Travis Zajac Is Out 4-6 Months With A Torn Pec, Annnd The Devils Are Officially Out Of The Playoff Race
I'm not saying that Travis Zajac needs someone to babysit him during his offseason workouts, but - from here on it - it might be wise of the Devils to invest in an overly cautious spotter...
Annnnyway, it's pretty depressing to have your eyes painfully held open to just how blind your optimism might have been before training camp even starts. A potential playoff berth was already a pipe dream, but that pipe just burst with the news that the New Jersey Devils will be without their most well-rounded, defensively responsible forward for half the season.
For all the criticism that he gets from fans that don't understand anything that takes place outside of a box score, Travis Zajac's presence is more important to the Devils' success than any one thing he does on the ice. Whether it be winning face-offs, killing penalties, or letting his linemates play it a little faster and looser in their own end, the guy just makes the jobs of those around him that much easier. It's that type of two way, versatile play that allowed him to anchor a surprisingly dominant line (Hall-Zajac-Palmieri) - albeit on a terrible offensive team - while only putting up 45 points. It was undeniably evident how important he was to the lineup when his injury coincided with the Devils crash back to earth two seasons ago, and it will be just as obvious when his extensive absence has the locker room looking younger than that one shitty college bar that doesn't check ID's.
If you really wanted to look on the bright side then this terrible, awful, no good, very bad news doesn't really do all that much to derail the Devils' unrealistic hopes of being relevant. The influx of youth - however promising it may be - was already going to have them fighting an uphill battle. Expecting rookies to carry the workload of a #1 center (even if he's probably better off as a #2 center) isn't going to make that hill any less steep. That said, this all but guarantees that New Jersey will get to see what they have in Michael McLeod (and potentially Blake Speers) sooner rather than later, and featuring Nico Hischier in a role he might not be ready for will show exactly how far away he is from being the player they thought they selected first overall. If nothing else, Pavel Zacha will get every opportunity to flourish in what should be a season that's very telling of his development.
In a way that won't come anywhere close to translating to more wins, this could make the Devils somewhat more exciting. Assuming, of course, that an injury on offense can't be all that disastrous to a team that is still without a blueline, Travis Zajac's newly vacant spot in the lineup is going to give a bunch of unproven guys the chance to sink or swim. Losing a versatile player who is better at defense than the actual defense for an extended period of time is never good, but at least the roster hopefuls know that they'll have to work their way out of floaties by the end of training camp.
Welp, you heard the man. He'd love to answer to his "unpatriotic" display of apathy that took place on the same day in which an American city was fighting over whether or not people that look like Marshawn deserve to be Lynch'd. Unfortunately, it appears that a failure to properly exterminate the room had that motherfuckin' mastodon checking out of it before it even made it's inevitably polarizing presence felt.
Man, what are the odds?! Finally got that damn elephant to make an appearance for the first time since Saturday, and all the sudden a mouse comes along and scares it away before Marshawn Lynch even has a chance to address it in a totalllly original way that deffffinitely would have opened the minds of those that have been so incredibly accepting of multi-cultural ways of thinking in the past.
In all honesty, I love the visual of a Raiders' PR director running up and telling Marshawn Lynch that he should have a response prepared for when the media undoubtedly asks him about sitting during the 'National Anthem', and Marshawn Lynch being like "eh, I think I'm just going to deflect blame onto an invisible rodent". May not be the most professional or powerful of messages, but it brought a pretty swift end to the "distraction" that has cost Colin Kaepernick a job. There definitely aren't too many players other than 'Beast Mode' that can get away with that answer, which really just goes to show that you're probably better off making it known that you don't give a fuck if you're going to do something that pisses a bunch of people off.
That rant was practice, right? That long winded, rhetorical string of why's that would put a 5 year old's inquisitiveness to shame and questioned the entire existence of college football and sports media as a whole absolutely had to be Nick Saban's attempt at turning nothing into something just to prove to himself that he still can.
As is annually the case, there will be a point in the season when he needs to motivate his stacked team by angrily acting like two missed tackles in a 25 point shellacking is a legitimate cause for concern, and this was his way of making sure he was prepared to irrationally overreact at a random moment's notice. It's either that, or he found the longest possible way to say "good", because I am pretty sure that's all that was required to answer a question as harmless as "how does Christian Miller look in practice?".
That's why I have never been more positive that Alabama's forever-agitated head coach isn't just using training camp to get his soon-to-be NFL caliber players ready to beat the piss out of the vast majority of their schedule. He's also using it to get himself ready by bitching the curiosity out of the vast majority of SEC reporters who are contractually obligated to create relatively crappy content during the dog days of summer.
You know what, I think I can get on board with this. I've made clear the quickness with which I roll my eyes when a '28-3' joke is made. It's a make-or-break year in New Orleans, and I am much more concerned with making sure this recurring 7-9 nightmare isn't actually a curse in disguise. So no, I don't particularly care that the Falcons spent billions of dollars on a retractable anus that is too constipated to work properly, or that they accidentally trolled the tastebuds of the few fans whose voices aren't artificial piped in by putting an inoperable Chuck-Fil-A on their own damn concourse. The Saints are going to need to prove to me that they - themselves - aren't a laughing stock before I turn to the futility of the franchise that appears to be ripe for a Super Bowl hangover as a source of humor.
That said, if you can effortlessly fit a joke about your rival's historical incompetence into your everyday life then you almost have to do it, right? Knowing Atlanta, this server was probably not only below average, but also didn't give a damn about the Falcons. That's why turning her slightly sub-20% tip into a gratuitous joke at the expense of her hometown comes off as more situationally aware than comically incompetent. You start reaching for half-ironic placements of the numbers 28, 3, or 25 and you show your lack of wit pretty quickly. However, if you are put in a position where you absolutely have to do math then it might as well add up to the demise of Matt Ryan.
It's Being Reported That LeBron James Is "100%" Leaving Cleveland, And He's Shockingly Disputing The Report
Look, I take the report that LeBron James is "100%" leaving Cleveland with a grain of salt. I think there is a extremely high likelihood that the most hard-to-please superstar in basketball is less than a year away from taking his talents to LA, but nothing in professional sports - not even NBA collusion - is set in stone 11 months ahead of time. If I absolutely had to put a number on it I would probably say there's about a 95% chance that 'King James' crop dusts Dan Gilbert on his way out the door next July, and that is what makes these conflicting reports so hilarious. LeBron isn't upset that someone is making proclamations about his future...he's upset that they are doing so in an exaggerated manner.
You ever been put in a situation where someone is telling an embarrassing story about you to a group that includes you, and you step in to argue the mild liberties they are taking to make you look just a littttttle bit worse? LeBron's camp claiming that the forever-unnamed source is "totally off" is like interjecting in a story about you getting far too drunk and projectile vomiting on four strangers by angrily pounding your fist on the table and saying "it was only three strangers!". It's obviously self preservation, but it's self preservation in its pettiest form.
Combatting this report wasn't an attempt to make him look committed to Cleveland. It was an attempt at combatting ever-so-slight hyperbole. That outright denial of a blatantly dysfunctional relationship with the billionaire buffoon in the Cavaliers' front office? Nothing more than a little white lie to salvage some good will with a fanbase that shouldn't exactly be betting the house on the 1:20 odds that LeBron James wants to stay in an organization whose championship aspirations were strangled by Dan Gilbert's purse strings. The two sides are basically bickering over a small discrepancy in percentage points for a sweepstakes that's a year away from taking place, and somehow that makes the perfect microcosm for the shamelessly frivolous reality show that is the NBA offseason. I say something is "100% happening" when - in actuality - it's closer to 85% happening just about every single day, and that same stupid concept has the best basketball player on the planet and the professional team that employs him arguing over the difference between "probably" and "definitely"...
God, I love this game.
No One Has Ever Earned A Base On Balls More Than This Guy Filming The First Pitch At The Red Sox Game
I don't even think I'm being mildly facetious when I say that was basically poetry in motion. You could literally picture the end result seconds before the potential infertility came to fruition because the ball almost seemed to become suspended in the air as if time were temporarily standing still to build up the anticipation for the inevitable nut shot. As far as completely incidental cup checks go, that was the cinematic version of being down three in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases jacked. As soon as it left his hand you already knew the payoff wasn't going to leave you disappointed, but somehow it ended up being more satisfying than anyone could have possibly imagined.
That outcome was no curveball, because watching that floater pitch slowly careen down towards his Scuffy McGee's as if it were in slow motion was like watching a rom-com in which a widely inaccurate changeup and a camera man's testicles were destined to end up eternally tied together forever. I honestly don't how something that worked out so perfectly wasn't scripted, because real life simply isn't supposed to provide such convenient conclusions. Tony might wake up in the middle of the night feeling that one from his cojones to his chest cavity. For the rest of us, however, that off-speed moose-knuckleball hit us directly in the feels and reminded us exactly what it was like to love......seeing invitees deliver ceremonial pitches from the rubber without having a clue as to which observers would be wise to keep their "head" on a swivel.
Did I just join Team Kyrie? I'm pretty sure I did. I know he had nothing to do with the making of this video, but there's something about perfectly setting the funniest aspects of the most high-profile NBA drama to one of the most infectious songs of a generation that just makes you want to agree with the person being voiced in it. Shit, you might be able get me to side with Roger Goodell if you turned him into a caricature and had him penning angry letters to outspoken neurologists with the angelic harmonies of Dido playing in the background. Okay fine, probably not, but I would be more likely to laugh at his blatant lies if someone turned them into an animated parody over a nostalgic Eminem beat.
I'm not sure, but I think a satirical representation of Kyrie Irving's thought process (according to sources of other sources that may or may not be close to him while he passive aggressively SnapChats) just somehow did a better job humanizing him than any candid interview he could ever give. Well, it's either that or the NBA offseason is such a goddamn soap opera that I now have a distorted view of how professional athletes truly interact with each other on a personal level so I have taken to choosing sides in sports beefs by way of expertly produced cartoons that serve as mockumentaries. Oh well, as is always the case, as long as it's got a catchy hook I don't feel bad nodding my head along to it.
TheComeback-A former student at Los Altos High School (Hacienda Heights, CA) has filed a lawsuit against the school district and his former baseball coach, citing repeated benching from games and describing it as “harassment and bullying.”
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that 17-year-old Robbie Lopez and his parents are seeking “$150,000 or more” in the lawsuit, claiming that varsity baseball coach Gabriel Lopez (no relation) repeatedly refused to let Robbie play throughout his senior year. The lawsuit claims that Robbie was a starter for three seasons before Gabriel arrived as the new head coach at Los Altos.
The family believes the benching began after Robbie’s father, Robert Lopez II, “complained to the district’s athletic director after a disagreement over a fundraising game.”
The players that didn’t participate in the fundraising event were then not allowed to practice, according to the lawsuit. And this caused the father to then speak with the school, as it’s illegal in the state of California to require public school students to fundraise in order to participate in school activities.
The lawsuit also references an alumni game, where current Los Altos baseball players take on former players from the school in what is basically just a fun scrimmage. Every senior participated in the game, except for Robbie.
Full disclosure, I have no idea how the legal team of 17 year old decided that fair compensation for getting benched in competitive high school athletics ranged in the six figures. I'm no lawyer, but I think the misconduct has to be sexual in nature before you go trying to pay off four years of college tuition with the reparations.
That said, I can't think of any teenager who is more deserving of $150,000 than the one whose overbearing father raised him to be an entitled asshole despite not having the talent to make his head coach ignore the fact that he was a senior that refused to attend team building events. Seriously, nothing screams "leader" like getting your ass plastered to the pine for running to daddy and responding with litigation. The amount might seem a bit exorbitant. However, Robbie Lopez is probably the first high school athlete to ever have his young career stunted by a newly hired, self righteous coach that didn't like having his authority questioned by a self important second baseman that's not even old enough to buy cigarettes.
If the justice system doesn't reward this type of infantile behavior with a payment that is fitting of the price tag on a fully-loaded Mazarati then it might encourage all sorts of disciplinary bullying - such as your standard benching - throughout high-level youth sports! They screw this one up and there's no telling where the line in the dirt gets drawn in terms of testing the depth of your roster via dugout harassment!
P.S. This "highlight reel" says all I need to know. He couldn't get one friend/teammate to go out to the diamond and help him look better by comparison? Really speaks to his popularity in the locker room. I don't know about $150K, but I would be fine with the court rewarding this loner $150 out of pity...
Hmm, why do I feel like I have seen something like this before?
Oh yeah, that's it!
You know what, I have to give credit to Texas State. The only thing worse than having to literally spell out the most basic of crimes - in size 320 font - on the wall of your facility is breaking your own "core value" by outright stealing that idea from a coach that was equally untrusting (and rightfully so) of his athletes. That said, they managed to avoid an accusation of plagiarism by using some clever linguistics and being more thorough with their ban of all armory. That's how you set an example for the kids who are going to need that education after failing to extend their football careers after facing the weakest of FBS competition. Don't put the work in and develop your own, distinct set of "Core Values". Just copy it from more accomplished people! I'm sure Charlie Strong will be honored to find out that he provided the proverbial cheat sheet to a lesser known program that was at least nice enough to change up the lettering and ever-so-slightly alter the wording of the rules their players already should have learned by the time they graduated elementary school!
Serious question, does throwing this all-too-obvious shit up on the wall rid universities of liability, or does it just give college coaches a false sense that making a player walk past a monstrous wall decoration was all they could do to prevent him from lying about where he stole his guns and drugs from after assaulting his girlfriend?
Delvin Breaux's "Contusion" Was Actually A Fractured Fibula, And The Saints Have Finally Fired Members Of Their Medical Staff
First, the bad news. A team that has a notoriously crappy defense and has started slower than a '79 Buick the last few seasons will be without it's long-presumed starting cornerback during what appears to be the most difficult stretch of their schedule. The fact that he was reportedly being shopped no longer matters, because now someone that was (somewhat pathetically) one of the most proven members of the secondary won't be able to contribute by play or by exchange for at least a month. I thought that moving Delvin Breaux for an inevitable underpayment would have been a huge mistake, and that's because - when healthy - he's exponentially more valuable to the Saints than he is anyone else. This injury news makes a trade that seemed unlikely (if not stupid) anyway an impossibility, but it also leaves a gapping hole on the outside of defense that will never not need improvement.
Now, the good news. Delvin Breaux is - in fact - not a baby back bitch that can't play through a bruise, and the two weeks he has spent not healing from a fractured fibula ultimately got a medical staff that is historically delayed (if not incompetent) in diagnosing injuries (i.e. doing their fucking job) canned for good. I highly doubt that adding some new orthopedists can hamstring Brandin Cooks from stretching the field come Week 2, but if they aren't illiterate when it comes to reading an x-ray then they will be a welcomed addition to the organization in the long term.
It's a massive failure - on so, so many levels - that a franchise whose locker room has seemed eternally invested by the injury bug was employing doctors that made Doogie Howser look deserving of his M.D. I don't know how many man games were unnecessarily lost or how careers were careened due to at least minimal malpractice over the years. I do know that I feel more comfortable knowing that someone other than Delvin Breaux lost their fucking job when the black-and-blue that had his coaches questioning his toughness and his front office questioning his trade value was really a broken bone. Players that were put in Keenan Lewis' position (see below) could potentially see it differently, but - goddamn it - better late than never...
If This Clip Of His Teammate Taunting Him To His Face Is Any Indication, Robert Aguayo Never Had A Chance
And let that be a lesson to any organization that - for some reason - still thinks it's a justifiable decision to address a need at placekicker with a second round pick. Never mind that it's absurdly irresponsible asset management when that position can be just as adequately filled outside of the draft, because the unspoken truth is that selecting a kicker that early basically dooms his career before it even begins. We can laugh at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for placing a laughably high value on Robert Aguayo, but let's fall back on laughing at Robert Aguayo who only lost his job after being put in a no-win position.
Every single player that was making less money than the guy that was tasked solely with kicking a couple balls every practice (and make no mistake, there were a lot of them) was already inclined to talk shit to the dude that undeservedly went ahead of them. You think Chris Baker was the first teammate to intentionally tap dance on a brain that was made fragile by the inherent pressure that comes with being selected on Day 2 of the draft as someone that plays a position that almost immediately makes them an outcast? Hell no. The Bucs' coaches were probably encouraging that type of behavior to simulate the tensions of an actual NFL game.
Robert Aguayo was probably too damn high strung the second he lined up on the first day of his rookie training camp with expectations that were literally impossible to meet. With what their team invested in him, Tampa Bay players and fans wouldn't have been happy unless he somehow kicked field goals that counted for 5 points. Of course that burden weighed on the guy that likely became the target of direct taunts and blatant disrespect from pissed off players as soon as their hard work went for naught. Robert Aguayo might not be cut out for the NFL, but the Buccaneers certainly didn't help his chances when they had a spotlight shining in his eyes before he even got a chance to introduce himself to his holder. Simply out, you might go a little wide left too if you had the aggravations of an entire organization intimidatingly chirping over your right shoulder.
Just Like The Red Wings, The Detroit Lions Had To Denounce Their Affiliation With the White Supremacists Using Their Logo
Huh. Who knew that neo-nazis marching around town using fire sticks as their weapon of choice while preaching about a "master race" and promoting a regressive set of societal beliefs in the year 2017 lacked originality? Honestly, I'm stunned that the people that have been patiently waiting in their parents' basements for abject racism to resurface while projecting their hate for themselves on people of differing races, colors, and creeds aren't the most creative bunch.
When I saw that a group of white supremacists had adopted someswatstified version of the Detroit Red Wings' logo I figured that they were just too lazy to come up with their own brand recognition. Now that they have also attempted to re-inappropriate the Detroit Lions' logo there is only one thing that could possibly be true. The alt-right hasn't taken a hard left outside of the self-promotional box they use as their sounding board since they first decided to embrace the ideology of a long deceased German dictatorship. Stealing trademarks has only become their schtick because it falls in line with the fact that innovation isn't exactly their thing. Of course white nazionalists have incorporated the intellectual property of proud sports' franchises that have been around since before Hitler started thinking for those that would eventually ended up missing the bus to the 21st century.
What else were they supposed to do? Generate their own thoughts and ideas? You do realize we are talking about the same folks that still use the word "tradition" as a crutch while continuing to salute a flag that became obsolete for over a century and a half ago, right? I can't believe it took us this long to realize they came up with their "coat of arms" while squinting at the television of Sunday afternoon and actively trying not to root for the black players on their favorite team.
July 17: Whitehead took to Instagram to announce his dog had been stolen and held for ransom. A rapper by the name of Boogotti Kasino had Whitehead’s dog but claimed he wasn’t holding it for ransom. He returned the dog the next day.
July 24: Virginia Police announced that it had issued a warrant for Whitehead’s arrest for shoplifting.
July 24: The Cowboys release Whitehead following the announcement.
July 25: Virginia Police announce that Whitehead was not the man they were looking for. It was a case of mistaken identity.
August 15: Jets coach Todd Bowles announces that Whitehead suffered a broken foot in practice.
Was the fact that Lucky Whitehead got cut for a crime he didn't commit after someone used his personal information not enough of a sign that the dude needed some new personal information? I'm not a big believer in omens, but after having that rough of a month could switching your nickname to literally anything even slightly less ironic really hurt? At his point, he should just change things up so that he doesn't have to go on the internet and see people that somehow think they are original make the same nauseatingly repetitive joke over and over again.
If I were him I would just cut ties with all of my most attention-worthy characteristics. It's not that I think doing so will end help his streak of head scratching misfortune, but at least if it continues it won't be attached to the name that now universally serves as a paradox. As a kick returner on a talentless wasteland of a roster he's just forgettable enough to get away with shaving his dreads, creating a brand new government alias, and having his next couple of seemingly inevitable unfortunate circumstances fly under the radar on a (potentially) winless team. At least that's what I would do as a luckless 'Lucky' in a world in which everyone with an online presence thinks they are a comedian.
ESPN's Live Fantasy Football Auction Probably Could Have Benefited From A Little Bit More...Uhh...Color
Annnnd here's the end result when you watch 'Get Out', and think "hey, that scene where they sold off the black guy's athletic ability to the highest of extremely white bidders would play great on our nationally broadcasted Fantasy Football special!"...
Seeing as I don't think that ESPN stands to benefit from airing a segment that serves as ode to the days of slave labor, I'm going to go ahead and say that this idea was just as innocent as it was stupid. I'm not so sure the worldwide leader in forced entertainment needs to be offering any public apologies because you'd really have to be asshole to think that their intentions were as questionable as their execution, but - with that said - I do have one question...
Where are all the minorities?
I know that Bristol, Connecticut isn't exactly a hub of cultural diversity, but if you're going to hold up the face of an African American for auction then it might be wise not to restrict your invitations to people that just waltzed off the 18th green. I don't know if the country club vibe is what was solely responsible for making this whole scene more cringeworthy, but I can't imagine that subbing out Sperry's target demographic for some sneakerheads would have hurt this extremely unfortunate optic. I admittedly play fantasy football with a predominantly caucasian group of friends, but generally our drafts don't look like a company-wide conference at Dockers. Shit, even Tommy Hilfiger would have known to call up his "black friend" to keep things a bit more colorful if he knew there were going to be cameras around.
Undoubtedly, a vast majority of fantasy football auctions are going to have a bunch of white dudes giddily bidding on Odell Beckham. However, when that auction draft is being held on cable television, the key is to mix in at least a few people that don't look like they would predominantly use his ridiculous hands to help clean their summer home.
“Fucking keep that shit in bounds, bro. Goddamn.” - Allen Robinson
Shit. I think I have gotten to the point where I actually pity Blake Bortles. Honestly, if anyone else had thrown a ball so wildly out of bounds that it made safety help out of an innocent observer then I wouldn't have hesitated in commenting on it. Granted - after much deliberation - I have still chosen to make light of an NFL quarterback being so off-target that he turned everyone within a ten foot radius of the sidelines into an obstacle while tossing up a 1-on-1 jump ball under no pressure whatsoever. However, seeing as that quarterback has become a league-wide punchline, I feel mildly bad (or worse, repetitive) while doing so.
I've truly grown tired of beating the dead horse, but clips like this are why the Jacksonville Jaguars essentially have a bludgeoned animal carcass starting under center. So, as someone that doesn't want his jokes about piss poor quarterback play to go stale before the season even starts, I must echo the sentiment of Allen Robinson in telling Blake Bortles to fucking keep that shit in bounds, bro.
If not so that his former Pro Bowl wide receiver has a snowball's chance in South Florida of keeping his feet in bounds then for the sake of overweight football fans trying to withstand the heat of the dog days without having to play pass defense.
LBS- Results of the toxicology report from Woods’ DUI arrest in May were made public on Monday. The report shows that five substances were found in Woods’ system, including two painkillers, a tranquilizer, a sedative, and THC.
The two painkillers he was on included Dilaudid and Vicodin; he was on Xanax, a tranquilizer typically used to combat anxiety; he used Ambien, a sleeping pill; and THC was found in his system, which is found in marijuana.
The results of the toxicology test were made public because Woods pleaded guilty to reckless driving and agreed to enter a diversion program, meaning there is no longer an active criminal investigation. Woods can have the charge wiped from his record once he completes the program.
So, we can throw out the theory that the professional golfer who has completed as many back surgeries as golf tournaments over the last 5 years was - in fact - not just an innocent victim of irresponsible dosing, right? I'm not exactly a doctor, but even I am familiar enough with a vast majority the toxins in his system to say that Tiger Woods was very much complicit in fucking himself all the way up before getting behind the wheel.
Vicodin, Xanax, and Ambien?!? Using a little green as a garnish on his cocktail of capsules?! Tiger Woods wasn't just high, he was as high as you have ever been...if you took ate two more weed brownies after hitting your peak. I was super skeptical that he "accidentally" reached a point in which he ceased to be a functioning human that could formulate words, but you can't really benefit from doubt when your toxicology report reads like the prescription that a frat brother brings to his street pharmacist.
Christ Tiger, how about mixing in a type of medicine that every stay-at-home mother hasn't heard of? Couldn't at least give your fans the appearance of your innocence by taking one of the thousands of pain killers that has a scientific name with 19 consonants and side effects are unknown to the average idiot? Preferably a disgraced a professional athlete wouldn't be treating his medicine cabinet like Augustus Gloop treats his Halloween candy before deciding that the foot he couldn't feel should be on the pedal of a motor vehicle. However, if he was going to do it then he should have at least left us open to the possibility that gross negligence was mildly responsible for his reckless endangerment. Can't really make that argument when you mix three of the most popular pills in the world with a little bit of reefer like you're some basic ass college burnout, but hey - look on the bright side - at least he wasn't drunk, right?!?
There's Something Depressingly Funny About The Fake James Harrison Quote That Made It's Way Around The Internet
Look, there's nothing funny about attributing a fake quote to a professional athlete. Especially when the professional athlete in question happens to be African American, and the fake quote is in reference to a polarizing, racially charged subject. It's honestly depressing that someone writing under the cowardly pseudonym of a fictitious hockey player turned golfer that pioneered the idea of taking off his skate in an attempt to stab an opponent was able to so easily spread such a blatant lie. That said, the thought process that allowed him to do so is at least mildly - if not morbidly - funny.
I mean, just take a second to stop and think why James Harrison - of all people - was used as the target of this online deception. I definitely don't want to put myself in the mind of someone that cares so strongly about athletes taking a seat in the name of equality that he mocks up baseless articles in hopes that old white people that aren't familiar enough with the internet to accept it's content as anything less than gospel share it. However, based on my familiarity with ignorant idiots like him, I think I am at liberty to say that there's a reason why he chose the black athlete that's most capable of putting the fear of god in every single one of his peers. There's no chance an NFL player would have their convictions swayed by something they came across on the petri dish of prejudice that is Facebook, but - if they were so inclined to do so - then the most effective threat would probably come from the guy that dick presses 600 pounds during the offseason.
Honestly, if there is something that could undo the entirety of a grown man's potty training then it's one scowl from a pissed off James Harrison. That's why an NHL analyst whose loose lips might as well be attached to an uncontrollable bladder wants faux-James Harrison on his team of "Super Patriots" that are more annoyed by peaceful protests than they are by violent, neo-nazi gatherings on American soil. I feel pretty confident in saying that because the alternative is that Jeremy Roenick actually wants to play alongside a guy that is willing to hypothetically hospitalize his teammates for having a differing opinion, and - based on his track record of spewing stupid shit - I doubt that would work out in his favor.
Jeremy Roenick and his braindead band of retweeters believe that black athletes don't have the right to express their displeasure with the state of race relations in this country while also believing that they have the right to use the made-up words of the biggest, most intimidating black athlete to scare them into standing up straight. If you don't consider that hilariously hypocritical then I would imagine you're capable of getting baited by the very same bullshit.
Shaq Has Absolutely No Idea Who Plays For The Sacramento Kings, Despite Being A Minority Owner Of The Team
“They’re close. They’re close. Great year last year. I still think they’re one or two pieces away. They lost an important piece, Otto Porter. He’s now playing for my team in Sacramento, but they’re close.”
Dammit, I really want to rip Shaquille O'Neal here. After all, he's paid handsomely to be a part of the preeminent NBA show on television without having a damn clue what's currently going on in the NBA. That show may temporarily be on hiatus and he may not have serve as anything more than it's resident idiot, but hopping on a popular podcast to talk about a lineup that only exists on someone's PlayStation4 is still pretty incompetent as far as professionalism goes. And as if that weren't negligent enough, he's apparently the minority of a professional basketball team whose roster he's as familiar with as the board full of NBA players that he just blindly winged a dart at on a public forum. All in all, it took an astounding about of obliviousness for Shaquille O'Neal to live in a world where Otto Porter Jr. is a Sacramento King. Unfortunately, I can't be too harsh, because the astounding lack of fucks he gives about the league he covers and the team he invested in is a testament to his success.
Seriously, Shaq is basically living the American dream. Ignoring damn near everything that has to do with his career the second his career grants him some down time. Checking up on the status of his business ventures as often as you or I check the spam folder of our e-mail account. Hell, I can't be the only jackass that had no idea that 'The Big Aristotle' had equity in the franchise whose glory years he turned into a living hell, and I'm pretty sure that speaks to how "highly" he values his ownership stake in a professional sports team. If his command of their offseason acquisitions is any indication, Shaq bought up a notable piece of the Sacramento Kings with the flippancy with which the average person scoops up a street side slice of pizza mid-bar crawl. Most of us could only be so lucky to have the job security to ignore our jobs for months at a time while still having the capital to buy expensive crap that we have a fleeting interest in.
The Red Wings Had To Publicly Dismiss Their Logo's Unfortunate Affiliation With A Group Of Pun-Happy White Supremacists
There are far too many unenviable jobs to go as far as claiming that public relations is the most thankless profession. However, I can certainly think of at least one person that could formulate a pretty compelling argument that covering the tracks of an extremely successful, well respected organization is something that isn't for the faint of heart. Seriously, imagine being tasked with relaying to the public that the professional hockey franchise that's older than all-but-three in the entire NHL is - in fact - not related to the group of neo-nazi's running rampant through a fascist gathering with signs depicting a similar, yet bastardized version of their logo. If that's not enough to make you reconsider your career path then it's clear that you chose the correct one.
Admittedly, I don't know who conjured up this statement. Regardless, I am fairly certain he/she choked on his/her breakfast when their summer Saturday was interrupted by their employer calling to tell them they had to promptly extinguish an unfortunate affiliation with a group of people that are convinced they are the modern day reincarnation of the 'Hitler Youth' before it set the internet ablaze. I only took an introductory course in PR, but I would venture to guess there is no amount of 'Higher Learning' that can adequately prepare you to distance your company's insanely recognizable emblem from the white supremacists that are using it to turn the name of their racist cult into a pun.
The author in question probably considered the job of being a metaphorical fire fighter for an NHL team to be a dream gig, but he/she damn sure didn't realize those fires were going to be attached to the end of Tiki torches held by the people that were using a proud franchise in a predominantly white sport to proudly declare white dominance. I don't want to speak for the nameless person behind the abject dismissal of white supremacy, but I'm confident that - in the moment - they damn sure didn't consider being given the responsibility of carefully crafting it a white privilege.
In The Most Self Serving Way Possible, Penny Hardaway Declared That Kawhi Leonard Isn't A "Superstar"
UPDATE: Penny Hardaway apparently did NOT say anything of the sort. That said, if - and only if - he did then I would stand by the following...
Wait a second here. Are you telling me that Penny Hardaway, of all people, use's the on-screen presence of professional athletes in things that aren't professional athletics to determine their "star power"?! He thinks being a well-known brand ambassador is equally as important to an MVP candidate's standing in the NBA as is his on-court performance? The player whose Nike commercials were made famous by an ankle-tall doll that was crafted in his likeness and voiced by someone far funnier and more personable than him (Chris Rock) makes us forget that his injury-riddled career seemingly came and went faster than a shooting (...wait for it...) star. That's the same guy that believes that being a recognizable spokesperson for a corporation is a difference between being a "good" and "great" member of 'The Association'?
Hmm. That seems like a pretty odd way to characterize a title that a vast majority of people largely equate with a player's talent and resume. Wonder what could possibly make Penny Hardaway think that marketability is a more desirable skill than lockdown defense and an ever-evolving offensive game? I can't imagine it's the convenience with which you could use easily use that very same criteria to call a guy whose biggest accomplishment was losing in the NBA Finals as an incredibly interesting aside in the young career of Shaquille O'Neal to be an "superstar". No sir, if I know Anfernee Hardaway like I think I know Anfernee Hardaway then he would never be superficial enough to over value his own endorsements while comparing himself to players who had a much larger and more lasting impact on the hardwood.
In all honesty, as a writer I have no choice but to respect what Penny did by semantically creating a logical way in which he could make it sound as if his short stint of excellence shined brighter than Kawhi Leonard's laundry list of accomplishments. In no way do I agree with his ridiculous rationale. I do, however, commend his architecture. He did a helluva job building that straw man argument out of insanely subjective opinions and cleverly worded definitions. Hell - if you didn't know any better - he would have you believing that even a young Tyra Banks looked forgettable when standing alongside his incandescent career that was unfortunately only slightly longer than a flash in a pan...