Monday, May 31, 2010

Here's what it takes to become an NBA analyst:

Here's what it takes to become an NBA analyst:

  • Have no better than a sixth-grade language comprehension level.
  • Blindly believe that every NBA player is a "good guy," no matter how they handle themselves on or off the court.
  • Extend every sentence with about three or four unneeded, misused words.

Actually, I think that's it. Otherwise how would Chris Broussard at ESPN have a job?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Why so surprised by Nate?

What is it about Nate Robinson that makes his success in tonight's NBA Eastern Conference Finals game 6 so surprising?

Is it the freakish athleticism? He's been arguably the best pound-for-pound athlete in the NBA for several seasons, so it can't be that. He's made enough jaw-dropping plays to prove this.

Is it the sometimes-phenomenal outside shooting? Nate the Great has been a streaky 3-point shooter since his days at the University of Washington. When he's in rhythm, he's about as good as they come from beyond the arc.

Is it his upper-tier intensity? OK, this hasn't always been at the forefront of his game. But when Robinson is put in high-pressure situations — rarely happened in New York — he's an alpha dog. Think Dwight Howard and Vince Carter, except the opposite.

Yeah yeah yeah, this 5-foot-7 jumping bean is a Dunk Contest sideshow who famously defeated Superman himself, Dwight Howard. But earlier tonight, he proved kryptonite works in regulation, too.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Analogy of the day: May 19

College basketball recruiting is like my son during episodes of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood": Cutthroat with a healthy dollop of disturbing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A note to Dwight

Note to Dwight: If you're smiling and laughing your butt off when your squad is down by 1 point with less than two minutes left in a playoff game, you're not cut out for this stuff. Go sell insurance.

Sports/Parent Analogy of the Day (May 18):

Sports/Parent Analogy of the Day (May 18):

Papelbon's demise last night reminded me of my toddler son: You can only cheat failure so long before you fall headlong off the ottoman.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Analogy of the Day: May 17

Analogy of the Day, May 17:

Sports-radio opinions are a lot like the precursors to your toddler falling asleep: Based on the whining and yelling, you can always see the end result coming from a mile away.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Does Lebron want to be wanted?

Cheap Trick is full of poo — sort of.

"I want you to want me" is a phrase that applies to many people in a variety of instances. Those who come to mind include undersized high school boys who enjoy chess more than football, recently graduated college students making their first foray into a crippled economy and mid-30s women who've yet to corral Mr. Right.

It's not always fun, though. Despite what 100 percent of media personalities have been saying since Lebron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers unceremoniously exited the NBA playoffs last week, this two-time MVP who's about to be wooed more fervently than Helen Mirren at an AARP convention might not actually "want to be wan
ted." Not this much, at least.

Pundits from TV to radio to newspapers have been drooling over the thought of what lies ahead for King James: rampant wining and dining, luxury travel and over-the-top praise — all courtesy of basketball team owners from coast to coast. Who wouldn't crave such ego-stroking wonderment?

Maybe Lebron.

Not everyone likes being sucked up to from sunup to sundown. It's fake at best and insulting at worst.

Not everyone likes flying from one end of the country to the other, then back again, then back again. Many hate the skies, regardless of the vessel's plushness.

Not everyone enjoys tiny portions at pretentious eateries. Sometimes a $5 regional favorite in the heart of a city's U district is the most comforting choice.

In reality, Lebron probably will enjoy himself immensely. After all, this is the guy who's basically announced his intention to be as filthily rich as possible.

Still, one can't help but wonder if the next few months will actually be frustrating and draining for this royal underachiever. Considering the criticism he's receiving for again failing to win a title, along with the tiring summer that awaits him, I don't envy Lebron.

Sometimes being wanted isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Friday, May 14, 2010

MVPs rethought

After watching NBA MVP Lebron James treat the most important couple games of his career like a game of backyard badminton, I've decided to rethink some my own 2010 midyear awards — in sports and other areas of my life.

Best Diversion From Soccer/World Cup Buzz: Any activity involving bodily motion. Really, this could include brushing one's teeth — anything that doesn't put you to sleep instantly.

Most Important Musical Trio Involving Brothers Who Have a TV Show on the Disney Channel: The Jonas Brothers. My 21-month-old son's obsession with these curly haired crooners has saved my sanity more than once.

Person Most Responsible For the Cliff Robinson Effect, Which Causes nearly 7-foot NBAers to Discard All Reason In Favor of a Love Affair With 3-Pointers: Cliff Robinson. Makes sense, huh? Larry Johnson gets the Silver Medal.

Comeback Toy of the Year: Slides. Remember these? Before video games and animated movies ruled children's lives, parents would encourage their younguns to glide down these usually plastic half-tubes. In a pleasant surprise, my son is singlehandedly bringing this toy back to the forefront of children's attention. Part of his success in this sport should be attributed to his bringing back the "backwards belly" technique, which hasn't been utilized successfully since the Corked Plastic Era of the early 1920s.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sing for your sports-watching freedom

Don't let dirty diapers and temper tantrums rob you of the simple pleasures that stem from season-defining sporting events. After nearly two years of fatherhood, out of necessity I've deftly integrated into my life a slew of tactics that enable me to make it through more than five minutes of "the big game." You may have to demean yourself a bit, but in the end, it'll be worth it.

1) Create a sing-a-long — Listen, you don't have to dress up in a Barney costume to appease your son/daughter through the art of music. Simply sing or rap whatever you're seeing on the screen. Just think of it as Justin Timberlake doing play-by-play. Here's a taste:
"LeBron takes the ball to the rack strong / His crazy runner draws iron / That's not a foul, that's not a foul!!! / Are you blind???!!! Hey zebra, are you blind???!!! / ooooh yeeahhhh."
This is foolproof. Kids gobble up goofy songs regardless of the content — a lot like Black-Eyed Peas fans.

2) Smile like you mean it — Often creating a song isn't enough to hold at bay the slumbering ire of an increasingly bored youth. This is where the perma-grin comes into play. Little-known fact: You can utter anything in front of your toddler, as long as you say it with good cheer. This is outstanding news for anyone who watches AL West baseball.

3) Toy pileup — Put every toy in your house within the four square feet next to the TV (the good TV, not the extra-bedroom set that requires a frequent whack upside the antenna). It's simple math: 2 minutes of toddler interest per toy multiplied by 37 toys equals 74 minutes of sports-watching bliss.

4) Laptop distraction — Pull out your laptop, search for free videos of your child's favorite boring yet highly educational show and hit "Play All." OK, so I haven't tried this one myself yet, but I see the potential. It's only a matter of days now.

5) You can always go the conventional route by asking your spouse to keep an eye on Mr. or Ms. Runt. But where's the fun and creativity in that?