Thursday, July 27, 2006

Chee Wee hairstyles, dreadlocks and me

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain landed in a little political hot water about a month ago regarding his comments discussing a horrendous incident of “spillover crime” in his sprawling, suburban jurisdiction.
He got in trouble by saying this during a television interview in late June:
"If you’re going to walk the streets of St. Tammany Parish with dreadlocks and chee wee hairstyles then you can expect to be getting a visit from a sheriffs deputy.”
Now the context of what he said is being debated, but one thing could be taken from this statement. Certain athletes should do their best to avoid St. Tammany Parish at all costs, especially if they either have dreadlocks, “chee wee” hairstyles or just happen to be Belle Chasse product – and frequent violator – Chris Henry of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Athletes running afoul of Johnny Law are just as common as snowball stands in south Louisiana in the summer. That is not even counting Henry and his teammates, nor the Portland Trail Blazers either. Sometimes these overly talented men and women need some protection from themselves, and the brain “mis”trust at Slant-N-Go Enterprises, LLC, will do its part to perform an extremely valuable public service.
The SNG service is all too simple, but yet all too important to the sporting world. That service is to keep athletes with dreadlocks and “chee wee” hairstyles out of St. Tammany Parish and out of possible legal issues.
However, questions still baffle the board of directors at SNG: What in the world is a chee wee hairstyle? Do you find them in a Cracker Jack box? Can you use “the cream,” “the clear” or “flaxseed oil” to attain such a hairstyle? Will Walt “Clyde” Frazier and Keith Hernandez be featured in commercials advertising coloring products for men with chee wee hairstyles?
The list of potential clients is a diverse array of athletes from surf, turf, snow and other surfaces of play. However, some have taken Strain’s warning very seriously and cost SNG a very important potential client. That person would be 2-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. He showed up to a recent charity game in his native British Columbia, Canada, with one thing missing—his notoriously unruly bedhead. Maybe he got the hint from Strain and thought that he should tread lightly.
Seimone Augustus should be on the lookout and is a potential client. Although she was a nationally-known commodity since her freshman year in high school, there are still parts of the state where she is a highly unknown figure. Heaven knows St. Tammany does not need the publicity of a sherrifs deputy getting in the personal space of the WNBA’s second-leading scorer, Baton Rouge playground legend and the Wayne Gretzky of LSU women’s basketball.
Former Gonzaga gunslinger, and new Charlotte Bobcat, Adam Morrison should also tread lightly if he ever finds himself traveling throughout St. Tammany. If it were not for Morrison’s sick hoops game, his “chee wee-ish” hairstyle and that dirty upper lip of his would definitely get him confused with either a mechanic, a pool cleaner, a really bad stunt double for Ron Jeremy or someone Strain’s deputies would surely focus their attention on.
Not even Skyler Green’s LSU national championship ring and old game-worn jerseys are enough to get St. Tammany’s finest off his dreadlocked case. Manny Ramirez can show off his curse-breaking world Series ring or even show clips of him tossing a ball to the outfield wall, taking a break in the Green Monster or cut off Johnny Damon and throw the ball into the infield. It won’t help Manny, but Manny’s Manny, so Strain could have other reasons to send his deputies in to check up on him.
Throw in New Orleans Saints cornerback Mike McKenzie and Green Bay cornerback Al Harris. You couldn’t tell those guys apart when they were together in Packerland, especially with their anti-Stain dreadlocks would cover up their names on the back of their jerseys. Now that McKenzie’s a member of the “gluttons for punishment,” he should avoid having to go travel to teammate Jammal Brown’s house or P.J. brown’s house for that matter.
How about Olympic gold medal winner Shaun White? Now if that shock of red hair the snowboarder sports isn’t “chee wee,” then the SNG directors do not know what is. He could possibly go from getting a hug from Carmen Electra at the ESPYs (lucky guy) to seeing deputies staring him down (not so lucky guy). Talk about a sad twist of fate. Shaun would have to just avoid Louisiana completely altogether.
Almost forgot Pedro Martinez and his new-school jheri curl/shag hybrid. It beckons back to a time when judgment was bad (circa 1975-88), but Petey’s ode to nostalgia and TCB curl activator is not good enough to stay scot-free (or even Scotchguard free) in St. Tammany Parish.
SNG will continue to help the athletes help themselves not the fall victims of themselves. SNG also believes in showing its clients that the company is not afraid to do what is asked of the people it represents. Therefore, Fred Batiste will cut his hair before he becomes the next to get a visit from a St. Tammany sheriffs deputy.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

SLANT-N-GO: Vacation Starvation Makes Mind Wander

We talk to ourselves every day. Mumble brief reminders to do something. Calculate how much to tip that server at a restaurant. Whisper prayers that a certain person does not give make life harder at work/school/cell block D today, tomorrow or the next day.
We also have internal conversations every day. Thinking about how much money to put aside for gas that day. Remem-bering if we gave the pet fresh food and water. Pondering if the relationship between Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles is just a farce.
I, too, talk/think to myself because — like “the educated brother from the bank” from “New Jack City” — there is no one to talk to. People still ask me why I do what I do. I often drift into thought when I drive, especially when my thoughts are sports-related.
Like, this one time at band camp ... wait a minute! Wrong story!
Some of these internal interactions commence with just a few seconds of reading the sports section, while others happen with a listen of some sports talk radio or some of that good’ ol patented scattered hot thinking I’m kind of known for.
Myself, also known as “self” and not be confused with Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, and I have some discussions that really either put me at the brink of genius or put me one step closer to going crazy — like Mariah Carey did a couple of years back. Self is the perfect sounding board for ideas because self doesn’t talk back. Whatever the result, it’s kind of fun.
For instance, I was reading a story where college basketball coaches unsuccessfully petitioned the NCAA to expand the men’s basketball tournament from 65 teams to 128.
“Those coaches must be out of their minds,” I said to myself. “They’ll try anything to save their butts and get some bonus money out of the universities.”
My mind reeled at the prospects of seeing the 10th-place finisher of the SEC opening up against Southeastern, or Southern facing the last-place team out of the Big 11 ... I mean Big 10. I told myself I was surprised that the television gods did not try to woo the NCAA with additional money for those additional games.
I also thought to myself, a 128-team NCAA tournament could throw the United States into economic ruin. People spend weeks perfecting their calling-in-sick voices so they can get some more days off to fill out brackets, make bets and watch the NCAA tournament. Can you imagine how much productivity could go down during an extended NCAA tournament, especially during that key first-round game between Elon and Cal State-Northridge?
And also, what about the cheerleaders? That’s adding two more weeks of potentially botched basket tosses with disastrous effects and somewhat-soiled spanky pants.
Speaking of cheerleaders, I was watching WWE’s Raw one Monday night and they had ... male cheerleaders. There is this group of five guys calling themselves the “Spirit Squad,” and they play off the athleticism cheerleaders have and the stereotypical hyper personalities as well. Then the dudes have the nerve to bring trampolines to jump into the ring and throw opponents in the air.
I said to myself, “Self, this is a darned shame. I knew some cheerleaders and they never thought about bringing a steel chair into a game to hit someone.”
Well, I think some competitive cheerleaders would bring a chair, but probably one of their parents would beat them to it in a bid to get their little darling to the top of the pyramid. Don’t get mad — parents plotting against cheerleaders in the name of own kid has happened before.
I told myself that I would not be surprised if Vince McMahon books a “cheerleader death match” inside of a steel cage. If so, there better be a large check made out to my name that clears when I deposit it in the bank.
My mind shifted as news of Ben Wallace defecting to Chicago as a free agent. Ben Wallace went from a throw-in player in the Grant Hill trade to Orlando years ago to one of the most recognizable athletes around. And what does he do? He leaves the team that allowed him to get to his status for more money.
Do I blame him for leaving for more money? No. Did the be-loved Bulls of Daily Star sports editor John Lenz pay a tad too much for a guy that’s an offensive liability in the clutch? Yes.
I thought to myself that Ben Wallace was greedier than the average athlete for one thing — jumping to his previous employer’s archrival. Roger Clemens used Toronto as a go-between from playing for the Red Sox to the Yankees. Terrell Eldorado Owens’ going over to Dallas was just a publicity stunt concocted by Jerry “Botox” Jones.
I thought about it. I never saw Calvin from the McDonald’s commercials suddenly started managing a Burger King. I never saw Joe Isuzu driving up in a Cadillac. I never saw the Super Mario Brothers just bolt Nintendo and started playing on Playstation 2s and X-Boxes.
OK, I’m thinking too much. I’m giving myself a headache!