Saturday, December 29, 2007

the real ohio hero: maurice clarett. (and a short adendum about OJ Mayo)

Having just returned from Ohio, I thought it was time to reflect on an Ohio sports hero. No, not LeBron James. I am talking about Maurice Clarett.

I became obsessed with Maurice Clarett sometimes in the late summer of 2006, actually, right when I got my bike (this is when he re-entered the news). [when i had my first ER visit, in a state of morphine high, i was shit talking about maurice clarett to the orthopedist as he was sewing up my keee, and he said: 'i grew up by maurice clarett', and i said, 'me too!' and it turns out me and my ortho-resident were a town over from each other and we knew one of the same people. weird.]

Anyway, who is Maurice Clarett? It is a sad story, but here it is in brief.

  • So Maurice Clarett was this ass-kickin' Ohio Buckeye football player.....leading the team to a national championship in 2002.
  • Stole a car or something in '03, got released from OSU, and then tried to go pro...but you can't go pro until 3 years after high school graduation, so he tried to sue the NFL ... and lost.
  • Then he moved to LA and some rich guys had him living in a mansion, driving a BMW or a beamer, and apparently hooking him up with trainers and obscene amounts of grey goose. (There may or may not be ties to the Israeli mafia here....I kid you not)
  • Except, he wasn't really training, and instead was just drinking lots of grey goose. Apparently he fired his trainer cause he was embarrassed running on a high school track.
  • He was way out of shape at ran a really slow 40 yd dash for tryouts, but i guess the Denver Broncos still picked him up from the draft.
  • He showed up to training camp 20 lbs overweight and wouldn't go anywhere without his water bottle of grey goose and would say: "gotta get my goose on" in the weight room.
  • He got in arguments with the coaches and tried to get the general manager to fire the coaches, before he had a contract.
  • He was somehow signed a contract but released a month later for attitude reasons.
  • Then what? Back to Ohio! He almost signed with this indoor football arena team in Steubenville. Now, have you ever heard of Steubenville? I'm guessing not. I had a friend who lived in that town, and shit, its in the sticks. But I guess that indoor football arena team wouldn't even take him, so he signed to a minor league indoor arena football.
  • Then he was picked up by the police in august of '06 with 4 firearms, a hatchet, and grey goose near his new babies house. Apparently he (and his new child) was getting death threats...maybe from all the people in LA who were trying to collect...mainly the Israeli mafia? This is unclear
  • A very interesting version of Maurice Clarett's story is right here. I encourage all to read. He had a pretty good relationship with this ESPN writer, and this is a pretty crazy account.
According to a Youngstown, Ohio newsource:
[fyi: there is a big mafia in y-town.]
Maurice Clarett's choice to outsource his organized crime needs to an Israeli mobster has some in the local mafia concerned. In this story reported by ESPN, Clarett was apparently bankrolled by an Israeli mobster while waiting to enter the NFL draft. This alleged organized crime figure gave Clarett a place to stay on the beach in Malibu, CA; a car and picked up his expenses in return for 60% of his rookie salary once he was signed to an NFL team.

Local crime figure Joey "The Fish" Baccala, President of Goombas Local 317, said the local Youngstown mafia was hurt by Clarett's decision to seek services from the foreign crime organization. "You have good, hard working men right here in Youngstown that could have looked after the kid," the mobster stated. "But he chose to outsource that work to the Israelis. Why? The services our organization provides are just as good as those found overseas. Once again, a foreign competitor has been allowed to enter the American market and use cheap labor to undercut our wages. We need a level playing field if we are going to compete."

Baccala said the services the Israelis provided weren't enough to garner 60% of Clarett's rookie contract. "Are you kidding me?" Baccala asked. "We could have put the kid up at Northside Willie's two bedroom trailer on Mosquito Lake and offered him his choice of any Cadillac he wanted from Tommy Two Times used car lot in Campbell. And we could have gotten him a piece of the action on that eastside paving job. Our rate for setting him up that good would have been no more than 25%. What's so great about Malibu anyway?"

Asked if the local crime organization could do anything to help Clarett now, Baccala replied, "What are we? Second choice? The way things are going now the kid won't even end up playing indoor football. There's nothing on the table to deal with. Fuggedaboutit."

You know the economic situation is bad in Ohio when even crime is outsourced.....

Now, let's talk about OJ Mayo. [He is not from Ohio. He is from Huntington, WV. I had a boyfriend from Huntington, WV once. And I guess I kinda-sorta dated someone else also from Huntington, WV. I know what are the chances...two people, one tiny town. I also dated someone from Whitesburg, KY. So, when people ask me what my "type" is, I tell them, "Appalachian." (pronounced with a short 'a') But enough about my boring love life, we are talking about OJ Mayo, who is from Huntington, WV.]

So, who is OJ Mayo?
  • All-star basketball player who has been "known" since he was in 7th grade.
  • Apparently instead of going to the big-name basketball schools, where he could have easily gotten recruited, he decided he wanted to go to USC, so he could be in LA...where he could become famous. Of course, why not UCLA, as they actually have a good basketball team, you ask? Well, he wanted to *make* the team big.
  • He had a friend go talk to the USC coach, like just walk in his office. The coach thought it was a joke and when he tried to get OJ's number the guy said: "OJ doesn't give his number out. He'll call you."
  • It was not a joke and OJ called the coach the next day and gave him a verbal commitment to join the team. He also said: "don't worry about recruiting. I'll take care of it."
  • OJ wouldn't give his number to the coach, and would just call him every 6 weeks to check in. Then he came to USC to sign, and brought with him a documentary film crew. Awesome.
  • Here is a good article about OJ Mayo.
Well, I don't mean to clump OJ Mayo with Maurice Clarett, considering it doesn't seem like OJ Mayo goes to practice with grey goose or is tied up with the israeli mafia. [So I am sorry OJ. I bet you are a good guy, I seem to have a soft spot in my heart for people from Huntington, WV...and I bet you are totally reading my blog, cause I am pretty famous.]

I just bring them both up cause they are crazy stories.
This post has no point and I have no overall theme about the amount of money in football/basketball or comments of fame and fortune or a discussion about how Ohio rules. I just think those are two fucking crazy stories. People in Ohio really like their sports teams. My hometown, Barberton (MAJICS!) is crazy about high school football. Shit, on May Day people in Akron burn couches and flip over cars...


Grey said...

yeah, and you've been recruited by local cycling where's your doc film crew? huh?

at least walk into montano velo with your digital camera or something!

~m said...

all my documentaries are done in mime

Anonymous said...

Beth are you being recruited by Eddie D and the Y-town boys to be the new sporting megalith in the bay area?

Anonymous said...

Steubenville is one backwards place, but not as much as Barbertucky (the purple house always scared me). I think Ohio in all is a little out there. Have to love the home of DEVO though. Go Tribe

Beth said...

annon #2- WHO are you? You must be my friend given that you know about barbertucky and mentioned one of my three akron, ohio facts:
1. first AA charter
2. rubber capital of the world
3. home of devo.

this christmas i learned another interesting akron, ohio fact- the first perfectly spherical marble was made there. (i.e. the first mass produced marble factory was opened in akron; before that all marbles were handmade, and thus not perfectly spherical.)

Anonymous said...

I am a born and raised crakronite now living is SF and working at Tartine Bakery. I was linked to your blog through I have really been enjoying your posts, although all of the talk about ohio has made me quite homesick and missing Swensons or Barberton Chicken. Thanks for the info on the marbles. It may also interest you to know Akron is the birth place of many things: the first produced breakfast cereal, US toy factory, graded school system, balloon tire, artificial fish bait, and of course the home of Jeffrey Dahmer. Maybe you and I should combine our powers and begin an Akron historical support page??

Beth said...

annon- I love Swensons! Ever since I went vegie, I think those burgers with brown sugar in the meat is what I miss most! I went there over break, and they added a garden burger to the menu...and girls too now run out ot the cars. Interesting Ohio facts; my high school history teacher graduated with Jeff D at Glen Oak HS.