Posts Tagged ‘Ego’

Rooting Against the Miami Heat

Sportswriters are telling us to get over it. To get over the ego of LeBron James; forget the tastelessly tacky ESPN announcement show where he jilted Cleveland; ignore the three-ring, laser-circus Miami Heat signing event in which LeBron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh stood on platforms posing like Greek Gods.

We’re supposed to sit in awe at this dawn of a new dynasty led by a guy many are now calling the greatest basketball player who ever lived. No- I don’t think so. I’m not going to like this one bit. I like my heroes slightly humble and with more than one dimension. Mickey Mantle was deeply flawed but he had the humility to go along with the once-in-a-generation talent. Muhammad Ali backed up his arrogance with grace and power but there was more to him than boxing; he sacrificed the best years of his career on principle- opposing participation in the Vietnam War and refusing induction into the U.S. Army on religious grounds.

One gets the sense the only thing that matters to LeBron James is basking in his own wonderfulness, an exercise that is much easier to do when you have your own huge posses who constantly remind you of your greatness.

I remember his famous return to Cleveland back in March. LeBron reportedly doesn’t like to ride on the team bus and he makes his own travel arrangements. But on this occasion he didn’t clear it with anybody so when he turned up at the player’s parking lot in a limo with a second vehicle behind him carrying his posse of friends, the Cleveland Cavaliers turned him right around. They let him in once he’d come back alone. Then he skipped the pre-game introductions in his old hometown, claiming he forgot and must have been in the bathroom.

He’s got all the talent in the world. Miami has the best basketball team money can buy. So what? The only actually interesting thing about these NBA Finals, is if Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks can somehow manage to derail this Hollywood Dream Team and inject in them, that missing sense of humility. Maybe the addition of a little character will make all the egos a little easier to take.

Oh- so you’re good at basketball? Yawn. Hockey is a much cooler pastime anyway. I have a thing for team sports.

Labron and ESPN

I seem to be drawn to unseemly spectacles so, yes, I will tune in at 9 pm to watch the Lebron James/ESPN one-hour special on his decision about what city he will choose to go make a zillion dollars with.

Seven years in the NBA and the guy has been to the finals once and never a champion. This looks to me to be the move of a great big ego wrapped in a charity (The Boy’s and Girl’s clubs of America) to escalate the brand of one Lebron James.

And am I being too prissy or traditional or something to be slightly uncomfortable with the relationship here between Lebron and ESPN? I heard this morning on NPR that Lebron has been allowed to choose all but one of the sponsors of the show and also has had a hand in choosing who will interview him following the announcement.

I know this is a sports/entertainment story. But isn’t it also a news story? Aren’t reporters and commentators and hosts at ESPN sort of in the news business?

To be honest, I love ESPN. I love their programming and I like them as a business. They’re cocky and brash and creative and entertaining. If I was in one of their executive suites today as an ESPN employee (and I know more than one of their executives), I’d probably be high-fiving and fist-bumping with the rest of them because it’s a hell of a broadcast coup.

But I don’t work for ESPN and I can see the forest for the trees and the active merging of a media company’s business interests with an athlete’s business interests seems…like uncomfortable new ground.

What happens when an NBA star who has actually won a championship goes on the free agent market- like Kobe Bryant? Will he be able to cut a deal with all the major broadcast networks for a simultaneous announcement not unlike a Presidential news conference? Will ESPN start bidding for the announcement TV rights of other famous free agent athletes?

But even as I watch uncomfortably, I will, nonetheless, still be watching. My guess is that ESPN will welcome my viewership tonight regardless of my ethical sensitivities.

Why People Hate Politicians

May 18, 2010 1 comment

We have an Indiana Republican and hero of abstinence who cheated; and a Democratic Attorney General and Senate candidate from Connecticut who pretends he fought in Vietnam. Oh, I don’t know- maybe it’s all the lying and hypocrisy?

And it’s not just one political party; it seems to be the whole wretched lot of them.
Tell you what, Republicans may do better than Dems in November but that’s only because there are more Democratic incumbents. If there was a third party called the “Honesty” party- they’d all be swept out of office. I don’t believe these “Tea Party” candidates are going to turn out any better either. That’s what happens to reformers; they get a taste for power and they join the elite classes and start playing the same egotistical games.


This is Indiana Republican Congressman, Mark Souder.

This is Congressman Souder being interviewed by a part-time staffer named Tracy Jackson on the subject of abstinence.  Ms. Jackson is the alleged mistress.

Here is a portion of Congressman Souder’s resignation letter:

To serve has been a blessing and a responsibility given from God. I wish I could have been a better example. I sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff. In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain. I am resigning rather than to put my family through that painful, drawn-out process.

Did you get that? It’s all Washington’s fault.


This is Connecticut Attorney General, and Democratic Senate candidate, Richard Blumenthal.

This is Richard Blumenthal two years ago at a ceremony honoring military veterans.

“We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam,” Mr. Blumenthal said to the group gathered in Norwalk in March 2008. “And you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whatever we call it — Afghanistan or Iraq — we owe our military men and women unconditional support.”

This is from Monday’s New York Times:

There was one problem: Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.

Qualifications for Office

Actually, let’s start in reverse. Anyone who wants to run for political office should be immediately disqualified. Already, their ego is out of control.

So what do we do?

We draft people. Like jury duty. One year at a time. Pay them well so they don’t get tempted. A year should not give them enough time to quite learn all the ways of Washington and “K” Street lobbyists. The year’s up and back home.

Citizen lawmakers instead of professional career-climbing, hypocritical, lying egomaniacs.

Just a thought.