Deion Sanders' Hard-Hitting Journalism
Man, the last thing I wanted to do today was write a second-post-in-a-row about Pacman Jones. But reading this morning’s Tennessean article, which recaps Part Two of Pac’s interview with Deion Sanders, I can’t help myself.
Listening to sports radio and reading the comments and blogs about this interview and Pac’s recent apology, the general consensus seems to be, “Well, he’s saying all the right things…let’s see if he can back it up with his actions moving forward.”
Here’s my response to that: "That’s crap!"
1. I don’t think he’s saying all the right things. He's not saying the right things at all. If you look closely, read the context, you can see that he's hedging...he's trying to say the right things, but he's really still making excuses. Here’s my favorite excerpt:
"I just hope they forgive me for the past. I am not pointing my finger at anybody; I take all the blame for whatever the incidents are. I have surrounded myself with a lot of bad people."
Do you see what he did there? He said, and I'm paraphrasing, "I'm taking all the blame. But it was the people around me that did it...not me." "I'm taking all the blame, except that I'm actually transferring that blame onto my crew."
Now, some might defend him and say that 'surrounding oneself with bad people' is, indeed, a mistake...and he's taking the blame for not having used better judgment with his friends.' Okay. Maybe. I think that's giving an awful lot of credit to a guy who hasn't shown one ounce of remorse through two years and 10 run-ins with the law.
More importantly...do you honestly believe that it was his friends...his crew...that caused every single problem? What about the spitting on the woman thing? Pac did the spitting, right? Or was there a second spitter? What about making it rain? Whose idea was that? Who actually threw the bills in the air? Was it 'the people he's surrounded himself with?" Or was it Pac himself?
I'm also just not buying the "I've surrounded myself with bad people" argument on principle. Just because you have thuggy friends doesn't mean you have to listen to them or do what they encourage.
Look at the Vegas incident. Do you think Pac's crew got together and had a pow-wow and then came to Pac collectively and said, "Dude, we think it'd be cool if we spent the evening down at a strip club. We could make it rain, bite some ankles, you know...the usual." Do you really think the evening was Pac following his crew's lead? Or is it more likely that Pac wanted to go to the club and the crew came with?
I've never been famous or had an entourage, but I'm pretty sure that the famous person is calling the shots, not the cronies.
I do not, for one second, believe that Pac is anything but the ring-leader of his posse. I also do not think that slyly blaming your friends is in any way taking responsibility for your actions.
2. Second favorite excerpt from the Sanders interview:
"I know they can't forget the past; you can never forget. But you always, always, always have to forgive."
Love it! Love it when people who have clearly and publicly screwed up play the "forgive me" card WAY before they've proven any remourse or shown any evidence of having learned a thing. And he uses the word 'always' three times!! He must be serious. Forgiveness may very well be something everyone should do more, but it's only made tougher when the offender is the one preaching about how we need to forgive his offense.
Dude. Not everyone knows your Cadillac. I don't. Now...maybe on the street on which you live...everyone knows your Cadillac. But don't make it sound like you can't drive anywhere in Nashville without people pointing and saying, "There goes Pac and his signature Cadillac." If you passed me on the road you would be just another dude with a nicer car than me. You are not universally famous.
See this is where his problems start. He thinks he's The Man, and has for some time. Over-inflated sense of self-worth...of your own popularity.
4. Final favorite excerpt. Pac, on advice to new rookies:
"Get a relationship with God, because there are a lot of things that are going to be this and that, this and that. You will have a hundred million people coming up asking for jobs. You will have 40-50 relatives that you don't know, that say they are your first cousin. You will have two or three girls saying 'Oh yeah you got me pregnant.' You will have the other two that think you owe them something because they bought you an outfit in high school."
This quote is actually better titled "Things People Said to Me that I Ignored." Anyway, Pac...geez, I'm so sorry. I hadn't realized it was so tough to be a first-round draft pick and have millions of dollars. Oh...and girls don't come up to you with pregnancy claims if you weren't at some point in your life sleeping around. Not judging those who are sexually active...just saying. And I've known plenty of non-famous people who had the same problem.
I know that this is true...that when a person suddenly becomes rich, people come out of the woodwork. I get it. That happens. But it's not an excuse, man. Pac is phrasing it as an excuse.
Oh--also...people might be less inclined to hit you up for some of your cash if you weren't carrying $81,000 sacks of bills into strip clubs with you to throw in the air (but not actually give to the dancers). I mean...if there's a better signal for "I have money to burn" than that...I don't know what it is.
Okay. I'm done. Sorry so long. This apology act is even more infuriating to me than his previous bad behavior. Just say, "I'm sorry. I have screwed up...a lot. I know it'll take time, but I'll make it right. I'm just so sorry." Then act straight for a while. No need to throw in all the filler stuff about your posse and the perils of being rich and famous and all that crap.
I'll close with one last quote from Pac's interview:
"Everybody can say Pac this and Pac this and when is he going to learn. The only thing I can tell you from this day forward, watch my actions and watch the people I surround myself with."
Uhh...Pac? We've been watching your actions and how you carry yourself from day one. Just so you know. That's how you're in this mess. (Oh, and Deion...add softball to the list of sports at which you excel).