From DeMarcus Cousins to Carli Lloyd

“Boogie” Cousins had a reputation as a hothead.  He earned every bit of that reputation with his volatile behaviors on the basketball court in the early years of his NBA career.  A few years ago, stories began to emerge that Cousins was mellowing with his advancing age – – he is 29 years old as of this morning – – and that he intended to erase that sort of image from people’s minds.  About a year ago, he asked the press to stop referring to him as “Boogie” and to refer to him by his given name, DeMarcus Cousins.  That was generally interpreted as another step in the maturation process and the mellowing of Messr. Cousins.

Over the weekend, a story hit the wires alleging that Cousins threatened to kill the mother of his son.  The allegation was not that he made this threat back in the days when he was seen as an immature hothead; the allegation is that he did it last week.  The short form of the allegation is this:

  • Cousins had a son with a former girlfriend named Christy West.  Evidently, she has custody of that child.
  • Cousins now has a new girlfriend named Morgan Lang and a wedding between Cousins and Lang was imminent.
  • Cousins wanted his son to attend the wedding and evidently Ms. West was not cooperating.
  • In a phone conversation between Cousins and West – that was somehow recorded and found its way into the hands of TMZ – Cousins appears to tell West that he would “put a bullet through” her “[bleeping] head”.

I have no way of knowing if indeed the recording cited here is real or concocted nor do I have any way of knowing if the voice on that recording is indeed Cousins’ voice.  Given the general subject of this conversation as alleged, it would be a stretch to think that someone other than Cousins would make such a threat – – but there is a lot of verification and authentication that needs to happen here before this can be held up as “stone cold truth”.

One aspect of the revelation from TMZ that caused me to raise an eyebrow – – as a homage to Mr. Spock while trying to unravel this situation – – is that the recording is only 22 seconds long and yet it contains this “very juicy tidbit”.  The transcript of this recording begins in medias res with the male voice saying:

“I’m gonna ask you this one more time before I take it to another level.”

I infer from that beginning that there was likely some prior conversation leading up to this exchange.  It also occurs to me that there could have been editing or manipulation of this recording; and so, forensic analysis of the recording itself needs to happen quickly.

The criminal aspects of these allegations will likely not be resolved in short order, but one thing is pretty clear to me.  DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins’ attempt to appear as a mature and level-headed adult took on serious water with this revelation.  In the court of public opinion – where the standard of proof is far less than “guilt beyond a reasonable doubt”, Cousins’ image has been damaged.

In many parts of the country, college football is the dominant element of social interaction.  This is clearly the case in Nebraska where the attendance at a typical Husker home game in Lincoln is between 85,000 and 90,000 folks.  To put that in perspective, the US Census lists 445 cities in the State of Nebraska.  Only 2 of those 445 cities (Lincoln and Omaha) have populations greater than 85,000.  The third largest city in Nebraska is Bellevue, NE with a population of 53.6K

Brad Dickson resides in Omaha; he is a former humor writer for The Tonight Show and for the Omaha World-Herald.  He just posted a satirical piece where he does a head-to-head comparison between Nebraska football coach, Scott Frost, and some of the giants of history such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci, Mother Teresa and Jesus Christ.  The object(s) of his satire are the local sportswriters and broadcasters whose adulation for Scott Frost – and his wunderkind QB, Adrian Martinez – seemingly has no limit.

Here is a link to that satirical piece.  It is worth your time to read it simply because it is so far over the top that it will put some of the fanboy commentary and behavior into perspective as the 2019 college football season begins in earnest this weekend.

You must have heard about – and probably you have seen the video of – Carli Lloyd kicking a 55-yard field goal during/after a joint practice between the Ravens and the Eagles.  An unidentified NFL team supposedly offered Lloyd the opportunity to place kick in the Week 3 Exhibition Games, but she declined that offer.  Now the story is that she will work with a kicking coach – she needs to cut down the number of steps she took in that 55-yard attempt you saw in the video – and check to see if she can sign on with an NFL team sometime in the future.  According to one report I read, she can also punt a football more than 50 yards.

It will be interesting to see which coaches might want to have Carli Lloyd as part of their training camp – – let alone as part of their team.  I am not worried in the least about “the rough-and-tumble locker room” or the “shower/dressing privacy issues”; those things can be handled with a minor bit of of effort.  However, coaches hate those “dreaded distractions” and if Carli Lloyd is wearing a team’s uniform, she will create distractions every day.

She will be the focus of media attention by the people covering the home team AND by the people covering all the opposing teams AND by all the folks who cover the NFL at a cosmic level.  Note that I have not mentioned every feature magazine and woman-focused magazine and …  Like the other “problems” that might be caused by having a woman on an NFL team, these distractions can be managed.  However, coaches just hate to have them happen in the first place and so I wonder which coaches might entertain bringing such a distraction into the OTAs – – let alone Training Camp.  This could be interesting to see…

Finally, having related some of the fervor that grips college football fans in parts of the country today, consider this revelation by Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:

“Not that we’ve been getting overinundated with college-football hype or anything, but just woke up in a cold sweat from a dream that Trump University was playing Electoral College.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………