Another Sixth Imitation

By Michael-Louis Ingram
Updated: May 28, 2009

Sports PHILADELPHIA — The sixth edition of this series focuses on the impact of sports issues as they are presented in mainstream media; they are then punctuated by dialogue from movies.

Simply put, just because they’re paranoid in celluloid doesn’t mean a quote’s not out to get you…

“Rule #1: Make the buggers shuffle uneasily in their shiny shoes.”

— Ray McAnally to Keith Allen in “A Very British Coup.”

Kill Bill, Volume One

Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder Manny Ramirez was found to have tested positive for steroids, according to Major League Baseball. Ramirez, driving force behind the Dodgers’ late – season surge last year and arguably the greatest right – handed hitter MLB has seen over the last generation, must now sit out 50 games as per the new policy for “performance enhancing substances.”

To some degree, it might have been a moot point on the heels of what happened with Alex Rodriguez; but when Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrapped his miniscule medulla oblongata around this, he preceded to rip into Ramirez, calling him a disgrace to baseball; saying he “couldn’t be trusted” and someone who should never wear a Dodger uniform ever again on national television.

My response is simply this – where the fuck were you 30 years ago, you scumbag yellow dog journalist muthafucka?

You and all the rest of your colleagues who profited from your code of silence in allowing the climate to exist now wanna rail with righteous indignation over selected targets like Ramirez? And not just target him, but to viciously assassinate the man’s character?

For Plaschke – who is 200 pounds of shit in a 150 pound bag to pass off as a journalist – his actions are an insult to the profession. Every beat writer like Plaschke knew what the fuck was going on, and said nothing for years.

If he would imply that he didn’t know there was a steroids problem, then he is telling the world he is incompetent at doing his job and shouldn’t be holding down a spot like that of a columnist and beat writer.

If he admits he knows, then he and all the other so – called “insiders” like him need to be taken to task in the same manner in which he and his ilk have sought to destroy the very monsters they helped create…

To every one of you “journalists” who continue to pimp off this steroid inquisition at the expense of the players that you no longer have a use for, I sincerely hope you all fall through your own assholes and break your muthafuckin’ necks…

“You don’t make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it.”

— Martin Scorsese in “Mean Streets.”

Kill Bill, Volume Two

The scandalous squealing of a scurrilous swamp sow like Plaschke notwithstanding, it brings me back to what my colleague Tony McClean called “the summer of love” – culminating in the 1998 Sports Illustrated cover showing Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa as heroes of Olympian proportions.

Hailed as conquering heroes, Sosa and McGwire were lauded as having saved the Grand Old Game with their season long version of Home Run Derby.

A couple years and a bottle of androstenedione later, McGwire goes from Paul Bunyan to eunuch – because the same mainstream media which loved him cut his balls out when the opportunity presented itself.

And the findings of the Mitchell Report aided in the eventual piling on which led to further excoriation of McGwire, Sosa, Barry Bonds, and 100 other players who may or may not be part of a list of players who supposedly tested positive for steroids in 2003…

“No evasions, Mister Secretary, no evasions if you please.

{Evasions? What the hell are you talking about? What the hell is this nonsense? – Mister Secretary, I’m kind of new at this job, but I don’t think it’s good public relations to speak that way to a US Senator, even if he is an idiot}.

“I am United States Senator John Yerkes Iselin, and I have here a list of two hundred seven persons who are known by the Secretary of Defense as being members of the Communist Party!

{What?} Who nevertheless are still shaping the policy of the Defense Department! {Senator who?}

“I demand an answer, Mister Secretary! There will be no covering up, sir! No covering up!”

{How did you get in here in the first place?}

Unless all the names are published, the character assassinations will continue as they are now. After the vilification of Alex Rodriguez, and now Ramirez, the aura of who’s next to be exposed from that list only serves the inner circle of MLB, who seem to be content in strafing specific targets at their leisure.

But someday soon, a player will retaliate…and take matters in hand legally…

“I know you will never entirely comprehend this, Raymond, but you must believe I did not know it would be you. I served them. I fought for them. I’m on the point of winning for them the greatest foothold they would ever have in this country. And they paid me back by taking your soul away from you. I told them to build me an assassin. I wanted a killer from a world filled with killers and they chose you because they thought it would bind me closer to them.

“But now, we have come almost to the end – one last step. And then when I take power, they will be pulled down and ground into dirt for what they did to you. And what they did in so contemptuously underestimating me.”

(Dialogue between James Gregory, Barry Kelley, Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and Angela Lansbury in “The Manchurian Candidate.”)

Alexandra the Great!

The 134th Edition of the Preakness left filly Rachel Alexandra first across the finish line in a magnificent display of Hoss Power! Running from post position #13 (and first hoss to ever win from there), “Rachel” got to the front and held on as the late – running Mine That Bird was a length and a half too late over the mile and three – sixteenths distance.

As Rachel ran the boys ragged, she was draped with the Black-Eyed Susans; while the rest of the field got black eyes.

Alexandra the Great now joins the elite ranks of filly Triple Crown winners (Genuine Risk, Winning Colors, Rags to Riches) but beyond that loom some awesome probabilities. New owner Jess Jackson could enter her in the Belmont, with the possibility of back-to-back first place fillies after Rags to Riches.

Or she can wait and run as a prohibitive favorite in the Fillies’ Triple Tiara as a potential Tiara/Crown winner – in what would be a truly unprecedented move because the Mother Goose Stakes in late June would provide enough down time for Rachel to properly get her legs back.

While there may be a groundswell of “Run, Rachel, Run,” Princess Alexandra may not have to lift another hoof. A potential mating with stable mate Curlin could be the horsey power couple of this generation.

A BASN source, in an attempt to “speak” to Ms. Alexandra regarding future plans, overheard her dishing some hoss sense to the Ladies Who Lunch (on alfalfa and apples) in an impromptu gathering of Fillies Doin’ It For Themselves…

“Ladies, you have to be strong and independent, and remember – Don’t get mad, get everything.”

— Ivana Trump in “The First Wives Club.”

Bury My Heart At Old D.C.

If image is everything, then there is no desire to get excited about Washington’s football team or Cleveland’s baseball team.

For every time I can revel in thinking about Doug Williams’ Super Bowl performance against John Elway’s Denver Broncos; and enjoy Jason Campbell’s efforts in trying to make his team better, that damn team name sticks in my craw…

“Well, well, well, the Washington Redskin…”

My friend and colleague Gary Norris Gray has been hot on this issue for some time now, and the blatant insensitivity in continuing on with the name (in spite of the fact the franchise is worth over a billion dollars) is an exercise in simple cruelty.

When Washington’s basketball team came under criticism because of murders in the local community, they knuckled under to pressure and changed their name from the Bullets (nee Baltimore Bulllets) to the Wizards – as if that was going to make the violence magically disappear!

“Just before they caught Jimmy, I had a dream. I was running with other Indians at the Wounded Knee Cemetery. I was shot in the back.

{You were running with the old ones at The Knee? It was just a dream; Who the hell are you, man? What do you mean?

{You had yourself a vision. A man waits a long time to have a vision, and he may go his whole life without having one. Then along comes some instant Indian with a fucking Rolex and a brand new pair of shoes. A God damn FBI to top it all off, has himself a vision. Oh, maybe it was just one of them, what do you call them? “Fitful dreams.”}

Yeah, fitful dreams.

{Fitful dreams, horse shit! You had yourself a vision!”}

What the hell do you want me to do?”

Well, you could change the team’s name, Daniel Snyder. Whatever cash you think you will lose in name branding, you’ll get back a hundred fold because you changed the climate of insensitivity. There’s nothing wrong with the logo, just change the damn name; because the name you think isn’t a problem to some makes other feel like…

“Goddamn prairie niggers!”

Sometimes they have to kill us. They have to kill us, because they can’t break our spirit.”

— Dialogue between Julius Drum, Val Kilmer, Graham Greene, David Crosby and John Trudell in “Thunderheart.”

Meanwhile, back in Cleveland, the logo is the issue. The racist depiction of the character Chief Wahoo, presents a different aspect to this. While the logo depicts someone’s idea of a Native American, Cleveland’s logo generates even more disgust because it is deliberately drawn to be a negative stereotypical depiction.

Unlike Washington’s football team or Florida State’s football team or even the Atlanta Braves, who changed their logo slightly to depict their Brave in a more respectful manner, Cleveland could have changed the Chief to look like…well, a chief.

But the same bullshit argument about branding fuels the logic of Cleveland management; which means I now state that Cleveland will never win another title as long as that fucking logo remains as it now stands.

In spite of the fact the great Larry Doby broke the American League’s color line by becoming the first Black player in the AL, I wonder what he must’ve been thinking in his private moments when he looked in the clubhouse mirror and saw that racist symbol staring back at him?

“As I bled to death, as my very life oozed out of me, all I could think of was something the great Negro James Baldwin had written. “People pay for what they do – and still more for what they have allowed themselves to become, and they pay for it, very simply, by the lives they lead.”

— Damon Wayans in “Bamboozled.”

Love ‘Em & Leave ‘Em

Well, Kentucky, you wanted John Calipari, and you sure got him. The grief you attempted to heap upon my friend and colleague L.A. Batchelor (aka NegroDamus) because he looked to provide you with a word of caution about the man you hired and the reputation which preceded him was unwarranted.

But know word comes out that as Calipari left his old job at the University of Memphis, new allegations of impropriety rears its ugly head.

According to an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Memphis is responding to an NCAA notice of allegations accusing their men’s basketball program of major violations during that 2007-08 season under Calipari; said allegations include “knowing fraudulence or misconduct” on an SAT exam by a player on that season’s team, which was the runner-up in the NCAA tournament.

The player’s name was redacted in the report, which was obtained by the newspaper through the Freedom of Information Act, but the question becomes, “Where have we heard this before?”

If the road Calipari traveled coming out of the University of Massachusetts is the same as the one out of Memphis, this could lead to forfeiture of all Memphis’ victories and monies accrued from their post- season accomplishments in the NCAA tourney.

But you guys fell in lust with this slick item long before we pulled up to the bumper…

“Ok, the same fella who made the drop last year is gonna do it again. I want somebody on him. Vera, do you have a girl?

{I’ve got a girl whose pussy is so good, if you threw it up in the air it would turn into sunshine.}

Now it comes out that apparently your administrators at the University of Kentucky were so in lust with getting some of those NCAA tourney ducats, they went after Calipari knowing what kind of cat was coming down the ‘pike…

“How’s Sunshine doing on that pickup man?

{Oh, he proposed to her four times already, said he would leave his wife and kids, and convert from Catholic to Baptist. Now you know that’s some Mean Pussy to make a man change Gods!}

Now, although Calipari didn’t formally accept the gig until March 31, the deal was rumored to be in place as early as January!

So…I suppose this is just “coincidence,” right? Mmm…I don’t think so.

You can’t say we didn’t tell you so, ’cause we did.

And although the spin says that Calipari has done no wrong, what do you think they thought back at UMass and now at Memphis, especially if they get hit with the Full Monty of penalties his High Exalted Pimp Flava Supreme, Myles Brand & the NCAA can muster?

Well, all we can say to that is…

Kiss my ENTIRE ass!

— Dialogue between Richard Pryor, Della Reese, Redd Foxx and Eddie Murphy in “Harlem Nights.”

To be continued…