September 19, 2009

Bernie Lincicome got it right: “Having witnessed Mike Tyson bite off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear and Dennis Rodman kick a cameraman in the crotch, I must say that Serena Williams is Miss Manners as far as bad conduct in sports goes.
Likewise, the oaf who yelled at President Obama is a mere curio on the back shelf of the House of Commons, where the place would not have been quiet
enough to hear him during the Prime Minister’s Question Time.
To lump the tuneless Kanye West into a national hand wringing over bad manners in public is to beg the greater question, which is, “Who is Kanye West?” Or who is Taylor Swift for that matter?
In this desperate media age, where the local police blotter is on the national nightly news, an epidemic of incivility has been detected, all of it where there were TV cameras to record it.
Millions of unrecorded daily insults—and not just those in the airport security line—fail to flex the twanger of outrage. Not every bad mannered postal clerk or impatient emergency room nurse—how dare you have a heart attack on her shift–or the traffic cop hiding behind bushes to stop the plague of cell phone drivers is brought before the bench of public censure.
It is those among the silly classes, the athletes, the entertainers, the politicians, the talk show hosts, the overpaid, who have the duty to be the proxies for a cruel and inhospitable world, and who must then apologize not for being jerks, but for being caught on camera. As Donald Rumsfeld reminded, it is not torture that is disgusting it is the pictures of torture.
To help with the problem, I have established a list of appropriate regrets. They can printed and categorized on business cards and passed out as the occasion demands.
For general misconduct.
“To (my fans), (my constituents) (my mother), I want to publicly apologize for my actions. I was wrong. I deserve to be punished. I realize what I did was offensive and improper, though they had it coming.”
For general weirdness.
“To the rest of the world, I want to say I am sorry that there is not room for you in here with me. I would like to look you in the face and tell you that. And I would like you to look me in the face and tell me, ‘you can’t do what you do,’ but I have to be quiet now.”
For a role model’s sense of responsibility.
“To Parents and Teachers. I want to publicly apologize for any children I may have influenced to, oh, I don’t know, act like a lunatic, accuse others of awful
things without proof, show disrespect for anyone you don’t agree with; however, I would ask you to please remember that famous people do not warp your children when you aren’t looking, babysitters do.”
It would be a good idea for celebrities, politicians and athletes to open an account with a florist and leave a standing order. Roses for anger, geraniums for profanity, carnations for anything that resulted in a mug shot, though nothing shows long term sincerity quite like a cactus.
The card would read, “Please accept my apology and these lovely (check one).”
Apologies are not just for critics but for disciples, too, those who defend bad conduct no matter how outrageous, who excuse behavior no matter how bizarre.
“To my friends, and you both know each other, I want to apologize for perpetually contradicting all the nice things you say about me and for whizzing on all the good will you extend to me.”
An all-purpose apology is probably best. The cards could be passed out to strangers or left in a pile at the door of any public appearance.
“To Whom I May Affront: I would like to apologize for whatever you think I may have done or am about to do to you, your shrubs or pets.”
So, thanks to Serena and Rep. Joe Whatizname and Kanye for stepping up to take the fall for the rest of us, for becoming wretched martyrs to conduct
unbecoming human beings. We may now all go back to abusing each other knowing that they stand tall on the wall of bad behavior and are ready to serve, even when not called.”




Jim Litke is an AP Sports Columnist and had this in the Boston Herald: “A hearty appetite and a gift for drawing up defenses weren’t the only things Jets coach Rex Ryan got from his daddy.
You may recall Buddy Ryan liked to talk a little smack, too. Back when he was the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, the most fearsome unit in the
NFL, the only thing that really scared his players was what might come out of Buddy’s mouth next.
He’d promise more knockouts than Muhammad Ali, then leave it to them to keep cashing his checks. After a while, it got old.
“Buddy was like my favorite uncle,” hard-hitting safety Gary Fencik said once. “The one I wanted to tell, ’Shut up.’”
Apparently, the pear didn’t fall far from the tree. Rex, too, worked wonders as the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach in Baltimore for 10 years
before taking over in New York. The Ravens played an attacking style and punished people the way Buddy’s defenses did.
Still, the family resemblance was never stronger than when Rex opened his mouth, beginning with a radio interview in June.
“I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick’s rings,” the rookie coach said, calling out his AFC East rival. “I came to win, let’s put it that way.”
And win the Jets did in Ryan’s debut, putting a 24-7 hurt on Houston last week. Even more impressive, his aggressive defense yielded only 183 yards to a Texans offense that averaged more than double that total last season.
“And we straight demolished them,” cornerback Darrelle Revis said the day after.
“We feel if we can make it a brawl, we’re going to win,” chimed in safety Jim Leonhard, who played for Ryan at Baltimore last season.
That hardly sounds like a team that needs firing up, but Ryan apparently thinks their fans might — with good reason. The Jets open at home Sunday against a Patriot team that’s beaten them eight straight at the Meadowlands — tied for the longest active streak in the league. So he picked up the phone Wednesday and left a 70-second message for every season-ticket holder.
“I just wanted to let you know how much we need you this week. You know, I’ve already admitted that, hey, the Patriots have a better head coach and they’ve got a better quarterback than us. But we’re going to see who’s got a better team.”
The tactic barely caused a ripple around most of the league.
Even in New England, Ryan’s ploy elicited little more than a shrug. Maybe that’s because the Patriots have been conditioned to follow Belichick’s
“loose-lips-sink-ships” line.
“I think that’s all not really that relevant,” Belichick said. “The most important thing to us is we are playing a division game on the road. That pretty much says it all. Whatever you want to write big game, or important game, or however you want to say that, put it in capital letters, or put it in italics phrase it however you want to phrase it.”
Confidence might be contagious, but so is woofing. That’s why it didn’t take long for Ryan’s fairly temperate remarks to get amplified into a full-throated boast.
Safety Kerry Rhodes vowed the Jets defense would come calling for quarterback Tom Brady in the backfield at least a half-dozen times, their goal being to “try and embarrass” the Pats.
“We don’t want to just beat them,” he told the New York Daily News. “We want to send a message to them, ’We’re not backing down from you and we
expect to win this game, and it’s not going to be luck. It’s not going to be a mistake.’ “
The mistake, though, will turn out to be challenging Brady. The strongest thing the Pats quarterback said all week was, “Talk is cheap.”
“No matter what you say on a Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday,” he added a moment later, “it doesn’t matter much.”
Maybe not.
But somebody should have reminded Rhodes what happened to Steelers cornerback Anthony Smith in 2007 when he promised something similar. Brady kept quiet all week, but drew a bull’s-eye on the rookie’s back and threw at him repeatedly in a New England win. After completing a TD pass right over Smith, Brady ran almost 20 yards downfield and uncharacteristically began screaming in his face.
Turns out he was just saving his breath.


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