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August 31, 2015

LeBron James Really Needs a One Hour "Special"... He REALLY Does!

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Jul 8th 2010 3:00PM
LeBron James For those of you not up-to-date on the comings and goings of basketball warlock LeBron James, ESPN will be airing a one-hour special focusing on him tonight at 9PM ET.

What's the "special" about, you ask? A chronicle of his freakish career? A montage of highlights? A story about LeBron teaching a quadriplegic how to dunk? Nope. None of those. Unfortunately.

No, tonight at 9PM ET, we'll finally know which team LeBron will be on. That's it. Information that you will inevitably be able to decipher by looking at his shirt will be the subject of a one hour television "special."

Here's a list of things I care about more than knowing which team the NBA's most high-profile free agent will allow to pay him zillions of dollars: toothpicks, a rake, fresh produce, Justin Bieber, anyone else named Justin, caroling, TV shows about dancing, Redbook magazine, knock-knock jokes, and math ... among others, and this event will contain none of these elements (except, hopefully, the Biebs). So why is this being called a "special?" So special, in fact, that they are officially dubbing it 'The Decision.' Is something special when you hear about it everyday for a year and a half? If it is, then I'm waiting to see the hour-long show about my inconsistent love making.

I see what LeBron and his handlers are thinking: it's already a circus, let's go the extra mile and turn it into a freak show! Why? Because we can. Because more people will tune into this than Obama's oil spill address. Because of the environment. Because Brett Favre has made a living doing it. Because sports is so much less about competition than it is about drama these days, and since we don't have drama, we can manufacture some. Because we'll donate all the ad proceeds to charity. Because the U.S. is out of the World Cup. Because people will write seven consecutive sentences beginning with the word "because."

I get all that, on a fundamental level. It's part of what makes our culture such a bittersweet nectar: on the one hand, 'The Decision' is the most grotesque example of self-aggrandizement and self-importance in recent memory. It's obnoxious, really. On the other hand, it's the coolest, most impressive turn of events in recent memory -- to have the power to essentially say, "Hey, I'm going to be taking a monster dump tonight, ESPN, what say you do an hour-long special about it? Maybe even have Stuart Scott do a touching story about why it stinks."

There was a time when a television event was a dude landing on the moon or Steve Urkel changing into Stefan Urquelle, now anyone with a hint of notoriety can stop the world with the most ridiculous and insignificant "news." For LeBron, anything short of an actual 'Bachelorette' parody featuring a rose ceremony with himself and the short list of team owners will be a let-down. Somehow, the postmodern acknowledgement of how gaudy this entire endeavor is would give it some ironic charm. For everyone else, we'll watch it, almost reluctantly, to be able to say we watched it, letting the fact that LeBron hasn't won a game that matters since he left high school, slip through the cracks.

My biggest beef with this whole fiasco is that it's being billed as a television "event." All that does is diminish the cultural value of actual television events (like the ones I mentioned above). Much like 'The Real Housewives' series diminishes the actual value of life by glorifying their own nightmarishly shallow and petty problems, 'The Decision' will set the bar one notch lower, and before we know it, we'll be watching a three part mini-series about Justin Bieber's next haircut.

Dr. Vaughan teaches English/Media/Humor courses at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and he sees you looking at him! What?! You can also check out his blog at drvtv.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Ryan-Vaughan/21931402981

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How do you manage to take something I would normally brush off and make me all angry about it? I am about to start a petition on saving the integrity of the word "event".

July 08 2010 at 11:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lizzie's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

People need to direct all their real anger into insignificant things. It's much healthier to go off on a rant about dudes wearing Crocs, than to kick your dog because of the environment.

Does that make sense?

July 09 2010 at 9:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who???? He definitely does NOT need a special - this just inflates his already to big ego. How will his head ever fit into a locker room?

July 08 2010 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Darren's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

I'm sure he'll have his own private locker room.

July 08 2010 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Atticus Draco

>I'm waiting to see the hour-long show about my inconsistent love making.<

You've had sex enough times to fill an hour?!
A webisode for the successful time at doin' it?

Great write up Doc,, i agree with what you say up there

July 08 2010 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Atticus Draco's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

They actually just show the same three, 2 minute clips on a loop until the hour is over

July 08 2010 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bravo. I especially like the piece on the dump and the 3 part mini series of Justin Biebers hair

July 08 2010 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lonjones1's comment
Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously)

I would DVR LeBron taking a grumpy, fo sho!

July 08 2010 at 8:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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