About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Birds Of A Feather
Saturday, January 07, 2006
People, especially sports commentators, like to wax poetically about the idea of people being true American success stories. What this usually involves is a kid who overcomes a rough childhood or troubling incident from his past. It’s become so cliché at this point that seemingly every single athlete ever has been storied as having a rough path to stardom. Some, like Warrick Dunn, actually had a harsh childhood. Try being the one who ID’s your mother, the police officer, after she’s been shot and killed. Others, many others, have far less compelling stories. Two young athletes have done a 180 with the idea of being a true American success story and have instead fallen into being a true American tragedy, or, more accurately, true American fuck ups. Of course I’m talking about Maurice Clarett and Marcus Vick.

Maruice Clarett had the world by the guavas as a Freshman running back at The Ohio State (yeah, the "The" is really dumb, but it’s the name of the school). He was already being called one of the top players in the game and a sure fire NFL star. Well, something happened along the way to the draft. He tried to jump ship from school after his Freshman year, which is against the rules. After sitting out a year he was drafted in the third round by the Broncos only to be cut in the pre-season. And last week, only days before he was supposed to sign with NFL Europe, the NFL’s developmental league, he was taken in for attempted armed robbery outside of a bar.

Part of me wants to feel sorry for Clarett, a kid who could have had it all, but part of me won’t allow that to happen. When he was having his issues with the NFL’s and the NCAA’s policies he got advice from the likes of Jim Brown and Doug Williams, both of whom advised him to go back to school, to a smaller school, that could give him some more guidance in life. I guess they both saw something coming. The young tailback shrugged off the advice of the greatest running back of all time and the first black quarterback to win the Superbowl, a move that reeks of idiocy. The idea that Clarett may have attempted armed robbery might be the final flush of his toilet ride from fame, but make no mistake, this is not a kid who was sucked in by ghetto life, this is a kid who had it all and let his own over-inflated concept of self worth blow it for him. Some may say the kid needed to hear no earlier on in life, but it’s abundantly clear that even if he had he probably wouldn’t have listened to it.

On the same page is Michael Vick’s little brother Marcus who was just kicked off Virginia Tech’s football team. Marcus Vick is much like Clarett in that he’s on the fast track to nowhere. Vick was suspended for an entire season earlier in his now finished college career and despite this his attitude problem remains unchanged to this day. He honestly thinks he’s going straight to the pros, but personally I feel this is laughable. There are enough troubled good players to take chances on, why would anyone want a guy who hasn’t proven a thing? Vick has never beaten a quality opponent, want evidence, check out what happened when Va. Tech played Miami this year. If this guy gets to hold a clipboard in NFL Europe he should consider himself privileged because I can’t see any NFL coach wanting to deal with what amounts to little more than a bratty kid with a decent arm.

Moving from sports to some other topics, I now have no modern rock station to listen to in my car. On January third, the day Howard Stern became a Sirius man, K-Rock changed their format to Free FM, which, as far as I can tell is mostly talk radio. I enjoy Booker in the afternoon, but I don’t tune in enough to warrant keeping 92.3 as one of my presets. While scanning to find a new rock station I noticed something, there are none. There are zero modern rock stations in the NYC area. If you want to listen to Disturbed, or System of a Down, you better own their albums. Rock music is fast becoming what Hip-Hop was in the early 80’s, something that can only be heard on specialized shows. It’s kind of sad, but in the same breath I have to say it may cause a renaissance for rock music. With specialized shows there will be less control by the record labels so those who can find the good rock shows will get some amazing stuff to listen to. Maybe I should hope some Hip-Hop stations go off the air so our music could work on getting back to where it should be, too.

One Hip-Hop radio program that’s where it should be is mine, The Adam B Experience. Last night I had some of my favorite guests on, the UVInk team of Substantial, Insanate, Ill Tarzan and O*Asiatic. DJ Halo, the Butthead to my Beavis, was also in the house and I have to say, though I may be biased, last night’s show was off the hook. The freestyle session lasted for over half an hour. I just kept putting on record after record after record and every time a new record was put on they’d all keep rhyming. It was really amazing. After the show I went home and relaunched The Reality Box. For those who don’t know that’s the spot where DJ Halo and I post our playlists. I also have sections for interviews and pictures. It’s nothing huge, just a little somethin somethin for those wanting some more info on our shows.

Speaking of info, was I the only person who didn’t know that the post office is once again raising their rates? I swear this came as a shock to me when my Dad gave me the news. Thirty nine cents to mail a letter? Pretty soon we’ll be telling companies "I’m sorry I couldn’t pay the bill on time, I couldn’t afford to mail in the check."

And finally, because I want to end this entry with something super cool, after 148 years The Atlantic Monthly is moving from its long time Boston home to Washington DC. What makes this so cool? Well, moving, as everyone knows, requires packing up, and as the folks at The Atlantic Monthly have been packing up they’ve been finding tons of old letters from writers such as Truman Capote, Margaret Mead and Robert Frost. They’ve been find so much, in fact, that they don’t have the room to display it all. To me this is something that’s really cool and I hope someday I can have such an impact that someone wants to display my correspondence. In the meantime I’ll keep writing.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 3:47 PM  
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