By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Recently, Reggie Swinton, wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, was traded to the Green Bay Packers. It was a sad day for us. Not so much because Swinton was a good player, because he wasn't. No, we were sad to see him go because Swinton provided us with some of the best rap lyrics we've heard in a long, long time when he dropped Whatcha Gone Do? in February. And by that, we mean some of the worst lyrics we've heard. But whatever.
We're not sure how his Dirty South CD will play in the Klan-robe white Midwest. But we'll take a shot...
Intro:"I know what y'all think/He can't rap/He an athlete/Ain't no way he can rap."
Upside: They'll think he's Biggie Smalls if he can string two sentences together.
Downside: He can't. He can barely rhyme "rap" with "rap."
Lyric revision for Green Bay listeners: "I know you fellas are doubting me/But, golly, I'm swell."
"Southern G" (track 3): "'Cause I'm a P-I-M-P/Baby come and roll with me/I'm a P-I-M-P/Baby come and roll with me...Wanna freak with me?/Jump in the Jeep with me."
Upside: He can steal Jay-Z's line about "Big pimpin', spendin' cheese." They like cheese.
Downside: This one is gonna scare the crap outta the women folk.
Lyric revision: "'Cause I'm an O-U-T-S-T-A-N-D-I-N-G C-I-T-I-Z-E-N."
"Unstoppable" (track 8): "Y'all like cheap liquor/And I'm like fine wine/It should be a crime/The way your boy grind/See them numbers on my back?/That's your first sign/Get out the way, yo, Reggie Swinton's too fast/Quicker than a bullet or a lightnin' flash."
Upside: They're such faithful fans, they might even believe what he's saying.
Downside: The first time Brett Favre tattoos him in the head with a pass, he's in trouble.
Lyric revision: "Get out the way, yo, Reggie Swinton needs room to catch a pass/Seriously, I can't catch."
"Shake It Baby" (track 10): "Look at that dance flo'/Dawg it's full of hos/I can't take no mo'/I need a private show/Who want to make the dough?/I see a lot of pros/I'm in the mood for some freaky."
Upside: There's a good chance they won't know what he's talking about (because we're not all that sure, either).
Downside: They might see the word "pros" and think he wants to get "some freaky" from fat defensive tackle Gilbert Brown. Shudder.
Lyric revision: "Let's twist again/Like we did last summer."
"Whatcha Gone Do?" (track 11): "Whatcha gone do?"
Upside: People have probably turned off the CD by now.
Downside: They might not have.
Lyric revision: Whatcha gone do?/Probably get traded again.
Hey, Dude, You Owe Us, Like, $20
So, it was, like, Friday night, or maybe Saturday. Can't really remember. Not the point, anyway. Point is that this dude at the bar starts giving us grief because we're dissing the Rangers. Dude says the Rangers ain't that bad; they develop talent more than we think.
At this point, we freaked out. We bet the dude $20 that the Rangers were so bad you could field a starting team from players they've cast off, even if we just pick from players who were in this year's playoffs.
He said, "Cool, yer on."
So we grab the napkin that's under our Stoli 'tini, and we start writing down names. Granted, we had to move some folks around a bit. (Andres never played third, but he could, you know?) But overall, it was easy. Didn't even have to use Gabe Kapler. But then the dude realized that we were winning, and he left. So, dude, here it is. You owe us $20.
Stories of Failure
There are plenty of reasons why I ended up at the Dallas Observer, not the least of which is the result of my television career being a spectacular failure.
A few years ago, I was working at a midsize daily outside Philly. My buddy was the lead columnist over there--a fine writer and a good guy. He also did local high school sports on cable television. A few times, when he couldn't make it to the set, he asked me to fill in for him. The first two went smoothly, by which I mean that I blandly read copy from the teleprompter. But when ESPN didn't call with an offer, I figured I had to spice it up. The third taping was better. While reading a Springfield Cougars high school football highlight, I did a cougar imitation--growl, claws, crazy face, the works. Actually, it was a retarded growl--you know, "Rrrrowwwl." The cameramen fell against each other in horror.
That was the last time anyone offered to put me on television.
I forgot all about a TV career until the other day, when I heard about ESPN's "Dream Job"--a national competition that will award a gig on SportsCenter and feature the winner in a documentary, to be aired on the network, that will chronicle the experience.
"Whatever you do, don't do the cougar," NBC 5's Newy Scruggs advises me before I head out to Ben's Half Yard House, where the Dallas auditions are taking place. "And wear a tie."