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2/6 - Bill Belichick is Japan's Post-Modern Headache

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The Man in Blak




Finding myself in between albums at the moment, I threw Cowboy Bebop: Blue into the mp3 player and spun through it on a particularly chilly commute into work today. My college roommate might have summed up Cowboy Bebop best when he said that "it's an anime that doesn't realize it's an anime." By integrating open-handed homage to Japanese detective stories with science fiction and excessive spaghetti western pastiche, Cowboy Bebop is the ultimate postmodernist anime and the soundtrack provided by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts is no different. Where else will you find deliciously overwrought power ballads sharing the stage with various jazz poetics and a straight-as-an-arrow orchestral rendition of Schubert's Ave Maria? Just a fantastic soundtrack.




Apparently, the national sports media found a b-side to it's human interest blockbuster, "Let's Keep Talking About How We Shouldn't Talk About Black Coaches", in the story of one Ted Johnson, a former linebacker for the New England Patriots.


Johnson, 34, suffers from such severe depression that some mornings he literally cannot pull himself out of bed. When the crippling malaise overtakes him, he lies in a darkened room, unwilling to communicate with his closest family members.


The 10-year NFL veteran believes his current state is a direct result of a career in which he absorbed "countless" head injuries, including back-to-back concussions suffered within days during the 2002 season, when he says the Patriots didn't give him proper time to recover.


You'll never find me demeaning or belittling somebody's struggle with depression (perhaps, one of these days, I'll "treat" everybody to discussion of my own personal experiences with the ailment) and the fact that Alzheimer's disease may be right around the corner for the former player is undeniably a somber outcome for Ted Johnson and his family.


But, even though I generally have a disposition towards giving Belichick the benefit of the doubt, the timing of Johnson's testimony is somewhat unfortunate. When you couple the timing of this startling revelation (right before the Super Bowl) with reports that cite he was willing and ready to return to the team this year, Johnson's claim seems a little bit like a vengeful jab at a coach and organization that might have turned the linebacker down for his own good.


That's not to say the claim is without merit and/or relevance; the spectre of Andre Waters' suicide still lingers around the NFL's rear-view mirror. But, sometimes, the delivery is just as important as the message and, fair or not, there is a hint of sensationalism about this news. Let's find out more information before we take our turn at the soapbox, shall we?



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