve followed soccer from afar for years. However, in 2010, I went to London and went to two Arsenal games and got hooked. Since then, I’ve been an avid fan but also been looking to expose the sport to a lot of my fellow African-American friends who, like me, are mostly basketball and football fans.

With the World Cup beginning in a few days, I thought this would be the best time to do so. But how would I do it? I needed something more… so I asked for some advice.

After discussing it with my homegirl in the Dora Milaje, I met with King T’Challa himself and he commissioned me to identify the top players from all across the African diaspora to represent Wakanda in Russia.

Flag_of_Wakanda

I’ve listed my starting XI (and reserves from my 23-man roster), all of which are equipped with the vibranium needed to win the World Cup. It is chock full of players who are either born in African countries and/or born to Black (or directly African) parents. [With that said, due to the nuances of racial self-identity, Brazilians and other Latin American players were not listed on this roster.]

With the blessing of Zuri and ‘nem, I present to you the Wakanda National Team (insert crossed arms)!

Forwards

romelulukaku

FW         Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)                          Manchester United

Lukaku, who stands at 6-foot-3, became the first Everton player since Bob Latchford to score 25 goals in consecutive seasons in all competitions and he was subsequently named in the PFA Team of the Year in while being shortlisted for both PFA Player and Young Player of the Year in 2017. The 24-year-old, who just finished his first season with Manchester United, is one of only five players to have ever scored 50 Premier League goals before their 23rd birthday and the fifth youngest to have scored 100 goals in the competition. As a Belgian international, he already holds the record of 34 goals scored for the Belgian national team. He was listed No. 7 in the world by SkySports. Lukaku was born in Antwerp to Congolese parents.

 sadiomane

FW         Sadio Mane’ (Senegal)                                  Liverpool

After becoming the most expensive African player in history by joining Liverpool for a transfer fee of £34 million ($45.6 million), Mane’ has been a star in Anfield. Along with teammates Salah and Roberto Firmino, he helped to make Liverpool the first team in history to have three players score 10+ goals in a single Champions League season. By scoring in the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid, Mane’ became the Senegalese player to ever score in the league final’s history. With all of his great play this year, 25-year-old move up 33 places on the esteemed Guardian Top 100 to No. 36​. ESPNFC has ranked him the No. 2 wide forward in the world.

 kylianmbappe

FW         Kylian Mbappe (France)                              Paris Saint-Germain

The best teenager in global football and the most expensively transferred teenager of all time in a deal that will cost PSG around €180 million ($211.9 million), Mbappe is the youngest player to make the Guardian Top 100 Footballers list for 2017. He is the highest new entry to the list ever, ranking No. 8 overall (the highest-ranked Frenchman on the list). He also became the youngest player to reach 10 Champions League goals, beating the previous record by nearly two years. The 19-year-old was born in Paris to a Cameroonian father and an Algerian mother.

2018 World Cup Qualifications - Africa - Egypt vs Congo

FW         Mohamed Salah (Egypt)                              Liverpool

Few players had a better season than Salah. After signing with Liverpool for club-record fee of £36.9 million ($49.5 million), the 25-year-old Egyptian racked up almost every award to be won in the English Premier League. He would go on to break the league’s record for goals with 32 goals in 36 league games and became the first player ever to win three Premier League Player of the Month awards in the same season. He would further go onto be named in the 2017–18 PFA Team of the Year and as the 2017–18 PFA Players’ Player of the Year, PFA Fans’ Player of the Year, Football Writers’ Player of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season, while also being the recipient of the Premier League Golden Boot. Salah helped lead Liverpool to the UEFA Champions Final and Egypt to the World Cup for the first time since 1990, three years before he was born. He is ranked No. 22 by the Guardian Top 100. This was a no-brainer!

Reserves:

FW         Raheem Sterling (England)                        Manchester City
FW         Ousmane Dembele (France)                      FC Barcelona
FW         Marcus Rashford (England)                      Manchester United

Midfielders

delealli

MF         Dele Alli (England)                                        Tottenham Hotspur

Alli is the future of English football. He has won PFA Young Player of the Year twice in a row (2015-16, 2016-17), becoming the fourth player to ever do so. He was also named to the PFA Team of the Year those two years. ESPNFC ranks him as the No. 6 attacking midfielder in the world, while Guardian Top 100 lists him as No. 31 overall in the world (the second-highest ranked English player on the list). Guardian also lists him as the top U25 player in the world. The 22-year-old is widely considered one of the best young midfielders of his generation. Alli, whose name Dele is short for Bamidele, was born in Milton Keynes, UK to a Nigerian father and an English mother.

ngolokante 

MF         N’Golo Kante’ (France)                                 Chelsea

Kante helped lead Leicester City to its first EPL title in 2016 and followed up with a title at Chelsea in 2017, becoming the first outfield player since Eric Cantona in 1993 to win back-to-back Premier League titles with different clubs. In 2017, Kanté was named in the PFA Team of the Year and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. He also won the FWA Footballer of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Season that season. Kante finish eighth in the Ballon d’Or rankings and FIFA listed him as top 24 players in the world in 2017. ESPNFC ranks him as the No. 3 center midfielder in the world. The 27-year-old was born in Paris to Malian parents.

FBL-WC-2018-QUALIFIER-FRA-NED

MF         Paul Pogba (France)                                     Manchester United        

Pogba is one of the most recognized young players in the world. The 25-year-old helped Juventus to four consecutive Serie A titles, as well as two Coppa Italia and two Supercoppa Italiana titles. During his time in Italy, Pogba received the Golden Boy award in 2013, followed by the Bravo Award in 2014, while also being named by The Guardian’s one of the ten most promising young players in Europe. In 2016, Pogba was named to the 2015 UEFA Team of the Year, as well as the 2015 FIFA FIFPro World XI, after helping Juventus to the 2015 UEFA Champions League Final, their first in 12 years. He also came in fifth in the Ballon d’Or voting in 2016. Beginning his career at Manchester United, he returned to the club in 2016 for a then-world record (and still an English record) transfer fee of £89.3 million ($119.7 million). In his first season back with ManU (2016-17), the 6-foot-3 midfielder helped the team to Europa League and FA Cup success. ESPNFC has him ranked as the No. 4 center midfielder in the world and Guardian Top 100 lists him as No. 30. Pogba was born in Lagny-sur-Marne, a suburb of Paris, to Guinean parents.

Reserves:

MF         Leroy Sane’ (Germany)                              Manchester City
MF         Youri Tielemans (Belgium)                       AS Monaco
MF         Thomas Lemar (France)                            AS Monaco
MF         Sami Khedira (Germany)                           Real Madrid

Defenders

jeromeboateng

DF          Jerome Boateng (Germany)                       Bayern Munich                 

Considered to be one of the world’s best at his position, Boateng has been a force in German soccer for years. Standing at 6-foot-4, he was ranked the No. 2 best center back in the world in 2016 and No. 7 in 2017 by ESPN FC. As a member of the German national team, he helped lead Germany to the 2009 Euro U-21 Championship, the 2014 World Cup title and was named to the UEFA Team of the Tournament for the 2016 Euro Championship. In 2012-13, he helped Bayern Munich win a treble of the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League, in addition to the DFL-Supercup at the start of the season. In his career at Bayern Munich, the 29-year-old has won six consecutive Bundesliga titles, three DFB-Pokal titles, two DFB/DFL-Supercups and a FIFA Cup World Cup. Boateng was born in Berlin to a Ghanaian father and a German mother.

vincentkompany 

DF          Vincent Kompany (Belgium)                      Manchester City               

The most seasoned player on this list, the 32-year-old Kompany has been one of the best defenders in the world for over a decade. A great leader, he is the captain of the Belgian national team and, in the 2011–12 season, he was named captain of Manchester City. The 6-foot-4 defender lead his club to win the Premier League that season, their first league title in 44 years (he has since won two more including this season). Kompany was included in the Premier League Team of the Year for two years in a row in 2011 and 2012 as well as being included in the 2014 team and won the Premier League Player of the Season in 2012. Regarded as one of the best defenders in the world, he was listed 23rd in “The 100 Best Footballers in the World” by The Guardian in 2012. Kompany was named to the FIFPro World XI 3rd team in 2013 and 2014 and the 4th team in 2015. He was born in Uccle, Brussels to a Congolese father and Belgian mother.

samuelumtiti

DF          Samuel Umtiti (France)                                Barcelona                          

Beginning his career in Lyon, Umtiti helped lead the team to Coupe de France and Trophée des Champions in 2012. After being signed by FC Barcelona in 2016, he has established himself as a starter at centre back. In his two years at FC Barcelona, the 24-year-old has won two Copa del Rey titles and a La Liga title. As a member of the French national team, he won the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup and helped take France to the final in the UEFA Euro 2016. In 2017, he was selected to the FIFPro World XI 5th team. The 6-foot defender is listed No. 73 in the world by The Guardian Top 100. Umtiti was born in Yaounde, Cameroon and moved to France when he was two years old.

Reserves:

DF          Victor Moses (Nigeria)                                Chelsea
DF          Kyle Walker (England)                               Manchester City
DF          Benjamin Mendy (France)                         Manchester City

Goalkeeper

alfredgomis

GK          Alfred Gomis (Senegal)                                 SPAL

The 24-year-old plays in Serie A for SPAL while on loan from Torino. He was recently called up to the Senegal national team.

Reserves:

GK          Munir (Morocco) CD Numancia

Follow these players throughout the World Cup! Get excited about the world’s biggest sporting event for reasons you previously didn’t even have. Black players are playing amazingly in the world’s most popular game. May this be your introduction or begin to increase your interest.

——

Kyle “Scoop” Yeldell is from a small town located just west of Wakanda called Washington, DC. Aside from hanging with the Dora Milaje at brunch and happy hours, he occasionally writes about things he loves. Soccer is one of them. Follow him and his new page @WakandaAthletics on Instagram and @WakandaAthletic on Twitter. 

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Need a Reason to Boycott the NFL?

nfl11

If you are Black and wondering why people should boycott the NFL, my answer is simple. 

This isn’t about whether Colin Kaepernick ever gets signed. It’s slightly about the fact that Josh Brown admitted to that he hit his wife over 20 times and got a one-time suspension in 2016, but Ezekiel Elliott denied domestically abusing his girlfriend, was under investigation for said abuse, the police department and the NFL employee who interviewed her all declined to file charges but he gets a six-game suspension in 2017. (They’ve since suspended Josh Brown an additional six games in 2017 but ONLY after people made this connection.)

However, it is definitely about the fact that the 70% of the NFL’s players are Black (while 0% of the owners), but it is very apparent that the league doesn’t care about Black consumers, not when owners dispute Kaepernick’s protest with saying it doesn’t fit its fanbase, as if Black folks aren’t many of its fans. Kaepernick was the highest-selling jersey in the NFL the first month of the season last year when he first kneeled, but somehow he isn’t good for business. 

It’s about the fact that many Black people don’t understand our power as consumers. According to Nielsen, African-Americans have a spending power of $1.2 trillion, which would give us 14th largest nation in GDP if we were our own country (more than Mexico). Black millennials alone have a spending power of $162 billion. 

Collectively, we need to support businesses and organizations that support us. Our dollars and interest reward that. If a player in your league is speaking on an issue that most of our community supports, you better think twice about discarding it. If your CEO makes disparaging comments about the Black community, they should be disciplined (read: fired) because (1) it’s the right thing to do but (2) we as consumers will take our collective money elsewhere. If a politician doesn’t put your agenda to the forefront of their campaign, they will NOT earn your vote, no matter what party they are with.

This ain’t about football. This is about us. I learned a long time ago that you teach people how to treat you.  We’ve been teaching companies and organizations that we will support their products regardless of if they support us. If Black people appear fractured, even about things that affect all of us, our agenda, our soul, our culture, our collective dollars will continue to be not be prioritized and disrespected.

I love the NFL. I got my Master’s in Sports Industry Management. But this is bigger than my love of football. This is long overdue. Not a boycott about the NFL, but a collective sacrifice to show our power economically and culturally. 

And if you choose to continue to watch the NFL and purchase NFL paraphernalia, etc., I’m not judging you. I have friends who have family members that play in the NFL. Shoot, I have friends in the NFL. My only ask is that you think of an alternative to show your solidarity. You could boycott the sponsors of the NFL. Drink Stella Artois or Corona (or another American beer) instead of Budweiser. Or you could just boycott another company that doesn’t support our agenda.

Every bit counts, but we have to work together. If the NFL had prioritized our feelings, this wouldn’t have to happen, and this goes to other companies and organizations as well. You need us, we don’t need you. We will take our business elsewhere, even if that business is a lifelong love for your product. Because my lifelong love of my people supersedes that.

Kyle “Scoop” Yeldell is a native of a small enclave near FedEx Field known as Washington, DC. He once met the Dos Equis guy who just so happened to be drinking a Scoop beer at the time. Yeldell also owns many leatherbound books. 

Posted in Black People, Sports | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting Ethnicity on the Table: A Convo with an 8th Grade Girl

Earlier this week, I went to a High School Fair at a middle school to engage students about the high school I work at. 

A group of Latino students walk up to the table. One bubbly and extremely sweet girl asked while smiling, “I don’t want to be racist but are there many students like me at your school?” I responded “Yes there are. Our school is majority African-American but we have many students who are Latino as well.”

She opens up a 1995 yearbook that I had on display and goes through the black and white photos and starts pointing out the people that look like her. “She looks like me. So does he.” All of them were Caucasian. 

At that moment, I ask “Where is your family from?” She says Honduras.

The flag of Honduras


I reply “Well you know my mom is half Puerto Rican and my grandfather is from Puerto Rico and he is darker than me.”

In this country, we push a narrative of race over ethnicity that is not found in other nations. And Latinos (notice how I didn’t say Hispanics) are often found in the middle. To many, if they aren’t dark, they aren’t Black, which means they are White, according to the census. Even more so, if they are dark, but they aren’t African-American, they often put White on the census. You’d be surprised how many tan and dark-colored Latinos put White on their census forms.

It’s a microcosm of how the idea of race in this country was created as a whole. White simply meant “not Black” in its infancy to separate people as “free” and “slave”. Often times, we want Latinos (that term in itself is also an Americanized way to lump a myriad of cultures but I digress) to attach themselves to a “minority” struggle and get upset when we don’t see Cubans, Dominicans, etc. joining in on Black issues. Well, that’s because our concept of ethnicity is flawed to initially expect them do so. Many often don’t view themselves as Black… because Black to them means Black American… and they view themselves as Cuban, Dominican, etc. first and while they live in America, they aren’t grandfathered into the deep-seeded issues we have in our country. Many do consider themselves Black as well but that happens mostly due to exposure to African-Americans.

We would feel the same if most Black Americans knew exactly which country we descend from and were one degree away from that culture. We would be Kenyan Americans, Ghanaian Americans, etc. (Also a major reason why African immigrants don’t just jump in on many of our issues at first, but once again, I digress.) While we would hopefully view ourselves as Black overall, our knowledge of our individual ethnic culture would supersede our outward skin color. 

So to that young girl with the bubbly personality, while I couldn’t explain all of this to you while at a table, I’ll simply say that while many of our students may not look exactly like you, we have much more in common than you think, but I respect the cultural differences and mindsets that we have too. Either way, I’d love for your precociousness to be apart of our student body next year.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tyrone

According to Facebook, I wrote this nine years ago today. Man… 2007. 

Tyrone
By Kyle S. Yeldell
August 15, 2007
 
He grew up on the South Side of Chicago,
Known as the Windy City, you can feel the breeze blow
Momma and his uncles were heavy in the game
Daddy was killed years ago, but he kept his name
Crack on the table, he thought it was sugar
Momma would bleed from her nose; he thought it was a booger
Momma had all types of men up in the crib
All hours of the night, but he never knew what they did
All he could hear was sounds of pleasure and pain
Drizzle on the window, he’d reach and measure the rain
Started out in special Ed, they thought he was dumb
Didn’t know, at 5, he did crossword puzzles for fun
Mom’s in and out of jail, so Grandma started to raise him
Made him go to church, so the Lord could save him
Had a bad attitude and a very smart mouth
Grandma didn’t have it; she’d slap the taste out his mouth
Got better grades, but his mother didn’t care
Sold his clothes for crack, so he had nothing to wear
Grandma took him for good, got him cleaned up and bathed
At least three times a day, the fam got together and prayed
Took three buses one way to go to magnet school
Had no fresh clothes, so they didn’t think he was cool
Started out quiet, then he got more social
Swagger began to develop, spit game to every girl he spoke to
Grades remained sharp, wardrobe got cleaner
Started dating the finest girl in school, her name was Nina
Graduated high school, inducted in an honor society
Got accepted to college, chose his number one university
Managed to steer away from the Folks and the Mo’s
Turned his back on the life of cooking coke on the stove
Grandma passed away his junior year of school
Thought about dropping out, but he knew he’d be a fool
He made Phi Beta Kappa, the brother was dapper
Graduation came around, everybody was clapping
He walked on the stage, looked around and saw his mother
With a little boy, he had a five-year old brother
Walked over to his mom, gave her a warm embrace
“Ain’t seen you for years”
“I’ve been all over the place”
Looked down at this boy, spoke in a soft tone
“What’s up, little man? I’m your brother, Tyrone”
 
He was a product of a single-parent L.A. home
His mom worked late, so she left him all alone
Would hear gunshots every night before he slept
Worried about his mom, so at night, he wept
Got a little bigger, started to play ball
Mom’s was short; she never thought he’d be that tall
His best friend’s brother was head of the Bloods
Little homie could ball, so they showed him lots of love
One day, his mom was coming home and got robbed
By a dude in blue who said he couldn’t stand Slobs
Mom thought he was gangbanging, but he really wasn’t
Had him spend his weekends living with his cousins
The boy kept balling, the boy kept producing
Traveled everywhere from DC to Houston
Hood has his back ‘cuz they thought he’d blow up
Every time he played a game, the hood would show up
Got to high school and his head got bigger
Walk around the school like he was the head n*gga
Claiming the set, started living Hollywood
Every time he scored, he would throw up his hood
Got dudes shot, beat up, stabbed and killed
All because he knew how to master the pill
Brain got so warped by being this hoodstar
Wasn’t a true Blood, but drove a bright red car
Liked Arizona and Maryland just ‘cuz of their colors
Never listened to anything he heard from his mother
Became an All-American, then went to a D-1 college
Only learned to ball, never received knowledge
Tore his ACL right before his sophomore year
Tried to rehab, but just smoked and drank beer
The hood still felt that they were owed for his success
So he had to make the League so they could see those checks
He returned to the court, but his draft stock fell
Wasted it all away cuz he was blowing on Ls
Still talking trash, cuz he thought he was a boss
All the while, he didn’t realize he was lost
His friends dipped out, he was no longer connected
Got a hit out on him by a guy he disrespected
Walked out the gas station of a QuikTrip
They pulled a drive-by, he was killed by some Crips
“Ring, ring”, somebody called his mom on the phone
“Bad news, Patrice. Somebody killed Tyrone”
 
His dad was a lawyer, his mom was a doctor
His aunt was a famous soprano in the opera
Lived in a very big house with very big rooms
He ate Lucky Charms every morning with a silver spoon
Chaffeured to pre-K, maid no habla ingles
He got straight As since he was in the 3rd grade
Mom’s had an affair, so his parents got a divorce
Thought it wasn’t fair cuz his choice was being forced
He got put in split custody, although he favored his dad
All the while, he started to act up and act bad
Blamed his mom for everything going wrong
Trapped himself in the room, so he could sit and write songs
Anger enveloped every single thought
His mother would cry every single time they fought
He became more enamored with the life of the streets
Started getting caught up with flowing over beats
But he had no substance, he had no credibility
Academics and wealth were his only ability
Switched up his swag, started dabbling in drugs
Went to private school, but started hanging with the thugs
Staying with his mother in a house in Buckhead
But that environment wasn’t a place to buck lead
Started driving off Simpson to kick it Bankhead
Learned to trap to coke fiends and dankheads
He figured he had to live the life in order to rap
You can’t make trap music till you master the trap
Went from Paces Ferry to racing Chevys with Terry
Traded in his BlackBerry for a Metro celly
One night on the East Side , he fired off shots,
Robbed dudes for their cash, but got arrested by the cops
Sitting in the jail for hours, waiting to get arraigned
Mom and Dad together for the first time, they feel blame
Thinking how in the world could tarnish his name
Life was given to him, why’s he playing this game?
In the courtroom, the judge enters…”All rise”
She expected to see a thug until she looked in his eyes
No criminal record, what is he doing in here?
Light skin, fresh haircut with curly hair
“Maxwell King, you couldn’t have done this all alone”
“Hold up. Don’t call me Maxwell…I’m MC Tyrone”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Greatest College Football Recruiting Classes of 21st Century: Where Does OSU Rank?

urban-meyer

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer (Courtesy of Cleveland.com)

This past weekend, Ohio State earned three more blue-chip commitments following their annual Friday Night Lights events. Although one was for the class of 2018, the focus for several months has been on the class of 2017 and its dominance on the class rankings.

Currently, Ohio State is #1, followed by Alabama and Georgia, with 16 commitments. There has been much talk on whether this class will become the best class ever (either for Ohio State or any program). I decided to look into this claim to see how this class is projected to stack up, compared to the great classes of the recruiting site era (2002 till now), according to the 247 Sports Composite class rankings.

Compared to Other OSU Classes

At this present moment, with the commitments of 4-star recruits defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Amir Riep, the class calculator is at 285.12. That total puts the 2017 class already ahead of the 2015 class, which had 26 commits and a score of 277.78. 2017 is just four points below the 2016 class, which was ranked #4 in the nation with a score of 289.12.

The class that had the largest class calculator score in modern history is 2013, which scored 303.27. The class, which was ranked #2 in the country, became legendary in 2016 NFL Draft when four of the members were drafted in the top 20: Ezekiel Elliott (#3 pick), Joey Bosa (#4), Eli Apple (#10) and Darron Lee (#20). Vonn Bell was drafted in the second round as well. In addition, J.T. Barrett is a Heisman candidate, and several other players have their eyes on the NFL in the future: Tyquan Lewis, Marcus Baugh, Gareon Conley, Billy Price, Dontre Wilson, Corey Smith, Chris Worley and Tracy Sprinkle.

70140_h.jpg,qitok=oUJebx6j.pagespeed.ce.tmVBLflxKl

(left to right) Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni, Darron Lee, Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott and Eli Apple as high school recruits at an Ohio State game in 2012 (Courtesy of @markpantoni)

Although I mention the class of 2013 as it pertains to their college success and NFL draft status, this analysis is based solely on their ranking/recruiting impact entering college.

Total Score Comparison

With that said, while 2013 has a score of 303.27, it also had 29 commits. The 2017 class has just 16 thus far, but due to scholarship restrictions this year due to just six seniors on the team, it is expected to end up at 18-21 commits. Four of the players that have been considered leans, according to 247 Sports’ Crystal Ball predictions, to Ohio State are running back Cam Akers, wide receivers Trevon Grimes and Tyjon Lindsey, and safety Jeffrey Okudah.

If those four commit (Lindsey and Grimes are set to announce their decisions Aug. 22 and 24, respectively), the class score is 316.41 with 20 commits, which topples the 2013 class, with nine less recruits.

Let’s take this 20-commit class and now hold it for a comparison overall.

Say Ohio State’s 2017 class does get these four recruits… How does this projected 316.41 score stack up all-time?

2012-11-12-sharrif-floyd-dominique-easley-4_3_rx812_c1080x810

Florida defensive linemen Shariff Floyd (#73) and Dominique Easley (#2) were two of the stars of the Gators’ 2010 recruiting class (Courtesy Photo)

Well, there are five classes in total score are:
2010 University of Florida – 323.66 (30 commits)
• 2014 University of Alabama – 319.58 (29 commits)
• 2013 University of Alabama – 319.48 (26 commits)
• 2006 University of Southern California – 315.36 (28 commits)
• 2010 University of Texas – 311.49 (24 commits)

Per Capita Score Comparison

Notice the size of the classes. The only classes that have a larger class score have a minimum of four more recruits than the 2017 Ohio State class I projected. The 2017 class would be fourth all-time if these projections hold true.

While 247 Sports doesn’t allow me to project the class per capita average, the current 16-member class (without the four recruit projection I just made) is at 94.73.

That average is the highest in the recruiting era. Based on the fact that the players that Ohio State is recruiting are all over 94.73 in their individual rankings, this number will only get higher.

It’s safe to say that the class per capita average is the best of all-time.

The five classes have the highest average are:
2017 Ohio State University – 94.73 (16 commits)
• 2015 University of Alabama – 93.64 (24 commits)
• 2017 University of Georgia – 93.46 (14 commits)
• 2013 University of Alabama – 93.25 (26 commits)
• 2010 University of Texas – 93.55 (24 commits)

I want to note that the 2017 University of Georgia class is currently ranked #3 and we will pay attention to see how they progress and if they remain in the top five per capita scores of all-time.

Five-Star Recruit Comparison

Now, let’s talk about the amount of five star recruits per class. Currently, the 2017 Buckeyes have three: Josh Myers, Shaun Wade and Wyatt Davis. Based on the fact that the top 32 recruits end up five-star recruits at the end of the season, Chase Young would qualify, ranking #28 in the nation. (Currently, the top 27 are listed as five-stars). Since currently his individual score is a 0.9832, and a score of 0.9835 is what’s needed to be a five-star, I’m going to assume that his ranking will help push his score high enough to be a five-star in the very near future and add him as a five-star for this exercise.

With four five-stars in a class of 16 (not including the four projections I mentioned earlier), how does that stack all-time?

03usc-xlarge2

USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett was one of the six five-star recruits in the Trojans’ 2004 class. (Courtesy Photo)

Here are the classes with the highest percentage of five-star recruits:
2004 University of Southern California – 6 five-stars/20 commits: 24%
• 2007 University of Southern California – 6 five-stars/20 commits: 24%
• 2005 University of Southern California– 5 five-stars/17 commits: 29.4%
• 2012 Florida State University – 5 five-stars/19 commits: 26.3%
2017 Ohio State University – 4 five-stars/16 commits: 25%

If I add in my projections of Akers, Grimes, Lindsey and Okudah, all of which are five-star recruits (Lindsey is #32 in the nation so he will end up five-star based on the aforementioned criteria soon), that means Ohio State would have 8 five-stars out of 20 commits. This percentage of 40% would be the highest in recruiting era history. However, thus far, it is third all-time.

06 Booker_1

Florida State running back Lorenzo Booker was the highest-ranked recruit for the FSU’s 2002 class (Courtesy Photo)

That 8 five-star total would also be the most five-star recruits ever placed into one class. There have been six classes are tied for the record with 6 five-star recruits each:
• 2002 Florida State University
• 2004 University of Southern California
• 2006 University of Southern California
• 2007 University of Southern California
• 2013 University of Alabama
• 2014 University of Alabama

Blue-Chip Recruit Comparison

Now as far as overall blue-chip recruits, which are five-star and four-star recruits, and the percentage of blue-chips in a class, the current class has just one skill player who is not a four-star recruit: quarterback Danny Clark, a three-star. The remaining three-star recruit is Blake Haubeil, who is the #1 kicker in the country. We will add both to this comparison to make it accurate.

This gives Ohio State 14 blue chips out of 16, which is a percentage of 87.5%.

How does this figure stack up?

Well, in total, Ohio State isn’t even close in having the most blue-chips in one class. Here are the top five classes with total blue-chips:
2010 University of Florida: 22 blue-chips (5 five-stars and 17 four-stars)
• 2014 University of Alabama: 21 blue-chips (6 five-stars and 15 four-stars)
• 2015 University of Alabama: 20 blue-chips (5 five-stars and 15 four-stars)
• 2013 Ohio State University: 20 blue-chips (1 five-star and 19 four-stars)
• 2010 University of Texas: 19 blue chips (5 five-stars and 14 four-stars)
• 2011 University of Alabama: 19 blue chips (3 five-stars and 16 four-stars)

Now, what about per capita? 2010 Florida had 30 total recruits, which means it had a blue-chip percentage of 73%. 2014 Alabama had 29 total recruits and 72.4%. 2015 Alabama had 24 total recruits and 83.3%.

Let’s look at the blue-chip percentage in the recruiting era:
2017 Ohio State University: 14 blue-chips out of 16 – 87.5%
• 2015 University of Alabama: 20 blue-chips out of 24 commits – 83.3%
• 2017 University of Georgia: 12 blue-chips out of 14 commits – 83.3%
• 2010 University of Texas: 19 blue-chips out of 24 commits – 79.2%
• 2010 University of Southern California: 16 blue-chips out of 21 commits – 76.1%

Being that the only players Ohio State is recruiting for the remainder of scholarships in this class are five-star and four-star recruits, it’s safe to say that the 2017 class will have the highest blue-chip percentage of all-time. If I add the four projections, the class blue-chip percentage goes from 87.5% to 90% (18 blue-chips out of 20 commits).

Recap

As the class stands today, 2017 Ohio State is one of the greatest classes of the 21st century already. It is 1st in per capita class score, 1st blue-chip percentage and 5th in five-star percentage. However, its total scores of 285.12, 4 five-star recruits and 14 total blue chips are great but not amongst the greatest just yet.

Now when you factor in the four projections of Akers, Grimes, Lindsey and Okudah, the class remains first in those two categories, becomes first in five-star and blue-chip percentage, and first in total five-stars.

The only way the 2017 class can top the best overall score record of 323.66 set by 2010 University of Florida is if they also sign five-star linebacker Baron Browning (or five-star cornerback Darnay Holmes) and four-star defensive tackle Jay Tufele. Browning and Tufele, along with the four projections, would give the 2017 Ohio State class a total score of 325.03 (or 324.71 with Holmes instead of Browning). However, due to the scholarship restrictions, this now total of 22 recruits seems unlikely.

Kyle “Scoop” Yeldell is a native of Washington, DC. One day in 1993, as an eight year old budding sports fan, he turned on his first college football game and Ohio State, a school he had previously never heard of, was playing. He’s been a die-hard Buckeyes fan ever since. He earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and his Master’s degree from Georgetown University’s Sports Industry Management program.

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment