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The Kashmir Valley is a long patch of flat, fertile land encircled by a vast expanse of snow capped mountains. The valley rests in a northern corner of India with Pakistan to the north and the west. while India To get a better grasp of the geography, picture an elongated bowl. The sides are Kashmir‘s Himalayas and the flat bottom is the valley. With the exception of the few that prefer life in the beautifully rugged mountains, most of Kashmir’s five million or so residents call the low lying valley their home. Ice cold lakes, rivers, and streams wind through rice paddies and orchards of apricots and apples. In addition to the streams fed by melting snow, violence has flowed into the valley over the past 23 years. It has been scarring.
Welcome to Baramulla, Kashmir
The town of Baramulla in tucked in between the mountains at the western edge of the valley. Since it’s only about 50 miles away from Pakistan, it makes sense that Baramulla is one of the areas most badly affected by the internationally sponsored insurgency that defines the Kashmir’s past two decades.
In just a few short days, Alan Maman will be dropping his sixth mixtape, the highly-anticipated Russian Roulette under his moniker The Alchemist.
Maman is a 34-year-old producer/rapper who rose to fame in the late 90′s working with Mobb Deep and with Eminem in the early 2000s. Ever since the departure of DJ Green Lantern, he has been Shady’s official DJ. He did Covert Coup with Curren$y and has upcoming releases with Action Bronson, Kool G Rap, and Freddie Gibbs.
Nowadays African-American players constitute a majority in the NFL. However, the one position on the field that remains heavily under-represented by the black playing population is the quarterback position. There are a plethora of reasons why this is the case. As young players, few black players hone their skills as quarterbacks. Those that do and manage to end up under the NFL scouting radar are often funneled to other positions on the field. Over the course of the NFL’s history, several quarterbacks broke such barriers and pursued notable NFL careers with surprisingly little more expected of them than respectable winning percentages. Passing of course was optional. Then came the infamous Jamarcus Russell. The worst…person…ever. Thanks to his unforgivable antics, mediocrity is no longer acceptable for the black quarterback. Michael Vick experienced this status quo adjustment when he returned to the league and suddenly faced immense pressure to become a pocket passer on top of being arguably the best running quarterback to ever play in the NFL. Times just aren’t the same. The fact of the matter is that in this day age, in the post Jamarcus Russell era, a black quarterback must be virtually flawless in order to take consistent snaps as an NFL offense’s leader.
Below are the bare minimum guidelines that today’s black quarterback must follow to keep a starting job:
1: You must be black:
2: You must be a runner:
One cannot be an immobile black quarterback. If a black QB can’t run, he better learn. This expectation here is nothing new.
3: You must be a superior passer:
Most black quarterbacks who have played in the NFL have been prolific runners. But now an incoming black QB has to be both a dominant runner and a superb passer (preferably among league leaders in passing yards if not passer rating). In a few exceptions, a player might be able to get away with being a great passer without rushing much i.e. Josh Freeman. However, a strictly pass-first black quarterback like him has little room for error: in a recent example, Tavaris Jackson had a decent passing season in 2011 but will still get his ass benched in the upcoming season. Sad, considering that he is actually a really good runner that simply chooses not to do so.
4: Elite Athleticism and Resiliency are highly recommended:
Referees subconsciously expect black quarterbacks to be extremely athletic. Considering what they’ve seen who can blame them? Roughing the passer and late hit calls are anomalous.
5: Winning will not save your job:
Winning is not enough. Vince Young, for example, had a good winning percentage as a starting quarterback. However, his deficiencies in guidelines two and three were enough to deem him a backup for life.
6: You will never win a Superbowl:
Doug Williams won Superbowl XXVII MVP. Twenty years later, Steve McNair missed the his opportunity to earn the same honor by less than one yard…In a completely unjustified claim, it sure smelled like the birth of a curse…
7: Learn to Catch
Upon failing to meet some of the other guidelines in NFL preseason camp, a black quarterback is almost always given a chance to play receiver. Not stepping up to this challenge will get him kicked out of the league before their first regular season game.
8: Try not to be too “black.”
Some truth hurts.
Many lists of “must-watch summer shows” will recommend Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, forgetting that summer is really about escape. Take a break from trying to figure out the meaning of Louie and try something a little more mindless.
Yes, we’re blogging about Justin Bieber…
Say what you will about him, but hating on this kid is a classic example of “don’t hate the player, hate the game.” Indeed, many complaints against Bieber lie simply in the nature of his work, when in reality, he’s just a young, talented pop star.
Kashmir, tucked into the Himalayas at the northern tip of India, has changed remarkably. This seems to be the broad consensus in Srinagar, the state’s summer capital. Violent incidents such as shootings and riots are less frequent in this pristine Himalayan neighborhood. The city is expecting the largest tourist season in recent years. People who fled the painful militancy that has plagued the region for more than 20 years are finally returning to their homes. “Ten years ago you would walk down the street and see only long, depressed faces but people actually seem happy now” and “I have hope for my business, I am not afraid of violence shutting down my shops anymore” are statements you now hear from Kashmiris. Read more…