Writing is hard. Writing on a deadline is especially hard. I don’t envy reporters who have to file daily or even weekly, because some days, the mental pen runs dry and there’s not a hell of a lot you can do about it.
So I almost wanna give Dan LeBatard a mulligan on this article from last Sunday’s Miami Herald, entitled “Miami Heat’s 3 Live Crew has rapper Campbell jazzed” (which would have escaped me entirely, but for a tweet from @scharpling). Look, it’s the summer and who can concentrate on writing, especially in Miami? Maybe he just decided to throw a bunch of crap in one piece, hope to connect the pieces, and move on.
But when a writer does verbal contortions to connect Luther Campbell to LeBron James, I can’t let that go uncommented upon.
LeBatard’s premise: By joining the Heat, LeBron has proved himself a rebel and provocateur, much like Luther Campbell did when he “shocked” America in the late 80s/early 90s. Yup. Here’s the money quote:
Rebels and pioneers and villains create many emotions. Indifference is not one of them.
LeBatard tries to tie Campbell to LeBron by several unstable threads. For one, he tries to compare the completely over-the-top and tone deaf introduction of LeBron and Chris Bosh in Miami to the Miami Hurricane teams of the early 90s.
Campbell was at the center of those epic and hated University of Miami football teams that changed college football’s landscape from marching bands and sis-boom-blah to something a lot more fun and envied and despised and different. It was an insane time and an insane team, a controversial rap star on the sidelines, putting cash bounties on Notre Dame players as the violent and fast Hurricanes team he cheered devoured college football with the kind of teeth and hunger you see when piranhas are feeding.