Aaron Doster, USA Today Sports

Gallant: The People That Make Me WANT To Hear Ray Lewis

His speech was insufferable Saturday. But these talkers are worse...

MAD Radio
August 06, 2018 - 6:35 pm
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Have you ever used a word so much that you killed its gravitas?

I sure as hell have. Whether yapping through a radio mic, being a blowhard on television, or unleashing keyboard fury on the mean internet streets, I think I’ve singlehandedly murdered the word “fraud”.

The 2017 Tennessee Titans and the 2018 Seattle Mariners were my main accomplices in wrecking that word. Bless their hearts, because they couldn’t help it. After all, they’re actual (googles synonyms for fraud) impostors; teams with decent records . . . and not a whole lot else.

But those are just two minnows in the Paul Gallant “Sea of Frauds”. I am OBSESSED with the word - just check my twitter history – and use it FAR too liberally.

“Classic Pawl, and typical LIBERAL media.”

“There goes that yankee vampire boy sensationalizing again.”

“Rachel Maddow works for 610 now?”

I don’t know why using the word “fraud” gives me such a pants tent. Maybe I have a tiny brain. Accidentally hitting my head on something at least once a week doesn’t help either (this actually happens). What I do know? I’ve got to be a tad more selective when I use it.

Why? Two words. Ray Lewis.

Words cannot begin to describe my annoyance for this NFL legend turned speaking in tongues charlatan. Every time that wanna-be-televangelist opens his mouth, my face contorts into a spiraling vortex of despair, ultimately resulting in me devouring my own head.

You know, normal stuff.

I knew that Ray’s Hall of Fame acceptance speech Saturday would be a never-ending non sensical humble brag. So I didn’t watch. (I figured Deadspin would give me all the bullet points and spare me from accidentally walking into a 3 hour cult service, and they delivered!)

Instead, I pondered on this. Who could possibly make me WANT to listen to Ray Lewis?

5. Legendary Filibusters

When you think about it, Filibusters – prolonged speeches that obstruct progress in a legislative assembly - are actually pretty impressive. I always felt taxed after the incoherent, attention span-less stream of consciousness known as Gallant at Night on SportsRadio 610. And I was only talking for 3 hours over a 4 hour span.

Then I read about former US Senator Strom Thurmond. Strom successfully filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes in 1957 in an attempt to block civil rights legislation. Pretty bad look in retrospect, but the act of speaking that long? Impressive.

How did he do it? First, he dehydrated himself “so his body could absorb fluids without his having to leave the Senate chamber for the bathroom.” That makes absolutely no sense, but hey, commitment!

Second, he got an assist from Barry Goldwater by yielding the floor to him for a few minutes so he could tinkle. If he had to go again? There was a bucket set up in the coatroom for him to use. Assuming he kept one foot on the Senate room floor, he could drain the sea monster and maintain the Senate floor!

From a human feat perspective? Incredible. But for anyone watching this in its entirety, it must have been torture.

4. Pycelle from Game of Thrones

[Spoilers]

GET ON WITH IT GEEZER [hurls a tomato].

What angers me most about Pycelle is that he too was a legitimate fraud. This fossil pretended to be incompetent in his old age so that no one would ever feel threatened by him. Imagine listening to this wind-bag slowly dally through his words at Small Council meetings . . . knowing all the while that he’s actually on top of it.

That’s why this is one of my favorite scenes of the series. Old mossback never saw those post-millennials coming.

3. The Speakers at Syracuse University’s 2011 Commencement

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. My last weekend of college produced quite the headache. And it wasn’t even caused by a last hurrah of binge drinking! (Editor’s note: FAR from a last hurrah)

“Classic Pawl, glorifying binge drinking.”

“THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN.”

How many people remember Billy Madison’s verbal essay about the Industrial revolution?

Well, one of the top graduates of the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications – you know, the best communications school in the country [cough, cough] - gave this exact speech. Just replace “The Puppy Who Lost Its Way” with “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”. The major difference: instead of a synopsis of the most important advancement in human history, we got advice on how to succeed in life from a yet to be employed 22 year old!

By the way, the weekend speeches would only get better! For some reason, Syracuse thought it would be a good idea to start commencement at 9 AM. Young and still intoxicated Paul – annoyed that he had to sit through TWO graduation ceremonies in less than 24 hours – hydrated appropriately for what was sure to be a torturous ordeal.

Sadly, that was water.

J. Craig Venter – one of the leading scientists of the 21st century for his numerous invaluable contributions to genomic research (nerd) – seemed like a decent choice to send us bright eyed and bushy tailed whippersnappers into adulthood. And then, he opened his mouth, giving us the exciting pep talk we all needed!

“The earth is dying, baby boomers killed it, sorry.”  

YEAH! LET’S CRUSH LIFE! Thanks J!

Meanwhile, the class of 2012 got Aaron Sorkin. You know, the TV show writer who creates dialogues where all of the characters sound like they’ve chugged a bottle of 5-hour energy while snorting things. Something tells me I would have enjoyed that. THANKS, BOEHEIM.

2. The Uncomfortably Long Wedding/Funeral Speaker

EVERYONE has encountered this at least once. I don’t have a ton of experience on this earth. But after going to 9 weddings last year…

“Humble brag, congrats on the friends Paul.”

…I’ve got one MAJOR takeaway. If by chance you find yourself giving a speech – at a rehearsal dinner, a wedding, or even a funeral – you better be in and out in less than 4 minutes.

You might think you’ve got it all planned out. You wrote out an 8 page speech in size 16 helvetica font with double spaces. You’re going to be the talk of the wedding! You’re totally NOT going to get stage fright and veer off said script, rambling incoherently as you nervously sweat through your largely unflattering rental clothing.  

Do you think you’re Dave Chappelle? Or perhaps General George S. Patton? Guess what! You’re not. In fact, you’re probably extremely fucking boring!

Don’t be the poor prattling father of the bride who loses everyone’s attention 9 minutes into his 26-minute baby girl report (I’ve witnessed this). No one understands your inside jokes. No one is impressed about your friendship resume. And most importantly, NO ONE THERE cares about you. At all. Today is all about marrying/married/dead person X, Y, or Z. Get in. Get out.

1. Brock Osweiler

I once asked former Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler if there was a theme to his interceptions. It played out like this.

And then, I never asked Brock Osweiler another question. The End.

Paul Gallant hosts “Mad Radio" - Mornings 6-10 CT with Mike Meltser and Seth Payne -  on SportsRadio 610. He also hosts SportsZone Unfiltered - Fridays at 10 PM - on The Kube: Channel 57. Get in touch with Paul via email or his facebook page. You can also get after him on twitter.