Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin as Star Athletes Have Been Able to Drop Some Things to Achieve Their Dreams While Holding on to Something Special


Who’s ready for some Cookie? For those not sure, we’re talking about the lead character on Empire. The show is making its last season run and fans will be watching for a host of reasons. If that’s not your TV ‘cookie’ of choice, then maybe you’re waiting for This is Us or the new smash show The Masked Singer.

While you’re thinking about your TV downtime, others might have seen the feature story on CBS’ 60 Minutes about Shaquem & Shaquill Griffin. They’re identical twin brothers playing in the NFL. It’s hard to separate them not just based on looks but also on the pact they made with each other as eight year-olds.

Shaq & Shaq (sounds like a law firm) grew up playing football in the usual youth leagues before making it to college. The problem was that initially one was accepted on scholarship and the other was left out to dry. Eventually they’d both get scholarships and play at the Division I level.


They made their way through the rigors of the sport and were ready to go to the next level. The problem was that Shaquem didn’t get an invite to the NFL Combines. His brother put in a word with the Seattle Seahawks who later invited him to tryout. Dude then ran the faster 40-yard dash for a Linebacker.

The story focuses on Shaquem because he’s the first one-handed player in the NFL. But that’s not how he’d like to be remembered. He wants his stats to do the talking. He works at his game in areas and ways that others might take for granted. When it seems like things might hold us back, he shows us to drop the:

  1. Mask

So, about that show where stars perform behind a mask. Folks guess on who they think it is and then one is revealed. Interestingly, last season’s winner saw a jump in his cred. Well Shaquem didn’t hide behind his assumed limits and treat it like a mask. Nothing was gonna prevent him from achieving his dream.


  1. Fear

It’s said we show up in life with two fears: of heights and loud noises. All others are learned over time. What Shaquem seemed to have done was work hard not only at the skill of the game, but also at dropping his fears. He might have realized that f.e.a.r. is really ‘fools error acting ready’ to distract or disable our goals.

  1. Scab

Remember when you’d get a bruise. It would hurt in the moment and for a day or so longer. Then a ‘scab’ would appear to protect the injured spot. Shaquem’s twin brother has been his protector through the long haul. But Shaquem has also dropped the ‘scab’ of not having both hands, where it doesn’t even matter.

  1. Excuses

When Shaquem didn’t get invited to the Combines that was some hurt. It might have even formed a ‘scab.’ But he decided he wasn’t gonna make excuses. He’d just keep plugging away. When he later got a chance at showing what he could do, he was able to run, tackle and catch like any player on the field.

No matter the career track or season, they’re some similar things we get to work on. Yes, there’s skill of the game, networking in the industry and challenges yet to overcome. When we make a pact or set a goal, we drop the mask, fear, scab and excuses for the passion we’ll make with an empire state of mind.

Tip: When folks make a pact or set goals, they’ll drop the mask, fear, scab and excuses for the passion they’ll make with an empire state of mind.

Talkback: So what’s Cookie up to these days and will fans see an appearance of Jussie?

Tracks: Jay-Z ft Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind –

Chronixx – I Can –

Tyler Perry & Jamie Foxx on Becoming a Hollywood High Roller and Holly-Hood High Achiever


The end of year awards season is about to jump-off and it seems GQ Magazine got things rolling. They named Colin Kaepernick their Citizen of the Year. He’s been a trailblazer for social justice issues. There’s also Blake Shelton being named Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine. Fans are spreading the love.

Tyler Perry and Jamie Foxx might find themselves on a different list. They’d at least get honorable mentions in discussions around Funniest Man Alive. A few other names might depend on the ‘type of funny’ category. Perry & Foxx certainly have cred as Hollywood high roller & Hollyhood high achiever.

They’ve been in the public eye for a while but for Perry the road to Tinsel-town wasn’t always a song and dance. He describes his story as one of always believing that Higher is Waiting. This mindset helped him in getting through the dark times, appreciating the good times and celebrating those high times.

It was more about chasing the dream than chasing the fame. This balancing act started with a showbiz project that kinda got them in the game. Some will remember Foxx from his In Living Color days. But for Perry it’s been a journey that got started with his urban-styled stage plays.

Some teary-eyed times are usually when talking about special people in their lives. For Foxx it was a grandmother who took care of him after adoption. With Perry there were folks who helped him connect his faith to hopes for a brighter future. They’re grateful for the advice and support they got along the way.


Their road to success was first nurtured by close family members or friends. But it seems there’re moments in life that are set aside on our journeys where people show up as strangers. Sometimes their presence is about getting to the next point. Other times it’s about getting the point in life’s journey.

It’s like when I first read the book of a famous media personality. It describes his journey of going from average kid to getting a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Two particular factors mentioned in the book related to certain aspects in my own journey. It’s the kind of thing that’s used as a bookmark of life.

Well if not as a bookmark then there’re those situations that are more like milestones. We appreciate milestone markers on a long road trip. One reason for those markers is letting us know where we are on the highway stretch. But another is to let us know how far we’ve travelled since the starting point.

Foxx and Perry are making the most of the journey by turning their bookmarks into a grander sense of purpose. They’re also turning milestones into ways for helping others get to the next point. That’s the balancing act they try to manage in chasing the dream without getting distracted by chasing the fame.

So let’s get back to the idea of Funniest Man Alive. In terms of being among the super funny, it probably takes having a certain punch to the flow of funny. Then the punch-line will be more than just scripted. Well in chasing the dream it takes having a certain punch to the flow of whatever makes us razzle dazzle.

Tip: In chasing the dream it takes having a certain punch to the flow of whatever makes us razzle & dazzle.

Talkback: Who’d be on your short list of Funniest Man Alive?

Tracks: Empire Cast ft Terrence Howard – Dream On With You –

Joyful Noise Soundtrack – Higher –

What Would Joel Osteen Do or Terrence Howard Say To Shake Things Up on Empire? – #WUWECAST

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL TUBE – Got Funny?



Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

Who’s going to be on Empire next season? Rumor has it Denzel Washington and Oprah are waiting in the wings. The show has taken-off and averages around 15 million weekly viewers. Joel Osteen isn’t looking to join the cast. So what would Osteen do or Howard say to shake things up in their empires?

Osteen’s no stranger to big numbers. His 30,000-member church broadcast is seen in millions of households. They both had to overcome initial doubts on their breakout journeys. Osteen wasn’t sure he’d be able to step into his father’s shoes. Howard didn’t think America was ready for Empire.

Some people feel Osteen has expanded his territory by “softening the Message.” Others say Empire’s success is in how the show handles pop culture themes even if they’re eyebrow-raising. Plus, the mix of music and celebrity guests helps too. In either case, they’ve both been able to tap into people’s interests.

They’ve taken different paths in shaking things up. Osteen’s path has been to build on a legacy. Howard’s path has been to push the envelope. As modern-day trailblazers there’re both making waves and getting raves. They’ve seen their share of controversy and experienced the backlash of jealousy.

In entertainment it’s usually “1 for the money, 2 for the show and 3 for the hook” to shake things up. Ratings drive revenue from advertising. With Osteen it‘s less vain and on another plane. In either case they’ve turned a project into a production that has staying power. That’s true in showbiz and ministry.

Groove-Track: Mary J. Blige – ‘Doubt’ –   


Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Who’ll be on Empire next season? Word is Denzel and Oprah have a reason. Said to be waiting in the wings. Let’s see if the fat lady sings. Serving 15 million weekly viewers. #1 spot with young-adults and some teenagers. Osteen and Howard on the media wires. For what they’d do to shake-up their empires.

To big numbers Osteen’s no stranger. In the pulpit Howard’s no danger. 30,000-member broadcast in the millions. Hollywood actor and man of opinions. Both overcame initial doubts on the way. Before landing a bigger payday. Osteen stepping into father’s shoes. Howard flirting with rhythm and blues.

Some feel Osteen became soft on Message. Expanding his territory not the Passage. Others say Empire’s success is in the bag. In how show avoids n-word and fag. Pop culture themes seem eyebrow-raising. Music stars and celebs in the making. The heart of people’s interests is what they’re tapping.

Taking different paths to the big house. Shaking things up like cat and mouse. Osteen builds on his legacy heels. Howard pushes the envelope wheels. Modern-day trailblazers making waves. Growing followers and getting raves. Having had their share of controversy. And the backlash of people’s jealousy.

Entertainment usually “1 for the money, 2 for the show. 3 for the hook, let the good times flow.” Where ratings drive revenue from the ads. To shake things up beyond the fads. With Osteen it’s less vain. He’s working on another plane. Production projects with staying power. True for showbiz and the ministry hour.


Tip: 1 for the money, 2 for the show and 3 for the hook in turning doubts into shouts.
Talkback: Why has Empire become such a hit? Would a famous preacher be a good fit?
Groove-Track: Fall Out Boy – ‘Centuries’ –

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST