The Count loves to count apologies. One stupid statement, two stupid statements and — oh, here comes the public relations machine – three stupid statements. Why can’t everybody just admit to who they are? Like The Count’s neighbor, Oscar The Grouch? You never see him apologizing. The Count didn’t mind when Janet Jackson tried to rescue her music career in a Super Bowl halftime show by intentionally-accidentally losing her top and exposing the Jackson Two. But it was somewhat anti-climactic, sort of like when The Count opened his cape in the bat cave and even Elmo laughed. Anyway, with apologies to Taylor Swift, that poor line judge at the U.S. Open in New York who’s now halfway through a bottle of Zoloft, and the members of the Washington Redskins’ secondary who aren’t named DeAngelo Hall, it’s now that time. We count down …
I realize Kanye West doesn’t play sports. But he was born in Atlanta and he was thrown out of the MTV Video Music Awards for being rude, which I didn’t even know was possible. So he’s Countdown-worthy. How does one not live up to the standards of the MTV Video Music Awards? That’s like the SEC throwing out a football coach based on a lack of high moral fiber. And speaking of football and people lacking high moral fiber (attention aspiring journalists: there’s a transition for anything) . . .
The Count got a headache when he tried to add up the value of DeAngelo Hall’s contracts. But we know the Falcons traded him to the Oakland Raiders. They would’ve been happy to get a Zagnut in return but got two draft picks. The Raiders immediately gave him a $70 million contract with $24.5 guaranteed. But the Raiders dumped him after eight games — and much like Kanye West and the MTV Video Music Awards, how do you get thrown off the Raiders? He ended up making $8 million to play eight games. Then he moved on to Washington, where this past summer owner Dan Snyder gave him a six-year, $55 million contract with $23 million guaranteed. And you know what that means? I owe Al Davis an apology. Because while he may be senile, he’s clearly not the dumbest owner in sports.
The New York Giants actually picked on Hall in the opener. They ran their good receivers right at him. They ran their bad receivers right at him. They ran a guy from Queens — who was only in the parking lot to steal car radios at the time until coach Tom Coughlin went outside and said, “Hey, Dude! Come in here! You gotta see this!” — right at him. Hall failed to cover and failed to tackle (see video below). The only surprising thing is that he actually admitted his faults after the game, saying, “I feel like the guy that just couldn’t make a play to save my life.” It’s a step forward. Now he can see what we see: He just can’t play. More evidence follows.
Back to Kanye West. Did you know he went on the new Jay Leno show to finally issue a real apology, which makes me wonder if Leno might’ve been a part of this whole thing just so people would watch his latest bad talkshow? (I don’t apologize for conspiracy theories. They make my world go ’round.) Did you know even President Obama reportedly called Kanye a “jackass”? Pretty sure he hadn’t used that word since the last time he met with everybody on the right side of the aisle in Congress. Anyway, since the Prez was watching the video music awards in the White House, can I assume he also was watching the U.S. Open? (Transition…)
I am not making this up. I just received an email from a PR company in New York touting the next issue of “Success” magazine. Imagine my surprise when Serena Williams was on the cover, with the headline, “A champion on the court and off.” Unfortunately, tight deadlines prevented the magazine from including the subject’s most recent champ-like moment: “I swear to God, I’m [bleepin*] takin’ this ball and shovin’ it in your [bleepin’] throat… I swear to God.”
Now here’s the queen of today’s apologies for celebrities and athletes. First she verbally assaulted and possibly threatened a line judge. Then she laughed it off in a news conference and pretended not to remember what she said. Then spineless tennis officials did the equivalent of only taking $1.50 out of her wallet and let her play the next day, because, like, do you know how many sponsorships she sells? Then 24 hours later, through the help of crisis management suits, Serena issued a statement on her website and, of course, Twitter! Then when asked about it directly by a person, not a keyboard, she laughed it off again and, I’m quoting from the New York Times here: “Williams said she wanted to apologize directly to the lineswoman, but did not how to locate her.” Game. Set. Match.
Expect this line judge to go postal in six months
Georgia plays at Arkansas this week, which reminds me: I haven’t checked Twitter to see if Bobby Petrino has an account. Maybe that’s where he apologized to Arthur Blank and we just missed it. (UPDATE: I found a Bobby Petrino on Twitter with 843 followers but no Tweets. There’s a line there somewhere. But I’m tired.)
I figure Lenny Dkystra doesn’t owe anybody an apology. Anybody dumb enough to invest millions with someone who defrauded his own mother out of $13,000 and used her credit card to buy fuel for his jet (true story) deserves to lose their money. So now Dykstra is broke and EVERYTHING is for sale. If you go to the Heritage Auctions’ website and type “Dykstra” into the search box, you’ll get a long list of sports memorabilia, including a World Series ring (”value” of $20,000; current high bid of $16,000) and a World Series trophy (”value” of $20,000; current high bid of $8,000).
Just wanted to get this in: Marietta’s Melanie Oudin, fresh off reaching the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open and not verbally assaulting anybody in the process, is scheduled to attend the Braves-Philadelphia game Saturday night at Turner Field. Oudin will throw out the first pitch, and, I assume later, share her experiences with the Braves on what it feels like to reach her sport’s final round of eight – something that has eluded them in recent years.
Two weeks ago I wrote about the possibility that the Atlanta Dream (a women’s basketball team) would be kicked out of Philips Arena if it made the playoffs in the WNBA (a women’s basketball league). Why? Because the arena was booked for “Sesame Street Live!” Of course, I mocked the Dream. It’s what I do. Also, Elmo rocks! This position infuriated the seven WNBA fans in town (or possibly one fan masquerading as seven readers). Well, it happened. The Dream made the playoffs. Their games were relocated, I believe to a street corner in Lawrenceville. Given this morning’s theme, the Count, Elmo, Oscar and I have an announcement to make: We don’t stinkin’ apologize.