Each Day Is a Lifetime, 8.18.08
-LA Times reminds us that manners, not winning, are what the Redeem Team is all about.(BS)
-Simmons once said that David West was so underrated, he was soon going to be overrated. Does this mean that FOX feels Shane Battier is such a divinely modest role player that he's actually a spoiled superstar? (BS)
-I'm not exactly an expert in African-American male grooming practices, but I've got to say, some members of Team USA were looking conspicuously unkempt in the hair department this weekend. We're talking about a sport where, because of the uniform, players want to look fresh and clean whenever they take the court. Plenty of them get daily cuts, and/or employ their own personal barbers—to say nothing of the braid-maintenance necessary to be Carmelo Anthony or Allen Iverson. So why, in front of the biggest audience imaginable, does Chris Paul have an uneven, frizzy hairline and a mustache that resembles my "three weeks and it's all I've got" efforts? Deron Williams's cowlick-ed hair, and scrawny beard-strip thing that's totally 7-11? And that Tayshaun Prince reminds me of one of those farmer's market acquisitions you can't make sense of when you find it in the fridge two days later. I wouldn't be surprised if no one in China knows how to cut black hair, but it's kind of fucked up that the Olympic Village seems incapable of furnishing this simple courtesy. I've decided that Wade's shaved head was a preemptive strike against these difficulties, not a BACK statement like Vince's 2000 mini-fro. (BS)
UPDATE: Ziller says Tayshaun got a haircut.
-Can someone explain to me why lush, sensual FanHouse Fantasy Football is running ads on TPM? (BS)
-You know who really loves style? The U.S. Army:
Seriously, I have no idea how that makes any sense as a recruiting pitch. Maybe for one of those Third World militias where everyone gets to dress funny. (BS)
-Blah blah blah, Ben Gordon has played his last game as a Bull. I just don't get why people care about this guy. Fine, his shot is nice, and he can go bonkers in the fourth. But he's a very good second-tier player, not a limited star. He's got "Knicks" written all over him, and I'd take Jamal Crawford over him any day of the week. (BS)
-To me, this is a microcosm of what's so fucked up about race and patriotism. This shows how it comes out in Team USA (where's Iverson at?), and of course, this election is rife with it. I think we all know that, for Americans who have at various times felt somewhat alienated from their country, coming to love it is a struggle, or at very least a complicated process. Shouldn't that make it more authentic than someone born into it, for whom there's never been any question, or possibility of disjuncture? Especially when, with Bush and McCain, the process of going from a fuck-up to a responsible adult (whether through God or torture) strengthens their narrative. It's like Collinsworth, whom I actually like, is trying to bait Kobe into admitting that patriotism is a costume he's trying on, an old-fashioned, hokey one that doesn't jive with him. Like the very act of discovering how much you love this country, which has been part of the Redeem Team's energy, cheapens patriotism. Certainly, it can't measure up to the unflinching, immanent goodness of those who have always been close to the bosom of the Homeland. And yet Obama's lifetime of success has nothing on politicians who need to be shocked into becoming adults. (BS)
Carter Blanchard: Maybe I'm just being too much of an apologist for the other side lately (I just spent a couple days trying to convince my dad that the vast majority of McCain's gaffes are completely benign), but I really don't take this as a shot at Kobe. I mean with the "historically" bit there's clearly the suggestion that not being raised here means your love of country has to be proven before we can be 100% you're not a spy, but that has way more to do with his international-ness than his skin color I think. And the part that people seem to be going to arms over, the "cool" line, reads to me much more like a shot at young anti-Bushites that inexplicably don't have flags sticking out of their ears and asses rather than anything aimed at Kobe specifically. There's obviously fucked-upness embedded in it, but I'm not sure it's quite as bad as you and others have been suggesting.
BS: I don't think it's a shot at Kobe per se, but it does sound a lot like Collinsworth is trying to find a fissure, even welcoming one. Like "come on man, you can't be serious, this is so square." It has as much to do with his needs and expectations as it does Kobe's actual feelings. And really, do you see Michael Phelps getting asked questions like this? It's that whole question of what it means that America's highest-profile athletes, aside from Phelps, are black people who, in this country, some large amount of the population still links with hip-hop and thugs.
Brown Recluse: Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I get the sick feeling he's using Kobe as a proxy for Obama--he spent his formative years overseas, he's well-spoken, he's black, he's cool, he inspires mass adulation, etc. Actually, do people of Collinsworth's generation hold family, faith, and fidelity dear? He grew up in the 70s, which I guess could be post-hippie nihilistic or Silent/Moral Majority, depending on who you are. That he was a football player from Florida (Go Astronaut High!) probably cuts in favor of the latter, so maybe you're right.
CB: I think you'd get a similar response if a youngish person was going on about how important family, faith, or fidelity was to him. As in, this is much more about Cris's generation gap and assuming automatically that anyone below the age of 40 pisses on the the things his wizened generation holds dear. Although I suppose I have to concede that the surprise would only be increased if the young person also happened to black, which I guess proves your point that there's definitely a racial component to it too.
BS: And incidentally, how is it that playing for Team USA (whether you're Chris Kaman or a no-show) and not playing for Team USA can both call your patriotism into question?
CB: Now that I've had some driving to think about it, you guys are totally right, that question is completely: "Wait a second, I thought Michelle never felt pride and Barrack wouldn't say the pledge. When did flag-waving become hip again?"
BS: Fuck the police.