On the professional “shameless s**t” list, of course, is Tiger Woods, whose most recent revelation was that he carried on with his 22-year old neighbor. Who he’s known for a long time. In all of this, I can’t help but think Tiger married too young (to a woman whose closeness to fame and fortune should be considered suspect, hm?) and should have gotten his “I’m rich and feeling my freaky side” out before popping out kids.
Usually, I feel the “sex addiction” claim is some bull. It’s a combination of power, ability, and lack of perceived restrictions. And I know Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan – often mentioned as Tiger’s friends – have or had their fun. but Tiger’s got a chase problem. The idea of the chase for trim lured him not “away from his family” but to arrange things with people who he could never have thought would stay quiet. He had to know that this would come out, and it’s surprising that it’s only now that the rumors are swirling. Are they all true? Did Elin know? Didn’t these women – even the ones people “feel bad” for – know Tiger was famously married (seriously, come on. Don’t play like an innocent)?
There is always strong appeal to take down golden boys, the perfect, the untouchably famous (though I really would like to hear more about Roger Clemens‘ inability to get up for “night games” with a 15-year old country singer, myself). It’s a leveling mechanism, where people get to feel a little less jealous about what they don’t have and proud of their moral fiber or whatever they pat themselves on the back for. All of this is a fun diversion, but come on. Men have been straying from their wives wince there have been wives. Not everyone does it, but fame and money certainly makes it easier, apparently. It’s sordid, but it happens. (Even if they go to sex therapy on South Park.)
But culture vultures like Gloria Allred and culture outlets – most notably Vanity Fair – are working hard to dig in the dirt. Allred seems to think her client Joslyn James has some claim to an apology, which is shameless and incredible. Especially since James refers to Woods’ wife and kids by name. Shameless. Meanwhile, Vanity Fair seems to think there is some great culture story in photographing the women Tiger slept with in lurid, near-pornographic detail, or in photographing Tiger in a more thuggy-Negro style. If I didn’t know better (or do I know better?), I would think the editors at VF were salivating over ways to make him less human, more animalistic. But maybe that’s just me.
(Of course, this is why you don’t do this kind of shameless s**t, fellas. Keep it in your pants. Besides your love and your vows, this stuff always ends up on blast. Grow up.)
I openly admit that I am rooting for Tiger to kick ass and reclaim his title as the best golfer alive – and possibly of all time.
Addendum: That New Nike ad is disturbing. I won’t be as extreme about it as Dave Zirin is, but… watch. Haunting, strange and… I’m not sure what the point is.
Transplanted New Yorker and now Midwesterner Peter a/k/a Pico writes for Johnny Jungle, doing the Calm Before the Storm posts and also for the Church of Bracketology. Pico is also on Twitter, @ECoastBias. Add the East Coast Bias to your .rss feeds; or follow by email.
Oh man. Ashley Biden (Joe’s daughter) has a “friend” trying to sell photos of her doing cocaine. Cue the "they did it to Bristol Palin" Republican crowd, the kind of people who prove our whole nation is filled with effing stupidity…
Word is coming out that Ashley Biden’s "friend" planted the camera out of sight. Nice work, tool. And which Presidential kids (Patti Davis, Dubya) DIDN’T do cocaine…? Dear America: rich kids still do lines. Photo taken from NY Post
And Northern Cali had an earthquake… thanks, Facebook friends for letting me know. The master of the end times, Glenn Beck, gets an article in the lib’rul New York Times…. Phantom Alert is software that allows your GPS to find red light and speed traps/ cameras so you can avoid them… a musical version of the movie Heathers is going to the stage – Kristen Bell has been reading for Winona Ryder’s role.
Now for Sports. College basketball links at the end.
* Thanks to Uni Watch I know about Google’s hosting of Life Magazine images from the 1860s through the 1970s. I could look at old photos for days, but this one of Tom Seaver crying gets me every time. Type in mets source:life in your google browser.
* There was a deadly stampede in an Ivory Coast/ Côte d’Ivoire football/ soccer match. 19 people died. I link to the BBC coverage because at least there, the comments below the article aren’t a-hole savages who say things like "typical black people" and "animals" and "Barack Obama blah blah hate" such… same stampedes happen worldwide when soccer is involved.
* In happier news, the US Women’s Professional Soccer League started play yesterday, and it was a solid game, a victory for the Los Angeles Sol. The Brazilian footballer Marta was quick as hell. The Fox Sports production left a little to be desired, and I’d like to hear better, more analytical announcing vs. "gosh this is historic!" talk (though both Jenn Hildreth and Mark Rogondino have some soccer/ football in their background), but I enjoyed watching it.
* Fans came out for the first game at CitiField, but the hometown St. John’s baseball team couldn’t beat Georgetown. FYI, the bathrooms are clean (quotes near end of article). I would hope, no one’s been in the freaking place yet.
* Wait, Spencer Hawes doesn’t suck? Even Shaq, the "Shogun of big men" is learning Hawes’ name.
College Basketball Links
* Video and analysis on how Michigan State’s offense wore out Louisville. I turned down the chance to go to this game, and boy, I should have stayed in Indianapolis! A pic or two of the games at Lucas Oil later this evening on the blog.
* Seth Curry is transferring from Liberty to Duke. He deserved better than some cut-rate non-basketball school in a low-level league. The education is far, far better in Durham. I hear at Duke, the girls are allowed to have sex, as well. In all seriousness, Duke, though? With guard after guard always coming in? And no big men to take the pressure off? Interesting, Steh Curry, interesting.
* Is Anthony Grant worth $2 million? Well, he doesn’t have the body of work that other coaches have, but $2 million ensures that Alabama won’t have to restructure his contract in a year if he does well. How the new Crimson Tide coach does will be interesting to watch, I’m rooting for him.
* The North Dakota State Bison men’s basketball team (who I had beating Kansas in my bracket, by the way) are volunteering along the Red River in Fargo, trying to stem the flood tide of the rising river.
And if you didn’t see the commercial over the weekend… Guitar hero Metallica commercial with Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Coach Bobby Knight, Coach Rick Pitino, and Coach Roy Williams.
Skimming an article on USA Today this morning, I saw the kind of invective that just makes this blogger hate the nature of internet comments. There is an article, about Stephon Marbury’s stasis, and the commenters come out with the:
"This guy is so dumb its frightening."
"Would someone PLEASE give me $21 million so I can be DUMB…
PLEASE give me a $10 million "paid" vacation so I can be DUMB…"
"If Mebury or Isiah actually "show up" for work they would not get paid. They are being paid by the Knicks to "stay away" from the rest of the team.
The rest of the business world would just Fire Them both and not pay them another penny."
I can’t stand it when people call athletes "dumb" – assessing their intelligence based, usually, on one or a limited number of quotes, usually about the nexus of money and respect. We don’t know whether the player is dumb or not without interacting with him personally for a period of time. The framework of professional sports, from the employee protections to the contractual obligations to the sheer uniqueness of talent also allows for a certain myopia of thought that most people would not be allowed in their jobs.
Similarly, I would like to think that everyone has noticed that quirks are allowed more and more as one moves up the importance ladder in any organization.
These comments are jealousy speaking out – the "OHH, IF I HAD MILLIONS" whining, the use of logic that is based on being an athletic observer and not an athletic talent, and the use of experience gained following a mythos of how the business world works.
Stephon Marbury, with all of his faults included, is a one in 500 talent in the world. Even at his quirkiest, he is so much more talented than a schmoe off the street that the proper corollary would be a Vice President at a very large Fortune 500 company. That guy hardly gets fired when he is being petulant, when the new CEO wants a new staff. No, that guy gets a giant golden umbrella, or gets assigned to a less critical part of the organization, or goes on to another organization based on his rep.
"Fire them both?" AIG is spending money on “retention payments” bonuses after they came hat in hand to the government for WELFARE. Other companies are still giving out bonuses, even if in reduced fashion. Failure doesn’t mean "fired with no money," it means reductions, severance packages; the market is a win/ lose game to investors, not to the employees who need to be kept around.
The point is this: people think they know their athletes, based on puff pieces and ESPN investigative reporting compressed into 5 minute segments or 30 second post-game interviews. And fans sometimes think they can go around name calling from behind their keyboards at work? You don’t know these people. Enjoy their abilities, talk about their in-game decision making, even call them out when they ask for above-market value on their contract. But don’t call them dumb. And it’s worthless to fantasize what you would do with the contract, because you are not nearly capable or single-minded enough to become a top-level athlete.
There is another comment by the first poster about how we’re lucky that Marbury plays ball, because "he would have hurt someone by now"… the ignorance in that comment is evident enough that it does not warrant a post.
You know, we never hear about Romney delegates pissing and moaning about their candidate the way we do about Clinton’s delegates, clinging to the one who lost. Can’t we put this garbage in the wastebin already? Meanwhile, there are new additions to Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. And Pakistan’s ruling coalition is in turmoil.
Now, on to sports:
+ Notes on the closing of the Beijing Olympics range from "it was China’s coming out party", "it was a winning, on-topic display of athletic achievement","Gosh! Great show!", "China showed deep insecurities", to "it was a showcase for hypocrisy". And Jacques Rogge was wrong for calling out Usain Bolt.
+ Folks are trying to explain the Jamaican success in sprint competitions. From Global Voices:
…the phenomenal performance of the Jamaican athletes is also due to the cultural self-confidence they feel…this is not a confidence manufactured by the abjectly self-conscious, respectability-seeking, hymn-singing English-speaking middle classes but one bred out of the flamboyant, boisterous, in-your-face Patwa-speaking population.
Hey, I resent that. Those self-conscious folks are my people! I’m going to go in the corner and contemplate my breeding. meanwhile, a Yahoo sports article has a couple of theories. The team doctor:
“They say that our aggression, our toughness, came out of our slave situation,” said Elliott, who is black. The team doctor said he subscribes to the view “considering that Jamaica had more slavery rebellion than any country in the world.”
“It’s not a question of genetic pool, but we have that,” he added. “It’s a cultural thing, too, that we want to achieve.”
Asafa Powell credits morning training, Usain Bolt’s father credits the yam in Trelawny (which is supposed to have medicinal properties), and the US Face of Doping Victor Conte calls the Jamaicans drug cheats.
+ Wait, ping-pong aka table tennis aka the most intense silly sport I watched the finals of this weekend was invented by the British?
+ Jason Kidd is giving his gold medal to the Elaine Wynn, wife of casino owner Steve Wynn. A woman he’s known for a year. Huh.
Wait, both of these guys are… white?
Teddy Dupay, former Florida guard, was accused of rape in Utah on June 19th. He did it Kobe-style, violent and in a ski lodge. Dupay left college after being accused of gambling on college sports. His “how can you rape someone you love” quote is curious.
Matt Jones, former Arkansas quarterback, all around awesome athlete, and current wide receiver for Jacksonville, was arrested with some of that “white powdery substance” people love to put up their nose. Not baby powder. Now, I hope Matt Jones and his career recover from this. He’s inconsistent, but fun to watch… the Jets can always take on a “troubled” character.
As part of its 2008 First-Year Player Draft next month, Major League Baseball will hold a ceremonial selection of players from the Negro Leagues. Participation in the draft is voluntary, but most of the 30 clubs are expected to take part as baseball continues its efforts to keep alive the history of the Negro Leagues.
The ceremonial event will be streamed live by BaseballChannel.TV at 1 p.m. ET, directly preceding the start of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft at 2 p.m. ET. Both events will take place at The Milk House at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. Fans are encouraged to attend and admission is free, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Each team will compensate the player it selects with a stipend, Solomon said. Major League Baseball will pick up the travel expenses for each player (and a companion) to the Draft headquarters in Orlando.
- it’s nice to honor the Negro Leaguers, but dang, this is a publicity stunt. Why not just give them a stipend from MLB itself? Is this stipend for the rest of their lives?
- a ceremonial selection? why allocate these players, well past their time and not in line for contracts, to teams? So the team has a show pony for an African American history day? I guess there is little backbreaking labor, but still… doesn’t this whole plan sound silly? Or kind of like a slave auction? MLB gets the players and brings them to market… the teams give them a little money… I kid. Somewhat. No, not that much. Any player draft has a level of servitude, but the conditions are light years better.
- what is BaseballChannel.tv? That’s not on cable it’s… online. So this is a poor publicity stunt to boot.
I wouldn’t even have gone through all of this; I would have MLB set up a fund and hook these guys up with a stipend. And then I’d look to send some of the remaining (and able-bodied and able-minded) folks into the broadcast booth during local weekend games and a few national games to chat for a few innings about their experience. I would also have bobblehead days (or some other giveaway) conceived around the play of some the great African-American ballplayers – such as Satchel Paige and Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson and Larry Doby. Educate the kids, MLB!
Oh no, no, no. Don’t get all fiery in an interview and bring up the “r” word. I mean “race,” not, “Reyes.” Aren’t you from New York? Don’t you know that the vocal fans and the news media love to jump on a flashpoint topic, and race is one of the biggest that we have? Don’t you know NYC is a city of loudmouths and people who feel that they’ve been wronged, people who feel that they are done dirty when they perceive another group of people receiving some kind of slight compensatory advantage, people who take it out wherever they can? Don’t set those people off with talk about race, man!
I understand your need to defend your managerial style; certainly, you keep things more behind closed doors than some other guys. And I know the media and cameras love to see a demonstrative Larry Bowa-type coach. Well, I think those guys are loudmouths and may not be introspective enough, and that’s not the best way to lead. I agree with that.
But, from the Jersey Record:
“I’m as animated and as demonstrative and as involved and as intense as any manager in baseball.”
Randolph excluded Ozzie Guillen from the conversation, but wanted to know why the traits often admired in the calm, cool and collected likes of Joe Torre are portrayed as flaws in Torre’s former third base coach.
“Is it racial?” Randolph asked. “Huh? It smells a little bit.”
Asked directly if he believes black managers are held to different standards than their white counterparts, Randolph said: “I don’t know how to put my finger on it, but I think there’s something there. Herman Edwards did pretty well here and he won a couple of playoff [games], and they were pretty hard on Herm. Isiah [Thomas] didn’t do a great job, but they beat up Isiah pretty good. … I don’t know if people are used to a certain figurehead. There’s something weird about it.
Means that you used the “r” word, and the cat just won’t go back into the bag unless you win and win a lot. You can insult women in this day and age, you can use gay slurs, but do not reference your being black by calling something racial.
The loud voices in the media might listen to you for a hot second, but the fans – mostly white and very sensitive to anything that sounds like whining, and averse to being forced to feel guilty (or, you know, think about their actions and perceptions) – hate to hear a black person (especially) talk of race. It flies in the face of the legislation that removes legally sanctioned racism. It reminds them of years of being made to feel bad about inequality when they’re just trying to live their lives on equal economic + opportunity footing. It reminds them of “race hustlers,” whatever those are; and it makes them say things like “Willie’s using the race card” (Which isn’t a trump card at all). Or it will make those fans call you a racist, for the use of the single word. They’ll reference Al Sharpton and they’ll say they’re not racist but their anger at the “controversy” hints otherwise.
It’s too powerful a “weapon,” this word, “racism.” It no longer makes people think, it makes folks react and attack. And if your comments, like any other comments or defenses of your record, were meant to inform, illuminate, and get mofos off of your back, that just undid any effect they would have. Deaf ears greet any illuminations you might give to the media.
There’s a whole swath of black folks who know that commenting on race is going to obscure their message. And the important things is to be successful around those issues, especially when put in a position to do something favorable, something positive. The more success black people enjoy, the more normal it will be to have black managers (which isn’t abnormal), black top executives (somewhat irregular), or black presidents (absolutely abnormal).
And it’s not that Obama, for example, is ignoring race issues, or has solved the problem of how to talk about race. I bet Barack and Michelle talk about racism at dinner or on the phone, the subtle kinds that always sets the nation’s punditry into a tizzy and the reactionaries into a lather. It’s out there.
But talking about it is like making resolutions to sue OPEC to release more oil; it’s not gonna do a hot damned thing. Let others talk about race; be subtle in how you address indignity. Talking about it obscures what you’re trying to say and while I’d love for people to calmly talk about racial issues and understand the premises of why some people see racial bias and others don’t… it’s not happening this month.
The national dialogue is in a funny place about race, where if the topic/ referred situation is not overt, the word alone brings the nuts out of their corners to brawl; so many people think we’re really over racism, or “post-racial.”
As for the comments themselves… dude. Really? You’re complaining about how SNY portrays you on Mets’ broadcasts? Really? If you’re concerned, then make a little more show. Even Art Howe sometimes acted like he knew how to get angry. You have to play the game. And the current results, Willie, are not very good. You have to bunker down and try to make moves. And when you deflect, don’t use the “they don’t show me showing emotion” excuse.
Dude. Come on. That was weak and admittedly, actually paranoid. You can’t be worried about who likes you. You’ve got to lead your club. Tell the media the things you’re doing, but don’t talk about your “feelings,” man, that only opens you up to get hurt. And likening yourself to Herm Edwards, whose last teams were inconsistent, and then to Isiah Thomas who was a complete nightmare with respect to winning ballgames?
Let’s review your takeaways from this letter: don’t talk about your feelings.
More on Willie’s tenure here.