Thursday, July 8, 2010

Return of The King

What does it take to get brickinthebox posting again?
Is it a renewed sense of optimism surrounding the Raiders?
Is it the arrest of JaMarcus Russell for something that everyone knew was going on
for years? (What is the next shocking headline, Woody Harrelson arrested for pot?)
Is it just to see how many pointless questions I can lead a post with?
No, it is something much more sinister. A beloved American institution is under attack.
The story is all over the news, you can’t turn on the TV or surf the net without being
assaulted by the speculation, the analysis and the hyperbolae.
No we aren’t talking about the oil spill, or whatever Obama is doing. We are talking
about Lebron James’ vicious assault of Brett Favre.
That’s right loyal reader, your summer tradition of breathlessly awaiting word on Brett
decision on retirement has been ruthlessly abducted from the headlines. And perhaps
more disturbing, is the assault on Brett’s cherished title of being the pre-eminent attention
whore in sports.
The outright high jacking of the sporting landscape has obviously been well planned, and
rehearsed for optimal effect. And if you carefully examine the actions of the key players,
you will find the mastermind.
Player #1 – Brett Favre
It would not be surprising to find that Favre was ready to pass the torch to the next
in line, if he were truly contemplating retirement. But his actions show that he was
preparing for another Summer of dominating the headlines and sports talk radio.
Tearfully discuss how this could be the end after costing his team another playoff game –
Carefully timed surgery to keep name in headlines – check.
Meaningless wager with hometown team – check.
Vague quotes served up to long time media accomplices to further agenda – check.
The evidence is clear. Brett actions are those of one who relishes his standing, and wishes
to wear the crown as long as possible.
Verdict – Victim
Player #2 – LeBron James
The heir to Jordan’s throne, I won’t list his on court accomplishments, because I couldn’t
give a fuck about basketball and don’t know them. But with his name and face plastered
all over the media, he appears to have been working hard to replace Favre the past few
Show up wearing out of town gear to rile fans – check.
Avoid answering questions about preferred destination, while accepting any and all
invitations to be interviewed on that very subject – check.
Agree to a one hour special on the occasion of your decision – check.
It would seem to those eager to pass judgment that James and his marketing team are
the masterminds behind this coup attempt. There is only one problem. This is coming
too early in his career. And a true mastermind would recognize this, and the imminent
backlash. No, James’ ignorance of the potential consequences demonstrates that he and
his team are no potential masterminds.
Verdict – Willing Accomplice
This leaves just one potential mastermind. Those of you who are long time readers
will know his name. And if you tune in tonight, I am sure you will see his face.
Player #3 – Stuart Scott
That right, the man who holds an unexplainable hold over the Disney/ESPN empire.
Hiding behind his buffoonish façade, his lazy eye, his penchant for outdated pop culture
references, Stuart Scott has positioned himself to retake his spot as the premier ESPN
When you follow the breadcrumbs, it isn’t hard to pick up the trail.
Scott had it all. Free reign to impart his will over the worldwide leaders sports
programming. From forcing his way onto the Sunday/Monday night pregame show
to outright flaunting of his powers, such as his poetry jams. Scott could do whatever,
whenever he wanted.
But media power can be fleeting, and any sign of weakness can cost one his perch.
A mysterious Illness, coupled with others getting closer to reigning king of attention
whoring, Favre, than he could (Favre of course is a Southern white boy, read into this as
you will). And Scott new something had to be done.
First, media competition had to be eliminated. Some quick backdoor maneuvering was
all it took to discredit the likes of Steven A. Smith (let us not forget that White Males
from New England share many traits of their southern counterparts, and prefer a “safe”
alternate perspective).
Then a suitable heir to Favre’s throne had to be found. James was the obvious choice.
Willing to be thrust into the spotlight from a young age, desperate for the attention,
immature enough to embrace Scott and talented enough to garner the attention, he was
easy pickings for one as experience in manipulation as Scott.
Finally the hype machine had to be wound up. While Scott had seen his star fade due to
the ascension of those more physically gifted (Erin Andrews) or willing to flaunt their
limited physical gifts (Hanna Storm), or actually adept at their craft (Bob Ley), he still
had his claws deep enough into the worldwide leader to manipulate the weak minded.
And the weak were easily manipulated. Scott’s favorite tool was Bill Simmons. Feeding
on Simmon’s love for outdated pop culture, Simmons was a willing pawn in Scott’s
game. Possessing an internet following that is hard to explain, Simmons reached the
masses with Scotts message of “All that is James must be covered”.
With all the pieces in place, Scott could sit back and watch his master plan fall into
place. The ESPN machine will automatically gravitate towards properties it holds the
rights to (See world cup hype) so Scott, now in place as the man closest to James in the
organization had only to ride the wave.
Tonight a new King of the Attention Whores may be crowned, but while his predecessor
was a master media manipulator, this new King is merely a figurehead. Make no mistake
dear readers, tonight is the start of something far more sinister, The second reign of Stuart
Scott is at hand. The sporting world may never be the same.

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