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Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End
Remember when Kobe called a referee a “fucking faggot?” And the ridiculous backlash that followed? ESPN created that story out of thin air because they COULDN’T WAIT to demonize Kobe Bryant. They questioned his sensitivity toward the gay community and effectively forced an apology from him. Lest we not forget, the Kobe incident occurred ON THE FUCKING COURT of an NBA basketball game. If you think that was the worst thing that was said on the court that night, you’re nuts. Yet there was the worldwide leader, once again creating news and coercing Bryant into making a public apology.
Notice anything about the media response to this story? Like how nonexistent it was? The Lebron incident is quite obviously the more egregious of the two–this occurred during a press conference… ya know, where everything you say is INTENDED to be heard by the media–that’s what a press conference is. Not some kneejerk reaction on the sidelines of an NBA game during the heat of the moment. It was in a press conference, in which your words are made for public consumption, he called the reporter asking the question retarded. And yet, crickets out of Bristol.
Could this be because ESPN would rather draw negative attention to a guy like Kobe, whom they’ve already changed the image of multiple times, because over the course of a lengthy career with a tremendous record of leadership and winning, they’ve essentially run out of ways to sell him to us? And that the latest season surrounding the drama of the big three in Miami, is FAR, FAR more marketable than Kobe ever even dreamed of being? ESPN couldn’t wait to make an insensitive bastard out of Kobe, while their silence on this latest Lebron mishap, given the influence the network has in the sporting world, constitutes an active cover-up of the incident. It’s quite simple: If ESPN can make a huge deal out of Kobe calling a referee a faggot, then they wield the same power to make it so the more profitable Lebron James, calling a reporter retarded, essentially never happened. Bunch of fucking faggots over at the Worldwide Leader.
Herm Edwards was just on ESPN, yelling at Chad OchoCinco for his continued Twitter-Antics, and telling him
to “Strap the helmet on and just play football!” (Follow @obscureathletes on twitter) Aside from how absurdly hypocritical this helmet-wielding rant from Edwards is, considering the fact that he’s employed by a network that actively promotes Twitter and actually has fucking segments during SportsCenter to talk about tweets from athletes, has anyone else had just about enough of this clown?
Given his ‘Pep talk’ rants and other outlandish NFL commentary, I ask you this, Obscure Readers. If you didn’t know Herm was a failed NFL head coach and successful ESPN pundit, wouldn’t you think he was a crack addict struggling mightily to get clean? I know I would. It must be way more difficult to brandish your “Fired Coaches Association” membership card over in Bristol, when unlike your counterpart Jon Gruden, you never won a goddamn thing as a pro coach. Even if Gruden basically stole Tony Dungy’s second ring.
I woke up around 8:50 this morning, and I seemed to have lost the remote. The channel was 35 (ESPN2) when I went to bed, and the sporting gods did have a hearty laugh at my expense, because like everyday Monday through Friday between 6-10AM, Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio was being simulcast on The Deuce. My hatred of Mike and Mike is well-documented, so rather than go on a rant about why I hate them so much, I’ve taken the time to make a short list of things that rank SLIGHTLY higher on my to-watch list.
Whatever crap is on the Golf Channel
That show Pat Robertson has
Yes, Dear reruns
Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS
As many pundits accurately predicted, top prospect Mike Stanton has started the season quite well for the Florida Marlins. He currently holds the #3 spot on Baseball America’s list of its top 100 prospects, and has hit 5 home runs and driven in 13 in 99 at-bats. Stanton is, by all accounts, one of the better young players in the game and a sure bet to be a Major League superstar sooner rather than later. But this culturally relevant Mike Stanton is only one of three Mike Stantons to have appeared in Major League Baseball games in the past 30 years. These two other, more obscure Mike Stantons, deserve nothing less than a spotlight today on Obscure Athletes. Because the rising star of the current Mike Stanton will continue to bury the legacy of these other Stantons with every accomplishment the future MLB great, puts on his resume.
Our first Mike Stanton is one you probably don’t remember much of. That is, of course, unless you don’t fall nicely into what our high-priced marketing department, complete with focus groups and double-blind studies, tells me our “chief demographic” is. The first Mike Stanton was a right-handed pitcher who spent 7 seasons in the majors over the course of ten years, between 1975-1985. He was drafted thrice before finally signing in 1973 with the Astros. He made his Major League debut for the team in 1975, but appeared in just seven games, five out of the bullpen. He pitched his way to a 7.27 ERA and an 0-2 record in just 17.1 IP. His big league
journey looked to be over, but alas five years later, in 1980, Stanton made the Indians’ roster out of camp and appeared in 51 games that season. Mike had his best season in 1983 with the Mariners, when he pitched in 50 games out of the Seattle bullpen, and posted a 3.32 ERA. He last appeared in 1985 for the White Sox. And the award for greatest mustache on a baseball player named Mike Stanton goes to….Mike Stanton, Right-handed pitcher!
The other ‘other’ Mike Stanton is the one you’re probably more familiar with. Drafted by the Braves in 1987, Stanton made his major league debut with the same team two years later in August of 1989. In parts of seven seasons with Atlanta, Stanton pitched 289.2 innings in his 304 appearances, all out of the bullpen.
Stanton made just one start in his career, for the Yankees in 1999. The Yanks were the team with which this Stanton enjoyed his highest level of success. He went 31-14 with a 3.77 cumulative ERA for the Bronx Bombers in parts of seven seasons. Stanton also spent time in Washington, Texas, and several other teams in his 19-year career. He made his
lone All-Star appearance in 2001, and to date remains the only Mike Stanton in the history of Major League Baseball to make an All-Star game. That’s the last beacon of notoriety that this Mike Stanton cleaves to as of May, 2011.
Why is Mike Stanton such a baseball name? I have no idea. One day I hope to make an “All-Mike-Stanton” team. We currently have two relievers and an outfielder.
We make our comeback article on this fine early May morning with a new segment (credit to Jameson Foley and Mike
Boss for a bitchin’ idea) called Until he Went to the Mets, chronicling the careers of once-great Major League Baseball players–players we all thought would continue on to do great things…until they went to the Mets. We start this segment off with one of our favorites, the great (Chris with a K) Benson….You know, the dude with the ridiculously hot wife?
Kris Benson went undrafted out of high school but attended Clemson University where he became the team’s ace. He was named the 1996 college baseball player of the year, and was the consensus ’96 number one overall pick. It was on the back of Benson that the 1996 US Olympic Baseball team was forced to settle for the Bronze metal, after getting shelled by Japan in his only loss of the Olympics.
Benson is known for being one of the most over-hyped pitchers in recent memory, but even so, made his Major League debut in 1999 with the Pirates, where he pitched service-ably, finishing fourth in the Rookie of the Year balloting, and followed up that performance with an even better 2000. Benson’s best season in the Majors was that season, in which he finished 10-12 (Behind ZERO run support) with a 3.85 ERA. He missed ’01 after receiving Tommy John surgery, but would eventually be moved to the Mets at the 2004 trade deadline. Players the Mets let go in that deal? Ty Wigginton, and that guy who hit 54 bombs last year–none other than Jose Bautista.
Benson posted a solid September with the Mets, despite not putting the team over the top and into the playoffs. The team was impressed, and that offseason, gave Benson a three-year, $25 Million deal, thinking Benson’s stock was surging after his good month with the team. Boy, could they not have been more wrong. Instead, Benson pitched JUST like the mediocre pitcher he always was, and in his only full season in New York, went 10-8 with a predictably average 4.13 ERA.
Benson was shipped off to Baltimore before the ’06 season after playing just one of the three seasons he signed onto the Mets for. Many think the reason Benson turned out to be such a bust was because Kris’ wife, Anna, was just too fucking attractive and kept distracting the team when she’d sit in the front row seats funded by Kris’ obscene contract.
He last pitched in the Majors last season, before announcing his retirement this past January. All said and done, Benson never even began to pitch at the elite level in which his tax bracket ought to have placed him. That lucky bastard made almost $39 million in his career, 25 of it signed over to him from the Mets. Which gets to the real point here. Kris Benson was a mediocre pitcher, and moderately rich. And then he went to the Mets. He got no better at all, but got PAID. And what other reason would there really be to play for the Mets, anyway?
So, I was thinking,
With the coaching carousel that awaits us in the NFL off season, as a fan of the game I’m only worried about one thing: Who’s gonna replace Bill Cowher on the NFL Today? It’s a big hole to fill, and today, I came up with the perfect replacement. How sick would it be if they found a way to get John Madden to take Bill’s place? John wouldn’t have to travel like he did doing MNF, and he’d still be able to be involved in the game of football. Of course he has nothing left to prove at this point, but boy would he be an addition to that staff. Minus Charlie Casserly, that guy’s just absolutely putrid.
Like my colleague Mr. Boss eloquently stated, I hope all of the readers we’ve been lucky enough to have gathered over the past six months or so, have had a happy and safe holiday. We’re back next week, the last of 2010, with an Obscure Year in Review as well as a few all-new Obscure Spotlights.
PS- good to see Mike Singletary on the sidelines with his religious icons in plain view, but c’mon, man! No just God would let any team win the NFC West.
I’m sure Christopher will chime in soon enough with his take, but I wanted to make a post to personally thank the Obscure Athlete followers we’ve accrued so far this year. In 2010 we were born, and I can’t wait to see where we’ll be this time next year. We’re gonna work harder in 2011 to be a better unit, and I can’t wait. So, here’s to you, Obscure Athlete reader. Thank you!
P.S., Happy Christmas Birthday to: Rickey Henderson, Hideki Okajima, Willy Taveras, and Ruben Gotay!
So, I was thinking,
Can we all stop pretending that Mike Shanahan is some kind of football God? This is the same guy that, I remind you, hasn’t come close to winning ANYTHING since anyone named John fucking Elway wasn’t his quarterback. This recent Donovan McNabb situation has just made me hate Shanahan even more. I didn’t think it was possible. The look of sheer stupidity and fear he has painted on his face for every game just flashes in my mind every time someone speaks his name. Shanahan has managed to take an OK quarterback in McNabb and completely fuck him in the mouth. Why would you even bother giving the Eagles anything in return for this guy if you were just gonna dick around with him and end the season with Rex Grossman as your starter? Mind boggling, but oh so sweet at the same time. Why? Because slowly people are now starting to realize what a goddamn sham Mike Shanahan is, and I love every second of it.