A very dear friend of mine recently posted a video on social media entitled “Why women live longer.”
Upon clicking said video, one finds four boys on one of those spinning playground things with a fifth off to the side making the spinny thing go faster by propelling it with the wheels of his motorbike. The spinny-go-round speeds faster and faster until, wait for it, one of the kids flies off, tumbling into embarrassment and more than likely into the hospital. Hey, y’all. Watch this!
Sometimes that Y chromosome makes us do the darnedest things.
Outside a Pittsburgh bar not long ago, and details are still sketchy depending on whose attorney you believe, former Jet, Buc, Patriot and Jet again, Darrelle Revis, was leaving a bar. It was late in the evening, exponentially increasing the likelihood of alcohol consumption by all parties involved. Like Herm Edwards often preaches, nothing good ever happens after midnight.
Apparently, some gentlemen nearby felt it was a good idea to heckle Mr. Revis as he was leaving the club. It wasn’t. The hecklers ended up laying on the sidewalk knocked out; Revis ended up arrested.
As more details emerge, this is slowly becoming a story of he said he said (shocker!) with both sides ending up in court and Revis likely settling out of it but this all could have been avoided had guys not given into their drunken starstruckedness, prompting them to provoke Revis.
Remember years ago, when Charles Barkley, who was allegedly minding his own business in an Orlando nightclub, ended up throwing a heckling fan through the bar’s plate glass window? Sometimes it’s best not to poke the bear.
Recently the soft-spoken and now retired Marshawn Lynch announced he will no longer be taking pictures with male fans, only women and children. While this might sound crass to some, Lynch is probably saving another idiot fan from having his ass beat.
One evening in Detroit many moons ago, a fan once threw a beer at Ron Artest. We all remember how that ended up.
For the sake of all those involved and to hopefully keep our courtrooms a little less crowded, I have decided to put together a simple list of how to act when meeting a star-studded athlete. A helpful list of dos, but mostly don’ts, if you will.
Rule #1: Don’t be overwhelmed by fame. You’re not 13 anymore. You’re 33 and the odds are you’re older than the person you’re fawning over. Act like it.
Rule #2: Don’t be an idiot. If you have to think twice about whether or not your behavior is inappropriate, it probably is.
Rule #3: Be respectful. Do you like to talk about work 24 hours a day? Imagine if someone came up to you and your significant other, interrupting your romantic dinner for two, and started talking to you about YOUR work, when they really knew nothing about it at all. Then they want a picture with you and your autograph while your mouth is full of sushi. When you were kind enough to take one, another fan comes up and asks the same thing. And then another. Think that would get tiring?
Rule #4: I’m never going to tell a heckler not to heckle. By all means, have at it. Just do so tastefully. Do it with flair. Be original. Just don’t hit below the belt, for if you do… In 1995, a heckler crossed the line, shouting out things to former Houston Rocket Vernon Maxwell about his daughter who had passed away a few years earlier. Maxwell went up into the stands and kicked the shit out of the guy. He was later fined, suspended and sued. You’d be hard-pressed to find a person who wasn’t on Maxwell’s side when this all went down but that doesn’t change the fact that, well, fans can be idiots. Please see Rule #2.
Rule #5: Never get involved in a land war in Asia and never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. But if you’ve seen The Princess Bride, you knew this already.
Rule #6: If you are going to talk shit, be prepared to back it up or get knocked the fuck out. These are highly trained athletes and while many might not know how to fight, odds are they’re in considerably better shape than you.
Sometimes all these helpful hints are easier said than done. Upon meeting someone like say, Tim Tebow, most women swoon and most men, swoon as well. He’s probably nice enough not to knock you out. He might even hand you an autographed bible pamphlet if you’re lucky. But sometimes people just want to be left alone. Respect that.
As a young man, I once met Lou Ferigno. I was tongue-tied. I’m pretty sure if I met Lou Ferigno these days, I’d be able to muster a complete sentence. I would also know not to bug him if I saw him out and he was in the middle of a conversation. I hear you won’t like him when he’s angry.
Following these simple rules should prevent you from a) acting like a jerk when in the presence of a professional athlete and b) having your ass handed to you as a result. Athletes already put themselves in the dumbest situations. We don’t need to give them a reason to do anything dumber.