Posts Tagged ‘Basketball’

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slow season.

July 25, 2010

This is the slow season. No hockey, no basketball, no football and the halfway point of 9-man stand-around,  aka baseball.  This is the point in the baseball season when the handful of teams that actually still matter for the remainder of the season make a few trades for good players that have contracts ending on their current teams while the rest of the league literally throws in the towel and starts thinking about next season. As fans, we’re treated to a majority of meaningless games.

Sports news is so slow that reports on college football players that receive money from agents, school alumni and other connected riff-raff, four and five years after the fact grabs headlines. As if anyone that has watched college or pro sports in the last 15 years should be surprised that some of the big time money made by big time money makin’ universities, with big time money makin’ sports programs, that have big time money makin’ tv broadcasting contracts, and that recruit big time money makin’ players, is big time dirty.

I give as much a shit about Reggie Bush and/or his family getting money from some lecherous wannabe hanger-on as I do about where Lebron James plays his basketball. I give as much a shit about Cleveland basketball as I do Miami basketball. I care even less about what Pete Carroll knew or didn’t know about Reggie Bush’s money, house or car while he was coaching USC…and I’m sure as hell not going to waste my time reading a book written by a football coach to learn his philosophy on winning. I’m more concerned with my philosophy on paying the fucking mortgage and my equation regarding how many beers comfortably fit on the bottom shelf of my fridge. The NFL and the NCAA need to quite acting like they are honorable and that their fans give a shit. We obviously don’t. Pretending that there is any sort of moral integrity in big time money makin’ sports, college or pro, isn’t something we’re even trying to convince ourselves of these days. Some guys are better than others and that is about as far as it goes anymore. As a fan, I’m fine with that. If it starts to bother me too much, I’ll stop watching and/or stop spending my money on your game. I’ve already cut back…but that is of no real consequence…and who cares.

The NBA might be a complete joke as far as a competitive pro sports league goes, but at least they aren’t trying to fool anybody. Lebron James needed to play college basketball like he needed to stay in Cleveland. Get paid and win at all costs. This is pro sports in the 21st century. Anyone that thinks anything else hasn’t been paying attention. Do you know what I know about Lance Armstrong? I know that he won the Tour de France a bunch of times, lost a ball to cancer, dated Sheryl Crow for a while at some point, has a hell of an endorsement deal judging by the commercials and probably was on steroids through all of it. Livestrong Lance. Do your thing. I really, truly, don’t give a shit. I don’t even know why I know about most of what you’ve been up to, but I do. Actually, I do know why…it’s because you’re a winner. You won those races, so I know who you are. If you had lost all of those, you wouldn’t be on my radar since I don’t follow your sport. I couldn’t name another cyclist right now if you paid me.

Every aspect of sports, from the game itself, to the offseason trades, to the prospects in the minors, to the draft, to the contract negotiations, to the possible training camp holdouts (Why the fuck do I know who Albert Haynesworth’s agent is?), to the salary cap, the player’s unions, to the ownership’s positions, to the tv contracts…its all on the table for the fan to form an opinion about. And slow season is the time in which this minutia steps up to the forefront. It’s enough to make a sports fan hate sports. Right about now, I kinda do. But in a few weeks when football season starts, I’ll be appeased. Slow season is just that. Slow. What am I supposed to do? Give a shit about the World Cup? Seriously? The World Cup in this country is for American sports fans that don’t actually give a shit about sports. Or at least aren’t emotionally invested in being a fan of a team. Soccer fans are pretty much like people that watch American Idol, and then buy the winner’s first record. And then forget about that winner once they are off their tv. And I don’t even want to get started on the white urban hipster contingency of American soccer fan. Most of you shitheads that got all fired up about the World Cup last month won’t remember who won it in about a year. Hell, you don’t even remember who the U.S. team played against in the first round six weeks later. You can’t even name more than 5 players on the U.S. team. Quit acting like you were into it. Sports aren’t your thing and its ok. You just like to buy scarves. Keep carrying your high school anti-jock hangups around into your middle-aged adulthood. Its fun to make fun of.

I am digressing. The point of this post is that slow season blows. Baseball is boring and also completely sucks. Basketball sucks even more than baseball and I can tell you which of the 8 teams that matter will be playing in the 2011 finals right now. The World Cup is at best a minor distraction, and mostly for goof-asses that don’t watch sports anyway. Hockey was fun while it lasted, but the NHL has a long way to go before it is taken seriously and unfortunately it seems to be modeling itself after the NBA. Quick, name what channel “Versus” is on your tv? Exactly. No one wants to watch Carolina vs. Calgary. 75% of the NHL season is foreplay and too many shitty teams make the playoffs after a way too long season. I love the game and I can’t be bothered to follow the league until football has more or less ended. Canadians are the only fans fired up for October hockey.

Bring on the football season already. I want to watch these crazy short career having jacked up motherfuckers kill each other. I immensely enjoy this most violent sport and am not ashamed.  I want to field multiple fantasy teams, drink too many sunday beers and love and hate players, coaches and announcers. I watched the Chad Ochocinco show tonight for chrissakes, against all better judgment, while the out of it Cubs went into extra innings against the Cardinals…and then lost. That’s how interesting a Cubs game is right now. I’d seemingly rather watch a famous pro football player fake tv date a large grouping of ridiculous women. This is how much every other sport completely sucks compared to football.

Slow Season is coming to an end. NFL training camps open this week. If you couldn’t guess, I couldn’t be happier.

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reset button #3: (march) madness.

March 19, 2010

During my morning and nightly commutes, when I’m not listening to my rock ‘n’ roll records, I usually flip between NPR and one of two sports radio stations. I know sports radio is mind-numbing, and I can usually only hang in for up to 15-20 minutes at a clip, but I’m a football junkie and the offseason is as busy as the regular season, plus my Chicago Blackhawks are having an interesting season, so I’ve been listening. Anyway, a few weeks ago I heard a radio ad that actually caught my attention. Which is surprising, because I flip at the first sign of a commercial 99.9% of the time and radio ads are the worst of the worst. Bad actors doing bad voice overs mixed with bad broadcasters, bad scripts, and especially on sports radio, D-grade beer commercial humor hammering you directly over the head. This one caught me though.  I don’t think I’d ever previously heard a radio ad for vasectomies.

The hook, basically, is, get your vasectomy on the Wednesday before the early rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament. You get snipped, no big deal cool guy, and you then get to stay off your feet and chill for a few days. May as well spend it lying around watching hoops all day, right, dude? The urologists office doing your outpatient procedure even throws in a frozen bag of peas (get it!) and a voucher  for a free pizza at a local chain they partnered with.  Free pizza and some dick joke lolz with your outpatient sterilization is the shit! What health care reform U.S.A.? Who cares what it costs! I said basketball and free pizza, motherfuckers!

A personal hero of mine, the great stand-up comedian and social critic, Bill Hicks, once said, “If you’re in marketing, kill yourself…” That one always hit close to home and hurt a bit since I’ve participated in more than my fair share of  marketing meetings over the years. Though, it doesn’t mean Bill wasn’t 100% right.

Just hearing an advertisement for a surgical procedure that causes sterilization should be surreal enough. The fact that it’s tied to a major sporting event and that it fits right in, being plugged with the same humor and tone as ads for mass-produced beer brands, used cars, fast food corporations and discount men’s suits, is downright disturbing. I can’t decide if this is the most brilliant marketing initiative ever or if it is just another goose step in the long march to the bottom.  Somewhere, someone wearing a suit, sitting in a cool looking chair in a mansion is laughing at us while crazy middle-class Christians are protesting health care reform because they are worried that tax dollars might get used to pay for some gal’s abortion.

We live in a country that markets vasectomies via basketball tournaments and we have people in government that find it their duty to stop poor people from getting affordable medical care, abortions included. So Funny. So fucking sad.

But let’s not lose sight of what is most important. Who don’t like ’em some free pizza?

Right now, somewhere in America, a freshly sterile man with a swollen nutsack and a half-thawed bag of peas shoved up his crotch is sitting on the couch enjoying some awesome insurance covered pain meds as he watches highlights of today’s NCAA tournament hoops action on Sportscenter. He’s thinking of how long he has to wait before he gets to bang his wife again now that he doesn’t have to worry about having another kid, a dirty plate of half-eaten pizza crusts at his side. His office pool bracket is still looking pretty damn good and he’s got two more days of games yet to go this weekend. Hell yeah!

Uncool and Heavy’s official and fully potent NCAA Final 4 picks:

Semi-Finals:
Kansas over Pitt
Duke over Wisconsin

Final:
Kansas over Duke