Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sports teach my son bad habits — like how to whine

The NBA playoffs are not helping the development of my eight-month-old son.

If you think about the amount of whining, pampering, passive aggressive behavior, hitting and lying that goes on in professional basketball, you have to wonder why I'm even letting my him watch the games. I might as well hand him a beer and some cupcakes and sit him down in front of "Saw." 

Take whining, for example. It's amazing to me the amount of "explanations" NBA players seek from officials. You know what I'm talking about. [Insert name of player here] pounds a guy in the stomach with both hands, is whistled for a reach, screams "What!?" looks puzzled, sort of laughs, walks over to the referee during the free throws, mimes what he thinks he did, then listens to the official explain the rule.

Is it just me, or shouldn't you know the definition of a foul after playing hundreds and hundreds of organized basketball games? If Lakers guard Derek Fisher, 34 years old, doesn't recognize that he's hacking the crap out of people, he's never going to figure it out. Or maybe, just maybe, he knows he's doing it. Yeah, that sounds right.

Regardless, this rampant behavior isn't helping my son. Just the other day he pooped, threw his hands up in disgust, started crying, then cussed me out up one side and down the other. In other words, he pulled a Fisher. 

In other news ...

— If you really need final proof that Pistons forward Kwame Brown, a former No. 1 overall NBA draft pick, is a complete bust, look no further than his uniform number: 38. When a team gives you the number 38, you might as well set up a hammock on the sidelines. 

Watching him stumble through a playoff game against real post players last week, I was reminded why "upside" means nothing. He may be big and athletic, but he doesn't have any skills to speak of. The proof? 7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game thus far in his lackluster career.

— I've tried and tried, But I still have yet to teach my son how to raise the right elbow with the right knee for layups. Perhaps it's too early in his life to worry about such things. Yes, perhaps ...

— You can bank on this quote from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell next April: "With the first pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select (pause here) The Speed of Light."

I can just picture gargoyle-esque Raiders owner Al Davis' quote: "Sure, the Speed of Light can't tackle, catch, block, throw or kick — but it's really fast."

When the Raiders picked wildly inconsistent yet blazing-fast wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey with the seventh pick in Saturday's draft — even with thoroughbreds Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin still on the board — they once again proved Al Davis shouldn't be allowed to operate a motor vehicle.

— Thankfully, my boy seems to be doing OK in the quiet aftermath of his first NCAA basketball tournament. This is usually about the time of year — with college basketball done, football in the distant future and the monotony of baseball settling in — when I cry myself to sleep every night. But my son seems to be resting comfortably, so I'm hoping he's is a better man than me.