Hank Baskett: From Training Camp to Marriage Boot Camp?

How the (briefly, sort of) mighty fall.

I knew Hank Baskett as a role-playing wide receiver who had decent-enough size to be considered a red-zone weapon for the Philadelphia Eagles. It turned out he had very little impact in his time in the NFL. But I also didn’t expect him to turn out to be a sad, pathetic reality TV show chump.

Baskett is back on TV starting tonight in a show called Marriage Boot Camp on the WE network with his estranged wife, Kendra Wilkinson. This on the heels of him co-starring in Kendra on Top, where the big scandal was that Baskett actually cheated on Kendra with a transsexual model. The model’s name is Ava Sabrina London and she was known to post sultry videos of herself online. The affair allegedly occurred like this: Baskett saw the videos, was smitten, contacted London, then showed up at her house — where he first introduced himself as “Steve” — and then the two had sex.

Ava apparently told the National Enquirer the following: “Hank absolutely knew I was a transsexual and told me I was the only transsexual he’s ever been with. He thought I was beautiful.” After the tryst, the magazine says, Hank took a shower then “gifted” her with $500.

This affair allegedly happened in spring 2014, and for more than a year now, Baskett has managed not to say anything about what went on between him and London, other than that they “hung out.” The whole premise of that Kendra on Top episode was her freaking out about the alleged affair and asking him to come clean, which he never does. In the first episode of Marriage Boot Camp, she’s at him again, yelping, “You sick, twisted asshole!” while he looks down at the floor forlornly and weeps.

I’ve always wondered what happens to marginally talented professional athletes who have a cup of coffee in the big leagues, then have to carry on with the rest of their lives. In a way, they are caught up in purgatory – they’ve tasted a little of the good life, but they haven’t accumulated enough wealth or life skills to actually make something of themselves beyond their sports identity. But to get dragged around by the ear and pimped by a former Playboy model because she, uh, well, uh, has been on TV, and her claim to fame is that she once shared a bed with Hugh Hefner?

Is it possible that Hank Baskett is smarter than us all, that he’s just another guy working the system for a payday? Is he smart enough to be playing an acting role here? Could it be that there was no affair, that it was just made up for reality TV, that he and Kendra are actually a happily married couple and this is the easiest avenue of income they could possibly travel down?

I would think that you could combine the respective IQs of both Baskett and Wilkinson, and the sum wouldn’t be equal to Steven Hawking’s toaster, but that’s just me.

I guess we’ll all have to tune in to Marriage Boot Camp to find out.

Did I really just write that line?

Mike Missanelli is on 97.5 FM The Fanatic every week day from 2 to 6 p.m. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMiss975.