While Steve Blake may fit in perfectly with his new Los Angeles Lakers teammates on the court, off the court he may have some problems. You see, it seems as if Steve is beyond the video games and meaningless banter associated with the young folks of today’s NBA. Steve Blake is an intellectual.
I was lucky enough to come across one of Blake’s essay’s from the University of Maryland. While Blake is known for leading the Terps to a national championship in 2002, it seems we haven’t given him enough praise for his accomplishments in the classroom.
Take for example this essay, that Deadspin was kind enough to publish for our enjoyment. Click the link to see the whole essay, but essentially it is an edgy critique of one of our nation’s most prized establishments, Johnny Rockets.
Blake wisely begins his essay, entitled “Happy days at Johnny’s” as fiction, in an effort to draw the reader into a personal story about two young lovers going through a difficult time in their relationship. During an argument, the young lady wanders into a Johnny Rockets restaurant and her boyfriend follows her inside:
“A young couple was walking down Main Street arguing with each other. The young lady got frustrated with her boyfriend and just walked away from him and went into a restaurant. He wanted to make up with her so he went in there after her…As they were sitting, they heard a song by Elvis being played throughout the whole restaurant. The couple looked at each other and smiled because they both really liked that song. The restaurant that this couple went to is in Florida and is called Johnny Rockets, a restaurant that brings people happiness.”
Quickly and unexpectedly, however, Blake abandons the two characters and begins his appraisal of the Johnny Rockets franchise, noting such things as:
- “The colors of the restaurant are red, white, and yellow.“
- “There is also a straw holder that the waiter or waitress opens for you to get a straw as if you were a five-old kid.“
- “By looking at Johnny Rockets you can tell it is resembling the 40s and 50s by the juke boxes.“
- “With the friendly service of the waiters and waitresses and the singing and dancing they sometimes do makes this place just as fun as hanging out with your friends.“
- “By having a restaurant like this, I think it shows how we haven’t forgotten about what has happened back in the 40’s and 50’s.“
So far the essay may seem like a puff piece, like he was paid off by Johnny Rockets to write a positive review. But Blake is sure to show the drawbacks of the restaurant as well:
“The only downfall of the restaurant is that you don’t get much food.”
He even goes as far as to compare Johnny Rockets to its competitors:
“The burgers are about the size of McDonalds but the taste of Johnny Rockets is much better. One thing I do like is that you get a good amount of a chocolate shake if you order one. The prices at Johnny Rockets are a little high compared to a McDonalds or Burger King but are average compared to a Fridays or Applebee’s.”
Finally, Blake concludes with the main argument of his essay. He tries to show why Johnny Rockets is just so special to him:
“When I was younger, my mother would listen to oldies while I was in the car and I enjoyed listening to them then. So the only time I really get to hear oldies now is when I go to Johnny Rockets.”
Remember, this essay was written in the early 2000’s, before music downloading was rampant. So it is actually quite telling that visiting Johnny Rockets is the only way that Blake could listen to oldies and be reminded of his childhood and his mother.
It says on the Maryland website that Blake was a criminology and criminal justice major at Maryland. Well he needs to put his training to work because he has clearly been robbed of a Nobel Prize for Literature.
So if in the upcoming season Steve Blake hits a game winning shot and you’re hoping to find him out that night to congratulate him, look no further than the red, white, and chrome of Johnny Rockets. It will certainly bring you, your family, and Steve Blake happiness.