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Enough of the Forced Apologies, Reggie Bush, Rashard Mendenhall, Andrew Bynum

Wthe immediacy of modern technology, it is way too easy to write something or disseminate information that will be regretted about 3½ seconds later. (Please see: many of the other articles I have written.) Imagine if the requisite hackneyed apology existed throughout history. Nero: “Perhaps in retrospect, I probably should have done something else but play a lousy musical instrument while Rome burned to the ground.” Ivan The Terrible: “I got a bad rap. It’s not like I chose that nickname.” Attila the Hun: “I’m sorry for my actions. This is not how a barbarian is supposed to act.” Fortunately for these figures, immediacy of communication was a little spotty. Perhaps if there were YouTube clips of the Massacre of Novgorod or CNN footage of the Battle of Châlons, then things would have been different. (Feel free to Google the references.) Anyway, the recordings would be grainy. Flash forward to the present generation, where actions are posted and relived on the Internet before the left brain has had a chance to figure out what the right brain just did.

Sports figures give modern society innumerable chances to teach lessons to others by repeatedly completing the sentence, “See what happens when you…” To break it down into perplexes and oh no’s, the general playbook of athlete stupidity usually reads the same way: 1) Commit Stupidity 2) Wait for public backlash 3) Make heart-felt/gun-in-the-back apology at the request of media/PR person 4) Enumerate the number of people and entities you’ve let down and how you’d like to learn/move on from said foolishness and no longer answer any questions on the topic so as to not revisit the past (where have you gone, George Santayana?).

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Reggie Bush on Twitter: ‘It’s Been Fun New Orleans’ After Mark Ingram Pick

My first thought after hearing the New Orleans Saints had drafted running back Mark Ingram was “so much for Reggie Bush.” Apparently he was thinking the exact same thing. Not long after the selection, he sent off this blast on twitter:

And just like that, a new catch phrase was born. Bush was set to make nearly $12 million in the upcoming season so the team was going to ask him to take a paycut anyhow, but now with such a crowded backfield (the Saints also have Pierre Thomas), it just makes it more clear that New Orleans is moving on.

To say Bush was a bust with New Orleans is like saying JaMarcus Russell is chubby. The Heisman Trophy winner* was supposed to be the next superstar when he entered the league. The Houston Texans were ridiculed for passing up the seemingly superhuman Bush in the draft, but they turned out to be right.

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Reggie Bush No Longer Listed as Heisman Trophy Winner on Heisman Website

When Reggie Bush forfeited the Heisman Trophy, I was curious to see how the Heisman Trust would handle his name in the record books. Would they list an asterisk by his name and explain that he forfeited the Trophy for being ineligible that year? Would they wholly strike his name from the list? I thought such an action would be extreme and that listing an asterisk would be the proper way to address the situation. I checked the Heisman site on Tuesday after Bush made his announcement and there was no change to the list. Returning a few days later to see if an adjustment was made, it appears as if the Heisman Trust took as strong a measure as possible — they’ve completely wiped out the 2005 year from the Heisman list:

Like I said, I think an asterisk would have been more appropriate to explain the situation. What do you think was the right thing for them to do?

Reggie Bush Wisely Giving Back Heisman

One of the hottest topics in sports won’t be debated for much longer now that Reggie Bush has decided to forfeit the Heisman Trophy. We’ve touched on this issue many times before, saying it’s the right thing to do. The premise is simple: Bush was an ineligible player and non-compliant with the student athlete bylaws. Giving back the Trophy does not mean Bush was not the best player in the country that year, it just means that he can’t have the highest individual honor because his actions off the field took it away. Here’s a portion of the statement Bush’s lawyers/P.R. people wrote for him:

“But I know that the Heisman is not mine alone. Far from it. I know that my victory was made possible by the discipline and hard work of my teammates, the steady guidance of my coaches, the inspiration of the fans, and the unconditional love of my family and friends. And I know that any young man fortunate enough to win the Heisman enters into a family of sorts. Each individual carries the legacy of the award and each one is entrusted with its good name.

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Returning Bush’s Heisman Won’t Change History But Is Right Thing to do

A move many of us figured was coming before too long finally happened on Tuesday. USC athletic director Mike Garrett was replaced by Pat Haden who promised to “compete ferociously but also ethically.” Haden’s first order of business is to patch up the public image of USC after the Trojans suffered numerous hits within the last several months. On top of all the gaffes by Lane Kiffin, the school was punished by the NCAA for multiple violations mostly related to O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush. Now, new school president Max Nikias isn’t messing around:

“I have instructed the senior vice president for administration to remove athletic jerseys and murals displayed in recognition of O.J. Mayo and Reggie Bush by mid-August – before the incoming class of students moves on campus – from Heritage Hall, the Galen Center, and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Nikias also said Reggie Bush’s 2005 Heisman Trophy will be revoked and returned to the Heisman Trophy Trust in August.

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Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian Breaking Up Again?

For the past three years, one of the NFL’s power couples have been Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian. Though most of the talk two years ago had to do with Kardashian planning on marriage, the couple has hit a rocky road recently. Kim K’s schedule has apparently been busy due in large part to the taping of her popular TV show — Keeping Up with the Kardashians — while Reggie is out of town frequently because he plays for the Saints in New Orleans. Then there was the whole mess where Miami chick Carmen Ortega said she and Reggie were messing around. The latest reported issues between Bush and Kardashian comes courtesy of Radar Online:

The high-profile couple split temporarily last week, as Kardashian flew to Miami to shoot her sister’s reality television show, while Bush spent time in New York, shooting a calendar. But sources say the separation could be more serious.

Bush was spotted at hip New York City nightspot 1Oak, at Robin Thicke’s 33rd birthday party where “he was flirting up a storm,” according to an onlooker. He spent the majority of the night with an unknown brunette and talked for an hour straight, said the source.

Uh oh, Reggie’s been chatting up another chick! Alert the gossip rags! It seems more and more that their relationship is nothing other than for show. Then again, aren’t most celebrity couples just that? It would probably do Bush’s psyche well to be done with Kim so his dating life wouldn’t be public business. While being with Kardashian raises Bush’s profile off-the-field, the dude is still one of the most popular faces of the NFL and he’s making $8 million from the Saints. Unlike Khloe’s wifey, Bush doesn’t need a Kardashian to be popular. He shouldn’t sweat it.

Sources:
Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush Headed For Splitsville, Again [Radar Online]

Reggie Bush, Saints Inspired by ‘Bring the Wood’ Baseball Bat

The Reggie Bush that showed up for the Saints on Saturday in their playoff game against the Cardinals was unlike any other Reggie Bush we had ever seen. This Reggie Bush ran north-to-south, into tacklers, and over tacklers in a physical style. This Reggie Bush sought contact and played with the aggressive, inspired style we’re used to seeing from guys like Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew. Combining the new attitude with Reggie’s speed and shiftiness yielded a dynamite MVP-type performance from Bush. So what was the cause of the new play? Some inspiration provided by coach Sean Payton in the form of an inscribed Saints baseball bat that Bush carried with him onto the field:

[The bat] was a present from head coach Sean Payton. Every player got one during a team meeting on Friday. Payton had these words emblazoned on the barrel of each bat:

“Saints vs. Cardinals. Jan. 16, 2009.”
“Bring The Wood!”

Bush said after the game that the message on the bat fired him up: “Just like the bat said, ‘Bring the wood!’ I brought the bat out because it represented to me who we are and who we were going to be today.” While it’s somewhat sad to think that Reggie needed a pep talk and inspirational bat to finally play with a physical style after nearly four years in the league, I’m glad that Bush finally figured things out. Now the challenge will be to keep that attitude up for an entire season. If he can, then he’ll be closer to living up to his hype entering the draft in ’06.

By the way, anyone else think Sean Payton got the idea from John Harbaugh? Just a thought …