Sorry to be in the mood for trivia…
If you think slamdunks can be detrimental to your career, just ask Tony Allen of the Boston Celtics. According to Mark Murphy of the Boston Globe, "[a]fter scoring a career-high 30 points against Denver on Dec. 15, he averaged 21 points on 55.7 percent shooting and 5.5 rebounds during a seven-game stretch from Dec. 29 through Jan. 10. The latter date is infamous. That's when Allen attempted a gratuitous dunk after the whistle and tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee." This is the second serious knee injury in his career, and no one knows if he will ever regain the explosive athleticism with which he had earned a place in the Celtics starting line-up. If he doesn't, he will be just another earthbound, undersized, under-experienced shooting guard, the last thing the Celtics, or, for that matter, the NBA, need. His career is very much up in the air as he endures a long rehab.
But Mr. Allen has it easy compared to George Tenet. You see, Mr. Tenet, if you will believe him (and I see no reason not to do so), has already seen his entire career go down the drain, all because of a silly slamdunk. And it only happened because that vice president of the errant shooting eye mangled his metaphor (IT WASN’T EVEN A REAL DUNK!) beyond all recognition. Oh, I can just imagine Mr. Tenet protesting, to no avail, with Mssrs. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Mme. Rice, indeed anyone who would listen, including the president himself, that his remarks were being misused in the prosecution of a policy with which he vehemently disagreed. And because of this, five years later, he finds himself unemployable. No wonder he feels compelled to resort to this confessional, to launch a career as a vice-president critic. I cannot wait for the book.
Yes, I feel for Mr. Tenet. I feel for him so much, that I will not begrudge his keeping that Presidential Medal of Freedom that was so graciously draped around his neck by the president himself. After all, if Mr. Allen is going to get to keep his $1.87 million for 2007-2008 whether or not he ever plays another game in the NBA (even though he has no one but himself to blame for his latest misfortune), then surely Mr. Tenet should be allowed to hold on to a mere tin-star keepsake from his glory days in the White House.
And thank you, Stephen G. Esq., for lending me Bambi vs. Godzilla by David Mamet. I can actually hear faint echoes of Mr. Mamet's voice and even politics (Mr. Shallow, that's my name) in this admittedly aeasthetically inferior piece of scribbling, I do.