"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles CEO, sportsnetwork.com
Huntingdon Valley, Pa (Sports Network) -
The NBA, in its infinite wisdom, accompanied by sliding ratings heading downhill faster than Tiny Tim's last hit record and league players in the mold of Allen Iverson, has decided to do more than take a page from the books of Vince McMahon and Don King. NBA Commissioner David Stern wants to take you into the bowels of the NBA, literally.
TV cameras in the locker rooms of the league will give a new meaning to the Freudian psychoanalytical theory of "penis envy." It will erase all limitations and attachment to the gentler gender of this planet and one can hear shouts of, "You Gotta Be Kidding!" echoing from coast-to-coast, sports bar-to-sports bar, den-to-den, and sea-to-shining sea from the more hearty and deep throated among us.
Vince McMahon (r), shown here with Govenor Ventura, is well known for his media-focused antics.
Let's understand this. Unmanned, mounted cameras in locker rooms at halftime. How desperate is the NBA these days? What are we likely to hear from players who just blew a 20-point lead? How about the view from above as the more fun loving among team members decide to show us tattoos that we do not see as they prance up and down the court?
Why would I, why would anyone, want to go to this degree of voyeurism into a sweaty, humid, dirt littered floor and have to listen to the unintelligible dialects of the street and the game as they are shouted over the din of blaring rap music attempting to drown them out? The expletives will not be deleted and those who do not care to participate in the halftime locker room ritual will try to catch a preparedness forty winks or so for the next twenty minutes of war on the hardwoods. "Wow, is that a snore or is that a snore!?!?!"
David Stern is considering placing unmanned cameras into NBA locker rooms.
One of the benefits might be to listen in to those who take the break to call their brokers and issue a buy or sell order. And, how else will we know where they are planning to dine after the game if we don't tune in for the reservations being made? Hell, they weren't concentrating in front of the other cameras for half the game so why would they be focused on anything between halves? A peephole into the Oval Office this is not. If coaches do not even want mikes strapped to them during games where they can be heard to instruct their players in tone and verbiage somewhat less enlightening than Genesis why would anyone want to peek into a locker room?
This is as ill-conceived and foolhardy an idea as has ever been promulgated by the NBA. Attendance is down and tomfoolery like this will only drive it down further. TV ratings are failing and this will not bring them back. The fan base is deteriorating and eroding faster than the California shoreline. David Stern was given a lot of credit for Michael Jordan and he took it with both hands. The league sold the players and not the game. They had Michael. He has now taken wing and flown away.
Would you really want to see and hear what a player such as Rodman does during halftime?
Then there is the season shortening lockout last year, one that the fans remember, as forgiving as they can be. No other sport overpays so zealously and reaps so little reward and appreciation. The owners and the parlors whose "artists" wield needles that twist and turn until another figure adorns an arm, neck or leg make out better than anyone. Even the game itself has become boring. Changes in rules have done nothing to increase scores. There is the three point shot, jumpers from the same spot and the dunk. Handicapping the NBA has become about as difficult as chewing gum.
Strap mikes to frustrated coaches and do live video of players who lost interest on the plane coming into town? This is just what we need, and pet rocks to all who sign up to watch. And the editing!?!?!? The sound bites will be like listening to partial sentences, mindless phrasing, obtuse and illogical commentary.
Pat Riley, Paul Westphal and Butch Carter just said "no!" And $100,000 fines did not follow.
One has to wonder if Stern has thought about this for the WNBA. We are, after all, surfing waters that stress equality. Why is one locker room more sacrosanct than the other? They want ratings? We'll give them ratings. But the WNBA is not suffering. Give it time, just give it time.
The compulsion to survive gives way to recklessness and imprudence. It is madness and very indiscreet. The outrage that we can expect if this idea gains impetus and is suggested to the ladies who are already legislating against it will be enough to crumble that fledgling effort.
There is no reason to be a greater part of the game than as a fan in front of a TV screen or seated in the stands watching the game, or the athletes of any sport, go about the business of entertaining us. That is what they are overpaid to do. Since the preponderance of fans are men it seems beyond reason that many of us are hyperventilating to peek into the locker rooms of the WNBA at halftime, or any time. It can be said, without fear of contradiction, that an effort with the distaff side would be met with applause and a standing ovation but not from within the confines of the locker room.
David Stern should turn his attention to his toy and seek to repair it, not anoint it with gaudy colors and new mechanisms that only impair its efforts and functionality further. It's broken, David. Just fix it. This latest idea is not a repair job. It is a ludicrous and insulting attempt at salvation. C'mon guys, you gotta be kidding with this one!