Posted by: toddzilla | December 19, 2006

Carmelo…Keepin’ it “real”

Carmelo Anthony is one of the youngest and most talented/promising NBA players out there.  He shouldered Syracuse and carried them to a championship then bounced for NBA early to play with the big boys…and he’s done good until the “Snitch” DVD.  Don’t snitch, son!  Or you will be straight-jacked!  If you see the gangs “handling their business” you better not say anything or you will be “handled” too.  Granted ‘Melo wasn’t in a starring role by any means, but if you hang around with dogs, you’re bound to get fleas.  Carmelo did manage to overcome that setback until this week.

Everybody knows about the melee and ‘Melo’s punch.  I can understand emotions getting the best of you…it happens.  The horse-collar foul was uncalled for and over the line and I can even see Carmelo dropping the punch.  It’s emotional out there and I’ve seen it many times in many sports, granted I don’t think it’s right by any means.  But the thing that gets me is that Carmelo had the gall to come on in an interview and talk about representin’ for the team!?!  Standing up for the team.  Watch the tape and tell me he isn’t spouting some bull.  The only “representin'” he did was getting the team a silver medal in sucker punching and the gold in the backwards 50-yard dash.  How you gonna say you’re standing up for the team and you drop a cheap shot and run backwards to the bench?

The concept of “keepin’ it real” and “man-ing up” is permeating popular culture and has become the warcry of the young male…and it’s a crock (forgive me for getting a bit into it).  What does it take to be a man?  You know what…who cares?  Turn it around and it sounds stupid…how about “what does it take to be a woman”?  Its a dumb concept.  Don’t try to be a man…try to be a brother to those around you.  Sorry ladies, but I just don’t hear enough of you ranting about keeping it real and “woman-ing up” so I’m going to bias this column to the guys.

So what does man-ing up mean?  What does keeping it real mean?  It means hiding behind some facade of toughness to cover your fears.  In some cases it even means hiding behind a gun or something else.  Being a man has little to do with how you handle yourself if you think you’re being disrespected and it definitely doesn’t come from anything that you can hold in your hand.  The world is going to disrespect you and no matter how tough we may seem on the outside, we all have fears.  If you need to sucker punch somebody or bust a cap in them to show how tough you are, then you are letting your fears control you.

What does it take to be man?  Well I don’t know yet, but I’m learning a little more every day.  I think a big part of it involves thinking about your actions and how they reflect on you.  Because I do know that part of being a man is having others that depend on you and that should be a lot of pressure…that is if you’re man enough to care.  I’m not going to get into a rolemodel discussion, but just stop and think about it…who is depending on you right now?  How do you feel when you let them down?  Does it hurt?  Well that’s part of being a man.  What are you going to change to keep from letting them down again?  That’s another part of being a man.  I guess being a man involves making mistakes, realizing that you have fears, and learning from those mistakes, so that those who depend on you can learn and won’t have to make the same mistakes.  What are you going to do when you get disrespected?  I guess that depends on who is depending on you.


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