Saturday, December 11, 2010

Albert and Bobo: The Boys from Hartsville

You give Albert Haynesworth, a twenty-nine year old kid from Hartsville South Carolina, or any twenty-nine year old from any town for that matter, roughly 1.4 million dollars a month in compensation and one shouldn’t be surprised by the outcome. Oh, and he got a little love note back in the spring that included a 21 million dollar show of good faith check as well. I wish I could find my little Asian song-singer friend and make Haynesworth listen to him sing songs for hours on end.

The obscene bling manifest in what athletes make today disgusts me. And spare me the “business modeling” metrics and rationale for what these turds are paid. I’ve seen the numbers and they do indeed reconcile within the NFL business model so spare me the refresher. The fact that the numbers do reconcile in the business model is actually the most pungent reality manifest in professional sports today. A middle class parent can no longer take two kids to a ballgame. I wonder how many more years it will take before parents will have to consider the family budget before even considering an outing to the minor league ballpark. Oh, and let’s don’t give the collegiate realm a free pass. Colleges exist for what purpose? So why do college coaches make millions of dollars? Our societal compass is ass-backwards in general and sports seem to be a coalmine canary collateral marker of such.
So young Albert gets fat over the summer. And young Albert doesn’t like the defense that the Redskins are set on playing. So Albert becomes a problem child…with an assload of money…from the get-go. 
But Albert had some tendencies before rolling in to Washington. It seems that young Albert was a head stomper at Tennessee. Even Conrad Dobler would have taken him to task for stomping on the unhelmeted head of an opponent.
Hartsville South Carolina is about twenty-five minutes from where I grew up. A little farming hamlet augmented by the Coker family’s entrepreneurial accomplishments, mainly Coker tobacco seed hybridization and Sunoco Products, a paper/polymer products company. And Albert wasn’t the first sports prodigy to come out of Hartsville (I don’t count the kid named “Freddie” who ran track for Hartsville and who beat the shit out of me in the 880 when I was a senior in high school. He ran with a stick clenched in his teeth and I laughed at him until he smoked me. I lost two 880’s that year in the regular season and Freddie Stickmon was the purveyor of one of those whuppins). Bobo came out of Hartsville too.
Richard Merkin said the Bobo Newsom should be in the baseball hall of fame. He felt strongly enough about it to write a column in GQ declaring so. Bobo…from Hartsville. The Bobo who wouldn’t have approved of young Albert’s shenanigans.
But Bobo was no angel either. He was eccentric and a bit capricious but everyone loved Bobo. He also had run-ins with management and authority in general but he wasn’t a head stomper. Leo Durocher was made crazy(er) by Bobo. The difference is that when Leo told Bobo he wasn’t playin’ in the next lineup, Bobo’s team mates went crazy and refused to play. And Leo relented. Albert’s team mates are ashamed of him.
Bobo, the non-angel slipped away from the scene and with whatever amount of money they paid those boys back then, finished his years down in Florida, causing no trouble, quietly and compliantly drinking beer until his liver gave out. They sent his bling-less and humble shell back to Hartsville for interment. The next time LFG and I are home, I think we’ll go over to Hartsville and say hello to Bobo. I’ll extend greetings on behalf of Merkin too. As for young Albert? We won’t be looking him up.



Belle de Ville said...

I'm not sure what bothers me most, the compensation for professional athletes or the compensation for entertainers. Albert Haynesworth and Kanye West both create value because they sell a product and they continue to have fans who continue to buy tickets to their games/concerts.
Personally, the outrageous compensation for entertainers bothers me more than that of professional athletes. They don't have to abuse their bodies and risk later physical problems while earning their millions.

Main Line Sportsman said...

The point you raise mabout big time college football is precisely why I like th Patriot League and Ivy League....scholar athletes who play football....not scholarship bucks who major in plant watering and wallet making.

Anonymous said...

It seems all relative to me. Is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? What about your shoes? $350 or more when less would do?

Anonymous said...

Hey now, Anon 12:04...... I SERIOUSLY doubt that ADG has ever head stomped an opponent in those Belgians..........yeesh, get a grip.

James said...

I was going to comment about an old ball player in my town, but if you don't mind.... Anymouse 12:04 to compare a man who works hard for his income treating himself to the over indulged primma donna pro athletes is a classic non sequitur. I would rant on, but its not my blog and you obviously don't know ADG.

Anonymous said...

So sorry, I should have clarified. I'm not talking about ADG's behavior,... talking about excess.

Anonymous said...

So well said. The picture made me think of The Babe with John Goodman. I think I'll watch it tonight again.

Young Fogey said...

Once upon a time, we had an eccentric little notion called "sportsmanship." It was summarized in such quaint phrases as "it's not whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game," and "doing your best is more important than being the best."

The reasons for the loss--perhaps even death--of this notion are manifold, and those who exemplify its demise are countless. Even so, one egregious athlete stands out above all others as the one who did the most damage to this noble ideal: Cassius Clay, the anti-American braggart who transmogrified trash-talking and self-promotion from a disdained character flaw into the highest ideal.

I have no problem with people creating value however they may, and I have no problem with the market responding as it will. The real problem lies not there, but in the culture: what do we value? Within living memory, the intellectual and his pursuits were broadly accepted in society, and the Christian nature of society at large kept many a man from degradation. Now, the egghead is looked upon with scorn, Christianity is all but banished from the public square, and the ghetto values of the prison are celebrated at all levels of society.

I hope and pray that we will collectively reject this decay and restore our society to one that is not only worth living in but also worth defending. I fear that even more lives will be lost, both physically and spiritually, to our current debased culture before that becomes true.

ADG said...

YoungFogester...I'd cut Ali slightly more slack than you've offered but probably because he now pales in comparison. But generally, you've nailed it and for LFG's sake, and all kids for that matter, I wish I could be more optimistic regarding our future. was the movie--again? worries. I suppose excess is a relative issue and I respect your opinion. Thanks though, for not assuming that my moral construct was as wobbly. And by the way, 350 would only buy one shoe.


Anonymous don't know the damage those little effeminate shoes from Walloonille can do.

Belle...good point albeit a minor one in my eyes.


Anonymous said...

ADG.......... Don't start me on what damage and otherwise global socioeconomic changes effeminate shoes can do, WHEREVER they are made. It is the "man" behind the shoe some have been heard to whisper

ADG said...

AnonGlobalFagShoes...yep but most people in girlie shoes don't misbehave in (moral relevance here I reckon)uber-damaging ways. A hissy fit here, a cat fight there...ok, I'll give you as much. But most slipper wearers don't have global gravitas.

How-so-ever, you've REALLY made a point about there potentially be being "THE MAN" behind the shoe. That might be a game changer for me. eBay? Or should I just throw all of the sumbitches out?

CeceliaMc said...

Young Fogey, I enjoyed your post!

I don't like to preach...(right...), but it's sort of hard to expect the super-adored young and talented athletic types to be good, when we've got so many older sons-of-bitches who don't give a damn about anyone.

I'm not a "social justice" type, I want people to be free to do as they desire with their own money. I'm just someone who wishes that people like the Walmart Walton family could find it in their hearts to give their employees a decent health care plan that didn't cost them all their weekly earnings.

I suppose, that I'm something in between a globalist and a protectionist, in that as much as I want folks in Bangladesh to live long and prosper, I am sick to death of the corporate bastards who have shipped their employee base overseas (and I don't care what anyone says about the abuses of unions).

I don't mean to sound simplistic, but if Americans applied the same consumer pressure to amoral white collar business people, that we do to those people hooked on tobacco or who wear acid washed jeans, then maybe we'd all live in a less adolescent and self-centered society.

ADG said... on...and I HATE to be so cynical. Only because LFG has to stay here longer than me...on the earth that is...hopefully. But I've gotta tell you, I think it's too late to be once again, a country that makes stuff here and pays good wages for things made here and ergo manifests a proud, working class, blue collar, self reliant anchor of a citizenry segment that is so important. My head hurts now.

CeceliaMc said...

"My head hurts now."

Well, darling, here's something to remind you of the season and all that is sweet.

Anonymous said...

Cecelia says: "..then maybe we'd all live in a less adolescent and self-centered society."

You're exactly right, the aspirational holy trinity our kids are worshiping nowadays is at the altar of the almighty 1000% narcissitic American entertainment industry, namely: 1. pro athletes; 2. pro movie stars; 3. pro recording stars. The top stories on all 24 hour new sources keep us up to date on the lives of these revered individuals; indeed, in vivid red breaking news full-header banners we learn that last rites have been administered to Zsa Zsa, that Kobe listed one of his houses for sale, that a member of Bobby Brown's entourage broke his ankle trying to keep BB from head banging one of his girlfriends.

Clinton said...

As a current student at Indiana University (thankfully not much longer), I'm going to postulate that the amount of not-free-pass you gave collegiate athletics was still quite a bit too close to free. If Universities are supposed to help us establish our values for our lives, then it's pretty darn clear where the professional sports phenomenon comes from.