Highly Paid World of Athlete Crime

 DATELINE: GOING APE

Unusual Suspicions

The world of athletes is filled with ignorance.

Where shall we turn? What name shall we use to fill in the blank? Let us count this week’s headline maroons: Ray Rice, Oscar Pistorius, Chris Davis, Adrian Petersen, Wes Welker, and tomorrow may bring more.

There are names of lesser magnitude we leave off the list because they are inconsequential to their game. We are talking here today about stars or people who make a difference when they play for themselves or their teams.

The crimes are drug related or violence related. There seems to be no limit—from murder to child abuse to drug abuse. They seem to hurt people who are physically weaker or different, sometimes both.

Worse yet, we find enablers and celebratory fans who see no wrong, hear no wrong, and speak wrong to the high heavens. Oh, you didn’t know that these games are populated with monkeys, if not gorillas.

We have found the analogy gives apes a bad name.

You’ve heard the arguments: first time offender, just a loss of control, and mostly acting out of ignorance—or that law ought to be changed.

We have heard a variety of boilerplate apologies, each dripping with sincerity, as if that was all you need to go merrily on your way. It is funny when you think about it—unless you happen to be one of the victims.

The media and the executives of the sports world have given us an world of enablers.

Yet, we have heard victims admit their culpability and offer the mea culpa. They provoked the crime. Society made them do it. We are laughing again.

 

 

Michael Jace’s Worst Role

DATELINE: ACTORS & THEIR ROLES

jace as Jordan

Michael Jace as Michael Jordan, 1999

In 1999 he played Michael Jordan in a Fox TV docudrama. Now he plays a murderer in real life.

The latest celebrity killer has a history of playing roles in every crime show on television for the past twenty years. From guest roles on Murder She Wrote to CSI and his series featured acting on The Shield, Michael Jace has been reading scripts about murder and idiosyncratic killers.

It’s no wonder that the stuff wormed its way into his brain, leading to him shooting and killing his wife in front of their children.

Whatever the motives, we are more intrigued that the other great role in Jace’s career was to play Michael Jordan, smaller than life.

The role brought him instant attention, but never did help his rise up to the next level of actors. He did not go on to a theatrical movie career. He stayed small screen.

Playing Jordan, the legendary NBA star that parlayed his career into sort of a Bill Cosby-style athletic figure. Michael Jace, the actor, found himself up against the most recognizable face of his era, Michael Jordan, when he tried to act out the role in an unauthorized biography.

Of course, the movie in which Jace played Jordan showed the darker side of a celebrity—where gambling and murder of his father by criminal elements cast a dark shadow on his fame.

Suffice it to say, when you buck the trend and make a beloved figure look dubious, you may be putting your own life into the darker side. So, it seemed to be for Michael Jace.

Playing a police officer with personal problems on The Shield was only a step removed from playing an athlete with personal problems to being an actor with personal problems.

Michael Jordan never turned to the world of violence that O.J. Simpson, Oscar Pistorius, or Aaron Hernandez reached. But, his own screen impersonator, Michael Jace, has hit that nadir.

Oscar for Oscar, Crying to the Bondsman

 

Oscar Pistorius killed the thing he loved, and he must be bailed out.

The man known as the Blade Runner for his prosthetic legs of bouncing steel did it not with a bitter look, or unflattering word. He shot a beautiful woman four times through a bathroom door.

If someone wins an Oscar this year, it may be Pistorius, which may win the pistoriusing contest among actors.

If you need a bitter look or a flattering word, the Blade Runner outdoes his android movie counterpart.

The other Oscar who went to prison for consorting in the bedroom, not killing a brave man, did it with a kiss. Oscar Wilde was middle-aged when he went to jail.

Pistorius has committed his crime while young, and he may not go to jail if South Africa’s byzantine legal system acts like Pontius Pilate and washes its hands of him.

Fans may wash their hands and let Pistorius walk away on his hands like a circus act.

There is nothing kind about Oscar Pistorius and even less sympathetic. The dead so soon grow cold, even when crocodile tears dampen the cheeky demeanor of the killer.

The defense is that he has killed the thing he loved, and it is left to us to sigh and wonder why.