Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jim Kelly on Enter The Dragon, Bruce Lee, discrimination - WonderCon SF

Jim Kelly is an American and Worldwide Martial Arts Star, who gained fame starring as "Williams" in Enter The Dragon with the legendary Bruce Lee. Enter The Dragon was the first American produced martial arts film. Released August 19th, 1973, Enter The Dragon quickly raised Bruce Lee to the level of cult figure. In 2004, Enter The Dragon was judged to be culturally significant, and selected for preservation in The National Film Registry.

Since Enter The Dragon, Jim Kelly himself has become an American icon. He's known for a number of "Blaxploitation" movies including Melinda and Black Belt Jones.

Jim Kelly, at WonderCon SF to meet fans, stopped to talk about what he remembered about Bruce Lee and how society has changed for African Americans and Chinese Americans. Kelly says he met Lee while making the film, but "I was looking for him before that. In 1970, I was looking to train with him, so I went down to Chinatown and I couldn't find his school. But on the set, between shoots, we trained a lot together."

Kelly says that the cast of Enter The Dragon didn't know they were making a cult film; they were just looking to make a "very good film."

What Kelly remembers about Bruce Lee is they both "had similar struggles" being people of color in America. Race relations in the United States have changed so much from the 70s that a whole generation has grown up without an intimate knowledge of the culture then. Kelly says that Bruce Lee had "caught hell" in Hollywood because he was Chinese. "They didn't want him in Hollywood," Kelly said.

Kelly asserts that Kung Fu, the TV show that starred the late David Carradine, was "made for Bruce Lee." That claim is backed by Bruce Lee's widow Linda Lee Cadwell, who in her book Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew said Bruce Lee created the concept in 1971 for the series which was then stolen by Warner Bros.

Kelly says the writer of the series Kung Fu took the script to Bruce Lee and Lee wanted to do it. The writer, Kelly explains, went to the major studios, who loved the project and "Hey, everything's good. We just can't have a Chinese guy that starred in an American (film). So we gotta get a white guy and make him look half-Chinese. But we don't want Bruce because he's Chinese."

This part of our discussion was the source of some controversy on YouTube because of the generational lack of education on what is called institutional racism in America, especially during the 1970s and 1980s. The lack of desire to hear a discussion of a racial issue is complicated by the fact that the Warner Bros-studio-related explanations of why Bruce Lee was not selected for Kung Fu are watered down to remove any obvious concern about Bruce Lee as a Chinese American. Thus, we have two views: the Asian and progressive view and the white studio explanation.

Jim Kelly said Bruce Lee went to Hong Kong to get a "break" in the movies.

When asked if society had improved racially since Enter The Dragon, he says things have improved but not near where they should be "Not even close." But he thinks President Obama is the sign of a new period in the World where it has a new image of black men. In fact, Kelly's vote for Obama for President was the first one he ever cast in his life.

Jim Kelly closed our talk by explaining some people though he was dead. Obviously that's not the case. In fact, in 2006 Kelly starred with LeBron James in a Nike Commercial that was ultimately considered "blasphemous" and banned in China called Chamber of Fear. Here it is:

Yes, Jim Kelly's still with us and meeting his fans at conventions around the country. Hopefully, Quentin Tarrentino will find a way to get Jim Kelly into one of his movies.

Stay tuned.

Polish President plane crash kills 132 people - foul play?

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In what has been called "the worst tragedy in Poland’s post-war history", the World cries and prays for Poland after the stunning report of the crash of what has been described as an "aging" Polish Air Force Tupolev Tu-154 jet aircraft in Smolensk, Russia, killing Poland's 60-year-old President Lech Kaczynski and 132 others (the Huffington Post entry reporting 96 is inaccurate), including dignitaries of the Polish establishment.

Ironically, the Times Online UK reports the trip was to "commemorate the Soviet massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn forest seven decades ago."

The video below talks about President Kaczynski, his style, and his legacy:

The commentator said that "Poland took a political hit" because so many high officials were killed. According to the video description, the Governor of Smolensk said that there were no survivors and "the aircraft clipped the tops of the trees, crashed down and broke into pieces."

The airplane was approaching Smolensk-North airport in Russia.

President Kaczynsky
Lech Aleksander KaczyƄski, President of the Republic of Poland, was born on June 18, 1949. The President was an ally of the United States; President Obama said "Today's loss is devastating to Poland, to the United States, and to the world."

The reason for the crash, according to The Times Online UK, is that the pilot of the plane ignored warnings not to land in thick fog. The airplane's crew is described as "very experienced."

At this point, the "black boxes" that record critical flight data were just recovered from the crash and have not been analyzed.

President Lech Kaczynski did not have a great relationship with Russia.  Reportedly President  Kaczynski was attending the controversial event against the unofficial wishes of the Kremlin.

Stay tuned.

The Masters: Tiger Woods gets emotional on Saturday

After stating that he was working to be more centered and avoid highs and lows on the golf course, Tiger Woods showed more than a little emotion at The Maters today, Saturday. Woods had three bogeys in four hole by the 8th hole and as of this writing is facing an important put.

At the 6th hole, Woods showed more than a little emotion after a drive he didn't quite like. The CBS Sports camera and mic picked up Tiger Woods saying "Come on. Damnit! Tiger!" The CBS announcers noted that his step was quicker and he was more impatient because he was upset with his play on Satuday, after really playing well on Thursday and Friday.

It proves that Tiger Woods is only human. But it also says that perhaps Woods is battling with trying to overcompensate for the person he was, when he slept with the 14 mistresses, or whatever the count is now.

Tiger Woods now has his put at the 8th hole. And he made it. He's made birdie to stop the scoring slide and now sits at 6 under par. Tiger Woods has a long way to go, as he's said before. Lee Westwood's the leader at 10 under par right now.

Stay tuned.

NFL Draft: Zennie62 2010 Mock Draft Number One

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The 75th NFL Player Selection Meeting, or The NFL Draft, is April 22nd - April 24th in New York City, and for the first time in history is on a weekday night, Thursday. As of this writing, the St.Louis Rams have the first pick, followed by The Detroit Lions.

This new spotlight places a premium on NFL Teams getting the right player, especially with economic and labor concerns. This is a season without a salary cap, so this blogger thinks the NFL will be wary of picking players that will command a high dollar value and be more likely to hold out of camp. With that, here's's chance to play Mel Kiper with the first NFL Mock Draft of who each team should pick by need, the next Mock Draft will be what each team may do. For more information, visit's NFL Business Blog by Bill Chackhes.

In this Mock Draft some highlights are:

- The St. Louis Rams taking Ndamukong Suh, the Nebraska defensive tackle, and not Oklahoma Quarterback Sam Bradford. Really, taking Suh means you can pencil him in as a certain starter, where Bradford is not a player the Rams need and one they would have to develop.

- The Oakland Raiders picking a wide receiver, Florida's Dez Byrant, to make up for, push, and complement Darrius Haywood-Bey, who can only get better in 2010. Bryant would give the Raiders a passing attack that on paper can be one of the best, but the Raiders coaches have to make that a reality.

- The San Francisco 49ers draw a linebacker to complement Patrick Willis and a center that's so good he's ranked as a first rounder; you don't pass on them.

- Seattle's Pete Carroll takes one of his former USC players, Taylor Mays, to become the enforcer in the defensive secondary the Seahawks need.

Other developments have Cal's Jahvid Best going to the San Diego Chargers, which seems to be a scenario that could play out as Best could fall to The Chargers at number 27. Best is better and faster than Fresno State's Ryan Matthews. But Matthews is ranked higher by some draft services, and Best is ranked higher by other draft services.

The order is in pick number, team, player, and reason.

1. St. Louis - Ndamukong Suh, DT, Nebraska: The Rams ranked near the bottom in total defense in 2009, giving up an average of 30 points-per-game. Ndamukong Suh is a gamer and would complement DE Chris Long. Plus, he comes cheaper than a QB and as in 2006 would set the tone for the lower NFL Draft salary structure.

2. Detroit - Gerald McCoy, DT, Oklahoma: This is a clear need pick as Detroit had the worst defense in the NFL and drafted a QB in Matt Stafford. McCoy can be the player that improves their defense overnight.

3. Tampa Bay - Eric Barry, S, Tennessee: A case could be made for the offensive tackles, but passing Eric Barry just seems stupid. Plus, Tampa Bay's offensive problems are borne of a bad scheme more than player issues.

4. Washington - C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson: The Redskins are taking a look at quarterbacks, but selecting one when they have Jason Campbell, who just needs good coaching, is stupid. The Redskins are getting old at the other skill positions and need a fast, game-changer. Spiller, who runs a 4.27 40-yard-dash, can be that, and spell the aging Clinton Portis.

5. Kansas City - Joe Haden, CB, Florida: The Chiefs had one of the NFL's worst defenses and gave up 231.7 passing yards a game, and were not respectable against the. Haden is the pass defender the Chiefs need who can offer run support as well.

6. Seattle - Taylor Mays, S, USC: Pete Carroll's first pick of his first year back in the NFL. Carroll knows Mays and Taylor's wild combination of size and speed will give the Seahawks an enforcer in the secondary and stop teams from racking up 245 yard per game in the air.

7. Cleveland - Sam Bradford, QB, Qklahoma: Bradford would be perfect to sit behind Jake Delhomme and learn for about two years, before he's ready. The Cleveland Browns have entirely rebuilt their team already and the need in the draft is for defensive playmakers that can stop the run. But the DTs are gone and Bradford's too good to let drop down past the Browns.

8. Oakland - Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State: A make-up for Darrius Hayward-Bey? Yes. The Oakland Raiders do not have a deep-threat receiver who will consistently separate and catch the ball. Bryant may not have had a great pro-day, but get him on the field and he will do fine, perhaps on the order of Jerry Rice.

9. Buffalo - Russell Okung, OT, Oklahoma State: The Bills problems were scheme-based, not player-based. Oklahoma State's Okung will solidify the left side and remain their for 7 years.

10. Jacksonville - Derrick Morgan, DE, Georgia Tech: The Jacksonville Jaquars gave up 235.9 passing yards a game. Morgan would provide the speed pass-rush not unlike Dwight Freeney of the Indianapolis Colts.

11. Denver from Chicago - Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa: The Denver Broncos are in need of larger, better pass blockers and Bulaga is the perfect choice.

12. Miami - Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland: While some would argue for a linebacker here, the Dolphins also need an offensive lineman, and Campbell is ranked higher than Sergio Kindle.

14. San Francisco - Sergio Kindle, LB, Texas: The 49ers 3-4 needs this kind of active linebacker to complement Patrick Willis.

15. Seattle from Denver - Anthony Davis, OT, Rutgers: One of the Seahawks' needs is at Offensive Tackle where Walter Jones has been a star. Davis is said to have "character issues" but there's no one better than Seahawks' Head Coach Pete Carroll to work with him.

16. New York Giants - Earl Thomas, S, Texas: Called "young" but all of the players in the NFL Draft are. Thomas is a playmaker for a NY Giants team that needs a new safety who can play nickle-back. That's Thomas.

17. Tennessee - Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State: The Titans have openly stated they seek a cover cornerback and Kyle Wilson fits here.

18. San Francisco from Carolina - Maurkice Pouncey, C, Florida: When a center is ranked as high as Maurkice Pouncey appears, you don't pass on him because that's a rare event. He's a player that would make a good line great over time.

19. Pittsburgh - Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame: Aside from the character events, Ben Rothlisberger is not getting younger and won his Super Bowl ring. Clausen can be Pittsburgh's quarterback of the future and push Ben to play at an even higher level.

20. Atlanta - Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri: The Falcons have a number of defensive needs, but linebacker and defensive end are prominent. But Sean's an athlete and a team leader and a playmaker. The nasty streak some say he needs will come when he gets angry for being blocked in the NFL.

21. Houston - Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State: The Texans have tried to secure a deal with Cornerback Dunta Robinson, who's now with the Atlanta Falcons. That opens a need that Robinson can fill.

22. Cincinnati - Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma: The Bengals have a glaring need for a pass-catching, big and fast tight end and Jermaine Gresham is the best one on the board.

23. New England - Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida: One major problem with the New England Patriots in 2009 was their inability to effectively rush the passer from three-rush sets. Dunlap is a great player who can really help New England.

24. Green Bay - Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee: The Green Bay Packers could move the ball, but they could not stop other teams from starting what turns out to be a track meet. Tennessee's Williams is a run stopper the Packers need for their defensive line.

25. Philadelphia - Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida: The Eagles have drafted enough speedy players for their offense; the problem was always on defense, and they've lost playmakers. Jason Pierre-Paul is the elite defensive lineman that can help.

26. Baltimore - Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho: while the Ravens need a playmaking linebacker, a player as good as Mike Iupati must be taken if he falls to Baltimore, who's run-oriented offense can be helped by this physical blocker.

27. Arizona - Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech: Some would say the need is for offensive line, but Demaryius Thomas will help Arizona fill the void left by the loss of Anquan Boldin. Yes, they did well in the passing game in 2009, but Thomas falls here; Arizona should take the talented pass catcher.

28. Dallas - Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State: The Cowboys have are great at the edge of the defense, but a run-stopping defensive tackle and more line depth are needed. Penn State's Jared Odrick is perfect.

29. San Diego - Jahvid Best, RB, California: With the loss of LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles, the running back position takes priority. Jahvid Best is the speedster the Chargers have not seen, even with Sproles, who's more quick than fast. Best, being a Cal Football player, would also sell tickets in San Diego.

30. New York Jets - Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame: The perfect complement to the veteran playmaker Braylon Edwards, Tate can come in, work with Jets QB Matt Sanchez, and form a threatening passing attack.

31. Minnesota - Charles Brown, OT, USC: The Vikings one need is depth at the offensive line and Charles Brown, one of the best tackles available and best NFL Draft players, can provide that and challenge for a starting role.

32. Indianapolis - Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers: The Colts really need an enforcer in the secondary but even more a shut-down cornerback. Devin McCourty led Rutgers in pass breakups, and may be good enough to land a starting job with the Colts.

33. New Orleans - Chris Cook, CB, Virginia: When New Orleans lost games, or came close to being beaten, their defensive secondary was the problem. Like Indianapolis, New Orleans lacks a shut-down cornerback and ranked 22nd against the pass in 2010. Cook could play close to that level, and perhaps evolve into one.

Again, the next Mock Draft will focus on what teams will do, versus need.

Stay tuned.