YOLO of the Week 1

By Matt Lardner

By now, high school kids, Twitter, and high school kids on Twitter have ensured we all know that it isn’t possible to live twice. The “word” YOLO sounds like mutated frozen yogurt, but it’s mutated frozen yogurt that’s taking a generation by storm. That’s why I’ve decided, in the one life I’m allotted, to Scrawl ferociously. I’ll be spouting off on a myriad of subjects, but effective now, I’m instituting a shared column in which we profile recklessness, ignorance, and a general disregard for caution. Scrawlers, welcome to YOLO of the Week.

I was going to claim that this piece on The U guard Shenise Johnson would catapult her into celebrity, but she already seems like quite a hit in the mainstream realm of women’s college basketball. Shenise leads her team in points, rebounds, and assists, and projects as a lottery pick for the WNBA team with the most Nick Gilbert mojo. Coach Katie Meier even calls Shenise “the face of the program.”

Unfortunately for the lady Hurricanes, Shenise Johnson is a descendant of the Scot Pollard Tree of Terrible Advice. In the February 20th edition of ESPN the Magazine (which I guess makes this the YOLO of a couple weeks ago), Shenise was asked, “What’s the worst advice you’ve ever heard?”

It’s important to note that Shenise is a member of the YOLO generation. Her name sounds like it was pulled straight from Petey Pablo’s biggest hit (a song that I can’t wait to use when I breed a daughter– it’s like an auditory 21st-century baby name book). I hit the Twitter goldmine, where I verified the YOLO in Shenise within 10 days of recent tweets.

Also, The U doesn’t exactly have the reputation of an upstanding school with academics at their forefront.The Nevin Shapiro incidents, where players were spoiled by boosters and making bank on an NFL level, soiled the program’s name. The 7th Floor Crew dropped a track that traded the school’s reputation for an in-depth look at Greg Olsen’s ejaculatory tendencies. Googling “miami u scandal” yields close to 8 million results.

Not pictured - any of Olsen's three legs.

Now that the scene is set, we can move on to Shenise’s answer. What does the face of a program trying to rebuild its academic reputation consider the WORST ADVICE she has EVER received?

You know what I admire about Shenise Johnson? That in the face of adversity (adversity being literally every study ever conducted), Shenise sticks to her guns: “Who says school will help you have a better job at the end of the day?” Only The United States Government, wire service Reuters, and Georgetown, a school that apparently took time off from brawling with the Chinese to conduct a study with the most obvious conclusion of all time (next up: is Jared Lorenzen a bit too large to play quarterback?).

Shenise Johnson’s hatred of general statements must create problems on the court; imagine if one of the 16 fans shouts some passe encouragement, like “You can do it!” or “Defense!” Would Shenise turn the other cheek or would there be Malice in the BankUnited Center? Perhaps the reason why that advice is so general might just be because it makes sense.

Shenise is more than willing to believe in the Bible, yet dispels education as a myth. Ahh, yes. I was reading this super-prestigious science journal about making an entire new person out of someone’s lung and walking atop water for yards at a time (do you think Jesus’ watertop 40 time was wind-aided?), and then in my leisure time I read a fairy-tale about reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic.

Speaking of fairy-tales, 11 seed Gonzaga is the talk whisper of the NCAAW tournament, Cinderellas for knocking off 6th seeded Rutgers before defeating Johnson’s 3rd seeded Lady ‘Canes. I firmly believe that if Johnson wasn’t so busy thinking about petty distractions such as academics, they would have been focused enough to win. She lamented having to work on a book review in February (“who still does book reviews in college as a senior? Geeesh…”). Yet somehow, Johnson has navigated through that useless minefield called learning, and is set to graduate in the spring. Rumored destinations for her diploma are mixed, but the one spot ruled out so far is on her resume.

Shenise’s next question asks her who she doesn’t envy, and she replies Lebron James, because he is subjected to so much scrutiny. To that I say:
1. “scrutinized” wouldn’t be in Johnson’s vocabulary if she practiced what she preached.
2. Oops.

Matt Lardner lives vicariously through his Twitter followers. Join the fun @bigpoppalard. Promise I won’t make general statements.


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