The SLAMazing Race

by July 30, 2007

By Sam Rubenstein

One of the emerging trends of this new era of sports coverage is that athletes write their own blogs. You can read all you want from your favorite writer, who can claim that he knows what is going on in the head of someone like Gilbert Arenas. But the only one that can really tell you that is Gilbert himself (sometimes). So, in these days of elite athletes writing about their own games which they play in, this is mine.

On Friday, we had our SLAM edit and art dep’t summer BBQ out at the Osborne compound. Whoever writes in greater detail about the BBQ, you better do A REALLY GOOD JOB so the readers will request it every week, and then we’ll be forced to leave work early every Friday for a BBQ. But back to my story of athletic conquest.

Several months ago I was talking to SLAM Editorial Assistant Konate Primus about how my sole value to the office softball team is speed. We got into a semi-heated chat about which one of us runs faster. I tried to place myself into the scrappy underdog role, because people tend to think that black skin=fast runner and white skin=no chance against a runner with black skin. Not always the case, but one thing about stereotypes is that you can use them to fool people. There was never an opportunity to determine the truth until this past Friday, when we measured off a track that was really too long for a sprint but we did it anyway.

Konate smiled and wished me good luck with a handshake. That was like saying to me “Oh mighty king of the jungle, I am fresh meat and you have not yet feasted today.” He never had a chance.

As I soared past him out of the starting blocks, my only concern was running out of gas before the finish line. Don’t look back, don’t hear the screaming fans, just take care of business and I can sleep when I die. The race ended, and Konate’s body lay there in flames, scorched by the vapor trail of my wake. These NBA talking heads like Tim Legler who babble on about how “Kevin Durant is a competitor who will compete for 48 minutes because he loves to compete and be competitive when he competes and he hates to lose” do not get it. Competition is crushing your enemies skulls underneath your blood stained boots.

SLAM’s creative director Melissa Brennan shot a video of this event. We’ll try to put it up on the website at some point, though all you will see is Konate running with a pained look on his face behind a ghost he will never catch.

You may have noticed that it is summer time and the NBA has closed shop. This is why I write about such topics as an insider event at a BBQ. Michael Tillery came through with seemingly hundreds of exclusive NBA interviews last week, gave us some great original content and the Detroit Free Press took notice. That’s called “journalism.” Thank you Michael.

So… summer it is. Mutoni will have the news/rumors as you should be accustomed to by now, and there’s other things going on, so look forward to it all. Saw The Simpsons movie on Saturday night, and it was the best. Simpsons movie. Ever. Also, it was the worst. Simpsons movie. Ever. I laughed many times, and though it was not a masterpiece and delved too far into some sappy plot lines, I enjoyed it more often than I did not. I won’t use Omar’s gangsta scale out of respect, but I would give it 3.5 of whatever you give a movie. I laughed out loud at the little robotic bomb disabler joke.

Spider Pig! Spider Pig!!! dada da da dadada SPIDER PIG!!! I can’t begin to tell you how many times I sang that out loud yesterday.

Alright, hope someone else has a more thorough BBQ recap. If Konate tries to say anything about one of us jumping the starting gun, then he should be treated like a rogue, isolated criminal for lying. I’m stepping out of my villain character now: Konate, that was a great race and I was truly honored to run with you. You can be my wingman anytime.

(See that’s called being classy and either you are born with it or you are not. But there’s nothing less classy than to say that you are classy. Oh well. It’s hot out there.)