Deadspin’s Will Leitch links to a story claiming Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya sucked the big one in the World Series because of a jones for Guitar Hero 2. I suspect this report is a cover — Zumaya doesn’t want the hyper-sensitive Jimmy Leyland to know he’s been playing that Columbine Massacre video game. But that’s no big thing compared to author/journalist Jeff Pearlman’s take on Leitch’s recent happy hour audience with John Rocker.
In the course of our day together seven years ago, John and I stopped at a school for special-needs children somewhere outside of Atlanta. From the looks of it, the place didn’t have many financial resources, and Rocker’s appearance was probably the highlight of the year. Teachers oohed and aahed, kids went crazy. Upon our arrival, the two of us went into a back office, where an administrator explained to John that as he entered the gymnasium, they would play Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock.”
Rocker nodded, did his thing, spoke (well) for five or 10 minutes, then returned to the office. With nary a flinch, he grabbed the CD, grinned and said to the overwhelmed administrator, “Y’all don’t mind if I have this, do you?” Then he left.
John Rocker is right. I am a liberal Jew from New York with an agenda. I have two African-American nephews who I want to grow up in a world indifferent to the color of their skin. I have gay friends who deserve the same love and respect and legal protections as everyone else. I don’t condemn people for not speaking English, just as I don’t condemn Rocker for speaking moron (OK, that’s a cheap shot, but it sure felt good).
If nothing else, at least we’re now up to speed on the biggest threat to Georgia’s cash-strapped public schools ; moochers who run off with the Twisted Sister CD’s. On behalf of the Peachtree state’s future leaders, I beg educators and administrators, don’t allow Chipper Jones to slink off with the Kix albums. They’re an important part of the curriculum.