Emails in on Dez Bryant
The new emails are in, and lots of talk about Dez Bryant.
Jason: “I was dumbfounded when I heard about the question that Dez Bryant was asked. To have the audacity to ask that question is beyond belief and puzzling to me. I have had two business partners during my career, both from troubled pasts. The first lost his mother at seven. His father owned nightclubs and would just leave money on the table so that he and his siblings could fend for themselves. His dad also brought his work home, which as you could imagine, in his line of work was not good. My current business partner was born to a mentally ill mother who was addicted to drugs and an alcoholic who physically and mentally abused him and his brother. He once told his elementary principal, ‘I don’t care if I have to sleep outside, I’m never going home again,’ and he never did. When he saw ‘The Blindside,’ he said it reminded him of his childhood. Both are high character and integrity guys, and I could not have asked for better business partners and friends. What I’m trying to say is, I’m glad I never asked such a stupid and inappropriate question.”
But you are not a part of an enterprise that believes itself to be outside the laws of civility (and the land).
Calvin: “Good commentary regarding the NFL questioning. I disagree with a lot of what the government considers illegal in job interviews nowadays, but what happened with Dez is ridiculous.”
You know, a lot of people have said I left out the Dolphins’ version, which is that they asked Dez what his dad did for a living (pimp) and what his mom did (worked for his dad), which naturally led to the prostitute question. To which I say, nonsense. The Dolphins knew what Dez’s dad did for a living. They were just trying to push buttons with all those questions. That dodge doesn’t make the Dolphins look better, it makes them look worse.
Joe: “Your piece on Dez Bryant was right on. I’m an OU fan but have thought Dez wasn’t treated fairly in the past and now I know it. He will have to overcome obstacles, but I hope he is a great player for Dallas.”
I think Dez could be rookie of the year. Keep his nose a little clean – work on the field like Michael Irvin but don’t do anything remotely like him off the field – and Dez could have 60 catches, 1,000 yards, 10 touchdowns. As a rookie.
Johnny: “I find that I usually agree with your column 90% of the time. However, I must disagree with today’s column. First, reputable sources have reported that the question about Dez’s mother was a follow-up to a question about what his father did for a living. I am not certain that many of us would not have asked the same thing if the answer to the first question was ‘pimp’ and the answer to the second question was ‘work for my Dad.’ Now, possibly you will contend that he was asking questions of which he already knew the answer. Still, I don’t think there is anything wrong with gauging a young man’s attitude and ability to handle himself in difficult situations. Particularly since he will now be a millionaire representing the team and the entire organization every time he speaks. These athletes receive tremendous opportunities and wealth and should realize it comes with the territory. What his parents did for a living does not reflect badly upon Dez, but how he responds to difficult and uncomfortable situations does. At worst it was poor judgment by Jeff Ireland where he let his curiosity get the better of him. So your advice to someone who had a questionable work ethic and character issues (even if undeserved) would be to walk out or get physical? Had Dez taken your advice he might be a hero to all other football players but would be much less wealthy and probably still be looking for a place to work.”
If Dez had punched Ireland in the nose, I think Dez would have gone 24th in the first round to the Dallas Cowboys.
Joe: “Dez already has character issues. Had three, count ‘em, chances to tell the truth and failed all three times, not to mention he is an Aggie. Has the prevue to become another TO, talent is there but so is the smoke. If I was the owner getting ready to write this knucklehead a big check, I would want to know how many times he craps and where is does it. Love your articles, even the ones that are butt stupid.”
Love your emails, Joe, even the ones that are butt stupid. First off, you call Dez Bryant an Aggie, which means you are out of ideas. Simply out of ideas. Rooms to rent upstairs, if you know what I mean. If some employer wants to know how often I crap, fine. If some employer says something about my mother, and I don’t try to rearrange his face, shame on me.
Todd: “I see you didn’t mention the fact that Ireland asked Dez what his dad did for a living and Dez responded with he’s a pimp. The followup question about the drug dealing mother came up after the pimp comment. Was the question stupid? Absolutely. But so is Dez for the pimp comment. I’m now expecting another article about the white Stanford running back being discriminated against because of the color of his skin. I’ll be waiting.”
Man, stupid runs deep on this issue. People want Ireland off the hook because of his initial comment. But the dad question was out of line, too. Ireland knew what Dez’s dad did. Now that I think of it, two blows to the nose was in order.
Chuckie: “I know there’s not much happening in the sports world right now, I’m sure there are more worthy sports subjects to write about, too, so please stop making a true fool of yourself. Please, for the love of Pete, stop playing up Dez Bryant as a victim. He’s not. He’s a product/result of his own actions and intelligence; he’s irresponsible and doesn’t want to accept what seeds he has sown. He’s got you out there beating the drum for his cause — “I lied to the NCAA, so I can’t accept responsibility for my own actions, so please be my front man and get other bleeding hearts to shed tears for me because I just can’t face it, but show me the money.” – Please, I don’t need to hear any further what a rough life he’s had and all of the missed fortunes of his life; he’s a typical college hoodlum that has a spark of a chance of talent to better himself, but he doesn’t need you to keep it going. And will he walk away from OSU with a college degree? Maybe that’s what you need to investigate — what’s the percentage of graduation of those who enter college and why athletes don’t graduate from college or is that not a worthy cause? Maybe, there needs to be a college course called ‘Real Life’ for those college ball players who missed it somewhere along the way. Look, he’s a big boy, and life is a big world. When he steps out of the sheltered sports life, he needs to have learned, life at times is cruel, especially if you’re not honest. This doesn’t happen to all the college athletes, only those who lie and can’t accept responsibility for their actions. So please, Dez is not a victim.”
Yes he is. This email is the fundamental crux of the matter, the assertion that Dez’s past means he can’t be victimized. And it’s bogus. You can be a victim, even if your past is checkered. And the idea that a troubled past, with plenty of mistakes, mean it’s open season, is not just wrongheaded, but a little scary.
Now, let’s move on to the NBA. Adam: “How about this? Tyson Chandler to the Thunder in the offseason. He didn’t look like much this past season, but at the right price, he’s still exactly what they need, and with a young, dynamic point guard like Westbrook, maybe he regains some of what he had with CP3 and the Hornets.”
I’m all for Chandler in OKC. Except no longer at $11 million a year. The right place is a lot less than that.
Carl: “I have a question that I’m curious to hear Clayton Bennett (and the rest of the Thunder ownership) answer. Would OKC benefit from a higher or lower salary cap in the NBA? Or frankly none at all?”
The answer is, none of the above. The Thunder would benefit from a hard cap. In other words, a cap that can’t be broken. The NBA has a soft cap. There are all kinds of exceptions to the salary cap, plus the luxury tax if you break it. The NFL has none of that. The NFL has a hard cap; if you reach the cap, you’re done. The NFL has the greatest parity. Teams move up and down all the time. In the NBA (soft cap) and MLB (no cap), some teams never move up and some teams never fall from the elite.
Chad: “What does LeBron James do if this season doesn’t result in a championship? If you need a ring to go with the money, do you go with L.A. or a Boston? Or the Yankees?
I would assume that LeBron can hit a curveball as well as Michael Jordan could. But here’s what’s crazy. If LeBron wants a ring, why not the NFL? He would be a great tight end. Sign with the Patriots or somebody. LeBron would be very productive. But if you want him to stay in the NBA, his best chance for a title is to stick with Cleveland. LA can’t pay him. I don’t know if Boston can.
Niles wrote about my radio comment that Tim Duncan should try to bank his foul shots: “I have thought for years Duncan should consider banking his free throws. I think you may have been on to something. He really shoots it too flat. I also think if Durant would arch his jumper more he would be an unbelievable shooter (he has to be too perfect on his flatter shot — which he often is).”
I think I will refrain from telling Diana Ross how to sing, Robert Duvall how to act or Kevin Durant how to shoot. And while I was only kidding about Duncan banking his foul shots, I’ve got to say, his percentage is just ridiculous. That’s a Hall of Famer who has been solid throughout his career on jumpers from 10-15 feet, but he can’t be counted on at the line. Absurd.
Jeff wrote about my George Shinn column: “Back when the Hornets were here and before I retired from Barnes & Noble, the Shinns were customers. One of the last time I saw them as the team was headed back out of town, I told them Oklahoma City was gonna miss them. They both said not as much as they were gonna miss Oklahoma City. Really nice folks.”
Clay Bennett has brought a more professional organization to town than Shinn had here. The long-term prospects for the Thunder are better than for the Hornets, and having local ownership always is better than out-of-town ownership. With that said, having George Shinn own your NBA team is always entertaining.
Jeff: “Are you optimistic about Jeff Capel’s job of recruiting and how good do you think we have the potential to be next year?”
I’m actually impressed with Capel’s late recruiting haul. I have no idea if these guys are talented, but it’s impressive that he was able to sign much of anyone. I have no idea if they can play, but that really wasn’t the point when the Sooners didn’t even have enough players to practice. As for next season, OU will stink.
We had some miscellaneous items this week. Del: “Obviously the Big Ten (already the richest conference) is courting Nebraska and Missouri, because of KC and St. Louis television markets. Don’t you think the Big 12 needs to lock up DFW, Houston and San Antonio markets – soon – before the SEC steals our bacon? I’m talking about UH, TCU, Rice, SMU at a minimum and possibly Tulsa, UTSA (Larry Coker), New Mexico and UTEP also. SMU, UH, TCU each have more football tradition than OSU and much greater media markets. I just believe you’d see exponentially more Big 12 TV coverage in Houston and DFW with those local programs in the fold. If we lose Nebraska and/or Mizzou and the SEC raids the Big 12 TV markets, the Big 12 is dead-on-arrival as a conference. I’ve heard wild rumors down here that SEC is waiting in the slick to make a run at Houston and DFW schools if Nebraska and Mizzou bolt. Whaddya think?”
I think some aspects of college football fandom are clueless about how the world works. First off, I don’t think it’s so obvious that the Big 10 is courting Nebraska and Missouri. And even if it was, the answer is not the old Southwest Conference. Yes, SMU and TCU were big. In the 1930s. Sure, Houston was a Cotton Bowl regular. In the 1970s. This is the 21st century, and those schools do NOT have more tradition than OSU. They do not bring TV markets. The Big 12 already has the Dallas, San Antone and Houston markets, and that won’t change as long as Texas remains in the conference. The SWC died because it became a welfare state. The same would happen for any major conference that brings back those schools.
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