"Lil' Wayne—our song last year-–we made a video at the start of the season and it was one of his songs. The players took to it. We played it every home game. It was kind of our… When you saw us gather up in the end zone, it was always a song of his. So, I said if he comes into town and I get an opportunity to give him a copy of it and thank him, I was able to do it. It was a great, great show, terrific."
The shocking part of the news wasn't that he went to the concert, really, but how he explained it. You'd really have to watch the video of the press conference to appreciate how incredibly joyless he sounds when he says, "It was a great, great show." He sounds like he's on valium. Never before has any human being made a concert sound so utterly mundane.
All of which is to say... He's like most other coaches in the NFL. And that's fine. But that flat-lined press conference is part of what makes this next twist so incredible.
If you saw the Lil Wayne news earlier this week and thought to yourself, "I wonder if anyone's going to try to make a big out of this," then you clearly aren't familiar with Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk. He LIVES for s**t like this. To wit:
Todd Haley takes night off to attend Lil Wayne concert
So how does an NFL head coach who’s trying to cram five months of work into five weeks spend one of the precious remaining evenings before the first game of the regular season?
Apparently, by going to a Lil Wayne concert.
Yes, on one night out of those five weeks (35 days), an NFL coach went to a concert. How dare he! People like to talk about stats these days, so here's a stat for all you football fans out there--Todd Haley spent 2.8% of his available nights during the NFL preseason going to a rap concert.
...presumably while the rest of his staff was grinding away in order to get ready for a visit from the Bills and former Chiefs offensive coordinator Chan Gailey on September 11.
Hold up: They're playing the Bills? Why didn't Haley take more time off?
Haley has found a way to try to justify his detour away from his work duties. He owed it to Lil Wayne to be there, because the Chiefs used one of his songs to get excited last year.
(deep breath) It's selfish is what it is. It's incredibly selfish. Look at him up there, trying to rationalize away his behavior, like the rest of us won't see right through. He's like a drug addict, basically. Just like his new favorite "musician", "Lil" Wayne. Some example, huh?
...it’s hard to imagine any other NFL head coach going to a concert less than three weeks before the start of the season
Now that you mention, it's hard to imagine an NFL coach going to any concert, ever.
especially after a lockout in which there were multiple weeks featuring a lot less work than usual, and thus more time than usual to do non-work things.
Why didn't Todd Haley get the Lil Wayne out of his system when he had the chance!
This doesn’t mean NFL head coaches shouldn’t have lives away from the sport
Just not during football season.
but the Chiefs have two preseason games left and a regular-season game in less than a week
The Chiefs are playing three games in five days? ... Oh, no they're not.
Haley is one of those guys who loves to mention his ties to Bill Parcells. And maybe that’s the best barometer for this one: Would Parcells have left camp to attend a Lil Wayne concert?
Do I even need to answer that?
Five days ago, could you have imagined a joyless drone like Todd Haley going to a Lil Wayne concert to show solidarity with his players? Isn't that why the story was cool in the first place? Do you really think that Haley's night on the town will cost the Chiefs against Buffalo? Do you see how I'm disguising statements as questions?
...Anyway, I didn't even see the story until last night, but now Haley's sedated press conference finally makes sense. Haley has to deal with stuff like this on a daily basis, so it was only a matter before time before he lost the ability to express real, human joy. Can you blame him?
Do we even need to answer that?
With that, let's get into a quick edition of Talking Points...
There's Never A Bad Time To Remember Charles Oakley. Sure, there's probably bigger sports news floating around today--like ESPN's scarring photoshop, or the new Nike uniforms, or SB Nation's new iPhone app, or Deadspin crashing a corporate meeting, or... wait, nevermind.
In any case, there's never a bad time to remember Charles Oakley, one of the true, All-American badasses that pro sports has ever seen. Here's a sample:
-Before a regular season game, Tyrone Hill was leaving the floor after shootaround, and Oakley started throwing basketballs at him, one of which hit him in the face. Lets let Sixer point guard Eric Snow color the story: "Every time we play each other, Oakley says something about Hill. He’ll say ‘Where’s Hill at?’"
-Why did he he intimidate and rough up Hill? Two years prior, Tyrone Hill lost a dice game to Oakley, to the tune of $54,000. "A gentleman pays his debt within a week or two," Oakley said. Because payment was deliquent, Oakley charged him double, saying, "Everything in life is double. If he didn’t pay me $108,000, he didn’t pay me."
-In the 2001 NBA playoffs, Oakley constantly insulted teammate Vince Carter and even exchanged words with Carter’s mother. Rumor has it Oakley was displeased with Carter letting him, and other teammates, down during crunch time.
Speaking Of Oak... John Starks Remember His Time Bagging Groceries. This was cool.
A Great, Old Read On Matt Ryan. I went to BC while Ryan was there, and I remember thinking he was way too good to be true. He never did anything wrong, didn't party much, was obnoxiously kind and deferential... There had to be something, right? This article tries to answer.
The New Best Tumblr Ever. Seriously.
Neither Here Nor There, But... Maybe the best sports GIF of all time.
Rafael Nadal Doesn't Trust Dogs. They have ulterior motives.
Then Again, Maybe Rafa Has A Point. Recovering all those diamonds should be fun.
College Sports Is The Joke That Keeps On Giving. The best college sports stories are the ones that come completely out of context.
Finally, Rest In Peace Mike Flanagan. I never followed him as a player, but the story of Flanagan's suicide is unspeakably sad, especially since just about everyone agrees that he was one of the most wonderful people they ever met in baseball. Richard Justice's obituary was particularly poignant. Here's to hoping he's in a better place today. RIP.