Playing the Field: Stevie Johnson’s lyrics and Michael Vick on the Today Show

Stevie Johnson.
AL BELLO/GETTY IMAGES

The worst hip-hop gimmicks of all-time typically involve wannabe’s rapping about sports. And while I understand that if Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson randomly started dropping homicide references in his latest single with The Game, Roger Goodell would personally show up in Orchard Park the next day with a crowbar and duct tape, Johnson should be smart enough to know that Shawne Merriman shout-outs  in what is supposed to be a legit song, isn’t going to cut it in this day and age.

Sports are just too kid-friendly for the music world and there’s too much of a niche involved for a bona fide hip-hop artist to dedicate an entire song to jock activities. References once in a while are fine (“In Chi I’m Mike, Boston I’m Kenny” in What Means the World to You, “Do you like Steve Nash?” in Promiscuous Girl, “Not decided by who toasts led,’Cause all of us would be Angels for Pujols’ bread” in Hammer Dance).

But devoting an entire song to the buttoned-down sports world is the definition of lame. In an obvious attempt to be hip, CBS Sports tried to mash up it’s theme with hip-hop lyrics several years back. It worked for about two weeks in 2004, then got extremely annoying each and every Sunday:

The best route for Johnson? Talk about the struggle. Talk about the journey of making it to the NFL without constantly referencing “strapping on the pads” and “cleats” and the “50 yard line.” You’re smart enough to make that work. Maybe even take a subtle shot at Goodell. You might be fined a couple thousand dollars, but it would instantly improve your street cred.

It’s truly unfortunate that the hip-hoppers shy away from “the struggle” these days. Don’t they realize that the four biggest rap names of all-time (Tupac, Biggie, Eminem … Skee-Lo) all talked way more about the struggle of making it over the glory at the top (Hoe’s, bling, cars, drugs, late night show appearances)?

It’s okay to be humble, Stevie. On and off the field. Just never reference Shawne Merriman again in a song, or otherwise.

The Today Show is a joke

Will the Today Show please get its act together?

First they give Ann Curry a Conan-like exit a few weeks ago, then act like Savannah Guthrie is Mike Wallace in heels, then they interview Eagles quarterback Michael Vick Tuesday and show Jerrod Johnson highlights while speaking to him.

God, there really is nothing worse than morning TV. Fakes everywhere you turn.


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