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Dhani tackles television

dhaniI now have an affinity for the Travel Channel for I have discovered a new show, Dhani Tackles the Globe.  The show features Dhani Jones of the Cincinnati Bengals (formerly the Eagles) as he traverses the globe, learning international sports while simultaneously experiencing the culture.  He’s actually pretty articulate and is pretty good on television.  Being in such good physical condition, he’s adept at adjusting to the particular sport that he’s learning.  He is self-described as a renaissance man, owning his own line of ties.  He’s one of those rare types of athletes that also appreciates the arts such as fashion, writing, and television.

His travels have taken him to amazing destinations.  In the first season, he goes to Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand and Singapore.  In Thailand the national pastime is Muay Thai boxing.  While I haven’t seen all of the episodes, I have seen this one.  While learning about the ancient boxing traditions, he also learns about the culture.  He did defeat his opponent in a second round knockout but it looked a little fixed.  I thought if the guy really wanted to, he would’ve taken Dhani down in a heartbeat.  In Singapore, he competed in dragon boat racing.  While this was a slow episode, it was livened up by the cultural activities when he received a pedicure from sucker fish, eating frog leg porridge, and trying Durian fruit (which apparently is nasty).

He has also gone over to Europe and hit England, Switzerland, and Ireland.  In Ireland, he plays hurling and visits a Guiness brewery, which the thoroughly enjoyed.  In Switzerland, he trained in the sport of Schwingen.  It’s basically a type of wresting but with a Swiss twist to it.  While he did wrestle in high school, he did lose in the final round to a Swiss giant.  Finally, in England, he played in a rugby friendly for Blackheath.  In that episode, he also picked up a snazzy suit as well as got to drive one of the James Bond cars in London.

While Dhani travels the world, he’s sticks out like a sore thumb.  You have all these native people playing their sport and here comes a 6’2″ 240 lbs. jacked black guy.  I don’t care what sport you play, when he’s coming at you, you better be either lighting quick or scared.  While this sometimes makes for strange altercations and awkward pauses, Jones uses his casual style to diffuse the situations.  Often, he does it with a joke or good one-liner.  But by the end, it seems like he is accepted by his teammates or the local culture.  What wins them over is the fact that he tries to fit in and makes an effort to learn about their language and culture.  I think that natives like foreigners embracing their culture and it also keeps in perspective that America is not the center of the universe.

Recently according to his Twitter page, Dhani lets the show’s fans know that the second season has been approved.  Dates for the new episodes have not been released but I can assure you that they will not be before February 1, 2010.  That’s when football season ends.

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