Monday, August 13, 2012

Honey Badger's Character

I'm a few days late on this, but before I commented, I wanted to hear more reaction via the universe's cultural epicenter, i.e., the Paul Finebaum Radio Network.

Honey Badger.
Smiling for the camera.
Yep, Honey Badger got caught (again) smoking weed. My favorite Les Miles quote: "We extended ourselves to the full length of the policy." Only Les would put it so succinctly and so unintentionally hilarious.

Weber over at has a very similar take to me, so I recommend checking it out. Don't read anything by people who disagree with me. They are fools.

But where I get all wound up in the craziness was listening to hours of conversation Friday and Monday with everyone - adults, mind you - referring to Mathieu solely as "the Honey Badger". He really had become a cartoon character, funny name and all.

Yet in the middle of all it's grand lunacy, isn't it a bit ridiculous that was how everyone referred to him? ('Everyone' is a loose term. But probably over 85%.) Kind of reminds me of the whole month I had to hear the words "tea bag" on the radio. Still can't believe that became part of standard radio nomenclature.

The way Tyrann (first time I've used his first name - sixth paragraph) embraced and developed the Honey Badger 'character' was truly a masterpiece. Vince McMahon ought to be calling him up right now. To be so loved by his fan base and to be so viciously hated by his rival schools, fan bases, and opponents - it really is something akin to professional wrestling.

And it's this whirlwind of attention and this assumed role that probably led to his demise. The 'untouchable-ness' of celebrity. Whereas a year ago, Mathieu had one start to his credit. He ended the season with a plane ticket to New York. In what I think is comparable to a child star, his rise was so fast, and the public's love/disdain for his character, I wouldn't be surprised if he felt a little outside of himself - like this was really happening to someone else or that it all wasn't real.

He was being who everyone wanted him to be. Wouldn't you start feeling a bit invincible too?

It's a shame this happened, because not only was he walking entertainment, Mathieu really was one of the most exciting players in college football. LSU will have guys who are plenty athletic to play cornerback in the SEC. But there are only so many Desmond Howards, Deion Sanders, David Palmers, et al, who can flip the field on special teams. It got to the point last year, you just didn't want to kick to this kid. Kick it out of bounds - at least the Honey Badger won't hurt us.

Dennis being as bad as
everyone expects him to be.
You hope he can put it together - because we've seen some be able to, and others not. Charlie Sheen seems to have himself back after his Torpedo of Truth run last year. We've all seen the continued struggles of a very similar-type situation with Dennis Rodman.

Sheen (likely because of drug use) and Rodman (ditto) lost themselves in the character that the world saw them as. And even for them, it was too much to handle.

Now, I'm not saying that Honey Badger only smoked weed because he was a celebrity. (He may have smoked weed without the success - lots of other less successful people do.) But I will say that he felt comfortable smoking enough to get caught for the third time because he was a celebrity. And celebrities don't have to live with consequences.

That is, unless you extend yourself beyond the full length of the policy.

I'm gonna miss the dude. Too bad, Honey Badger.

You can find me on Twitter, where I type a lot less: @harry_long