Recently on http://www.deadspin.com I read an “article” about the insanity that is former MLB MVP and six-time all-star, Jose Canseco:
Jose has recently posted an Interstellar trade and business plan via twitter that is sure to get the rest of the galaxy’s attention:
Thank God Dr. Canseco has been contemplating and planning on this topic, I’m sure Obama and NASA are putting together a strong “Comet-Star Taxi” initiative with Jose Canseco leading the way for us all. I can feel the entire country collectively sighing in relief.
This twitter rant reminded me of a Bill Simmons Mail Bag edition where ESPN’s golden boy initiated the “Tyson Zone”, in which any celebrity or pro athlete that was a special kind of crazy (like Jose Canseco) could be categorized. When a celeb/pro athlete has a great deal of success and follows that success up by reaching the lofty status of the “Tyson Zone”, they reach a point in their career where NO MATTER WHAT (good, bad or the other) kind of rumor or story you hear about that celeb or athlete, it sounds totally believable. We have to take into account 1) the level of super success before they went crazy, 2) their resume of crazy, and 3) the longevity of their careers (both successful and crazy). BONUS points if they were simultaneously super successful AND crazy.
“Did you hear Dennis Rodman wore a wedding dress and married himself this weekend on TV?”
–Yes, I believe it.
“Did you hear Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear off during the fight on Saturday?”
–Yes, I believe it.
“Did you hear that Michael Bay is going to remake CASABLANCA set in a post-apocalyptic, Mars colony war zone?”
–No, really? OK, I guess I believe it.
Obviously the “Tyson Zone” inhabitant in that last statement is not only Michael Bay, but also “Hollywood” in general.
Jose Canseco seems to be an easy addition now to the “Tyson Zone”, but I thought we should extend the exercise even further……..let’s really get into this discussion.
“The Tyson Zone”
1. Mike Tyson. Qualifications: The fastest rising Heavy-Weight Champ in boxing history, winning the WBC, WBA and IBF titles by the age of 20, instantly becoming one of boxing’s all-time greats. Nintendo created a boxing video game based on his rise in boxing, with Tyson himself as a contestant in the game. THEN reportedly after an incident at his house in Hollywood with his then-girlfriend Robin Givens, Tyson threatened, pushed and aggressively yelled at a relatively unknown 20-something actor, Brad Pitt. THEN, the conviction of rape and subsequently sentenced to 6 years in prison (serving 3 years). His release and conversion to Islam and then his comeback into boxing leading to the Holyfield ear-biting incident. THEN he got a tattoo on his face. THEN he became a one-man show on the stage, cracking jokes and telling stories to the world (directed by Spike Lee). ALL TRUE.
2. Michael Jackson. Qualifications: I don’t need to list them all. You all know them, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: underage kids, inappropriate photos, monkeys as pets, living in an amusement park named the “Neverland Ranch”, skin bleaching, terrible family problems, crotch grabbing, underage kids AGAIN, weird spontaneous death, all while making some of the best pop music anyone had EVER heard.
3. Dennis Rodman. Qualifications: Five-time NBA Champion, two-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA Defensive POY, seven-time NBA Rebounding Leader, NBA Hall of Fame inductee. Professional Wrestler ’97-’99, married Carmen Electra in ’98 in Las Vegas…divorced in ’99, after two other failed marriages Rodman married himself while dressed in a white wedding dress on live TV, which lead to many other TV reality appearances: Celebrity Apprentice (got kicked off the show), Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (didn’t get sober), Sober House (didn’t get sober and was kicked off the show). On January 15, 2014, Rodman again entered a rehabilitation facility to seek treatment for alcohol abuse. This came on the heels of a well-publicized trip to North Korea where his agent, Darren Prince, reported he had been drinking heavily and to an extent “that none of us had seen before.” Rodman has now also become good friends with N. Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, and states that he is a “great dad”.
4. R. Kelly. Qualifications: Won the ARC Award for Top Artist in the last 25 years, won 2 American Music awards, 1 BET award, 11 Soul Train Music awards, 6 NAACP Image awards, 2 Source Hip-Hop awards and 3 Vibe awards. In addition to all the awards, R. Kelly has been sued twice for sexual misconduct on women who were underage, Kelly’s been arrested 3 times, the worst of which was due to 21 counts of child pornography. R. Kelly never served any jail time, but has paid millions in defense lawyers and civil cases. He also recorded and released the most hilarious
Musical Production Music Video thing I have ever seen.
5. Jose Canseco. Qualifications: Six-time MLB All-Star, two-time World Series Champion, two-time Homer Run Champ and the MLB League MVP in ’88. In ’05 admitted to using steroids while also incriminating former teammates: Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Jason Giambi, Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez as fellow steroid users, and admitted that he injected them. Canseco also “wrote” a book about steroid use that reached the New York Times Best-Seller list in ’05. A second book revealing MORE players’ names affiliated with steroid use was written though NOT released in ’08 (the names of the players would leak to the public though). Reality TV appearances: “The Stripper’s Ball” Hosted by Jenna Jameson, cast member of “The Surreal Life” season 5, and “Celebrity Apprentice”. Canseco then started boxing on live TV against random other pseudo-celebs/athletes, the list includes: NFL Football player: Vai Sikahema, actor?: Danny Bonaduce, and kick-boxing legend: Choi Hong-man. Canseco is currently pitching a reality show based on his own exploits called “A League of His Own”, about professional athletes coming from small towns in America and making it big. Finally in 2014, Canseco accidentally SHOT HIMSELF in the left hand while “cleaning his gun”, losing his middle finger (ironic?).
I started to develop a second tier of the Crazy Scale calling it the:
“The Martin Lawrence Zone”
1. Martin Lawrence is an extremely successful film and TV actor and stand-up comedian with MANY accomplishments on and off the screen. He’s responsible for one of my favorite stand-up specials, “You So Crazy”, and one of my guiltiest pleasure movie trilogies, “Bad Boys”, “Bad Boys II” and “Bad Boys III – Electric Boogaloo” (not yet released).
Martin Lawrence ALSO did this: In July 1995, lashed out on set of “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate” and was hospitalized for exhaustion. In 1996 he was arrested after waiving a gun in the air at the intersection of Ventura Blvd. and Crazy-town, while screaming “They’re trying to kill me!!!”. Also in 1996, Lawrence was arrested at Burbank airport for having a loaded gun in his luggage. In 1997 he was sued by fellow TV co-star Tisha Campbell-Martin for sexual harassment, verbal and physical assault. Lastly, in 1999, Martin Lawrence fell into a three day coma after collapsing in 100 degree heat while jogging (reportedly he was wearing several layers of heavy clothing).
Most of his lawyers’ defense for these arrests consisted of phrases like this, “Mr. Lawrence was off his medication at the time of the incident”.
Matrin Lawrence brings a special kind of toned-down crazy to the second tier of the rating system, he seems to have figured it out now, but could blow again at any moment like a bad case of herpes. He’s one missed pill away from waiving a gun at kittens on the sidewalk yelling, “Have you seen my twitter page!?!?”
2. Courtney Love. Qualifications: Married to Curt Cobain, HUGE mainstream music success from ’98-’02 with her band “Hole” as well as becoming a well-respected indie-film actress. THEN Love struggled with massive drug abuse (mostly Heroin), being hospitalized several times for near-suicide instances and stomach-pumping endeavors. In ’04-’06 made several public TV appearances where she was most obviously intoxicated:
Courtney has seemingly got it together now, claiming to have been sober since 2007. She runs charities, she stays out of the public view for the most part, but just like Martin Lawrence she seems to be one bad day away from drunkenly flashing a window display at Macy’s.
3. Manny Ramirez/Pedro Martinez (put them together because they were teammates in crazy). Qualifications: Between the two of them, they have 20 All-Star appearances, 3 MLB World Series Championships and both are future HOF members.
Manny Ramirez was eventually deemed a “personality” in the MLB, which is public relations code for “Manny’s not right in the head”. He made weird plays in the field (usually involving him falling down or throwing the ball to the wrong base), he took plays off, never seemed to care at all about the game he was playing and overwhelmingly seemed like baseball’s version of “Side-Show Bob”. He was suspended twice for steroid use, basically told to eff-off by the Red Sox in ’08 and then tried to sell his BBQ grill on Ebay:
Pedro Martinez had a similar trajectory, most famous during his playing days for a bench-clearing brawl against the NY Yankess, while Martinez was a pitcher for the Red Sox. As things got heated between the two teams (as they always did back then), an all out brawl ensued ending with Yankees Bench Coach Don Zimmer charging onto the field after Martinez, leading to this:
Pedro also carried around a small Spanish man, in the dugout and locker room:
Both Ramirez and Martinez seem to be getting their life together in their own ways, Manny is STILL living the dream playing baseball on and off again in China. While Pedro has a cushy job on TBS as a baseball analyst where he gets to say things like this:
Who else should we add to the ever-growing list of CRAZY??? I’m accepting nominations now.
(honorable mention goes to Suge Knight, Andy Dick, Lindsay Lohan (and her parents), Gary Busey, Ricky Williams, Lenny Dykstra, Flava Flave, Hulk Hogan, EVERY rapper, Paris Hilton, The Kardasians, and Lamar Odom)