By Bryan Jeon
This is a rebuttal of everything Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski has to say about Tracy McGrady‘s latest comments on the unsafe conditions of holding next year’s All-Star game in New Orleans in “Shut up and play, T-Mac.” I have also heard several ESPN analysts speak the same mind as Wojnarowski, but I choose to attack specifically the latter as I have his argument on paper. You might want to read Wojnarowski’s article before continuing if you are unfamiliar with the topic at hand.
From the getgo, Adrian (I will use his first name from here on out to to acknowledge my friendly skirmish with a columnist and because his last name’s long and annoying) blasts T-Mac for not representing the U.S. team in the 2004 Athens games despite $1.5 billion spent on security. Since when did the amount of money spent stop the war on terrorism? The U.S. is on pace to spend $456 billion on the war in Iraq by September 30, 2007, and you can tell we are really winning that war. So Adrian, before calling T-Mac a selfish baby, put your money where your mouth is and go take a vacation on the streets of Baghdad for just one week since we have so much “security” over there.
As for New Orleans, I think people across the nation generally have the correct view of the city being one of the most crime-riddled cities in the U.S. In fact, New Orleans has been consistently ranked in the top 5 annually among large cities in the U.S. with the most crime since the 1980’s so I feel that Adrian has a slightly different perception of the home of the Mardi Gras.
He suggests T-Mac go to All-Star weekend next year, where the events and activities throughout the weekend are as much fun for the players if not more than the actual game itself (or so the players say), play in the All-Star game and then stay in his hotel room for the rest of the 3 days if he is so scared for his safety. Please Adrian, let’s not make a mockery out of something that is not. On average this year, there has been a homicide in New Orleans almost every other day and NBA All-Star weekend only adds to the violence, as recently witnessed in the hoopla surrounding the surge in violence in Las Vegas when the players were in town. And to make the point that police forces and such will be more ready to handle the nightlife in New Orleans than in Las Vegas is to be naive and selfish himself in giving a city an honor without even delving into possibly serious consequences. And I do mean selfish because he believes he is doing right by giving this festive weekend to a city in need when the city might actually be better off rebuilding internally. It is times like these that unfortunately, I feel the only way people can learn is to let them do what they want and experience the deaths and suffering first-hand after ignoring the hints and forecasts.
So let’s just say there are 3 homicides in the 3 days the players stay in town. Not unreasonable with a slight surge in violence due to All-Star weekend. I agree with Adrian that it is highly unlikely one of those deaths will be an NBA player. I do want to add that he stops there, not caring for a death of a normal person because they’re just a local resident. So Adrian, let’s just let the officials investigating the scene for next year’s event do their job, and you should take some time off to enjoy the weather in Baghdad.