What’s Love Got to Do With it (when it comes to Athlete-Starlet hookups)?

MarkDashian is blowing up the internet rumor mill in the "sports offseason"

Dear Headie Sports Doc,

I’m confused, why is it that athletes and Hollywood starlets always end up pairing off together?  I get that famous people want to be with other famous people, but what is it about the personality makeup of athletes and starlets that so frequently bring them together in relationships?  If I have to start watching yet another sports team (beyond already the Nets, Dolphins, Lakers, and Mavericks) just so I can keep up with the latest happenings of my Kardashian girls, I’m gonna crack!

–PERPLEXED IN PEORIA (IL)

DEAR PERPLEXED,

First off, let’s just be grateful that Kourtney seems pretty locked in to her lukewarm relationship/baby making arrangement with Scott.  So at least you do not have to get roped into tracking yet another sports team to keep up with the Kardashians’ significant others (beyond watching Scott’s occasional flirtations with the shuttlecock in badminton or squash matches with his fellow white collar, freeloading, vodka selling partners that E! sneaks into the show from time to time when they are short on content).

You make some great observations and raise a wonderful question.  Dating back to the Joltin’ Joe/Marilyn Monroe combo through the Andre Agassi/Brook Shields fling to Dennis Rodman/Carmen Electra’s bond and on to the more recent Kim Kardashian/Reggie Bush+Kris Humpries+Mark Sanchez triumvirate of relationships you aptly identified a real pattern in all of this historical pop culture data.  We could even throw Tiger Woods into this category with his love(?) affair with Hollywood San Fernando Valley “starlet” Joslyn James (okay maybe we’ll just stick with the aforementioned examples and steer clear of Tiger’s tales of lust). Continue reading

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The Book on Eli: The Mythological Narrative of the “Other Manning”

“I’ll tell you this, if Eli wins a second Super Bowl next week, then I really think he’s made his case that he’s the best QB in the Manning family!”  “At the end of the day, it’s all about how many championships you win, and Eli is beginning to prove to me he is more championship caliber than his brother Peyton.”

These are actual quotes from ESPN and generic sports radio’s endless rambling two-week lead up to the Super Bowl.  And thus reflect the current media age–the great circus of rhetorical contortionists.

Every new event must be painted and billed as the greatest show on Earth.  Every event must have a compelling, simplified narrative to convince us why this next game or show cannot be missed.  It feels no different than good ole’ fashioned yellow journalism; sensationalizing the news to drive up circulation (except with newspapers gasping for their last collective breath, it’s more like driving up viewership so an ESPN production exec can charge an extra $5,000 to Lotrimin AF so they remain the only anti-fungal jock itch cream you can trust…as far as you can trust SportsCenter for being the expert in recommending your jock itch powder)… Continue reading

The Leaderless NBA

Editor’s Note: The footnotes appear at bottom of the page rather than next to the corresponding paragraph where the footnote is placed, still working to resolve this (one work-around is that footnotes open in separate window next to essay when clicked on).  Enjoy the footnotes nonetheless; they are worth the obligatory “scroll time.”

Bill Russell ain’t got nothin’ on Dwight Howard.  So maybe Bill Russell won a few championships (alright maybe more than a few, 11), put together an MVP season or two (or 5), and, hell, even coached himself (and his teammates) to an NBA championship once upon a time (as one of the only successful player-coach stints in recent sports history)[1], but the great Bill Russell was never wise enough to be a personnel man.

Dwight Howard is a new breed.  Sports pundits have always marveled over what a perfect athletic specimen D12 is for the center position, but his brilliant brawn has blinded us from his acute managerial and scouting prowess.  Little did we know, but he has a knack for knowing what creates a championship team.  By god, he has the secret formula!  Let’s get him some chalk and a board and see what he can teach us…wait, your grand plan for improvements around the Amway Center is Monta Ellis and 31 year old Stephen Jackson…hmmm…can we get that chalk back, I believe Office Depot allows same day returns…. Continue reading