Trump Turns into Typhoid Mary

DATELINE: NBA Comes in Second! 

If you need a little coronavirus history lesson, we are here to oblige.

Typhoid Mary was a 19thcentury Irish woman who was Patient Zero of her day. She went around the world, dispensing typhoid to anyone within her earshot. She herself never contracted the disease.

She was put into quarantine and only went to the supermarket to pick up hand sanitzer.

In that way she was like Johnny Appleseed, going around the countryside, planting infection.

Nowadays, the closest thing we have to Typhoid Mary is Donald Trump. Corona Trump seems to avoid having a test to prove his diseased body, but manages to meet with other world leaders. If you believe he has been tested and is negative, you probably are a U.S. Senator.

We think it’s time he went to North Korea again.

As for the NBA, no one likes to kick a basketball when it is out of bounds, but we will kick the can down the road.

Another NBA player has tested positive. He was guarding Rudy Gobert last week. It takes more than three days to develop coronavirus, and a player on the Detroit Pistons was in Gobert’s shirt last week, as they say of good defense.. Oh, well, do your job.

No one is mentioning that two kids from Rhode Island met Rudy Gobert at TD Garden in Boston, received an autographed ball, and a case of coronavirus. It took almost ten days to develop.

Nothing like spreading goodwill, NBA.

So, we are back to Typhoid Donald: he only had dinner and shook hands with people this week while being an incubator. We expect to see world leaders fall flat on their test kits within the next week. He and his crony, the Brazilian president, love to say “Fake Flu,” before you can say, “corona.”

We think Trump would be a better candidate for swine flu.

As for Trump, he just keeps sailing on, spreading cheer and coronavirus wherever he goes.

 

 

NBA Players Strike Pay Dirt

DATELINE: Money, Money, Money

Not since the Great Land Rush in Oklahoma in the 19th century have we seen such a lineup. NBA stars and lesser lights are poised to be courted, wooed, and won, with cash sweepstakes to make millionaires salivate.

Yes, the NBA great free agency rush is about to commence.

As the clock strikes midnight, general managers will be on automatic call mode to their favorite players. Who will be signed first and by whom?

The NBA has released millions of dollars. The toothpaste is out of the tube. And, greedy players, greedier fans, and greediest owners, will make a play to win a championship by assembling the talent of the new age.

In 1820 if you saw talented black men going for the highest bidder on the auction block, you might be outraged as an Abolitionist. You might see it as the worst part of humanity. Today, the freedom to strike it rich has superseded racial barriers.

Kevin Durant is the big plum. He has already designated the six teams he will deign to give him fortune in men’s eyes.

The Boston Celtics, our sentimental favorite team, wants lightning to strike twice. With two superstars bought and signed on the dotted line, they believe they will buy Banner 18.

It is in the great mode of Colonel Rupert buying Babe Ruth. It is in the great American tradition of turning the wealthy into the nouveau riche.

Yes, they’re “movin’ on up,” to quote the vernacular of a 1970s song about the Jeffersons.

 

Another Sterling-Silver Moment for the NBA

DATELINE: DUMB RACISTS AT IT AGAIN

Sterling A Face Only a Rapper Could Love to Rap

NBA owner of the Clippers Donald Sterling has a less than sterling reputation. Indeed, bad karma surrounds him–and he usually hits the Tri-fecta of racism, sexism, and ageism, among the accusations against him over the years.

Yes, his reputation precedes him. No one seems to be giving him the benefit of the doubt. A recorded tape in which his voice speaks vile comments about specific people and a group of people may have done him in.

He will need the FBI to certify it’s a fake. He will need sworn affidavits from the perpetrators to convince anyone of his innocence. His best defense is that he is the victim of a doctored and trumped up scam.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver may be looking at a meltdown of his value. Silver has been tarnished in his first year as NBA honcho by a series of dumb activities.

From the President of the United States on down, Sterling faces criticism. He is about to be tarred and feathered metaphorically—and shipped out of town on a rail. Isn’t that what racists used to do?

If you dislike people of color, owning an NBA team would seem to be a peculiar business choice. Since black American culture and NBA are hand-in hand, Sterling must be following the money made off young black athletes.

We presume plantation owners in pre-Civil War America did not like black people either—but money is always a social bond.

Donald Sterling is caught between a rock and a hard place, between Scylla and Charybdis, and between his own reputation and the enmity of society.

This case follows on the heels of a popular TV cooking hostess, parboiled in his own juices, and her racist descent into oblivion. As for Donald Sterling, he is now in free fall—and he forgot to pack a parachute.

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.

 

Mukluks and Flip Flops at the NHL Finals

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

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We accept the fact that, when your hometown team is knocked out of the playoffs, the season is generally over. This is never truer than for basketball and hockey.

By the time the midnight sun rises, you start to hum the old refrain, “Wait till next year,” and you pay only cursory attention to the ongoing shenanigans until the player draft or the leaves start to turn odd colors and shrink on the branches.

Yet, with a heat wave having taxed our air conditioners, and with daylight extending into early evening, we have discovered that NBA and NHL games, our idea of cold-weather indoor sports, are now gearing up for the Finals.

Finals? Even college and universities have finished with finals and have gone past Commencement and graduation speakers. You never see an NBA star on a playoff team as your Commencement speaker because he is only speaking to ESPN about his team’s chances.

In Boston the only thing longer than the NHL season is the trial of Whitey Bulger. We expect it to end when baseball winds down and basketball starts up again.

Though we don’t particularly like the Spurs or the Heat, we are in a conundrum over our Boston Bruins. We are not big hockey fans since Bobby Orr left town when Barack Obama was a child. Yet, the Bruins are heading to the Finals.

In June, we are skating on thin ice in Boston. We have had snow as late as June 9th back when we were a child in 1816, but can’t recall a cold spell during NHL Finals since then.

It just doesn’t feel like hockey season, yet devotees of boarding and high-sticking are wrapped up in their furs and mukluks worn over tank-tops and flip-flops at Boston TD Garden.

Hope springs eternal, or in the case of winter sports, hope summers seasonally.

Over Heated Pacer Uses 4-Letter Words to Describe LeBron

DATELINE: HUMOR!

ImageCryin’ Jag

Indiana Pacers’ tough guy Roy Hibbert had to suck up his toughness after his latest press conference.

In his address to the media, he spread a light paprika over the blowhard press corps. Of course, that was merely the first of his tasty hors d’oeuvres to the ho’s who deserved it.

The rest of the press conference served up little wieners on a toothpick.

Hibbert’s main goal was to show that David Ortiz is not the only dumb athlete to use offensive language on live television. Unlike Ortiz, Hibbert did not receive a standing ‘O’ from the conservative Hoosier beltway fans.

Since slurred words happen weekly in the NBA, Hibbert could not be expected to know gay slurs have been banned as archaic by Oxford English Dictionary.

Hibbert used an abbreviated version of the word “homosexual” in the same sentence as the proper noun “LeBron.”  Even Emily Post would frown on this.

Any grammarian worth his salty language will tell you such doublespeak is a tautology. In some circles this is worse than splitting LeBron’s infinitive.

The name “LeBron” cannot be used in metaphoric slight unless the perp is a snide satirist. Bosh, you say? We are ready to wade into more controversy.

As a result of these infractions, Hibbert was forced to apologize to anyone dumb enough to believe he was sincere. Indeed, Commissioner David Stern was so unsure of the sincerity quotient that he noted it in his official public statement. Then, he assessed a $75,000 fine on the offensive player. Now who’s dumb?

Hibbert also issued a statement in which he claimed his remarks were “insensitive” and not “a reflection of my personal views.” Four-letter words are likely a reflection of his professional views. In college Hibbert was a four-letter star.

Since “insensitive” is not a word within the Hibbert vocabulary, dipthong experts believe the phraseology came from some highfaluting attorney on the NBA payroll.

In any respect, this language dustup merely reflects the current state first-year writing programs in the colleges and universities that educate today’s NBA statesmen.

Be sure to read LEBRON JAMES & THE PLAGUE OF SEVEN RINGS, now available on Amazon.com in softcover and ebook.

Dwight Howard: Unhappy at Last

 

 

DATELINE: HUMOR!

 

Dwight Howard will never be mistaken for Happy one of the Seven Dwarves. With the Lakers swept out of the first round of the playoffs, the man who wanted LA-LA-Land to be his Dreamland has found out to be careful what you wish for.

 

Howard wished upon being a star in LA. It now appears he has shrunk in the role. He is eligible now only to play one of the Seven Dwarves.

 

In a recent interview he lamented his woeful condition, which made him seem a little like Grumpy.

 

Howard was never Bashful when it came to expressing his deepest feelings. No, he didn’t have any dark secrets to admit in the mode of Jason Collins, at least not this season.

 

You almost have to think Howard is a big Dopey for his self-pity party that life happens—and not only for the best. If you asked him, maudlin would be his favorite color.

 

After years of hearing the same refrain, you could excuse fans if they all seem like Sleepy.

 

Howard’s recent lamentation that all he wants is to be happy almost made us go into a Sneezy-style allergy fit.

 

For a man who has left a wake of NBA coaches and players in a daze, you might think that David Stern ought to seek out a Doc to treat this giant midget man. Though we seldom admit to be a ‘doc’, we are not qualified to heal this heel.

 

Unlike Sleeping Beauty, this axe man has made his own bed and now seems reluctant to sleep in it. You’d think he’d realize the wolves are at the door at his behest (in the sheep’s form of your loveable media members).

 

Alas, Dwight Howard doesn’t get it because even Atlas couldn’t lift the ego on that star.  He is soon a free agent, but he is really a double agent, twice the trouble.

 

Does Rondo still covet him for the Celtics?

 

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.

 

Athletes Who Are Gay for Pay

DATELINE: HUMOR!

Rumors circulate that an active gay player will come charging out of his closet in the NFL locker room. He cannot be penalized with a charging call because this is not the NHL.

We presume that an active player may be more interesting than a passive gay player coming out.

If the man in question is a footballer, then we cannot say definitively that he is either a catcher or pitcher.

Gay players usually wait till their playing days are over before they play the field in the media.

Some experts insist this announcement of sexuality will be a brave act, while others may think being gay for pay is actually a fairly calculated arrangement.

We cannot say whether the player will be a top man or a bottom man, in terms of his position in the lineup. This player will not appear in any lineup, not being in MLB.

He won’t be a size queen playing with big balls as if he were in the NBA, where playing down low is an art form.

He won’t be behind the plate or even behind the candelabra. He won’t be wearing a facemask, nor a face guard.

We aren’t sure whether he will be fluent in Greek or French.

For our part, we keep wondering how many times a player has been asked if he is married or single. Why would anyone care what the proclivities of the athlete may be?

Yet, this issue continues to dominate the media instead of questions about the quality of the player’s game.

 

There are always those who will use their position as a professional athlete as a bully pulpit, ostensibly to further along a supported issue.

Yet, we are left with the nagging feeling that the main reason to come out on any issue is to gain that attention leading to endorsements, pay raises, or just plain spotlight hugging.

 

 

 

Dennis Rodman Finds Good Company in North Korea

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

When an idiot becomes the ambassador of goodwill for a sport or a country, can war be far behind?

Submitted for your disapproval: Dennis Rodman, former NBA stalwart of the iconoclastic and tattoo as body billboard movement, now a goodwill ambassador for America.

Rodman just visited North Korea where he went to see Psy the Gangnam-style dancer. Alas, Psy lives in South Korea, which is sympathetic to the United States. Rodman’s mental compass often points south to go north.

North Korea features a young despot leader for life, the notorious and mysterious Kim Jong-un who follows in the heels of his grandfather and father: men who moonlighted as mass murderers.

Rodman had dinner with the leader Kim, and they discovered much in common, both liking the NBA and both adoring Dennis Rodman.  Kim apparently speaks English fluently and loves 1980s cheaters, bad sports, and loudmouth blowhards from basketball. He has become the #1 fan of Dennis Rodman.

Alas, Rodman knows only how to foul out. The Hall of Fame star known for his line of wedding dresses called his new pal “awesome,” and they watched a basketball game together. Rodman has so few fans that he has to take them where he finds them.

In this case he went half-way around the earth, dodging those nuclear bomb tests to visit the country he studied from watching old episodes of M*A*S*H*.

If the United States has given Rodman approval to be a goodwill ambassador, then the State Department has taken up with the same ad agency used by the NBA. We can all sleep sounder knowing peace is being negotiated by a man who knows about fouling out.