Retiring but Not Retired Gay Athletes

DATELINE: GAY HUMOR

UhohJC & Pal Rondo

Michael Sam and Jason Collins in Pre-Retirement Mode

 

Gay NBA player Jason Collins is throwing in the trick towel.

The former Boston Celtics player who came out of the closet to the rush of product endorsements and a plethora of public appearances, now, as it must for all, face the fame-killing moment of retirement.

It’s always a bit of a shock to be put out to pasture at age 35. However, Collins never played much, spending his ostensible career on the bench, keeping his keester warm.

Collins had a 13-year career, notable for nothing much, but still made the cover of Sports Illustrated for the achievement of being in the center ring of a media circus. He will now tour the country every summer as grand marshal of gay pride parades wherever a handful of celebrants can be mustered.

Of course, being put out to stud may be a blessing in disguise for a handsome, attractive young man in today’s gay world. Free drinks at any gay bar in America will be part of his NBA retirement package.

His main competition now will be football player Michael Sam, another handsome, attractive young man. Throw in the popularity of black athletes in the gay world, and you have a tandem that could rival Brady and Gronk for touchdowns in the red zone.

Sam and Collins may want to team up and produce a workout video for adoring fans. If it’s on Amazon Instant Video, we know how popular they will be in the privacy of your home.

 

 

Gay NBA Player Jason Collins Finds a Fly in His Ointment

Jason Collins and his long-time friend from the Celtics, Rajon Rondo

DATELINE: Phobic Reactors JC & Pal Rondo

Jason Collins, the first openly gay NBA player in history, has revealed that not everyone is copasetic with his sexual orientation being out on the court.

Though peaches and cream and a rosy-fingered dawn seem to be the league’s political approach, there is at least one Neanderthal (what, only one?) in the NBA who has been giving Collins a finger that is not so rosy.

Collins said he has been taunted by abusive words from one homophobic tough guy.

The insect in question is what we usually call a gay basher.

Of course, sticks and stones, etc., may be the high road approach of Collins and the Brooklyn Nets, but one suspects that as rules of statistics apply, the statistical outlier of NBA gay acceptance may be the tip of not-so-out liars.

If history has any validity, we can safely presume that the unnamed player has certain characteristics that usually identify a gay basher in spades.

Psychologists tell us that gay bashers resemble Fred  Phelps, the late member of the “I Hate Gays” Church of No Redemption. That is to say that the NBA player in question is likely hiding in his closet for dear life.

He may wrap himself in religious zeal and family values. He likely thinks anyone who does not behave in missionary positions like himself is a commie pinko or worse.

Such a wordsmith of abusive taunts likely has no sense of civil rights unless you try to take his gun away. Many African-American men as you may find in the NBA have a hard time equating their racial struggles with sexual struggles. They can father a dozen children to prove their manhood, but it is whistling in the dark.

If we can say anything in defense of Mr. Collins, it is that we know who you are, Mr. Gay Basher. You are the coward who will run and hide before speaking your piece in public.

We expect that the basher will not be offering his confessions to the media any time soon.

 

Paul Pierce Paraphrases Douglas MacArthur

 DATELINE: Not Fading Away

 PPnet

After playing his second game against the Celtics this season, Paul Pierce gave a post-game interview in which he let Rondo’s cat out of the bag.

Pierce made his seminal General Douglas MacArthur quote. No, not the one where he wished Rondo a happy birthday, but the one in which he said, “I shall return.”

He is planning on a return to Boston one day—as a player or in some other capacity. “Why not?” he cavalierly throngs of media.

Some people see things as they are and ask why. Paul sees the Celtics as they are and asks, “Why not?”

Is it any wonder that Pierce is the most beloved player on a  rival team in all Boston sports? Why not, indeed.

As soon as his current contract is up, we envision him calling Celtics honcho Danny Ainge and negotiating his return. He will be back to retire his number of course, but this return from the ashes may be something more. Much more.

During the Nets-Celtics game, we fully expected to see Pierce accidentally standing in the wrong huddle—if even for a laugh. He fouled Rondo and chuckled (as did Rondo).

There are two popes living in the Vatican today, and we certainly can see two captains on the Celtics next season.

When Kevin Garnett retires at year’s end, you can expect that Paul will not want to spend another hour with the Nets and their Captain Kidd coach.

On another former Celtic note, Rajon Rondo gave a warm handshake and greeting to gay gate crasher Jason Collins in the pregame social niceties.

Rondo once said a few years back of Collins how much he admired the benchwarmer.

Rondo told the media back when Collins wore green that the center was the only player who memorized all the plays in the Celtics playbook—besides himself, of course.

Former Celtics players always wish Rondo many happy returns.

 

Brooklyn: Home for Old Celtics

DATELINE: HUMORESQUE

GarnettKevin Garnett has not proposed to Big Baby Davis, nor to Jason Collins, but he wants them more than Uncle Sam wants you.

Valentine’s Day and NBA Trade Deadline Day often become confused because teams send flowers but eschew the fatty chocolates.

First openly gay basketball star Jason Collins has been left at the altar after making a modest proposal about playing on any team that would have him. And, overeater and underachiever Glen Davis has been bought out by the Orlando team, letting him ply his wares on any street corner of his choice.

Brooklyn unloaded Jason Terry, never a real Celtic, but now wants Davis and Collins to join Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce as they make a push to avoid the lottery.

The only player Garnett would send flowers to is Rajon Rondo, but that bromance is off limits.

Garnett blew a gasket when the media hinted he had the hots for Big Baby. Garnett’s heart may be green, but not just for any former Celtic player.

You can bet your bottom dollar that KG does not want the Brooklyn Nets to let Ray Allen walk through that door.

Across the country in Los Angeles, former Celtics coach Doc Rivers also wants Glen Davis—and he wanted Garnett and Pierce too. The NBA does not like little green teams growing all over the country and put the kibosh on those reunions.

We like the idea of old Celtics becoming the new Andromeda Strain. Let them proliferate and congregate.

We will have another Celtic banner after all—it just won’t be in Boston.

Cold Shoulder, Cold Hands, and Cold Hearted Reception for Jason Collins at Fenway Park

Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesImage

 

The Red Sox organization, opportunists for any cause that garners them publicity, offered former Boston Celtic Jason Collins a chance to throw out a ceremonial first ball on a cloudy June night.

 

Collins accepted this mainly because he had returned to Boston to march in the Saturday gay pride parade after making his splashy gay announcement. He has expressed his disappointment that his former college roommate, straight Congressman Joe Kennedy III & Then Some, could march annually, but not he. He couldn’t march because he locked himself in a closet for years.

 

So, this year’s march gives him the chance to mix with supporters and friendly faces.

 

An appearance in Boston at Fenway, even as a Celtic who could return here in the upcoming season, was fraught with the kind of bullying and bashing that one can receive at a sporting event. Who can forget when Santa Claus was booed in Philadelphia?

 

So, wearing a Red Sox jersey, Jason Collins—svelte and tall in his Number 98 hometown team Sox dress white—practiced his lobs. He wears 98 in honor of murdered gay martyr Matthew Shepard (killed in 1998 for being gay).

 

His ceremonial pitch was not made to one of the catchers who usually receive such honors and shake hands with the guest. No, this time in an unusual move, Collins threw his pitch to manager John Farrell who spoke eloquently to the assembled press.

 

 

 

David Ortiz had the good taste and goodwill to shake his hand.

 

Likewise, the media was careful not to characterize the reception Collins received. The Boston Globe lied carefully by saying he heard a “nice hand,” which at Fenway is like a frosty snow in March. They meant most fans sat on their hands.

 

Congratulations, Jason, you have now received your first gay bashing by an unwashed crowd.

 

More surprising was the lack of support shown by the fellow professional athletes on the Red Sox. We did not see the usual gladhanders like Dustin Pedroia, nor the more circumspect like Jose Iglesias, out to shake the hand of Collins.

 

Almost to make sure that history could not be immortalized, the local media did not show much beyond the cursory ten second shot (without sound).

 

The event was not memorable, not warm, and not comforting to any high school kid who has been bullied or mistreated for being different.

 

Yeah, congratulations, Boston. You were really strong on this one.

 

All Hands Down and On Deck

 

 DATELINE: MOVIES ABOUT TWINS

 

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A few years back French director Pascal-Alex Vincent gave us an intriguing film on the differences between identical twins in his stylish and striking Give Me Your Hand.

 

We caught up to this gem partly because of two events we have seen regarding identical twins recently. First, runner Usain Bolt has been hitting the airwaves in a commercial where he races against his imaginary twin Insane Bolt. Insane weaves between the chariots in the classic race with Charlton Heston in Ben Hur.

 

The second set of identical twins we have seen this past month include Jason Collins of the NBA and his twin Jarron.  Jason hit the news recently by becoming the first openly gay NBA player, while his twin is straight and was oblivious to his brother’s orientation until told.

 

All this makes the story of 18-year old Antoine and Quentin, twins played by real twins Alexandre Carril and his brother Victor more compelling. One is gay and the other is straight. That is only the tip of the iceberg when the two, inexorably tied together, travel across France by thumb and with wit on a highly personal mission. 

 

If twins are two sides of the same coin, the currency offers the option of heads or tails at any moment. Every once in a while his film turns into a Japanese anime version, with the twins looking like they just stepped out of a Speed Racer cel.

 

One is an artist and draws. When the other twin wants to show a girl “our drawings,” the artist takes them away in anger. They fight, and they are hopelessly entwined. One leads with strong steps, and the other holds on to shirttails. They have totally different erotic adventures that the other looks upon with disdain.

 

The film is minimalist in dialogue and long on pastoral beauty and breathtaking panoramas. They are going to a funeral of the woman they hardly know—their mother in Spain.

 

The Carril brothers are hypnotic to watch because we are all fascinated with yin and yang. Some observers meet them and see only the similarities, while a few note the major differences. From ancient times people have been fascinated with the psychology of twins.

 

Ultimately the brothers themselves may not know each other. It is a spiritual journey for the brothers—and the viewers.

 

 

 If you like movie reviews and interesting recommendations, read MOVIES TO SEE–OR NOT TO SEE, available on Amazon.com in both softcover and ebook.

Missing the Boat on Jason Collins and Other Gay Athletes

DATELINE: HUMOR!

We have suffered irreparable mortification over the coming out of Jason Collins of the NBA.

For years we have regaled our friends and colleagues with rumors and rumors of rumors about who is gay among the popular athletes in Boston. Now, after twenty years of speculation, we are hearing through social media the sound of outright scoffing.

We never had Jason Collins on our Top Ten Suspect list.

He came and left Boston with nary a hint of revelation to us.

The less than kind have informed us through tweets and other social media that we are in serious need of a new battery for our hearing aid, and while at it, a recharge for our gaydar.

The old world of gestures, winks and nods, seems to have gone the way of cruising on the Boston Common with a red carnation in one’s lapel. During the 1920s a man in a Panama hat was always suspect, and in the 1930s a man with a wristwatch raised eyebrows.

Nowadays anything goes far beyond what Cole Porter would have predicted. Yes, we knew Cole was gay. How could he not be when he got someone under his skin in a suggestive ditty?

We begin to realize our sources are more tight-lipped and close-mouthed than you would expect in Boston’s gay world.

Have we grown out of touch with our detective skills? We may need to revisit our standards for concluding who is who among gay Boston athletes.

Gay profiling may be only a game for those who are observant. As someone once told us, if you ask if someone is gay, you are interested. 

In the immortal paraphrase of President John F. Kennedy:  ‘Ask not what Boston athletes are gay. Ask what gay athletes do for you.’

 

Sports humor can be found in books like SEX, DRUGS, & SPORTS WHIMSY, as well as DEATH, TAXES, AND SPORTS WHIMSY, both available on Amazon.com in softcover and in e-book formats.

Word is Out on Jason Collins

DATELINE: HUMOR!

 

Jason Collins likely beat a dozen other gay NBA players to the punch. If they came out tomorrow, it would be an anti-climax and with no redeeming social merit.

 

So, we listened to a bunch of closet-case sports commentators and radio talk show hosts, all straight as the gate, as they pontificated about the breadth and depth of their knowledge of gay issues. Only Chris Broussard of ESPN held to the time-dishonored gay bashing of yore.

 

Really, Mary? It was enough to make RuPaul walk off American Idol, or whatever drag show she hosts.

 

Has Jason Collins sucker punched the sports media? He gave his first exclusive interview to no less than George Stephanopoulos. They were both sitting down or the irony of their togetherness might look suspicious. George is shorter than most men.

 

No one asked the really salient questions that most gay men want to know: like is he single? What gay clubs did he frequent in Boston—and how did he manage to stay hidden when he is nearly seven feet tall?

 

Gay men with a passing interest in basketball are suddenly boning up on down-low brothers in the ghetto.

 

We expect that next time we drop by a gay club to trip the light fantastic we shall find numerous Jason Collins tank top jerseys in a variety of team colors. He played for seven different teams in an equal number of cities.

 

Word has it that he is a free agent after this season, and he will be on the open market, available to the highest bidder.

 

Heavens, that sort of thing can get you arrested in some cities.

 

 

 

Jason Collins Comes Out of the Closet

DATELINE: HUMOR!

Jason Collins never played much in Boston, but always seemed ready to do garbage time for Doc Rivers on the bench for the Celtics.

As the first round of playoffs came to an end, the man who was traded to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford trumped his former teammates in Boston by becoming the first active professional athlete in a major sport to announce that he is gay.

Collins will likely increase his income from a battery of endorsements. The Celtics are likely kicking themselves for letting him go when they could use some good publicity.

Jason never made much noise in Boston and seemed like an affable and pleasant sort. He never broke into Doc Rivers’s rotations. If he made a splash off court in the lively Boston gay community, there are more people keeping the down and low downlow.

His historic date of April 29, 2013, will hardly put him into the immediate spotlight. His team is not part of post-season. Fan reaction on the court will need to remain for next season’s tour around the league. Had he remained in Boston, we wonder if he would have dared to come out with a pivotal game coming up on Wednesday, May 1st.

Nevertheless, the NBA has trumped the NFL, which was touting that their gay players would come out of the closet first. Of course, Jason Collins is no spring chicken, and coming out on the heels of retirement is a distinct possibility if he does not make a team next season.

A real test shall be for the player with the bulk of his career still ahead of him. Nonetheless, we must laud Jason for his courage, though that has now become the cliché with a entourage of fellow players all tweeting him best wishes.

We know Doc Rivers knew something a few weeks ago when he took his team to watch the new movie 42 about Jackie Robinson and breaking the color barrier in baseball—and noted to the press that the next big splash would be a gay player coming out in the NBA.

Jason’s teammates were all likely aware in varying degrees to the situation while he was in Boston, but we are sorry he couldn’t have made his announcement right next to Lucky the Leprechaun at the Boston TD Garden.