Sports’ Real-Life Kenny Powers

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I’m a big fan of the HBO Series Eastbound and Down staring Danny McBride. If you don’t watch the show, it’s a comedy about a fictional former MLB pitcher, Kenny Powers, who was out of the Major Leagues because of his attitude. Powers would cause disruptions on every team he played for, and his skills diminished.

The reason the show is so funny is because Powers’ personality is easily relatable to a lot of former/current athletes. There is a little Kenny Powers in all athletes, but some of his mannerisms are extremely similar to some athletes.

The pilot episode gave us a good look at Powers’ personality. His comments were similar to those of former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker. Jeff Pearlman, formerly of Sports Illustrated, wrote an article back in 1999 that featured some eye-opening quotes from Rocker such as, "The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. I'm not a very big fan of foreigners." There was also a reference to Kenny Rogers when he pushed down a cameraman.

Season one also delivered us a moment when Powers decided to sell all of his memorabilia. Powers had toilet-seat covers, guitars and even masks of his face. This is similar to pro golfer John Daly, who was selling his items outside of The Masters in 2009. While Daly may not have sold toilet-seat covers with his face on them, it’s still a similar situation when a former athlete is forced to sell away random items with their name on it.

Season two was all about Powers relocating to Mexico to jumpstart his return to baseball. He had hoped that the Mexican league would eventually lead him back to the pros, much like Jose Conseco.

Conseco was reportedly going to join the Mexican League, but he refused to take a doping test – (I wonder why) – and was banned from the league. It’s a pretty low point in a baseball player’s career when they get banned from the Mexican League.

At least Powers made the team.

You can watch Eastbound and Down on HBO on Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m. 

Sophomore > Sports Journalism > IUPUI

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