Wednesday, August 1

Shaq's Big Score

Shaq Fu, we salute you!Two months ago, I wrote a snide comment about Shaquille O'Neal's new reality television show, a show which purported to show Shaq helping six young kids go from obese to fit.

After all, I reasoned, isn't it a bit hypocritical for Shaq - who's notorious for not getting into shape until the playoffs appear on the horizon - to teach youngsters how to work hard?

Well, color me corrected. I'll admit that I got hooked on the show, and watched most of the episodes, and from that small sample, I can honestly say that all the bloggers and columnists who teased Shaq about this idea owe him a great, big obese apology. Because if you watched the show, you saw that O'Neal cared about the kids, and, more importantly, cared about the epidemic of overweight kids that plagues the U.S.

There are plenty of writers who sit back, do nothing, and criticize someone who tries and fails. Well, Shaq saw a problem, thought he could do something about it, and succeeded. If it's just the six kids that improve their lives, that's success in and of itself. But if 600 or 6,000 kids get the message, that's even better. And if educators and administrators and parents across this country smell the frying bacon and wake up to the fact that they are doing a grave disservice to their children and students by providing them with fast food and a lack of physical activity, that's even better still.

Kudos, Shaq, on a job well done.

21 comments:

Dave said...

And kudos to you for being a stand-up guy and happily admiting when you're wrong. on the other hand I definitely sold him short myself, was it really so hard, his previous endeavors in the media have been Kazaam! Good work Officer Diesel

TheBigO said...

It's good to see someone go back and admit when they were wrong, however I doubt Shaq readfs this blog. Just sayin.

Paul Merrill said...

I doubt Shaq reads.

Anonymous said...

Why? Because he's black?

Steve said...

Quick question - do we know what the sonics odds are of staying in Seattle right now, are they any brighter?

Paul Merrill said...

Why? Because he's black?

No, because he's a dumb-ass. Have you you seen his movies? No literate person would have agreed to be "Kazaam".

I'm sure he's a nice fellow, but he just reminds me of that dumb gangster in that old Bugs Bunny cartoon who keeps getting shoved into the oven.

"Hide me too! Hide me too!"

montana mike said...

I thought that

Wadswerth said...

that shaqfu game sucked, it sitting in a box with my old sega.

And i would have agreed to be kazaam with the money he was given for it.

phun fu said...

shaq is a nut..lol..big goofy nut..just think how much fun he has with his own kids around the house..

Anonymous said...

Shaq got his degree and I believe said he was going to start on an MBA.

Anonymous said...

Shaq rocks. And I don't know why you think he's dumb, I don't get that impression at all. try to see through his voice and demeanor, he could come off that way because he talks so slow and such.

Nuss said...

I think that 90% of what we see from Shaq is an act. He figured out early on that letting his personality out in the press would just get him ridiculed, so instead he gives monotoned, one- or two-word answers. As crazy as it sounds, his mundane replies are actually very smart.

I have immense respect for the guy. He seems to have a huge heart, has respect for other players, both present and past (remember how he paid tribute to George Mikan when Mikan passed away a couple of years ago?), he's still married to the same woman (Kobe's negative claims to the contrary), and he just seems to have fun, something all too infrequent in professional sports these days.

Nuss said...

Also, should Shaq or his agent see this after Henry Abbott linked to the story on TrueHoop, please note that it was PAUL MERRILL who said you don't read, not me. He lives in Ballard, Washington. Just look for the extremely pale guy with black-framed glasses.

Oh, wait, that's half of Ballard ...

Anonymous said...

Wow. I found this site through espn. The writer and some of the people who left comments are amazing...in the same way that shitheads are amazing.

Anonymous said...

previous comment about shithead was by me - somehow it appears to have been posted as if from NUSS.

Jimmie said...

People call Shaq dumb, but the man has a masters degree, a record label and clothing line (no it's not the Shaq shoe at K-Mart). Not to mention he had a platinum records, movie deals (Blue Chips was a great flick), video games. Extremely intelligent, and he doesn't get the credit he deserves. A true pop culture icon. This is coming from someone who doesn't like Shaq the basketball player...well only when he was on my Lakers :P

Anonymous said...

i love the haters:

simply because for all of their hating - what are they doing with their own lives, other than going through the motions every single moment of not doing any revelant and most of all vital...

shaq's big challenge worked well despite attempting to squeeze so much time into a rather limited format of telling a nine month story in half a dozen episodes. however, the concept worked because of shaq AND his supporting cast. but in this culture - the haters seem to have large issues about so-called 'superstars' attempting to go beyond their 'category' and do something that offers insight and a bit of wisdom.

yes - well know how shaq has struggled with his weight problem throughout his career, but at the end of the day he has accomplished much more in his given life than the haters who can only sit on their fat asses and do nothing but whine and throw about their insignificant snide attacks against everything that doesn't make them happy...

my wife and i enjoyed shaq's big challenge, and found inspiration in the show's subject matter. and the show wasn't a useless show like 'american idol' and 'dancing with the stars'(both shows showcase distraction...)because anyone with a brain can see how this culture continues to cultivate overweight children out of apathy and out of a morbid need to create useless drama surrounding 'health issues'...

and for the record - for all of the haters throw down on shaq, why are you haters as influential and as motivated to be influential as shaq has become throughout his career...? oh, i'm sorry, i almost forgot:

haters never ever prosper.

thanks goes out to shaq for being shaq and not some over glorified 'superstar' a la a michael jordan.


Osa (osa2332@hotmail.com)

Amr said...

I didn't realize that 14% body fat is considered over-weight. The accepted range for body fat in a male is between 9-19%.

I think people need to realize that the guy is extraordinarily muscular, which translates to a heavier body mass.

The BMI calculation is not really applicable to guys like Shaq, Lebron, Karl Malone, who are built like tanks.

You'd be suprised to see how many stars are considered over-weight based on their BMI calculations.

Nuss said...

That's a great point amr - I remember reading last year how half the guys in the NFL would be considered overweight/obese because of their overall heft. Obviously certain systems have there limitations.

My original trouble with the series wasn't Shaq's weight - it was his repeated non-efforts during the summer months to stay in shape. He knew that the Lakers would always make it to the playoffs, so he didn't see the need to bust his rump for six months when he didn't have to. I wasn't the only one calling him out, Phil Jackson did it plenty of times as well.

Regardless, he proved he's a stand-up guy and someone who cares about people other than himself.

Amr said...

I agree completely, Nuss. What I got out of this series, more than anything was Shaq's genuine good nature. Unlike MJ, LeBron, Kobe, etc, who have manufactured personalities, Shaq has a likeability about him that appears very real.

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