So far this blog has stayed on the topic of sports. I’m sure it will vary week upon week but for now why blow a good thing?
I’m a big fan: have been since childhood. (my very first blog entry hints at that). Back in the day, whether as a child or a young man, my passion towards sports have run high. When the Yankees lost the World Series against the Dodger, I sat in front of the TV in my Grandparent’s living room tears running down my face with the glow of the set giving me nothing but cold comfort. A few months went by and at Thanksgiving my Uncle, who is known for being a pretty funny guy, decided to remind me not only that my team suffered a serious defeat (he is a Mets fan) but that I actually cried about it (sorry Tom Hanks). It was humiliating; my whole family laughed. I proceeded to tell him that though I cried at least I didn’t let my wife (i.e. my Auntie who was not to be messed with) run me. My normally even-tempered Uncle (who was a Deacon at our family church for crying at loud) leapt across the family dining room table (beautiful old wood) to get at me while my (ever loyal to his Grandson) Grandpa (who was much bigger than my Uncle) holding him back. Seven year old kid:1, 40 something year old Uncle: 0. I knew then I possessed an alchemy: the ability to defend, incite and humiliate. 20 years later I’m doing standup comedy.
Passion and loyalty are common elements within human beings but how they are utilized can make the difference between a story for the ages and one of embarrassment. A Giant fan goes to see a game at Dodger Stadium. There’s no punchline. Immediately I would say, “That’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight.” It’s a cute line that I’ve been saying for a long time. Unfortunately, metaphorically it essentially came true. Bryan Stow was beat down by a group of Dodger fans who felt that beating a guy black and blue was better than bleeding Dodger blue. The men who did this are punks: it’s a simple assertion. I have been up in the Bronx helping taunt a Boston fan so bad that upon his lame response he was tossed out by the NYPD for his own safety. (Irony Alert: my Uncle, who is now a retired cope, for years had the Yankee Stadium beat). I have been to Fenway and unless you probed you would have had no idea whom my team was because I feared reprisals (wearing a suits a lot doesn’t hurt: who would wear a cap with one unless they were in the draft). Tempting fate is not on my list of things to do. The point is you can talk trash, you be in an opposing fan’s face, you can let everyone know “whose house” this is but being part of a gang and brutalizing a human being is disgusting. American sports fans who want to talk about soccer hooligans in Europe need to pipe down. My hope and prayer is that Mr. Stow gets to play with his children again.
Part of my daily ritual is watching “Sports Center” along with the news. A few years ago you might remember seeing the headlines when Darrent Williams, a cornerback for the Denver Broncos, was killed in a drive by. Since that’s not my team his name didn’t stand out but the circumstances were sad…and familiar. Though the pursuit of my entertainment career includes substantial financial solvency gold chains, groupies and grilles are not part of the package. It often appears to be the choice of people who look like me but certainly don’t share the sensibilities of myself. The ability of a small number of African-American young men to elevate themselves out of a hardscrabble environment that was often perilous through sport is admirable. The unwillingness to elevate themselves in matters of knowledge and social standing is sorrowful. The notions of “Keeping it Real” and “Repping for your Hood” (things that even myself fell into as a youth albeit briefly are based on shifting sand.
Darrent Williams was out in Downtown Denver on New Years Eve at a club with his crew from Fort Worth, Texas where he grew up. He created a record label and his main act: “Billion Dollar Scholars” (I’ve grown tired of ghetto misspellings) who were his boys from back home were out celebrating with him. They (along with Darrent) were rocking diamond encrusted chains with Darrent’s costing approximately $50,000. Brandon Marshall (a former Bronco who is now a Miami Dolphin) was also there with his cousin. So was Willie D. Clark aka “Little Willie”, a native of Denver, a Tre Tre Crip and a big time drug dealer. Willie and his crew were dissed thrice.
Once: by having to stand on line in the cold Colorado night while having NFL players like Williams, Marshall and Javon Walker sail right through.
Twice: by having some of his crew be sprayed (accidentally) by Darrent’s crew (which Williams smoothed out).
Thrice: by an altercation with Marshall and his cousin.
Willie D. Clark wasn’t having it. Unfortunately, both Marshall and Williams were in white automobiles: one Town Car and one Hummer limo. Willie D didn’t know who was in which one. Darrent is dead. Just to get a rep.