As a professional athlete, there are plenty of reasons to be proud of oneself (I assume): Excelling at your profession in front of thousands of screaming fans. The groupies throwing themselves at your feet. The admiration of friends, strangers, and peers. The shrill voiced woman leaving haunting voicemails about “our child.”
But, if anything about pride was hammered unmercifully into my head via 12 years of Catholic school, it is that pride comes before the fall. Today, we learn that maybe those pro sporters out there, sweating colors on Gatorade commercials and being yakked at by the franchise brass over the latest misuse of their Twitter account, should learn to reel it in a bit before demanding another pissing contest.
We start in the NBA, where media whores go to open their legs widest. ESPN was abuzz this past week as Lebron James ravaged the internet with ambiguous threats against those who think he’s not the bee’s knees. For someone who is probably not about to embark on a killing spree, this empty threat was made even more comical through his chosen medium: Twitter; Facebook for people who don’t the patience for Facebook. And while this minor activity dominated the headlines, it was hard to believe that other things were going on in the realm of the NBA, and not all of those other things were stupid.
Sixers G Willie Green was just in Senegal, instructing the top 60 youth basketball players on the continent. While sure, Willie’s being slowly deleted from existence by the likes of Evan Turner and Andres Nocioni, making a difference in the lives of people who are being ravaged by, say, Malaria, rather than hurt feelings, is a quality usage of time.
Time, of course, being something that Eagles guard Todd Herremans was a surplus of, as he not only had an empty block to watch the latest episode of True Blood, but also Tweet some of his more offensive reflections on it.
As Eagles guard Todd Herremans discovered, expressing his dislike of a “barrage of homosexuality” on recent episodes of True Blood on HBO. Whoa my. “Barrages” of anything can be a bit much, especially the “barrages” of enemy linebackers QB Kevin Kolb no doubt sees in his sleep because guys like Herremans are too worked up over the content of their favorite vampire show.
Eagles drama continued, this time in real life, as the respective pride of a young blood and a veteran clashed over something really, really important.
“I ain’t going to accept no cheap shot.” –CB Ellis Hobbs
“I’m not going to take any crap from nobody.” –WR Riley Cooper
Yeah, yeah. We’ve all got penises.
Everybody in Eagles Training Camp does, anyway. Those were the words Hobbs and Cooper had to describe their tussle that wound up getting everyone involved. Cooper shoved Hobbs for playing him too hard and Hobbs, well, just wasn’t going to take that from no punk-ass fifth round pick.
“I want you to know that if anything like this [camp] fight happens again, there will be no place on the football team for any of you!” screamed Gene Hackman’s character from The Replacements.
Two rookies on the next field over also went at it, and everyone seemed to get involved, instead of letting them do what people normally do when rookies fight and just let them kill each other like sewer rats fighting over a candy wrapper. But the coaches and players shrugged off the day’s hostilities and bloodletting while journalists raced to their keyboards to report on the OMFG DRAMA. As they roast like pigs in the hot Bethlehem sun, their flesh and guts staining the newly seeded grass, we see the roots of a football season beginning to sprout into a team of impassioned, sort of uppity, and intriguingly violent Eagles.
They carried this violence to a 28-27 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the invisible speed bump of the NFL.
Somewhat less violent these days is Chris Pronger, who, when related to the phrase “loose bodies,” is assumed to be piling them up in the back of his van, not having them removed from his knee, like what is actually happening. Flyers training camp sparks up in mid-September, and Pronger will still be recovering from his de-bodying when it does.
But this minor Flyers setback is absolutely nothing compared to the shit-in-the-face the champs experienced with the Prince of Wales Trophy–the award for winning their conference. For whatever reason, the engravers decided to put the Washington Capitals’ name on it instead, and the best part was, nobody noticed until the trophy was sitting at a fan convention in Chicago.
Some dude took a cell phone picture of the atrocity and the NHL said, no, that’s clearly a doctored photo, and to please shut up. Then, after a quick glance at the 2009-10 NHL playoff records, they decided it wasn’t fake anymore.
Pride. Some have earned it, some are earning it, and others just want to scrap in the hot August sun because Andy Reid is letting them. What’s clear is that being a professional athlete, or even just opening a Twitter account, is not a badge of honor. People wearing uniforms can be just as ignorant and thoughtless as the rest of us, only they get to do it where everyone can see.
I mean, what is Lebron threatening to do? Start killing people? Come on.