Super Bowl XIII Black Santa Claus and his merry men

CBS/NFL studio host James Brown was on the front page of the sports section in the Washington Post on Tuesday he was advertised as the Black Santa? I found the title totally disrespectful. I found nothing in the story mentioning anything about Christmas! He is on the verge of hosting his 9th Super Bowl which is a hell of an accomplishment for a local boy that made good in sports media.

The story made me look back and say “Why not me?” I went back to my archives to do some research and quickly discovered why it was not me. I didn’t play the game.

In 1974 the Washington Star Sports columnist the late J. D. Beathea wrote a column titled, “Harold Bell.” In the first paragraph he writes, ‘Harold Bell is the only black guy living in America who grew up in a ghetto in real poverty, but still never learned to ‘Play the Game’, that great American past time. Everyone plays the game to some degree that is what success is all about. Playing the Game, being alternately malleable assertive with the right people at the right time, Bell never learned. If he had, given his drive and single mindfulness, he would have been dangerous.”

J. D. got it right to some extent, I knew how to play the game but I refuse to play it because if it was not going to help my people I was not playing. Too many of my ancestors died trying to make me a free black man in America. They were hung by their necks, homes set on fire, their children were sold to racist white slave owners and their wives were raped and killed just for the fun of it. I have never been into success at any cost for example, by way of stepping on others to get to the next level, lying and cheating, using alcohol and drugs to go along to get along, despite me beating those odds I am still flawed!

In 2019 We are surrounded by that same plantation mentality. It will be on display at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta on Sunday with James Brown in the broadcast booth pretending he is down with the struggle of the black community.

He is “The Chosen One” don’t expect him to write a commentary asking the question, why are there no black American NFL owners and only 2 black coaches, and why are the players being treated like slaves by the owners?

January 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the NY Jets beating the Baltimore Colts in the biggest upset ever in professional football. Why is there is no mention of why the great DB and co-captain Johnny Sample with his outstanding play in that game is a good case that he should have been named the MVP. And why despite his one of a kind NFL contributions why is he not in the NFL Hall of Fame? His pro football resume matches that of his teammate and co-captain Joe Namath or any other DB in the hall. Johnny Sample, Roy Jefferson, Jim Brown, Sonny Hill, Willie Wood and JB Brown (NFL Roundtable)

James Brown is well aware of Johnny’s pro football history. I know for a fact he is a personal and old friend of Johnny’s daughter, Evelyn. In 1995 when Mike Tyson was defending his title against Buster Mathis in Philadelphia I found her visiting him in his hotel room. There was nothing suspicious or alarming about her visit he was expecting me. I know for a fact she is leading a campaign to get her father inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame but she has hit a brick wall—where is James Brown and the Philly connection, Sonny Hill (basketball legend and talk show host) and Stephen A. Smith (ESPN) they should be leading the charge.

Smith comes out of the same bag as James and Michael Wilbon, if they are moving their lips they are lying. When our college Coach Clarence Bighouse Gaines of Winston-Salem State was having a difficult time winning games at the end of his career Stephen A. Smith called for the Chancellor to fire him. He has the nerve to be on the Winston-Salem State website talking about how much he loved Bighouse!

I remember leading a similar campaign to get native Washingtonian and Green Bay Packer great Willie Wood inducted in the NFL Hall of Fame. It was the late 80s after he was blackballed. I didn’t have a CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN, ESPN, TNT, HBO platform to promo and market him. I had Inside Sports and W-U-S-T Radio and the legendary sports columnist of the Washington Times, the late Dick Heller to help me pull it off. Willie was inducted in 1989. No thanks to James Brown or Mike Wilbon (ESPN). Neither one ever invited him on their show or wrote a column supporting him.


In 2007 I co-hosted a salute and tribute to assist Willie in paying his nursing home bills. His lawyer and former college teammate Bob Schmitz was my co-host. The tribute was held at a restaurant on the Waterfront in Georgetown. Willie’s Green Bay Packer teammates and former players were out in force led by (QB) Bart Starr, (RB) Paul Hornung, (WR) Boyd Dowler, (DE) Willie Davis, Baltimore Colt (TE) John Mackey, Redskin’s Charley Taylor (WR) and (LB) Sam Huff and Cleveland Brown (RB) Jim Brown. It was a great evening for Willie. James Brown was not in attendance but he did visit Willie in the nursing home and said he wrote a check.

The great legendary NFL LB Sam Huff pays tribute to the great Willie Wood. Sam and Willie are both suffering from dementia since this photo.

NFL Hall of Fame RB Paul Hornung says hello to his friend and teammate

The monies allegely raised ($57,000) came up missing thanks to Bob Schmitz. He assigned his family to collect the donations that came through the door. I asked Jim Brown to contact Schmitz about the missing money on a conference call with Willie’s sister, Gladys. Three days passed and I had no update of the status on the call or missing monies. First, I called Gladys and was told to my surprise that Jim had asked her to hang up the telephone and he would handle it! I immediately called Jim for an explanation, I asked, “what was going on and why did you ask Willie’s sister to hang up the phone?” His response, what the F was I doing questioning him and ya-da ya-da ya-da. It finally dawned on me that he had cut a deal with Bob Schmitz, that was as low as you could go. In all probability there was a deal–10 years later that money has disappeared without a trace. I asked James Brown and Mike Wilbon to look into the missing dollars but they looked the other way.
“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Sometimes they are one of the same.” Willie’s friend Bob Schmitz!

In a twist last year I spotted Jim Brown on the James Brown television talk show, why would I find this strange? I remember a sports media forum being held on the campus of the University of the District of Columbia (UDC)in the late 70s. I was not invited to participate for whatever reason but I decided to be a part of the audience and to tape the program for my radio show. I sat right down front while members of the forum were introduced. There was Martin Wyatt (WRC-TV 4), Glenn Harris (WHUR Radio), George Solomon (Washington Post), Greg Mosso (WHUR Radio), James Brown (WTEM Radio) and several others whose names escape me.

The kicker was when James stepped to the microphone to introduce himself. He made it clear he was not the James Brown the singer who led cops on a high speed chase in Georgia and was jailed for drugs and “I am not the Jim Brown (the NFL poster boy for domestic violence) who throws his girl friends over balconies.” Everybody broke out laughing on the panel, but I didn’t think it was funny.

After the program was over I pulled James to the side and tried to explain to him you don’t belittle other black men for the sake of a laugh. I mailed the tape to Jim Brown and he called me later wondering what he had ever done to James Brown–the bottom-line birds of a feather flock together!

On Sunday February 17th the brothers will be running, jumping up and down, and giving high 5s to each other at the NBA All-Star Game down the road in Charlotte, NC. This will be a similar plantation, 32 teams, one black owner and 3 black coaches and 75% of the labor force is black? Here you will find another Washingtonian pretending he is also down with the struggle in the black community, Dave Aldridge. He will be representing another plantation and Fake News organization a subscription blog called “The Athletic.” It is beyond me why someone would pay $5 for information you can Google 24 hours a day without charge!

James and Dave have never really been down with the struggle so they are happy in their skins they come from similar backgrounds. James grew up in NE DC and was a decent playground basketball player on his neighborhood playground. There was little or no contact in the inner-city as it relates to places like Barry Farms, Langston Terrace, Simple City, Potomac Gardens, Parkside projects and Kelley Miller, Watts, Rosedale, Parkview, and Banneker playgrounds. When it came to inner-City orientation there was none except when his schools made visits to the downtown NW DC museums and monuments traveling via Georgia Avenue and the 14th Street NW corridor that was as close as they got to the inner-city.

I remember it was in Philadelphia December 1995 Mike Tyson was defending his title against Buster Mathis. The fight was billed as “A Presumption of Innocence” in reference to his alleged rape of Desiree Washington a beauty contestant in the Miss American pageant, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I question Don in the hotel lobby as why he chose James to be on the DK Productions Boxing Broadcasting team over me. His response, “Harold baby, I can control James but I cannot control you my brother!” Well at least he was honest!

I found a link from an interview with Geraldo Rivera the interview centered around Don King. A friend viewed the video and asked me how could I go on national television and support Don King when I undestood his mode of operation? As J. D. Beathea mention at the top of this blog relating to “Playing the Game.” I was trying to play the game with this brother because I was in Cleveland when Muhammad Ali gave him his big break. It was Don King who said to me, “Stick close to me baby we are going places”, but he forgot after he arrived that I was suppose to go with him. I gambled and lost and I moved on! Against All Odds: Geraldo, Bert Sugar and Jack Newfield.

James Brown’s Ladder to Success:
*Xerox (9-5)
*Inside Sports Celebrity Fashion Show
*Jim Vance convince NBC brass to audition me for weekend sportscaster slot (I failed)
*James Brown hears thru the grapevine and follows me (fails)
*He goes behind the back Bullets color analyst Chuck Taylor and convince Wes Unseld to put in a good word to owner Abe Pollin to replace Chuck
*WTEM radio
*Don King Boxing
*HBO Real Sports
*Fox/NFL studio host
*CBS/NFL studio host
*Met with Sam Jones, Butch McAdams, Gil Hoffman, Christy Winter Scott, Andrew Dyer. I asked him to co-host Earl Lloyd Day and tribute during NBA All-Star Weekend 2000 in DC. Campaign to get Earl inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. He agrees and later asked me if I had checked with owner Abe Pollin. My response was, “No Abe Pollin was not my father, I checked with Red Auerbach!” James was a no show. Earl Lloyd Day and tribute was a success. Earl was inducted into NBA Hall of Fame in 2003.

*He claims Petey Greene as his mentor until I called him out.

“Harold has always been a voice for people who didn’t have a voice. He has
always called it as he saw it. He has been an inspiration and motivation
for me and a lot of other black broadcasters.” James Brown (NFL/CBS Sports)
Sam Jones (NBA), James Brown (CBS), HBell and Earl Lloyd (NBA)

*Claims he is a minority owner of the MLB Nationals until I called him out. He admits on George Michael’s Sports Machine “I am not a part of the decision making for the Washington Nationals!”

In this interview Don King talks about racism and Free Labor as being the biggest business in America and how it is all about control. /

If James Brown thinks that story in the Tuesday edition of the Washington Post was a compliment to him calling him a “Black Santa” he has a bigger problem than I first thought, evidently he does not like himself. I coordinated and hosted 45 straight years of Kids In Trouble Christmas toy parties for needy children and I don’t remember him playing Santa Claus or even donating a toy–Black Santa?


One comment

  1. Pingback: Harold Bell’s Commentary on Sportscaster James Brown – The Premier Online Magazine for Black Men

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