semipro~

Before Captain America, Robert “Evel” Knievel was the guy we went to for crazy shenanigans while dressed like a flag. During his career as a professional stunt performer, Knievel attempted 75 bike jumps over buses, canyons, pits full of rattlesnakes, and literal shark tanks

Where did he get the balls to do it? He probably stole them.

Before making it as a stuntman, Knievel was a career criminal. Among other things, he was responsible for a massive, interstate burglary spree across Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. After scaling their walls, Knievel would cut a hole in the roof of his target establishment, lower himself down on a rope Mission Impossible-style, and then rob them blind.

Then after a brief, failed stint as a poacher/illegal hunting guide in Yellowstone Park, Knievel switched sides and successfully lobbied the U.S. government to allow people to hunt the Park’s excess elk population, which up until then was just slaughtered and left to rot.

Not content with the most diverse resume this side of Jamie Hyneman, Knievel also started a semipro hockey team.

4 Celebrities Who Downplayed Secretly Awesome Backstories

Toni Stone (1922-1966) was a famous baseball player during the 1950s, one of the first three women to play in the so-called Negro league. She began playing the game at the age of ten, and at fifteen she joined a men’s semipro team called the St. Paul Giants.

Her career officially began in 1949 when she joined the San Francisco Sea Lions. As the first female player in the Negro Leagues, she encountered great stigma and difficulty: most of her male colleagues shunned her, and she was never allowed to change in the locker room before games. She was inducted in the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.

Wallace Berman     Cover for Jack Hirschman’s Book of Poetry, “Black Alephs”      1969


I ran down the street and into the house smelled
of oregano and shook Mickey Monaco, said
C'mon, Balaban’s got a breadloaf
climbing over old Gruber’s fence, he thinks
the mad dogs is doves.

But Mickey grew up in the bed till he was too old
and besides Balaban was crazy, he sucked
his tongue and got left back twice.

So I ran to Joey Bellino’s house but his mother’s
black stocking said Joey was out early shoe
shining. And besides a, that Balaban he’s a
crazy a kid, he suck a the tongue and Joey says
he get lefback three times.

So I banged on Bitsy Beller’s window yelled he was
near the top, the mad dogs waiting down
below he thinks is doves.

But when Bitsy stood up he turned into a stiff
cue stick. And didn’t want nothing to do
with nobody cracked upstairs.
And Dickie Miller became a semipro. And Howie Fish
a doctor. So I ran down the street full of hope

by myself because I was on fire. But I got there
too late for Balaban. Two of them had a stretch
of skin between their teeth fighting over it,

and the foam of their mouths and Balaban’s blood
spattered in such a way, the most the greatest
picture looked me straight in the eye, made me
sit in the gutter and cry,

and when I got up vow to be
Balaban from that day on

–Jack Hirschman, “Balaban,” from “Black Alephs”  1969

3

If you have a disability in the U.S., you’re twice as likely to be poor as someone without a disability. You’re also far more likely to be unemployed. And that gap has widened in the 25 years since the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted.

“Every man, woman and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality, independence and freedom,” President George H.W. Bush said when he signed the bill into law on July 26, 1990.

The ADA banned discrimination based on disability and was intended to ensure equal opportunity in employment — as well as government services and public accommodations, commercial facilities and public transportation.

But it hasn’t always worked that way, especially when it comes to expanding economic opportunity for the 58 million Americans with physical and mental disabilities.

You just have to look at what 27-year-old Emeka Nnaka of Tulsa, Okla., goes through on an average day to understand some of the reasons why.

Six years ago, Nnaka was playing semipro football for the Oklahoma Thunder when he went to make a tackle and broke his neck. He was paralyzed from his chest down. Today, Nnaka gets around in a motorized wheelchair, and has limited use of his hands.

But he still has big dreams. He plans to finish his undergraduate education this summer and start working on a master’s degree in human relations. He wants to become a licensed counselor, and hopes someday to have a home and a family he can support.

Why Disability And Poverty Still Go Hand In Hand 25 Years After Landmark Law

Photos: Kenneth M. Ruggiano for NPR

anonymous asked:

By now you have worked with everyone and seen it all in comics...has it made it harder for you to be impressed by the work of your peers, pro and semipro? Have you lost your tolerance for mid-level or beginner comic work?

oh god no.  opposite. first of all i have not worked with everyone and i haven’t seen it all. best part of this gig is that you do not know what tomorrow will bring, even under contract, even with the gigs guaranteed.  every day is a new creative challenge,  you discover new things about yourself, your collaborators, the audience…

and i LOVE discovering new voices. LOVE IT!

and when those new voices blow up when you’re working with them?  the best!