Posted by hiphopmama on December 26, 2008
Last year it was the tights, this year it’s the mouth guard. In past years, I’ve almost never thought about or even noticed players wearing protective mouth guards, perhaps aside from the multicolored variety sported by the likes of James Posey. This season, though, I can hardly watch a game without seeing a player or two messing around with their mouth guard, popping it in and out, holding it between their teeth, and generally drawing attention to it for some reason or other. As a proud obsessive compulsive, I understand how easy it is for nervous habits like this to appear and entrench themselves. What I don’t get is how it has suddenly spread throughout the league like some sort of cute trend, like high socks or fauxhawks, especially since it’s been largely nonexistent in the past. Who was the innovator who jump-started this fad? So often these trends come from hip hop culture, but I don’t remember seeing rappers dangling plastic mouth guards from their jaws. “Before a blunt I take out my fronts” is a pretty obscure reference point for a new fashion statement, so I have to assume there was some genius trendsetter within the ranks of basketball players who sparked it. The league won’t jump in to stop this one like it did with the dangerous pantyhose issue a season ago – god save us, they’re wearing nylons! – but I’d much rather see the mouthguard thing go than the tights. I get achy legs, I get it. If you need some women’s fashion to get you through a tough 48, do your thing. But if you’re going to wear a mouth guard, leave it in your damn mouth and get on with the game. Unless it’s encrusted with diamonds, no one wants to see that shit.