Tag Archives: John Rocker

No Surprise: John Rocker Does as John Rocker Does on ‘Survivor’

John Rocker, Survivor, Braves, closer, baseball, pitcher, asshole, jerk, bigot, racist, homophobe, Sports Illustrated, New York, subway, queer with aids

John Rocker on “Survivor” — sorry, big guy

Predictability can be good in some stories, like the one about John Rocker and “Survivor.”

Before the season started, I wrote that the ex-Braves closer/infamous jackass wouldn’t last three episodes on the reality show, on which contestants must “outplay, outlast, outwit” each other. Big, aggressive jock types never do well on “Survivor,” and Rocker’s temper and lack of social skills would do him in quickly, I said.

And I was right! Wednesday on episode 3, the opposing tribe called out Rocker for some questionable play and for the Sports Illustrated article that obviously haunts him still. Rocker took the bait, telling a woman that he’d punch her teeth out if she were a man, and then proposing a fight. That made Rocker’s own tribe nervous, and they booted him.

Best part?

“I had a damn (immunity) idol right in my pocket, too,” Rocker said after the vote. So he joined the ranks of embarrassed contestants who got ejected while holding a free pass.

“Survivor” is such a great show, often a microcosm of real-life social interaction, and in this case a repeat of it.

And John Rocker? He’s a gift that keeps on giving.


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The Week in Review: Thanks for a Record Number of Page Views!

storycroft, page views, engagement, blog, Atlanta, John Rocker, Survivor, Truman Capote, Positive Challenge

Thanks for helping me end the summer with a bang!

I want to thank subscribers to this blog for their support over the last eight months. With your help, storycroft.com got more page views on Friday than on any other day. And on Sunday, we came this close to setting another record.

Why the excitement? First, I jumped on a breaking story that’s relevant to my premise. Then I worked the system hard while staying true to that premise.

Early in the week, I had two posts — about finishing my Positive Challenge and about great quotes from Truman Capote — that drew a good but unremarkable amount of page views and engagement. But right after I posted about Capote, news came that “Survivor” was adding controversial ex-baseball player John Rocker to its cast of castaways. I had to weigh in — and I got some of the Internet traffic driven by Rocker and the show.

I decided to build on it by re-linking some older posts to referral sites where I had posted them before, like reddit.com and stumbleupon.com, and I was stunned by the tidal wave of page views that came from them a few months after their first run. (Thanks, Sophie… and Josh, The Run Commuter… and the King of Pops… and Ponce City Market…) I also sought out other discussion boards about Rocker and other topics in my posts, and that got me referrals from large, commercial sites.

Just as important, engagement was high on the blog and on my social media pages. Readers were clicking through photo galleries. And on links and images at the bottom of posts. And retweeting and sharing posts on Twitter and Facebook. Anybody can lure in one-timers with click bait. But that doesn’t interest me. At some point, we have to focus on improving engagement at least as much as page views.

Oh, I want new readers, of course. But I also hope anyone who visits storycroft.com will come in and sit a spell, as we say down South. To click on another story, leave a comment, recommend it on social media.

You know: Have a conversation — and tell a story.

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John Rocker on ‘Survivor’ — Good Luck with the ‘Outwit’ Part

John Rocker, CBS, Survivor, reality TV, Braves, baseball, closer, Jeff Probst

John Rocker when he was a closer for the Atlanta Braves

Say it ain’t so, Jeff Probst.

You’re not really putting mean ole John Rocker on “Survivor,” are you? Not on one of my favorite shows for so many years now – shoot, almost as far back as Rocker’s flash-in-the-spotlight 15 minutes of fame.

I worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution then. All of us in Atlanta remember the big lunk for being a big jerk while a closer for the Braves, particularly in that infamous Sports Illustrated article, where he said nasty things about gays, immigrants, minorities, New Yorkers and, gosh, just about everybody.

And after that, I wrote about him a time or two when, even outside of the limelight, he found a way to be obnoxious, particularly to gays.

When I was in the media, I never got to meet him, although I have seen him in person. He is, without a doubt, one of the most physically beautiful men I’ve ever seen. And talk about a powerful masculine presence… He’s huge, built, aggressive, obnoxious and used to commanding attention. You know the type – loves how attractive and intimidating he usually is, probably asserts himself when he doesn’t get the attention he’s used to.

Jeff Probst, Survivor, CBS, reality TV, John Rocker

Jeff Probst, host and true “Survivor” stud

There’s often some guy like that on “Survivor,” which pits castaways in a competition that is part physical, part survival and part social. “Outlast, Outplay, Outwit.”

Outwit. Ha.

The Rocker types never last long. Too physically threatening, too socially divisive and tone deaf… and, well, usually not the smartest in the bunch.

“Survivor” has had pro athletes on previous seasons, most of them way more famous and accomplished than Rocker, who had a few years of notoriety before his obnoxiousness eclipsed his gifts as a closer. Future Hall of Famer Jeff Kent was on a few seasons ago and most of the other contestants had no idea of his wealth and stature. So maybe Rocker can coast under the radar.

Given his long track record, though, I’m guessing we’re in for a whole new round of reasons to hate him or laugh at him when the season starts Sept. 24.

He probably won’t last three episodes. But I’ll be watching every minute.

Got me, Probst.

John Rocker, CBS, Survivor, gay couple, baseball, braves, atlanta

Rocker and his girlfriend, top row left, join a gay couple and some racial minorities (uh-oh!) on the coming season of “Survivor.”

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