od invented the internet so that we could feel more closely acquainted to professional athletes. It’s the reason they have online chats, it’s the reason they have their own websites, it’s the reason we try and become their Facebook friends, and it’s the reason that their team contractually obligates them to humiliate themselves for the sake of a few YouTube videos. For this, we must give our eternal thanks, because God never fails to satisfy us. And nor does Joakim Noah.
During a Bulls game last week, a halftime segment aired that showed Noah, Derrick Rose, Tyrus Thomas and Luol Deng participating in a ‘Name That Tune’ style challenge. The four players paired up, and one player had to sing whatever tune was playing in his headphones, with the other player charged with guessing which song it was that they were butchering. The girl’s job was to guess which team won.
The whole debacle was caught on camera.
A closer inspection reveals that this isn’t the first Bulls players karaoke segment of the season. Three other officially licensed videos exist, showing the same players (as well as Kirk Hinrich, Aaron Gray, and the now-departed Drew Gooden and Thabo Sefolosha) taking part in a singalong to various TV theme tunes. The tunes range from seminal to forgettable, yet they are, to a man, bludgeoned.
If anyone emerges from this with any pride, it might be Drew Gooden. Gooden – whom we already know to be always up for a tinkle – demonstrates, if nothing else, a semblance of a sense of rhythm, humility and personality, although he does appear to struggle with the difference between a saxophone and a piccolo. Hinrich continues his galvanising makeover from the shy and retiring elfin-like creature of his rookie year to the matured and forthcoming comedy god that he is today. Tyrus Thomas sings like he plays (with plenty of effort yet little to show for it), as does Luol Deng (who sings, let’s say, differently). Most worryingly of all, Derrick Rose seems to sing in the same way that he talks – in a monotoned unrelenting B flat that never shows any signs of breaking out into a fit of inflection or interest. Give me another half hour of Gooden, instead. Thanks.
However, if you thought that other Bulls starlet Ben Gordon had gotten lucky and avoided it all, then despair not. Despite the fact that those videos were probably made during Gordon’s entirely awkward contract negotiations, Ben has been seen to have brought the noise before. In this first video, Ben is caught chiming in with a vital contribution to the seminal Chicago Bears theme song, “Bear Down Chicago Bears”. (Note: a version with Hinrich in it is out there somewhere, but apparently I’ve lost it.)
And in this second video, Ben does what so many ballers feel obligated to do eventually; he stars in a rap video.
(Note: That last video appears to have been an advert for a product called Mioplex. A quick Google search reveals that Mioplex is a “male orgasm intensifier.” This would explain why he felt fifty feet tall. My work here is done.)