Finishing up my last class in order to earn my A.A. this week dovetailed nicely with a couple of incidents in the National Football League that reminded me of why some parts of our culture are royally fucked up. Just as I finish a part of my life that was needed to help me grow as a man, here comes a reminder that some don't know what being a man is all about. Left Eye from TLC rapped on their remake of The Time's "Get It Up": "Are you ready to make me feel the definition of a man?" To which one NFL player would respond with a gat in his sweatpants and another with a middle finger.
Let's start with Giants WR Plaxico Burress, who famously shot himself in the leg two weeks ago while trying to take the bullets out of the gun that he had in his sweatpants at a nightclub. He's in legal trouble because he had an unregistered gun in New York, which is a felony. His teammate who was with him that evening, Antonio Pierce, attempted to get rid of the weapon in order to save his friend's ass, but the cops were all over it, and Pierce has since flipped and agreed to cooperate with the investigation. I have heard several football players, current and retired, all black, talk about why it's necessary for some guys to have guns. I heard Marcellus Wiley say that it just made him feel safer, and I heard Joey Porter say that until you're robbed at gunpoint, you don't know what it feels like. Yep, that's the mature reaction. Some athletes have been robbed over the last few years, sure, but the answer isn't to strap on a weapon and walk around like you're the Terminator. The answer is to quit hanging out in places where you might get robbed. But these guys don't want to do that because they don't think that's what a man should do. They look at nightclubs and strip clubs and other various places that are clearly unsafe as joints where they have to go to enjoy themselves. It's all about the "stayin' real" bullshit mentality. They think that just because they grew up in the ghetto, they have to keep hanging out in the ghetto, even after they've made enough money where they no longer have to set foot in the damn ghetto. But they feel that they would be leaving their homies behind if they didn't hang out in dangerous places surrounded by dangerous fools who have no problem ending your life over the cash you're flashing or the jewelry you're wearing. That's what men do, right? They go where they want, when they want, and no one can stop them or intimidate them? No, dumbasses, that's not what men do. Real men avoid dangerous situations. Real men don't step into venues and areas where their lives may be in danger and their families' source of pride and income may be gunned down for no good reason. That's not being a man, that's being a retard. I've never held a gun in my life, and I never will, because I'm a grown-ass man and I don't need one. Of course, I stay out of places where I might feel like I need one. And it's always the black guys doing this shit too. You never hear about a white boy who came out of a dangerous neighborhood to become a star and make money, yet always came back to that hood at night and hung out in the seediest clubs surrounded by shady people. I have no problem with anyone, black or white, going back to their communities and helping to improve the area so that it's not so dangerous, but morons like Plax and Joey Porter would never wish for that. That "thug life" is so ingrained into their minds that they would hate for anything to happen that would take it away from them. They really think that guns and hoes and flashing your money is the definition of a real man. It's not. It's nothing more than putting yourself, the breadwinner of your family, in imminent danger for the sake of entertaining yourself and impressing your thugged-out friends, and that's the definition of stupid.
Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola addressed the dangers of fools with guns as well, although in a different context. Raiola this past Sunday was being booed out of the building along with the rest of his pathetic team, who haven't won a game this season, when he showed them they were #1 with his middle digit. When the press asked him about it, he didn't give the typical B.S. apology, instead saying he wasn't sorry and wished that he could give his home address to the hecklers but couldn't because "nobody wants to play with fists. Everybody wants to play with metal." In other words, he'd fight the fans who pay his salary if only he could be sure they wouldn't pull a Plaxico and tuck a .357 Magnum or sawed-off into their jogging pants. I understand the frustration of being hated on all the time, really I do. But you can't accept the paycheck every week that you know is coming thanks to the ticket prices and concessions paid for by those same people you would like to fight. That's hypocritical. If I were playing in the NFL, I could care less what the people were yelling at me because I'd be going home after 3 hours of work to my huge pile of money and my supermodel skank collection. But again, here's someone who wants to prove that he's a real man, this time by getting into a fistfight over some words some drunken idiots are shouting at him. Get real. That's almost as stupid as walking into clubs late at night where the best thing that could happen to you is you get drunk, high and laid, which you can do in the privacy of your own home, and the worst is that you die. Today's culture gives so much cash and fame and power to athletes that it sure seems like they believe they are unstoppable. They really need to get a new dictionary and figure out what being a man is really all about.