The Count has been off for a couple of weeks, which means he missed several more arrests involving the Georgia athletic department with a combined blood alcohol level that, if anywhere near a sparkler, probably could blow up Bolivia.
The Bulldogs (whether administrator or players who somehow keep, keep, keep, keep, keep slipping through through Mark Richt’s recruiting filter — gee, who’s fault is that?) should follow the words of a famous drunk, Ernest Hemingway, who between whiskeys at least had the forethought to declare: “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” And if possible, don’t get caught driving with women’s underwear pulled over your head.
Of course, not everybody can use alcohol as an excuse. LeBron James, ESPN, Dan Gilbert, Jesse Jackson, David Stern — they’re all sober, even if delusional. Where to start? We count down . . .
10. Who’s next to grab the stupidity baton?
This whole NBA offseason has been like a game of goofball dominoes. LeBron James does his narcissistic dance of life across the stage in free agency, then some actually suggest he should be commended for taking less money by not signing with Cleveland, even though he’s certain to make far more money off the court by signing with Miami. ESPN’s signing show was such an
abomination that, for a moment, they seemed to be getting at least as much heat as James. Then Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert took attention off both by releasing a statement which referred to James and his “cowardly betrayal” and “shocking act of disloyalty.” To punctuate his remarks, Gilbert claimed his former breadwinner “quit” in the playoffs. Quoting here: “Watch the tape.” So you figure that’s where it ends, right? No. Jesse Jackson makes everybody forget what a knucklehead Gilbert is by saying the owner’s “feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave.” Yes, because do you know how many slaves left one plantation for another and announced it on ESPN. After appearing on Larry King. All the while thrilling their shoe company, Nike, which was about to come out with the “Air Oppressed”?
Is this what happens when you swallow the worm in the tequila bottle? Or is that reserved for drunk, wife-beating, racist, anti-Semitic Nazis like Mel Gibson? Sorry, got off track there. But there’s great news for Gilbert! David Stern just grabbed the baton!
9. Meet Commissioner See No Evil
Sorry, but if you ask me who’s more responsible than anybody for what has gone on, it’s NBA commissioner David Stern. I understand the NBA is a players’ league. I understand the man has a product to protect, and therefore he is shielding the centerpieces of his league. But can he at least pretend like he cares? The NBA announced Monday night that it was fining Gilbert $100,000 for “inappropriate comments regarding Miami Heat forward LeBron James.” Inappropriate? Is this at Stern’s whims? What happened to actual rules? Stern fined Hawks owner Michael Gearon Jr. last month for saying: “If somebody came to us tomorrow and said you can have LeBron for max money and it puts you in the luxury tax, I’d do it in a heartbeat But am I going to do that for [Zydrunas] Ilgauskas? Am I going to do it for Jermaine O’Neal? I don’t think so.” Stern considered that tame comment about Gearon’s general position on paying a luxury tax as tampering. But he did not consider James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh talking for months about playing on the same team as tampering. He did not consider any of their public comments about playing for different teams before free agency officially started as tampering. He can’t have it both ways. And riddle me this: If Stern doesn’t see players talking prior to the free agency period as tampering, does that meanHeat president Pat Riley (who would be tampering if he spoke of other players) can ask Wade to recruit players, knowing that’s OK with Stern? Here’s the rule: “Tampering is when a player or team directly or indirectly entices, induces or persuades anybody [player, general manager, etc.] who is under contract with another team to negotiate for their services.” But this is what Stern said Monday: “They don’t collude, they just sort of talk about how nice it is to be able to play together and they’re allowed to do that.” Well heck, as long as we’re just talking, here’s something else for you, commish . . .
8. The next Big Three to New York
Great story out of New York this past weekend. LeBron goes to Carmelo Anthony’s wedding and is greeted by boos outside of the Manhattan chapel. How bad is it when you’re booed outside of a wedding chapel? (I’m not counting in-laws.) Then, inside, Anthony reportedly makes a toast, suggesting he and Chris Paul may one day join Amar’e Stoudemire on the Knicks. From the New York Post: “According to a person who spoke with wedding attendee Amar’e Stoudemire, Paul made the reference during a speech of a potential union of himself, Stoudemire and Anthony, saying, ‘We’ll form our own Big 3.’ Attendee Spike Lee nearly passed out at the suggestion.”
7. Wonder if this guy is from Philly?
OK, let’s lighten up, Francis. Turns out, the U.S. didn’t corner the market on dumb sports fans. Some guy, apparently quite famous in Spain, tried to swipe the World Cup trophy before Sunday’s championship game between Spain and the Netherlands. Jaume Marquet Cot, also known as “Jimmy Jump,” was quickly dropped by security. For what it’s worth, I have no idea what the announcer is saying, nor what language he is saying it in.
6. Jose, can you see? Or think? Or Function?
The Count has wandered down the Jose Canseco Meltdown Expressway before. About a year ago we brought you video of the former “Bash Brother” getting clocked in a Mixed Moronic Arts bout by South Korean hulkasaurus Hong Man Choi. If you missed it, we found it in The Count’s archives and re-posted it. But Canseco outdid himself this time: He boxed a 60-year-old! And lost! Canseco dropped a four-round decision to Gary Hogan, an assistant athletic trainer from the University if Arkansas-Little Rock. Hogan scheduled the exhibition to raise money for a boxing gym. Canseco fought to raise money for himself: reportedly between $10,000 to $30,000. Hogan said afterward it was clear that Canseco got tired. Canseco responded, “He’s got some big [expletives].” (Feel free to follow with the steroids joke of your choice.) Here’s the video. There’s not much action. But take a look at it — and last year’s faceplant against Choi — and then meet me back at No. 5 in the Countdown. This story gets better.
Canseco drops decision to Methuzelah
Down goes Canseco!
5. Twitter in the hands of a fool (again)
Are you following @JoseCanseco on Twitter? It’s like witnessing a daily self-immolation. Canseco is getting pounded by his followers for the loss. Canseco is now claiming he really wasn’t trying to win. He also wrote (term used loosely) on Twitter: “Hey golic u think I am a joke in the ring I won’t hold u up and go easy on u. Knock your fat [butt] out.” (I’m assuming ESPN radio host Mike Golic, a former NFL player, mocked him but I didn’t hear it.” Canseco also responded to the criticism as so (verbatim): “You haters will fight me on my show,it will be a blast showing u want [sic] I can really do I will not hold back because I hate haters.” And there also was this one: “Anytime I need a reality check on what you liars and hypocrits [sic] are about I go on twitter, it reassures me on why all other countries want to exterminate us.” To which Twitter follower @YankeeMegInPHL responded: “No, Jose, just you.” And who knew even Lichtenstein wanted to exterminate us?
4. Meanwhile, back to Athens . . .
Question to Mark Richt apologists: How can a college football coach not be responsible when the players he recruits keep getting into trouble? I understand the whole personal responsibility argument. But if Richt believes he is doing everything he can to discipline his players, maybe the problem is he’s picking the wrong players. A question to Bulldog loyalists: If Urban Meyer or Nick Saban have seven players get arrested in an offseason, who would you blame? What if the president of a bank or a grocery store or law firm keeps hiring employees who get arrested? Think eventually he might take the fall? Hello? McFly? Meanwhile, I believe only 13 players are eligible for the Louisiana-Lafayette game. But that will still be enough.
3. Delonte West: Definitely not going to Miami
One of the strangest underground/unconfirmed/sleazy stories of our generation is the one that allegedly explains why LeBron James was so mediocre in some playoff games this year: He discovered teammate Delonte West was having an affair with LeBron’s mother, Gloria James. Now, very few media outlets have even acknowledged this rumor, which originally appeared on the website TerezOwens.com, mainly because it’s so nauseating. ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd was one of the few mainstream media folk to mention it, claiming it was one reason James would not sign with the New York Knicks (and that the New York Post already was looking into the story). We mention it now only so we can run the photo (via MyBlockSportsTalk) of the sign outside of Huggy’s Place in Vermilion, Ohio. The message, which went up right after James announced his exodus, says it all.
2. OK, last shot
Really, I didn’t intend for this to turn into the LeBron Countdown. Last thing. Well, two things. If you’re on Twitter, @LeBronJamesEgo is worth following for laughs. Second, Cleveland Scene has an anti-LeBron T-shirt wrap-up, some referencing his lack of rings, lack of honesty or, of course, Delonte West. It’s not believed Nike has produced any of the shirts.
1. And finally
Tonight is the All-Star Game. If Ryan Braun of Milwaukee hits a game-deciding home run off of Fausto Carmona of Cleveland, making a winner of Josh Johnson of Florida, that means the Braves could have the home-field advantage over the Yankees in the World Series. And it all will make sense in Bud Selig’s strange little world.