This morning was, like the last several, typical in that I woke up ahead of my alarm gonging loudly in the background. Somehow I fell back asleep before I turned off the TV, and that's never a good thing. This morning's surreal experience: hearing, either in my trance-like dream-state or in the semi-conscious morning haze, an advertisement for Jamie Foxx's upcoming concert at Madison Square Garden.
When I finally emerged from my warm, comfortable, delusional cocoon of sleep, I was so bewildered by the possibility that Jamie Foxx would actually be welcomed to MSG as a (musical) performer that I doubted it was actually true and was yet another attempt by my mind to trick me. However, I was wrong -- he is actually performing a national tour, one that visits MSG on January 22nd. And I realized that I am now, increasingly, out of touch with why anyone not mentally deficient, developmentally-disabled or simply inebriated beyond all capability would ever be willing to pay anything beyond pocket change to witness Jamie Foxx, live, on stage at MSG.
Now I'm not picking on Jamie Foxx per se; I wouldn't pay to see Barbra Streisand at MSG or any other stage either, even though I think she's actually has bona-fide musical talent (although that nasty "me-me-me" thing has to go). But Jamie Foxx, as an example, seems to be the antithesis of musical talent. Initially I wondered if the phenomenon that inspires black people to go see shitty movies starring other black people -- examples like Martin Lawrence, Cedric The Entertainer and Anthony Anderson -- was similarly inspiring those same people to fork over a Benjamin or more to see Jamie Foxx on stage. I'm not denigrating Mr. Foxx -- as an actor, he went from being a disposable "In Living Color" alum to, deservedly so, an Oscar for Ray -- but me paying to see him perform music would be like paying to see the Pope break-dance on the 50-yard-line at Giants Stadium. And before anyone castigates me for knocking Martin Lawrence, Cedric the Entertainer or Anthony Anderson (or the Pope), keep in mind that Martin Lawrence has absolutely no talent (at doing anything beyond being an irritating shitbird), Cedric is bested by Bernie Mac, and Anthony Anderson is the luckiest sonofabitch this side of Yahoo Serious and Carrot-Top. And as far as break-dancing goes, the hell with the Pope. He's a much better snowboarder, anyway.
Something else I need to address is the fact that Time Warner Cable -- and many other entities which offer television cable network services -- have been touting the ability of parents to control what their kids watch. Whether it's the oft-maligned V-Chip, or simply built-in features in cable boxes that allow parents to password-protect certain channels at certain times, it's nice that these cable companies are helping parents be parents. After this weekend's sports telecasts, now Fox Sports and the MSG Network need to be included in those block lists. Saturday night, the Dallas Cowboys and the Atlanta Falcons faced off in a key NFC playoff-implicational matchup, and Terrell Owens, the imbecilic wide receiver, had a problem with Deangelo Hall of the Atlanta Falcons so he decided to spit in Mr. Hall's face. Don't get me wrong -- one adult spitting on another isn't exactly the worst thing one might encounter in the news, sports-related or otherwise -- but as Mr. Hall suggested in his post-game comments, there indeed is something wrong with Terrell Owens. I've pretty much regarded him as an Asshole Extraordinaire for a long, long time; once you cross that line -- by disrespecting your opponent and your sport and your team -- by doing something as infantile, repulsive and pathetic as spitting on an opponent -- you pretty much guarantee you'll always be known as that infantile, pathetic jerk your publicist hoped people would never see, even if for a second. Contrast Mr. Owens's behavior with that of San Diego Charger Ledanian Tomlinson, the likely league MVP and a humble, classy, incredibly-talented athlete, and it almost seems sacrilegious to use those two names in the same sentence or even regard the two as members of the same species. T.O., you're a classless idiot who doesn't belong on a football field, unless it's to clean up the shit crowds leave behind after they've watched a game. Get a clue and grow up, and just go away.
Not be forgotten, this weekend's other interesting news was another NBA brawl -- this time, it was between members of the New York Knicks (to whom I usually refer as "carjackers in shorts") and the Denver Nuggets. Punches were thrown, a nearly-uncontrollable melee spilled into the Garden crowd, and yet again, the NBA wound up on the wrong side of that fine line between thug and athlete, a dichotomy which they've precariously attempted for years. I haven't enjoyed pro basketball for awhile as a result; however, I'm not invoking nostalgia for the NBA of yesteryear, when Bill Bradley was the example rather than the exception. It's just that I can't help but believe that great players -- if not people -- like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Julius Erving would ever, ever, get involved with throwing punches, chasing other players into the crowd, or doing anything that would embarrass their teammates, their team, their families or their reputations. These days -- and for a long time now -- the NBA seems to be more closely-related to pro wrestling or ultimate fighting than it does to a legitimate sport. Put another way, something is wrong when there is more fighting in an MSG basketball game than in an MSG hockey game.
Incidentally, the only good thing about this brawl was that it reminded me of the last NBA brawl between the Pistons and the Pacers; more importantly, it reminded me of Kaia's and my first weekend together, watching the brawl unfold on the big-screen at Hi-Life, and us giggling over a series of drunken (as per usual) voice-mails from my ex. Those were the days; apparently, nothing has changed other than the Hi-Life, which has since been demolished. The NBA still has public brawls spilling into the stands, and, presumably, the ex is still getting sloshed and obsessing over everything. Some things never change.
Whip out that v-chip, close your eyes, hide your remote, and lock your children away in the basement. The professional athletes are back on TV.