NBA All-Star Weekend: 5 Observations and a Plea for More Barkley
In the spirit of full disclosure, I feel like I should tell you that I chose not to stick around Houston for the NBA All Star Game and it's peripheral festivities (up to and including the transformation of the Galleria into some kind of three-story clown car on Saturday) this past weekend.
Think about these changes, NBA.
As a broadcaster/media member, I was "off duty" for the weekend, and as a human being I didn't really feel the need to gravy train my way into a bunch of parties and tweet pictures of myself with celebrities acting like I actually hung out with them for longer than the four seconds it took to snap the picture.
I did enough of that at the Super Bowl two weeks ago.
However, I did watch all of the events that mattered on television over the weekend, and have a few observations:
5. The biggest celebrity in the Celebrity Game on Friday was Ryen Russillo's bald spot
The first event of the weekend involving a basketball took place on Friday evening at the George R. Brown Convention Center, as a couple dozen of the most obscure names to qualify under the banner of "celebrity" went to battle in what always qualifies as two of the most awkward hours of television all year. And after forty minutes of B-level hip hop artists destroying (or attempting to destroy) the kid from The Hunger Games with Queen Latifah looking on (read that again, and then imagine my self-loathing after watching the whole fucking game), all anyone wanted to talk about was ESPN radio host Ryen Russillo's ample bald spot:
@ryenarussillo5 POINTS!!!You're rather terrible, Russ.And you need that spray can "hair" for your head.Embarrassing— Matthew Brauner (@mattbrauner) February 16, 2013
.@ryenarussillo Got the over, but the story coming out of this is going to be the hair. It might be time to say goodbye to yesterday— Andy(@adrewzak) February 16, 2013
@ryenarussillo you looked just like ginobli out there. Bald spot and all— George Jung (@DJGeorgeJung) February 16, 2013
Just to be clear, I've actually met Russillo before (at the Oklahoma-Notre Dame game in Norman this past October) and he couldn't have been a nicer guy, but I dredge up these tweets because (a) every talk radio host who was jealous that Russillo was playing in that game was ecstatic to see that he's been hiding that wide-open space on his scalp for the handful of years he's been on television (His radio show is simulcast on TV on ESPN2.), revealing a seeming level of denial that we all have about something, and because (b) Russillo, as it turns out, is physically an amalgam for about 98 percent of us in sports talk radio -- a little pudgy, a little bald, a little awkward, and very white. It was like we were watching ourselves. (To be clear, if that was me, I'm not sure I liked what I saw; I hope Russillo doesn't ever make a sex tape, my confidence will be shot.)