- Rick Reilly, Columnist, ESPN.com
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OK, listen up! The reason I've gathered every single member of every American sports posse, cru and entourage here is to say one thing:
What are you hammerheads thinking?
You're a disgrace to hangers-on! Posses have never been poorer! We've got a whole bunch of newly-minted NFL millionaires about to start hiring and you guys are useless as a prison travel agency!
I'm talking to you T-Bone and FlipCup and Cool Ride! You get to live in the mansions, drive the Lexxes and sleep with the cast-offs in exchange for one, simple service: Keeping your superstar athlete from ending up in the next 50-million-hit YouTube video. My God, you A-Rod guys are practically lighter fluid! Really? You let him kiss his reflection in front of a photographer? I don't care if that's how he starts his morning!
So, everybody get your hands up. We're going to say the Pledge of the Posse. Repeat after me:
I collect all cell-phone cams!
This is Rule No. 1. Ask Michael Phelps. You go to the party, find a back room, put The Man in it and nobody gets in with a cell-phone camera. I don't care if Phelps was smoking oregano in that bong, how does a photo end up in News of the World? How does Matt Leinart in a hot tub with four hot girls get out there? My God, Ben Roethlisberger has more party photos in cyberspace than Kappa Alpha Theta. I don't care if Penélope Cruz wants an autograph, she's not getting in with a camera phone!
I always drive!
Who drives in Entourage? Turtle. Do you know why? Because Turtle doesn't have an $80 million contract with a morals clause. So why, then, one night last year, after a really bad game, was Carmelo Anthony driving by himself, over the legal limit, at four in the morning, when he was arrested and charged with DUI?
Why was Charles Barkley driving himself in Phoenix when he was pulled over for running a stop sign? What does Chuck do? He tells a police employee that if he'll just let him off the hook, "I'll tattoo your name on my ass." Now you and I and the employee know that Barkley's butt probably already has 12 helpful names tattooed on it so that's never going to fly. Are you guys called Cru Thik or Brain Thik?
I don't take nights off!
The Man goes out, you go out. Explain to me how former Broncos punter Todd Sauerbrun had to take a cab in 2007 then got arrested for slapping the cabby in the back of the head, all because the radio was too loud. Are any of Sauerbrun's entourage here? Oh, wait, that's right. They all got pink-slipped because Sauerbrun's out of the league. Nice work.
How about this one? Padres pitcher Jake Peavy gets arrested for mouthing off to police after double-parking in front of the Mobile, AL., airport—so he could drop off his bags—and getting lippy with the cop. Where were you? Pro jocks are not built for everyday life! Look at this headline: Astros pitcher Brandon Backe gets arrested in a brawl while in Galveston for a wedding. Hello? I don't care if you have to pretend to be an ice carver, you should've been there.
I carry the gun!
I mean, really, can somebody please tell me why Plaxico Burress had the gun in his sweat pants? Anybody? Look, we all know Plax. He's Barney Fife. You can't even give him one bullet. He'll shoot his foot off. If The Man is stupid enough to want guns around, you've got to get your permit and you've got to carry it. Unloaded, of course. Because the only people that are going to get shot is you guys.
And I don't want to hear the old, "We didn't even know he had one with him!" excuse, like Niners receiver Brandon Jones tried. When he was with the Titans he was arrested at Nashville International Airport with a .32 in his bag. He said he was in a rush and didn't realize the gun was still in there from target shooting practice. That's a clear violation of …
I pack the bags!
And for you guys who handle John Daly, that includes shirts. And make sure he wears them, especially when there's a camera crew around. If we have to watch another YouTube video of Daly's 73 % body fat percentage swinging a driver without a shirt on, we're sending you the psychotherapy bills.
Look, last year Oscar De La Hoya fired 10 of his entourage. A couple years ago Ron Artest axed six of his best friends. A lot of superstars—like LeBron James—are letting their marketing companies hire and pay their entourages. What are you dropouts going to do then, get a job?
Now get out there and loiter!
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Hey, NFL bonus babies! Make sure your new entourage follows these simple rules.