WTF, 1/28… IDGAF has two meanings…


I was just about to say IDGAF about a lot of stuff this week… but… then I found out… damn it… IDGAF… it’s simply the difference of two letters… don’t and do… I chose the latter “D” when it all came down to it. So, let’s get down to this weeks WTF now…


joe11) In Sunday’s NYDN, I saw this… “(For) the first time in nearly 40 years, Joseph Sledge woke up behind bars with a chance of becoming a free man.”

Sledge is a 70-year-old man and he “… needed one more win at an innocence hearing.” So, on Friday (1/23), three judges listened to Sledge’s legal representation state the case about how Sledge was wrongfully convicted in the 1976 stabbing deaths of a mother and her adult daughter.

A few hours later, his belongings in plastic bags, Sledge walked out of a North Carolina and went about doing what for most folks was an everyday occurrence… he went home… to sleep in a real bed… his bed.

The three judges all voted that Sledge was innocent of being a murderer and ordered him to be a free man.

But four years ago his freedom was almost a lost cause. His attorney who took Sledge’s case in 2004… by 2012.. felt like she had nowhere else to turn and considered telling Sledge it was hopeless.

Joseph Sledge then...
Joseph Sledge then…

But, at that time, either by happenstance or divine intervention… your choice… court clerks cleaning out a storage area discovered on a high shelf an envelope of evidence. That envelope held hair that had been found on the victim and was believed to be the attacker’s. That hair was also key to Sledge’s proof of his innocence. During Sledge’s trial in1978 DNA testing was not really a reality… in 2012 it was.

DNA tests proved the hair was not Sledge’s
In 2013, the case was referred to the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, the only state-run investigative agency of its kind. The commission said there was enough evidence of Sledge’s innocence to refer it to a state Supreme Court appointed panel of three judges who would decide on whether Sledge deserved freedom or continued incarceration.

Based on a DNA expert’s testimony that said none of the evidence collected from the scene… hair, DNA and fingerprints… belonged to Sledge.

Plus , a key informant also recanted his testimony when in 2013 he said he lied at the Sledge’s original trial after he was promised leniency in his own drug case and that he said he’d been told by authorities what he should say at Sledge’s trial.

After 40 some years or so Sledge was freed from what was a life sentence on a conviction of two counts of second-degree murder. A life sentence that was gotten by lies and subterfuge because some “Authorities” wanted or needed a concoction to close a case.

Joseph Sledge now...
Joseph Sledge now…

So, who pays Sledge back… and I’m not talking about money… for what he has lost? How do you pay a man back his time lost? How do you pay him back his stolen youth? How do you return that which was illegally and unethically stolen… his life… from him? How do you return a man to a sentence of life on the outside after having had to serve life sentence of being jailed behind cement walls surrounded by razor wire and steel?

Who is held responsible for that crime committed against Mr. Sledge now that it has been proven he had never committed a crime?

Someone got an answer for Mr. Sledge? And someone got some way to give back the ungivable?

2) Some guy who is really into blogs raised more than $637,000 to send some kids on field trips to Harvard from some middle school in what I gather is a hardscrabble tough assed Brooklyn neighborhood. And, he did it in three days.

But that’s not why I bring this up…

First… here’s the back story… Humans of New York blogger Brandon Stanton met Mott Hall Bridges Academy eighth-grader Vidal Chastanet whilst he was on a picture taking trip around Brownsville. Now, it seems Stanton, has a photo blog which has more than 8 million followers, so, in some circles it is safe to say he is a notable personage. Any way… he took Chastanet’s pic and then asked the kid who he saw as the biggest influence in his life… that most influenced his life.

And, this is why I brought up this entire deal…

The kid said, “My principal, Ms. Lopez.  (Because) When we get in trouble, she doesn’t suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built.”

Principal Nadia Lopez
Principal Nadia Lopez

So, impressed was Stanton that he sought out Nadia L. Lopez, principal and founder of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, and between he two of them they came up with the idea of a fund-raiser to pay for the annual visits to a college like Harvard. Lopez estimates it woudl take about $40,000 to send Academy’s the sixth-grade class of about 70 students on a visit to Harvard. She says, “They need to see for themselves that they should never think they’re not good enough for a school like Harvard.”

So, Stanton created a post on Thursday (1/22) to try to raise the money on the Internet fund-raising site Indiegogo. The goal was $100,000. In  a day, they had raised over $200,000. As of Sunday (1/25), they had reached the $637,000 plus mark. And, that’s more than enough money to make the Academy’s annual field trips to Harvard a fixture for years to come.

From that single post came multiple millions of views and multiple donations that, at last count, was over the 630,000 dollar count. Guess quite a few folks got touched by what Ms. Lopez has done did with the kids she tries to teach and maybe instill some self responsibility, eh?

Vidal Chastanet said to the NYDN that “(Principal Lopez) tells us that we matter. And, if, she thinks that we matter, then we should feel the same.”

Because a person thought enough about some kids to care, and, impressed a kid enough that he told someone who cared in return… cared enough to ask for some help from the internet and then folks replied… replied because they got touched by a angel… an angel called Ms. Nadia Lopez from Crown Heights who brought her talents and caring to come together in Brownsville…

3) Last week NBC Nightly News anchorman Brian Williams came on the air and said, “We inadvertently showed an offensive image on a T-shirt during one of our reports tonight. We apologize to our viewers.”

Why the apology… seems New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman was being interviewed and he was wearing a “Trust Nobody” shirt by Urban Outfitters that shows the rapper Tupac giving a double bird gesture…


So, for a fleeting moment or two or three or four or more… there it was in living color on the NBC airwaves… and I watched and then I laughed my ass off when I heard Brian’s apology because I realized what I had thought I had saw, really was what I had seen…

4) If ya’ll haven’t heard about the Deflategate controversy by now then either there is no hope for ya’ll that you are a cognitive soul, or, ya’ll been living in a hole on the dark side of the moon.

The media has certainly made it that big of a pre-Super Bowl moment.

And, it seems lots of peeps have an opinion about whether the Patriots, Coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady et. al. cheated in their AFL Conference Championship lambasting of the Carolina Panthers by letting some air out of the footballs they used so the QB… aka Tom Brady… would have an advantage when he threw the ball.

Ho hummmmm…

However… one dude seems to have a really big opinion on the matter… Former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney, who was with Carolina when the Panthers lost, 32-29, to New England in SB XXXVIII.

Marty Hurney
Marty Hurney

Hurney, now hosts a radio talk show in Charlotte and is an ESPN NFL Insider, and he says “There isn’t a day that goes by since that I haven’t questioned … that there were some things done that might have been beyond the rules that may have given them a three-point advantage. And, I can’t prove anything, and that’s why I’m very angry. And, the anger has come back over the last couple of days that commissioner Roger Goodell decided to shred all of the evidence after Spygate because I think there were a lot of things in there that would bring closure to a lot of people.”

FYI: In 2007, it was revealed the Patriots were caught illegally taping sideline defensive signals from Jets coaches during the team’s season opener. The NFL sanctioned the Patriots for that violation of NFL protocol.

Hurney continued on down his thorny path of resentment… “There are people who swear to me that the Patriots taped our practice down in Houston during Super Bowl week. I can’t prove it. I don’t know. And I hate talking like this because I feel like a bad loser, but it just gnaws at you and this latest incident brings it back up.”

Ya know what… Mr. Hurney really does need to STFU… Why? Because he does sound like a bad loser. In fact, he sounds like a little pissant whimpering crying dickwad of a loser. SB XXXVIII was when? February 1, 2004. Time to get over it and move on with your life.

That’s my take on the entire issue.

And, for the record… I am a NY Jets fan… been a Jets fan since they were the NY Titans…. circa 1959… That’s a while back… I was royally pissed off when Belichick wrote his little prissy note resigning from his few hours’ tenure as the Jets head coach to go coach the enemy Patriots. Really ticked me off.

And… I never root for any team from the Boston area. And, the Pats are right up there with the Red Sox for teams that I really despise. Seriously… I despise them.

So, in no way shape or from am I biased for the Patriots.

And??? About this Deflategate crap? IDGAF! And, that’s IDGAF with a “don’t and not a “do”…

Mona Lisa Vito
Mona Lisa Vito

Unless someone has Mona Lisa Vito dead on balls accurate proof that anyone did anything to anybody’s balls… football, human, or, other wise… can we just drop the entire issue? And, move on?

I mean… no one is talking the Packers Seahawks game? Really???!!!! Pleasssseeeee…

Hurney and a whole host of other folks need to get some lifes and just stop hating for the sake of hating and admit the Patriots kicked some Carolina ass… royally kicked it.

Sorry… but that’s what really happened.

5) Last month, it was learned that the IRS was selling the deferred salary that the NY Mets still owe Darryl Strawberry to cover his unpaid taxes. Roughly $1.28 million in deferred salary, to be paid out in 223 monthly installments, was auctioned off.

Well, it got bid on and someone forked over $1.3 million for the rights to that salary. Now they will, in effect, have an annuity that pays them $8,891.82 per month for the next 18 1/2 years. Which makes the value of the annuity… I mean the deferred payments about $2 mil.

So… some quick math… I didn’t do it; someone else did….  based on the present value of the deferred money… $1.3 million sale price… the rate of return for the winning bidder is about 5%.

Now for those who need to know… and btw, get over the damn ADD or whatever it is ya’ll got already… they got pills for that now, ya know… but any way…


Court documents show Strawberry failed to pay $542,572 in taxes from 1987-90 plus another $80,000 from 2003-04. That’s a total of $622,572 in back taxes. The IRS auctioned off the deferred part of the his Mets contract… The total value of the contract, which covered his 1985 through 1990 seasons, was $7.1 million, but nearly 40 percent of his $1.8 million team option in 1990 ($700,000) was deferred and put into an annuity with a 5.1 percent interest rate.

So, the dude, after making his  accountant crunch some numbers said… hmmm.. nice  little guaranteed chunk of change here…. and… the dude gets to say the freaking Mets… a MLB club… are paying him.

Now, how cool is that? Ya know, it really must be nice to be well off, if, not rich.

6) Seems this is my biggest sports edition ever for WTF… another tidbit…

It’s a poorly kept secret that Dallas Cowboys’ fans are still pissed about the Dez Bryant catch-that-wasn’t. But, one fan is sorta kinda taking it to an entirely new and unthought-of level when according to he filed a lawsuit against the NFL for nearly $89 billion for the overturning of Bryant’s fourth quarter catch against the Packers in the NFC divisional game. cowboys-lawsuit-nfl-564x700

One extra little added point of interest is that the person bringing suit is one Terry Hendrix, who just happens to an inmate at Fremont Correctional Facility in Cañon City, Colorado. Hendrix filed a hand written lawsuit that reportedly is seeking $88,987,654,321.88 in damages “for but not limited to: negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and also reckless disregard.” Named in the suit are NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino, referee Gene Steratore and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

If, the lawsuit against the NFL were to be won, the amount won would be spread evenly among the 26.4 million people who currently live in Texas. That would amount to $3,364.60 each.

Just wanna go on record here and say that I hope no one in Texas is counting on that money reaching anyone’s bank accounts because that lawsuit being heard before a judge in a courtroom are very slim to next to none. Or… It ain’t gonna happen.

7) Just my week for sports I reckon…

In his impromptu press conference on Saturday (1/24), New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick gave a fairly detailed scientific albeit convoluted explanation about hot the team goes about preparing the footballs for game day…

“We simulated a game-day situation, in terms of the preparation of the footballs, and where the footballs were at various points in time during the day or night. … I would say that our preparation process for the footballs is what we do… I can’t speak for anybody else… and that process raises the PSI approximately one pound. That process of creating a tackiness, a texture — a right feel, whatever that feel is, whatever that feel is. It’s a sensation for the quarterback. What’s the right feel — that process elevates the PSI one pound, based on what our study showed. Which was multiple balls, multiple examples in the process, as we would do for a game.” Nye with air pump & inflation needle

And, another guy named Bill essentially said that what Belichick said is a bunch of poppycock… hogwash… or… simply put… it ain’t true. Bill Nye…aka the Science Guy… went on Good Morning America to talk about Belichick’s words and said that the only way to change the pressure of a football is by using an inflation needle.

However, Nye also said, “Go Seahawks!”

So… maybe… Bill Nye himself might be just be a tad on the biased side of opinionating here? Maybe?

8) Pope Frankie gave another of his homilies in which this time he admonished folks to back away from all the social media that inundates their lives and try having a face to face sit-down and actual talk with one another. Pope Frankie said, “The great challenge facing us today is to learn once again how to talk to one another, not simply how to generate and consume information.” Pope Francis

The Pope said that while stuff like cell phones, the Internet and other social media forms can increase communications; it can also bring about a confluence of events that allows peeps, especially family, to grow apart… to actual avoid one another. The pope added that personal contact by talking face to face allows people to work out problems in real time. Plus, when we actually meet with folks on a personal real level with real human contact, children see and experience the interpersonal contact and they learn how to communicate, and how to deal with people in a more sincere and effective manner. As the Pope says, “A perfect family does not exist. We should not be fearful of imperfections, weaknesses or even conflict…But rather learn how to deal with them constructively.”

I don’t know why but this song just came to my mind when I read this piece about the Pope…

Turn off your mind, relax
And float down stream
It is not dying
It is not dying

Lay down all thought
Surrender to the void
It is shining
It is shining

That you may see
The meaning of within
It is being
It is being

That love is all
And love is everyone
It is knowing
It is knowing

That ignorance and hate
May mourn the dead
It is believing
It is believing

But listen to the
Color of your dreams
It is not living
It is not living

Or play the game
Existence to the end
Of the beginning
Of the beginning

Of the beginning
Of the beginning
Of the beginning
Of the beginning
Of the beginning

(Songwriters: John Lennon/Paul McCartney; Published by Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC)

9) Antonio Ciccarello was stabbed as he walked to work in NYC’s Lower East Side in the late 1950s… but it took more than five decades for him to die from his wound.

That’s what the city’s medical examiner ruled… that the 97-year-old man’s death stemmed from injuries he suffered in that long-ago knifing. And that’s what an ongoing police investigation is… welll… investigating.

A family member said that Ciccarello was on his way to work when someone jumped him from behind. Ciccarello ran away, but was hurting real bad… so bad that he went to a hospital. He then found out that he had been stabbed. Fearing internal bleeding, the doctors operated on him, leaving him with a scar on his belly that he had for the rest of his life… plus internal injuries that inadvertently led to his death. At least according to the city ME they did.

Ciccarello death certificate
Ciccarello death certificate

Last year, Ciccarello was told he needed an operation for a hernia, but, because of his age the senior opted against it, his daughter recalled. He accepted the fact that he might wind up in a funeral home… he wound up in a morgue. Family have been told that the hernia may have been caused by the assault.

And, detectives are actively investigating Ciccarello’s death, which was first reported in The New York Times. Which, when all is said and done, is probably an investigation that will accomplish very little to nothing… because it’s been so long, even if it was something that happened in the long ago attack that caused his death, the person that perpetrated the attack is more than likely long gone…. long gone…  like dust to dust gone.

But… Ciccarello isn’t the only person whose death after a decades-old attack has the attention of homicide detectives.

Harlem resident Andre Johnson, 54, died of a seizure last June.

And, the city’s medical examiner determined the seizure stemmed from a head wound he suffered 25 years earlier during a brazen afternoon shooting on Seventh Ave. and W. 114th St.

Police believe the shooting stemmed from a drug turf war in the area. The person who committed the shooting was arrested and convicted, but can’t be charged in Johnson’s death. He died in prison.

But, While the shooting may be a lot clearer than the mugging and the stabbing… it still leaves me feeling a bit weirded out about the situation that a person could wind up being charged with murder about 25 to 50 years after the fact… just kinda gives me the willies that somehow this could be used against someone in a very wrongful manner and maybe a bit unethically. Just… I don’t know… just kind of Dostoevsky-esque or maybe some kind of Poe story in the making… ya know?

10) Chuckle time…










This week’s gratuitous pictures…













Jessica Hart (28) is an Australian model…


























Another thousand words…


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  1. Great as always. That Belichick press conference was unintentionally hilarious, and besides the comments about balls, the biggest laugh I got was from the Mona Lisa Vito comment.

    As a Brooklynite, Brownsville is pretty rough. I don’t live in the neighborhood, but I’m pretty close by and the area has come a long way from what I remember it to be as a kid back in the 1980’s but it’s still a neighborhood full of projects and low income housing. So anyone that can help kids out of that is an angel. For real.

  2. Joe,

    You seem to have the sweet touch on the keys with this post. With all the important topics you mention, I can only agree with you on the relative unimportance of DeflateGate. And whether a Lions fan feels as badly about a lousy call against them in the Cowboys playoff game as a Cowboys fan feels about a similar type of bad call against them in the Packers playoff game doesn’t compute when compared to improving the quality of life for some school children or a falsely incarcerated man.

    I have an Italian friend who once characterized people in the United States: “They will be concerned about the frozen peas in the fridge while the house is burning down around them.”

  3. The only places I have ever been (that I can recall anyway) in Brooklyn are Coney Island, Peter Lugers Steakhouse and a friend’s apartment on Henry Street… but I’ve heard Brownsville can be pretty damn tough. So, I agree anyone that can help kids out of that is an angel.

  4. I don’t know about no frozen peas but if I got time I do have two 2-inch thick prime rib steaks in my freezer I might try and make sure I grab as I’m trucking my butt out of any blazing inferno… 😉

  5. You should see more of Brooklyn, Joe. It’s pretty chic now. I’m sure it was a place to avoid for a good part of your life but now there’s a lot going on out here. Problem is it’s pricing natives out, but that’s a complaint for another day.

  6. Money is gonna be better after April so maybe I will take a few day trips out there and check it out. Besides, I do have to hit the Barclays Center one these days, anyway.

  7. Barclays is nice. Cramped but nice. Also prepare to spend $10 to $11 on beer (or more if you want a mixed drink). You might want to get liquored up before heading over.

    Friendly reminder.

  8. How much are sodas? I haven’t had anything stronger than root beer since about 1990 or so. Still, that is ridiculous for a beer because while I may not drink, I still have booze for friends, and, if I have a party or picnic I can go buy a 6 pack of Brooklyn Lager for about $9.00.

  9. To be honest I don’t know. Haven’t bought a non alcoholic drink at an event since I was 20 years old.

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