Thursday, November 03, 2005

Look To The Cookie

You've probably heard that the NBA has instated a dress code for players to follow during press conferences and while on the bench in street clothes. I was totally appalled by this. It seems clear to me that the NBA sees how white people aren't going to games as much as they used to, and is trying to make the black players more "palatable" to them. First of all, if I was running a business, and you didn't want to buy my merchandise because you felt it "wasn't white enough" for you, I wouldn't want your filthy money anyway. (This is why I stay away from business. See the Theo Epstein issue.) The last thing I'd do would be to say, "Hey, black dudes, you're scaring the white folk. You have to dress more like them now." They might as well have just painted all the black players white.

Then again, Chris Webber, on Bill Maher's show, told Bill that the above thinking is also racist, because it implies that to dress nicely is a "white thing." And that is a good point, but I still say the NBA purposely targeted things that are mainly worn by their black players.

But there's another way to look at that, which is to say that it's more of a generational thing than a color thing. Still, I'm just gonna go ahead and say it's a racist thing. And I've heard David Stern interviewed about this and I'm not changing my opinion.

Mike & the Mad Dog talked about this at length. Those guys can say the most racist things without even knowing it. Mad Dog kept saying innocently, "The middle-aged white guy just can't relate to gold chains and hats worn wrong." (I think it was Rick Reilly who pointed out to him that there's no "wrong" in hat-wearing.) To me, it just really says something about society when the answer to that "problem" is not to teach tolerance toward people who dress differently, but to take those people and force them to look the way the audience wants them to.

Again, if middle-aged white people don't watch the NBA because of the way the players dress at press conferences, than they don't deserve to see some of the best athletes on earth. Screw 'em. I'll take their season tickets. (But, again, if the point of business and marketing and advertising is to cater to the people with the most money, even if it means forcing rules on people of races that rich people don't like, then I never want to have anything to do with them.)

That said, I have a radical new idea for baseball. No uniforms at all. Everyone should wear what they feel comfortable playing in. We know who's on which team. In the other sports, uniforms are needed on the field or court or ice because the players are intermingling. In baseball, if you're wearing a glove, you're on the defensive team. There should never be any confusion, no matter what clothes everyone is wearing. How about it, national pasttime? Try it out on Independence Day, at least.

In pun news, Chan & I were headed out to Dunkin' Donuts earlier tonight. He said he just had to put on his shoes--Merrell's, he told me they were called. He followed that up with, "Like Edward J. Murrow" (which, apparently, he felt was a similar name to "Merrell"). I said, "You're thinking of Edward James Olmos." And you know I had to chase that with "You were Olmos right."

Later, we talked about how wordplay isn't funny unless you come up with it right away. So, you may not have laughed at the line above, but had you been there and experienced the timing of it, you'd be creating new wordplay awards and presenting them to me in prime time.

Comments:
See...I don't watch basketball because I think the game has turned into a circus with one individual trying to outdo another individual...yes, I know this happens in other sports as well (and the NFL is getting worse and worse every year) but it just seems so much more...visable in the NBA.
 
The NBA...it's CHAAAAAAAAAN-TASTIC!!
 
im not being racist in the least bit, but why do so many young black kids, at least in Boston, wear those ridiculously huge plain white t-shirts? im talking down to their shins? its crazy!
 
that's beautiful, Pat.

the puns might be funnier to those of us who can picture you saying them and giving each other blank stares.

I've never had a problem with the plain-clothes of NBA players, but the uniforms are really ugly. how 'bout we change them, instead?

It's so stupid of the NBA to think they can solve their rating problems by enforcing a dress code. No one would give a shit if they dressed like pimps an' ganstas if they didn't act like them, too. It's not like the players are the wrong color to be worthy of hero-worship, they just ain't mature enough - and slappin' a suit on these mo'fuckers ain't gonna help.

yeah, I know I'm totally type-casting here, but you just don't hear about the classy NBA star anymore. Instead you hear about arrests and brawls. These guys don't need to wear dress shirts; they need to be better known for their good work in the community. (speaking proper english wouldn't hurt, either.)
 

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