Brothers in Trainwrecks

So, “rumor” has it that authorities want to talk to Kobe Bryant about an “alleged” incident in which he “allegedly” caused a slight wrist injury to a man whom he believed to be taking his photo with a cell phone… in church.  This got me thinking.

The other night, Sportscenter (I think it was Jeremy Schaap… which brings to mind another column idea.  Worst sons in the father and son profession progression.  For every Ken Griffey, there’s a Tony Gwynn, right?) did a bit on how Tiger Woods and Dale Earnhardt are inextricably linked now, because they haven’t won anything in a while.  And America doesn’t tolerate losers.  Really.  Stop shaking your head at me, I’m serious.  Let me get something straight, you’re telling me a country that elected George W. Bush to not one but TWO terms in the White House doesn’t tolerate losers? 

Anyway, if you had to argue that Earnhardt and Woods have something in common, it is that they went from being at the pinnacle of their professions, and the height of popularity, to approaching mediocrity (by professional standards). If you had to compare anyone with anyone, wouldn’t it have to be Bryant and Woods?  Let’s see.  Both used to be incredibly popular. Both lost ridiculously hot wives as a result of infidelity with comparatively fugly women (granted, in Woods’ case, more frequently than Kobe’s.). Both suffered in popularity, at least partially as a result there of.  This loss of popularity all of a sudden made people realize that they weren’t the cuddly teddy bear, approachable super athletes (in the molf of… maybe a… Magic Johnson?  Hell, I don’t know.) that they had the veneer of.  Rather, their smugness and general abrasiveness came to a forefront.  And now, while both still “good” at what they do, they have been surpassed by many peers.  What am I missing?

Kids These Days: I love kids.  They go especially well with asparagus and a side of scallopped potatoes.  I know, I know, I stole that from someone… Ben Franklin possibly?  But I digress, it’s not your imagination.  Kids are getting dumber these days, and the proof is in the sports.  I was talking to my buddy’s kid (whom I do actually like, for no other reason that I can tell him to let me his daddy talk for a few hours and he actually will) about baseball while my buddy was on the crapper and he all of a sudden asked me, “Who is the best pitcher ever?”  Without hesitation, I answered, “Sandy Koufax.” He says, “Who is that?”  Let me tell all you MIT wonderbrains out there who no doubt take some very difficult tests with very difficult questions on them.  NONE of those questions is as difficult to find a suitable answer for as, “Torsten, why is my son dead?”

Enough, Already…: I’m tired of NBA lockout negotiation status reports.  I just asked 300 people (ok, three people… but  took the liberty of extrapolating that out by multiplying my control group by 100 to save time) and, lo and behold, nobody gives a @#$% whether there’s going to be basketball next season. 

Upcoming Podcasts: Two!  The Stain will, in the next couple weeks, be bringing you two podcasts.  One on our fantasy football league, the other one on the new English Premier League soccer season. The latter of which, we’ll be joined by our friend George Ogier, a frequent (and excellent for that matter)contributor (and Spurs fan) to dozens of soccer websites and publications for an authentic North London look at the upcoming year.

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