Starting with a clean slate

By Gary Norris Gray, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: January 7, 2011

CALIFORNIA (BASN) — As we turn to another decade, many special sporting events have occurred and many more will make history.

America still has its first African American president at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The San Francisco Giants pitching staff surprised the world this past fall by beating the upstart Texas Rangers and their manager Ron Washington for the World Series.

NASCAR crowned Jimmy Johnson its Champion for the fifth time, while Tiger Woods did not win a single Tournament in 2010 and in the process lost his number one ranking on the PGA tour.

Here are some of the things we’d like to see in 2011

Can Heisman Trophy winner, Auburn’s Cam Newton, lead his team to the national title? Here’s hoping that Newton can finish the job by defeating the Oregon Ducks on Monday night. We has hope he’ll be the No. 1 drafted quarterback in the NFL Draft this spring.

— With the recent firings of head coaches in the NFL and NCAA, one would think this would be an opportunity to reflect the comparative numbers of head coaches to the number of African American players on the football field. Here’s hoping that former head coaches like Randy Shannon, Tyrone Winningham, and Dennis Green get a another chance to instruct young African Americans that education is more important than football.

— Here’s hoping that the Tony Dungy coaching tree continues to show the NFL how good they really are. Leading the way with Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, Indy’s Jim Caldwell, and Chicago’s Lovie Smith. All three are in the playoffs this year while Tampa’s Raheem Morris just missed the playoffs by one game and Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier begins his rebuilding project.

— Here’s hoping that Wishing Philadelphia Eagle star quarterback Michael Vick will finally get vindication, be allowed to be the best player in the NFL, and guide the Green Birds to the Super Bowl. — We’re wishing that the Madison Square Garden walls would rock like they did when the Rangers and Knicks won titles with the crowd yelling defense.

Both teams are off to a good start the first half of the season — Wishing that the Jets christen the new Meadowlands Park in New Jersey with another Championship like in 1969. Gang Green has resurrected the longtime argument of which is the better football team in the New York-New Jersey area. The Giants’ season once again came to a screeching halt.

— Wishing that NBA Head Coaches Byron Scott, Avery Johnson, and Keith Smart guide their woeful teams to respect and accountability. — Wishing more Goal Brothers, (currently 29) join the National Hockey League to improve the league’s speed, power, and grace to the greatest game in America. The Atlanta Thrashers now have seven goal brothers and are making a run at Washington and Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division. Atlanta made a historical NHL moment being the first all Black Line to score a Goal in 2010. Maybe the Thrashers could make the Stanley Cup Finals and cement Dustin Byufglien’s legacy in hockey lore — Wishing that the only two African American managers in big league baseball — Ron Washington and Dusty Baker — have another stellar year. Major League Baseball has not come through on the promise to infuse and recruit more African Americans on the baseball diamonds — Here’s hoping that “The Heatles” (i.e., LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade) and rest of the Miami Heat throw off the media buzz and over expectations to battle Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA Title — We hope MLB would finally come to their collective senses and retire No. 21 in memory of the late great Latin outfielder Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Clemente brought their players struggles to the attention of MLB. Just as Jackie Robinson fought for African American players rights in the 1940’s and 1950’s — We also hope MLB moves the 2011 All Star Game from the state of Arizona because of last year’s passing of an archaic and racial profiling immigration law. As Spike Lee stated many times Major League Baseball should DO THE RIGHT THING — Here’s wishing that the fight of the decade — Manny Pacquaio vs. Floyd Mayweather — in a title match in 2011. This match should end this controversy as to who is the best boxer in the world. Many boxing fans want to have this historic fight but it may not happen with Pacquaio’s political aspirations and Mayweather’s legal battles.

— There is a distinct possibility that there could be three strikes in major league sports. The NFL could lockout their players in the spring of 2011.

The NBA is in a current labor dispute and MLB may not start their season in April. We’re wishing that all three sports come to an agreement and complete their seasons.

— Just as last year, we wishing the NFL and MLB would force the change of Washington’s Football Club name and the logo of the Cleveland Indians. This will show the world that we are truly changing the racial mindset of the United States.

Let the sports world respect our First Nation or Native American Brothers and Sisters by removing these names and logos. This would be the first step in racial unity in the United States.

— The final wish like last year to give college student athletes a monthly stipend for playing for their respective schools. If a college football or basketball head coach can receive a shoe, clothing, and other million dollar endorsements, including a million dollar salary.

The student-athlete should also benefit and not starve, especially on Sunday nights when most schools do not serve dinner on campus. What the University of Michigan perpetrated on Chris Webber and many other athletes using their uniforms and their likeness is a complete disgrace. Is this fair or right?

There you have it!! Will you join me in making some of these wishes come true. You can also send us your sports wish list for the New Year as well at

Finally, wishing all of the readers of BASN to have a safe and healthy New Year.

And remember you are always welcomed at the Gray Leopard Cove on Saturday afternoons at 1 p.m. PT (4 p.m. ET) on