This year I received a Grammy nomination for my comedy album. That album, “Happy And A Lot”, was written entirely by my wife. Word for word, letters towards letters and sentences and paragraphs twirling and circling back through one another forming what I found to be a beautifully complex and absolute perfect and solvable comedy puzzle. In math class as kids we were always reminded by the teacher to be sure and “Show all work”. To complete this 60 -minute puzzle was going to require a lot of work. I hadn’t acted in a while so each night, for about a year, I would walk on stage and be sure to commit the words of Nicole Avery Cox Mohr to memory. How hard could it be for an actor and comic of 29 years to memorize an hour of stand up, regardless of who wrote it? You have no idea. My wife’s words have to be perfect. They need to be perfect. The way Nik constructed and connected periods to capital letters to rhythmic lines of late night insomniac thoughts, stories and uber specific phrasings deserved that work.
I wasn’t at liberty to flip one sentence for another. Switching the order of a few lines of our actual, real life dialogue, would lead to a dead end. If I said, “Piano player” instead of, “Artist”, her puzzle would be entirely imperfect. There was no coloring outside the lines on this album. If this sounds like it was arduous or painstaking it was quite the opposite. Knowing that if I could just get each brick placed perfectly atop its premixed mortar, the wall I would have built would encircle the audience within its borders and no one would ever try and leave.
This process of vetting and placing and moving and mixing each syllable firmly into its allotted and exact place in the equation was the most exciting feeling I have ever felt onstage in my life. You see, I knew that after I had shown all work, in front of a classroom of thousands, the result would be an hour of comedy that was completely and entirely perfect. Had I written a word of, “Happy And A Lot”, I would never speak of something I had written this way. It would sound far too cocky. The words would drop and shatter from being too precious. But since Nik handed me spiral notebook after spiral notebook of her words, I am simply stating fact. What she wrote was perfect.
The question most asked as I made the media rounds promoting “Happy And A Lot”, was, “What is it like when suddenly your wife is writing an hour of stand up for you?” The answer was always, “I don’t know”. My bride had been handing me scraps of paper and asking me things like, “Why don’t comics talk about mannequins more often?” from the day we met. The word “Suddenly” didn’t apply to us. Nik has been writing for me for two decades. Whether A Jay Leno Appearance (or 21), an awards show, or even a quick radio call in, my baby bride would always add content. My wife’s impossible to describe by my hands mother, raised her like comedy veal. Jokes and stories from age mostly age appropriate specials would be watched and re-watched. The two of them, like detectives trying to solve an elaborate caper, would sit together and connect and re-connect dots until dawn. Two students, a team of seekers, explorers, crossing guards, would discuss not only what was funny but why it was funny. Terry Kay and Nicole Avery decided and debated which words in the middle added air to the balloon. What sand bag would be okay to toss over it’s side. Under the marine layer of the pacific, within ears’ reach of Santa Monica Bay’s foghorn, they would continue to see how close a phrase or call back could be driven towards the rocks. Now with, “Happy And A Lot, it was my job to not lose control of the ferry. Suddenly? The “suddenly” was the moment my wife and I first spoke. That, my friends, is when I began cataloguing the vast and peculiar words that came towards me from those perfect lips. I had met a master. After a career of stand up comedy, I met someone I wanted to be as funny as. So I did what I had been unable to do for my entire life prior. I listened. My comedy has become more and more personal. The job was no longer to hammer an audience into submission. Gone forever was the learned and archaic formula of set up to punch line. Suddenly, the job became being entirely honest. Suddenly, onstage, I enjoyed the quiet. Suddenly, there was a shared sincerity between the audience and me. Suddenly, I married this woman. Suddenly, I am nominated for a Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Suddenly the first thing my wife wrote for public consumption was being lauded as the best comedy I had ever performed. Something about me had changed, they would write. As a comedian I had turned a corner. Suddenly I was fearless and I took my story telling damn close to the rocks. No, not suddenly you see. My secret weapon had always been the red head that lay to my left, wide- awake with her notebooks, seeking the how’s and the whys. She does this so that I can perform happily, and effortlessly without showing any of the work.
Why can't we just say Merry Christmas? With all the lights that go up on houses and all the Santa's in all the malls in America, why are we supposed to hedge our bets and throw out a "Happy Holidays" when greeting someone in December?
The obvious answer is a simple one. There are Jewish people that don't celebrate Christmas. They celebrate Hannukah. There are many agnostics and atheists that don't believe in the birth of Christ. I don't know what Kwanzaa really is but I DO know that it just sort of sprung up around a decade ago. Think back. Do you remember back in elementary school when we would light the candles or hang the blankets (what do they do?) or jump up and touch the lights three times for Kwanzaa? Me neither. It wasn't there. It was a new thing that got dropped on us to further us from the actual holiday. CHRISTMAS. It's Christmas people. Hold onto your hats! Take a deep breath! It's Christmas time! Merry Christmas. Are you offended? I doubt it.
I am a Christian and I am well aware of the fact that Christ was not born on December 25th. I also know that regardless of what your calendar says, B.C. meaning Before Christ and A.D. Anno Domini (I don't know what that means..) isn't a literal or accurate starting point for time-- meaning before Christ-- Christ's birth at 0 and all years prior to that are B.C. Before Christ is not accurate. Christ was born sometime between 6B.C.-4B.C. Not zero. Like most things regarding religion, Christmas, calendars, holidays, the books chosen for the Bible, are all results of heavy, HEAVY politics and maneuvering behind the scenes by the people in power in the day.
A modern version of this would be how we smush George Washington and Abraham Lincoln's birthday together to make one, nice, easy Presidents day. We have long celebrated Columbus day for "Discovering America" when in reality, Christopher Columbus was a complete moron who never came within a few thousand miles of where he was trying to land his 3 big - paid for buy a religious monarchy-- boat, INDIA. He was an arrogant idiot that obviously never had a compass. Maybe looking at the stars at night was an accurate way to navigate for a few Vikings or Samoans but for Columbus it was a disaster. Instead of admitting his mistake, the people in power then, and now, continue to tell us from the tim ewe were children, that this guy discovered America. He didn't. Are you offended by that? You should be. America is fucking NAMED after the guy that "discovered" it, AMERIGO. I think his last name was Vespucci but I’m probably wrong on that but I’m right about the egregious mistake about where the credit is given.
Somehow Christmas is the big outlier in the "don't offend anyone" category. Why is Merry Christmas not okay to say? If you're Jewish or Muslim or Atheist or Agnostic or Hindu and I say, "Merry Christmas" to you, are you actually offended? I would assume not because if you look around you see a few dozen lots filled with CHRISTMAS trees. When you walk through the mall and you hear CHRISTMAS carols, do you cover your ears because it offends your sensibilities? Of course not. We are in such a P.C. culture that we can't even wish one another a happy greeting that's appropriate for the time of year.
Wake up everyone. Wake up Starbucks and the greeting cards departments at Wal-Mart, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Duane Reede. You can print all the HAPPY HOLIDAYS cards that you want but you're fooling no one. It’s Christmas time. CHRISTMAS. SEASON'S GREETINGS your balls off if you want but I know what time of year it is. My son knows and he is four years old. Your children know regardless of what religion you are or are not...
I am coming at this from a secular stance. I am a realist. If I say, "Keep the Christ in Christmas" it's not because I want you to think Jesus was born on December 25th year zero... I am saying, "Keep the Christ in Christmas" because if I don't, I'll be saying, "Merry Mas". I don't need to seem more bat shit crazy than I already am. I can't walk around in mid-December telling people "Happy More".
Everyone just relax, then flex up and just push back against the PC police. Tell everyone Merry Christmas. You know how weird people are going to think you are if you drop a "Happy Kwanza" on a stranger? "Have a great Chanukah!" Why would I assume you were Jewish? Furthermore, I don't see families pulling up in their station wagons to the Menorah lot to tie a bunch of candles to the roof of the car. Everyone have the best holiday season that you possibly can. Enjoy your FAMILY. Eat great food. Be with FRIENDS. Just don't be fooled by the greeting cards, the hellos and goodbye's at work, or the signs outside of department stores. Peace On Earth? Of course. Happy Holidays? Yes. Season's greetings? Meh. O.K. Just don't act like it's not Christmas. JJ
I have been watching the debates lately, both Republican and Democratic.. And I was struck by how little any of the people (men) on my television have any idea about the real world and what the real world needs. Nor should they.
I remember when I was in junior high and George Bush (the father) was running for president and the newspapers and media put him in blast for not knowing how much a gallon of milk costs. I DON'T KNOW WHAT A GALLON OF MILK COSTS! Does that make me an "elitist" an "Ivy leaguer" No... It just makes me a guy that doesn't usually buy a gallon of milk.. I was in Junior High... Now I am 40 years old and I could probably guess within a dollar and a half but still, I don't know what a gallon of milk costs. When I buy milk, there are a few dozen other items on the check out counter too... I don't know what those costs either. The only things I really am aware of -- price wise on a daily basis is gasoline and my wife's soft drinks... These are things I buy every day. If the price changes, I notice. "Why is the Vitamin Water Zero Revive $2.50 when yesterday they were a dollar each if I bought ten?"
The point I am trying to make is that no one that actively angling to run the free world really has any idea about the people that are residing inside that free world.. If you are an electrician and you have your own van with your name on the side and you make a pretty good living and once a year, you and your family can go somewhere nice on vacation for a week and you can take your wife to a couple of concerts a year and spend a couple weekends at a beach or a six flags then you're doing pretty well... NO ONE that gets elected will affect what you are doing on a day to day basis... I promise.. Unless whomever is elected brings on The End Of The World As We Know It.. none of them matter.
They are billionaires, in a street fight, for a 250k a year job...
I am not a Republican or a Democrat. I would never legitimize either party with my affiliation... I have voted both ways often..
My favorite American Presidents are Truman and Nixon.
One Dem one GOP... Both ended wars (you didn't know Nixon needed the Viet Nam War did you?) Each man ended war in VERY different ways... Truman, after the death of FDR was shown the atom bomb and it was explained to him every hour of each day in great, great detail, ho many American lives he would be saving if he dropped the Atom Bomb... He dropped two.
Richard Millhouse Nixon, known more for shame and scandal than for anything Presidential, ended the Viet Nam War and demanded that it be needed "With honor"... Allow both sides to go back to their day to day lives having felt it wasn't a waste and it they hadn't lost... Pretty impressive.
Mostly I love these two presidents because they both knew the only REAL way to get things done was to AVOID CONGRESS... obviously this is illegal and completely circumvents the system checks and balances that our three branched government ensures.. but both men knew that Congress, Republican and Democrat were th ultimate cock boo keys to progress... So they went around them, ignored them, lied to them at many time of their Presidencies ... Nixon bombed Laos and Cambodia, something the Senate would have absolutely shot down... Ask any Viet Nam veteran about that bombing and they will tell you it probably kept them alive as the North Vietnamese were using these countries as supply routes to shoot US Marines to shit from behind by circling into the South... Nixon took care of that.
Truman, during one of his State Of The Union Addresses (which coincided with the Korean War and a Steel Workers strike... It;'s very difficult to have a successful war if no one is at hime making stuff out of steel..) said to the US Steel Workers "Anyone in the Steel Workers Union that isn;'t at work tomorrow are going to be the very first men to be drafted to go fighting Korea"
When he walked of camera, his aides were panicked and told him, "YOU can't do that! It's illegal! What will we do know?!!"
Truman, like a real leader, said, "Let's just see if they show up for work tomorrow first..." They all did. Crisis avoided. No Congress to slow it down...
Whomever you decide to vote for is fine by me.. just please be intelligent enough that your day to day operations will never be affected by a standing US president... How much is a gallon of milk?
As I travel through the U.S. doing stand up comedy and searching for glory holes... I have noticed two things. 1. It is colder than you think. Always. Everywhere. I grew up on the East coast in New Jersey and whenever there were tv shows that took place in Florida or California, the actors and particularly the extras were usually roller skating at Christmas time in bikinis and banana hammocks. That is complete and utter bullshit. I was at Universal Studios with my friend Matt one Halloween and during the JAWS ride, the entire boat was huddled together for warmth and struggling to not get wet from the mechanical shark.. This was October in Orlando and we were all acting like we were abandoned on a construction project in the Arctic Circle. My grandfather lived in Del Rio Texas for the last fifteen years of his life. I probably spent a good six months all together in a town that bordered Mexico... it was usually fucking freezing. You have to keep in mind this was in the early 1990's and sometimes 1988 and 1989, pre Global Warming freak outs and pre Climate Change discussions. The rest of the country, with the LONE EXCEPTION of South Beach Florida, is just way colder than you think it is. Atlanta is nicknamed, "Hot-lanta." Maybe in two weeks in July it's Hot-lanta but every time I've ever been there I've frozen my peaches off! (I should be re circumcised in a hot garage with a Polland Weed eater for that awful peaches joke).
The other thing I usually notice in my travels across the country with my beautiful bride (The couple that travels together stays together...literally) is that once you clear the coasts, most three hour stretches of driving consist of absolutely nothing at all. No towns, no gas stations, no utilities, no buildings, no elevators, no dog parks, no police stations, no houses, no driveways... nothing. It is an absolute no man's land out there. I routinely look over at the passenger seat and ask my wife, "Where is everyone? Why doesn't anyone live here?" As we drive through Washington State or Western Virginia... (NOT West Virginia... Western Virginia.. huge difference.). I grew up in New Jersey which is a dump. if you don't believe me, just drive through New Jersey, stop the car and roll down the windows. Odds are good to great that you will immediately smell something akin to toxic waste. Oh. Because it actually is. Yikes. Whatever, it's home. New Jersey is also the only state in the Union that comes with it's own disclaimer, "There's some really nice parts!"
The only people that feel the need to say that are people that know deep in their souls that where they are living is disgusting. I certainly haven't turned my back on N.J. quite the contrary. I celebrate it and applaud it for never caving in and getting one of those two hundred square mile sticks of Fabreeze. Kudos Jersey!
I just don't understand how N.J. can be literally overflowing with people yet Delaware sits just to the south completely empty. Why is San Francisco jam packed with people yet just north in Crescent City and southern Oregon no one has bought a home since the 1800's.
Have you ever driven through Virginia? North Carolina? Washington State? Oregon? Colorado? It is truly some of the most breath taking land you will ever set eyes on. Each sunrise and sunset in these states is something to be treasured. But no one freaking lives there! And it weirds me out.
I have the Ontario Improv coming up... Then Houston at The House of Blues. Hope to shake your hand...
Do me a favor. If you ever come to see me do live stand up comedy, please don't yell out, "DO WALKEN!" in the middle of my set. I have no objections to doing the Christopher Walken story/impression but when you yell, "DO WALKEN!" it makes me want to do the impression less. A lot less. Like not at all. Unlike many comics, I do not do "My act" and perform the same hour set with all the same jokes in all the same neat and tidy places. I take pride in having a different version of 60 minutes every time I go out onstage. I have never really catalogued my stories and jokes so a lot of it comes and goes.I forget a lot of it and some of it comes back to me mid-show, so when I get going on a particular rant I'm genuinely excited onstage. "Where will this go?" How does this even end? I forget half of this and i'm gonna have to fix it mid flight!." "YIKES!"
As most of you know, my wife wrote my last stand up special and it was so important to me to make sure I got all of her words right before I filmed it. There were so many nights when I was polishing that special and getting the time right - someone would yell, "DO WALKEN!" and my entire train of thought would be thrown out the window. These were HER words. I gotta get em right because they're perfect!
Once the "DO WALKEN" demand gets shouted, the rest of the crowd gets fired up and starts yelling that they want to hear Walken impressions too. I understand. I really do. All I ask of you is that you trust that I will do Walken. At the end. Sometimes.
Sometimes I really love talking about other stuff for an hour plus. I sure hope none of this sounds snarky or shitty. I really just want you guys to know that there are going to be many if not most nights that I don't do a Christopher Walken impression. I also NEED you to know that I can guarantee you, you will have the best night of stand up of your life. Walken or no Walken. I can't stop you from thinking about it and wondering if i'm going to "DO WALKEN!" at the end of my show. What I can do however, is to encourage you to enjoy whats happening right in front of you in and at that moment. I love seeing you guys. I love making you laugh. Just trust that between my wife and I, theres at least three hours of material that is completely Walken free. None of it is filler. None of it is some shit that i'm working out , just thought of and trying to make funny. it's all stuff that I am trying to put into the perfect order as it comes to me so that it comes to you in the best possible order for your best night possible.
Jesus I sound like a fucking douche. I'll just start opening with Walken.
Most of you know me as "Jay". That's terrific and as long as you know me by anything other than, "the defendant" I'm ahead of the game. Truth be told, my closest and truest friends know me as J.J.
Many tend to think this is a cool nickname I have given myself. Like if my name was Paul, I would introduce myself as "Paul Paul" to give myself a little pizazz. My reason for being known as Jay boils down to being poor. Literally.
My father's name is Jon and my birth name is Jon. When people would ring the house and ask for Jon the question was always, "Senior or junior?"
Jon junior became JJ and that is really the only name anyone called me until I was sixteen years old. At 16, I had started my life as a stand up comic and had to quickly printing own head shots. When you make head shots you obviously have to out your name at the bottom, right? You also have to pay for each character of that name. If you're name was Franchesco Danielli Venezia, you would only be able to afford to print one or two photos.
I don't recall the exact amount but for the sake of this article let's say the fee back in 1988 was 10 cents a character. My watering job meant my funds were limited. I did a quick calculation that "jay" instead of J.J. Would save me a character and ten cents. Since I was printing 500 head shots, that 10 cents was adding up to be a lot of money.
That winter afternoon I decided I would save a bunch of money and just go by Jay instead of J.J.
Why I didn't think of just the letter J or JJ without the periods between each J is beyond me but that ship has sailed well over 28 years ago.
That's why you know me as Jay and not J.J.
If you ever see someone call me JJ they either went to high school with me, are a member of my family, my wife, or someone that is trying to make me sound cook like "Paul Paul"
Also, Wikipedia has my name listed incorrectly as Jay ferguson cox mohr. That's incorrect (wait, everything on the internet isn't true?!?!) My birth name is Jon Ferguson Mohr. When I married my wife I added her last name as an extra middle name out of respect to her and her (and now my) beautiful family. So, my legal name is now Jon Ferguson Cox Mohr.
Love you guys. Now use that Amazon banner damnit
Let's all just come out of the closet already...
I don't mean come out of the closet as in, "Hey! Mom, dad, I like to have sexual intercourse with men" sort of way. I mean instead of hiding what we as men truly enjoy, let's just get it out there on the table and move on with our lives. I LOVE the real house wives franchise on Bravo. Beverly Hills is probably my favorite (only because I recognize a lot of the locations) and my least favorite is Atlanta (too many wigs).
For years, guys have been hiding behind our wives and girlfriends as our excuse for watching/listing and reading certain things. I say no more.
I love the Food Network. I love The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills/NJ/Orange County/NYC! I love to read Margaret Atwood poetry. I love to listen to Rufus Wainwright and Diana Krall.
Wow, that felt good. Try it. Plant your flag down on the terrain of sexual ambitious programming and see how great it feels.
To this day I am still the ONLY person to have ever guest hosted WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE on Bravo. I'm proud of that. I'm a jock comedian from New Jersey and for one night I was in charge of the mothership of all things gossipy and gay. I am pretty certain that when my friend @andy Andy Cohen launched the housewives shows, he didn't anticipate a bunch of dudes flocking to their televisions to watch it. He was wrong. We all win.
I have also guest hosted the view several times and I am proud of that as well. Anytime these situations presented themselves I accepted with an emotion that can only be described as glee. I LOVE these shows. Mostly and more selfishly, I know people don't expect high school wrestlers to enjoy these shows. I take great pleasure in not only being a guest but being a spokesman for the straight, male lobby as well.
Let's all just come out of the closet already and openly admit that we love these shows. Sex and The City was as close to a perfect 30 minutes of television that has ever been pulled off. It may not have been your cup of tea, but as a veteran of hundreds of hours of television I can assure you the show was damn near perfect..
Get out of that closet. Announce your allegiances to the shows you're not supposed to be watching...
Let;'s be heard! JJ
I have been told that in order for this website to be on top of it's game I should write a weekly blog. The reasoning being, if you guys come to the site and see that I am investing time in it, then by default, you should be investing time ( and money) here too. Sounds fair enough BUT... "Celebrity Blog"? Really? It just reeks to me of "I am not writing a script or a book!"
I do understand the reasoning though and I will trudge around my reservations and blog my balls off... weekly.
Hello! How are you? I am doing really fantastic. I hope you are enjoying the "Glove and Boots" videos that my friend Damien has been kind enough to let us use. Also I hope you are enjoying the weekly new feature "This happened". I am realizing that this may be the worst blog ever written. I will write something very funny next week (meaning my wife will write great things and I will type them put here...)
Buy shirts. See me live. Or NOT! Do what you want to do for YOU! It's a damn near free country.
Hi everyone. Just thought you would enjoy some great feedback I received from a huge fan. Please feel free to email him and let him know what a great review he gave!
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: You are a dumb fuck!
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, April 20, 2015 1:26 am
Saw your special on Showtime. You are a fucking idiot. I can only assume the audience laughed at that dumb shit is because they were hand picked. You couldn't mention the name of a drug company because they would sue you? For what? Slander I assume, but truth is an absolute defense. Use the money you stole from Showtime to pay for your lawyer and counter sue!
You were never really depressed. What was it? Your baseball team lost or you couldn't find work for 3 months? You're not funny, who did you expect to hire you and go on the stage with that shitty crap? You were just feeling sorry for yourself.
Death is too good for you. I'm kid of hoping you are in a fire and suffer 3rd degree burns over 2/3 of your body, lose your sight, hearing and your ability to speak, at least 2 of you limbs and most of the ability to use the others. Then you'll find out what depression is and you'll WISH you were dead, but I hope they find a way to keep you alive! I think you'll feel a lot different about antidepressants and I hope they'll halt production of the medication you really need!
I am long over due to write a blog and drop it here on the website. It's a strange thing, a blog. I think of something to write and I think it's so important that I put it on my website so that when you visit, you get to read something I found precious enough to post. It's pretty gross really. I'll let this blog be more of a simple, "Hi." than anything else. Hi. How are you? I am very glad that you are visiting my website. There are live dates and podcast links and lots of t-shirts for you to buy.
The other reason I am reluctant to dive head first into the "blog" game is that if you write something that you are really proud of, (my blog on mental health in athletics) you --- I--- get a red ass if it doesn't get picked up by another source. I thought the mental health blog was worthy of a Huffington Post pick up... I really loved it and stand by it's merit. Having said all of that, I fully realize how fucking huge my ego must be that I am merely writing blogs hoping that URL's larger than mine will notice them and reprint them. Sad really. But, thats why I am in show business. HUGE EGO. Full blown egomaniac. I have admitted that on my podcast many times.
There is an occasional discussion in my house with my wife and I as to wether or not I am a comic or an actor. I am sure.. positive.. in my bones that I was born a comic. My wife on the other hand thinks that I was born an actor and I figured out how to do stand up comedy as a route to acting. We are both standing firm in our theories.
I know from the pace my mind works and the ADHD vomiting of words and comebacks and callbacks that I am and was born a comic. My wife says I can't be a comic because I don't have that hole inside of me that virtually all comics have. I am not depressed. I wake up happy. I feel lucky. As Henry Rollins once wrote, "My optimism wears boots and they're loud."
This happiness may also be why so many comics have something bad to say about me. I go out of my way to be kind to everyone I meet. I created a television show to help other comics... (obviously it was never my intention to create a show for free but the format of the show remains true...) I never really leave my house so I'm not sure why comics are so quick to throw shade my way. I learn of these shot talkers through great friends of mine that I won't name here because I don't want them to get any shit. If you are a loyal listener of the Mohr Stories Podcast you know who they are. Maybe comics are quick to criticize me because I am, as my wife believes, an interloper. An actor. I don't know. I have had to stop listening to a lot of other podcasts because I kept hearing of other comics that "had a problem" with me.. Frankly I am not sure why or how I even come up in anyone's conversation.
All I can say and I guess us this blog entry is to tell all other comics out there that you got the wrong guy. I work very hard. I fly too much. I sleep too little. I don't steal (an accusation made very popular from a particular podcast) in fact, if anyone thinks that I am a thief or that I steal bits or stories, I would advise you to speak at great length to my wife since she writes more than half of my stand up act... (I am just now realizing that maybe I am an actor since Nikki Cox wrote my entire last Showtime special and I had to act it out). Regardless. I have taken great pride over the past three years of the Mohr Stories Podcast to not allow any shit talking of any other comics. Ever.
Any comics that would like to continue shit talking me, I implore you to simply text me or call me. If you do not have my number to do either, you must not know me . In which case, Im further confused as to why you are talking about me at all. I would encourage you and hope that maybe you can get my number from someone else and in a perfect world we can simply say Hi.
In the mean time how do we get the Huffington Post to pick up my story on Mental Health in Athletics?
Whenever I am having a question and answer session on twitter, one of the most frequently asked question is always, "Are you and Rome still boys?" Was there a fall out between you and Rome?" "Why don't you get Jim Rome on your podcast" and inevitable, "Is it uncomfortable between you and Jim now?"
I have never responded to these questions because, being twitter and @jimrome being listed in the tweet itself, I didn't feel it was proper to speak on our relationship publicly where (it is the internet mind you) someone could leave a comment like "Fuck that guy!" or "You fucking suck! Jim rules!" "Clones!" "Mohrriors!"
I first met Jim Rome on an airplane to (if my memory is correct) the All Star game at Coors field in Denver. I recognized him from his ESPN2 show and had been a very, very loyal listener since I had moved to Southern California. I walked over to Jim and introduced myself and he said hello back. This was after Jerry Maguire had gotten me some heat so i'm pretty sure that's why he had any idea who I was at all. We sat together for well over an hour chatting and laughing and it was all very natural. What I noticed most about Jim during that flight was while everyone else was napping or sipping red wine he drank about four cups of coffee and with the exception of the time I took up talking to him the dude was WORKING. Files and files of papers, big envelopes, and notebooks. Jim Rome was very obviously a guy that took no short cuts.
On the airplane Jim said, "You should come by radio row tomorrow and do some time on air." Uh, hell yeah I should. This was going to be awesome. I was pretty freaking pumped to be on his show. The appearance went great and after a few more appearances, (call in's and in studio in Los Angeles, I was asked to guest host, THE JUNGLE...
One of my first takes I had when I guest hosted Jim Rome's show was making fun of Sugar Ray Leonard for doing infomercials for a plastic, life sized, man shaped target called , "The Slam Man" who's eyes lit up when you punched it correctly. I was very bothered (not really) by a six time world champion doing infomercials. That is where my nick name on Jim's show "slam man" came from.
I am now on in the same time slot as Jim. We are in direct competition nationwide for the same beloved male 18-45 demographic, however I would be a complete asshole and a phony if I didn't state the absolute truth. I owe a lot to Jim Rome and I will never in this lifetime be able to repay him. Those appearances and call in's to THE JUNGLE brought my stand up act a brand new fan base of absolute die hard maniacs. "The clones" as he calls them, would come out to see me do stand up comedy in droves. I have said on my podcast and many times to anyone that would ask, The Jim Rome Show sold as many tickets to my stand up comedy shows as my entire IMDB page combined. That's just the truth. 50% of the audience would be at the theater because of every tv show and movie I ever made, the other 50% were there because they heard me on The Jim Rome Show.
I am very grateful to Jim. I was very opportunistic during this time as whenever Jim would do what he called, "A Tour Stop" (doing his radio show from a certain city affiliate) I would book my stand up theater concerts the same time frame and really just tag along. Jim never objected and it was always incredibly fun and very profitable for me. I'm assuming Jim had the cache of having me at his tour stop, but I definitely reaped the bigger reward because I wouldn't have been playing to a sold out theater in that city without riding his coat tails into that city...
When Jim had a tour stop in Kansas City, I sold out The Follies Theater. When Jim had a tour stop in Buffalo, I was able to perform in front of 17,000 Jim/Jay fans at Buffalo Bisons Stadium. It was incredible. The fans were nuts and passionate and whenever I return to those cities they keep coming back.
The internet is a foul place filled with negative energy and nothing makes any one in cyberspace more happy then when they can hear some good shit talk. In regards to Jim Rome and myself, there simply is none.
Jim took a chance on me guest hosting his show (in those days I wasn't exactly known for being very corporate or playing by the rules).
I don't think people realize how ab-so-fucking-HUGE Jim Rome was in radio back in the day. He changed sports talk radio for ever. When I was listening to him as a teenager I would do the same thing I used to do with Howard Stern and simply not get out of my car. It was always funny all the time. The callers were funny, the emailers were funny and ( remember this was like 1989) the faxes were funny.
Sure he had his critics but to them I would always state, "If he sucks, then why does EVERY athlete line up to talk to him?"
I didn't realize it at the time but I learned a lot from Jim's show. Most importantly and especially, your listeners can provide you with content! What a concept. Jim's listeners would call for the sole purpose to be funnier than the caller prior. Now that I have my own radio show, I cannot even begin to describe how much this can propel a show forward on slow days.
"Is there beef between you and Jim?" I have nothing but respect and gratitude for the guy but I can see how it can be perceived that way. When Jim went to CBS Radio and left Clear Channel, Clear Channel had me fill in the last week of Jim's contract. It was a little awkward but someone had to do it so why not let the new guy get comfortable in the chair. Things that I know people perceive as me taking shots at Jim: When I first started my show on January 2nd 2013, I told the listeners that the days of "Less of you and more of me" were dead. The quote was something I'm would say to listeners whenever they would get out of line and he would go full days (or two) with out taking a single phone call)... That was his business and it was all cool with me but now I had MY show and I needed to express to the listeners that I NEEDED THEM. I couldn't possibly launch a show by not taking calls or emails. I was brand new. I was learning on the fly. Whenever you take a call you can engage in a conversation after that call and it was something I needed. Jim, at his level of broadcasting didn't ever need callers. Ever. I did. I am stating here for the absolute record that me saying that the "Less of you, more of me" days were over was not a shot at Jim. It was me basically asking for help without having to say the words, "I need your help, please call and be involved in my show".
Whenever I do an impression of Jim on jay Mohr Sports, people (again, the internet loves the smell of shit) quickly assume that I am mocking him. False. It's an impression. When I do Christopher Walken I doubt people reach out to him and say, "Jay Mohr was taking shots at you this morning." I am an impressionist. I can do an impression of Jim. Period.
There was never a falling out between Jim and I. In all honesty we probably hadn't spoken on the phone for about two years before I took over his time slot. We did exchange emails and I can assure you that ALL of those emails were me apologizing to Jim for crossing the line while guest hosting. Several times I would say something on air while guest hosting that was way over the line and corporate would come down on Jim. I can remember a long bit I did during Ronald Reagan's funeral about the Secret Service making Nancy Reagan walk too much for such an old woman during the proceedings. Sounds innocuous enough here on this blog but trust me it went way over the line and I would never, ever, EVER even dream about saying it these days on my show. I can remember Jim taking heat from the suits after I said that Maria Sharipova's boyfriend should wear her like a hat. Again, way, way, way over the line.
After all of these instances, Jim stuck with me. We never really spoke much at all so in regards to having a "falling out" there was really never much to fall out from..
"When will Jim be on the Mohr Stories Podcast". The answer to that one is simple. Whenever the hell he wants. As I said earlier about Jim putting in work on that airplane ride to Denver, he works probably three times as hard now that he has his cable tv show.
I am writing this blog because I wasn't sure how to put to bed and to rest the questions (all very fair questions) you guys have had for me regarding Jim.
It does need to be noted that I did not take Jim's job. Jim left to go to another company and if I didn't take the gig, you would be listening to someone for three hours every day.
I am forever grateful to JIm for letting me host his show again and again. I am forever grateful to Jim for unleashing the clones on me. As I said (wow, I am actually about to quote myself -- Yikes!) in Jerry Maguire, "It's not show friends, it's show business. Now that him and I are competitors, (and I mean direct competitors- same time slot in the same cities) I wish for my show to curb stomp his show whenever the ratings books come out. I would expect him to feel the same way.
No hard feelings on this end whatsoever. Eternally grateful. If he hadn't given me the shot I absolutely would not have a radio career now. All love Romey. jj #
A few months ago, Gilbert Godfried wrote a brilliant article for Playboy about how women claim they want a man with a sense of humor, but in reality they don't. This is my wife's response.
TO: LETTER TO GILBERT GOTTFRIED c/o PLAYBOY EDITOR
FROM: NIKKI COX:
Dear Gilbert, I have had the good fortune of being your acquaintance for almost two decades now, and I consider myself the better for it.
I hope you are well and good; that your days are filled with more things that make you happy then things that make you want to be sick out of your mouth. My wish for you? In the pool of happiness some asshole nicknamed, “Life”, you spend most of your time in the comfortable luke-warm middle. The shallow end is where the cowards hang out, waiting for the sky to fall- pissing, as they sit upon the pool steps, so as to feel a fleeting moment of (urea based) warmth. The deep end seems to be overflowing with pie-eyed, Ed Hardy sporting ass hats; what with their preternaturally orange skin, and their over sized tribal tattoos, once black, now faded to some shade between grey and beige that I can only call, “Other.” Side note- these people can usually tell you everything every thing you need to know about TEEN MOM 2- not to mention how Snookie got her “post-baby bod.” And knowing you, you probably have a MILLION questions about Snookie and her “Super healthy new life.”
I’m sorry to disturb you but I am writing in response to an article you wrote in PLAYBOY recently. It was incredibly funny. And YES-I DID buy it for the articles. If I wanted to see a sad, Cleveland- pretty five flop around in her altogether-I would simply drop the laundry in front of (awkwardly placed, highly filtered) mirrors.
I know it’s not sexy to say, as most broads of my generation are expected to tow the party line- “I just think the female figure is so sensual.” Or, “You are so fucking hot. Let’s make out! (for free drinks). Or pretend “The threesome was totally MY idea. Watching you fuck some hipster girl with ironic tattoos and a suspiciously infected looking nipple ring, I am only sobbing in the corner because it’s such an unbelievable turn on.”
I’m fine with lady bodies- but the only one I really give a shit about is my own. I have zero problems being naked, I think it’s funny and it freaks people out and the discomfort it causes others will never NOT be hilarious to me. Maybe if I had anything remarkable to show, I would feel differently. As it stands, I got nuttin’ special, so who gives a rat’s ass? Which brings me back to your article. I loved it. It was hugely smart and funny and TRUE. I have long thought that when women/men claim their number one most desired trait in a potential mate is a sense of humor, what they REALLY mean is “I want my partner to laugh at all my pathetic attempts at being funny.” They want a raucous audience where the bar that constitutes a joke is set so low as to be nearly invisible. Essentially, they want to date the studio audience from Married With Children. (I miss sit coms. It was so much easier when the laugh track told me a joke had happened.
I feel however, that your article needs an addendum. Something like, “Please excuse Nikki Cox from this piece as it is in no way applicable to me.”
Whenever I have fallen in love- really, just basket case, head over heels, how can anyone be an Atheist kind of love- it has always been with men who paid their bills by making people laugh. My first big love? Genuinely one of the funniest humans I’ve ever known. And the ONE, the love of my life, my husband makes me laugh harder than I ever thought possible.
In between these two loves, I was set to marry a fella I thought was the one. Thank fuck he dumped me or I wouldn’t have met the REAL one true love of my life, my husband. Even that guy, the stand in for my husband in one grotesquely long dress rehearsal, made me laugh loud and well and often. We were decades apart and some folks took umbrage with his appearance. I always felt very strongly, “Fuck ‘em’” I thought he looked swell and I’ll be damned if we didn’t spend years laughing together.
I guess I’m a rarity, but during my few periods of singlehood, nobody would be allowed NEAR, let alone INSIDE my “personality” if the suitor didn’t make me laugh first. All the mad crushes I’ve had throughout the years have always had just that one thing in common. They made me laugh. I guess it’s like being a size queen but instead of sporting a monster cock, they had to sport a monster sense of humor. (It just occurred to me though that tiny cocks are pretty hilarious, but that’s not my bag. Average and up, please).
I’m sure I was a disturbing child to raise. The usual “heart throbs” sickened me. With their bangs and their guitars. Boys my own age, well, they just made me sad in their feeble attempts at tomfoolery. At 3 year’s old I confessed to my mother that I was in love with Steve Martin and that I needed to marry him. At 5, I developed an unhealthy crush on John Ritter, which incidentally is why I decided to enter this business called show. Jack Tripper was always headed off to meet a “little red head” at the Regal Beagle. Naturally, I did the math. “Okay, I know I’m only five but not forever. I’m a “little red head” Jack Tripper, wait up, I’m on my way. At eleven, doing acting scenes with Jonathan Winters I was thinking, “O.K., in seven years we can get married. I hope he’s cool with having babies ASAP.”
As a grown up, doing scenes with Norm MacDonald, my hands would start shaking and nervous sweat would be running down my back. My crush on Norm was so big I’m still surprised it all fit into a soundstage. Two days ago, returning from a road trip I was listening to some classic George Carlin (Is there any other kind?). As I listened I thought, “Sweet shit! Were I not married I would have accosted him and forced him to fuck me. On second thought, that’s kind of creepy. He’s been gone a while now although I suppose it would remove the “force” part out of the equation.
Returning to the living, I would have paid good money to jump the bones of one Zach Galifianakis. And I’m talking PRE Hangover, millionaire, fanny pack wearing, Zeitgeist for a new kind of comedy Zach Galifianakis. Even when VH1handed him a room full of human shit and dog carcasses and said, “Here’s your show!” I’d geek out in front of the television set, staring in silence, hoping he would turn to the camera, look down the barrel and ask me to go home with him.
In closing Gilbert, you are correct. The majority of women say what they want most in a man is a sense of humor. By and large, as you surmised, that is a big fat fib. One might ask, “Why are they lying? The answer is because they are women. And most women are lying sacks of shit. Not me. Funny men are my only aphrodisiac; the only thing that REALLY turns me on. Chocolate makes me sick. Roses are macabre and morbid and bad poetry makes want to cry. Oysters? I don’t think I really have to say a word on oysters.
I’m an old chunk of coal. Happily married and of no allure to anyone at the dance. I shall stay with the one who brought me. But if anyone ever wanted me, I was as easy as it got. Like shooting slutty fish in a slutty barrel. If you made me laugh you got the key. Maybe not the key to my heart but definitely the key to my pants. Quickly and without any of the aggravating shit that most women want. Like talking.
Thanks for taking the time to read my inanity. You have always made me laugh. Were I single, and you found me appealing, had you asked, “Wanna go out?” I would have said without hesitation, “Absolutely. But do we have to waste our time going out?”
With much love. Nikki Cox.
Guest blog by Nik!
WHEN DID WE ALL GET SO MEAN?
As a culture we have become incredibly mean and snarky. We’ve become cruel and malicious and we keep trying to pass it off as a big joke.
People on Twitter and bloggers say something they think is super cutting, biting and hilarious but really it’s just mean and shitty. Nobody is laughing because if you’re truly doing your “A” material from your cell phone while taking a dump it’s not “A” material at all. The stuff you think is funny is usually tried out in your living room. You know, where most regular people say things in front of others. By “others” I mean friends and/or family. If you were truly brave you might want to try your snarky blog entries and tweets at an open mic night in front of strangers. Now that’s scary. Imagine how all the tweeters and bloggers would eviscerate YOU and all your super funny concepts. The snarky, mean tweet/blog doesn’t really resonate because you are all alone while writing it. Nobody hears your pithy insights because no one can stand to be in a room with you. Hence the “toilet tweet.” (Hopefully you’re alone, unless that’s your thing. If that’s the case then go with God.).
Now it’s expanded to commercials. We’ve all become so fucking nasty. It used to be that whispering voice telling you, “We’ve replaced all the real coffee with Sanka.” Or Postum or whatever the hell it was. The hidden cameras caught the looks of surprise and little giggles when the costumers were told that it’s not coffee they’re drinking but a delicious and down right preferable replacement.
Today they act like parking lot hijackers and bind ‘em and blindfold them like hostages and shove the consumer into an unmarked van that has been filled with fish bones (not the band, that would be awesome) but actual fucking fish bones and hot garbage and a sack of farts and a few festering errant eyeballs rolling around. The voice over guy say’s, “Hey scared weirdos, whos day we just ruined, what do you smell?” The blindfolded hostages say, “A field of wild flowers and ocean breezes!” Which makes the situation even more absurd because you can tell just by looking at these Kmart shoppers that they have never been further west than Baker where they went just to see the world’s largest thermometer. These people have no concept what a field of flowers or ocean breezes smell like.
It’s evolved even farther. These giant companies tell couples they are going on a romantic, weekend getaway. Moments before the kind folks arrive they fill the cabin with rotting liverwurst and human carcasses and lunchmeats. Which by the way, freshly opened lunch meat is one of life’s most unbelievably foul smells. Who knows why but we still forge ahead and slap it on a giant gluttonous hoagie and eat it as fast as we can. We totally put out of our minds that the very meat we are eating had us retching only moments prior. I suppose you could liken it to how we make ourselves forget the pain of childbirth so the human species doesn’t become extinct- which occasionally, these days, I think might not be such a bad a bad idea.
But I digress.
After a weekend together, the couple in bliss, because they can’t get enough of the aromas of lemon verbena and pine, are shown by the creepy company, “Ha Ha Ha! Under the bed, under the couch, EVERYWHERE you’ve been, we’ve hidden excrement and vomit and a couple buckets of lye. Not lye because it has any particular scent but because we thought it would be a laugh if one of you accidentally knocked one over and had to be rushed to the E.R.
But that didn’t happen so SURPRISE! You’ve been sleeping and fucking in a human garbage dump! Now, What air freshener are you going to choose?”
Sadly, all these confused people act like they’re so amazed and they will never be able to live another day with out the gift of the plug in air freshener. Obviously these Febreze people are ruthless and have no compunction when it comes to kidnapping or larceny or perjury or murder.
I’m not saying the plug in air freshener companies are murderers but let’s be honest. That human corpse in the cabin had to come from somewhere and it wasn’t from my trash bin.
As for these stupid commercials (although I know commercials are certainly fresh fodder for jokes) well, I’m just clawing at a metaphor for the tree of cruel, which grows. It’s not very smart and it’s about a million miles from where original lives. But shit, as tweeters and bloggers know, it’s always easy to pick the low hanging fruit. In addition, I ain’t so bright. However, I am fully aware, as I peck this keyboard arduously, and with one finger at a time (I would be a horrible, horrible, horrible court stenographer) that I am no better. I am using one of my husband’s computers, as I am the proud owner of none, to be critical and unkind. I am not recusing myself from the unwanted ugly opinions of which I speak. With each word, I am sealing my own fate as guilty. I am only doing this because I am married to a man that loves me and finds me clever, because, well, he loves me, and he wished for this to appear on his blog. I am no better. COUNTER – criticism is truly just criticism wearing a fucking hat. So, dear reader (I’ve always wanted to write that, huge Nabakov fan) I suppose this is just a request. A plea if you will- to me, or to anyone who deems worthy my brain droppings (always wanted to use that too. Huge Carlin fan). Maybe, just maybe, we could all try and be a little nicer.
P.S. If you dislike this and feel compelled to respond negatively, please know that I was born with less than one ounce of self esteem to begin with (Why the hell else would someone choose to become a child actor in the first place?) If you do respond negatively well, then, we have something in common. We both hate me.
That said- as an old kind man intoned to me as a teenager : What people say about me behind my back is none of my business.
FINI (I always wanted to use that also. Giant opera fan.)
Mental health in athletics..
My name is Jay Mohr and I host a nationally syndicated sports talk radio show entitled, “Jay Mohr Sports” on Fox Sports radio. I am also a comic, an actor, a father and a husband. I also suffer from panic disorder and am a recovering alcoholic. After scanning the radio dial on my week off with my family, I noticed far too often that some athletes with mental health issues have been the topic of fodder and sometimes derision for some radio hosts. It has to stop. I am by no means a whistle blower. I am simply a man that has a microphone in front of me everyday and I have also suffered from some of the afflictions that have been hidden by many athletes for years. Why wouldn’t they hide them? I hid my panic disorder for as long as I felt like I could live with it (it wasn’t long). I tried to “ride out” my brain telling me to run out of restaurants or to start fist fighting strangers whenever my fight or flight mechanism kicked in at indescribable, irrational, life saving levels. I cannot for the life of me imagine suffering what I suffered while standing on a pitcher’s mound in front of forty thousand people. I cannot begin to fathom what it would be like to have a panic attack while standing in a huddle. I was lucky. I was a civilian.
These athletes we celebrate are certainly not like us. They possess an extraordinary amount of skills that only the upper one percent of the upper one percent of humanity will ever accomplish. However, while afflicted, athletes are very, very common. For far too long mental health has been low hanging fruit for a punch line. Herschel Walker with multiple personality disorder, Zack Grienke with Social Anxiety Disorder. Brandon Marshall with Borderline Personality Disorder. Lawrence Taylor and hundreds and hundreds of others with their addictions to alcohol, crack, pain killers and whatever they could get their hands on. These men are not to be mocked (nor pitied). These men should not have a question mark next to their scouting folders. These men are to be COMMENDED for coming forward, being brave, and simply telling a doctor, “I need help.” That’s the rub with mental health and addiction (if I am able to put addiction under the umbrella of mental illness.), your brain keeps telling you to “deal with it” and to “get over it”. You convince yourself that if you do come forward, it’s a weakness because as a man, you couldn’t fix it yourself. Men love to fix things.
I had the great, great fortune of seeing a psycho pharmacologist when I was on Saturday Night Live named Dr. Noel Taylor. In very simple terms, that I was able to understand, she informed me that I had a sickness. She pointed to her PDR books (Physician’s Desk Reference) behind her desk and told me that Panic Disorder, Bi-polar disorder, Depression, Alcoholism, Schitzophrenia and Multiple Personality disorder are listed in those books right along side of bronchitis, shingles, mumps and migraines. I was told by my doctor to surrender and accept that I had an illness. I was prescribed a drug called Klonopin, which I still take to this day and it saved my life. I take a one milligram in the morning and one milligram at night. It doesn’t make me high. The drug doesn’t make me loopy or woozy. For me, at this dosage, Klonopin does its job of stopping the flooding of my brain with endorphins and adrenalein at inopportune times. It makes me feel normal. The euphoria of simply living is something that people with mental health issues never, ever take for granted.
Unfortunately, there was no magic pill for my alcoholism. My sobriety had to come more arduously. Immediate and complete abstinence and following a program and staying in constant contact with other sober people that could re-assure me that what I was feeling and/or what I was craving was part of the process and that I needed to either go to a meting or stay on the phone and keep talking to them until I was able to simply not drink THAT NIGHT. The reason there are so many clichés associated with addiction is because they are all true, they are all to be implemented and they all work. “One day at a time.” “Keep it Simple”. “Let Go Let God.” Aren’t just bumper stickers you see while driving around town. For millions of Americans they are constant reminders of how to think simply and how to retrain the brain to get, “Back to Basics.”
As I said earlier, I had it easy, I was a civilian. For me quitting was a necessity because I couldn’t quit. Getting the help I needed for my mental health issues was as simple as finding a doctor that told me I had a “neurological glitch”. Some people get hives, the less fortunate get panic attacks, depression, borderline personality disorder or addiction. No matter how you want to look at these maladies, and make light of them, they are sicknesses. They should be treated as such not only by the patient but also by the employer, the coach, the media and the sports talk radio hosts. I cannot begin to imagine having the issues I had in a professional locker room. Alpha males rule the roost. The weak get weeded out early. What is more weak then asking a team doctor for help because when you pitch you get flooded with panic and you are certain you are going to die? Isn’t that team doctor going to red flag you to the rest of the team as being a “head case” or a “nut job?”
What is a faster way to show weakness than to tell your coach that you have borderline personality disorder? How weak would you look trying to explain Borderline Personality Disorder to that coach? The locker room mentality for more than a century has been, “Rub some dirt on it and get back out there!” Or the ever popular, “Walk it off.” How do you walk off thinking you’re going insane? How do you rub dirt on your brain? How do you explain depression to a manager? How can you walk anything off when your brain tells you it is completely pointless to even get out of bed because you are worthless?
The athletes that have come forward and received treatment are not to be made fun of. They are to be celebrated for their courage. The most Alpha male thing a man can do is to ask for help, especially in sports. To go completely across the grain and the day to day machismo of your surroundings and say, “This must stop” is far braver than making a tackle or shooting a basketball.
After the Lakers won their last championship, Ron Artest was being interviewed on the court as the confetti was still falling. The first person he thanked wasn’t his coach or any of his teammates. He thanked his psychiatrist. You may still chide Metta World Peace for being a head case but when you do you should know that he has seen more doctors than you have been to restaurants. Before you question Brandon Marshall’s focus during games, you should know that he has put in more work to better himself. Hell, simply to get himself into his uniform than you ever could in ten lifetimes. As for the addicts that you may make fun of, try for a second to know what it feels like to wake up every day with a giant hole in your insides that can only be filled with alcohol or drugs. Addicts/athletes (the addiction will always come first) can certainly be taken to task for not calling a cab or for hanging out at the clubs until the sun comes up. But before you speak, you should know that the addict/athlete you are talking about is waging a war each and every day to get out from under the disease that consumes all of his thoughts, all of the time.
Mental illnesses are just that. ILLNESSES. Would anyone go on the airwaves and mock Arthur Ashe for having A.I.D.S.? Does anyone tease Magic Johnson for contracting the HIV virus? Did anyone mock Michael Jordan for playing in the playoffs with the flu? Anyone recall thinking it was funny that Lou Gehrig had ALS or Martina Navratilova had breast cancer? Did sports talk radio hosts have a giggle about Hank Gathers’ Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. No, of course not. Those people were sick. Well so are we.
It’s time for a change in Sports Talk Radio. It’s time to acknowledge that for an athlete to come forward and ask for help is braver than performing in any Super Bowl or any Game seven. It’s time to celebrate these athletes that are doing their jobs after overcoming these illnesses. If Zack Grienke had a blood disease and was hospitalized we would all hope and pray for his speedy recovery. Yet the snide comments about that “thing” he went through persist. If Brandon Marshall had cholera and still went out on Sundays and played football we would all be amazed at his courage and determination. Yet the snickers and jokes continue.
My name is Jay Mohr and I live with a mental illness and addiction everyday. No one mocks me. People don’t take to the airwaves to complain about my job performance because I’m a nut case or a screwball or a flake.. It’s time we stop laughing about these athletes and their illnesses and start getting behind their efforts to live with them. It’s time we help them raise awareness about their diseases (these are diseases and sicknesses mind you). It’s time we promote their charities. It’s time we stand up and cheer them for being in the upper one percent of the upper one percent of their profession. It’s time we realize they are in the one billionth percent of that one percent.
These are the strongest athletes living today. These are men that had the strength and the humility to ask for help. I speak from experience when I tell you that the only thing more terrifying than thinking you have a mental illness is sharing that information with someone else.
Let’s not forget that the athletes that don’t ask for help will resort to self medicating and living in secrecy.
How many athletes have committed suicide? What if they had the courage to speak up and step out? They may be alive today sharing their stories and helping others.
If Brandon Marshall drops a pass in the end zone, by all means boo your lungs out. If Zack Grienke walks in the winning run, feel free to scream that he is a bum at the top of your lungs. Just try and remember that after these men walk off the field, the real work begins.