On Derrick Rose, Chris Brown, And Black Men’s “Non-Existent” Pain

"Walk it off, little bitch."

“Walk it off, little bitch.”

As last season’s NBA playoffs intensified, I found myself rooting for Derrick Rose harder than I’ve ever rooted for any professional athlete. Defending him, even. Sometimes, I’d even feel my temperature rise when hearing or reading a criticism lobbed his way.

This by itself is nothing really worth mentioning. Rose is very popular and plays with an aesthetically pleasing recklessness and audacity that is completely unique to him. Of course I—an NBA diehard—would be a big fan of his game.

Except, well…

Derrick Rose is not one of my favorite NBA players. In fact, if I had to list the 20 or players I enjoy watching the most, Rose probably wouldn’t crack the list. I actually think he’s somewhat overrated.

Also, he did not play a minute of NBA basketball last season.

So, um, why was I rooting for him?

Well, in April of 2012, Rose tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. For an athlete, this is one of the scariest and most devastating injuries you can receive. For someone like Rose, a man whose livelihood is predicated on his ability to twist, torque, and explode off that knee, it would be especially harrowing.

Between surgery and rehab, it usually takes a year before you “fully” recover. And, “fully” is in quotes because, as long as I’ve been watching NBA basketball, I’ve never seen anyone recover completely from a torn ACL. Sure, players have returned and have had very productive careers, but no one has come back as quick and explosive as they were before.

So, Rose sat out the entire 2012-2013 NBA season. But, as the Bulls advanced into the playoffs—and as reports leaked that his knee was healthy enough to play—he became a national source of ridicule for his decision to not suit up.

“Man, that dude has no heart!!!” men screamed while sitting on their couches in their Dad’s old pajamas, smearing Cheetos stains on the universal remote.

“Derrick Rose is a quitter” others typed on message boards, moments before going back to XHamster.com and searching for Asian DPs.

“F*ck you, p*ssy!” some even screamed at him during games, shouting so vigorously that the rolls on their backs did the Wobble.

None of this surprised me. The sports world is a strange place, and strange things—like people questioning the heart of a kid who scratched and crawled his way out of the Southside of Chicago to become one of the best athletes on Earth—happen in strange places.

It did, however, reinforce the idea that athletes in general—and young Black athletes in particular—aren’t supposed to own their bodies. It didn’t matter that Rose repeatedly said he wasn’t physically or mentally ready yet. A doctor whose salary is paid by the Chicago Bulls said he was ready, so that nigga better play! F*ck how you feel, and f*ck your future. Get on the court, and help us fill up that arena!

You know, I thought about Rose yesterday when reading a piece at Jezebel about Chris Brown’s recent admission that he lost his virginity to a teenager when he was eight. (Eight!!!)

Titled Chris Brown Brags About Losing His Virginity When He Was Eight, it mocks Brown as the author wonders how he was able to turn “…a personal confession into yet another opportunity to showcase how unpleasant he seems.” If you think the author’s tone completely and intentionally glosses over the fact that if Brown was truly eight years old (Eight!!!) when this happened, he was raped, you’d be right.

Although Brown’s admission obviously is in a completely different ballpark than an ACL tear, the flippant reactions to both Brown’s story and Rose’s injury seem to come from the same place: Black men aren’t supposed to feel any physical, mental, or emotional pain.

You blew out the knee your career is dependent on? Who gives a damn? We’re playing the Clippers. You need to guard Chris Paul. You admit you had sex with a person twice your age when you were still at an age where some kids still think Santa Claus exists? You’re a Black male, and you’re inherently hyper-sexual. I’m sure you loved every minute of it, and I’m also sure that experience had absolutely no effect on your self-esteem, your self-worth, or your feelings about women. Go take another nude selfie.

The NBA season is a couple weeks away. The Bulls open up against the Heat. Lebron James is one of my favorite players, and I want the Heat to win. I do not want everyone who questioned Rose’s heart last spring to tear their ACLs while jumping off their futons to celebrate a vicious Rose dunk. But, you have to admit, that would be kinda poetic.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

How To Please Your Mate And Sh*t

"I'm sorry. I don't know why I can't stop farting. I think it's that coconut water."

“I’m sorry. I don’t know why I can’t stop farting. I think it’s that coconut water.”

1. Make decisions for him.

“Her planning an entire day with me knowing nothing about it. As someone who makes majority of the decisions this would be nice.”

2. Give him compliments.

“i think you look sexy when you clean the gutters….”

“Have you seen your butt when you take out the trash?”

“I love it when you can open jars.”

“my girlfriend called me handsome 3 months ago and it still makes me feel like a stud.”

3. Wash him.

“Trust me, it will wash the stress away, relax his mind, fill him with amazing thoughts, and fill him with deep appreciation.”

4. Provide him with sustenance.

“A DVD of Blazing Saddles and a BBQ chicken pizza.”

“I once said I want a caprisun when my girlfriend came home from a girls night. Now she brings one everytime. I guess remembering little things is what makes me feel great about her.”

“random Nestle Crunch”

“case of beer and a bag of potato chips.”

“Tacos. Like, I want to have a Saturday where we’re driving to the mall or something, and suddenly she pulls out a whole tray of tacos from under the seat and is all like ‘SUPRISE! TACOS’ and then we would eat tacos.”

“Muffins. Delicious home made muffins.”

“Chocolate cake and a bottle of whiskey.”

These quotes are from Jezebel’s The Foolproof Reddit Guide to Pleasing Your Mana collection of responses to a woman who wanted to do something nice for her boyfriend, and turned to AskReddit for men’s advice. As you can see, the quotes ran from the surprisingly mundane to the hilariously specific. (I’m not even a huge fan of tacos, but a taco surprise date would be one of the three best things that ever happened to me.)

Yet, they each had a common theme: Simple

I know it’s a stereotype that men are these walking, talking, and bleching tunnel-visioned nincompoops who don’t need more than pancakes and random dusk fellatio to keep us happy, but this is generally true. Somewhat misleading—these simple ways to make men happy only work if he’s already generally happy with the woman he’s with—but still true.

You know what else is true? Women are simple too. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. Women are complex and difficult and bipolar and unique and moody and volatile and nuanced and special and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But, when it comes to putting a smile on a woman’s face, I think we (men) have a tendency to forget that they love the same things we do (sex, occasional silence, surprise tacos, etc), but the path to mutual happiness could be as simple as “You hit the snooze button on her alarm this morning so she wouldn’t have to reach over you and do it. She’ll now be able to sleep 14 minutes longer than she usually does. This made her happy, morning happiness makes her horny, and now she’ll want to f*ck you.”

Anyway people of VSB, I’m curious. What little and “simple” things can your significant other do (or not do) to put a smile on your face? 

-–Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Oh, And About Assholes And The Women Who Love Them…

It happens at least once a season. Someone on a few high profile blogs or websites will state their particular take about the whole “women are attracted to assholes” thing, and, as was seen last week at Jezebel, The National Review, Male Fide, and Chateau Heartiste, each of the (combined) thousands of responses these articles will generate will fit into one of eight categories.

1. Women using anecdotal evidence to deny that women are attracted to assholes. 

2. Women saying that it is true…for young women and stupid women. Mature women don’t  fall for the same tricks

3. Women saying “It’s not that we like assholes, it’s just that “nice” guys are usually assholes in disguise. So, why not just deal with the real thing?”

4. Women reluctantly agreeing with the theory that asshole men are generally more attractive to women, and cursing God for giving them such predictable vaginas

5. Women happily agreeing that it’s true that women are into jerks. 

6. Men using anecdotal evidence to state that assholes don’t win. (i.e. “I’m a nice guy, and I stay swimming in ass, yo.“)

7. Men stating that assholes do win, and also saying that any woman (or man) who doesn’t agree is being dishonest.

8. Men stating that assholes win, and using this info as proof that women are generally f*cked up people, and also using it as an excuse for why their lame ass hasn’t gotten any p*ssy since Big P*ssy was still alive on “The Sopranos”

Where do I stand in all of this? While I don’t think that women are inherently attracted to assholes per se, I do believe that many of the characteristics that turn women’s panties into Niagara Falls happen to be possessed in abundance by men who happen to be assholes.

I do not think this is a coincidence, though. Men (and women) who happen to be at the top of the food chain are given more asshole-leeway. A 10 can get away with more sh*t than a 7 can. Also, since they’re used to people treating them like they’re the sh*t, they possess less incentive not to be assholes.

It’s funny, though. A part of me wants to believe that not being as asshole is the way to go, but both anecdotal and observational evidence doesn’t agree with that. Even from my own personal experience, I’ve found that being me, but an aloof, distant, apathetic, and (somewhat) mysterious me does actually work better than being an open and, dare I say it, “nice” me.

Anyway, that’s enough from me today. People of VSB.com, how exactly do you feel about the theory that women are generally attracted to assholes? Also, which one of the eight are you?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)