Ten Foot Mailbag: Free Clipper Darrell
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By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Donald Sterling and all his little minions in the LA Clippers front office need to be set on fire in public.
You may have heard that Sterling is racist and heartless and needs a flesh-eating bacterium invading every hole on his person. But now he and the perpetually loathsome Clippers organization have gone so far as to intentionally torpedo its biggest fan and thus all its fans and maybe fans of everything everywhere.
The Clippers have informed Clipper Darrell, who has been a staple at the Staples Center probably longer than anyone who roots for LA’s second basketball team, that they no longer want him using that moniker. This is because Darrell Bailey (his real name) is loved by Clipper fans and players, has long been a local media darling, was the only positive aspect of anything related to the team whatsoever for 15 years, and happens to make some money off his fame. The Clippers are kind of good now because the law of averages demands they had to eventually be, and therefore they no longer need the likes of someone who hurts nobody and also uses his celebrity for community service.
This is not Ronnie Woo Woo.
This man is obviously literate and doesn’t nauseate every sane person he goes near and strikes me as at least slightly hygienic. Clippers’ VP of marketing and sales, Carl Lahr, said “the organization didn’t need him doing stories or speaking to the media on behalf of the team.” Right, because when fans want inside info on their favorite team they turn to a fan whose tailor is being investigated for crimes against fab-u-lousity.
Clipper Darrell is what greedy, apathetic professional sports needs. I’m as cold and pragmatic as they come, but I get that there needs to be sideshows and jesters once in a while, and not just JaVale McGee. Darrell entertained fans for years while the main product could not. But now the Clippers are the cool kids and don’t need dorks like Darrell anymore, right?
I would never turn my back on the little people… until I get real money.
On to your questions. All emails and tweets are unedited. The most interesting email I received this week was Japanese spam asking for divorce assistance, so they’re all tweets this time.
Why do only the good die young? Who stopped the rain? What would you do for a Klondike Bar? #TFMB—@ecnerwal23
The answer to all three of those questions is The Man. And your CCR lyric is wrong. Jerk.
Simmons has the edge on me as a mailbaguette for now because 1) he gets paid what he’s actually worth (and probably more so), and 2) he just did a podcast with President Obama. I can’t compete with that at the moment.
As far as nerds who like sports go, Simmons is a polarizing figure. It seems that most really smart, really funny sports fans/writers dislike Simmons overall, even if it’s out of pure, covert jealousy. One needs only to read any Deadspin piece on him (and definitely the stuff from the always fantastic Commentariat afterward) or check out a Twitter hashtag game like Wednesday night’s #SportsguyObamacast to see that.
Bitter funny folks (who are often the best kind) hate the likes of Simmons because his humor is not completely base, so he isn’t considered a Blue Collar Comedy shill, but it doesn’t push a lot of boundaries, so he is not worthy of deification that he seems to have received. He’s antiestablishment but still a member of your school’s student council. I feel he’ll never be respected by the jaded sports fan because, even though he does what he can to piss the Mothership off, he is tied to ESPN, which has become to many a sort of sports equivalent of government—it’s corrupt, you’re resigned to having to live with it, but you sure as hell don’t have to like it.
I don’t love him or hate him, but I do respect him. If it wasn’t for Simmons showing not just how response to reader feedback but internet sports columns as a whole could be wildly successful, you wouldn’t be reading what I’m typing right now. Also, I don’t know him personally, but he might be much funnier in person. He is constricted by network rules, just like I am here. Anyone who knows me personally knows that my sense of humor stretches far beyond what’s fit to print.
Mailbag violence-wise, I am confident I could take Simmons in a fight. Same goes for me vs. Drew Magary and me vs. Carrie Muskat, who I hear fights dirty. Bring it.
Who are your favorite black authors of all time #tfmb—@ericcollins1981
As an English major I took a course called “Major Black Authors” taught by the wonderful Dr. Rashidah Muhammad, and I think I was one of only two white people in the course at the time. My class members were predominantly female as well, and I really had not read any “black” literature prior. Needless to say, I was up against it.
That course, though, was one of the best I ever took and was one of my greatest learning experiences. I was exposed to the likes of Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, J. California Cooper, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin—all of whom still impact me with their words today. I still have everything I wrote for that course saved on a flash drive. When writing a paper juxtaposing Hurston and Wright (who weren’t big fans of each other) I emailed Henry Louis Gates (whom you may remember having a beer with President Obama and a Cambridge, MA police officer) on a whim for his input after reading his The Signifying Monkey, which disagreed with my thesis, and was very surprised and honored to get a response. I didn’t end up using his direct input because he is way smarter than me and (politely) destroyed my entire paper, but it was still a cool thing as a student.
What I love most about African American lit is that the content and subject matter can be very heavy and gut-wrenching, yet there is a great warmth and wit to so much of it that makes it palatable and meaningful. I’m confident that if you asked my students – current and former – what their favorite piece of reading we studied is that many would say Richard Wright’s story “Big Boy Leaves Home.” There is no other piece of reading I teach that evokes louder laughter at one point and riveted, pin-drop silence a mere few pages later.
Push by Sapphire (which the film Precious is based on) is one of the finest and most disturbing novels I’ve ever read. As far as drama, Lorraine Hansberry’s and August Wilson’s plays are must reads/sees. Then there are always the poetry standards of Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes.
Perhaps the perfect piece of reading to introduce my Rhetoric course is Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” I agree with Dr. Renee H. Shea of the College Board program (they run high school AP courses) who says, “It’s a textbook of strategies, a model of the classical Aristotelian triangle, and it works.” It would be pretty difficult to find a more watertight argument than that of King’s, and while it is one of the most important pieces of writing of the Civil Rights Era, it is so much more.
If I had to narrow it down, though, my two favorite black authors would probably be Bill Clinton and Jesus.
#TFMB … how do you feel about bill murray not wanting to do Ghostbusters 3 and possibly be re-casted? FAIL or not?—@broph72
Dr. Peter Venkman is one of the great film characters of all time. Bill Murray is one of the greatest comedic actors ever. That said, I have Murray’s back on this one.
That franchise is as dead as Whitney Houston’s cell phone battery. The first one was awesome, and the second one was okay at best (though Murray held his own just because that’s what he does). There is no reason for a third.
There’s a rumor, denied by Dan Aykroyd, that Murray tore the script up and mailed it back to Aykroyd with a note that said something akin to nobody wants to see fat guys chasing ghosts. Exactly.
Also consider how many people under twenty-five even care about the Ghostbusters. Not many. And studios and people investing money into a potential third film know that. Supposedly the next sequel would involve the original guys passing down their… skills?… to a younger group of ‘Busters that would be more accessible to new audiences.
So you’d have a much older, less funny Venkman, Stantz, Spengler, and Zeddemore doing some half-assed torch-pass to the three kids from Superbad and Bow Wow. I think I’m good.
Murray’s too successful for that crap, and he’s been doing too much artistic stuff lately to go slumming in the sequel world. Hopefully his absence dissolves the project rather than proceeding with what would be a bad replacement anyway.
And do you really want that sequel, with him or without? How did Blues Brothers 2000 work out for you? That movie needs chemotherapy. I get it, we’re old and we hate being old and we want the great films of our youth back, but forcing a sequel is worse than no sequel at all.
I do feel bad for Ernie Hudson, though. Free Winston!
Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.
Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.