I don’t know how many of you out there have seen ESPN Page 2 writer and sometimes TSF guest to the comment section, Jemele Hill’s “Ridin’ With….” column. It’s one of those, ‘we have access and you don’t’, drivel-laden diversions in which ESPN specializes and revels (and I’m not taking a pot shot at Jemele); just like their celebrity athlete commercials, just like virtually all their television shows, just like too many of their specialty pieces in ESPN, The Magazine.
As you can tell I’m envious that I haven’t the access as the biggest of the Big Box sports news spots. So, I decided to start up a “poor man’s” version of “Ridin’ With…” TSF doesn’t have the budget to fly me to somebody’s crib so I can take a hop in their whip and have it filmed and photographed for posterity and for The Starting Five’s non-existent multimedia and mixed-media content. Hell, we’re just three writers – and guest writers – who all wish we had millions of eyes on our work because we actually have the guts – or delusion? – to believe that we can make a dent in the machine.
Anyway, I digress – as usual. What I decided to do is to take out a monster loan and arrange to meet athletes, writers, sports journalists, and other sports-related peeps in cities in-between there’s and mine – to cut down on travel expenses.
Since so many of you have asked us to interview Jason Whitlock, I decided to give Big Sexy a call. With my history of commentary on Whitlock, it was a long shot for sure. But what do you know? J-Dub said, sure. He had one caveat: as long as we could meet at a restaurant. I jumped at the chance. “Sure,” I said in total surprise.
Whitlock asked, “How quick can you get to D.C.?”
“As long as it takes a train to get there,” I replied.
“Cool. Meet me tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at Old Glory B-B-Q restaurant.”
“It’s a joint I haven’t eaten at yet.”
“Where is it?”
“Shit, I don’t know. I got an address. We’ll both find it – didn’t I just tell you I haven’t eaten there yet?”
“Yeah, yeah. See you tomorrow at eight.”
“La—–” As I hung up the phone I thought, “100“? Isn’t that what Scoop says as a good-bye?
So with that convo, I introduce EATIN’ WITH……. JASON WHITLOCK
Old Glory Restaurant on 31st and M in Dirt City is upscale down-home Q. I walked in just before eight but Whitlock was already there. He was dressed in a maroon and black-speckled (Bar-B-Q-colored?) suit, a cream-colored tie, and a pink shirt. I could see he wore no socks – there was pump fat sneaking out of his gators.
I walked up to his corner booth, introduced myself and reached out to shake his hand. Let me tell you, the man has fat, fat hands. Then again, he looks like The Kingpin is supposed to look. I could tell that at one time he played in the trenches at Ball State.
But the hand. It was greasy. And when I met it with mine – well, I almost recoiled but had to go through with it. In front of him was, on one plate, Q-laden wings and on another, a chili-laden dog. Both plates were half-empty.
There was no telling where that hand had been.
“Wha’s up,” Whitlock said.
“Ummm, hi, Nice to finally meet you.”
With that he pulled me close. For a split second I thought it was a set up and his big ass was going to cuff me with one of those paws for writing shit about him. Instead he wanted to whisper something to me.
“Listen, I lied and told them I’m a food critic from K.C. and you’re a reporter interviewing me about my travels and the foods I’ve experienced. So, we got anything on the menu for free.”
His eyes had that, “Damn I got over on these fools,” gleam.
I nodded affirmatively.
I barely sat and the waitress came over. She was obviously there to make an impression. She dropped down a glass of water and a menu.
“Take a look at our sumptuous menu and I’ll be right back,” she said.
“Sure, tha -” Whitlock interrupted. I hadn’t noticed, but between the time he uttered his last words and the time I sat down and the waitress showed, he’d already shoved down five more wings and the rest of the chili dog.
“Urrrrp.’Scuse me. I’m lookin’ at your drinks and I don’t see any Grey Goose here sweet thing. Seeing as how that’s my favorite drink, how can a critic like me get served with some Goose?”
“Ummm, Mr. Spittock, we can’t break the liquor laws to serve you Grey Goose.” I’m thinking, ‘Spittock?!’ Did she mispronounce Jason’s name?
“Look girl, I am Jacque Spittock. I am known all over the world for my knowledge of Bar-B-Q. Usually I brings a bottle wit’ me. But I thought that here, in the Nation’s Capital, you might be able to stretch the rules like they stretch the laws in Congress and come up with some Goose – or have somebody make a run to the liquor store for me.”
“But sir – “
“Look honey. You sweet enough to drink, so I’ll let you go. Wait. Turn around for Big Sexy.” She turned. Whitlock planted a paw on her behind and squeezed a butt-cheek.
“Damn you got ass for a white girl. Get me an amber ale.”
The red-faced waitress put on a brave face and said, “Sure Mr. Spittock.” She turned to walk away and there was a hand print on her white apron – right on her right butt-cheek.
“Jacque Spit -“
“I am not going to give my real name and blow my cover, fool!”
“Gotcha. So, can we talk?”
Then the sound hit me – and then the smell. Furrrrrp! Seconds later people nearby were whispering, “Oh my god, can you smell that?” It was Whitlock. The nasty bastard let loose with the nastiest, well you know.
“Damn, that felt good. Smelt good, too.” And he had the nerve to laugh.
The waitress returned with Whitlock’s beer. She turned to me and began to ask, “Sir have you had a ——-“
“Listen baby. I shore would like some more sides. How ’bout a ‘Bone’ Tickler, Creamed succotash, and that Mac & Cheese. Oh, and throw in the Fried Okra. And do hurry. This man’s hungry.”
“Ma’am, may I have a half-rack of your St. Louis ribs.”
“Of course.” She half-smiled and quickly walked away. Good thing, because Whitlock had his last wing in his right hand while the left just missed swiping her behind – again.
I asked Whitlock if we could begin talking. He said sure. And off he went.
“Lissen dude. It’s time for some real talk. And when you write that sit, make sure you capitalize the “R” and the “T” ’cause that’s the way I spell it, that’s my column name, forever – feel me?
“Now I haven’t read anything you wrote about me. No need to. I know everybody talks about me. Good, bad, ugly. I don’t give a shit. I’m chasin’ real talk. I’m the new black voice of America. That’s why I’m at Fox. I shitted on Lupica right on television. Ever see that Sports Reporters segment?”
“Of course you did. Everybody saw my big, sexy ass fuck that white boy up. Fuck Lupica. I’m the man.
“I fucked up Scoop, too. I put the Big Sexy on his little, scrawny ass. Sat on him like I used to do to those little-ass wideouts in the MAC conference. I squashed the biggest white sports voice in America. Then I went and fucked up the biggest black sports voice in America. That’s the way a real playa does shit.
“Look at me now. How you get fired from ESPN and get wanted by everybody.”
“Jason, but I heard you left ESPN – “
“What!? Who told you that shit? I’m the mutha fuckin’ Big Sexy! Look at me!” Whitlock spread his arms, barely missing the waitress bringing Whitlock’s appetizers.
“‘Bout damn time. Tell your chef that’s points off for being slow. How you keep a 350-pound love muscle waitin’ for his ‘sexy fuel’?”
“Sorry, Mr. Spittock.” I could tell the waitress was flummoxed by Whitlock’s combination of delusional attempts at self-aggrandizement and his overt advances.
With okra, short ribs and mac & cheese spread out before him, Whitlock went to work – on the food, that is. With a mouth full of everything, he continued. I sort of slid stealthily over toward the aisle to move out of the angle where food might fly from his mouth.
“Huh?” I asked.
“Wh-whorf- wuh, niggfhd!”
“What are you saying?!” Whitlock finally swallowed.
“Sorry. Sorry. damn, this some good-ass food. Can’t wait to work my way down the menu. I looked down at his plates and tried to wrap my mind around the fact that in one round of shoveling, Whitlock had thoroughly removed nearly half of the food from each appetizer.
“Where was I.” (ohhhh, that’s what he was trying to say as okra seeds flew from his mouth as if it suddenly morphed into a lips-shaped gattling gun).
“Yeah. So I fucked ESPN up. I got fired, nigger. And don’t you fergit it” For a brief moment, Whitlock lapsed into ‘Indiana speak.’ I could suddenly see him as a grossly overweight black youngster trying to fit in at a nearly all-white middle school in Muncie where the choice was to smack every white child who mouthed a racial epithet or begin calling other black children nigger and denouncing the blackness that is you; Whitlock obviously chose the latter. And here I was trapped between taking my mug of water and trying my best to break it on his face and feeling pity for this person in front of me. Here I am sitting with and entertaining a full-fledged graham cracker. Wow.
“So anyway, my boy, or should I say “ex-boy” Neal Scarborough who was at ESPN.com and went to AOL.com, hired me. I went from also-ran at ESPN to the mack daddy at AOL. Finally I could let loose on everybody. Shit, I criticized Peyton Manning. You read that din’t you, din’t you?! Everybody did. See, everybody read my shit. That’s the difference between me and all those other bitch-ass writers. I writes shit that you have to read. They write shit – period. They write nothing but S-H-I-T.
“When NBA All-Star Weekend dropped, I had to go to Vegas. See, I knew every nigger in the country was going to try to be there. Did you go?”
I shook my head, no.
“What! Damn, you a slum-ass blogger, huh?!” By now I wanted to reach over and choke this fat….
“See, if you wuz me, you’d write some inflammatory shit. For me, it’s just about the money – and my upbringing, of course. You can take the boy from Indiana, but you can’t take the Indiana out of the boy. What I’m sayin’ is, get angry and write some real inflammatory shit and everybody will want to hire your ass. Everybody wants an angry nigger – except ESPN.com. They just want Scoop. All the other fucks there can’t write angry. Suburb-ass negroes.” Apparently Whitlock didn’t know at all that most of the black writers at ESPN.com grew up in completely different circumstances than he described. But he was on a roll now.
Whitlock paused to scoop the remainder of the food into his mouth.
Fugf thtug fugfs! U dtnk ghfm u fugf!!!
Before I could finish the word, Whitlock cleared his throat and simultaneously loosed another eruption of putrid smell – just as the waitress was bringing my ribs. Her knees buckled visibly and she nearly dropped the plate; she obviously had stopped breathing. I took the plate from her and, for her sake, shooed her away. I could swear one woman nearby dropped her fork and out of the corner of my eye I saw her head droop toward her plate, overcome by the heinous flatulence. I thought for a second my ribs smelled like whatever it was that spewed forth from Whitlock’s behind.
“Where you goin’ girl?” Whitlock found his voice. “Damn white girls, always play coy when it comes to niggas. They know they want it. But they just gotta play the game. Yo, come back here, I need some more from this menu.”
She turned and bravely, albeit slowly, made her way back to our table.
“What can I get you now, Mr. Spittock”
“Jacque, baby, Just call me Jacque.”
“Yes sir, ummm, Jacque.”
“Lemme get a Pit-Grilled Burger, the Chopped Brisket on Potato Bread, a Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and a side a’ Mashed Potatoes & Creole Gravy and two more of them amber ales.”
“Yes sir – uh Jacque.”
“Tha’s right, baby, tha’s right, Get used to the name.” She scampered away.
“I’m tryin’ to do a Kobe tonight, know whadImean?” I frowned.
“Where were we.”
“Oh, yeah, yeah. NBA All-Star Weekend was tailor-made for my ass. I could party my ass off, get all the hookers I wanted – white ones, of course, drink my face off, see my boy Jamie Foxx, and go home and talk shit about all the niggers in Vegas. What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right?”
“But what about that column you wrote in the KC Star right after you returned?”
“The KC Star column?”
“I said, What Column!?”
“C’mon, man. The one you wrote about the NBA ASW?”
“Have you checked the Star?”
“Is there a column about All-Star Weekend by me in the Star?”
“All right, then. That shit does not exist. It’s hearsay. End of story. Now, back to what I was talking about. I put that AOL column down, boy. Got Hip-hop, thugs, ho’s, welfare bitches, everybody. And dared anybody to say anything. That’s the moment I got my money on. I knew the shit was rollin’.
“Then came the Imus thing…. Nappy-headed ho’s. I loved it. Them lezbos at Rutgers with C. Vivian Womandela – she’s a carpet-cleaner, too. You’d have to be blind not to know. Jus’ a minute.”
With the pause, Whitlock took two humongous bites of everything and for the first time said nothing, finally savoring the fare on the massive plates before him. Seconds later and after a ridiculously loud burp, he continued.
“Damn that is some good-ass food. I swear I’m doing the whole menu.
“Anyway. Did you read that shit? ‘Course you did. Everybody did. I wrote that for my new constituency. Neo-cons, black people who secretly think like I do and the most popular constituency of all ——– money.”
“So you wrote that basically for the money?”
“Did I say that? All you mother fuckers are the same. Misquote me and I’m huntin’ your ass down in my next column. See, I Google my shit every day. I know exactly who’s readin’ my shit, even if I don’t read most of it. Everybody reads Big Sexy. Lemme eat the rest of this good-ass shit in front of me. Wait, you ain’t finished yet?”
Before I could say no. Whitlock appropriated the rest of my ribs – into his mouth.
“Waste not, want not, motherfucker.” He smiled a devious smile.
He then strafed the remainder of the food from his plates. And farted again. This one was loud and brappish, and thankfully far less nasty. Though he drew the ire of other eaters, new ones now as we outlasted a whole round of customers, I’m sure they were thankful.
“So, that Womandela thing put me on the map. Bill O’Reilly wanted me on his show. I played coy and said no ’cause I had my eye on the big dollars at Fox. Then my boy Dan LeBatard talked about Womandela on his radio show and called it the best thing he’d heard in like forever, and that was it. I was on like “Donkey Kong.
“Unfortunately for Scarborough, he allowed that nigga from ESPN, The Magazine, and [Keith] Clinkscales, to write that fuck-ass editorial dissin’ me and had the nerve to stick that shit up on AOL.com. I think Scarborough knew what time it was. I’m sure he heard the whispers that Rupert Murdoch was after me for the big loot to hold it down at Fox – and there wasn’t shit Scarborough or AOL could do, so he tried to make me look bad instead.”
The waitress came by to clear our table.
“There you are. Wha’s your name miss thang?” Whitlock asked the woman.
“Damn, tha’s a nice name. Before I go I wanna have a couple of words with you.
“But first, I need to try some more items off your menu to form a full opinion of your food here. Let’s see. Get me one of those Old glory Jalapeno Hotties. Damn, that’s a good name – Jalapeno Hottie, jus’ like you Jody.”
She forced a chuckle.
“And a order of Sweet Potato French Fries. That will conclude my evening. Oh, and bring me three more of those amber ales. I’ll finish those off real quick. Actually bring me two ales now, and three with the next food round. I gotta get my drink on.”
With that Whitlock tapped Jody’s behind again and gave it a little rub.
“Mr. Spittock – “
“I know, I know, not in public. I’ll get at’cha later, baby.” The waitress walked away red-faced, a sacrificial lamb served up by her owner to do whatever it took to garner a favorable review, including taking serious abuse from Jason Whitlock, aka Jacque Spittock.
“Where was I. Oh yeah. So I quieted down a bit, downshifted on the column. And I watched AOL’s numbers go down, at least that’s what the little birdies told me. Shit Scarborough hasn’t found anybody to really replace me either. He can’t. Eve-ry-body reads Big Sexy!”
With that, he knocked back the second of his three beers, scarfed the Jalapeno Hotties and began to work on the fries.
I glanced at my watch and realized we’d already been at Old Glory for three hours and I had a train back to Vermont to catch at 1:30 a.m. I had to get some last words from Whitlock. So, after he finished his fries, I asked:
“Jason.” He looked over his final sip of his third beer.
“Why are you such a fat, nasty, abrasive, slothful, fuck of a human and what do you think you can accomplish by selling out yourself and other black people knowing we’re already in such a perilous position in American society.”
I fully expected him to try to smack me – hard. I gripped the beer mug full of water just in case I has to start swinging. But he startled me – he laughed.
“You think that shit you just said can get to me? Man, fuck you. I make more money in five minutes than you do in a week you little blogger fuck head. I’m out here livin’ the dream.
“Man, fuck black people. They wouldn’t help me when I was comin’ up, so what? I’m a help them now? Sheeee-it, you got to be crazy. I know who got the money – and it damn sure ain’t black people.
“I write what I write and don’t have to give a shit. All I gotta do is think how to write somethin’ that makes the right people pissed off. And I do it better than anybody else. Call ‘em what you want. But call me comfortable. ESPN can’t make me jump through their fuckin’ hoops. I don’ have to fuck with that turncoat Scarborough. All I gotta do at Fox is do what I do and then I can say fuck all of you.
So, blogger boy, it’s past your train time and I got this little ho Jody I’m tryin’ to take back to the Hyatt. Now get the fuck out my face before I tell these people you brought me here under the guise of makin’ me say I’m a food critic just to get free food and an interview with my famous ass and make you pay for all this shit I just ate and drank.”
All I could say is, damn. Fat man got me in the end with the money. But hey, at least I have my soul. And one day someone will pay me too, just because I refused to give in and be a whore. Which is more than I can say for Jason Whitlock.
I thanked Jody and told her I was sorry she had to put up with the ogre. She said, “He thinks I’m going to bed with him. Shit I’d cut his probably two-inch thing off first – fat fucker. Hey, tell me a something, is he really a food critic?”
I silently blessed Jody for asking the question because I was going to let the ruse play itself out.
“No. That nasty fuck writes columns for Fox Sports. And his name is Jason Whitlock, not fucking Jacque Spittock.”
She chuckled and said, “Thanks. He’s going to be really surprised when my boss brings his sorry ass the bill and tells him he’s going to call the police if he doesn’t pay and get the fuck out. And I’ll be standing behind my boss, laughing. Take it easy.
I popped outside and caught a cab to Union Station, peaceful as hell. But glad I went “Eatin’ With…..“ Jason Whitlock.
(I didn’t think anyone would take this seriously, but since the first two people who commented did, here’s a disclaimer. This is a joke piece! It’s total fiction. I thought the story was outlandish enough so that anyone reading it would figure it out. Still, I hope you had fun reading it.