Thursday, December 4, 2008

All Bark(ley), No Bite? No Chance

There is nothing more annoying than watching sports or highlights or analysis, where the panel just rambles on about nothing and everyone tip-toes around pretending to be funny and insightful. Right now, there are a few refreshing people who constantly give good commentary and leave the nonsense at home (and that includes the Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth, Mel Kiper, etc. crap of acting as if they're incredibly smart and important). My favorite of the good guys is undoubtedly, Sir Charles Barkley.
Yes, Chuck, from time to time, says things that make no sense, or simply don't need to be said and is a degenerate gambler (hey, i've got just the answer!). However. Barkley gives you something that no one else on TV right now does and that is brutal honesty. He will say whatever he is thinking and whatever he wants, at any time, no matter what. This may rub some people the wrong way (like all the people of the nationalities he occasionally mocks), however this is GREAT for television and sports fans everywhere.

For instance, last week, he was outspoken about how Lebron needs to shut the hell up and stop his New York flirtation and keep his ability and focus in Cleveland. It's about time somebody addressed the on going problem of the league's marquee player openly checking in on his interest in the free agency market, two years down the road. But, that's an article for another day and I can't lie, I spend a lot of time thinking of Lebron's impending free agency and what might happen, but back to Barkley...

In an increasingly, politically correct world, everyone is walking on egg-shells and trying to avoid making the front page for any little slip up. And yet, every day Barkley goes out and just tells it like it is. Amen. And not only is Barkley outlandish and candid, he knows what he's talking about. He's knowledgeable and insightful on a consistent basis.

Another great thing about the best sports personality we've got is that he is actually funny. All over sports panels there is fake, overlaughing, but not with Barkley. He's funny. Seriously. If you find yourself laughing it's not because your TV has programmed you to laugh at crappy jokes from their analysts, it's because Chuck is hilarious. And this is without mentioning the commercials he does with Dwayne Wade which are tremendous (this has a lot to do with Dwayne also, he's great and deserves some of the credit).

Barkley is one of the greatest power forwards of all-time and will forever have a place in history because of his wide-ranging accomplishments on the court. But unlike many of his basketball peers, Barkley has been able to extend his usefullness off the court and make an impact on his sport long after he retired. I'm too young to have enjoyed his prime on the court, but you better believe that I won't be missing him now, in the prime of his career off the court. If you want some classic Barkley quotes, there's a great website giving all of his best quotes from a few years ago, it's high humor, yet only a small sample of comedy.

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