Yes, that is former NBA star Gilbert Arenas, surrounded by his winnings earned at the basketball shooting game at the Orange County fair. He was later banned from the game.
Ugh, the NFL.
As we are all aware, the NFL is mired in a crisis. The very game itself is destroying the brains of the men who play, which is a bit of a problem. Junior Seau is one of the more famous players to have suffered after his playing career was done. Less than three years after his retirement, Seau committed suicide. He did so by shooting himself in the chest, thereby preserving his brain for medical research. Next month, Seau will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. However, the NFL will not allow anyone from his family to speak on his behalf, apparently worried at what they might say about his death. This is the kind of spineless crap we have come to expect from Roger Goodell’s NFL, but it is no less infuriating than every other maddening decision that this bumbling doofus has made. The Hall of Fame claims they made this rule back in 2010 and it has nothing to do with Seau’s particular case, as if they didn’t institute this rule because of these exact situations. Charles P. Pierce is the perfect writer to tackle this story. -TOB
Source: “Silenced: The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Junior Seau Bungle”, Charles P. Pierce, Grantland (07/27/2015)
PAL: I think I watched 2 NFL games last year. This is not entirely out of protest; rather, a combination of indifference and b.s. saturation point. I enjoy a good football game, but the notion of devoting an entire Sunday to watching a game I’m nearly indifferent towards just doesn’t get me going. Just take a second to take the following in: The family of Hall of Fame inductee who committed suicide is not being allowed to speak on his behalf for this ultimate professional honor out of fear they will say something the PR team has to deal with after the fact. Cowards. I’m out.
Today We Spell Redemption: V – I – N.
Vin Baker was a really good basketball player that I enjoyed watching. But a few years ago he bombed out of the league, later revealing that he had a massive drinking problem and had squandered the nearly $100 million in career earnings he had made. He was completely broke. Since then, he had been a tragic figure in my mind – one of the those players who had it all, had achieved his dreams – and blew it. So, much to my happy surprise did I find this article – a feature on Vin and the turnaround he has made. Vin has been sober for over four years, which is a great accomplishment. On top of that, he is training to be a manager of a Starbucks, given the opportunity by the Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz, former owner of Vin’s old NBA team, the Seattle Supersonics. Vin was even asked by Jason Kidd to help out with the Milwaukee Bucks’ summer league team this summer. This is a light article on a guy who has turned his life around, and is not dwelling on what he lost, which is a truly refreshing perspective. -TOB
Source: “Ex-NBA Star Vin Baker Conquers Demons and Shoots for Success in Starbucks Management”, Kevin McNamara, Providence Journal (07/27/2015)
PAL: I love this story. I’ve had several conversations about retirement from sports. While I’m sure I’m way behind schedule, I feel like I became an adult relative recently (I’m 33). If I were a professional athlete, I’d be winding down down my career (and earning potential). It’s cool to hear about a former athlete who’s excited and driven by his career after sports (that has nothing to do with sports), and a hat tip to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz for giving Baker an opportunity. This is a sincerely uplifting story.
This is a fun article wherein Deadspin writers reminisce on their favorite sports video games. So many great ones are represented, including Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, Bill Walsh College Football ‘95, and Wii Sports. To add one to the list, I loved NCAA Football 2006 on the XBox. I got the game the year after college when I was doing a lot of not much. And I played that game a LOT. I played so many Dynasty Mode seasons I lost count. The California Golden Bears won a lot of National Titles and a lot of Heisman Trophies, I can tell you that. I routinely beat teams by scores of over 100 to 0. I got so good that I needed new ways of defining success – holding a team to negative yardage for a whole game was a big win; anything less was disappointing. Giving up points meant doing 20 pushups, etc. Ah, those were the days. So what’s your favorite sports video game and what do you miss about it? Comment below. -TOB
Source: “And Now, Our All-Time Favorite Sports Video Games”, Deadspin (07/28/2015)
PAL: I would not be friends with this writer: “I played soccer in college, and so I lived with my teammates, and trained with them, and traveled with them, and fought with them, and drank with them, and played with them, and cried with them. We were brothers, always on the same side, fighting for the same thing. It was a great experience, and they’re my brothers to this day, but sometimes you just want to beat a motherfucker through the ground, because you’re 19 and invincible and have great abdominals and want to watch the world burn.”
PAL’s Song of the Week: John Prine & Iris DeMent – “In Spite of Ourselves”
Check out the 1-2-3 Playlist featuring all of our Song’s of the Week – 2 people have told me they really like it.
Video of the Week
Poor kid does NOT want to be there.
“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. Oh, no, I said. Disneyland burned down. He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”