Let’s talk about this guy for a couple of minutes:
I found this guy over Thanksgiving, in a drawer in my old bedroom at my parents’ house.
Now, let’s answer your questions:
-Yes, that’s me.
-Yes, that is indeed a glorious mullet.
– I think I was probably around 13, which means this picture was taken in or around 1991.
-No, I’m not sure in what context this photo was taken. Maybe it was some sort of candid shot for my Bar Mitzvah album, aimed at showing my more relaxed side. I asked my parents on Saturday. They didn’t remember. They did laugh, though. A LOT.
-No, I don’t remember sitting in front of a kick ass light show with my head cocked slightly to the side and a knowing glint in my eyes.
-No, I’m not sure what I was thinking at the moment this picture was snapped. Probably something about getting home to play my Sega Genesis. Also, if that smile is any indication, boobies.
-No, it was not taken at “Glamour Shots.” While there was a glamour shots franchise at the Freehold Raceway Mall near my house, it was for girls!
-No, I don’t know whose idea it was for me to pose in a menacing black t-shirt. Scared? The other kids were NOT!
-Yes, I’m sure there were more of these, with me making various expressions and taking numerous poses. But, hopefully, this is the only one that has survived. It was the only one I found in the drawer this weekend.
-Yes, I think it’s entirely possible that on the day this photograph was taken, god looked down at me and said, “Well, if this is how you are going to abuse the privilege of having hair, I’m just going to take it away from you.” The baldness kicked in within a couple of years.
Over the weekend, I was watching something on NBATV with my father and I made a point of saying how much I enjoy Chris Webber as an analyst. Lo and Behold, I open SI and find that Richard Deitsch has profiled CWebb in his newish “media circus” column. Webber was one of my favorite players to watch, especially when he stood at the high post and orchestrated an offense like a gigantic immobile point guard. He was an incredibly smart player, aside from the one play that he’s most famous for. And that’s the first thing my father mentioned when I brought Webber up.
“I like him. He seems smart.”
“Not when he has to call a timeout.”
I’m curious if other people feel the same way about Webber, if one bad play, made more than 20 years ago, still defines him in many people’s minds.
Back to Backs by Peter King
Peter King’s article is meant to squash the notion that the NFL has become a pass first league, with running backs taking a back seat in most offenses. But, he makes that point by highlighting the few running backs who have had breakout years. Logically speaking though, it seems that highlighting the small number of elite running backs would reinforce the fact that fewer teams are depending on the ground game.
Beauty in the Beast by Alan Shipnuck
Marshawn Lynch does not hide from his history of arrests, calls women at the offices where his non-profit is located “baby doll” and “sweetheart,” and shows up for business meetings in shorts and sneakers. And this is supposed to demonstrate to the reader that the Seahawks running back is a mature adult set apart from his childish NFL counterparts?
Hamster, Daaamn! by Jim Trotter
I read this article about Doug Martin yesterday. I don’t remember any details about it.
What’s New In Blue by Chris Mannix
Mannix writes about Kentucky basketball’s latest class of standout freshmen. I have no issue with the way UK does business. It doesn’t bother me in the least that these kids show up in Lexington with no intention of staying more than a year. What does bother me a bit in this article is the fact that NBA scouts already have solidified opinons of what these kids can and can not do on the court. They’ve played 2 games. I realize the timeframe is sped up because they’ll be leaving school early, but that seems a bit too fast to make a judgement.
His Time, His Place by Michael Rosenberg
Rosenberg writes about Tony Parker, who has finally taken on the responsibility of being the Spurs’ best player, even though Tim Duncan remains the face of the franchise. Parker getting injured in the Drake-Chris Brown fight over the summer was one of my favorite storylines of the NBA off-season. And I’m glad he has decided to distance himself from Chris Brown, after reportedly describing the domestic abuser as a friend. Come on. No one should be that guy’s friend.
Modern Irish by Tim Layden
I circled a few things as I read this article about Notre Dame’s return to football dominance:
In describing a student returning home after watching Notre Dame lose to USC a few years ago:
“Joseph..watched Notre Dame lose to USC and then rode home.. with his dad, stopping at a rural Arby’s with his hair and face painted in Notre Dame colors, embarrassed and beaten.”
Embarrassed to be a Notre Dame fan? Embarrassed to be in his late teens and wearing face paint? Or Embarrassed to be eating in a rural Arby’s? I think he probably meant the first one. I think he should be more worried about numbers 2 and 3.
A quote from a Charlie Weis era Notre Dame employee on the school’s policy that football players are treated just like everyone else.
“I thought a concept of being a well-rounded student at Notre Dame was a neat idea. But I also think the campus environment softens a kid. Then you’ve got to get him back over to the facility and unsoften him.”
To be clear, this employee says that kids who live in dorms, with tiny beds and communal bathrooms and tiny tv’s shared with their friends and roomates, are soft. But football players who hang out in a players only lounge with big screen tvs, pool tables, free food and video games, are hard.
I was happy to see that Layden addressed the deaths of two non-players in football related circumstances. It’s too easy to ignore negatives while writing a redemption story. And I come away somewhat satisfied with the University’s explanations of both, even if I don’t agree with their arguments.
Point After by Phil Taylor
The story about football coach Todd Hoffner is an interesting one. He’s facing charges for taking naked pictures of his own children. He says they were simply having fun at bath time. Prosecutors see something more sinister. Taylor does a nice job of presenting both sides without taking either. That helps prove his thesis that, in the post-Sandusky world, its hard to tell where to draw the line.