Playing the Field: Moment of silence for “Dark Knight Rises” victims

This 24-year-old aspiring sportscaster was senselessly murdered early Friday morning.

It’s a really slow news day in the sports world — mark your calendar, on July 20, 2012, the sports gods rested. Since that it is the case we’re going to pause, reflect and attempt to be serious for a (very brief) second. Don’t worry, we’ll be back with more locker room humor and fart jokes next week.

For now, however, we want to offer our condolences to those killed in that tragic shooting at a Colorado movie theater. Twelve people met their Maker early Friday morning when a crazed gunman opened fire at a midnight showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” One of those killed was a 24-year-old aspiring sportscaster named Jessica Ghawi.

Her last tweet read, “MOVIE DOESN’T START FOR 20 MINUTES.” Twenty minutes later, she was reportedly shot in the head.

In a bizarre, unintentionally related tweet — yet totally related — the American Rifleman, the official journal of the National Rifle Association, via Deadspin, sent out the following message, “Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?

If reading a dead person’s tweet isn’t macabre enough, read her last blog entry from her part-time gig over at Busted Coverage. Ghawi, who went by the pen name Jessica Redfield, wrote about how she actually cheated death in a Toronto mall last month simply by choosing a burger over sushi. Seriously, she escaped another deadly, Columbine-esque shooting by less than 10 minutes.

She writes: “An odd feeling which led me to go outside and unknowingly out of harm’s way. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being in the middle of a deadly shooting.”

One month later, she is dead. As she states in her blog, this latest tragedy is just another reminder of how “every second of every day is a blessing.” No one will know what the future had in store for Ghawi — maybe she was set to become the next Linda Cohn, maybe she was destined for a sideline gig, or perhaps she would have been forced to make ends meet by serving up java at the local coffeehouse. We’ll never know now. We’ll never know. Rest in peace.

NBA to sell souls – errr, put ads on jerseys

Boxers do it. NASCAR drivers. Soccer players do it. (Right, Bimbo?)

So it was probably only a matter of time before a real professional sports league decided to sell their souls and fill up their coffers by allowing potential advertisers to stitch walking commercials on their players’ jerseys. And who better to be the guinea pig/pioneer than … yep, you guessed it, David Stern.

The NBA commissioner has always been a businessman before a sportsman. He sees an opportunity he can exploit for financial gain and he exploits it, like Craig Ehlo trying to defend Michael Jordan. He can’t be stopped. And don’t read that as a knock, either. It was Stern who created the whole Magic-Larry mystique that revitalized the NBA in the 1980s. Stern also helped shape the original Dream Team and eventually had the entire world worshiping at the Cathedral of His Airness.

Still, it might sting the eyes a little the first time LeBron James races down the court and posterizes someone while a logo for the European Wax Center — yes, this is the No. 2-rated business in the Miami area, according to inc.com — lets everyone know that it doesn’t have to be a jungle down there.

Alright, so we had to lighten the mood somewhere in this space. We’re off for a shave, hopefully an endorsement deal to follow, have a good weekend.


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