My new favorite show is East Bound and Down. If you haven’t seen it yet, get HBO or the Movie Network or whatever you need, and watch it. If you’re anything like me you’ll love every second. The premise centers around Kenny Powers, a washed up MLB pitcher who returns to his hometown to be a substitute teacher after his destructive behavior destroys his once promising career. Kenny Powers drinks, does hard drugs, swears like a sailor, has a massive ego, and his catch phrase is “you’re fuckin’ out!” But this got me thinking, who are the really Kenny Powers in professional sports? Who was once great but now lives completely as a punchline in the pantheon of sports humor?
That’s right kids, ANOTHER LIST!!
If anyone fits the Kenny Powers mold, it’s Clint Longley. He was a backup QB for the Cowboys, who had ONE amazing Thanksgiving Day game in 1974 after the legendary Roger Staubach left with an injury….THATS IT. But despite this only being ONE GAME, Clint’s ego became Kanye-esque, and he consistently reminded himself (and his teammates) that he was better then Captain Comeback. He even threw a sucker punch at Staubach two years later (Also a classic Kenny Powers move). He was subsequently cut from the cowboys. But this story gets even better. After being kicked out the league, he came north of the boarder and played for my beloved Toronto Argonauts…. HE WAS THE ORIGINAL RICKY WILLIAMS!!! Today he’s probably selling used wigs in some west Texas town and saying to anyone who will listen “I bet I can throw over those there mountains.”
Side note: Longley was recently on the NFL Network show Top Ten: One Shot Wonders and they showed an interview with the now banished QB. I looked at him and actually thought I was watching Kenny Powers Himself. Clint Longley is to Kenny Powers as Stan Van Gundy is to Ron Jeremy.
Longley (right) is only missing a gotee……o and a career
That’s right FredEx is back! You remember him don’t you? He’s mostly known for his nickname (which Fedex put a stop to), and being on the receiving end of that 14-second scrambling / 60-yard pass that Donovan McNabb had against the Cowboys one Monday night. He is also well known for being on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and saying Benjamin Franklin was the first ever US president. His lack of historical knowledge was bad enough, but it is further compounded by the fact he took political science and history during his time at UCLA. I’m sure all the history professors were beaming with pride.
And if that wasn’t enough, Mitchell was also unable to name the members of the Patriots secondary before Superbowl XXXIX. He later tried to redeem himself and said while he didn’t know their names, he did know their numbers. He tried to name the digits….and failed. I will now try to do what Freddy could not and name members of the 2004 Patriots secondary. You have my word that I am not cheating.
1. Ty Law must have still been on the team
2. Rodney Harrison I know was there
3. Asante Samuel must have been there too, but possibly not a starter
4. I’m going to throw in Troy Brown simply because I know he played both ways
5. I know there is one more that when I hear I will be kicking myself but I can’t think of it.
So while checking my answers I see that Ty Law didn’t play due to injury, and the one I forgot was Randall Gay. Anyway my point is I can name SOMEONE in the secondary five years later. Freddy couldn’t do it after studying them before the bloody Superbowl! All this reeks of Kenny Powers. BUT WAIT THERE IS MORE!!!
(WARNING: I just read this on Wikipedia, so it may be incorrect, but at this point I’m too excited to care)
Two more things. First Freddy tried out for my Argos, AND DIDN’T MAKE THE TEAM! Classic Kenny Powers. Secondly Wikipedia has this “According to sports blog Deadspin on November 27, 2006, Mitchell served as a substitute teacher at Mishawaka High School”……………THAT IS THE FUCKIN’ PLOT TO EAST BOUND AND DOWN!!! Also Judging by his Benjamin Franklin statements I’m scared for those kids in Mishawake HS. This has made me so happy I could crap myself. So lets move on
My sports columnist hero Bill Simmons (we are still not worthy) has a special section reserved for those athletes whose behavior has become so outrageous that you would believe any story told about them. Members of this special club include such outrageous personalities as O.J. Simpson, Michael Vick, Kanye West, and John Rocker (another possibly member of this Kenny Powers list). This list of crazy outrageous sports personalities has been dubbed “The Tyson Zone.” That’s right a list full of the craziest in sport has been named after Iron Mike himself. I think that says enough about his personality.
Tyson is a washed up athlete living on his past glory. So he has that in common with Kenny Powers. But the one thing that makes him different from the lovable ex-pitcher in East Bound and Down, is he could never EVER be a substitute teacher. Do the words “I want to eat his children,” mean anything to you? Enough Said.