Lavar Ball, Connor McGregor, Steven A. Smith, and what they are teaching society
Don't worry, the free agency and draft article will be soon, just waiting to see what happens with Kyrie. I don't like to write something and then the next day something else happens and makes what I wrote....more useless? But today I want to talk about three of the biggest clown shows ruling the airwaves today.
Before I talk about these guys, I'd like to share a story about my past. I was dating this girl and we had a deal for when we cooked dinner together. And the deal was whoever cooks, the other person cleans up. Then both people are chipping in and neither feels like they are doing all the work. And this went along fine for a few months. Then basketball season started and I remember coming home late from a game and she had cooked and I was exhausted because of the long day and after dinner it was my turn to clean up. And I was too tired. And I just couldn't. I had a long day and I was stressed out and I just didn't have it in me. And you can call me selfish or say that I made promises or whatever you want, but just for that day I couldn't. And there was an arguement. And the jist of the argument was, this has always been our arrangement. And of course I knew that and of course I was wrong. But that is not the point of this story. The point is that in every action we perform, we are teaching other people something. I taught her that every time she cooked, she didn't have to clean up, and therefore she expected it. If I work a job and every month if I hit a certain sales number and I get a bonus, I am going to expect that bonus every time I get that number. Well the same thing happens with society. Our society trains us on what is accepted and what is not. Like if you run a red light and get a ticket, society is training you that you can't do and that will avoid this consequence.
So now lets take this to our three super villains. Lets start with Lavar Ball. He is an average human being who has done nothing extraordinary in his life other than fathering three sons who are good at basketball. Yet he is on TV damn near every week and his sons are probably the most famous high school kids since Lebron James. I got to see Big Baller Brand AAU basketball team play a couple weeks ago at a recruiting event. And on a sidebar, Lamelo Ball will be the real deal. He can do a lot of the things Lonzo can, and he is 6-5 (and still growing), but he can shoot the crap out of the ball and isnt even a junior yet. Sidebar over. But as good as Lamelo Ball is, he isn't the #1 recruit in the country, he probably isn't even the #1 recruit in his class. Yet kids were sitting at the court hours early in order to see the team play. And on the court, he isn't flashy, he doesn't play to the crowd, he just plays. So why is he and his family the biggest thing since the Kardashians?
Its not Lavar Ball. Its us. We have empowered this idiot. We have given him platform after platform to spew shit out of his mouth and then we run with it. Society runs with it and we click the links. There is no difference between Lavar Ball and a hundred other dads and sports fans out there. I can't tell you how many times I have been at a gym and have some guy spouting off about how NBA Player X isn't very good or how he could beat NBA Player Y. The difference is we have given Lavar Ball a platform. And on top of that, he has a business that he pushes with that platform. So he knows the more he says, the more he gets famous, the more product he will sell. And so he says something, and people notice, then he says something else, and more people notice. And we teach Lavar Ball. We teach him the more you say, the bigger you will get. So he goes on ESPN, First Take, radio show after radio show and he gets bigger. Then he insults women and he gets bigger. Now 10 more shows want him on to talk about that comment from the other show and on and on. Because our society will sell its soul to make money, and the sheep aren't smart enough to understand that the way to stop the idiot is to ignore him. So now we have created this monster who is so arrogant and so un-self-aware, (if that even is a word) that this happened twice in the last two weeks. First, at that same tournament I was at, while up 10 with about 7 minutes to go, he got a technical foul for constantly berating the official. He immediately pulled his team off the floor and forfeited a game THEY WERE UP 10. Then they interview him after the game and he says the refs were making it about them and not players. What the hell is he doing when he pulls the team out of a game they were going to win because HE got a technical? So that makes headlines and he becomes bigger. So then the next weekend, in front of bigger crowds, he pulled the same stunt with a woman referee. And what happened? Adidas had the ref replaced. They were so worried about losing their big draw and possible future endorsements that they got a new ref. They taught him that his behavior was ok. Again.
Now lets look at Connor McGreggor. And I'll be shorter on these guys because I don't want to be repetitive. He is the definition of the WWF in MMA. Is he not? He runs his mouth, and he runs it better than everyone else in the sport. And that gets him attention. And is he good, sure. But I personally would rather watch some of the other guys over him. But he makes his fights more compelling because of his mouth. So what happens, society takes notice and he gets bigger. And bigger. Until his mouth has gotten him to be the #1 draw in MMA and in line for the biggest fight of his life. A fight which I believe will pay him more than $100 million. So we taught him thats the right way to act. So then he goes out to promote this fight and he says something bad and people cheer. Then he says something racist and people cheer more. And more and more and more. And we empower him to be worse and worse because thats what the people who voted for Trump want. Just thought of that and had to throw it in. But honestly, its like training a dog. If you let it get away with being bad, then you train it that those behaviors are ok. If you stop it when it does something you don't like, you are teaching it that those behaviors are not acceptable. And so we have created these people.
Finally Steven A. Smith. The self proclaimed best at what he does in the country. What does he do? Hot takes? Rants? I personally do not watch First Take and will never watch First Take. To me it is the epitome of a show where you make your points with shouting instead of content. And I do listen to Dan Lebatard. And what I love about Lebatard is he will get rants that Steven A. has made and play them for his audience and laugh at how silly it is that this guy is screaming so much about whether or not Blake Griffin is better than Carmelo Anthony. And now what they do is they have his show on in the back and when he starts screaming about something they will cut away immediately and laugh at him screaming about something so stupid. But the rest of the world takes him seriously. We have empowered the screamer. His takes are no different than other people's on ESPN. They aren't better, smarter, funnier, or different. They are just louder and more flamboyant. And for that he climbs. He climbs above the people that just give their thoughts. We empower his mania. And now look what we have done. We have taught him that he thinks he has so much power that he can threaten NBA players. He has threatened Kevin Durant and Lebron James. Are you kidding me? What is he going to do report fake stuff? He is a glorified guy sitting at a bar talking sports with his buddies. Nothing more. But we have created the monster.
So what is the solution? I don't like to write about a problem and not have a solution. First of all, we as a people, need to evolve. We need to get smarter. We need to stop watching the Kardashians and the Balls and watch things that are smart or thought provoking. Or hell not watch but read something. Holy shit. Reading. We need to not click links to idiots who want to gain more fame by their words and not their actions. The websites and blogs and tv shows decide what to talk about by what people want to hear about or by what people click on. So show them with your clicks and your views what is and isn't important to you and to us. Stop elevating idiots with big mouths and start elevating people who give you smart content. Ask me if I'm going to watch the McGreggor fight your darn right I am. But I'm not going to read about a press conference about what racist thing he said or who he pretended to be mad at to promote a fight. I'm not going to watch YouTube videos of Lavar Ball making a mockery of basketball to sell $500 shoes. And I'm not going to watch First Take ever as long as Steven A. is on it. Thats all I can do, and all you can do too. Or write a blog and try and convince a few more people. Wink Emoji.