Come on, man!

Columnist fires back at Charles Barkley's Galveston cheap shot

Charles Barkley
Shots fired! Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for American Express.

Last week, Charles Barkley trolled the New Orleans Pelicans and sideswiped innocent bystander Galveston after the Pels’ embarrassing loss to Oklahoma City.

Instead of “sending” the Pelicans to Cancun, as is the running joke on the NBA’s post-game show on TNT, Barkley was so disgusted in the Pelicans that he said they didn’t deserve to vacation in the Mexican resort city.

No, Barkley was sentencing the Pelicans to Galveston where …

"Galveston. That dirty ass water. We're not even going to send them to Cancun. We're going to send them to Galveston with that dirty ass water, be washing up on the shore. People think they in the beach," Barkley ranted.

"We're not getting them no plane ticket to the beach. We're sending their ass to Galveston, Texas, right where that dirty water washed up on the beach. They can't even get in the water.”

Barkley clearly was kidding, not kidding. Galveston responded good naturedly with billboards around the island.

"Hey Charles, come on down — water's fine!"

"Our water is cleaner than your golf swing.”

"You've never turned down any of our great food."

Each billboard was signed, “Love, Galveston.”

Here’s where the Galveston tourism folks and I differ. My billboards would have read:

“Dirty ass water? Then keep your fat butt out of here.”

“Our economy is strong, even without the enormous ‘entertainment’ tabs you’ve rung up here.”

“Get your Mounjaro somewhere else.”

Tina Knowles thinks like me. She went on social media and warned Barkley:

“We don’t play about Galveston, Texas. You better watch it sucker. Our water might not be blue but it’s still the beach and we love it.”

Knowles, who was born in Galveston, is the mother of superstar Beyoncé. It was Beyoncé’s husband Jay-Z that alerted Knowles about Barkley’s dig.

Barkley folded and apologized to Knowles:

"Ms. Knowles I don't want the smoke. I don't want the Beyhive and Jay after me."

The truth about Galveston's water

Channel 2 weatherman and longtime Galveston resident Frank Billingsley took Barkley’s jibe in stride.

“We love Charles’ sense of humor which is clearly as challenged as our water,” Billingsley said.

Sure Galveston’s beach water, to be kind, can be a bit murky. I wouldn’t go in it. But I sure love eating the shrimp that once lived in it.

Billingsley explained why the water in Galveston is so, at times, dirty.

“The Brazos River empties into the Gulf south of Galveston and that silt is what you’re seeing. It is not the Mississippi River like people think. The Mississippi River messes up Biloxi, not Galveston. During drought years when the Brazos River is low the water in Galveston can be clearer.”

Storms and strong tides also churn the water like a Vitamix blender causing the water to be darker and dirtier.

Billingsley cleared (ironic choice of words) up the difference in the water on Galveston’s Gulf and Bay sides.

“The Bay is an estuary and more salty than the Gulf side. The Bay is a perfect home to shrimp and oysters. Of course, during floods like now, the Bay gets more river water and becomes less salty.”

Several years ago, during the BP Oil spill, a national publication dispatched me to the Gulf coastline to write about the spill’s effect on the environment and local economies. That’s when I learned about the benefits of Galveston’s so-called “dirty ass water,” caused by sand and mud and plant life and nutrients and who-knows-what-else is lurking on the bottom of the gulf floor.

I was told that seafood, like shrimp, takes on the flavors of the water where it lived. The Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay are like a big Golden Corral to shrimp and fish and oysters. One bite and you can tell the difference between delicious Gulf shrimp and bland farm-raised shrimp from Asia.

Next time, before you order a shrimp platter or po’ boy from a restaurant, ask where the shrimp are from. If they say China or they don’t know, you might want to consider a burger.


This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

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Mariners defeat Astros, 3-2. Composite Getty Image.

Bryce Miller allowed two runs over six innings to pick up his first win since April 17, and the Seattle Mariners used a big first inning against Houston starter Framber Valdez to hold on for a 3-2 win over the Astros on Monday night.

Seattle scored three times in the first off Valdez and then leaned on its pitching to make the early lead stand up. Miller did his part and then turned it over to relievers Trent Thornton, Gabe Speier and Andrés Muñoz to close out the victory.

Muñoz got three outs for his 11th save.

Miller (4-5) had lost his last four decisions, including his past three starts. In his four previous May starts, Miller allowed 15 earned runs after yielding just eight runs over six starts during the first month of the season.

But he seemed to rediscover a bit of his dominant form from that first month, striking out six and walking a pair. Miller said part of the success was noticing batters being more aggressive on his pitches early in counts, forcing him to be better with his location.

“For me (it's) just trying to make sure I'm still getting ahead, but with certain hitters in the lineup not making a mistake just trying to get ahead,” Miller said. “Being aggressive on the corner early and then working off of that.”

Miller cruised through the first four innings and retired 12 straight after issuing a walk to Kyle Tucker, the second batter of the game. But he ran into trouble in the fifth when he gave up three straight singles, the last coming from José Abreu, which scored Jake Meyers. Victor Caratini’s sacrifice fly plated another run and after Jose Altuve doubled, Miller escaped the jam by getting a groundout from Tucker.

Miller again pitched out of trouble in the sixth, putting two runners on before Jon Singleton flied out to the warning track in right-center to end the threat.

Abreu was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land ahead of Monday’s game and his single was his first big league hit since April 27. The 2020 AL MVP was batting .099 when he accepted an assignment to the minors on May 1.

All of Seattle’s offense came early. Meyers made a terrific sliding catch to rob Cal Raleigh of extra bases but it still resulted in a sacrifice fly. Ty France and Mitch Haniger followed with two-out RBI singles as Valdez faced eight batters in the first inning. He needed 43 pitches to get through the first two innings, but Seattle was unable to add on.

“We had all kinds of traffic and we had some good at-bats when we did have traffic out there. Unfortunately, sometimes the ball doesn't land on the grass like you want it to," Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Valdez (3-3) allowed just two baserunners over his final four innings on the mound and was able to get through six. He permitted six hits, struck out four and walked three.

“I thought it took him a little bit of time for his sinker to be down and to execute. He just wasn't executing his pitches like he wanted to," Houston manager Joe Espada said. "Then after that he settled in and he threw a heck of a game.”

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Astros: RHP Hunter Brown (1-5, 7.06 ERA) allowed just two hits and two runs over six innings in his last start but took his fifth loss.

Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (4-6, 3.31) lost his last time out, giving up two runs over five innings against the Yankees.

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