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Place in this World

September 28, 2010 4 comments

…or the dilemma of Christian music in the 21st century.

This is a response/reflection to my friend Jay Brown’s tripartite blog entitled: “The Problem of Christian Music.”  Before you read this blog, I invite you to read his blog, comment if necessary, then return for my response.

The Problem with Christian Music – Part 1
The Problem with Christian Music – Part 2
The Problem with Christian Music – Part 3

And now my response…

1.  Sacred vs. Secular categorization is a dubious construct.  I’m sure Jay will agree with me here, at least in part.  There are no clear boundaries when looking at communities of faith and culture to determine what is “Christian”  and what is “non-Christian/Secular.”  The word secular comes from the Greek saeculum, which literally refers to the time period or age when an event occurs.  If we look at the term secular in this way, then we’re living in a Post 9/11 age or saeculum.  Secular later came to mean someone who is not bound by monastic or clerical vows, or simply put, part of the laity.  It was only later, through the philosophies of Marx, Feuerbach, and Nietzsche (thanks in part to Hegel’s dialectic) that God was sent packing.

In other words, clear sacred and secular boundaries don’t exist.  It’s all part of the leftover modern obsession/compulsion, where we need to neatly categorize everything.  You don’t have to look far to find God outside of the church, and that’s actually where God intends us to go…but I’ll save that for a later discussion.  And it won’t take you long to realize that there is still the Ananais and Sapphira strain of DNA left in the church.  Google “church scandal” and you’ll see what I mean.

This is all a verbose way of saying that there is a messy (a)theism going on both in churches and in culture.  There is nothing you can point to and say, “A-ha!  That’s distinctly Christian.  Look over there!  That’s devil music.”  You’ll be disappointed every time.  I’m not  saying that if you listen long enough that you can witness God moving through the music of Marilyn Manson…or maybe you will.  What I am saying is that it requires “eyes to see and ears to hear”  to find God amongst the bang and the clatter.

2. Christian radio has a target audience.  A 2008 survey by Dunham+Company found that the typical Christian radio listeners are women 45-54, Pentecostal/Charismatic, living in the south (Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida), politically conservative, and 71% attend church regularly while 10% never attend church.

In a breakdown of preferred programming, 56% listen primarily for music (predominantly women 18-44), 40% prefer teaching or sermons, and 16% said talk was a primary reason to listen to talk radio.  Of course, this all adds up to more than 100%, but we won’t be too picky with Dunham+Company.  While Christian radio does need more variety in it’s programming, it seems that the core audience is happy and that a large portion of Christian radio listeners also want sermons and teaching as part of the programming.

I don’t listen to Christian radio, which is fine because K-Love isn’t going after progressive Christians or “cultured despisers.”  They’re broadcasting for people who pay the bills, and rightly so because it’s a business.  If you don’t like it, change the channel.

3.  Christian artists find themselves theologically homeless.  There are ultra-conservative websites that attack Christian musicians for being too “worldly” and not having enough mentions of God or Jesus, and when musicians “crossover” (again part of the dubious Sacred vs. Secular borderline) they are accused of selling out to the principalities and powers.  Meanwhile, progressive Christians and cultured despisers critically pan or wholly ignore music that is created within the Contemporary Christian genre, and instead listen to mainstream artists (U2, Bruce Springsteen, etc.) that have songs immersed in spiritual themes.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t listen to U2 and Bruce Springsteen.  Their music is refreshing and speaks to our religious core like no praise and worship song ever could.  What I am saying is that it’s time for progressive Christians to (re)engage Christian musicians and artists, to descend from atop the ivory towers and high horses, to shed elitism and pretentiousness…to listen.  I speak for myself when I say that I’ve been given eyes but do not see and ears but do not hear.  I’m with Jay that Christian music needs to reboot, but we can’t demand that musicians write better songs if we won’t listen.

4.  Progressive Christians need to (re)engage mass media.  As one who has mocked Christian radio and television programming incessantly for the better part of 7 years, it’s time for progressive Christians (including myself) to think creatively about mass media.

I’m not suggesting we take to the channels and airwaves and become the Keith Olbermann answer to the religious right, although that would be interesting.  There needs to be an influx of forward thinking, sane yet interesting Christians in radio and television.  And don’t get me wrong, with the advent of social media (blogs, twitter, youtube, ustream, podcasts etc.) anyone can have a voice , but there are few blogs and podcasts that have the weight of radio and television.  You can’t tell me that TBN is the best we have.

I’m suggesting we take the parable seriously:

“The kingdom of heaven is like a yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

There are many other thoughts brewing in my mind, but they are still fragmented at this moment, so I’ll pause here and leave space for your thoughts/comments.  But before I do, I’ll ask that you pray for this man because he’s

“looking for a reason, roaming through the night to find my place in this world,
my place in this world.”

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Have You Been Incepted?

September 22, 2010 2 comments

…or Justice as Inception/Interruption

This post is a reflection on Anthony Smith’s presentation “Justice as Inception” at Big Tent Christianity in Raleigh, NC.  You can follow Anthony at Musings of a Postmodern Negro.

Justice as Inception

If you haven’t seen the movie Inception, the premise of the movie is that Leonardo DiCaprio is an extractor who steals secrets from people’s minds while they are asleep and dreaming.  After a failed extraction on a powerful business man named Saito, DiCaprio finds out that Saito was auditioning the team to perform a more difficult form of inception: implanting an idea into a person’s mind while they are asleep.

At Big Tent Christianity, Anthony proposed the idea of  justice as inception.  In this sense justice is not an abstract idea, but something deeply implanted in us that moves us to action.  If we are truly people of God, then we can’t talk about justice without doing justice.  We can’t preach about caring for the alien, the orphan and the widow without knowing a few.  We can’t believe that God will “make the crooked places straight” (Isa 45:2), if we are complicit in making things “crooked.”

Justice as Inception isn’t a new idea.  It’s not inherently postmodern either, although it does give me another reason to watch the movie again.  Micah 6:8 comes to mind:

He has showed you what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

To be a person of God requires a different set of eyes and ears, so that we are moved to action when we see or hear injustice.  It requires that we speak truth to power (i.e. Nathan saying to David “You are the man!”) but only after removing whatever planks are blocking our own vision.  Once we’ve been incepted with the idea of justice, there’s no turning back, and the world we now live in is wildly different from the world before.

Justice as Interruption

Justice is interruption.

When we tend to think of justice, particularly in America, we think of justice as “restoring the balance” or “getting what is rightfully owed.”  We often see justice as “reward” or “retribution.”  It’s hard not to view justice this way with all the small claims court shows (Judge Judy, People’s Court, Eye for an Eye, etc.) and personal injury attorney commercials.

While those types of justice have their place in society, that is not the type of justice that we’re called to embody.  “You’ve heard it said, but I say to you…”  justice is what we’re called to take to the streets.  It’s Jesus ransacking the temple to drive out profiteering, preventing the stoning of an adulterous woman and forgiving her sin, picking wheat with the disciples and healing a man’s hand on the Sabbath.  It’s that messy, subversive, and at times law-breaking justice that makes the crooked places straight.  It’s the kind of justice that makes law-abiding citizens and suburbanites squirm.

Justice interrupts the daily rhythms of life and it wakes us up at night.  It makes us uncomfortable…and it should.  The gospel is a great message but a difficult one.  It’s much easier to be the Priest and the Levite than the Good Samaritan.  It’s easier for us to avoid the road from Jerusalem to Jericho altogether because “that’s a bad neighborhood.”  Justice requires that we go into unusual and uncomfortable places, and moves us to commune at the table with unlikely people.

Justice interrupts because it washes away all pretension and complacency.  It’s why Amos, and later Martin Luther King Jr. exclaimed:

Let justice roll like mighty waters, righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Justice is motion.  It’s four students sitting at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, NC.  It’s a bishop celebrating mass with his people in El Salvador, and taking a bullet after calling on soldiers of the country to stop the repression and violence.  It’s a man being imprisoned after marching against apartheid.

Justice is part of our ethos.  It’s that response deep within us that says “no more.”  Justice moves us to takes risks.  It moves us to subvert.  Justice opens our eyes to a new world.  Justice costs us everything with no promise of reward.

Have you been incepted?

These are only a few fragmented phrases on the idea of Justice as Inception/Interruption.  If you wish to continue the conversation about justice, please leave any comments you have below.

Categories: Emergent, God, Theology

NFL Season Preview

September 4, 2010 Leave a comment

The NFL season is almost here, which means its time for Jeff Lail and I to make our predictions for the upcoming season. Listen to find out our Over/Under predictions on each NFL Team, our selections for the Division winners, and you’ll be surprised to find out our Super Bowl match-up. In OT we pick the MVP and Rookie of the Year and much more. All on the Ridiculous Things Podcast:

Date: 9/2/2010
Length: 1 Hour
Guests: Jeff Lail

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Categories: Humor, NFL, Podcasts, Sports

Taking Your Talents to South Beach (Part 2)

In this episode, Jeff Lail and Steven Burleson join the podcast to talk about introducing the business of sports into the everyday workplace.  Part 2 begins with a discussion about Sabermetrics and evaluating how we hire and train people in various industries as well as managing risk when hiring new employees.  Jeff applies this principle to the Student Activities environment and I approach it from the perspective of the retail business.  Steven joins at the end of the podcast and we introduce these principles to ministry.  Despite the technical difficulties throughout (I actually get kicked off the broadcast at one point), this turns into a fascinating conversation on hiring principles and the criteria (tangible and intangible) that is considered when hiring and training new employees.

Date: 8/19/2010
Length: 1 Hour
Guests: Jeff Lail and Steven Burleson

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Taking Your Talents to South Beach

…or You’ve Been Traded for a Player to Be Named Later.

My recent podcast on Ridiculous Things where Jeff Lail and I discuss the potential of combining sports contracts/trades/free agency to the everyday workplace.  I focus on the retail business while Jeff focuses on higher education.  We both agreed that this was Part 1 with other podcasts to follow on this subject.  I opt for the no trade clause and Jeff wants to get called up to “The Show.”




Date: 8/14/2010
Guest: Jeff Lail
Length: 1 hour

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It’s Groundhog Day! Again…

…or why you hate Brett Favre but deep down you know you’re following the story.

Much like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, you woke up Tuesday to the same old story that you wake up to every day/year.  Brett Favre is retiring.  This time it’s definite.  Well, maybe it’s definite this time.  It’s definitely a maybe.  And like the droning sounds of Sonny and Cher that blare through the alarm clock, I heard the same droning on talk radio Tuesday and Wednesday morning from every reporter, coach, player and analyst in the NFL.

So…without further delay, here’s my obligatory Brett Favre post.

I’m late to the party! (And lay off I was enjoying my two days at the beach)
The Brett Favre retirement party that is…if Brett is indeed retiring.
He definitely is this time!  Well, maybe.
Once again we’ve entered into the summer soap opera “As the Brett Turns.”

In case you didn’t hear and were truly living Groundhog Day, ESPN reported Wednesday that Brett Favre indicated to several teammates that he plans to retire.

Then, only 24 hours later, ESPN reported that Brett Favre will play if his ankle is healthy, also after reports that Favre took part in throwing drills at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg.

Casual sports fans loathe hearing his name.
Packers fans are disgruntled that he left and now plays for the Vikings.  Oh yeah, did I mention they hate each other.
Vikings fans are starting to doubt him at best and distrust him at worst.
Ed Werder camps outside his house.
Vegas is taking bets on him.

ESPN is infatuated with him, often reporting stories based on little information and going “all hands on deck” to cover his retirement/return.  Remember Brad Childress chauffeuring Favre from the airport?   ESPN was all over that.  And considering July/August is the most vacuous time in the pro-sports schedule, ESPN was dying for the Annual Brett Favre Retirement/Return story.

The NFL needs him.  Last year he was #1 in jersey sales.  This year, post draft, he is still #5 and sure to rise once the Tim Tebow hype wanes.    He was one game away from another Super Bowl.  One monumental interception away from the Super Bowl.  A Super Bowl, which would’ve featured Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, two of the greatest QBs of all time.  The New Orleans story was a sweet consolation prize for the NFL as it was able to showcase the Saints as the hope for a city that is still trying to (and may never) recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, as well as overcoming their own dubiousness as a franchise that went from “Ain’ts” to Saints.

The Vikings are desperate for him.  Do I need to remind you that Brad Childress picked up Brett Favre at the airport? Now there are reports that the Vikings are willing to pay more for a Brett Favre return.  He’s scheduled to make $13 million this year, but the Vikings are willing to increase that deal to $20 million ($16 million guaranteed, $4 incentives).  Why?  Brett Favre = revenue.  If you don’t believe me, check out the Minnesota Vikings average ticket prices without Brett Favre. That’s a $30 drop (per ticket) in two weeks!  Forget about Favre making the Vikings a playoff contender.  Without him, they’re losing millions in revenue.  $20 million is a bargain when you’ll make that back in 4 games worth of tickets, concessions, and memorabilia.  I’m surprised there isn’t a story out there that projects how many millions the Vikings would lose without Favre.  Not to mention that the Vikings are trying to get approval for a new stadium.

Lessons to learn from “As the Brett Turns”

1.  If you don’t like the coverage, change the channel and watch Shark Week.  A Brett Favre retirement/return may be tiresome news (considering we’re on our 1,637 episode of “As the Brett Turns”), but it’s still news.  This latest wave of Favre reports was set off when Favre reportedly texted “This is it” to several teammates.  An entire network moves on 3 words:  “This is it.”  Was he talking about the Michael Jackson documentary?  The Vikings’ season and finances hinge on his return.  The outcome of the NFC North and the NFC playoffs depend on his return.  If you think I’m crazy for saying that, check out how Favre’s retirement/return affects betting lines in Vegas.  Obviously, the Vikings and the NFL will move on without Favre, but until that time comes, the ESPN will continue to send Ed Werder to the “Waffle House” every off-season and every former and current coach, player, executive, sports anchor, and day-jobber with a twitter account will chime in on the retirement/return.

2.  Favre retirement/return stories are always entertaining.  Without these ridiculous sub-plots the NFL would be slightly more boring this season.  Only slightly because this season we have Dez Bryant refusing to carry pads, TOcho and the Bengals, Shanahan shutting out Haynesworth until he passes a routine running drill, Roethlisberger’s latest bar rendezvous, and McNabb’s return to Philadelphia as a Redskin.  Again I’ll remind you that Childress picked up Favre at the airport.  Can you imagine your new boss meeting you in a black SUV with a “Your Name” sign?  Bonus: every season we go through this is another season I get Frank Caliendo impersonations of John Madden and his man-crush on Brett Favre.  And don’t forget Wrangler commercials.

3.  It’s all about the money.   Don’t let the reporters or news stories fool you.  Never believe anyone when they say “it’s not  about the money.”  It’s always about the money. People who say “it’s not about the money” either a) already have plenty a ridiculous amount of money and don’t need more but will take it and are merely in denial or b) make a minimal amount of money but would take substantially more if offered to them and are hypocritical.   If it’s not about the money , the Vikings Brad Childress wouldn’t have picked Favre up at the airport last year.  If it’s not about the money, the Vikings wouldn’t be offering Favre an additional $7 million to return on top of his current $13 million.  If it’s not about the money, then ticket prices wouldn’t have dropped substantially when Favre announced his retirement.  And Favre is a magician.  He doesn’t need more money, but he texts “This is it” and *poof* he gets offered $7 million extra to return.  By the way, that’s a lot of Wrangler jeans.

4.  Favre is a flip-flopper/waffler like the rest of us.  Put yourself in his shoes.  You’re 40+ years old.  You’re middle name is Lorenzo.  You’ve played professional football for 19 years and possibly starting your 20th, i.e. ending your second decade in the NFL. You’ve made 285 consecutive starts.  You have the chance to return to a team that’s gift wrapped for you, including one of the best RBs in the league, a solid defense, and an offensive scheme that you could run with your eyes closed.  Your coach looks like Herman Stiles from Evening Shade.  You don’t have to attend OTAs or minicamp and you don’t have to be ready until the regular season.  You missed out on your 3rd Super Bowl by one play, you’re interception of course.  The Saints destroyed you, flattened you several times and you injured your ankle along with countless other body parts.  In short, you looked 40 years old if not older.  You want a chance at redemption but maybe your body can’t handle another run…or maybe it can.  Hell, I have a hard enough time choosing a movie to rent from Netflix, let alone a career decision like this.  I think its a no-brainer that he returns, but my middle name isn’t Lorenzo, and I don’t earn an extra $7 million by texting my friends.

5.  Brett Favre is one of the greatest QBs that ever lived.  Statistically, he’s in the top 10.  However, no QB  has ever been relevant this long.  And no QB has captivated (good and bad) the NFL, ESPN, and fans in the way Brett Favre has.  Entire off-seasons are devoted to reporting his retirement/return.  Casinos are taking prop bets on Favre returns.  When Vegas opens up bets based on whether you retire or go back to work, that’s when you move the dial.  If you send some of your friends a 3 word text and you’re company offers you $7 million extra, then you’re important.

Perhaps Brett Favre will see his shadow once again, and return to the NFL.
Or maybe, just maybe, we’ve seen the last of The Groundhog.

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Categories: Humor, Movies, NFL, Sports

Lebronpocalypse Now

Lebronpocalypse Now

This is my ongoing diary of “The Decision.”  I prefer to call it Lebronpocalypse Now because I think its better and would be a cheap way to get more viewers.  Plus, throw in some Wagner music to give this moment in history an epic tone.

8:56 PM  Literally ran in from the car to get this started.  Sitting on my blue couch with reclining seats.  I’ve never anticipated anything on TV like this since the Seinfeld series finale (ultimately a let down) or any Presidential Election from 2000-2008.  At this point I don’t even know if Lebron knows where he’s going.  Will it come down to a recount?  It all could hinge on old people living in Florida…Al Gore nods grimly.

8:57 PM  In terms of must see TV for non-event sports news, I’m handicapping this behind the OJ Simpson bronco chase and ahead of the OJ Simpson murder trial (only because it dragged on way too long) and ahead of the Tiger “apology.”  Let’s face it, this is prime time television.  Even Tiger couldn’t get this time slot.  The only two people who could steal the 9 PM spot: The President and Lebron James.  The only difference is Lebron can’t launch nuclear weapons…unless Cleveland has worked that into his contract if he stays.

8:58 PM Current Lebronpocalypse Now power rankings: 1) Cleveland, 2) Miami, 3) Chicago, 4) New York

8:59 PM Watching this on ESPN3 (The Tres) which is playing a looped track which seems like it was put together at the last second on Audacity.  This whole thing has an eerie feel to it.  Only a minute left to Lebronpocalypse and I don’t know what to do with myself.  Checking Twitter, ESPN, and NBA for any leaks.

9:00 PM Stuart Scott intro.  Good choice.  And James Earl Jones voiceover.  This is epic.

9:01 PM “The Decision” was a conservative name.  They should’ve named it Lebron Sweepstakes or Lebronpocalypse Now.

9:02 PM The panel for “The Decision” is Stuart Scott, Michael Wilbon, Chris Broussard and Jon Barry.  One thing I’m looking forward is no more Chris Broussard for 3 months.  I wasn’t sold on Jon Barry until he made the “Trading Places” briefcase reference.  I’m never a big fan of  four man panels.  It should be Scott, Barry, and Broussard with Wilbon interviewing Lebron.  I’m still not sure how Jim Gray got this gig and when the Lebronpocalypse Now DVD comes out I’d be interested to hear the director’s commentary on how Jim Gray was included in this.

9:04 PM Michael Wilbon is making the case for Cleveland.  I completely agree that his decision to leave Cleveland will be the toughest one since his entire career has revolved around Cleveland and he’s been portrayed as a “loyal” hometown person.  And throw in the back-to-back 60 win seasons and MVPs to leave for an uncertain situation with any other team (except maybe Chicago).

9:07 PM Lebron wearing a red and white checkered shirt with jeans.  Does that mean he’s dressed comfortable for Miami weather or feeling more at home for Cleveland?  What color red is that exactly?  Cleveland red or Miami red?  Let’s analyze these things…

9:08 PM They’re going through the list of other free agents that have already signed.  That Joe Johnson contract was absurd, which means that if Lebron goes elsewhere, Joe Johnson will make more guaranteed money.  Insane!  Way to overpay Hawks!

9:09 PM Michael Wilbon doing what he does best: explaining without deciding.  Wilbon should be interviewing Lebron.  He’s great at interviewing and terrible at analysis.  It’s like asking Shaq to run a fast break.  Everyone in Phoenix is nodding.

9:11 PM Eleven minutes in and we still know nothing.  Now we’re getting Lebron photoshopped into the different uniforms.  Can it get any more absurd?  Yes it can.  Jim Gray is about to go on television so we’ll top it at some point.  I’m sure of it.  Commercial Break.  Is it just me or has this panel already sucked the life of “The Decision.”   Did we really need a four man panel for this?

9:14 PM Wayne Gretzky ESPN commercial.  Love it.  They should get Wayne Gretzky on more of these commercials.

9:16 PM Two unintentionally funny sponsors: Bing and University of Phoenix.  Bing: “Stop searching and start deciding.”  University of Phoenix is self-explanatory.

9:17 PM  Panel picks.  Broussard: Miami.  Barry: Miami.  Wilbon: Miami.  Unanimous.  Cleveland fans who are holding their breath have already passed out.

9:18 PM Still no decision.  Lebron is on the stage with Jim Gray. Commercial break number two and still no decision.  Stan Van Gundy is no longer watching.

9:22 PM Jim Gray is starting the interview.  Here we go!!!  Lebron looks somber.  Beware Cleveland.

9:24 PM Lebron tells Jim Gray only a few people know and he made his decision this morning after he talked to his mom.  Uh-oh.  Cleveland?  It still looks like he could change his mind.  He looks so uncomfortable on that chair.

9:26 PM Lebron says major factor is winning and winning now (not loyalty).  Oh no Cleveland, its not looking good…prepare to get your hearts ripped out.

9:27 PM Jim Gray is killing me.  “Lebron, are you still a nail biter?”  Bingo.  We’ve topped the previous absurdity levels.  I knew Jim Gray had it in him.

9:28 PM  The Decision: Miami!!!  Did you hear the collective gasp in the room?  The same gasp when Byner fumbled, when John Elway completed the drive, and when Michael Jordan made the shot over Ehlo.  In terms of Cleveland heartbreaks, this goes up there with the Browns leaving town.

9:30 PM Missed the last two minutes due to watching the Twitter-splosion and recovering from that deafening silence.

9:31 PM Lebron trying to rationalize why he left Cleveland.  He based his decision on the chance to win, but he knows that he’s decimating Cleveland.  You can see it on his face and hear it in his voice.  I think you could tell how difficult that decision was.  He looks somber.  He indicates Erik Spoelstra and not Pat Riley will be the coach…well as long as they don’t lose more than five straight games.  Then all bets are off.

9:33 PM Commercial break.  Checking tweets.  Trying to take it all in.  Sorry Cleveland.

9:36 PM They’re showing different city reactions.  Miami erupted.  Cleveland screamed in horror like the youtube video where the best man knocked the bride into the pool. NOOOOOOOO!!!!

9:37 PM Wilbon and Lebron one-on-one.  What are we going to learn that we don’t already know?  At least Wilbon asks better questions.  Why wasn’t he interviewing Lebron in the first place? Flashback to Jim Gray: “are you still a nail biter?”

9:39 PM Wilbon asks Lebron how he’ll handle being the villain.  So far, this is the best question of the night and Lebron fumbles through an answer.  I don’t think he’s conscious right now.

9:40 PM Lebron reminds Wilbon his decision was all about winning.  Wilbon asks about other teams he considered, specifically Chicago.  I think Lebron looked at the roster in Cleveland and looked at the other rosters taking shape in the league and realized he wasn’t winning a championship on the currently assembled Cavaliers.

9:42 PM Lebron brings up the Celtics.  It seems that was at the back of his mind when making that decision.  He knew with the roster they had in Cleveland that they couldn’t make it all the way through to the Finals.  If Cleveland makes it past Boston, then tonight might’ve looked completely different.  If only Biff hadn’t stolen that almanac!

9:45 PM Lebron admitted what we all know: Miami Heat has a 3 man roster and now they have to fill it with minimum contract players.  How is the rest of this team going to look?

9:52 PM Another decision?  What is this Stuart Scott?  No more surprises.  By the way that video montage of Lebron in his Cleveland uniform was salt in the wound.  They should’ve shown Byner, Elway, Matt Williams in Game 7, the shot over Ehlo and the move.  I mean let’s cover all the bases here.

9:59 PM Jon Barry asks the second best question of the night (paraphrasing): At the end of the game, who gets the ball?  Lebron never says he gets the ball.  This tells you everything you need to know.  He’s admitting he’s not the Alpha.  He’s not Jordan.  He’s Pippen.  He’s tired of being the focus and tired of carrying the franchise.  I think he wanted to go to a city where he could play with other stars and have no pressure and have a legitimate shot at winning championships.  This whole thing is not really about where Lebron James is playing next year but about figuring out where Lebron James lies in the spectrum of NBA DNA.  He doesn’t have the Jordan DNA.  He doesn’t have the killer instinct.  If anything he has Magic/Dr. J DNA.

10:02 PM Most absurd question of the night via Vitamin Water: “Who would win in a game of HORSE, you (Lebron) or President Obama?  Watch out Jim Gray.  You may lose your most absurd status.

10:05 PM Lebron announces what we already knew: proceeds from “The Decision” go to The Boys and Girls Club to be split between different cities in the US.  University of Phoenix announces that they’ll donate 5 full-tuition scholarships to underprivileged students.  Actually, this was a classy decision for an otherwise bizarre program.  Cleveland will never recover and Miami will thrive once again.  But in the end…its all for the kids

10:10 PM A tweet I ran across while scouring Twitter.  Dan Le Batard who writes for the Miami Herald and ESPN: “Let’s go BACK to LeBron James….this show has been an epic disaster for James…and ESPN keeps going back to James as if he’s Ed Werder.”  Absolutely agree.  I thought this program was about Lebron controlling the situation and the way the announcement was made, but it looks like he’s caught up in his own sideshow.

10:13 PM The best thing about Lebronpocalypse?  We’re still talking about basketball and its July 8.  We’ll be talking about this until at least Tuesday unless anything else unfolds.  Take notes MLB.  The one thing the NFL does is extend its season.  The NBA is learning how to extend its season with these absurd Free Agent signings.  The baseball season keeps getting squeezed by other sports.  Make your own news (other than steroids) to keep us interested MLB.

Final thoughts:

Short of the OJ Simpson Bronco chase, this has truly been one of the most bizarre and awkward events I’ve ever watched on television.  Lebronpocalypse Now was everything it lived up to be and more.  There have already been tweets of Lebron jersey burnings in Cleveland.  Jim Gray made an appearance.  University of Phoenix donated scholarships.  I’ll never forget Lebron looking like he wanted to be anywhere else other than in that chair and learning forever that Lebron doesn’t have the killer gene.  I rediscovered my love for Wayne Gretzky ESPN commercials and realizing there will never be enough of them.  I would also like to personally thank ESPN3 for filling the void in my life due to my lack of cable.  And anytime I need to make a big decision in life, I know that I can turn it into an hour-long special and people will watch.  Watch out U-Stream and Youtube.  And just like that, Lebronpocalypse Now is over.  I haven’t eaten dinner yet.  This is what happens when you live on the East Coast.

My current Power Rankings for worst all time Cleveland Sports moments:

1.  97 World Series Game 7
2.  Lebronpocalypse Now
3.  The Drive/The Fumble
4.  Art Modell and The Move
5.  Shot over Ehlo

Categories: Uncategorized
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