The Weekly Tail ‘Gater – American Gangster in Tail ‘Gater Style

Mike Nanna

As the semester comes to an end, I want to make a few predictions and hand out some hardware to individuals who deserve to be called out in one way or another. To give this article a twist, I’ve decided to take a page out of the book of my favorite sportswriter, Bill Simmons, coupled with memorable quotes from American Gangster as I headline my deserving superlatives.

“My investigation indicates that Frank Lucas is above the Mafia.” This award goes to the most powerful person in all of sports, Scott Boras. Most columnists and fans alike have misconstrued the recent Alex Rodriguez saga to interpret it as a slap in the face of Boras and a blemish to his reputation. I see it another way. Upon closer inspection, Boras not only cost the Yankees millions of dollars but also insulted the organization by opting out of a record contract. Yet, he still found a way to get his client employed and paid handsomely through back door negotiations after the greatest organization in sports made a steadfast promise that it would refuse to restart talks. Did this really happen? Boras might not have had any other takers for his client but he still managed to get another record-breaking contract from the same team that looked ready to part ways with their star third-baseman. Throw in Warren Buffet and some Goldman Sachs Managing Directors and you’ve got a story that reeks of Boras as the master puppeteer. Don’t underestimate the most powerful agent in sports because we have certainly not seen the last of him.

“That’s a clown suit. That’s a costume, with a big sign on it that says ‘Arrest me.’ You understand?” This award goes to the athlete who has hurt his public image the most over the course of this year and so, this contest is not even close. Alex Rodriguez has been caught with strippers, making bush league plays and lying to Yankee fans. That’s not to mention those god awful highlights and lip gloss he loves to wear. Through all of that he will still end up richer than any player in baseball. Do you think that all will be forgotten by Yankee fans next year? If he wins another MVP perhaps, but if he struggles out of the gate, expect some tough love from the Bronx.

“It’s not in my best interest to say this, Frank, but quitting while you’re ahead, is not the same as quitting.” This award has to go to Shaquille O’Neal with Curt Schilling coming in a close second. The Big Diesel simply has run out of fuel and I think he should consider hanging up the sneaks before he ends up toiling away as a backup big man. Plus, the idea of Shaq more fully pursuing his police work in Miami makes me giddy. Has there ever been a more intimidating cop on any other police force? Do you think that Colgate students would be as rowdy and destructive if Shaq worked for Campo? Something tells me that fights at the Old Stone Jug would decrease significantly if Shaq was there to lay down the law when things get out of hand.

“The number one fear of people isn’t dying, it’s public speaking.” This award has to go to former Giants running back Tiki Barber for shooting himself in the foot more than any player in the media. Tiki called out his former teammates and coach, turned the public against him and essentially destroyed his promising broadcasting career. Who cares about Tiki Barber anymore? Had Barber thought twice about opening up, he would have avoided appearing silly; however, because he couldn’t hold back, he made himself out to look like a coward who quit on his teammates and then spit on them on the way out. Unfortunately, that is how this soap opera unfolded and now, Barber probably wishes he had kept his trap shut.

“I got Harlem. I took care of Harlem, so Harlem’s gonna take care of me.” This award goes to ex-Falcons quarterback Michael Vick because it is probably what he thought would happen immediately after he was arrested on dogfighting charges. Unfortunately for him, his Bad Newz buddies didn’t care to have his back when all three of his associates agreed to testify against him in the ongoing court case. Now, Vick is looking at a long sentence when he should be really be focusing on the NFL playoffs. As always, remember to never trust your lifelong friends who you dragged out of a terrible life and provided with houses, cars and bling. Wow.

“This is my home. My country. Frank Lucas don’t run from nobody. This is America.” This award goes to the unrivaled Brett Favre, who has proved his doubters wrong once again. Many writers and fans thought it was time for Favre to hand over the reigns to Aaron Rodgers, but Favre resisted the temptation and decided to pursue another elusive championship. After eleven games, that goal might just be in reach with his Packers playing some of the best football of his career. Considering how he has become better with age, where does Favre rank in terms of overall manhood? He overcame an addiction to painkillers, helped his wife through a fight with breast cancer, was a leader in the efforts to move past the destruction of Hurricane Katrina and is, without doubt, one of the toughest quarterbacks to ever play the game. At this point, would you put anything past him? If Brett Favre ran for president, wouldn’t you vote for him? If he caught Osama Bin Laden tomorrow, would it really be that surprising? Just something to ponder as you hit the books for the rest of the semester.