Two Words - Ethnic Narcissism. And what pray tell is "ethnic narcissim?" Simply, it's the desire to see a representative of our particular ethnicity succeed in their respective endeavors. So, when it comes to sports, ethnic narcissism occurs with the unconventional, if not unusual, occurence of an athlete who looks like us, succeeds or has some modicum of success, which allows us to root for ourselves.
Those who know, know what I'm talking about. But for those who don't, prime examples of this phenomenon are exhibited in film: i.e. Rocky's I-III, Glory Road, Raging Bull, Bingo-Long's Travelling All-Stars, and The Great White Hope, just to name a few.
In reality, ethnic narcissism is the reason why you rooted for either the celtics or the lakers during the 80's, why you wanted BOTH Indy and Chicago in last year's superbowl, or why you HATE the Allen Iversons, Michael Irvins, the T.O.'s and all their progeny while simultaneously wonder why they cant' be more like Wes Welker, Brett Farvre, Cal Ripken, Jr. or every NHL player that ever lived.
In short, the media, dominated by the anglo male 45-65, loves the unconventional white athlete. And, for these reasons, the media has forever placed in our subconcious reverence for the white athlete with the following catch phrases. Please read along, enjoy the commentary, and listen to the announcer who loves to place a special plug for the regular guy making $2Million a year is a pro athlete.
50. The obvious - He's got "deceptive speed."
49. "Motor never stops runnin" - Superior effort making up for lack of talent.
48. "Coaches describe him as extremely coachable" - Not only redundant...but just plain stupid.
47. "He's smart with the ball" - Now...superior intellect making up for lack of talent.
46. "He's a gym rat" - Once again, 'e' for effort.
45. "He's elusively quick" - Just another way of saying deceptively fast
44. "Heady" - HHMMM...more Intellect
43. "Leader off and on the field" - Meaning, this is why he gets paid
42. "Contributes in immeasurable ways" - Meaning we're looking for a stat to justify his pay
41. "You can't coach his desire" - Which is interesting for an athlete that's extremely coachable
40. "Model athlete and citizen" - Doesn't drink, do strip clubs, tote AK-47's, etc.
39. "Locker room guy" - see no. 43.
38. "Great hands and feet" - As opposed to club hands and feet for those other professional athletes
37. "Business-like" - For the regular guy who amazingly confuses his own life and employment status with that of a professional athlete
36. "Workman-like" - Interchangeable with business-like...depending on whether you're blue collar or white collar...speaking of...
35. "Blue Collar Guy"
34. "Brings his lunch pale" - Right after he gets out of his $150,000.00 Bentley
33. "Unselfish with the ball" - Probably because he's 5'11'' and can't shoot
32. "Student of the game" - What's that mean?
31. "Historian of the game" - No, really, what the hell does that mean?
30. "Brings it on every play" - Define 'it'
29. "Excercises good judgment" -
28. "Sacrifices mind and body on every play" - I guess that's what 'it' is but is that really excercising good judgment?
27. "Never seems to tire" - Sure when your focusing on him 5 out of 48 minutes
26. "Never says quit" - Nice
25. "Never takes plays off"
24. "Never flashy"
23. "Never calls attention to himself" - And Never gets that $1Million Nike Contract because you don't know him
22. "Seems to get underestimated" - Because he doesn't have shoe deal
21. "Seems to get overlooked" - Only when the media mentions it 100 times during the game
20. "Definitely underpaid" - After Billion Dollar Deals with NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS, aren't they all underpaid?
19. "Has plenty of want to" -
18. "One of the sharpest guys in the leauge" - Back to the intellect
17. "Strong for his size" - Media loves the underdog
16. "Makes up for his size by playmaking ability" - Meaning your fat butt can run with these pros as well....Not
15. "Is always in the right position to make plays" - Guess all I need to do is watch film to be at the right position to make plays.
14. "Pillar of the community" - Meaning his posse wouldn't show up in my neighborhood if they lived here
13. "Understands his place on the team" - Look, it's the 5'11" mascot again
12. "He's always team" - Commentary for the anti-Kobi people (honestly...Kobi ranks 7th on the plus/minus list for basketball players...who's No.1? - Steve Nash????) who would you rather have?
11. "He's all about W's" - And $$$
10. "Respects the game" - Right after studying the history of the game...now I get it.
9. "Respects his teammates"
8. "You can't measure the heart of this guy"
7. "Lives for the game"
6. "Lives for his teammates"
5. "Breathes _________ (insert sport)" - and enhales steroids
4. "Burns the midnight oil preparing for the next opponent" - Guess that 's why he's coachable
3. "Plays to his strengths"
2. "Let's the game come to him" - and finally
1. He's OLD SCHOOL - When that school was pre-Brown v. Board