Friday, June 20, 2008

Comin Back like Jordan, Wearing the 4-5?

Much like Favre, MJ, and Flavor Flav, I'm attempting my umpteenth comeback. After sacrificing this blog to the gods of thesis writing during my senior year, it's been resurrected by the imps of unemployment. (For this post-grad professional purgatory, I'd like to thank my English degree, George Bush's effects on the job market, and my own irrational fear of the title "assistant regional manager.")

Anyways, I've decided to knock the rust off this good old blog for another go-round, due to an overwhelming influx of demands from ESPN, SI, and Carl Pavano. (I know, I know, that's an obviously false claim -- no one has heard from Pavano for several years now...)

But I refuse to start off my comeback brilliantly before plummeting terribly and disappointing your hopes. Essentially, I refuse to be the 1978 Red Sox or 2007 Mets. Instead, I turn now to the advice of T.S. Eliot, who points out, "Mediocre writers borrow; great writers steal." So allow me to borrow quickly and in mediocre fashion from the sports media at my fingertips. Hopefully in the future, I will turn to truly great things yet again through outright theft. After all, in the words of newly-crowned NBA champ Kevin Garnett, "Anything is POSSIBUUUUUUUUUULL!!" Here are my three favorite storylines from this week in sports...

1. Tiger wins the US Open. Nothing like a brisk 91 holes to take your mind off work. As runner-up Rocco Mediate exclaimed early in the tournament, as Woods trailed the leaders, "Tiger, we all know you're going to do it. So just stop it. Stop it." What I loved most about watching this tournament on NBC was how much the broadcasters got into the epic excitement and spikes in action. (That's a lie. They still sounded like doctors delivering bad news, but I think at one point I had to turn the volume down to 57 they were so loud.)

2. Kevin Garnett finally loses his mind. Throughout his career, KG has always changed the "I'm so happy about what you just did that I'm pumped up" mentality into "I'm so happy about what you just did that I may actually kill someone." No one grins while chest bumping and pumping up the crowd. I understand that. Sports can be testosterone time, and anger fuels intensity. But Garnett always seems to take an I.V. of it to the jugular when he plays. I'd seriously be too afraid to celebrate with this man. So what happens when you take the 6'11" tower of testosterone and satisfy 12 years of frustration all at once? You get the most amazing postgame rant I've ever seen.

3. The Tampa Bay Rays sweep the best team in the Majors, the Chicago Cubs. As an intern at ESPN this spring, I asked senior writer/Baseball Tonight analyst Buster Olney about his favorite part of the job. He cited playing devil's advocate for each team, and as an example, said to me, "Like walking into the Tampa Bay clubhouse and saying, if X, Y, and Z all go right, this could be a really good team." Well, as of Friday, the third-best team in the MLB is Tampa. But why am I enjoying this? Maybe I like watching exciting young teams do well. Maybe I like the poetic justice of this team finally rising from the basement. Maybe I like that another team aside from the Yanks can challenge Boston, because I don't feel great about the Yanks' bridge to Mariano, and I don't trust the rotation without the injured Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, who may not be as good as ticketed to begin with, but may be the keys to New York advancing in October, along with Chien-Ming Wang coming back strong from his injury in September, but who will replace a back-to-back 19-game winner in the interim? It could be any one of those reasons. But I'll never say which.


At 4:12 AM , Anonymous Tim said...

Not being in Boston I had to record game 6 but of course forgot to record the program after it incase it ran over its regular time. I quickly remembered and managed to record the final minute and postgame celebrations. I dont really think I missed much in the 4th quarter except Boston stretching their lead from 30 to 40. And unless you hate the Celtics or KG with a passion how could you not love his postgame interview/reaction. Priceless. I almost died laughing. If only the Patriots had managed to win the Superbowl what a ridiculous past 9 months for Boston sports.

As for the Rays sweeping the Cubs, its nice to see someone else in the AL East doing something but at the same time the NL still blows huge. The entire NL should become AAAA baseball, and at the end of every season the worst Major league team is demoted to AAAA and the best AAAA team gets promoted to the Majors.

And finally, Tiger. He proved that even with an injury he can beat everyone else. I was in the same city as the Golf tournament as it was occuring, suffered from the increased traffic, and managed to not watch a single second of the 5 day tourney. Golf blows as much as the NL.


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