The pain of the octopus

Sad to say that i couldn't really get in the right state of mind for last night's games. First of all, having Lakers/Suns and Wizards/Cavs unloading on each other back-to-back sort of made me take the two for granted. Secondly, no matter what she says, there's no way my girl likes it when I show up in town and then promptly quarantine myself from 7-12:30. But the really fuck in my socks came in the form of two totally unholy forms of discovery, which I will detail below:

1. The sad football news out of Houston. I don't really mess with "real football;" to me, one of the four great perks of moving to H-Town was going to be witnessing Reggie Bush on a weekly televised basis. I know that I could rack up 1,000 yards in the Denver system, that Carr, Andre, Moulds, and Davis are a pretty darn adequate cadre of skill players, and that real men need defense, and that, like Kubiak said, they're never going to be able to outgun the Colts. And while I want to believe that Bush will change football forever, these ultimate weapons don't always translate into the pros. But I don't want to be the city missing out on this on the big stage. Incidentally, I saw some scouting schmoe's site refer to Gayle Sayers as "Black Magic," which might be the best nickname ever.

I wonder, though, why it is that football itself is having so much trouble with this pick. Isn't it the NBA that's supposed to be concerned only with meaningless highlights and superluous talent? Don't winning and losing dictate interest, not flash? Maybe it would get a lot of these holier-than-thou NFL fans to quit bitching if you accused them of sounding like NBA'ers.

And not to harp on the fumes raised by my McSweeney's joint this week, but how come "physical playoff basketball" is the very stuff of manhood, but the Brawl is thuggery incarnate? Watching "classy guys" in the Lakers and Suns bare their teeth time and time again, I had no clue what made some moments "competitive" and others "uncalled for." This goes hand-in-hand with another question raised by last night: what to think of LeBron dropping forty in the playoffs? Are they the playoffs, which means the points count double? Or are the refs still favoring offense like they supposedly did throughout the season? Seems like yet another case where too much contrast between the two phases lends itself to incoherence.

Suns like weak, floundering; Lakers have found something, but it may not be there in round 2. The Wizards/Cavs game was similiar—somewhere between the first two, reminding us that storylines must cool before they rise up with certainty.

2. The other cause of death: apparently, two people who live in my girlfriend's complex have complained to the landlord that I've been seen in "in my underwear in the common area." Apparently, old running shorts on laundry night is a little too risque for them—like they don't live two minutes from the heart of the state's mightiest gay district!!! And if they're really so worried about the moral fiber of their block, they might want to take notice of the dude in the next building's courtyard who'll serve anyone (Houston's eternally feeble patterns of gentrification) or the multiple registered sex offenders on the block (ask your gov't). Fuck this town.

Actually, this Texans thing is perfect. A city that in the end is run by bland, rational, business-minded concerns that trump the will to style. And Bush drops to a team that needs him just as desperately but is savvy enough to realize it. Culture, bitch.

Leinart to Arizona is beyond perfect. . . why does he look so down?

PS: Not they need anyone to link to them, but Deadspin weekenders MJD and MDS are doing some amazing things with the tricky project of internet draft coverage as we speak. Salute!


At 4/29/2006 2:15 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4/29/2006 2:51 PM, Blogger Neil Scientist said...

Leinart is down because, as deadspin noted, he blew around12 mil to play senior year. Plus he would have been in SF instead of Phoenix, which noone can argue with. Since you're railing on Houston, I'll point out that Phoenix is another sun belt centerless, patio man city. From his perspective, it has no real celebrity orientation and all the tail would have been 3rd tier to him in college. As I said, his perspective. But my ducats say he'll reverse commute from LA to Phoenix. And Shoals will be right; this will be a good thing for him.

At 4/29/2006 3:08 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

by that same thinking, bush cost himself 3mill by not taking the market-sanctioned contract for #1. i don't see how allowing rookies to negotiate contracts works with the nfl's iron-fisted cap.

leinart's also now far more likely to cash in on his second contract than he would've been in frisco. no one needs a strong setting more than a qb, which is why it's such bull that they can single-handedly turn around a team. the cupboard is bare in sf, while leinart is falling into the same kind of situation he had at usc (surrounded by weapons, not expected to be the catalyst).

At 4/29/2006 3:41 PM, Blogger S-Love said...

"how come 'physical playoff basketball' is the very stuff of manhood, but the Brawl is thuggery incarnate? Watching 'classy guys' in the Lakers and Suns bare their teeth time and time again, I had no clue what made some moments 'competitive' and others 'uncalled for.'"

I couldn't agree more. Perhaps Kwane was simply sharing his small town values with a national audience.

Columnists also celebrated Ginobili's elbow of Artest, and while the celebration was for its metaphorical significance (stopping Artest's boasts), it was more than a little problematic.

At 4/29/2006 3:43 PM, Anonymous Tinns said...

I'm laughing out loud watching that Bush tape. It don't even look real.

At 4/29/2006 4:32 PM, Blogger Neil Scientist said...

sure Leinart is in a better professional situation, and he'll probably earn a lot more in his next contract than he would have coming from sf. He may even get the 100mil deal which NFL teams give when they don't plan on cutting a player.

Still, the NBA draft is the only one where this kind of hoopla makes any sense, if only because one player has much more impact. The draft junkies and Kiper and all them are certifiable. Baseball's is the worst, because they can't even trade picks. Why? I don't know.

At 4/29/2006 4:42 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

certifiable what?

i've been thinking a lot about the '84 nba draft as a way of rationalizing the texans' pick. no one gripes about hakeem over jordan because, while not the sexiest player in modern history, he was an all-time center. reggie bush may be the next, umm, reggie bush, but if williams turns into a dominant de, would it be that bad? a marauding end can be perfectly dynamic and rabble-rousing, and is harder to find than a productive back. sure, they might wish they had bush, but history might look back on it as an excusable mistake.

also i am sick of the "bush will make the whole offense better, williams would only help himself" line. has anyone watched the colts ever? and it's not like bush is going to get the ball snapped to him. . .

At 4/29/2006 6:24 PM, Anonymous reyjinn said...

On a completely unrelated note:
Sergio Rodrigez, 19 years old. Plays in the top league in Spain. The video is from one game against u19 (probably) Russian national team. There has been talk about him entering the draft but it's thought unlikely.

At 4/30/2006 12:04 AM, Blogger Deskie said...

I would appreciate some insight from this esteemed convocation of erudite scholars of The League on a topic which is, frankly, not really related to this article. Why is it that while everyone and their kid sister is blowing their collective loads over LeBron's game winner the other night, no one seems willing to discuss the obvious? That is, Cleveland's favourite son clearly travelled on the bucket. Nothing could have been more obvious. And okay, fine, The League's refs can have selective vision about particular players at particular times in games. I've learned to live with that. But the fact that no one in the media seems to have noticed his four post-dribble steps, or are unwilling to bring it up seems very suspicious to me. Methinks they are afraid to besmirch the good name of the Air Apparent (in perhaps his finest hour thus far) and expose the obvious complicity of the officials in the Chosen One's crime. Anyone who likes good ball is in the King's corner, but this one was a little too obvious.

At 4/30/2006 12:23 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

when it happened i thought "isn't that a travel?" but then i immediately thought of that episode of "law and order" where it turns out some prosecutor has been throwing cases for years, maybe some judges, too. at the end when it's time to deal, he threatens to back up the legal system for years by identifying verdicts he might've been paid off for. mccoy counters by saying they'll put his wife away, too, so he agrees not to.

At 4/30/2006 2:08 AM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

I guess Patrick Ewing shed a single tear of joy about LeBron's final basket - finally somebody upholding his traditions in today's NBA. Classic Georgetown center footwork, LeBRon is quite th scholar.

Anyway, Steve Kerr noticed the travel, but based on the fact that it was a no-call, still gushed about the basket. Seems kind of strange to me, but maybe he's one of the guys who's made his peace with the way traveling is called or rather not called in the NBA.

But the pass to Ilgauskas, now that was something to go crazy about...


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