9.09.2008

Profiles In Strange

A little slow on the uptake here, but I have to pay respects to one of the most freakish freaks of all time: Daunte Culpepper. So often the term, FREEDARKO, gets equated with "style" or "flair" or "absurdity," but a huge component of what it means to be FD is to be full of unrealized potential, and no one walks away from the game with more unrealized potential than Daunte. For all intents and purposes, Vikings fans (like me circa 2004) should hate Daunte Culpepper and should be pointing "told you so" at him right now. Indeed after Daunte whined his way out of Minnesota, the flyover fucks on the Vikings message boards were quick to toss out racial epithets, highlight the fact that Daunte was born in a prison, and welcome Brad Johnson (BRAD F'ING JOHNSON) as the new savior. There is something about Daunte's exit from the sporting world though, that is undeniably sad.

















I don't care that it was his fault, pride, stubbornness, stupidity, whatever that kept him as his own agent and kept him from playing this year. We are losing one of the bizarre wonders of the athletic form in Daunte. I know there is this racialized way of talking about black football players' physical attributes while focusing on white players' "smarts" or "work ethic;" and I know that the way announcers used to talk about Daunte's "bigness" was as annoyingly common as remarks about "Matt Birk went to Harvard," "Brett Favre looks like a little kid out there," etc. Still, I fear that we may never see another player like Culpepper. There was the story about how Mike Ditka wanted to draft him as a tight end. He almost signed a baseball contract. I remember him tackling the shit out of some guy after he threw an interception. Before the injury I have never seen someone that big also run so quickly with such a cannon of an arm. Culpepper was what steroids are supposed to make you be. Losing him in the NFL would be like the NBA losing Ron Artest, a guy who I still think should play center at some points. The sheer peculiarity of Daunte's skill made him a joy to watch. Almost like some Coen Bros-curated football film.

And now we look destined for a decade of Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, and Jay Cutler. It will be a turning of the tide indeed, but we will have to wait for someone else to bring oddity back to the quarterback position.


















Profile in Strange Part II. Some of you may be aware of our roots, and how a decent few of us had a bubbling interest in the indie-rap explosion of the mid-1990s. At the center of this movement was Bobbito Garcia's legendary Fondle Em record label and the fifth release on that label, Siah & Yeshua Da PoED's EP. The EP contained six songs, each a classic in its own right, including the magnum opus, "A Day Like Any Other." Siah and Yeshua had Posdnuos/Dove-type chemistry on the mic and ill fantasy jazz production. Like so many groups from that era, they became ever more obscure. Yeshua remained strong in the New York scene with his group Wee Bee Foolish and I believe he started a label of his own. But Siah became a mystery. One of the most promising voices in rap became a ghost.



















There were rumors he moved to Israel or went to law school. Thanks to the internet, I discovered that Siah went to grad school at Johns Hopkins for a poly sci degree. The crazy thing though is that his advisor was then neo-con Francis Fukuyama, with whom he co-authored a paper for the Wall Street Journal on radical Islamism. I'm not sure if this matters to anyone else, but it is blowing my f'ing mind and is perhaps the most FREEDARKO event of my life. To those unfamiliar with Siah (and Yeshua), an appropriate analogy would be like if you were growing up in 1968 and got really into the Velvet Underground banana album, and then the group disbanded and a few years later you found out Lou Reed was making a living as a famous sculptor for Madame Tussaud's wax museum on London. Ill.

At any rate, please listen to Siah: here, here, here , here, and here.

One last thing. The Recluse points to the hilarity of Bossip not knowing who the hell Rashad McCants is in this photo. Perhaps that's a little more tragic than hilarious.
























Freedarko will be returning to its regularly scheduled programming of politics and bullsh!t shortly.

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21 Comments:

At 9/09/2008 12:25 PM, Blogger jawaan oldham said...

Because JaMarcus Russell just isn't the same, is he? The dope thing about Daunte was that not only was he that huge and surreally athletic, he was also a really fuckin good qb. Not so with young Mr. Russell. Or not yet anyway.

 
At 9/09/2008 1:00 PM, Blogger jim in austin said...

Life imitates art:

Sterling Morrison, an original member of the Velvet Underground, lived in a co-op at the University of Texas with my future wife and I. He got a PhD in medieval studies from UT and went on to become a tugboat captain for the Port of Houston. Close enough...

 
At 9/09/2008 1:56 PM, Blogger wondahbap said...

Who could succeed in Oakland and Miami? Maybe you'll see him get redemption in New England. They sent Simms and Rattay home before working them out.

 
At 9/09/2008 3:03 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

I don't wanna stay at your party
I don't wanna talk with your friends
I don't wanna vote for your president
I just wanna be your tugboat captain

 
At 9/09/2008 3:18 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

@MC Welk: that was the first thing I thought of when I read about Morrison being a tugboat captain. It's a love song, but being the VU fanatic that he is, maybe Wareham got the idea for the tugboat metaphor from reading about Sterling Morrison.

Although Aesop Rock's tugboat metaphors probably have a different source.

And speaking of Minnesota professional athletes, it's good to see Kevin Love is staying humble. Al Jefferson, on Love: "I met him for the first time this past weekend, and he just told me, 'You're going to love playing with me.'"

 
At 9/09/2008 3:36 PM, Blogger Louie Bones said...

Vince Young is looking quite FD today...

 
At 9/09/2008 3:50 PM, Blogger mdesus said...

VY could be on the road to being the most FD of any player I've heard of. I mean the way he plays can be electrifying, and he was the signature player in the greatest college football game ever. He came into the league, and almost immediately (see year 2) helped make a bad team legit, before falling way off the map late in the season. Noe the guy could seriously never play another game. Unfulfilled potential + beautiful style + extreme oddness (and a crooked tattoo)= Stinking of FD

 
At 9/09/2008 4:06 PM, Blogger TheVolcano said...

Second chances seem to come at a ridiculous premium in the NFL, its sad to see him go when he probably could have been very productive somewhere.

Jamarcus is, in many ways, very similar, and hopefully he has a chance to develop before Al Davis deems him a failure and spins the great quarterback roulette wheel yet again.

P.S. as a long-suffering Raiders fan, last night's game was painful on levels I cannot begin to describe.

 
At 9/09/2008 4:52 PM, Blogger berts said...

Strange Careers in Academia, Part 2 (though not as exciting/terrifying as an indie rapper co-authoring a paper with Fukuyama): In a Heidegger course last fall, we read a Husserl translation authored by Terence Malick, director of Thin Red Line.

 
At 9/09/2008 5:06 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

of course, there was also pete nice.

 
At 9/09/2008 5:24 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Thinking about the Fondle 'Em Era got me to looking for information about Godfather Don--I did not know that this existed! I have some of those old Godfather Don joints on nth generation dubs, and dude was completely slept on as an emcee and producer. Pick it up!

 
At 9/09/2008 7:12 PM, Blogger m. Alana said...

I wonder if Rashad McCants wrote any poetry about [blank] Kardashian's assets? There's a lot of them.

I think Tim Tebow's quite strange for a quarterback. His strangeness is eclipsed by his ubiquity, so it's less apparent. His whiteness also makes him seem very wholesome., which he's not, on the field. Unlike our own Great White Hope, Steve Nash, I think Tebow would actually make more sense if he were stereotyped as a black guy - from running the ball and being as athletic as he is, to having a preacher daddy and devotion to God. All that only seems strange because he's a big white dude. I don't actually know if that makes sense, but I think it does.

 
At 9/09/2008 9:55 PM, Blogger rm said...

Man, I can't thank you enough for this. For the past ten years or so my best friend and I have searched for this cd he had a burnt copy of when we were in high school. We knew it was something like Sia and Yesha, or Sai and Yishu, but man I could never find that damn album. And now, just a few hours after I finally pre-ordered your book, I find this on your website, and it's right back to Amazon for the second time in a day. Thanks, gets here Friday and I can't wait to bump it and pretend I'm in my buddy's Quattro again.

 
At 9/10/2008 1:31 AM, Blogger m. Alana said...

Also, those songs are fucking amazing, and thank you for sharing.

 
At 9/10/2008 11:41 AM, Blogger LaRocque said...

I can't think of anything in the NFL I enjoyed watching more than Culpepper and Moss. I am a Giants fan that lives in the Northeast, and have no connection to the Vikings whatsoever, but I still used to go to a bar on Sundays just so I wouldn't miss the highlights that those two put together.

I think that JaMarcus Russel has a lot of similar potential. Obviously, he resembles Daunte in size, and I think that he puts even more heat on the ball. He's going to be a star.

 
At 9/10/2008 11:43 AM, Blogger LaRocque said...

clarification: went to a bar to watch them because it was one of those ones that had Sunday Ticket and about 15 tvs. Minnesota was never the regional game where I am.

 
At 9/10/2008 12:16 PM, OpenID tredecimal said...

Either Rashad isn't as tall as advertised, or Khloe started up front for whatever high school she cut class from. I mean, I knew she towered over her sisters, but damn...

 
At 9/10/2008 12:44 PM, Blogger m. Alana said...

Tredecimal - Well, he is a point guard, and she is more than likely wearing five inch heels.

 
At 9/10/2008 1:18 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Since when is Rashad a point guard? He doesn't have the mindset, handles, or passing ability to be a point guard. He's a scoring machine, so I don't know why you'd want him running point anyway.

He is only about 6'3", though.

 
At 9/10/2008 2:03 PM, Blogger m. Alana said...

Pardon my ignorance, Recluse - I'm only vaguely familiar with his play. I should have said simply "guard".

 
At 9/10/2008 4:08 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

Sorry, Alana, reading it back now, my response does seem a little over the top. I think that maybe for a second, I thought the Wolves were going to try to actually play McCants at the point, and I was horrified. He is the same height as many point guards, so your point is valid.

 

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