I feel like we have just witnessed a real-life game of “Chutes and Ladders” played by two of Miami’s biggest sports stars.
“Chutes and Ladders,” of course, is the classic “up and down” board game many of us played as kids. Hasbro’s description calls it a game of rewards and consequences. Players’ good deeds allow them to climb ladders, but players are sent down chutes as punishment for misbehaving.
Our contestants: LeBron James and Chad Johnson.
The Heat star wins an Olympic gold medal to pair quite nicely with his NBA championship and season and Finals MVP awards. Syracuse (and Olympic assistant) coach Jim Boeheim said James might be better than Michael Jordan. And LeBron’s teammate Dwyane Wade says, “I think we will see a better LeBron now, scary to say. The monkey is off his back. He doesn’t have to worry about what he hasn’t done.”
As LeBron was being gilded in gold, the Dolphins’ former Ochocinco was being arrested for allegedly head-butting his newlywed wife in a domestic incident. In an ensuing flurry the Dolphins cut him (his firing, supposedly in private, splayed across Hard Knocks), his planned reality-TV show was canceled, a sponsor dropped him and his wife filed for divorced. And how was your week!?
Chutes and Ladders.
One star climbing. High.
Another star falling. Hard.
• Heat star Wade’s annual four-day fantasy basketball camp for men 35 and older ends Sunday at Loews Miami Beach. For a mere $12,500, you, too, could have heard Dwyane pretend he is amazed by your mad court skills.
• Upscale leather-goods company Ghurka is a coming out with a new men’s handbag inspired by James. It will be big enough to carry an NBA trophy, a gold medal and the adulation of millions.
• Answer: Kobe Bryant’s wife told New York magazine, “I certainly would not want to be married to somebody that can’t win championships.” Question: Why do people seem to not like Vanessa Bryant?
• The Patriots signed Olympic silver-medal sprinter and former Gators star Jeff Demps. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady getting better is like Donald Trump winning a lottery.
• Super Bowl champion Giants coach Tom Coughlin has a new book out called, Earn the Right to Win: How Success in Any Field Starts With Superior Preparation. Because all the even duller book titles already were taken.
• NFL announced Mariah Carey will perform before the Cowboys-Giants kickoff weekend game. Which would have been exciting news if this was, like, 1992.
• The NFL’s lockout of game officials continues in a labor dispute. I feel bad for Ed “Guns” Hochuli, but only because he’s the only official whose name I can think of.
• Seattle signed Terrell Owens. Seahawks coaches had been concerned the team lacked distractions.
• Isn’t it about time for Rex Ryan’s annual laughable, ill-fated Jets Super Bowl guarantee?
• The NFL will now require any fan ejected from its games to complete a four-hour online course designed by a psychotherapist to re-enter a stadium. That, or just get a buddy to buy the ticket in his name.