Tag Archives: Dez Bryant

Ebola paranoia shows off worst of America. The amazing Peyton Manning, and other NFL thoughts. And Wright Thompson writes beautifully about Mississippi


Saw this on Twitter Sunday and it made me laugh out loud:

“More Americans have been married to Kim Kardashian than have died from Ebola.”

It was a much-needed laugh, because I’ve become so sick and tired over the past week over “Ebola Paranoia.” Every news channel, every news website, has been stoking the fears and sounding the alarms, and scaring the bejeezus out of as many people as possible, about the Ebola virus and its affect on America.

For God’s sakes, I saw a news crawl on CNN that said “Americans stocking up on Ebola survival gear.”
It makes me sick how politicians just throw out stupid crap like calling our President “President Ebola,” and how he’s to blame for the virus infecting our country, and that the borders need to be closed to keep Ebola out (yes Rand Paul, keep saying stuff like that and you’ve got a fantastic shot at winning the GOP presidential nomination).
A Washington Post photojournalist who’d been to several of the African countries suffering from Ebola was disinvited from a scheduled lecture at Syracuse by the cowardly and pathetic administration there.  And there are a ton more stories like that, and a recent Washington Post poll showing 2/3 of Americans are worried about an Ebola epidemic breaking out.

The anti-immigrant racism, and complete ignoring of medical science, is disgraceful. There are currently THREE known Ebola patients in America, and only one has died. This is not an outbreak in America, this is not an epidemic, and we are not all at risk from a disease that’s really, really hard to catch.

This xenophobia is disgraceful, and America at its worst.


**So this Peyton Manning fellow, is he any good?
Ever since he first came into the NFL in 1998, when I briefly despised him for not coming out of college a year earlier so my Jets could draft him, I’ve loved Peyton Manning. I love the way the ball comes out of his hand, a spiral so perfect it ought to be in a textbook. I love his confidence, his humility, and how he’s been the hardest worker on any team he’s been.
I care not a whit that he’s won “only” one Super Bowl and lost two others. He’s, in my mind, the greatest quarterback to ever play, and watching him break Brett Favre’s all-time TD record Sunday night was beautiful.

Couple other NFL Sunday thoughts;
— So it’s Week 7 now, and I think a few things have been established: The Falcons stink, last year was not an aberration. The Bears stink, and have locker-room issues. And the Seattle Seahawks ain’t repeating.  Forget the loss of Percy Harvin (more on him in a minute), they just don’t look anywhere near the same on defense.

— Did you see the incredible “fake” punt return the Rams  pulled off for a touchdown in that game? See it above if you haven’t. One of the coolest and most unusual plays I’ve ever seen, anywhere.

— Watched a lot of the Cowboys-Giants game, and what stuck out the most to me about why the ‘Boys are 6-1 is that they’re not beating themselves anymore. Last five years you could always count on Romo or Dez Bryant or a defensive player making a stupid mistake to cost ’em the game. Now, they’re playing smart, disciplined football.

— So much for those new and improved Cleveland Browns, eh? Don’t get too used to that clipboard-holding, Mr. Manziel.


**Finally today, two incredible and unexpected sports stories have happened this fall, and I don’t know which one is more shocking: The Kansas City Royals are in the World Series (that still doesn’t look right, even seeing it on the screen) and Mississippi, last in just about every vital U.S. ranking, is the center of the college football universe.
Mississippi State is currently ranked No.1, while Ole Miss is No. 3. Both are undefeated, and just for the sheer novelty of it, I’m rooting like hell for both to stay undefeated until they play each other right after Thanksgiving.

Wright Thompson is a Magnolia State native and an outstanding writer for ESPN, and he wrote this beautiful piece the other day on just what it’s like for Mississippians to suddenly have their teams be unbeatable, with a look into the past as well. Thompson is extraordinarily good at details; this is one of his best pieces ever. It’s long, but worth it.


Thoughts on Cobain’s widow. An idea I wish I’d had. And what really not to say to an NFL prospect

I never think about Courtney Love.

I don’t imagine many people do anymore. But completely randomly, I caught her on Letterman for a few minutes last night. She seemed calm, mature and pretty well-spoken. Apparently she’s all cleaned up, no more drugs or booze, just a regular old rock and roll woman.

Which shocked the heck out of me. She’s had quite the interesting life in the public eye the last 20 years or so, playing so many different roles. First she was the crazy woman married to Kurt Cobain. Then he killed himself, and my whole generation saw her as the grieving widow, and some looked to her to, I don’t know, carry on Kurt’s legacy. (Of course, now Nirvana fans hate her because she’s blocked the release of some of the band’s unreleased music. But that’s a whole ‘nother story).

Then Courtney became a star in her own right with her band Hole. Then she became an actress for a while, and actually was really good in “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” (I love that movie. I was just talking about censorship on here yesterday, and man, if that movie isn’t a freaking Valentine to the First Amendment). Then, the downward spiral really got bad, as she became a drunk, strung out on drugs, and had years of really odd and embarrassing behavior.

I figured that was the end of her, not realizing that rehab is the last great hope of a celeb’s public life. Maybe she’s cleaned up for good now. She seemed really lucid and analytical talking to Dave last night.

It’s funny how we root for celebrities to stay clean, isn’t it? It’s not like we know them. I never even liked her or her music, but for some reason I hope Courtney Love makes it this time, and stays clean and sober.

It would, at the very least, give us something happy to think about when remembering what a great band Nirvana was.

**OK, so here’s a dirty little secret about sportswriters: We get really mad and jealous when someone else writes a column off a brilliant idea they had. Sometimes you sit there and think, man, I SO wish I had thought of that first!

That’s what happened when I saw Orlando Sentinel scribe Mike Bianchi’s column the other day. In Charlotte to cover the Magic-Bobcats series, he drove to Chapel Hill and went to the Dean Dome, the University of North Carolina’s home arena.

And then he walked around for hours wearing a J.J. Redick jersey. J.J., of course, played for Duke. Bianchi was actually asked to leave the arena, and he was heckled for hours.

The photo may be the best part. Click the link if only to see the photo. Fabulous.

**Finally, NFL general managers are supposed to ask all kinds of probing, insight-seeking questions of the kids they’re about to draft. It’s smart business; you’re going to play these 20-something athletes millions, you want to know everything about them.

But, um, yeah, Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland might’ve gone a little far while interrogating former Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant. Yeah, Ireland asked Bryant if his Mom was a prostitute.

I can’t imagine why that might bother a kid.