The Big Payback

29 November 2013

I.  “Hit Me!”

When the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown, would implore his band to “hit me,” it signaled the coming of an accent or, as the case may have been, several rhythmic accents which added to the funky flavor of whatever song was being played.  What many people – myself included – did not know at the time was that Brown’s order, as he pointed to one of his bandmates, was an indication to that musician that he had messed up.  Multiple hits meant that he had messed up multiple times, and a fine was forthcoming…and the musician had better play the hits, or the fine became stiffer.

So perhaps the rookie coach of the Brooklyn Nets, Jason Kidd, was channeling his inner James Brown when he told his player to “hit me” with 8.3 seconds to go in Wednesday’s game against the Lakers.  With the Nets down by three points with no timeouts remaining, Tyshawn Taylor then bumped into Kidd, resulting in Kidd’s drink spilling onto the court, meaning that the court needed to be mopped.  While the mopping was going on, there was time to draw up a play for a potential game-tying shot – time that had not been available before since they had no timeouts remaining. 

Kidd, almost certainly a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, was always an extremely heady and inventive player on the court, and we now see that has followed him onto the sidelines as a coach. Unfortunately for him, unlike the situations with the James Brown band, he is the one being fined $50,000 for the incident.

II.  Get On The Good Foot

If Kidd’s 4-11 Nets…and Mike Woodson’s 3-11 New York Knicks…do not start putting up some W’s – and fast – neither of these gentlemen may have employment to be thankful for for much longer.  And although some may think it is early to talk firings, in the case of the Nets there is some recent history to study.  Very recent, in fact.

Last November Avery Johnson, then coach of the Nets, was honored as NBA coach of the month.  Before the end of December he was fired.

III.  Please, Please, Please

The New York Giants were able to sit at their tables yesterday and be thankful that the division they play in is the NFC Least, which means that they are not totally out of the playoff picture even with a 4-7 record. Meanwhile, their roommates at MetLife Stadium, the New York Jets, are thankful to be squarely in the hunt for a wild card berth in the AFC while sporting a 5-6 record.

I don’t know if the marketing gurus would have considered a Jets-Giants Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium a marketing bonanza…but it is becoming more unlikely by the minute (or at least the week).

IV.  Happy Thanksgiving

It is honorable, on their part, for an Ohio Walmart to have held a food drive to benefit Walmart associates who may not have enough to put a nice Thanksgiving dinner on their tables.  It is compassionate, on the part of the associates, to donate to their fellow workers.

Wouldn’t it be nice if corporate raised salaries so this wouldn’t have to happen?

V.  Give Me Some Bucks and I’ll Be Straight

I am so thankful for Republicans like Senator Ted Cruz and his Tea Party colleagues in the House.  They are doing more to help the Democratic Party create a stranglehold on the Presidency going forward than any Democrat possibly can. 

VI.  Make It Funky

The recent victory by boxer/Philippine Congressman Manny Pacquiao – and the renewed discussion of a possible Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather match – was great news to sports fans who would now recognize John Cena and Randy Orton before any of the gentlemen walking around with an heavyweight championship belt around their waists.

VII.  Living In America

Let me openly say that I am no fan at all of reality TV…but with that said, I didn’t see the above-referenced Jason Kidd situation, because I wanted to get to the season-ending episode of Preachers of LA…a show that has taken numerous hits from those who feel it unbecoming, at best, for ministers to be portrayed on a show of this nature. If you have ever heard the expression “preaching to the choir,” this may not be it – and maybe that’s not a bad thing from a John 12:32 perspective.  Looking forward to season two.

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