Big Brother

August 25, 2009

Twitter strikes again. First there was J.R. Smith being akkused of gang affiliation due to his Twitter tweets. Then Stephen Marbury damaged his hopes of getting signed for next season with his crazy Tweets and webcam shows. Now Michael Beasley has reportedly checked himself into rehab, apparently for treatment for depression. No doubt the fallout over his recent infamous Twitter photo contributed to this turn of events. Which shows the dangers this new 24-hour, all-access media world we live in poses to “celebrities”.

This “Big Brother Is Watching” world is great for us fans and writers, as we get much more access and “scoops” than ever before. But it also brings out the worst in us. We want athletes to be interesting and accessible, but at the same time we love to jump all over them at the slightest slip-up. One of the great aspects of Michael Beasley is (was?) his joye de vivre – he admitted he was still a kid, literally and figuratively, and he was going to enjoy himself. Sure he might be a knucklehead sometimes, but he is in no way a bad guy or someone who is going to be showing up on the police blotter. Now we’re sucking the life out of him. Now if he does indeed have a substance abuse problem we can’t be blamed for that, but we can be blamed if the man is suffering from depression. The internet is such a dangerous tool, all it took was for one person to comment about the baggies in the background of that photo for the wildfire to spread. Mainstream media jumped all over the story, this website jumped all over it, and next thing you know that guy checks himself into rehab. Shame on all of us.

The other sad part of this situation is athletes are going to become much more careful what they let be known to the public. Guys are already shutting down their Twitter accounts and the ones that still have them are probably going to end up looking like a publicist wrote it for them. We’ll still have the Marburys and Ron Artests of the world that don’t care what people think, but for the rest of the image-conscious athlete, they’ll think twice before Tweeting. Which means more lame posts like “Off to the gym” or “watching a movie”. We love building up our stars, but we love tearing them down even more. Technology just makes it easier for us to do so.

Here’s hoping Beasley comes out of rehab as the happy-go-lucky kid we all remember him as. And here’s hoping he can add to his already impressive highlight reel on the court.

The Adventures of Super Cool Beas

August 23, 2009

Recent conversation at Michael Beasley’s crib:
One of Beasley’s Boys: Yo Mike, how is your new tattoo?

Super Cool Beas: Super Cool, my man. ‘Cept it is super sore.

Beasley’s Boy: No problem, I’m holding something that will help numb the pain.

Super Cool Beas: Super cool, my man. Throw the baggie of it over on my super cool coffee table.

Beasley’s Boy: Will do Super Cool Beas.

Super Cool Beas: I’ve got to take a picture of my super cool new tattoo. Once everyone sees this picture they’ll realize why I’m called Super Cool Beas.

Awesome Athlete Ads Volume III

August 21, 2009

You’ll have to forgive the lazy posts recently, but it’s the offseason – get off my back!! Continuing The Hoops Manifesto’s awesome athlete ad series, here’s three for the price of one. You’re welcome.

NBA 2K10: Draft Combine Trailer

August 19, 2009

2K Sports recently released a trailer for NBA 2K10: Draft Combine, which I wrote about a while back. Here is a small taste of what they have in store for us when the game drops in a couple of weeks.

Catch De Taste

August 18, 2009

The Hoops Manifesto’s tribute to awesome athlete ads continues with this classic from the baseball realm starring Toronto Blue Jays star Roberto Alomar, before he was spitting on umpires and being accused of trying to give girls AIDS. Bon appetite.

Xavier McDaniel is Tougher Than You

August 16, 2009

So you think you are tougher than former NBA All-Star Xavier McDaniel? Here’s proof that you’re not:
– While playing for the Supersonics, the Seattle SWAT team replaced their battering ram with McDaniel’s head.
– McDaniel needs a permit in most states to be in possession of himself.
– He’s surprised he liked Saw 2 because he normally hates comedies.
– X gonna give it to ya, he gonna give it to ya.
– While going for a hike in the mountains of Seattle, he fended off a grizzly bear attack by raising his eyebrow.
– When it is time for Chuck Norris to die, it won’t be the Grim Reaper delivering the news to him, because Chuck would roundhouse the Grim Reaper, but rather the X-Man.
– The original title of the Wu Tang’s classic was “Xavier McDaniel Ain’t Nothing Ta F’ Wit” but before RZA could ask permission X choked him out.
– McDaniel considered entering the UFC until he learned of their “sissy” rules like no eye gauging or groin attacks.
– He once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
– Whoever came up with the expression “I can put my arm back on, you can’t” has never met Xavier McDaniel.
– The only reason the Sonics had to move to Oklahoma City is because McDaniel lost them in his weekly card game with Satan.
– Guess who insisted on human brains as part of his team’s pre-game meal?
– He thinks Bill Laimbeer would have been a better player if he had played with more of a chip on his shoulder.
– Allegedly a referee called a foul on McDaniel once – we don’t speak that referee’s name any longer.
– And, finally, you know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words:

G.O.A.T. Basketball Commercial

August 15, 2009

Don’t miss my treatise on Michael Vick. Now onto more important things. I stumbled across this video while reading through the archives of the very entertaining The Blowtorch blog today. It could very well be the greatest performance by an athlete in a commercial of all-time. Enjoy.

Just A Song And Dance Man

August 15, 2009

I was trying my hardest to avoid writing about the Michael Vick saga. The web is inundated with stories on him anyway, plus I didn’t want to come off as too preachy, what with the hot flames I breathed upon Rick Pitino just a few days ago.

My position on Vick is pretty clear, even without me stating it and just letting you read between the lines. I WAS an Eagles fan up to a couple of days ago, am a dog owner, became a vegetarian and stopped buying leather, suede, etc. due to my moral beliefs, and believe a “mistake” is something that you do once, not an ongoing practice that continues until you get caught and are forced to stop and repent. So hopefully that makes my view on Vick clear without spelling it out explicitly.

What changed my tune about writing about Vick signing with the Eagles is the issue of “second chances”. As predictably as death and taxes, all parties involved in this situation – Vick, the Eagles, the fans, media, the NFL – are spouting off about how this is all about giving the convicted dogfighter a second chance. Which is all really just self-serving rhetoric. What this is really all about is our insatiable need for entertainment. Ask yourself this question – are you really interested in giving Michael Vick a second chance or are you only interested in seeing performances like this:

Say Michael Vick got injured in prison and couldn’t play anymore – would anyone be interested in giving the man a second chance, outside of maybe the Tony Dungys of the world? Of course not. People only care about Vick because he entertains us and sells newspapers and makes people read our blogs. If Vick was a plumber or teacher or construction worker, no one would be scrambling to give him a job. And there sure wouldn’t be any moral outrage over denying this man an opportunity to earn a living and feed himself.

This is just further proof that the most important thing in our society is entertainment. We don’t bestow $20 million salaries on the people who teach our children or come up with cures for cancer or lead our countries. We give these amounts of money to people who entertain us – athletes, musicians, actors. If you are lucky enough to be talented in one of these fields, you will always have the opportunity of a second (or third, or fourth) chance given to you. We can say all we want about other things being more important in our lives, but money talks, and the money says that we care most about being entertained. Michael Vick entertains us, therefore a team like the Eagles are willing to pretend they are being charitable by giving him a second chance, when in actuality they are just using him to make money by entertaining us.

The second Michael Vick stops being able to perform and entertain us, we’ll forget about him and toss him to the side – which is probably fitting, considering that is exactly what Vick did to his underperforming dogs.

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Tito & Dana Sitting in a Tree

August 15, 2009

Tito Ortiz and Dana White proved last week that Philadelphia really is The City of Brotherly Love. Now that’s G.

UFC Caps & Beanies

(Not So) Slick Rick

August 13, 2009

If this basketball thing doesn’t work out, Rick Pitino ought to try politics – he already makes similar “indiscretions” as politicians. As most of the world now knows, the married father of five had a little “indiscretion” a few years ago involving having sex with a woman in a restaurant, getting her pregnant, paying her money so she could get health insurance to get an abortion and then having the woman try to extort him and accuse him of rape. This is about as sleazy as you can get – not only did he cheat on his wife, he did so in a public place, without thoughts of birth control, and then, whether directly or not, helped aid the woman in getting an abortion. Despite all of this, his bosses at Louisville stand behind him and call him a role model and positive influence.

Am I missing something here? I try to be a compassionate, forgiving man. People do deserve second chances. But people don’t always deserve to keep their jobs after incidents like this. Pitino has proved that he is NOT a role model or a positive influence. And because of this, Louisville needs to remove him as their head coach immediately. The highest paid public official in the state of Kentucky (until Coach Calipari came on the scene) and supposed “leader of young men” needs to be held to higher standards than the rest of us. And Pitino has proven not to meet these standards by any stretch of the imagination.

Similar cases have occurred with players, and their school didn’t hesitate to chase them out of town immediately. So why shouldn’t a paid employee of a university – the face of the school no less – be treated the same way. Not only is Pitino the face of the university, he is the person responsible for molding, supervising and coaching teenage kids. He’s the one that is supposed to show them the way and help turn them from kids into adults. Additionally, many of the kids that end up on his team come from backgrounds lacking good role models (especially male ones), so that makes Pitino’s role even more important. After this scandal has come to light, can you really trust Rick Pitino to teach his players the difference between right and wrong?

If a professor or the university president were caught up in the same type of scandal, do you think that the school would look the other way? Of course not, because those positions don’t pull in money for the university like Pitino does. Now don’t get things confused – this is all about money. The school will say all the right things about second chances and Pitino admitting to his “indiscretion” but the fact of the matter is they will keep him around because he recruits good players, which subsequently makes the team competitive, which subsequently makes the university tons of dough.

And that is just plain wrong. Pitino might honestly be sorry, but he still has to go. Louisville needs to make a stand that winning and losing and making money is not more important than providing a positive atmosphere for its “student-athletes”. If Pitino is truly a role model and positive influence than he should prove it by stepping down – not due to moral reasons but due to the grief, embarrassment and distraction he has caused his players and his employer. If he’s not willing to exit, Louisville needs to show him the way to the door. One way or another, Slick Rick The Ruler’s reign in Louisville needs to end.

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