Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I rarely respond directly to comments on the site, at least not in post form, but it is needed in this instance.

Greg, I don't know the answer but will guess Terry Bradshaw. Ask another question not related to jersey numbers; for example who was the only man to hit fifty homeruns in the 1970's or, a really easy one, what two players were drafted before Michael Jordan in the NBA draft?

Josh, you have referred to me as a racist twice in the last year and have been woefully wrong both times. I want to clarify why I used the term urbanization and how it is very accurate of the professional and collegiate sports today. Actually, I am not referring to all professional sports, just basketball and football. My dislike for baseball is centered on the prevalence of supplements, steroids and juiced balls.

Basketball and football have been dominated by black athletes since the late 1960's. My problem with both sports begins in the 1990's with the rise of hip-hop music. I am not a musical historian, nor would I want to be one, but it is fair to say that rap hijacked the hip-hop scene during the 1990's, eventually each term becoming synonymous with one another. I don't like rap music, in fact I despise it. It is misogynistic, anti-white and so full of black stereotypes that makes a Klansman blush. Like the plague it spread, going from simplistic verse set to rhythm to a way of living life. That way of life is the norm in the NBA & NFL.

The rap way of life is very prevalent in the urban inner city. Some argue it simply reflects the way of life on the streets, I believe it is actually what informs that way of life. It feeds the black community a steady diet of visceral hate, all the while taking their hard earned money and moving to the burbs. I wouldn't want to live in the hood, nor would you. I don't hate those who do, but I find those who exploit it, i.e. Suge Knight, Puff Daddy & Weird Al Yankovic, reprehensible.

It says something about the state of the game when Snoop Dog, god love him, could very well be a poster boy for the NBA. He is an ex-con, acquitted murder who gets high all day long. That definition sums up a surprising number of players in the league, which does not go unnoticed by white fans. Why do you think the NBA has seen a steady decline in ratings? It is because suburban white America can't relate to the Allen Iverson's of the world.

We loved Magic Johnson and idolized Michael Jordan. Both men were flawed, one being a chronic womanizer with the other suffering from compulsive gambling problems but we accepted them all the same. They didn't litter their bodies with tattoos of mother and three-eye dragons, nor did they commit violent crimes against coaches, fans or worst of all, their own spouses. Instead they played hard, acted like gentleman in the public eye and were given free reign, even when they committed huge errors like playing professional baseball and hosting a late night talk show. Sadly that was the NBA of the 1980's and early 90's. It is dead now, replaced by the likes of Tracy Too High McGrady and DMX's ugly little brother, Allen Iverson. And, this same lack of respect for self and the game has spread to the college game; instead of going to class, or working on free throws, these kids spend their time getting new and improved Chinese symbol tattoos, committing petty larceny and sexualyl assaulting their classmates.

The NFL, which is as popular as ever, has managed to negate much of the hip-hop influence with clever marketing, public relation gurus and, most effectively, focusing on franchise and not individual superstars. Pretty much everything Warren Sapp hates about the NFL is why it has managed to be successful and not alienate guys named Charlie O'Brien who work in a cubicle. This is a league that has produced several murders (in the last decade no less), numerous rapists, a slew of drug offenders (even a few drug dealers) and its fair share of men carrying weapons without permits, yet everyone seems to forget about the incidents. Their PR machine is unmatched and the reliance on franchise and, not player, loyalty is the reason why it will continue to bring in droves of fans. It also doesn't hurt that most recognizable position, quarterback, is still dominated by corn-feed Midwestern boys and suntanned Californian phenoms. The latter situation is changing, which I believe is for the good, as more and more teams feature black quarterbacks but it is still a factor as to why the game is so popular and easy to relate to.

That is the thesis of my post; my inability to relate to NBA and NFL players is why I don't enjoy the games. I don't notice the players skin tone but can't help being offended by their way of life. The urbanization of the sports has alienated me along with many others. I find the rapper lifestyle, which has become the NBA and NFL lifestyle, to be offensive, shallow, and racist. Allen Iverson, Terrell Owens and countless others, do a great disservice to themselves and the young black men who seek to emulate their outrageous and dangerous lifestyles. When you speak to the lowest common denominator of society, don't expect my glowing approval. (Unless, we are talking about an Adam Sandler movie)

You can keep your urbanized sports: I will stick with my Nascar and country music.

Go to Hell
I almost feel bad for the Browns, almost. At least they will recoup his signing bonus, since Winslow won't be playing in 35% of the plays this year. There is always next year, and in a couple weeks, you, the diehard Browns' Fans, will be able to cry over what-ifs with the Red Sox faithful who will be reliving another Buckneresque post-season debacle. Of course, they can blame the curse of the Bambino, what is your excuse? The curse of Art Modell?

Go to Hell