Happy 4th of July! Fireworks!

By Sam Rubenstein

Hey, yesterday we were so busy working on a myriad (YES A MYRIAD!) of different things for the future of slamonline that I didn’t get to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July.

The office is closed today, but with my vacation coming up in a few days I have been running around tying up loose ends and getting ready. Since Lang has been running his Links classics series, I thought I’d give you all one of my own before I wrap up the “business” part of the day. This post was towards the end of the old grey backround and black font SLAMonline era. It was so close to the end that the page got automatically updated to the new look, even though it was done with old school html. In my memory, I think this was the very last thing I wrote for the black and grey site. So, here it is again, cause it’s the 4th of July and I am celebrating my freedom from British tyranny by not doing any more work.

Have a great holiday everyone!

This appeared on the old site last July 5th. It’s even in throwback verdana font!

The Fourth of July is a day where in between BBQs, beers, and blowing stuff up, we Americans take a moment to reflect on the meaning of freedom. Since this is a basketball website, I’d like to salute the NBA player that expresses the dream of American freedom better than any other. His name is Eddie Griffin.

Stop laughing. I’ll explain.

In America you’re allowed to drive an SUV that guzzles ridiculously expensive gas, killing the environment in the process. That same SUV is probably manufactured overseas and is not a practical vehicle for about 200 different reasons.

In America you’re allowed to have a DVD player in your steering wheel or right in front of your face somewhere in the car. I know it’s taken for granted, and you’re not allowed to be a rapper anymore if you don’t have one of those, but isn’t that going too far? Can’t you wait to get home to watch TV? Shouldn’t you be focusing on the road or the drive thru fast food sitting on your lap? Well, America says you can have that DVD player in your car so you don’t experience even 5 seconds without entertainment.

In America what you do inside of your automobile is your business. In fact, if you are pulled over for doing something illegal, a cop can not search your car without a warrant or probable cause. Roll up the windows and you’re in your own world.

Given these freedoms, Eddie Griffin says “I want more freedom!” Is that not why we went to war with the British over 200 years ago? Eddie wants to watch porn while driving a gas guzzler. And he not only watches that porn, he wants to make it an interactive experience. Let me put on my “kid gloves” for a minute. Eddie, it’s okay. You’re not a bad person. Everybody does it, grown ups and little kids, boys and girls. It’s okay. It’s perfectly natural. I don’t know the letter of the law on displays of public “self-entertainment”, but I’m going to assume it’s illegal.

The government says you can’t drink and drive. Eddie Griffin will not be held down by your “laws”, even if they make perfect sense and save lives. Unfortunately Eddie hit another car in the parking lot, and as the old saying goes, it’s only a crime if you get caught. Oh well. His post-crash behavior hasn’t helped his case, and I really hope that his T-Wolves teammates have been constantly making fun of him if they knew.

The Fourth of July came and went, and I’m sure there were hundreds of articles about freedom in sports (and Ben Wallace getting really really rich with his newfound freedom), but we should remember Eddie Griffin’s expression of freedom 365 days a year. Dave Zirin wrote something for the Links and Political Affairs magazine the other day about the new rookie class full of guys making political and/or socio-economic statements. Adam Morrison voted for Nader and Tyrus Thomas has a Frederick Douglass quote tatooed on his arm. Noble statements of freedom by both young men, but hardly the same level of revolutionary resistance that Eddie Griffin displayed. I salute you with 21 guns Mr. Griffin. You are a true American hero. Now don’t ever pull this kind of stuff again. Pun intended, and jokes about this will never get old.