Sports Extra – According to 19th century German leader Otto von Bismarck: A journalist is a person who has mistaken their calling. Outraged columnists might recall athletes’ less than impressive attempts at crossing over into popular culture.
Longtime NBA center Shaquille O’Neal starred in the film “Kazaam” in 1996, looking like a poor man’s version of genie from Alladin. Instead of an antique lamp, O’Neal emerges out of a magic boombox to grant a boy three wishes. Shaq did somewhat redeem himself with the 1990’s rap hit Outstanding, a motivational rhyme on young adolescents reaching their potential. However, there is irony in the song: his album basically sucked.
Gallery: Sports Personalities in Pop Culture
Shaq is joined by other sports personalities. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar fought Bruce Lee in “The Game of Death.” There was Roy Jones, Jr’s song Ya’ll Must Have Forgot. We’re supposed to. There is Dancing with the Stars and a host of current or former athletes dressed in pimped out, cocaine-snorting, 1970’s disco suits: Floyd Mayweather, Jr, Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin.
There is boxer Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines: his record albums, and his lead in the 2010 movie “Wapakman,” a super hero with the combined powers of Spiderman, Superman, and Batman. Not even the Pacman’s athletic prowess could rescue a movie flop from the abyss. After the fourth day of screening, the film grossed all of sixty-seven thousand dollars.
Then there was Jim Lampley’s infamous Ricky Martin remix of Bang, Bang, Bang! during the Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey fight in March 2010. Television viewers were left wondering if this mid-fight outburst represented sexual innuendo or a Texas gun duel. Or simply a way to interrupt fellow commentator Emmanuel Steward.
1990’s Rapper: Max Kellerman
Then there is Lampley’s colleague, HBO’s Max Kellerman, the other guy who annoys Steward during pay-per-view broadcasts. Surfacing from the archives is a 1990s rap single Young Man Rumble featuring Max (then a bald, necklace-wearing rapper) and brother Sam. [ video ] The Columbia University grad, now aged 36, has been a hip hop fan for years, and the rap duo was signed by Columbia Records in 1994.
Unfortunately, brother Sam was killed in 2004 by boxer James Butler. Max now hosts 710 ESPN radio in Los Angeles, moving to LA from New York for the gig. He is also a regular commentator on CNN on topics involving sports.
Audiences are spared “Bang Bang” Lampley discussing the war in Iraq.
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